Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season Five

Season Five was nuts. It was a patchwork of meta, fury, dorkiness, vengeance, addiction, parodies and tragedy. And that shouldn’t work, but it does. (And you better appreciate this. I cried just getting the Swan Song screencaps. That shit is potent.)

1. Swan Song

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The epic love story of Sam and Dean is encapsulated here. The mirror-scenes with Lucifer and Sam are riveting- Jared is great- and the flashbacks come like a punch to the gut on first watch. So unexpected. (If you’re interested, I wrote about parallels between this, Brother’s Keeper and Sacrifice.) The scene where Dean rolls up in the Impala, blasting out Def Leppard, and steps out to grin at two archangels, is what I count as his finest moment. And the silent shot of Dean, face bloody, kneeling is just pure despair. Bobby, Castiel, Sam. All dead.

Then there’s the sheer terror on Sam’s face as he stares into the Pit. Such a contrast to the his cold, assessing stare at the end of the episode, when he’s inexplicably standing in front of Lisa’s house.

Already we know that something is very wrong.

2. Free To Be You And Me

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Such a lovely, underrated litte episode, a pitch-perfect balance between humour and heartbreak. It begins poignantly, with the tender vulnerability of the scene between Sam and Jess, which I wrote about here. From there it launches straight into an excellent music cue to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. Sam chopping vegetables while Dean chops vamp heads. All in a day’s work.

Then we have the many sides of Castiel, which begin to emerge here. Only Cas would sass an archangel out of town and then be petrified by a hooker.

3. Changing Channels

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‘NUT-CRACKERRRRR! ARRRRRGHHHH!’

A riot.

4. Dark Side Of The Moon

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An excellent episode, but the amount of Sam-negativity I’ve come across pertaining to it is insane (‘Sam doesn’t love Dean as much as Dean loves Sam! Dean’s best memories were all of Sam and none of Sam’s were of Dean!’). Please. It’s not like characters should have lives outside of each other, right? It’s not like he came from a controlling, vaguely cult-like family (hi, John) that any kid would have been glad to escape, huh? And of course, it’s not as if the angels were probably manipulating the shit out of their Heavens anyway, is it?

Mini-rant over.

Fandom response aside, I’m totally on board with the platonic soulmate theory. The scene between Dean and Mary, with Sam looking longingly from the sidelines… the actual opening, and the tremble in Dean’s voice when Sam was shot… Kurt Fuller playing Heaven’s second-greatest douche of all time… and the Samulet. I was reeling after that. Dean, Dean, Dean… low blow.

5. The End

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Scary good. Two Deans! (Deangirls, your carriage awaits). Ackles is superb- there’s a hardness to 2014!Dean’s gaze that sets him apart, and he’s clearly been numb for a long time, probably since Sam said yes. And speaking of which, JP is also excellent. (He said he loved this episode, as he only had to work for one day.) I can’t help but link the Lucifer scene to The Born-Again Identity, the only other time, except for the beginning of Houses Of The Holy, that we see a Winchester dressed fully in white.

‘You will always end up here.’ I wrote about the truth of this line here, in a comparison of this episode and Season Nine.

*

Honourable Mentions:

My Bloody Valentine, to which I nearly gave spot five. Then I decided to just give it the Wrencollins Certificate Of General Disturbingness instead. For being erotic. And gross. And erotic.

Sam, Interrupted. The first scene is hysterical. I rewind it about six times on every rewatch.

Ten Minutes To Midnight, in which we first met Death. I love the lightning flickering over his and Dean’s faces. (And that pizza actually looked really nice.) Also, let me point out that it was set up in this episode that Death could only be killed by his own scythe.

The Devil You Know. Because… Crowley. Kissing a homophobic seventy-year-old banker. Gold. Oh, and the Winchesters ganging up on Brady at the end like the ickle psychopaths they are.

Hammer Of The Gods. I debated including this one in the HMs, because I have issues with the presentation of the gods as weaker than Lucifer. But I do really like the scene between Gabriel and Lucifer, which I discussed here. (Wow. I’ve clearly written a lot of meta about Season Five.)

The Song Remains The Same- wrote about Anna’s betrayal here– because everything about it just kills me. And it used Cherry Pie! Reichenbach mirrors! Hurrah!

Point Of No Return, which I really love. It’s a turnaround, and totally believable. I also got a weird satisfaction out of Cas beating some sense into Dean, probably because his attitude was starting to grate. No doubt that lead to an influx of pornographic  wall-involving Destiel fic.

