Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season Two

Hello again, guys. I’m back, and I brought my opinionation with me, look.

  1. All Hell Breaks Loose

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I’m cheating here by counting both parts as one episode, but there’s no way I can’t include the death scene at the end of part one, in all its terrible poignancy. Jensen Ackles’ monologue, as Dean sits by Sam’s body, bypasses touching and goes straight to heartcrack- I think it remains some of the best work of his career. I was in tears basically throughout. Another great moment is when Jake is shot and falls, revealing Sam standing behind him, swaying a little, an ugly look on his face. It’s one of my favourite Kim Manners closeups.

But the moment that truly haunted me was when Dean clutched the newly-resurrected Sam into his arms, and the look on his face; that of someone who’d gone too far and seen too much.

2. Playthings

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This may seem a strange choice to some of you guys, but this episode is one that speaks to me personally. There’s an otherworldliness to it that sets it apart from any other episode; in that labyrinthine hotel Sam and Dean are annexed off from their usual masculine world, and it does strange things to them. Dean finds Sam drunk and puts him to bed, as Sam makes Dean promise to kill him if he ‘turns’; it’s a strangely intimate scene, but with a throb of desperation beneath it.

The episode was also a homage to The Shining, with some shots that were exact replicas, like the one of the key in the door reading 237. But the whole thing seems to take place in a dreamy bubble of its own. I’ve written more on Playthings here.

3.In My Time Of Dying

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Such a beautiful, beautiful episode. Directed by Kim Manners, who used sweeping camera moves to switch from Dean’s POV to Sam’s, where Dean wasn’t visible. Lindsey McKeon made her first appearence as the reaper Tessa, and her performance was, I think, spot on- she treated the role with the seriousness it required, unwavering yet not unkind. And of course this was Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s last appearence on the show. The fascination of John Winchester is that we never quite know to what level he’s manipulating a situation; he gives a speech to Dean about how when he came home from a hunt Dean would comfort him, and the praise shows on Dean’s face like a revelation. Immediately after, he’s telling Dean to ‘Save Sam or kill him’.

I think my favourite scene here was the one where Sam and Dean spoke to each other via the ouija board- there was a hopefulness to it, as both of them tentatively began to wonder if this could be okay after all.

4.What Is And What Should Never Be

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Dean-centric and unutterably sad. JA is wonderful here, as Dean forces himself to push away what he wanted more than anything. It’s directed by Kripke, actually, who I think did a great job- the commentary track is hilarious, he takes the piss out of their own tendency to end scenes with tormented Winchester profiles- and his style was clearly influenced by Manners’. Such lovely nuances of acting here, like the way Dean leans into Mary’s embrace as if he doesn’t want her to let him go, and how he looks up at her like a little kid.

I also love the warehouse set, with the typewriter, and the djinn’s tattoos are fantastic. Plus, Sam. In a jogging suit. Being prissy. Wow.

5. Heart

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Heart goes from incredibly hot to incredibly sad in what seems like seconds. It was the first episode to make me actually cry.

Throughout, the camera is up in the characters’ faces, particularly Sam’s; it made me uncomfortable. I felt like I was invading something private. The only privacy the characters do get is at the end, when we don’t see what happens but hear the gunshot; it’s as if even the cameras don’t dare go near what’s taking place.

Every actor concerned is marvellous here. Dean’s tiny flinch at the end when he hears the gun; Madison smiling up at Sam, tears running down her face- but I can’t help but applaud JP. His transition- from an absolute beast in bed with Madison, to a scared kid with tears streaking his cheeks- is both sudden and absolutely smooth. These are completely different facets of Sam Winchester’s character, but JP treats both with equal importance.

And also:

‘Dean, always with the scissors.’

Honourable Mentions:

Tall Tales. It killed me not to include this in the top five. The whole thing revels in silliness like a pig in mud. Personally, I lost it at ‘Blah blah blah blah blah’.

The Usual Suspects, which I LOVE. Sam and Dean are in sync- and sassy as hell, incidentally- throughout, to the disgust of the police force. Detective Ballard has to be one of my favourite one-off characters.

Nightshifter, which contains an incredibly badass escape sequence to Styx’s Renegade. And Ronald, who only appears twice and yet seems to matter so much.

