"Supernatural" Hits and Misses Season Two: Part Two

First, my apologies for the delay in this posting and for my lack of postings the month or so - most recently I had a computer-related emergency in which my hard drive flat-out died, taking with it my nearly completed handful of articles due for publication this week.  So, here we are, finally, with the second part of the season two hits and misses. Second - I do have a timeline in mind for this series, which I hope to wrap up with season seven, part two before the premiere of season eight (eight!) in October. So yes, there is a method to my madness! Third - reminder that I'm striving to evaluate the Hits and Misses within the context of only the season in question and (maybe if it relates) preceding seasons. Thus if a "miss" from season four, for example, is corrected or clarified in season six, it's still a season four miss. Finally, you will notice this particularly list boasts a disproportionate balance among the hits and misses. Season two simply had too high a number of all around great episodes - it was a generally tight and well-executed season from beginning to end. Having already concocted the skeleton lists for season three and four, I anticipate this problem (if you want to call it that) will be limited to season two for now.

Alright, without further ado "¦.


Hit: Bobby learns of Dean's deal

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Bobby is the epitome of tough love. By the end of season two, we are just getting know Bobby, and it's already apparent the father role he plays in the lives of the boys. What is particularly potent about this scene in the junkyard is that it plays both sides of Bobby's relationship with Sam and Dean: the gruff approach that comes simply from a place of love. The other element of this moment that is so gripping is the pure desolation on Dean's face when he admits to Bobby what he's done and why he's done it. Heart-wrenching hits all around.

Hit: What is and What Should Never Be

Just about this whole episode is brilliant from start to finish and stands as one of my top five episodes of the series, hands down. The concept of the djinn and be careful what you wish for reaches new heights, and we see what might have become of the boys if Mary had lived, if Yellow Eyes had never come into the Winchester world. This is one of the first expressions of Dean's deep but largely unexpressed yearning for his mother and is the ideal precursor to the soul-selling in AHBL because it underscores how fundamental to his being Dean's family is to him. Also, this episode has some great comic relief - a particular favourite moment being when Sam finds the lamb blood in the car and thinks Dean has lost his mind.

Miss: Special Kids Town, USA a.k.a. Cold Oak, South Dakota

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Alright, this one hardly needs explanation as I'm confident I'm not alone in my disdain for the most things related to the Special Kids. This storyline crops up a few times throughout the season, seeming ill conceived from the get-go and poorly executed all around.  And more importantly, how does YED go about getting the kids to Cold Oak? Obviously he has some sort of teleportation skills, I suppose. I understand it was necessary for the sake of the storyline, but overall this is a weak plot element that can only be chalked up to a miss, at least for me.

Hit: Hell Hounds

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I'll keep this short and sweet: is there any greater way to do a truly terrifying beastie (short of actually have said beastie) than to cast it invisible to all but it's victims? I think not.

Hit: Ronald Resnick

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This is another short and sweet one. Ronald was funny, adorably paranoid, dogged in his pursuit of the "mandroids" and very helpful to Sam and Dean (setting aside the whole take-a-bank-hostage-and-put-them-on-Henricksen's-radar). His character was loved and his death tragic.

Miss: Jake

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I know that I already covered my issues with the other YED kids, but Jake is a special breed of miss. Simply put - Jake is weak. The character does not connect, and as a "threat" to Sam I don't find him believable. Yes, technically he does actually do damage to Sam but that, to me, is the result of contrived efforts to my mind. Maybe this is a nitpick alert, you be the judge. Either way - Jake is a capital "M"  Miss.

Hit: Lawyer fakes out Henricksen

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There is something that simply brings about a smile when the boys receive help from an unexpected ally. Still, I always wonder about this lawyer: where did she come from? Did she know someone who knew and/or owed the boys? What was it that made her lie to Henricksen in the end? What did Dean say in that meeting that swayed her to his side? Was it simply his effervescent charms or something more? Either way, this twist of her knowing little smile as she strolls merrily away from the interrogation always stands as a hit for me; the cherry on an already great episode.

Miss: "Roadkill"

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Where to begin with this one? I suppose it wasn't a bad concept overall, but I think it falls down with the execution.

Hit: Grief over Sam's death

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The way Dean mourns Sam is truly gut-wrenching. We reminisce over little-Sammy memories and watch as Dean swirls further in his own grief, getting more and more devastated. Finally, when he demands to the universe to know "What am I supposed to do?!" is there a dry eye in the house?

