alt

As I was approaching season 2 I started to have a crisis. There are a number of season 2 episodes that are absolute favourites of mine, ones that I watch over and over, so I thought I was going to have a tricky time deciding which to write up. As it turned out….not so much.

Season 2 is an interesting one because, though I think it has one of the strongest narratives in the series, I’m not in love with the whole psychic children storyline. I didn’t like Max and I’m not that fond of season 1‘s “Nightmare”. I should feel sorry for Max, but I don’t, I’m not sure why. Intellectually yes, emotionally no. I think there’s something in the performance that doesn’t gel with me. Maybe if Max was cast differently or written differently, I don’t know. So the whole psychic children plot got off to a rocky start for me and never completely recovered. The odd thing is; I like the concept in relation to Sam. It’s powerful to think that this family, this family haunted by what turns out to be a demon, who have spent so many years hunting down evil in search of that demon, are now faced with the situation of having someone they love affected by the Demon to the degree that Sam is. Affected on a cellular level. It’s so desperately tragic and desperately sad. For Sam it colours everything moving forward and influences how he sees himself and at times, his actions. For Dean, he’s faced with the fact that the person he loves most, is intrinsically linked to the thing he hates most and boy does he struggle with it. The conflict they both feel, once the secret is finally revealed, is so deep that it permanently scars them, raising its ugly head time and again. In many ways, it shapes their relationship, for good and bad and as we later discover; it shapes their destiny. Of course, they don’t find out the true essence of Sam’s connection to the Demon for some time. Well, Sam finds out at the end of season 2 but Dean not until season 4 and they don’t understand what it all means until season 5, where we also learn Dean’s destiny is tied to Sam’s. Of course it is! Yet what’s happening to Sam and the questions that raises, hangs over the brother’s heads and season 2 like a black cloud. Of course.... John knew something was amiss.

alt

Ah, John. My feelings towards John Winchester are a complex beast. There was a long period of time when I was so damn angry at him for what he did to these boys, the secret he kept and in particular, what he whispered into Dean’s ear. To put that on your son? To not explain to him the nature of what it is he may have to deal with? To just tell him, “Oh and FYI you might have to kill your little brother one day, you know, the one you raised and love more than any other human being on the face of the Earth…” Ok, I’m being a tad facetious, but I was so very angry with him for the longest time. I’ve come to a much more, shall we say, balanced place now when it comes to John Winchester. I think I’ve taken a similar journey to Sam in that regard. I don’t agree with a lot of what he did, I doubt we know half of it, but I have an understanding as to why he chose that path and I know that he was forced into an unfathomable situation and did the best he could. I think reading John’s journal really helped me with that. There’s a lot of tortured grief in that journal. So much love for Mary. So much anger and sorrow peppered with sweet moments where he talks about his children. I may not agree with the road he took, vengeance is a cruel master, but I can, in some way, grasp it. It’s interesting how Sam and Dean have arrived at different places when it comes to their father. Sam, who was so hostile in his memories of how he was raised, has come to accept and understand his dad, as beautifully illustrated in the scene from season 5’s “The Song Remains The Same” when he pours his heart out to the young John Winchester. It’s one of my favourite scenes of the entire series; powerful and understated it’s exactly what Supernatural does best. Dean, who idolised his father, moved to a place of anger, confusion and disappointment and I think a lot of that came from what John put on Dean at the beginning of season 2 and later, in the realisation of what John had put on him his entire life. Then John sacrificed his own life for his Dean’s. It was a selfless act by a father who felt he had no other choice, but what a burden for his boy to carry, a crushing secret and guilt that ate him up from the inside out. How fascinating was it when the brothers were asked the name of the shifter baby in season 6’s “Two And A Half Men”? Dean said Bobby and Sam said John. That was an incredibly telling moment. As we’ve watched them grow and mature over the years, I think the best and worst of John Winchester can be seen in both his sons through their personalities and actions. They’ve followed in his footsteps, to Hell and back, literally. But more recently, I feel we've seen that both brothers have settled in a much healthier place when it comes to their father, as I guess, have I. I feel love for him because he was the boy’s dad. I’m devastated for them when he dies because I know both of their hearts are broken and I’m moved when, briefly, they get to see him again as he breaks out of Hell, because I know they so desperately needed that. Of course, in reality, all of this comes from my love for Sam and Dean and wanting to protect them from so much pain. Anyway, as you can see, like his sons, I have a complex relationship with John Winchester and I’m always reminded of this when I watch season 1 but particularly season 2.

