Supernatural Season 2

  • Review - "Tall Tales"

    "Tall Tales"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    I love this episode! It had me laughing continuously the first time I saw it, and I still delight in watching it over again, anticipating the parts I enjoy most. The Trickster is such a fun villain, and I still wonder why he felt obligated to tease the Winchesters, given that they don't certainly need to be taken down a peg.
     
    Like Dean, I thought the way the Trickster went after his victims was a total hoot:
     
    A ghost gal changing from pretty to hideous and scaring the lecherous "morals" teacher head-first out his office window;
     
    Picking up the cruel pledge-master in a space ship to be probed many times over, then forced to slow dance with one of the aliens (the same one who probed him perhaps)?;
     
    The animal testing guy who tries to fish the expensive-looking watch from the sewer only to get eaten by an alligator.
     
    Most fun for me was how the Trickster got Sam and Dean getting furious with each other. Letting the air out of the Impala's tires! Hiding Sam's beloved computer - after freezing it on Busty Asian Beauties! Dean eats greasy food on Sam's bed and turns the music up when Sam asks him to turn it down! 
     
  • Review - "Born Under A Bad Sign"

    "Born Under a Bad Sign"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    This was the episode of SUPERNATURAL that sent me searching for online fandom. I was so impressed, I needed to find other fans with whom to share the adoration.
     
    Sam has been missing for a week, and Dean is frantic. When he finally receives a phone call from his confused sibling, he races to Sam's side, only to find his little brother with blood on his shirt Sam doesn't know the origin of, but doesn't think is his own. 
     
    The last thing Sam remembers is being with Dean is West Texas. Sam signed into this hotel room as Richie Samborra - a Bon Jovi fan, to Dean's disappointment. Sam has enough odd flashes of what transpired that lead them to a storage unit containing, to Dean's dismay, a stolen Volkswagen Bug containing a knife sticky with blood and an open pack of cigarettes. Sam starts filling Dean's head with the idea that he's finally started going dark-side. Finding a receipt from a gas station, they go there to check it out. When the cashier spies Sam, he's all set to call the cops; this guy stole beer, chain smoked inside, against the law! Dean sends Sam outside and gives the guy enough money to prevent his calling the cops and let him know which direction Sam went when he left.
     
  • Review - "Houses of The Holy"

    "Houses of the Holy"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    This was another episode that left me in tears. In Providence, Rhode Island, Sam and Dean find a group of people killing citizens who either have or are going to commit evil acts upon others. Here Sam reveals to Dean that he does believe in angels and prays every day. "The things you learn about a guy," says Dean, taken aback. Since he's never seen an angel, he refuses to believe they exist. They're like unicorns, who have silver moonbeams flying out their asses. "There's no such thing as unicorns?" demands Sam, deadpan. 
     
    Although there is one before her, the second is Gloria, a chain-smoking hooker who is sitting in her squalid apartment when it begins to shake as if caught in an earthquake. She's unable to turn off her TV, which is stuck on religious programming. When she sees a bright light, an angel urges her to go to a man's house, look for a special sign, and stab the man who lives there to death. Gloria does so and is promptly sent to an asylum, where Sam, looking yummy in orderly whites, questions her. Gloria is at peace and happy.
     
    Dean must remain out of sight because of his being wanted by the FBI and the asylum being a city building, so Dean stays behind at the hotel and becomes addicted to the Magic Fingers machine. He's very disappointed to find himself out of quarters and annoyed that Sam refuses to help his sick habit. Dean is going stir-crazy, so Sam brings him along to check out the dead man's porch, where Gloria said she saw her sign—an angel Christmas decoration that the deceased man neglected to put away. 
     
  • Review - "Nightshifter"

    "Nightshifter"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    Taut, thrilling, an immediate ass to the edge of my seat episode, "Nightshifter," starts with what appears to be a bank hostage situation. There are helicopters above, police cars, ambulances, newscasters below, and someone is bringing out one of the hostages. My jaw drops"”it's Dean Winchester! WTF?
     
    A day earlier, it's business as usual. Sam and Dean are posing as FBI agents, with Dean convincing a pretty young thing who works in a jewelry store that his job is dangerous and lonely so she will give him her phone number. There have been two strange cases involving loyal employees suddenly going rogue, a woman stealing from the jewelry store where she has worked for years, a man robbing a bank where his friend, Ronald Reznik, insists was not him, not really Juan.
     
    Sam and Dean meet up with a lot of characters in their line of work, but Ronald is endearing as well as unique. When the brothers pay him a visit, they realize he's a nerd in the truest sense of the word; his home is filled with stuff straight out of Conspiracy Theory Central. Ronald insists that the man he let into the bank was NOT his friend Juan, he's sure of it! Turns out that, while the cops took all the security tapes from the bank, Reznik had made copies, so Sam and Dean have an opportunity to watch them with Ronald, who points out Juan's laser eyes. He's a mandroid, insists Ronald. Sam and Dean recognize the creature as a shapeshifter. When Ronald insists he's going after the mandroid himself, Sam turns very FBI-stern and tells Ronald there are NO mandroids, only people"”JUAN stole the money! Furious, Reznik orders them out of his house.
     