Croatoan because of that scene. You know the one.

Bloodlust and Hunted because Sterling K. Brown as Gordon is flawless, as is the wonderful Katharine Isabelle as Ava. I saw her on Hannibal recently and her whole manner was different, the tone of her voice, everything; she seems entirely at home in both parts.

Folsom Prison Blues. ‘Don’t worry, Sammy, I won’t trade you for smokes.’

Houses Of The Holy, which I’ve really come to like. More Kim Manners closeups; it’s a gentle episode, disillusioning and sad.

Everybody Loves A Clown; I can’t get enough of the exposed, sun-bleached look of it. Sam and Dean look so pale and vulnerable.

And finally, Born Under A Bad Sign, which I hereby award the Wrencollins Certificate Of General Disturbingness. The fuzzy CCTV video of possessed Sam slitting Wendell’s throat is one of SPN’s more unsettling deaths, I think; it felt so authentic, in the middle of an episode about demon possession. And kudos to JP- when he let Meg show through his intonation changed, becoming like Nicki Aycox’s. His body language changed. Everything. And I love the fact that Bobby is such a paranoid old git.

*

So, now you guys have to do your bit. Agree, disagree, I’m not picky. But for God’s sake, tell me what you think.

Oh, and as a bonus question, what do you think Season Two’s weakest episode is? Honestly I don’t think there’s a single bad nut in there, but if I really had to pick I’d probably say No Exit. It’s such a great season that the decision is really tough.

Also, a disclaimer: I know I talk about cinematography a lot, but don’t take my word as a professional opinion or anything- I’m barely sixteen and have never studied it. This is all interpretational.

Read my Vivisecting Supernatural series at https://cobwebqueen.wordpress.com/.

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13 thoughts on “Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season Two

  1. My favorite’s for Season 2…
    Gosh, I loathe being limited to just 5 favorites…HA! The same could be said of the First season. I had such a hard time pinning them down to just Five. I had several that I weighted the pros & cons. When I posted up my list, it was with a sour gut because two or three were ties. No matter, this go I’m going to use your Honorable Mentions and use the ties as a second list of second best. “)

    #1. All Hell Breaks Loose I & II
    My favorite choice is like you, yes I consider the two as one. I absolutely loved All Hell Breaks Loose I & II. I had to pause several times because the ending of I and the beginning of II just tore me up. I teared up so much, sight was next to impossible. Lord seeing JA cry out SAM! …just broke my heart; and when his voice cracked in 2 talking to lifeless Sam, I heard a crack in my soul. To be so realistic JA must have had that experience in real life to pull from, it was so heart wrenching. That was some A+ acting on JA’s part because I actually felt his heart breaking and his profound grief.
    I also loved that emotional death grip Hug; all the joy, utter loss, anger, love and sorrow all wrapped up in relief was plainly written on Dean’s face.
    Big Bad Dad has his second shining moment saves the boys and finally gets his revenge. To finally help put Ole Yeller down.
    I also loved Sam’s relentlessness in keeping all the chosen alive. If ole yeller wanted one of them to be victorious by killing the others, then none would be the victor. Also loved that He never lost faith that Dean would find and save them.

    #2. In My Time of Dying
    For once BigDaddySuksALot doesn’t suck to much…slightly, but my grievances with John Winchester are numerous. Finally Sam gets a true emotional heartfelt response from John. Dean finally got to hear how proud his father was of the man he is and was loved. Of course it was double edged and BDSAL couldn’t help his damn self, he giveth and taketh away, with a whispered save your brother or kill him; he murdered his eldest child’s heart. Of anything on this Earth Dean loved more than Baby, was Sam. Gee Dad , you sure know how to ruin the moment.
    This episode we see the very first time Dean escaped true Death. Season one “Faith” held the idea of their mortality, but this is the first on the brink of death {and a death} for one of the main cast. I loved that we learn Tessa a reaper, is not as monster or something to fear, but a being that has a true purpose in life, to escort the dead to the hereafter. Reapers are there to relieve the dearly departed from doubts and suffering unnecessarily by staying on this side of the veil.
    I also really liked that both boy’s bridged the gap to communicate with each other. The thrill of it really works and the wonder was plain to see on Sam’s face. he was overjoyed to be able to communicate with Dean.

