10. Sam’s Renewed Faith - “Form and Void”
It’s a refreshing sight to see, and a side of Sam we haven’t seen since around season two. Sam has a history of faith and getting disappointed by that faith time and time again. I think dying, going to Heaven, and being told that God doesn’t think the destruction of the Earth is his problem was probably the deal breaker.
Here is Sam though at his darkest hour, dying and being told for by a reaper flat out that there is no more chances of EVER coming back from death. So what does he do? He prays. That triggers the visions that haunt him through the entire first half of the season. Somehow, he also pulls it together in time to save his life, but we all expected he’d do that.
9. The Return of Crowley - "The Prisoner"
Season 11 has been the return of the evil, scheming, meddlesome Crowley we all know and love, unlike the mopey disaffected one we got in Season 10 pining for the affections of Dean Winchester (yes, it is as bizarre as it sounds). However, the 22nd episode in season ten provided the turning point, and it was pretty wicked.
"You’re right. I am a monster. And I’ve done bad. I’ve done things you can’t even imagine. Horrible, evil, messy things...
And I’ve loved every. Damn. Minute.
So thank you Sam. For reminding me who I really am."
Crowley had Sam, who was stupid enough to try and kill him, at his mercy, ready to snap his finger and end it all for the younger Winchester. Sure he had a reason, but we all know he still can't find it in himself to kill the Winchesters.
"From here on, I want you to know that the only reason you’re alive is because I allowed it. And I want you to deliver a message. You tell that ginger whore that I gave her a chance to walk away and she spat in my face. So now, she’ll never see me coming."
8. The Bro-ment That Revealed Essentially What We Knew All Along - "The Werther Project"
We know that Sam has been keeping terrible secrets from Dean, and Dean is probably aware that something is going on. But at this point, he has no idea that Sam has made a deal with the Devil, or the King of Hell’s mother, Rowena. That secret nearly killed Sam through his hallucinations in “The Werther Project” while Dean conquered his because there was an actual fate worse for him than dying, becoming a demon. After Dean rescued Sam by figuring out the key to opening the Werther box was the blood of both of him, he uttered the profound words that clearly define a series, as well as the next season in battling the darkness.
Dean: That says something, doesn't it? Werther splits us up in there. Within an hour, we're both on the brink of death. Sorry about yesterday, going rogue on you like that.
Sam: You know what, Dean. Don't apologize, I... I think that makes us even.
Dean: The universe is trying to tell us something we both should already know. We're stronger together than apart.
It was so wonderful that Sam took these words into heart and let Dean on the plan to...wait a minute. Oh well, we got this classic brotherly exchange.
7. The New Mission Statement - “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire”
Oops, Sam unleashed The Darkness on the world in order to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean. They learn the consequences pretty quick, people are dying from some horrible infection. Dean is focused on just saving the baby. Sam, like Dean is ready for action, but he has some new ground rules. They need to go back to saving people, all people. Hearing these words is very awesome considering that was the Winchester way in the first part of the series. Back to basics makes me very happy.
Sam: I get it. I do. We’re going to save that baby, okay, and we’re gonna find Cas and we’re gonna stop the Darkness.
Dean: What are we talking about?
Sam: The plan.
Dean: We have a plan. It’s the same plan is it’s always been. In order to get out we go through.
Sam: And? How has that been working for us?
Dean: We can’t save Cas, we’re stuck in a hospital. Just like I can’t strap on in a time machine, go back and tell Cain to shove that Mark up his ass or stop you from releasing the darkness. Now have we made mistakes? Yes, Hell yes. And we can analyze each and every one of them over a couple of frostys when we’re old and farting sawdust and OUT OF THIS ROOM! Right now all I can do is I can gear up, I can head out, I can save that freaking baby, which is exactly what I’m gonna do.
Sam: When did we forget how to do this?
Sam: Dean, if we don’t change, right now, all our crap is just going to keep repeating itself.
Dean: I don’t even…what?
Sam: This…this kill first question later. What happened to us? Hunting things, we’re good at that, sure, we’re great at that, but it’s only half the bumper sticker man.
Dean: Sam, I am trying to save that baby.
Dean: Sam, I am trying to save that baby.
Sam: And what about the others out there?
Dean: You mean the ones trying to kill us?
Sam: I mean the ones that are sick, the ones that are dying.
Dean: Yeah, who won't rest until they've infected us all.
San: So we just forget about a cure?
Dean: What cure? Jenna's cure? (holds up the shotgun)
Sam: There is always a cure. You just have to want to find it.