And finally, Abandon All Hope. Dean’s walking up to the devil and shooting him in the head. Ellen sobbing into Jo’s hair with her finger on the switch. Dear God. So upsetting.

*

Now, you know the drill. Who fancies a spot of conversation? Oh, and I’m posting a VS meta on Soulless Sam later on my own site, so keep an eye out.

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

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62 Comments

  1. #2 B I Believe The Children Are Our Future
    What I love most about this episode is we are given a new perspective on scripture and a twist on our preconceived cultural beliefs. Cas said the bible get’s more wrong than it does right. In this episode we find the Antichrist is alive and it’s not the lovechild of Luci and a Jackal. In SPNLand the Antichrist/ Cambion is a 12 year old boy from Nowhereville in the middle of BFE Nebraska but he happens to be a hybrid child, born a human {Julia} and demon. He is more powerful than either Angel, Demon and Human and with one word he can wipe out the whole Host of Heaven if he so chooses. Under that ominous threat, Cas is for killing the boy, not that he’s not regretful or remorseless he really does feel bad that he has to kill this child. But it makes me wonder if he’s as powerful as that, could one word wipe out the Hoard of Hell too? Either way this child is one very powerful ally or enemy to either side. SPN lore states that the circumstances of Jesse’s conception is very unique and can be next to impossible to duplicate; according to lore any possessed human body can not procreate, be it by an Angel, Demon and other supernatural beings.
    I’m curious of his conception myself, did Julia get possessed by the demon and become pregnant by a spell, ritual or the stars, planets, sun and moon being aligned on a certain hour and second of a certain day, date and year at a particular place? OR… While possessed the demon had sex with a human male while being the driver? We know Julia was a virgin at the time of her possession, she was aware of the demon and was conscious the entire time while possessed. Not once did she say “Hey, while that thing was riding around in my skin it did unimaginable things with every Tom, Dick, and Harry between here and Tulsa, OK.” She said it did horrible things while it was driving, but I’m not sure if she was talking sex or other more of the same standard Demon behavior. I also wonder do you think she must have had a very strict religious faith and the demon picked her for that reason, as an affront and perversion of The Virgin Mary.
    That just for kicks it was able to cause the Godly Virgin to be ridden hard and more than Seattle Slew? I have found that Julia said she was possessed in July of 1997 and Jesse was born March 29, 1998…that’s exactly 9 months so I believe she was impregnated by the demon…anyhoo I digress.
    I love that they did not take Jesse’s innocence and gave him a human soul.
    They choose to keep him innocent and not a soulless monster like Damien from The Omen. He was unaware of his powers and the havoc he has been doing, based on his beliefs of all the childhood myths.
    I also love that it was Sam that bonded with and able to help the boy. ALWAYS before Dean is the one that has the strong bond with the children. But this once it was Sam. I loved that he was truthful and straight with Jesse.
    Sam didn’t try to coerce or supplicate him like the demon, or make up a superhero story to placate his fears as Dean. Sam gave him the truth….But he didn’t make him feel powerless, helpless and gave him no choices.
    Sam gave him hope and the chance to make the right choices by giving him the hard truth. Which seems harsh, but Jesse is unique, also very powerful, he doesn’t need coddled. Jesse wasn’t raised like Damien in The Omen, he was a latch key child of loving working class parents. He wasn’t raised in a mansion in Europe of a powerful affluent Political Father and told by Nanny Creep the sycophant, that all and any of his wants, desires, wishes and dreams are his for the taking and one day he will grow so powerful he will rule the world of men . Jesse was independent, he was loved and trusted to do the right thing, he had no sitter, he was able to be home alone, he made himself dinner, did his homework and put himself to bed.
    Sam told him he had choices, and there was nothing on Earth that could stop him doing what he wants. But he had two choices, he could do what he wants or he could do what is right. Sam said he hopes he makes the right choices unlike him, and be haunted for the rest of his life by choosing the wrong decision.

    Sam: You can go with her if you want. I can’t stop you…no one can. But if you do….millions of people will die.

    Jesse: She said I was half demon. Is that true?

    Sam: Yes..but your half human, too. You can do the right thing. You’ve got choices, Jesse. But if you make the wrong ones, it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life.

    Jesse: Why are you telling me this?

