Every season of Supernatural I have at least one favorite episode. At least! Although, to be fair most of the episodes, even the filler ones, aren’t too bad. I have a lot of favorites each season actually, but these are my absolutes.
My criteria for picking an absolute, is that I must be compelled to watch that particular episode every time it airs. The TNT network airs back to back episodes every weekday, so I have plenty of opportunities to re-watch. Also, I can pick and choose my favorites on Netflix, and these are the episodes I gravitate to:
Well of course I’m gong to choose the episode that started this whole meshuggah.
The first time I’d heard of Supernatural was in a horror magazine. It was in an article about new Fall shows, and showed a picture of Ackles and Padalecki, with a brief description of its main theme. I promised myself I’s watch it, and when Fall came around, I had my butt in the seat. It was the cinematography that impressed me, and I found the idea of two military-trained monster hunters, intriguing.
Plus, the show really hit me in the feels when Jessica died the same way their mother was shown in the opening sequence. The show has been hitting those feels consistently for 12 years.
My favorite moment was the fight scene between Dean and Sam in a half darkened room. The acting from Padalecki was a little dodgy, the first and second seasons, but he has greatly improved over the years. Jensen has always been perfect, though.
There were a couple of other episodes this season that really scared the bejeezus out of me (Bloody Mary, Scarecrow, Hook Man), but Skin really got to me. Most especially the acting, the camerawork, and the novelty of not knowing what type of monster it was. I’ve watched this episode about a million times, and it works on me every single time.
I never get tired of watching this one. I think this is the episode where I really started to like and understand Sam a lot more, and the dynamic of his relationship with Dean. It’s not that the previous episodes didn’t give a good outline, but their relationship in this one is the most compelling.
Born Under a Bad Sign –
I think this one is the most disturbing episodes of season two. At this point, the viewer thinks they’ve got a really good bead on Sam, so to see him acting in such a bizarre manner is kinda terrifying. Some of Padalecki’s best acting of the season was done in this episode. My favorite scene is when Dean and Bobby try to exorcise the demon in Sam, and realize what demon they’re dealing with.
Very Supernatural Xmas –
I was initially dubious about a Special Xmas episode because usually when shows do this, its really, really cheesy, but this is one of the funniest Xmas Specials ever. Funny and touching. This episode was so well done, I think this is when I grew to love the comedy episodes, more than the dramatic ones. This episode also has tow of my favorite villains.
Mystery Spot –
This, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, are the only two shows that can have you laughing your ass off, and crying like a baby, in one episode. Mystery Spot just works for me. Once again, I have to commend Padalecki’s acting skills. Ackles requires no praise. He been good since day one.
Yellow Fever –
I love this episode. From the opening scene of Dean, running crazily through the streets, to Bobby’s final joke, (and the revelation that he speaks Japanese), this is just one of the best 45 minutes of the season. I love Dean’s growing levels of fear and panic, but my favorite scene is of course, the scream. The episode was perfectly capped with Dean air guitaring to Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.
Wishful Thinking –
The above episode is only rivaled in its humor by this one with the classic line: KNEEL BEFORE TODD!!!
Over the years,though, I’ve found it more difficult to watch because of the “rapey” overtones of the wish. You can tell this episode was written by a man because one of the female characters, Hope, has her agency entirely removed by the wish-maker, Wes, and no one remarks about how creepy or awful Wes is for holding her in thrall to him.
On the other hand, the drinking, depressed, porn reading teddy bear is absolutely priceless.
Free To Be You And Me –
Castiel and Dean go on a road trip? Count me in. but what I find most interesting is Sam having to answer for starting the apocalypse. This episode doesn’t get a resounding Yay though, because its almost ruined by the hideous acting of one of the female extras, at a strip club.
Changing Channels –
This episode was ridiculously funny, from its opening ripoff of the comedy show Perfect Strangers, to its parody of Knight Rider. In the original Perfect Strangers, an American everyman is visited by his cousin from abroad, who won’t leave, Cousin Balki. This is a reference to Sam returning to work with Dean ,but Dean is still upset about how Sam behaved when Dean was in Hell, and feels like he doesn’t know Sam anymore. Perfect Strangers!
Dean does a passably good imitation of a David Caruso-like, Law & Order detective, and fangirls over a drama show called Dr. Sexy. Did anyone else notice that all of Sam’s punishments, from the STD ad, to the Japanese game show, consist of references to his genitals? He spends the entire episode being punished for sleeping with Ruby.
My favorite moment, however, is when Sam gets turned into a car, and Dean is holding open the trunk, which Sam finds deeply unsettling. In a blink and you’ll miss it moment, when Dean slams the trunk, Sam yells “ouch!”
And this isn’t even the most surreal episode of this show.