Miss: Driving Motivation of Crossroad Blues *NP alert*



Okay - this episode is full of juicy goodness. So, why is it on this list? Truthfully because I'm desperate at this point, and season two has very few misses. Additionally, there is something about this episode that never fully rang my bell.  The thing about this episode was that it certainly set some things in motion for later on, like demon deals at crossroads, goofer dust, blackdogs etc. And it packed an emotional punch, throwing in Dean's face the reality of how he lived while John died. But aside from those details, I find the overarching hunting plot with the musician etc. of this episode boring. Don't get me wrong, the brother stuff, emotional plot development and character exploration is far from boring. But, to me the motivating plot seemed a tad lackluster. A demon making deals doesn't strike high on the fear scale, even by season two standards.  This is a small thing, as this episode contains some of my favourite "Supernatura"l things, including the tricking of the CRD and the Winchester latinating. Nevertheless, in comparison to a season chalk full of largely stellar episodes, this one just packs a weaker blow and thus, lands as a miss.

Hit: John's ultimate goodbye

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Wasn't it nice to get a proper send off with John Winchester? I know that the filming makes this scene visually a little bit awkward but on the emotional level it feels just right to me. The exceptionally proud look on John's face as he smiles at his boys and is finally able to move on from Hell to, one assumes, Heaven where he belongs is heartwarming and a great full-circle moment for the YED and driving plot that started the entire SPN ball rolling.

Miss: Croatoan

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As episodes of SPN go, there are very few that I despise outright - unfortunately, Croatoan is absolutely one of those few. To me, this episode is largely a jumbled mess that never fully gets explained, at least not to my satisfaction. Okay, the concept is interesting and done properly, had great potential. It certainly could have really opened the debate about doing the greatest good for the greatest number even when getting there might involve morally questionable or grey action. However, the episode never explores that the way I wish it would have. Instead, we have infected people being killed and/or spreading their disease in zombie fashion and a confusing end whereby the virus just sort of goes away. Emotional elements to this episode certainly but overall one of the biggest misses of the series IMHO.

Hit: Sam and Dean in Prison Orange

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It was bound to happen sooner or later, so why not have the boys head to prison on their own terms? What's brilliant about this is how uncomfortable Sam is with prison while Dean fits right it. This makes perfect sense for their personalities at this point in the show. Considering this now, I wonder if the rolls wouldn't be somewhat reversed, or at the very least both boys more hardened and certainly less likely to cheerily make lemonade from these life lemons. Regardless, this episode stands the test of time - I never get tired of watching this hit.

Hit: Those Needing No Explanation


Season two had some episodes that were just phenomenal, hands down. I could go into extensive detail about each and every one of these as I did with WIAWSNB, but then this list would never end. Instead I'll leave it to you the readers to talk about your favourite parts of these favourites:
>Tall Tales<
>Hollywood Babylon<
>Nightshifter<
>Born Under a Bad Sign<

>Houses of the Holy<

These are in no particular order and I'm not necessarily suggesting that these were without their flaws. I'm simply saying season two had some amazing moments and these episodes contained more than their fair share of them.


So there you have it - season two. I'm certain there are hits (and maybe a miss or two) that's I've failed to include here. I really struggled with this list, as I said, so just because it wasn't on the list doesn't mean I didn't love (or maybe loathe) it. Sound off below on your hits and misses of season two! 