    Sam: Because I have to believe someone can make the right choice, even if I couldn’t.
    That kills me, and it killed me when they went upstairs and found him gone and a note on his bed to his parents telling them he loved them and keeping them safe by leaving. :’-(
    I also like the guys talking about how they ruined the kids whole life, though it couldn’t be helped to do so they still didn’t like they had too. When Dean said he now understands why parents tell kids lies. He said you want your kids to believe the worst things out there in the world is mixing pop rocks and coke and not the real evil. That you want them going to bed feeling safe. If it means lying to them…so be it. That the more he thought about it the more he wishes John lied to them. Sam agreed. :-/
    Also Cas said that Jesse’s powers were tied to Luci being topside, that they didn’t manifest till Luci was set loose. That he would only gain more power the longer that Luci walked on Earth, eventually his powers would attract Demons and Luci would twist him and use him to undo Heaven. I have a feeling because Luci is back in his cage Jesse has lost substantial power and they are once again lying dormant. So him coming back is probably not a possibility. Because of his uniqueness he’s inherently able to cloak himself from all detection. He is as they say In the wind.

    Like

    1. “I have a feeling because Luci is back in his cage Jesse has lost substantial power and they are once again lying dormant. So him coming back is probably not a possibility. Because of his uniqueness he’s inherently able to cloak himself from all detection. He is as they say In the wind.”

      Great explanation!

      Like

    2. Jenks that was a very interesting post. Its been a while since I saw this episode and will have to re-watch. But thought at the time it was strange how the boy just fled and was never spoken of again. He had the power to turn Cas into a mute toy, and was able to do virtually what he wanted. I loved too how Sam got the chance to be able to interact with the child, and that there was no higher ground with Sam, he wasn’t talking to down to the child, just gave it to him straight. Sam can be persuasive when he wants to be lol! The actor was very charming in the role and played a good solid part. I remember on the board he made a big impact for sometime after, and is still talked about today. I wonder if he will show up again in some form or other.

      B xx

      Like

  2. A little late but I wasn’t going to miss this.

    1. The End
    When The End aired, I watched it 4 times in a row. Never done it before, never did it since This Dean girl didn’t know what to do with herself. Jensen was simply amazing. 2014!Dean will forever be my soldier, and Jared took my breath away as Lucifer..

    2. Changing Channel
    I live for The Trickster and this episode was perfection. Grey’s Anatomy, the game show, Sampala, Gabriel unveiled? Magical.

    3. The Devil You Know
    And that’s when Crowley had me. Another one of my faves. I adore Crowley and he shone in this episode (well, Mark Sheppard always shines but that’s beside the point). Niveus Pharmaceuticals cooking up the croatoan virus, the Sam backstory with Tyson Brady, Sam and Bobby’s conversations, “And then, Dean walks. Right out the door with Crowley.” Both take a drink. “What if I jump?” “Are you idjits trying to kill me?” lol, God I miss Bobby.

    4. Two Minutes to Midnight
    Two words: O’ Death. The most superb horseman of them all. I instantly loved his relationship with Dean. I could tell Death was fond of him. Poor Horseman, if he only knew…

    5. Swan Song
    “The epic love story of Sam and Dean is encapsulated here.”
    And that is all that needs to be said here.

    Great article as usual, Wren!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “1. The End
      When The End aired, I watched it 4 times in a row. Never done it before, never did it since This Dean girl didn’t know what to do with herself. Jensen was simply amazing. 2014!Dean will forever be my soldier, and Jared took my breath away as Lucifer..”
      I think acting wise this may have been both their best episode!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. asdfghjkl the Sampala is still one of the funniest things ever to occur on this show. ‘D-Dean?’
      ‘Yeah?’
      ‘That, uh, that feels really uncomfortable.’
      I think we all miss Bobby 😦
      And O Death was SUCH a great music cue. Can’t believe I forgot to mention that.
      And thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. #1 B. The Song Remains the Same
    Free will, vessels, Destiny, Bloodlines & Brothers… Cain and Able, Michael and Lucifer, Dean and Sam… a episode that has become separate but connected story arc’s over the years. There’s many things to learn from just this one episode. Hard not to place it in importance. I loved the way they showed Michael is not remorseless, he assured Dean he would leave him and John mentally intact. Though he has a gruff manner, he at least wasn’t condescending and derogatory while speaking to Dean.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. #2. Abandon All Hope..
        The death of Ellen and Jo, just kills me. Meg making an appearance in her final guise, with a few friends.
        The picture of Team Free Will. Dean and Jo just when the world is to end, Dean finally man’s up and wants to follow through on the promise made in season 2. Jo who has matured, told him to keep it in his pants, the ship with the last man she’d sleep with has sailed. Which if that was me, l would’ve had my clothes off and streaked, blinding all with my lily white past Everyone in that house, not a care in the world, no way inhibitions standing in my way. Ha! And oh that last sweet kiss he gave Jo….😭 The Mom and daughter moment of saying to each other it was enough; enough love, joy, tears & laughter in their lifetime. 😭
        Sam telling Luci he will rip his heart out, and realizing for the first time that Luci is The second most powerful Archangel from Heaven, not a being that was born of hell, like a demon. Sorta hard to fathom that fact when your confronted with that viciously, twisted benevolence, incarnate. (side note: Luci was the entrusted keeper of the Darkness as he’s the Shining One/Bringer of Light) I think the writers are being very resourceful tieing all the seasons together. What better way to go, but to the roots of the show, to the beginning and tieing it all together.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Which if that was me, l would’ve had my clothes off and streaked, ”
          ^THIS LOL