Dean: Yeah, how are you gonna find it if you're dead? And around and around we go.
Sam: Saving people means all of the people, Dean. Not just that baby. Not just each other. I unleashed a force on this world that could destroy it . . . to save you.
Dean: And I told you not to.
Sam: And I'd do it again. In a second, I would do it again. And that is what I'm talking about. This isn't on you. It is on us. We have to change.
6. Castiel Finds His Grace - "Book of the Damned"
I might be in the minority (or maybe not), but I love it when Castiel and Metatron get together, when it's written right. It’s simple things, like the dialogue...
Metatron: Sorry about the mess, I guess I'm lactose intolerant.
Castiel: Let's never speak of it again.
Metatron: You know we really do make a good team, kinda like a buddy comedy -- without the comedy.
Castiel: Or the buddies.
Metatron: Brothers and sisters? Listen to you. Still spitting out the company line like anyone cares. Like we’re actually a family? When what we really are – are a bunch of glowing lights filled with self-loathing or delusions of grandeur. Or both.
But hey, in a sense of irony that eluded the Alanis Morisette song in the episode, it was Metatron’s cheeky act in season nine, giving Castiel the knowledge of all the pop culture references out there that had been eluding Castiel ever since he touched down on Earth, that ultimately led to Castiel finally getting his grace back. His grace was hidden in a book. All he had to do was know the answer to Metatron’s riddle, "What’s the maddest thing a man can do?"
"What’s the maddest thing a man can do? Let himself die."
Yes, Castiel knew his Don Quixote. He also set off an explosion good enough to take out the whole library. It was pretty wicked. Then, fully graced, Cas got to go back to the bunker and meet Charlie for the first time. The angel had a really good day.
5. Sam and Lucifer reunited - "O Brother Where Art Thou?"
I think this moment could have been executed better, but there is no doubt that it has major significance in the “Supernatural” landscape. Sam spent several episodes conquering fears, including taking on a homicidal clown (yes, it’s every bit as golden as it sounds) to get to this moment, confronting the worst terror he ever experienced. The idea of him going back to the cage brought him to tears a few times, but he did it anyway, convinced that God was the one sending him those messages. It was a big character growth moment for Sam, and all it did was leave us gut-wrenched going into winter Hellatus as Sam's worst fears about the outcome came true. He's stuck in the cage with Lucifer and getting plenty of mind games about who actually sent the visions. The poor guy can't catch a break.
4. The Return of Bobby Singer - "The Inside Man"
The biggest mistake this show EVER made was killing off Bobby. It's never been the same since the decision was made, spectacular death episode be damned. So yes, an episode devoted to him, content but bored in Heaven, helping Sam and Castiel get to Metatron via a wayward psychic, just makes me smile. I miss Bobby. I miss how he’ll dive into a harebrained plan head first, just because it’s the boys. I love that he got to do another adventure with Castiel. I love that the door to Heaven is door #42. Most of all, I love that even in Heaven, Bobby is surly!
No, most of all I really love that Bobby quickly figured out that Dean wouldn’t like Sam doing this without his knowledge and told Sam so. But he did so in a fatherly, sentimental, loving sort of way through a letter. Words of wisdom and caution, aka classic Bobby. Anything that brings that single man tear to Sam’s eye delivers a message that is sorely needed.
It was so nice that Sam took that message to heart and included Dean in...wait a minute. Ah well, I got warm fuzzies from the ending at least.
3. Cain and Dean Showdown - "The Executioner's Song"
I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to steal from my own words on this one. Here's an excerpt from my review that explains just how gorgeous this whole exchange is:
The grand event though was clearly Dean’s confrontation with Cain in that barn. What a stunner. First, how perfect was that setting? Dean standing in that gorgeous barn setting, the ghostly lit ceiling in the background, the straw covering the floor, the wide open dimly lit space for these two men to engage in a final confrontation behind closed doors. It’s epic. Second, Tim Omundson as Cain was stunning this go around. In “First Born” he was just awesome, here he was master class. It was inevitable that he was going to come back to Dean and force his hand, but it had to be something extremely horrific. It had to be so bad that Dean would have no other choice but to go down that road. Now the burden of the Mark of Cain takes on a whole new meaning.
This scene was Jensen’s turn to take his acting to a master class of his own and I got chills seeing just how great he was with Tim Omundson. He played it as if Dean wouldn’t be coming back from that fight and it hurt. Every bit of Dean’s anxiety pored into that confrontation with Cain, and Cain tragically anticipated every move. He knew Dean perhaps better than Dean knew himself, and no matter what the outcome, Dean wasn’t coming out of it unscathed.