Weekend At Bobby’s –
I have to admit I’d never really wondered what Bobby got up to when he wasn’t with the Winchesters, but I love this episode. Bobby is just not having a good time of it, as he tries desperately to win his soul back from Crowley. We get some Bobby/Rufus action, some Crowley snark, his pretty blond neighbor is trying to hit that, he’s got bodies all over the place, and the Winchesters managed to work his last d**n nerve.
And of course, there’s Bobby’s greatest rant, ever!
Live Free or Twi-Hard –
Episodes where something supernatural happens to Dean are rare, so I really enjoyed this one. If Dean is a BAMF! when he’s human, I just know he’d be f**king unstoppable, as a military-trained vampire. Ackles is great at action scenes while Sam is better with the emotional stuff. Padalecki is so good at getting us to give him the side-eye at his odd behavior, because we know something is wrong with him, but don’t know what that could possibly be. Ackles shines in the action scenes , where we get to see him kick some serious vampire a**.
Hello Cruel World –
I love the little details in these episodes. When Sam is hallucinating that he’s with Dean, they go to a business with a little sign on the door that reads Morningstar Industries. One of Lucifer’s many names is The Morningstar.
Its heartbreaking watching Sam hang onto his sanity by such a short thread, and Dean trying to hold it in for both of them with the now classic phrase: ” You gotta make that stone number one!”
And the line, “Sam! This discussion does not require a weapon’s discharge!” is probably the funniest thing Dean has ever said in the entire show! I both am, and am not, looking forward to using that line in conversation some day.
Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie –
I have no idea why I love this episode so much. Its not spectacularly funny and has little to no pathos. I think its just the concept of children’s nightmares coming to life. C’mon, would any adult survive seeing that Vamptopus come out of their closet some night? Naturally the unicorn has a rainbow coming out of its butt, and Dean’s Landshark reference is priceless.
Everybody Hates Hitler –
I just love Aaron and his Golem. He’s so cute! This episode has some unexpectedly hilarious moments, from Dean muttering about his spleen, to Aaron having smoked his Golem instructions, to a shot of Sam warming his hands over a burning Nazi.
Dog Dean Afternoon –
Its not that I don’t like the dramatic episodes, its just that my preference is almost always for the funny ones. From Dean inadvertently playing fetch with Sam, to the throwaway lines of the kennel dogs, to the tiny Yorkie that won’t give it up any information, until he gets a scratch from “That Big One”, this is one of the funniest episodes ever!
First Born –
From the funniest to the grimmest, this has one of the best fight scenes in a show full of great fight scenes. Tim Omundson is wonderful as a weary Cain, who has seen Dean’s name scrawled on demon bathroom walls. Yeah, that’s not terrifying, at all.
Fan Fiction –
This show makes you cry.
I hate this show!
Hibbing 911 –
I am ready for the Jodi and Donna spin-off show, I didn’t know I needed until I saw this episode. I love how the two women are written here. I said in my review, that this is just the kinds of things women talk about, when men aren’t around. Jodi coming to Donna’s aid, to protect her from a bully, was all kinds of goodness. I love that the women forged a friendship despite Jodi’s initial reluctance. Of course Donna has now joined my roster of precious cinnamon rolls becasue I know she’s a direct shout out to Frances McDormand’s pregnant sheriff, from the movie Fargo, one of my favorite movies.
Only shows dealing with the supernatural can get away with some truly wild storytelling.
Honestly, I didn’t think any show could approach the levels of weirdness that was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but this show did its best. An episode done entirely from the Impala’s viewpoint, is a hilarious idea that actually works. Dean really needs to take Baby out for some donuts in an empty field sometime. She’d probably really enjoy that.
Just My Imagination –
My favorite moment is when Sam’s old imaginary friend, Sully, affirms what the audience has always known, that Sam really is a good man, and that he’s proud of him.
Yeah, the wetness of water has been confirmed and wind is, indeed, windy.
Regarding Dean –
This was one of my top favorites this season, as it was a callback to a movie, in which a prominent lawyer, played by Harrison Ford, loses his memory, and has to try to make a new life for him and his family. Even losing his memory didn’t stop Dean from trying to come to his brother’s aid. And the addition of Rowena is just icing on the cake.
First Blood –
I love episodes where the Winchesters get to show off their military training and this episode is a real gem, and very fun to watch.
The Raid –
This was less fun than First Blood, but we did get to see the brothers kicking booty, and that’s always to the good. The really stand out moment was getting to see the Alpha Vampire, and the Colt, one last time.
And a shout out to Mark Sheppard. I’m really gonna miss him this coming season.
Any episode that heavily featured lots of Crowley automatically got an Honorable Mention, that includes, Two Minutes to Midnight, The Devil You Know, Caged Heat, and giving one of the best speeches by a demonic entity in a TV show, Sacrifice.