Comments  

PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-08-16 03:37
Hi Elle, great list. I certainly agree with you about this season, it was a good one all round. It's actually always been my favourite season of SPN, and definitely the one I've watched the most.
I always call Crossroad Blues a diamond in the rough episode. It was one that kind of fell off my radar a bit, until I decided to watch it again one day, and I realised I loved it. I didn't necessarily think the motivation in this ep was weak, but it was certainly overshadowed by the brothers' drama, and that's usually what I tend to gravitate to most.
As for those last epiosdes you mentioned:
Tall Tales- I adore this episode. I still crack up any time I hear Lady In Red. The Trickster is of my favourite characters and I don't think I'll ever find slow-dancing aliens not hilarous. Oh and, "What, some alien made you his bitch?". I'm on the verge of laughing just writing about it. Did I mention I love this episode?
Hollywood Babylon- Oh the in-jokes. I've enjoyed every one of SPN's journeys into meta, and this was a good one to start with.
Nightshifter-The whole episode is pretty brilliant, but that end scene takes it a level further. Awesome.
Houses of the Holy- I loved how even as early as season 2 they were discussing the possibilities of God's will and the existence of angels. It definitely left the door open for exploring the concept more at that stage.
One other episode I always mention when talking about season 2 is Born Under A Bad Sign. It's long been my favourite episode of SPN. It doesn't matter how often I watch it, or even that I know that Sam is possessed, I still enjoy going through the whole process of Sam possibly finally having been pushed to the darkside, and Dean facing possibly having to go through with Dad's orders to kill Sam...Jared just knocked it out of the park with all the emotions he portrayed here: confused and scared, resigned, cold and kind of scary as Meg and then back to normal Sam. That scene in the bar with Jo utterly creeped me out. And I get chills every time I hear his evil laugh during the exorcism.
I could go on and on about this season, but I'll leave it here. There's really some good stuff in there.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-08-16 14:15
Oh yes, indeed, "Born Under a Bad Sign" has to be my one of my favourite eps from season two. Jared was just so fantastic with that little boy lost look, and then when he cold cocks Dean over the head!, I still scream OMG everytime that happens. And yes, the evil laugh, very spooky.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-08-16 08:03
Hi Elle,
Hit: Bobby learns of Dean's deal. I liked the Bobby and Dean interaction and Bobby's concern for Dean was beautifully portrayed by Jim Beaver.
Hit: What is and what should never be.The same reasons as yours except i think we saw what Dean thinks might have been if their mother survived.
Hit: Special Kids Town, USA a.k.a. Cold Oak, South Dakota. I loved this episode and the concept ,(I have not seen hunger games but it sounds like that )
Hit: Hellhounds. reason:They are hell hounds.
Hit:Ronald Resnick.His part in the story was good and the actor portrayed it brilliantly and yes his death was tragic.
Hit:Jake.He was a perfect complimentary character to Sam both did not want any part in azazel's plans Sam stuck to that till the end.( not exactly that simple but the gist)
Hit:Lawyer fakes out Henricksen because:Lawyer fakes out HENRICKSEN
Hit:Roadkill I like it because of the reveal that she is a ghost and the ending was bitter sweat
Hit:Grief over Sam’s death One of the best scenes the use of light and darkness,the dialogue,jensen 's acting were perfect.
Hit:Driving Motivation of Crossroad Blues .I found it good to my liking
Hit: John’s ultimate goodbye.The same reason as yours
Hit: Croatoan because this is my favourite mystery Dean koontz has done it,Stephen king has done it, supernatural did it and their take was entirely different from the two stated..and it had the scene where Sam asks Dean to leave and Dean's discontent with his life
Hit:Sam and Dean in Prison ..i liked the episode from beginning to end
Hit:Last four mentioned episodes
One question
1) what is NP alert?
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-08-16 15:30
Elle, I always look forward to the hits and misses! I agree with the majority of them. I have to say that I really liked Jake. He came across so earnest and likable. It made the betrayal shocking. Love Aldis (sp?) in Leverage also. S2 was one of my favorites so it doesn't have a huge amount of misses for me. I wasn't wild about Tall Tales and Hollywood Babylon on first viewing but after seeing them a few more times, and compared to S6 & S7, they grew on
me.
anonymousN: NP means nit-pick I believe, right Elle??
elle
# elle 2012-08-17 13:52
Correct - NP is Nitpick alert. Things with NP beside them indicate that I'm aware it might be particularly fussy to call them a miss, but I included it anyways.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-08-20 21:01
Thanks for clarifying about NP Elle and LEAH D
winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-08-16 10:15
Great list. I am currently watching season 2 on TNT and I can't wait for a couple of episodes coming up. I totally agree with Dean's deep yearning for his mother comment you made. Every episode in every season where he interacts with her breaks my heart. It really explains Dean to the core. And Jensen plays it beautifully every time. If you watch that episode on DVD and hear the comments from Eric Kripke on Jensen's performance, he totally rocked those emotions.

On Dean's grief over Sam's death. I cried ten times more at that scene then when Sam actually died. Jensen has emotional depth that just amazes me and is one of the major reasons the show hooked me. Almost makes me cry just thinking of that scene right now! Tearing up a little.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-08-16 14:19
Agree with all your hits Elle, but again can't agree that there were ANY misses in Season 2. Just love every single episode myself.

And didn't you miss mentioning "Born Under a Bad Sign"? Wow! That one was awesome indeed!

Looks like I'm agreeing with everything said by anonymousM.
Great minds think alike, no? ;-)
elle
# elle 2012-08-17 13:57
Hi Bevie - actually, BUABS was on part one of the season two hits and misses compilation. That said, I did add it again to this part of the list because it is such an awesome episode!

thanks for reading!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-08-16 14:27
Hi Elle, glad you're back. You've set yourself up for quite a lot of work, but good for us I say. It will make the hellatus go by that much smoother.

I agree with all the hits, and would agree with you that "What Is And Would Should Never Be" is probably one of the most perfect episodes of SPN. But some of your misses, I actually disagree with. "Crossroads Blues" was a really good episode I thought at setting up some of the things to come. I just love the scene where Dean traps the crossroads demon and then when he does let her go, she tells him about how far in Hell his father is. Ooooh, so chilling! And "Croatoan" is another one that I really like, pretty much for the same reason as "CB". But, hey, to each his or her own.