          Oh the Ellen and Jo scene and then the Deana and Jo kiss. My husbands all like are you cryingggg???? uhhh YES!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay…This time I’m going all out. I’m doing all combos. This season was the conclusion of the story that started in season 1, everything lead here from S1 E1 to S5 E22 as such this doesn’t deserve to broken down to just 5 measly episodes. Okay okay I can’t do it…it literally kills me..I loved this season….well alright I love all the seasons but this one is special…In the word’s of Chuck “God” Shurlly…well isn’t that kinda the whole point. 😊
    #1. A: Swan Song … From the treat of finding Baby’s historical importance, all about her beautiful blemishes, seeing she was a unconventional Home for Dean and Sam; the last two bedraggled, weary gunslingers saving the world. The guy’s having one last beer in the one place they’ve ever considered a Home, making their last battle plans, saying those hard final goodbyes, lots of luck, proud of you’s; and of course the unsaid, but oh so known, Love you’s. Luci being arrogant, omnipresence seemingly benevolent in his malevolent envy. Sam’s heroic sacrifice for mankind causing Dean’s suffering in anguish not letting his little brother die all alone. Cas’s first attempt at blasphemy going way wrong prior to throwing a heavenly molotov at big brother Michael. Luci giving Cas a hellish wedgie. Bobby trying to protect his eldest, the sadness never ends. The beatdown of the millenia, then a ray of light flashing off Baby’s chrome. That fragile ray beaming a spark of remembrance through a confused Luci, just a fleeting memory of army men, Legos and initials carved forever in a home, that avalanches and becomes a lifetime of nostalgia and the feelings of love, hope, and faith of what it means to be brothers. Sam able to finish what was started. Chuck giving the eulogy of two brothers who up against good, evil, angels, demons, Destiny and God himself and making their own choice and chose…family. Well isn’t that kinda the whole point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Luci giving Cas a hellish wedgie’
      sometimes I just look at the stuff we say and am like ‘I really shouldn’t understand that’. The SPN Family practically have their own code.

      Like

  5. Top 5 episodes for me-
    1. Dark Side of the Moon- shows a difference between heavens but also how desperate Sam was to not get trapped in the Life. He lived for it. Dean & Mary- God help me if I don’t sob every time Dean gives a look that says- just a minute more while Sam’s face says- my heart is shattering more than I thought it could.
    2. The Curious Case of Dean Winchester- the sass. Oh the sass. And Sam beating the hell out of Hal Ozsan at poker. Also the supposed 80 year old guy who looked 30. Dean complaining about acid reflux and sciatica. Perfection.
    3. Swan Song- Rob Benedict’s monologue throughout the episode and the Impala rolling in with Def Leppard. How Sam took control from Lucifer. Heartbreaking, beautiful, tear worthy.
    4. Two Minutes to Midnight- Death and Crowley. My god. The beauty and brilliance.
    5. Sam, Interrupted- proof of how crazy the boys really are. And how much they bury deep down.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Some stuff was pure gold, though. Citing Dean’s hairy hands. Lmfao. And the poor dude in the magic shop when Sam and Dean melted the rubber chicken. And tooth fairy/hansel-to-be.

          Like

          1. “Some stuff was pure gold, though. Citing Dean’s hairy hands. Lmfao.”
            I loved that and I loved the electrocuted ham that Dean insisted on eating…. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    1. “2. The Curious Case of Dean Winchester- the sass. Oh the sass. And Sam beating the hell out of Hal Ozsan at poker. Also the supposed 80 year old guy who looked 30. Dean complaining about acid reflux and sciatica. Perfection.”
      Chad Everett was PERFECT as old Dean -and he was around 80 at the time, he passed away recently 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I did love a lot of season five. Some of it was incredibly painful to watch but the writing that season was at the top of the game and I just love it.

