Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season Nine

I have complicated feelings about Season Nine. I think it’s a strong season- but it isn’t a favourite. The angelic beaurocracy felt to me like a drag after Season Eight, and Cas’s arc began to get a little cutesy for my taste. But I think the massive argument between Sam and Dean is wonderfully done. I don’t care that other people were annoyed by it. Yeah, guys, it’s repetitive- of course it is. That’s people for you. You want realistic character development? Because it doesn’t get much better than the Winchesters’ one-step-forward-two-steps-back routine.

1. Slumber Party

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As often happens with me, it took until my third watch to warm to this episode. But it’s in the vein of classic SPN- the lovely black-and-white flashbacks, the Winchesters and Charlie watching Game Of Thrones, the AC/DC. I believe it’s also the only episode that stays completely in one place. Charlie and Dorothy enter Oz without leaving the bunker. Charlie dies without leaving the bunker. Etc. Very clever. Wrote a meta comparing it to Playthings here.

Also, this episode only works its magic when watched in HD. Some things are funny like that. Take a look at the unused title card-

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I actually wish they’d used it. Oh well. By the way, I love the Season Nine card. It might be my favourite.

2. Road Trip

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Much Gadreel. I love Gadreel. And was that a Macbeth reference with him trying to wash the blood from his hands? JP is so good here. I actually caught myself wondering who played Gadreel!Sam. Gadreel is so utterly alien, so detatched from Sam himself, that I couldn’t even connect him with the actor. And JA, too, with Dean unable to watch as Gadreel/Sam is tortured. The whole scene inside Sam’s head is a highlight- with this lovely sepia old-newspaper tint- and weirdly funny too. I mean- really, Sam, you’re shot in the chest and you make that face?

I also feel like I should discuss the scene with Sam breathing streams of smoke everywhere, but frankly it’s too early in the morning for phallic metaphors.

3. Do You Believe In Miracles

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The reason this is number three is because, while the last few scenes could not have been better, I liked the other two episodes more. That’s it. But the death scene here is gut-wrenching. Dean’s tenderness. ‘I’m proud of us.’ Sam sobbing, cradling his head (and JP is the MASTER of ugly crying- it makes me feel like I’m invading just watching). Plus Can’t Find My Way home is the perfect music cue. Sam drinking in the bunker in the dark. Dean flicking open his demony eyes. Wow. Wrote a meta comparing the death scene to ABHL here.

And then we have Tamoh Penikett- he and JP did such great work creating Gadreel. I have no problem believing that it’s the same character in different bodies.

4. Devil May Care

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I love this little episode to bits. ‘I’m Kevin frickin’ solo.’ Osric Chau is incredibly talented. I don’t even know how many times I pressed rewind. And more appreciation for JP’s portrayal of Gadreel- he plays him with total sincerity. You’d never guess that Gadreel is untrustworthy from JP’s acting. He seems grave and sad and untouchable. Then Sam surfaces and suddenly (kudos to JA for this) Dean’s protective mode is activated. Jared can turn Sam’s vulnerability on and off (and we see much the same thing with Demon Dean later).

The scene between Dean and Abaddon is so great. A perfect example of a monster latching onto Dean’s sexual agenda and turning it against him, and JA plays the hell out of it. And Abaddon! We could really do with a few more badass demons.

And then there’s the raggedy wing-spreading. One of those scenes that’s in every fanvid. And Crowley in the trunk? Dying.

5. Mother’s Little Helper

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It took me ages to decide between this, First Born and Blade Runners for the fifth spot. Eventually this won for sheer prettiness. Misha directed it, taking a lot of cues from the sadly long-dead Kim Manners, and it’s full of close-ups and cross-hatched shadows. Also, Alaina Huffman as Josie, saving Henry. Heartcrack. I read a review once where the writer bitched about it being sexist that the woman always has to sacrifice her life- like, seriously? Are you kidding me?

But it’s also a very healing episode. There are soulless Sam flashbacks. It’s the last chapter in that arc, really. The scene where Sam lets the souls go? Beautiful. Wrote about the soulless arc here. Also, random trivia: Dean followed Sam to the town where he worked the case. The town was called Milton. The bar Dean hung out in was called the Milton. Work it out.

Honourable Mentions

First Born. Timothy Omudson is the only person to come close to beating JP in the hair game. The scene where Dean fights three demons? Just. Wow. And Sastiel bonding. Like. Are you guys trying to kill me. Wrote about that here.

Blade Runners. Seriously, people need to stop bitching about Buckner & Leming. True, they’ve written some awful episodes (hey there, Paint It Black) but sometimes they come up with something and it is genius. Like this. Sam and Dean intervening with junkie Crowley, stealing from vending machines? It doesn’t get much better.

The Purge. This whole episode. Dean with icing sugar all round his mouth. Sam’s speech (I’m on the it-was-totally-justified team). And Donna! Love this lady. Will be discussing her more with the Season Ten article.

Dog Dean Afternoon, which has to take the prize for being the all-out silliest episode of anything, ever, possibly drawing with The X-Files’ Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space”. Oh, except for French Mistake, of course. JA’s doggy behaviour. So funny. So stupid.

Meta Fiction. I love the music cue at the end, with the Cas montage. And the Dean-shower closeup is probably the second-greatest shot in the whole season.

Rock And A Hard place, which I’m including for stubbornness’s sake. I like the flashy blue light and I like Carmelita (it was Carmelita, right, or did I just make that up?) and I love Jody so much it hurts. Like, she is basically my role model.

Alex Annie Alexis Ann. What’s with Sam recovering so quickly from near-exanguination, writers? But otherwise this is a really interesting episode. The Winchester parallels here. Dear god. And Dean’s decidedly unprotective behaviour. Nasty. JA is brutal and wonderful. Also: Jody and Sam. Kill me now. It’s too much loveliness.