Every inch of this scene was brilliantly constructed, both verbally and visually, the back and forth like a ballet (yeah, that sounds hokey, but it’s true). I’ve read various theories on why Cain returned, and I don’t think his mission was to defeat Dean. I think it was to push the right buttons to get him to kill him. Cain’s lust to kill was too great and his fight had gone one long enough. He provoked Dean in every possible way, including taking the First Blade away as a challenge to fight for it.
Dean anguished over the idea of killing Cain no matter what was said to him, mostly out of resistance to losing himself in this process. No matter what he tried though, Cain forced his hand. He even pulled the one card that was sure to get Dean, mentioning that Sam as the end recipient of his very dark fate. It’s the worst case scenario that’s popped up time and time again in this series and it’s Dean’s worst nightmare. Dean had to choose, kill Cain at accept a very dark fate or be killed and let the genocide continue. Obviously he wasn’t going to choose the latter, despite the personal cost. It was the no win scenario. Cain even called Dean out on his courage and reckless bravado, knowing exactly what Dean would choose.
Even after Dean cut off Cain’s hand though and the vulnerable man was kneeling, passively accepting his fate (gorgeous visual), Dean gave him another chance. “Tell me that I don’t have to do this, tell me that you’ll stop. Tell me that you can stop.” Cain had already made up his mind. “I will never stop.” Dean fought every urge, knew every consequence, and he killed Cain anyway. The thunder as he did so was the most ominous of signs. The wrath has begun. Dean Winchester as we know him is dead.
2. The BIG Sam and Dean confrontation - “Brother’s Keeper”
Oh man, this still really gets me hard. When Sam and Dean have a deeply intense and emotional fallout, no one is spared.
Dean, on a real homicidal bender from the Mark of Cain and really, really pissed at Sam right now for going behind his back with Rowena and getting Charlie killed, is told by Death that the only way he'll be taken to a safe haven is if he kills Sam. What? Dean convinces himself to see the logic, gets Sam to agree to dying despite an emotional plea and a wicked fight, Sam is in on his knees, tears streaming down his face, and Dean is ready to strike the final blow. Yeah right.
Mark of Cain be damned, nothing comes before Sammy. Whew, all is right in our universe again. Well, except for Dean killing Death and The Darkness being unleashed, but that's season eleven's problem.
1. Night Moves - “Baby"
I gave "Baby" a glowing review after it aired, the most glowing one I've done in years, and I'll tell you why. Because it made me feel really damn good. It made me remember all those reasons why I love this show. Two brothers in a classic car on the open road hunting evil. It's not all strife. The brothers do actually have good times together. The whole episode exuded that in a personal, intimate look that we have only gotten in glimpses before. All this crap over the last few seasons of the brothers fighting over this big contrived secret or one sneaking behind the back of the other has weighed down this premise to the point where I never thought we'd see it again. So yes, "Baby" was a massive and long deserved gift for the fans.
No doubt, in picking one scene with "Baby" only one really nailed the whole brotherly dynamic. They may fight, they may have betrayed each other countless times, they may have technically and literally sold each other's souls for each other, but here, it's nothing but pure brotherly teasing and fun. Even better, it's done to some of the greatest classic rock ever, and no song is more appropriate than catching your baby brother getting laid in the back of your classic Chevy. All Dean has to do is put in a tape...
SAM: Dean, I can explain what was going on --
DEAN: No, no, no. No.
SAM: Don't "Night Moves" me.
DEAN: Shh. Just let it wash over you.
SAM: Let . . .
DEAN: Just take it in. (Dean lip syncs)
I was a little to tall
Could’ve used a few pounds
Tight Pants point hardly reknown
She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
SAM: This is ridiculous.
And points all her own sitting way up high
DEAN: One of the greatest rock writers of all time, Samuel
SAM: It’s Sam.
Way up firm and high
Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
SAM: (sings) Out in the back seat of my brother’s ’67 Chevy
Workin' on mysteries without any clues
SAM: Yeah, you started this. You started this.
DEAN: Here we go. Come on now.
(Both brothers sing along)
Workin' on our night movesWell, there's one red head's opinion. Any moments that you loved in the latter part of season 10 or first half of season 11? Share them here.
Tryin' to make some front page drive-in news
Workin' on our night moves...
Tryin' to make some front page drive-in news
Workin' on our night moves...
Happy New Year SPN Family!