    #3. Heart
    The symbolic choice of the title is no accident.
    Sam’s heart takes a licking, again. The poignant song of Silent Lucidity playing at the end when Madison chooses to end it, Sams refusal to give up is heart wrenching. I found the touching scene of Dean telling Sam he’ll do it to save him pain, was typical Big Brother Dean protecting Sam. Sam telling his brother he’s right, she’s right, it needs to be done is just a precursor of the future. The sheer pain on Sam’s face as tears roll down his face telling his brother he will do it because it was asked of him. The sweet refrain of him telling Dean to Wait here, tells more about Sam’s frame of mind. Sam doesn’t want Dean to leave him alone, he needs his big brother to pick him up, brush him off and put him back together again.
    When he looks back just before he goes into the room with Madison, his face says I don’t want to, please tell me I don’t have too. The look on Deans face says it all, I’m so sorry, I really wish there was another way. Poor babies.

    #4. Tall Tales
    Trickster/ Gabriel, the laughs and Bobby’s suffrage of the boys constant bickering trying to figure out the creature their hunting. What’s not to love…I really enjoy the funny episodes the best. They will be in my top 5 every season.

    #5. Roadkill
    A accidental death of a man and a woman causes a horrible chain reaction of events. The shocking turn at the end. The juxtaposed spirits. One of vengeance and one of love. I loved that the boys had to gently tell Molly that this one horrible night has been going on for 15 years. That the time has come for her to let go, end her suffering and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh I feel ya. You should see my draft for the Season Six list, I literally have like 15 favourites bc it’s my #1 season. It’s horrible trying to narrow it down…
      Omg yes. JA’s monologue KILLS me.
      And like you, I’m really not a fan of John Winchester..is it bad that I was just a leetle bit relieved when he died?
      Agh, the look on Sam’s face before he goes to kill Madison. GIRL, YOU ARE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE.
      I love the funny episodes. Comedy is apparently harder to pull off than tragedy…
      Ooh, Roadkill. I like Roadkill. The woman playing Molly was so great. I always kinda tear up when she dissolves into light at the end.

      Like

      1. Roadkill for a long time was one of those episodes I’d put to the back of my mind, as one I wouldn’t watch very often. It wasn’t until I sat up late one night and saw it in a different light, for some reason unknown to me. At the time I passed it off as a corny episode. But It was so sad how she had traveled that highway for years and didn’t know she was a ghost, until the boys came along. At least she had a happy ending.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your list, Wren, and I agree with a lot of it.
    Finding 5 episodes was more difficult this time around because S2 is my favorite and aside from exceptions like No Exit, most of the episodes are really good.

    1. Tall Tales is one of my favorite episodes. Again, one episode where he get to see the boys have a little fun and my favorite MOTW ever, the sweet-toothed Trickster. I’ve watched this episode a million times and it’s my go-to episode when I’m feeling down. So many funny bro moments! Bobby handling the brothers like a pro, and gently side eyeing them as they act like fussy toddlers :D. Dean and his purple nurples, Sam’s “too precious for this world”. “Blah!” LOL, just the best.

    2. Crossroad Blues is also one of my all-time faves. This one is simply a perfect 10. The Robert Johnson legend, the marked souls, the terrifying hellhounds, and Dean outsmarting the flirtatious crossroad demon is one of the best scene of Supernatural, period.

    3. Playthings: This one is so dear to my SamnDean girl heart. Brother moments aplenty (like you, I also found the drunk Sam scene “intimate”). I also loved everything in it, from the old house, to the kills, to the dollhouse that replicates the killings, and of course, the characters. Talkative ole Sherwin, mom Susan, little Tyler. Maggie is an underrated MOTW and an effective, creepy little ghost. Playthings is one my great loves on this show.
    “Antiquers?” 😀

    4. What Is and What Should Never Be. An exploration of Dean’s mind., secret fears and hidden hopes. We get to see how he really feels about hunting, John, his family, his life. Mama’s boy Dean melts my heart. Jensen’s scenes with Samantha Smith were touching, convincing, believable, and heartbreaking. I also always love to see Jess, one of my favorite ladies, and the Djinn was a MOTW with a striking appearance. Love the tats and make-up.