alt

Phew, so now that’s out of my system, moving right along! As I said earlier there are a number of season 2 episodes that are absolute favourites. “Croatoan” for example. Wow, “Croatoan”! This becomes a profoundly important episode later in the series when we discover the true nature of the croatoan virus, what its purpose is and why Sam’s immune, but what I love about “Croatoan” is that tight, trapped, isolated feeling. I feel the same way about “Jus In Bello” and “...And Then There Were None.” It’s that confined space, no escape scenario and how people react to it. “Croatoan” is particularly disturbing because the brothers, on lock-down, don’t know what’s happening or why, just that somehow it’s connected to demons and its effecting humans. I find the moment when Dean shoots the mother who’s become infected, incredibly confronting. He just steps forward and BANG. Shocks the hell out of me every time. Of course Dean’s in a pretty bad place by this stage, off the back of learning from the Crossroads Demon that as he suspected, John traded his soul to save Dean’s life. When everyone thinks Sam gets infected by the demon virus, it’s almost like it’s a relief for Dean to be able to just, hang-up the towel. His brother is going to die, so Dean’s going to check out along with him. He no longer has to face the burden of responsibility he feels for his dad’s death and the possibility of having to kill his brother. I love the scene where Sam pleads for Dean to leave and Dean says, “I'm tired, Sam. I'm tired of this job, this life . . . this weight on my shoulders, man. I'm tired of it.” This weight. You can almost feel the crush. This moment between Sam and Dean makes me ache. Then suddenly, everything is alright and they’re called outside, but Dean’s already shown his hand, leading to the revelation of what their dad said in the moments before he died. Ugh. The audience becomes privy to the knowledge that this virus was a test on Sam’s immunity to it. Such manipulation. This family has been pushed and pulled every which way by these evil bastards. “Croatoan” is so good. And what a cliff-hanger “Dean what did he tell you?” ROLL CREDITS! Noooooooo!

Then there’s “What Is And What Should Never Be” where we get to see Dean experience what a normal life would mean for him, even though it’s through the influence of a Djinn. In amongst all the joy of seeing Dean mow the lawn for the first time and eat a sandwich at his mum’s table, there’s so much sadness because the happy scenes amplify what he doesn’t have, what Sam doesn’t have and what they both sacrifice every day. Then in amongst this supposedly ideal world, he doesn’t get along with the one person who means the most. Sam and Dean are not close in the Djinn’s alternative Universe. I’ve always wondered about that, because if the Djinn were creating a perfect existence for a victim you think he’d dot the i’s and cross the t’s! But as Dean said, the Djinn just granted the wish that Mary never died and the family never took to the life. I love the scene where Dean talks to John’s grave and asks why, even though he already knows, “Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero?” Because that’s who he is. He may think it’s just his job, but saving people, being a hero is who Dean is, it’s who Sam is and both brothers would have made the same decision in this false world, to choose strangers lives over their own happiness. I also love the scene at the end between Sam and Dean where Sam says in so many words, that he’s glad they have each other and that they’re the brothers that they are. He’s so gentle with Dean. It’s a truly heart wrenching moment. I want to wrap my arms around them both.

