Just realised that I haven’t posted in almost a week, so I guess my Othello essay can go to hell for a couple more days.
So, Season Eight. (I like this project. I’m rather sad that I’m nearly done. Oh, well, I’ll do another one after Season Eleven.) To say that my feelings about this season were mixed wouldn’t be quite accurate- rather they were split neatly down the middle. Honestly I think that the first half is the weakest SPN has ever been, and I absolutely love the second half. A very interesting season.
I understand that many people disliked the Amelia arc- so did I, but I thought it was well-written for all that. In theory, it was a great idea, but what was with the sickly yellow haze over everything? I get that it was a deliberate choice to show Sam’s nostalgia and yadda yadda, but surely there are less hideous ways.
Without further ado:
Heartbreaking. There are three massive highlights of this episode for me: the falling angels at the end, for one thing. Stunning. And of course Sam’s massive breakdown, which is just… so awful.. and such a relief… and JP NAILS it. So obviously that’s the emotional climax of the episode. Wrote about it here. But maybe (dare I say it?) even more touching- just because of how shockingly unexpected it is- there’s Crowley’s speech. Yeah. You know which one. That speech.
I cried. For the King of Hell. It’s one of the best-written and acted scenes I’ve seen, period.
2. The Great Escapist
This is a great personal favourite of mine. I’m a total sucker for brother fluff, and on the fluff scale this episode was basically candyfloss. Wrote about hurt/comfort in SPN here. Edlund’s last episode working on the show- a huge shame. I miss the particular flavour of insanity he brought to it. Anyway, this is another great Jared episode, containing one of my most-quoted SPN speeches- ‘I’m not clean.’
And ‘You rode a farty donkey.’ Never forget.
This is also one of my top two Kevin episodes. The scene where Crowley confronts him? So satisfying. Hilarious. And badass Cas is in full bloom. Hiding the angel tablet in his stomach? Digging a bullet out of his chest and killing another angel with it? I mean- what?
3. Pac-Man Fever
Oh, god, I love Charlie in this so much it hurts. Such a funny touching episode. Dean’s protective behaviour kills me. And what a wonderful teaser.
4. Hunteri Heroici
There are no words to adequately describe how nuts this episode is. I have no idea how Misha got through it. My God, some of his LINES.
‘What’s the word, Cas?’ ‘It’s a shortened version of my name.’
‘So we’re looking for some sort of insect-rabbit hybrid.’
‘WHY DID YOU KILL YOUR HUSBAND?’
And my personal favourite-
‘I’ll interrogate the cat.’
5. Everybody Hates Hitler
Weirdly enough, I couldn’t stand this episode on first watch. I didn’t like the bunker (I was worried that the Impala might get pushed aside). I found the German accents fake and obvious (turned out that the main German guy was played by an actual German. Oops). I disliked the CGI height of the golem (which was not actually CGI at all; the actor, John DeSantis, is 7″2″).
I warmed to the bunker over the course of Season Nine, and to the episode on second viewing. The details are great- the sassy old rabbi (‘I hope they pay you to keep that bug up your ass’), the horrifying eyebrows of the (totally deadpan) librarian, Aaron smoking the ancient golem lore book, etc. ‘These guys are psychopaths’ – classic.
Turns out that John DeSantis, the golem, had a very interesting filmography.
And I know what you’re thinking. No Goodbye Stranger? No, because five is a really crappy number and I couldn’t fit it on. However, as for the honourable mentions-
LARP And The Real Girl. This was where Charlie clicked for me. Also, Dean shooting the tree stump and shouting ‘THIS IS A REAL GUN’ cracks me up. My only complaint- what the hell is with that fairy’s mascara? It really bothers me.
As Time Goes By. It took me a few watches to warm up to this episode, but warm up I did. Gil McKinny is great in his sharp blue suit. And it’s the first entrance of the whirlwind of fabulous known as Alaina Huffman’s Abaddon. You know how fabulous she is? She’s pretty damn fabulous. She’s so fabulous that she her Google Images page has a subheading in the corner entitled ‘Abaddon supernatural hair’. It’s also rather touching- Henry Winchester looking round at his sleeping grandsons. Much brotherly solidarity here.
Goodbye Stranger. Much beloved of the Desties and the Megsties. The Cas-beating-up-Dean scene is harrowing (wrote about the reverse crypt scene here), but for me the real core of this episode was Meg’s journey through it. (Wrote about the Goodbye Stranger music cue here.) The scene where she’s discussing Amelia with Sam is great. ‘Go save your brother. And my unicorn.’ Tears. (Yeah. I’m Megstiel trash.)
Clip Show. Team Free Will eating popcorn and watching ancient exorcism videos. ‘You have a dungeon?’ And of course Sarah’s death, which I just find upsetting and awful. The way she and Sam look at each other, never touching. God. She sees how much he’s changed.
Bitten. Easily one of the best episodes in the first half of the season. The kids in this (haha- I say kids- they’re probably several years older than me) are all awesome. I love that they literally just gave them cameras and told them to go wild. This show is insane.
Trial And Error. Not keen on Miss ‘I like a man who can handle his meat’, but the family are hilarious and there are two fantastic broments. JA does some great work here. Him telling Sam that his dream is to see Sam fat and old and chugging Viagra. Heartcrack. (Also. J2 in glasses. Rowr.)
Southern Comfort. I like this little episode. A parallel to Asylum, an old favourite. And I love Garth.
Torn And Frayed, purely for Sam and Dean’s exchange, as soon as Cas can’t hear them: ‘Okay, what the hell?’ ‘I know.’ It’s the delivery more than the actual dialogue- look out for that moment if you watch the episode again. So funny. They’re like a couple of gossiping old women.
Also- randomly- I love Benny. Like, I love the character. None of the Benny-focused episodes really did it for me, to be honest, but I felt that I should just express my affection.
And Taxi Driver, despite the plot being an actual car crash- like, Sam walks down two corridors of Hell and just happens to find Bobby, who is in excellent shape despite being tortured for, ooh, a century or two? (Quite aside from the rather shoddy plot-point that got him into Hell in the first place.) And what a missed opportunity for a Hell-trauma throwback. But despite all this, the scenes with Sam in Purgatory and Hell- just like Dean’s Purgatory sequences- are some of the most gorgeous in the entire season.
Anyway, I’ll be interested to hear your responses.
Read my ramblings and Vivisecting SPN meta essays at https://cobwebqueen.wordpress.com/.