    5. All Hell Breaks Loose. The race to the finish line. This where ‘Destiny’ takes control. Sam finally gets the devastating answers to his questions. He kills Jake, a human being, just like Azazel predicted his winner would. Dean sells his soul and starts the journey that leads to the First Seal being broken. It’s also the jaw-dropping escalation in the beginning of a long list of crazy things the boys will do (or try to do) for each other, which is what makes this show so compelling to me.”Then let it end!” Gadreel didn”t lying when he said, there’s no me without you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks! S2 is wonderful- probably my second or third favourite season. Though I do like No Exit more on rewatching. ‘Shoulda cleaned the pipes’ makes me chuckle.
      LOVE Tall Tales and I was poring over the list for ages trying desperately to squish it in there. Fussy toddlers, couldn’t have put it better myself…
      I think it’s a great episode, but weirdly enough Crossroad Blues isn’t one of my favourites. It’s one of those where I’m always surprised by how much I enjoy it. And I love the Robert Johnson stuff.
      I AM 1000% WITH YOU ON PLAYTHINGS. Which I think is also the reason for a lot of Wincest shippers. Each to their own.
      Ugh, Dean and Mary in WIAWSNB kills me. (Tho mama bear Dean is my favourite Dean). And yes, I loved the tattoos as well!
      AND DON’T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT ABHL I WAS IN TEARS JUST GETTING THE SCREENCAPS UGGGHHHH.

      Like

  3. 1. All Hell Breaks Loose Parts 1 and 2

    This is my favorite episode of ALL TIME. There was so much going on that I loved, and the communication between Sam and Dean were amazing. How in depth they both were. How on top of it they both were. Sam dying, was the first time I cried. That performance in the pouring rain shattered me into tiny pieces, that solidified my bond for these two boys. I was hooked. It started off the premise of the boys selling their souls to save the other, and how this spirals later on throughout the series. Azazel comes into play as the big bad, and all hell breaks loose….

    2. Born under a bad sign
    A Sam centric episode full of the usual drama you’d expect by now. Sam was scary, menacing, cruel and very violent in his portrayal as a man possessed by a demon, Meg. Jared rocked throughout, and this probably to me stands out as his best performance EVER! Injuring Dean with a bullet, scared to death he’d killed a hunter one of his own kind, under duress both boys solve the mystery, superb!

    3. Hunted
    This little episode is SO underrated, I never see it given credit very often and how amazing this little story actually is. How dramatic it all was, Gordon taking revenge on Sam for being the boy king, and wanting him literally dead. Sam being Sam CLEVER and fighting his way through two trip wires in the barn, and Dean thinking his brother was dead. Then Sam pulls another little stunt in arranging the cops pull up just as Walker lets himself loose on Sam with a trigger. I so love this episode….

    4. In My time of Dying
    This one is so special for many, and Wren you touched on most of the moments with the Ouija board. How great the direction and acting was. How detailed the story was. John’s last days were numbered and his soul was ear marked for hell. This was a great premier for season 2 marking the death of John Winchester, making a deal to save his eldest son.

    5. Heart
    Another Sam heavy episode and one of the first we see Sam naked in bed with a female, and yes, a monster. Sam really did fall for Madison big time, and it was literally heartbreaking to watch her death, and how beautiful those boys tears were. That gun shot making you jump was just shear TV perfection.

    Honorary Mentions:

    Croatoan;
    What is an should never be
    Crossroad Blues

    Weakest Episodes:

    No Exit
    Simon Said

    Season 2 is one of my favorite seasons, and I can’t call it between 2, 4 and 5, how about you, Wren what’s you’re favorite season??

    Can’t wait for season 3 ……

    Bella xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All those you’ve mentioned are awesome- and yeah, Hunted is sadly underrated. The anguish on Dean’s face when he thinks Sam’s dead. Just. Ohmygod.
      My absolute favourite season is Season Six. I’m in love with the Soulless arc. It tore my heart out. And the s6 finale is my #1 favourite episode… in second place I’d say Seasons two and ten, I can’t really choose between them. I think ten was patchier than two but I love how all over the place it is, and there are some episodes- The Werther Project in particular- that are very dear to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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