alt

Oh heys, I think I’m coming to the conclusion I really love season 2! “Born Under A Bad Sign”, “Houses Of The Holy” with an awesome reference to the Archangel Michael, “Nightshifter”, “Heart”, what I think is the creepiest episode of the series “Playthings”. Dolls and a creepy ghost kid and that final scene with the little girl ghosts singing and skipping. Geesh. Insert shiver down the spine here! I never watch that one before bed. Of course it’s also got the painful moment where a drunk Sam begs Dean to kill him. Both brothers are in a pretty shocking emotional state in season 2. Season 2 also introduced my most hated character. Gordon. Oh man, that guy pushes my buttons! And let’s not forget “All Hell Breaks Loose Parts One and Two” which bookend season 2. It all starts with John's deal and ends with Dean's. I always watch parts one and two as a double, because I can never walk away with Sam dead and Dean screaming his name. I always tear up at the beginning of part two as Dean talks to his dead brother. I think of how Kim Manners created a closed set and used blacks to camouflage essential crew and how he himself disappeared into a corner to give Jensen the environment he needed to get to the heart of Dean’s sadness. I think of how Jared said he played as dead as he possibly could because he wanted to help Jensen and Jensen knew he only had a couple of takes in him and I pretty much cry every time when Dean says, “It's like I had one job... I had one job... And I screwed it up. I blew it. And for that, I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love.” Even typing it hurts. But for me one of the saddest moments is when Dean shoves Bobby away. There’s such devastation in that action. Bobby’s face and Dean’s sad, broken apology just rips right through me. I always find myself thinking about the scene between the two parts. The scene we don’t see. The one where Bobby comes back to find Sam dead and Dean still clinging to his brother. The one where Bobby has to gently pull Dean away. The one where the two men, in shock, carry the fallen Sam into one of the buildings and tenderly set him down on a bed. It’s powerful stuff when a story can make you fill in the gaps like that. What would have happened had Sam killed Jake? Don’t you always ponder that question? I assume Azazel et al would have found another way to get the brothers to the end game, but if Jake had died…. no dead Sam, no deal, no Hell, no broken seals, no Lilith, no Apocalypse? Could all that pain and so much loss have been prevented if Sam had not shown Jake mercy in that moment? Or what if Dean and Bobby had arrived just 30 seconds earlier? A gal could go crazy thinking like this! But I can never ever not think a whole alternative scenario through after watching the season 2 finale; its outcome had such an impact.

But, none of these wonderful episodes are the episode I chose to look at more closely (believe it or not) because as soon as I put in that first disc, I knew what it would be….

IN MY TIME OF DYING

alt

Ask me on any given day which is my favourite opening episode and I will give you a different answer, but it’s always going to be either, “In My Time Of Dying” or “Lazarus Rising.” Right at this moment, I’m passionately in love with “In My Time Of Dying”. I’ve watched this episode more times than I can count. It’s in my top 5, probably sitting in 3rd or 4th position I guess, though I can never figure that out, it’s like 3 episodes tie for 3rd! I love the introduction of Tessa the Reaper, the notion of how angry spirits are born, Sam fighting desperately to find a way to help his dying brother (I’m sensing a theme here between my season 1 and 2 favourites!), the appearance of the Yellow Eyed Demon in the shape of Fred Lehne and Dean in drawstring pants, a tight white t-shirt and bare-feet. Sorry to bring the tone down so early in the piece, but I mean, how often do we get these boys in a single layer! My apologies; back to the serious subject matter at hand.

“In My Time Of Dying” picks up exactly where “Devil’s Trap” left off, with the three Winchester men, injured in the crushed Impala and Bad Moon Rising playing on the radio. Sam is the only one who wakes up. I’m always haunted by Sam screaming out Dean’s name…yes I may have a little thing for when they scream each other’s name out, pretty sure I’m not the only one. You can feel the fear and confusion that Sam must be experiencing in that moment, not knowing if his entire family is going to live or die. “In My Time Of Dying” is one of only two episodes in which we see the brother’s taken off to hospital by medical personnel, the other being season 7’s “The Girl Next Door” when Dean had to call 911 because Sam’s out cold and a monster broke Dean’s leg. This time around, I assume it’s the poor truck driver who calls for help after he awakens from demon possession to find he’s caused a horrific accident.

alt

What grabs me the most about “In My Time Of Dying” is Sam’s unwavering faith in his brother, that his brother will find a way to recover, or Sam will find a way for him, there is no other option in Sam’s eyes, he will not give up on Dean and he won’t let Dean give up on himself.  Though this story is primarily about Dean, I always feel this is Sam’s episode, because it’s Sam who is the link between the living and the dead for his brother. His belief in Dean and his strength in the face of his world crumbling around him always hits me in the gut. When Dean ‘wakes up’ to wander the halls of the hospital trying to make sense of what has happened to him, the first person he calls out for is Sam and as much as John is injured, Sam is solely focused on Dean. Whose heart doesn’t break as Sam stands over his comatose sibling and says, “Dean, you've got to hold on. You can't go, man, not now. We were just starting to be brothers again.” They’ve just found their way back to each other, how can Sam let go now. This is the episode that signals the end of the dream of a reunited family and the beginning of Sam and Dean’s journey together as simply Sam and Dean.