    All-time favorite episode, which i have rewatched over and over again, is The Devil You Know. That episode was most excellent. followed closely by Two Minutes to Midnight and Death’s first appearance on the show. Julian is awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh god you know what KILLS me- the bit after Sam first says yes to Lucifer and they’re in the room with the hole to Hell in the wall and Dean’s there saying to Sam ‘You’ve got to go now.’ I mean, what must it have cost him to TELL his brother to jump into Hell?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. “Dean’s there saying to Sam ‘You’ve got to go now.’ I mean, what must it have cost him to TELL his brother to jump into Hell”

            so much this^ Broke my heart. I loved Deans entrance in baby to the battlefield lol what balls!

            Liked by 1 person

                    1. Haha, I actually really like that arc. Because it wasn’t particularly sympathetic to Cas except for The Man Who Would Be King, in which I absolutely ACHED for him. (Though by 7×1 I had most definitely stopped my aching.)

                      Like

                1. Though I do actually find it pretty sloppy that they resurrected Cas TWICE and just said ‘oh, it’s god’. That, friends, is called a deux ex machina, and the second time it’s called a stale deux ex machina. Not. Good.

                  Like

                  1. “Though I do actually find it pretty sloppy that they resurrected Cas TWICE and just said ‘oh, it’s god’. That, friends, is called a deux ex machina, and the second time it’s called a stale deux ex machina. Not. Good.”
                    I didn’t feel that way. It was like God is finally doing SOMETHING to help them!

                    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, Bella’s top 5….
      I adore season 5 and find there wasn’t one I didn’t care for they were all amazing. I don’t think there was a bad apple among them.

      Sympathy for the Devil
      I loved this episode as it was the first premier I tuned into LIVE. I also remember seeing the clip at comic con of the boys and Zachariah in the kitchen after they first meet Chuck. It was just WOW. Then Dean remembering what Dean taught him about the angel banishing sigual. Dean was being Dean and not letting us see him given in to their protests.

      Free to Be You and Me
      This is a huge favorite of mine, I loved the intro music it was just so perfect, the mirroring of Sam working alone and Dean working alone both doing their own thing and apart. Sam beaten up by the hunters and being forced to drink demon blood was heart-wrenching to watch. Sam calling Dean at four am wanting back in. And Dean not letting him.

      The End
      Has to be up here, because it was just shear magic and genius writing going on with this little episode. Jensen sure knows how to draw us in with his facial expressions, and work wonders with his double future Dean. He was quite shocking to watch, the lengths he would go to. It made Dean realize what was important to him, that they are both better together than apart. The whole apocalyptic feel has never left me. Jared was superb as Lucifer, and his rendition has always haunted me, I can see that white suit now, and him breaking Future Deans neck was so cold, and scary. Jared was so chilling. Jensen has often remarked that he thought this was Jared’s best acting scene and was envious of him as he wanted to play it.

      Dark Side of the Moon
      I am with Wren on this one, the angels were manipulating the boys, and were showing Sam’s unhappy memories rather than the good ones. They were trying to put a wedge between the boys so Dean would basically say yes, and do what ever they wanted. Neither of them had any control over the situation. If Sam really knew he would never have chosen those particular scenes. The shooting scene I remember at the start of this episode scared me half to death, and will never for get it. Sam falling back on the bed with his chest full of blood, then Dean Walt wasn’t saving either of them. It was a superb mythology driven story full of surprises around every corner wondering what Heaven really looked like, and how they’d get out of this one alive and intact.

      Point of No Return.
      Dean held prisoner in Bobbies Panic room after being beaten up by Cas, bringing in their half brother, and trying to prevent a war breaking out. Superb solid episode and left me on the edge of my seat wanting more. I wished we had something like this for the 200th episode.

      Mentions:

      The Curious Case of Dean Winchester
      Abandon all hope
      Swap Meat
      Two minutes to midnight
      The Devil you know
      Swan Song

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have issues with a couple episodes- like in Swap Meat, how in god’s name did Dean not get that Sam had been bodyswapped?- but on the whole I’m totally with you. That’s awesome about the premiere- the first episode I watched in real time was 10×18, Book Of The Damned.
        Though I loved the 200th episode 😉

        Like

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