Thanks for doing this, I can just imagine how much time and effort goes into these hits & misses. I wouldn't want to be doing them, it would be too much like asking me to choose a favourite child!
elle
# elle 2012-08-17 13:55
There are certainly things about Crossroad Blues that I love - that's why the nitpick alert stands next to that "miss." Most of the elements of the episode were great, there was just one tiny motivating factor that wasn't as strong (and honestly, by the time I got there - I was desperate for a miss of some sort).
Mel
# Mel 2012-08-17 13:55
Great article, Elle. I agree with your hits - I have a big 'miss' to add for S2 ="No Exit"
That episode just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm not too crazy aoubt 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' either - to my mind, it was a weak zombie episode.
janiebee64
# janiebee64 2012-08-17 21:00
If I was going to go through all the episodes in season two that I loved, this would be the longest review ever so I'll just mention some favorites. BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN..I still sit in shock when I see Sam kill that hunter. I think it's just the memory of how I felt the first time it happened, but it still gives that heartsick feeling and Sam in the bar with Joe truly gives a foreshadowing of future Samifer or even Soulless Sam. Jared rocks that whole scene. IN MY TIME OF DYING..Do I need to say more? I can't even begin to express how much I love all the brother moments in this episode. I would probably pick this as my favorite episode for season two..and maybe for the whole series..loved that talking board scene!!!! My other favorites would be NIGHTSHIFTER... FOLSOM PRISON BLUES..CROSSROA D BLUES..yes to me this one is a hit b/c of the brother moments which is what draws me into an episode everytime. HEART..shirtles s Jared..need I say more. Ok I will..that whole end scene with Madison telling Sam he could save her by killing her..which was almost an exact scene from BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN right down to the gun..and then Sam going to kill her and you saw it all on Dean's face..even a single tear...amazing. These boys are awesome!!!! ROADKILL..ok this one at first was not a favorite, but after watching it a second...and third..etc.. time it has grown on me. It's not at the top of my list, but I do enjoy it. One thing it does have is some of the most beautiful close up shots of the boys. You really see how gorgeous these two are!! THE USUAL SUSPECTS..great brother moments, even though the boys had no scenes together until the very last scene. That says alot for the chemistry these two have. WHAT IS AND WHAT SHOULD NEVER BE..perfection in an episode..that's all I'm saying. And I loved ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE 1 AND 2. I would have to say my least two favorites were NO EXIT(no explanation with that one) and CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS..althoug h that end scene with Sam and Dean on the road was heartbreaking.. .and beautiful. BLOODLUST was not a favorite either. I don't care much for the vampire episodes..and never like Gordon much.
Sage
# Sage 2012-08-18 22:00
About the musician that makes a crossroad demon deal, I was amused the other day watching a movie called 'Oh brother' with a friend, that they played the same legend. Is it a common story? (sorry, maybe it's a very common legend and I'm just not aware of it).

Season 2 is my favorite. Hard to find missed, but must agree on Jake, sadly.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-08-20 04:28
Sage, I don't know if it's a common legend, but it's certainly interesting. The musician was Robert Johnson, and it's true that many believe to this day that he sold his soul to the devil to become a good guitar player. He literally vanished for about two years if I recall correctly and when he came back, he was so good with the guitar, that's what people assumed. I think it was also said he died yelling about "black dogs", which is where SPNs Hellhounds came in.
Honestly though, I didn't know this until they mentioned it on SPN and I looked it up... ;-)
Hades
# Hades 2012-08-22 10:41
Hits of season 2-

Born Under A Bad Sign-Jared was outstanding, great episode one of the best to date

Heart-sexy Sam, warewolves, big bro and heartache. Gets me every time.

All Hell Breaks Loose 1 and 2-always watch these two together, perfect 2 part season finale beginning to end. Never not cry when Sam is killed.

Misses of season 2-

No Exit-the Dean and Jo hour? no thanks

CSPWDT-I barely remember this episode other than Sam breaking his wrist and thats only because Jared actually broke his wrist.

Holywood Babylon-dont remember this episode other than being some what disspointed that the season went from the beauty of Heart to this complete load of huh?

I pretty much like all the other episodes. Not much wrong with season 2.
Melanie
# Melanie 2012-08-22 21:17
I know people didnt like No Exit but I did.. I loved the serial killer angle and since I had read Devil in the White City, about HH Holmes in the backdrop of the Chicago Worlds Fair, was even more interested. I think it played well..and I always liked Jo.
Your mom
# Your mom 2012-11-14 23:27
Dont know how you can call croatoan a miss, that one has some pretty spooky history to it. Was 100% perfect IMO they offered a better explaination than actual history does TBH.