One of my favourite scenes is when Sam goes and sees Bobby to retrieve The Colt from the wreck of the Impala. The conversation they are having sounds like it’s about the car, but the conversation Sam is really having is about Dean. “Listen to me, Bobby. If there's only one working part, that's enough. We're not just going to give up on...” Of course, Bobby gets it.  Bobby wouldn’t give up either, we know that now.

I love the way the connection between the brothers is demonstrated. You can see that Sam can genuinely sense that Dean is there, somewhere and I don’t put it down to him being a psychic wonder, I put it down to them being so in tune with each other. I’m sure if the shoe were on the other foot, Dean would be sensing Sam left and right. Such relief washes over them both when Sam arrives with the Talking Board and they’re finally able to communicate. They share a moment of happiness there, albeit, brief. Even faced with the news that there’s a Reaper hot on his brother’s heels, Sam doesn’t give up on Dean. “No. No, no, no, um, there's gotta be a way ….There's gotta be a way.”

alt

If you listen to the commentary for this episode you’ll hear, Jensen, Jared and director Kim Manners discuss how they did this scene and other scenes where Dean is in the shot we see, but not in the shot from Sam’s point of view. Basically, Jensen had to leap in and out of shot very quickly, because if you notice, Kim used a lot of 360 degree camera movements in the episode. Swirling around from Dean looking at Sam, to Sam looking at nothing. Swirling around from Dean talking to Sam to Sam looking down an empty hallway. Timing was everything. This technique gives an interesting fluidity to the scenes. This is a beautifully shot and beautifully lit episode. For example, in the scene where Dean confronts Tessa, she’s lit half in light and half in darkness, like a Reaper represents both. It’s also like she’s coming out of the shadows, being revealed to Dean in her true essence. I love the lighting in that scene, it adds to the power of Dean’s realisation as he gasps and shudders under her touch. You know Dean was going to go with her right? If the demon smoke hadn’t hitched a ride with Tessa, I’m absolutely sure Dean was about to say yes to the Reaper, because what other option did he have? You can see it on his face. “So what’s it going to be?” Man, we’ve heard that somewhere recently huh? Just as a trivial aside, have you ever noticed how dirty Jensen’s feet are in this episode? If you haven’t, look next time you watch the scene with the Talking Board (or just look at the shot above). 

alt

I find one of the sadder aspects of “In My Time Of Dying” is that even though Dean is in the state he’s in; he’s still trying to be the peacekeeper. His father and brother are at each other’s throat. Sam doesn’t understand why his dad is focusing on the Demon and The Colt rather than on his son, John, as we now know, clearly has other ways to help Dean on his mind. Even when he’s in his ghost form, Dean is trying to stop them fighting, trying to keep everyone together. When he comes to, he’s still doing it as his father and brother start to bicker over his bed. This is how it must have been for him before Sam went to Stanford. This is how it must have always been for Dean. No wonder he turned into the caregiver he became. His job has always been looking out for his brother, looking out for his family, holding them together, even teetering on death he’s trying to hold everyone together. Breaks my damn heart.

