The new season of Supernatural is just hours away and I always get so excited when this time comes that I can’t help but revisit my favorite episodes of seasons past. So, I have put together ten of my favorites in chronological order as I will not be forced to rank them. This is just a small sampling of the best of SPN. That’s what happens when the show is this good. Ten is never enough. Don’t forget to tell me your favorites in the comments! I know that I am missing dozens!
1.) 2×01 – “In My Time of Dying”
For starters, there are Dean’s hospital pants. I really dig those. This was also the point of the show where I sort of surrendered myself. I love Season One but it was during this episode that I knew that there was no turning back for me. And of course the death of Papa Winchester is like, a really big deal. They aren’t the kids anymore. They are the hunters.
2.) 2×20 – “What Is and What Should Never Be”
Dean finally gets what he thinks he has always wanted and then gives it all away when he finds out that it’s just a dream. He may not be living the life he always hoped, but he knows that he has to keep living it. Watching him with his mother is absolutely heart crushing. Deep down, there is a little boy who never got to be a kid.
3.) 2×21&22 – “All Hell Breaks Loose”
This is really two episodes but I am counting it as one because I can. Don’t sass me. The Season Two finale marks a huge turning point in the series with the end of the yellow eyed demon who started the whole thing so many years ago. But before the super baddie meets his demise, Sam also meets his and big brother Dean must make a deal at the crossroads in order to get him back. It tears my guts out to watch Sam fall into Dean’s arms, listen to Dean tell him that it’s not that bad, to hear Dean scream his brother’s name. The gut ripping continues as Dean is chatting up Sam’s dead body, growling at Bobby to leave them alone. Jake may as well have stuck that knife in my back. Sam gets up though, and Dean has one year to help put all those freshly escaped demons back in the pit. Whoa.
4.) 3×11 – “Mystery Spot”
In his own personal “Groundhog Day” Hell (complete with Asia every morning on the radio), Sam is forced to watch Dean die hundreds of times in a number of fantastic ways. While mostly hilarious for us, not so much for Sam who will have to face the end of his brother’s year on earth sooner rather than later. The contrast of Dean’s jokey nonchalance and Sam’s frustrated terror is a blast to watch and such a head twister for me. One minute I’m on the floor peeing myself laughing (“Of course I peed myself!”), the next minute I’m sobbing out of control. Just how I like it.
5.) 4×01 – “Lazarus Rising”
The first seven minutes of this episode are some of my favorite minutes on television ever. Dean in hell, crawling his way out of his grave, his complete aloneness at the gas station, the ear-splitting noise that knocks him to the ground. The intensity of it all still shakes me. When he grabs the junk food and porn, you almost think that maybe he made it out sans any ill effect. His reunions with Bobby and Sam are beautiful and real and the introduction of Castiel is scary and epic, proving to Dean once and for all that angels really do exist. Most intriguing though, are the huge secrets Sam and Dean are keeping from each other. Secrets that will haunt them both for the rest of the season and beyond.
6.) 4×06 – “Yellow Fever”
When I pick out my Supernatural faves, I tend toward the ones with the most angst. But sometimes, you just need a good laugh. Few deliver them quite as well as “Yellow Fever.” Dean is a hardened hunter. He’s been to hell and back for crying out loud. Watching him fear heights, guns and left hand turns is beyond hilarious. Right up until he hallucinates Lilith which is downright terrifying.
7.) 5×04 – “The End”
After Sam and Dean have agreed to take time apart, Dean is angel zapped to 5 years in the future where he is shown what could happen if he refuses to become Michael’s vessel. Through some of the best acting ever seen on the series, Dean must confront his future, battled scarred self and Lucifer who is now wearing his brother’s face. The ride through 2014 is scary, intense and heart breaking. Though there is that thing about the panties that always puts a smile on my face.
8.) 5×16 – “Dark Side of the Moon”
The first thing Dean wants to know when he arrives in heaven: where is Sam? Because there is no heaven without his brother. Think about it. This guy has been through hell. Literally. He has been beaten and shredded and has faced some of the most terrifying things on earth. And still, one of his worst days ever was the day Sam left him for college. There were a lot of moments in this episode that really broke me but none more so than Dean’s memory of fireworks with Sam. The innocence of it left me in a puddle of tears, reminded that it has been years since they’ve had that kind of peace. Our poor boys.
9.) 5×22 – “Swan Song”
This one may always be my favorite of the series. From “The Road So Far” to the closing credits, I am a constant mess of emotions. Through the story of the Impala (which I cannot even read without crying), we are taught everything we ever need to know about home. The Impala is their physical home and a symbolic home as well. But when we’re talking souls, they are each other’s home and I feel that after so much time fighting and doubting and losing faith in each other, they were able to make it back there before the end. Dean refused to give up on Sam and when it came down to it, Sam came through. Satan in the Sam suit, beating the crap out of Dean while Dean continues to reach out to Sam is so hard to watch that I feel I might be damaged for life. But, Team Free Will won the battle. Sam did what he set out to do and Dean kept his promise.
10.) 6×15 – “The French Mistake”
Season 6 was a head shaker. I felt like I was watching the entire thing sitting on egg shells. Between what was wrong with Sam and what might be going on with Castiel, every light moment we could get was well overdue. One thing Supernatural has always done better than anyone else is confront its fandom head on and the most successful of such confrontations was this episode. I still laugh out loud every time I watch Jared and Jensen acting as Sam and Dean, acting as Jared and Jensen, acting as Sam and Dean. The writing was comedic perfection and each and every poke at us was a golden moment. They like us! They really like us!
Special shout outs to “Tall Tales,” “Jus In Bello,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Changing Channels,” “The Point of No Return,” and “Repo Man.” All of which are way up there for me as well (there may be a follow-up list in my future).
Don’t forget to watch all new episodes of Supernatural on its brand new night – Wednesdays, 9:00 PM EST on The CW!