Anyway, leave a comment, blah blah, tell me your top five and we can discuss. This was a controversial season, and I’d like to hear you guys’ thoughts. I’ll try and have Season Ten up in a few days. Meanwhile, who’s excited for Form And Void? I just watched the CRCR promo. It seems Sam does a lot of fainting. Shocker.

Read my Vivisecting Supernatural essays at https://cobwebqueen.wordpress.com/tag/vivisecting-supernatural/.

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22 thoughts on “Wren’s Top Five Episodes Of Season Nine

  1. Okay Bella’s top 5 of Season 9. I still can’t believe you didn’t include First Born, and Blade runners. But I like you’re choices. Except Slumber Party. It was so poorly received. But loved Dorothy she was the best thing to come from that episode. I hope she comes back.

    First Born:
    Has to be number 1 in my book, considering it took Jensen 9 days just to film the fight sequences with the demons. He was just pure awesome. This whole bro-mance between Dean and Crowley first started to take shape, and we were introduced to the EPIC Cain. Man, o man I miss thee! This episode was so action packed, and so up there to me it was a toss up between this and Blade Runners for the top spot.

    Blade Runners:
    This was pure awesomeness on a plate. I loved the introduction and death of Magnus. What a superb character, why oh why did they kill him off. All that power of the supernatural at his disposal and that zoo of objects including the first blade to lure Dean into a trap. Jensen rocked when in MoC mode and was so in the zone fighting the curse put upon him with Sam seeing him through with just the sound of his voice.

    Road Trip:
    I just loved the bond between Cas and Crowley and Dean, Cas and Crowley the scene at the pimp yellow car was just a hoot. And when they all sat on a seat in that office building was a laugh. I would love to have scene scenes when the boys were off camera. I bet they would have been so funny to watch. This episode was seamless from start to finish.

    Bad Boys:
    Now I love Bob Berens as a writer, and this episode Bob shone as he had the chance to delve into the boys past more importantly Dean’s past. That we learnt that Dean had spent time in a boys home for stealing. I loved the story behind this rolling along in the back ground with Timmy and his mum and Dean sticking up for Timmy showing the bully’s where to go. The CGI scenes when Timmy’s mum evaporated into pieces was just pure WOW! Sunny was also a lovely character and remember thinking ouch, he looked like Sam I had to look twice. His chemistry with Jensen was so good. I can’t pass this by without mentioning Sammy finding his brothers bed, and finding his bro’s name etched in the wood. The fighting trophies which Sam new nothing about. Beren’s really gets these boys!!

    Devil May Care:
    This episode gave me chills when I first saw pictures coming in of that abandoned village and thinking wow. But we didn’t get to see that much of it. Dean’s encounter with Abaddon and that pose with Dean’s head pushed back and Abaddon gripping on his hair. I had high hopes for the rest of this season after seeing this episode. Action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat. Oh and the female hunters reference to Sam’s past, was just weird.

    Mentions:

    I think I’m gonna like it here
    Holy Terror
    Mothers little helper
    Meta Fiction
    Alex Annie Alexis Ann
    King of the Damned
    Stair way to heaven
    Do you believe in Miracles

    B xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I SO wanted to include First Born and Blade Runners…
      I had no idea filming the FB fight scene took so long. Wow. And yes, Crowley in that ep (and through the whole season, really).
      Road Trip was just nasty! But so good.
      Wasn’t Dylan Everett good in Bad Boys? Holding out for an s11 ep with him and Colin Ford doing flashbacks 🙂
      I love Devil May Care. Abaddon…
      Wren xxx

      Like

      1. Yeap, Jensen said he was knackered after it. So many individual techniques were used. He also had further training to improve his skills. He worked really hard on that. That’s why its up there as number one. Because I’d known about his hard work. He rocked!!

        It took me a while to warm to Dylan and the girls here really helped me see his nuances and traits, so yes I have gotten used to Dylan now. But took a while. I so miss Colin Ford too, he’s been really good in Under the Dome that’s finishing now so he might come back??

        Abaddon was a really powerful character and one of the shows best female leads in a long time. It was a shame these guest stars are so short lived isn’t it?

        B xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh my god- that was all Jensen? Wowww.
          And it sounds like we’re having a Sam-centric ep about childhood imaginary friends, so maybe Colin Ford will return…
          And yeah- I wish Eve had been around longer too…
          W xxx

          Like

  2. These aren’t necessarily the ones I would’ve chosen. I preferred Bladerunners and First Born and Dog Dean Afternoon. But you’re right about Gadreels. JP was flawless in his depiction of the angel, especially switching back and forth, on a dime, the way he did.
    There were a number of episodes I really enjoyed and are some of my favorites of all time and yet season nine resists being my favorite. I don’t know why. Like season seven, it had some great episodes, but yet….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I have some pretty weird favourites regarding this season, hehe.
      And yeah- I feel the same- I think there are a lot of great episodes, but maybe it’s like season four- great season, but too nasty to be a favourite.
      Have you seen the Form & Void promo?

      Like

  3. I loved your choices except I would substitute Slumber Party with First Born because of that frigging fight scene between Dean and all those demons. Based on your wonderful observations, I am going to re-watch your favorites for the nuances I did pay enough attention to.

    And yes, JP did an excellent job playing Gadreel and both actors did such a good job making the character seamless no matter which one was playing him. Their speech patterns were the same; slow and breathy. Unlike JP and the actor that played Lucifer during season 5. The actor that played Lucifer was very animated somewhat like Robin Williams and I did not see that repeated when JP donned the Lucifer suit. What a difference 4 years can make in acting quality.

    Liked by 1 person

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