alt

But I guess it’s the final moments of “In My Time Of Dying” that pack the biggest punch. We find out that John does, in fact, know the truth about Sam, he’s known for a while, as is revealed by the Yellow Eyed Demon. We are left wondering what on earth this secret about Sam is, as is John’s eldest son when his father whispers in his ear. The scene leading up to this moment is such a moving one. Even though Sam is hell bent on arguing, John softly asks him if they could not fight, something that stops Sam in his tracks. I’m always saddened by the fact that Sam never got his moment with his dad, he went off to get his old man a cup of caffeine. I remember reading that Jared initially thought that Sam should have made more of this moment, that he should have said something or made some gesture towards John as he left the room, but in not doing anything, in not acknowledging that this would be the last time Sam would see his father alive, in just going “Yeah. Yeah, sure” the moment is more powerful and tragic. When John starts saying nice things to Dean, telling him he’s proud, apologising for how he raised him, Dean gets scared. It’s a tender scene between father and son, but it’s heartbreaking to think that these words and sentiments are so foreign to Dean, that he’s instantly frightened and knows that something must wrong. Then John leans in and whispers in his son’s ear and horror and confusion pass over Dean’s face as his father gently smiles and walks away. Hallway. Sam. Coffee cup. Silent scream. CPR. Flat line. Time of death 10.41am. I still cry when John Winchester dies, but I‘m crying for his boys. I’m so desperately sad that they had to go through this final scene all over again six years later, this time with Bobby.

alt

John’s choice to give his life for Dean’s, to make a deal with the Devil so to speak, is a decision that has catastrophic ramifications, because it’s with this single act that the whole kit and caboodle kicks off. This is where it starts for the Winchester brothers. This is where the seeds of their future decisions are sown. They both spend the coming years following in their father’s footsteps, sacrificing their lives and doing deals with devils. Well I guess everything really started with Mary in 1973, but this moment in “In My Time Of Dying” is where it began for Sam and Dean. Kripke says in the season 2 companion: “From the moment John made his decision to sacrifice his life for Dean, that was the first major transgression the Winchester family had in terms of disobeying the natural order of things. There’s an epic thematic of the show which is you don’t play God and you don’t mess with the natural order, because only bad things can result. The Winchester family put themselves on a very dangerous path.” As we now know, 7 seasons down the track, the natural order of things is very important and it can’t be taken for granted. The brothers have disregarded it over and over and look where it’s got them. Only now are we seeing that they’re finally starting to learn the lesson that you don’t play with such things. Somehow, I still don’t think that would stop them when it comes to each other. I love that it all started here. Damn, Supernatural rocks!

So that’s it for season 2! It’s not my favourite season from an arc point of view, but it’s probably the season that contains my highest number of favourite episodes. Make sense of that if you can!

What’s your favourite season 2 episode?

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon with season 3!
-sweetondean

Comments  

PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-07-12 08:04
Hi sweetondean, great article!
Season 2 is definitely one of, if not my all time favourite seasons. It's certainly the one I've watched the most! And it's home to my fav episode too, Born Under a Bad Sign.
I actually rewatched All Hell Breaks Loose part I and II just yesterday, and dammit, it's still gets to me as much as it did the first time! That final scene where Sam dies in Dean's arms still tears me up, and by the time Dean's talking to Sammy's body, I'm bawling!
Funnily (or crazily) enough, I actually found myself mouthing along with the dialogue too. :oops:
In My Time Of Dying is such an excellent episode, too, isn't it? It also breaks my heart no matter now many times I watch. I also remember reading about Jared kinda wanting to make a more of a 'moment' out of that last scene with their Dad. It's even worse watching that scene now, knowing it takes a three freaking seasons for Sam to get the 'moment' with John.
Season 2 was a great one all round, I think. There isn't actually an episode in there that I really didn't like.
Looking forward to Season 3
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-07-12 08:28
It's ok to mouth the dialogue along with the show...you're not alone! ;-)
arefe
# arefe 2012-07-12 12:40
oh this awesome brilliant article made me so much tears
well done:D
3 times in middle of this article i just went take breath & relax my heart:)
recently i knew your site & every article that i read i was like exactly exactly! & how nice when all this thoughts & emotions are the same between us:)
big hug
( i need it more now!! after all this tears)
hartbroknagn
# hartbroknagn 2012-07-12 12:59
You know what I find amazing is the acting by the cast that can actually make you feel these things. I was watching part of Season 6 today with Souless Sam and I remember thinking, how can one guy make me hate him one episode but love him the next? It was like Jared was playing 2 different characters instead of just Sam. Jensen is the same way. These are two actors that I just don't think I will be able to watch in any other show. These two have embodied their characters.
Amy
# Amy 2012-07-12 13:04
I think Season 2 is my favorite season because the Winchesters were Smart. Capital 'S". They thought outside the box, were proactive, they had code words and back up plans if things when wonky (Hunted...etc.. )

But mostly they were Brothers. Capital B. in every sense of the word....not like now where they are brothers simply in name only.

I miss their friendship...wh en they confided in each other even if it took a little prodding....whe n they laughed and/or joked WITH each other.

Now...Sam and Dean are two strangers who I geuss you can say they are haunted by their past relationship.

I miss the sense of Hope they had...especiall y Sam.

Ps. Gordon is my all time favorite charector after Sam. I'd love it if he managed to escape Purgatory with Dean. :)
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-07-12 13:32
Great reading, as always. This is still my fav season. As good as they all are, All Hell Breaks Loose II is always going to be my favorite of the whole show. It is the 1st time-IN MY LIFE- that I ever cried over a tv show. There are a lot of epi's that make me cry now. That graveyard scene in What is and Should Never BE always gets me,NOW. All Hell II has everything. Sam's dead;Bobby & Dean's argument over it;Dean's talk with Sam's corpse;the demon deal; Dean & Bobby's talk in the junkyard;Ellen comes back;the railroad devil's trap (clever);Sam kills Jake; the devil's gate; John coming back;and THEY KILLED AZAZEL!!

One of the things I LOVE about this show is that they aren't afraid to kill the big bad. They just create another big bad! Most shows drag it out, or never get to it at all. When Dean kills him, that was a great moment. Then Sam and Dean's talk at the car when Sam figures out what Dean did for him. I think that is the most emotional and actioned packed episode of them all
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-07-12 13:40
Oh, man, you had me tearing up over this. I love so many episodes in season 2, but "In My Time Of Dying" is my all-time favourite, it's just perfect on so many levels: the acting, the directing, the lighting, like I said perfect. Probably one of the best episodes on television of any show. It brings me to tears every time. Just like the episode of Buffy where her mother dies, I ball like a baby with that one too, pulls at my heartstrings.

I love that you also brough up "What Is And What Should Never Be", yet another great episode. I love the scene where Dean talks to John’s grave and asks why, even though he already knows, “Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero?” Because that’s who he is. This line right here, this is what made me fall in love with Dean Winchester (not that I didn't love him before, but you get what I mean). He gets his wish, but there is no way he can ever ignore people being in jeopardy over his own happiness. And yes, the fact the he and his beloved Sammy don't even get along is cause enough for him to decide to take that plunge and stick himself with the knife.

Again, I can't thank you enough for these, I love reading everything you have to say about this wonderful show of ours.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-07-12 14:41
Just awesome article. I also loved many of the episodes in S2. I loaned my DVD for S1 & S2 out and enclosed a little mini review with each episode and gave each one a 1 to 5 star rating. Ok, I was a little bored and had some time on my hands but I had so much fun doing it. My only 5 stars were IMTOD and AHBL 1&2. Those were outstanding. I think In My Time...... is my favorite episode of the entire series. Many of the others got a 4 star (excellent). I just adore the earlier seasons.

It is funny to me that you took the scene after Sam died and extended it in your mind. I did the same thing!! You did it better because I was trying to imagine them getting Sam over the log and in the car. I didn't realise that the building they were in was in that town. That makes much more sense. LOL.

Dean's dirty feet! I noticed that to. You would think someone would have picked up on that. Oh well, why can't ghosts have dirty feet.

As a final comment, I would just like to say this show has had some of the most kickass premieres and finales in all of television. I have been watching for a LONG time.
hedi
# hedi 2012-07-12 19:32
amazing article amy! well done!
when i read your articles , they make me to watch that episode so fast!!! that's how true and how exact they are.
season 2 is one of my favorites too and i love how they were slowly building things up about Sam and his powers and stuffs and about Dean and how he's gonna deal with him not supposed to be alive thing.

and 100 % agree with you on "In my time of dying" , one of my favorites too and one of the many scenes that breaks my heart every time is when Sam tell john "Go to Hell" even know that he didn't really mean that , but it always makes me wonder , did Sam get angry of himself later when he found out His dad is in Hell?!
any way! i also like Houses of the Holy so much , i really wanna know your opinion about it , Amy!

looking forward to your articles. like always.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-07-12 19:52
Love Houses Of The Holy Hedi! I love what it introduces to the mythology and I love how it challenges Dean's concept of what he believes in and what he doesn't. It breaks my heart how tragic Sam is at the end when he reveals that having faith gave him hope that maybe, just maybe he could be saved. It's a beautiful episode and I love that even though we don't see them for a long time, it gets us thinking about the possibility of Angels. I consider this ep a tent pole in the mytharc of the series. :)
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-07-13 13:21
Hi sweetondean - I wrote a long-winded reply yesterday and found I wasn't logged in so when I logged in it all disappeared. And I had poured out all my love and feelings for In My Time of Dying and how much I loved every episode from the pilot to Lazarus Rising.

So I'll just say how much I agree with your article and hope you write more like this in the hellatus.

I didn't care at all for Max, either. He was a snivelly little weasle to me, and I hated poor Sammy thinking he was "just like Max", yuck!

These boys seem real to me and affect my emotions as if they WERE my boys. Wish they could regain the closeness and trust of the first 3 seasons.

Thanks for a lovely article.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2012-07-13 14:17
Hi sweetondean.

Wow. What a nice article! I really like your take on IMTOD. I love that eppie too, it's so strong and a very good proof that season premieres don't have to be big and flashy (heh first wrote slashy, *hee*) and over the top. I long for these kinda premieres nowadays when it seems that they just want to WOW us with the BIG THINGS. Sometimes less is more which this fabulous eppie clearly shows.

In fact, if I had to choose, I think IMTOD is the best of all season premieres (I can't really count the Pilot because it is The Pilot and I love it madly, but for different reasons). I really like Lazarus Rising too, I think it's the second fave for me, but still, IMTOD is the best. It's just so intimate and reveals so much about all the three Winchesters and about Reapers and death and spirits and the YED. It truly set a whole bus load of events in motion. Tragic, tragic events indeed.

Actually, when I think about it, Season 2 is the fave season for me. I really like other seasons too (well not counting seasons 6 and 7 since I've been having some....issues. .. with 'em, but even they don't suck so, no hate here) but season 2 just has so many of my fave eppies. I don't think I hate any of 'em. Ok, No Exit just annoyes me but just the Jo parts. She just really rubbed me the wrong way in the early season. But besides that, there are so, so many fabulous and riveting episodes. I think the best for me would be IMTOD and Born Under A Bad Sign. Those two are my absolute faves and are somewhere in the Top10 of best episodes ever (well, if I had one, lol, but it's fun to imagine that I do, maybe Top50 would be closer to the truth). :)

But then there are Crossroad Blues, Simon Says, Houses of the Holy, Croatoan, Hunted, Roadkill, Everybody Loves A Clown, the Usual Suspect, Heart, Bloodlust, What Is and What Should Never Be... You see??? Almost every episode of that season are fantastic! And let's not even talk about the twoparter season finale! Took my breath away (and was my initiation to this show)! Simply AMAZING and riveting!

But stopping this rantyness before it gets outta hand, I've really enjoyed your "Surviving the hiatus one season at a time" -series. I can't wait for the next one. Aaand I better get commenting on the first one since I just noticed that I haven't! Shame on me, keep up the good work you :)
SecretWillow
# SecretWillow 2012-07-13 17:23
Thank you for the very enjoyable article sweetondean. It certainly brightened my Friday, and stirred up all kinds of wonderful memories. I remember the first time watching IMTOD, I was so overcome with so many emotions, I couldn't think straight. I couldn't put two and two together. Everything was taken at face value, in the moment, and I couldn't process anything further than that. When Azazel told John he needed to sweeten the pot, I was yelling, "Sweeten the pot?! What does that mean? How does he sweeten it? What else does he have to do!" The synapses in my brain could not put anything together. And when we see John on the floor and Sam running to him, all I could think was, “What happened?! He was fine two seconds ago!” I had to have everything spelled out for me; nothing in my head was working. Just too too many explosions of emotion and no thought processes. Even when they declared John’s time of death, I kept thinking, “Okay, he’s gonna wake any moment now.” It wasn’t until we see Sam and Dean staring at John’s funeral pyre in Everybody Loves a Clown, when I realized, “Wow. They really killed Dad.” That’s when I started crying. Little bit of delayed reaction there.

And I completely agree with what Amy said above: Season 2 might just be my favorite (if I really had to pick a favorite) because the boys were SMART, and they had a bond that went deeper than anything I have words for. They were ‘bitch’ and ‘jerk’ to each other, they reached out to one another (both physically, and emotionally). And it wasn’t just the things we do see, like how they were simultaneously trying to figure out the anagram, and calling their attorney ‘Matlock’ in The Usual Suspects, but also all the things we don’t get to see like how they went about handling Gordon when they first met him in Bloodlust. Did they notice Gordon sitting at the table when they went to question the bartender? And if they did, what reason did they have to suspect him of anything? When they left the bar and walked around the corner of the building, did they know Gordon (or someone) was hiding nearby and would follow them? Did they devise a plan before leaving the bar, or were they just always linked, and in synch? That’s something I love doing; when they’re in a seemingly impossible setting, I try to imagine what their conversations would be like regarding plans, and backup plans. Do they have to practice telling certain lies, memorizing every detail of every story, in case they get separated? Or is it all just purely instinctual? I love the rush of remembering what it was like to watch an episode for the first time.

Thanks again, can’t wait for the next one. Keep ‘em coming.
EirenesS
# EirenesS 2012-07-14 16:09
Thank you for the very enjoyable article, sweetondean. I really, really like Season 2 and my all time favorite episode-What is and what should never be-is there. One very great episode amidst a whole season of very great and good and fun episodes.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-07-15 14:38
This season was when the clues about Azazels plans came still disjointed but an idea about an army.This season was brilliant and i liked all the episodes.
Ismira
# Ismira 2012-07-19 07:54
I'm rewatching Season 2 right now, my first rewatch ever of any SPN season (because we don't get re telecasts in India, and the shops don't have the DVDs, and I had to download the entire thing) and I loved reading this! This time around, I'm coming to appreciate episodes like "Hollywood Babylon" and "Tall Tales", episodes that I didn't think too much about when I saw them the first time (because I was so fixated on where the story ARC was going) As for Croatoan, it's an absolute favorite of mine. I don't know why, but it's always the episode that comes to mind immediately when I think of season 2. I absolutely loved it. And IMTOD was one of the most gut-wrenching hours of TV I ever sat through. Thanks for this! Can't wait for your Season 3 recap!
Lia
# Lia 2012-07-25 11:15
"When John starts saying nice things to Dean, telling him he’s proud, apologising for how he raised him, Dean gets scared. It’s a tender scene between father and son, but it’s heartbreaking to think that these words and sentiments are so foreign to Dean, that he’s instantly frightened and knows that something must wrong. Then John leans in and whispers in his son’s ear and horror and confusion pass over Dean’s face as his father gently smiles and walks away."

See this right here is what keeps me from having much love for John Winchester. It isn't that he didn't love them. Obviously, he did. He just seems to have made so many wrong choices regarding them. That moment in Home when Dean is on the phone begging his dad to call him because he's scared like a little kid. He needs his dad and again he's abandoned.

I haven't read John's journal. I have mixed feelings about doing so. I know a lot of fans see it as canon, but IDK. Maybe it would help me understand the way he continually ignored his children's emotional needs, how he treated them more as soldiers than sons, why he kept them in the dark about the YED. I have no doubt that had John somehow lived he would have tried to kill Sam probably in S3.

So I'm off track again. This was a terrific review. You're right, there are so many great eps in this season. What Is and What Should Never Be is one of the most heartbreaking for me not just because Sam and Dean aren't close, although ugh, but because despite this being a world where Mary lived and Sam and Dean had normal lives, Dean is still a drunk and cheat and a liar who is estranged from his brother because of it and a disappointment to his mother. Even in a 'fantasy' world, Dean can't imagine himself as someone better than what he sees himself as, I think. I don't know how else to see his characterizatio n in that world.

Anyway, lots of great eps and another awesome review. Thanks.