  • Review - "Playthings"

    "Playthings"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    Season two of SUPERNATURAL was, by far, the heaviest with brotherly togetherness/ angst. Perhaps that's why I remember it as my favorite, although my top 10 favorite eps probably would be assembled from other seasons, too.
     
    At the haunted, beautiful Pierpont Inn in Cornwall, Connecticut, where once two vice presidents slept, people are getting killed in grisly ways-drowning in bathtub, hanging from a ceiling fan, falling downstairs (head turned all the way around). In an exact replica of the Inn, a gigantic doll house fit for a queen of a little girl, these same things happen, foretelling the deaths. Brrrrrr.
     
    Ellen hands this case over to Sam and Dean. They've been searching for Ava for a month without success, and it's Sam who volunteers to take the case. Dean finds this far too healthy for Sam; he should be listening to droopy music and angsting some more, especially after he told Ava to return home to her husband, where a demon got her. 
     
    Dean says he's uncomfortable with an old-school haunted house gig, which reeks of Fred and Daphne (he LOVES her!), but takes it, anyway. They notice a five spot hoo-doo mark on an urn right in front of the hotel as they're walking in. Susan and Sherwin, the inn's owner and bellhop, respectively, mistake them for "antiquers" and Susan offers them a king-sized bed, but Dean explains they're brothers and require two queens. Sherwin tells the brothers that the Inn is closing, which is a shame, since it was a real palace in its day. When it appears Dean's going to stiff him on a tip, Sherwin says, "You're not going to cheap out on me, are ya, boy?" He doesn't. A wedding dress hanging on a wall freaks Dean out, and he wonders why hotel folk always think they're gay. Sam points out that his brother is butch and overcompensating. (LOL!)
     
  • Review - "Hunted"

    "Hunted"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    Gordon returns and he wants Sam's dead, which will become a recurring theme for Mr. Walker for quite a while. Turns out that, for the Winchesters, the only good Walker is a dead Walker. 
     
    "Hunted" begins with the eeriest, coolest openings. "Go Ask Alice," plays as a young man, Scott, sits with a shrink, explaining that he can kill merely by touching a living creature with his hand. He proved it by touching the neighbor's cat. The psychiatrist doesn't believe him, but still won't shake hands with Scott at the end of their session. He also tries to tell this guy that he has terrible dreams of a man with yellow eyes who urges him to do terrible things. The shrink hits this poor kid with shrink-talk because he doesn't know what we and the Winchesters do.
     
    Scott stumbles out into the darkness, a terrible, foggy night, where he meets up with an attacker who rips into him with a knife. It's quite a scene as he leans backward against his car, bleeding thickly and profusely from his mouth, dying.
     
    Which brings us back to Sam and Dean and their non-idyllic discussion against the lovely lake backdrop. "Dad told me to watch out for you, Sammy, take care of you or kill you. He said I might have to kill you." Horrified, angry that his brother lied to him and held back his father's final words, Sam rants, "Does he think I'm gonna go DARKSIDE?" Dean wants them to lay low, figure it out together; this is all spinning out of control! Be careful or you WILL have to waste me, warns Sam, remembering Max and Anson, the murderous special kids. 
     
  • Review - "Croatoan"

    "Croatoan"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    Another pivotal episode, "Croatoan" has one of the most difficult-to-watch brotherly scenes we had ever seen, at least up until that point in the series, or, ever, for some viewers. It also ties in heavily with the mytharc, as those who have followed along to "The End" are well aware. I love when a show's continuity exposes itself, especially that many years later. 
     
    Dean, thinking Sam infected with the Croatoan virus, sends the other survivors on without him, even giving one, Sarge, the keys to his beloved Impala. He is going to die with Sam, possibly at Sam's hand. If not, he is going to kill Sam when he becomes violent, then kill himself. Either way, both brothers are going to die. Dean won't be talked out of staying with Sam, not even by Sarge, who says, "Your funeral."
     
    This episode starts with Sam's horrible vision of Dean killing a tied-up young man who begs him not to. "It's NOT in me!" insists the young man, but Dean shoots him, anyway. When Sam and Dean find their way to the little town where this is to take place, they find the word CROATOAN carved into a tree. This reminds Sam of the Roanoke colony, which mysteriously disappeared in the 1500's, and which John Winchester felt might have happened due to demonic plague. ("That's not school, Dean, that's Schoolhouse Rock!") Either way, this episode immediately gave me the creeps, which never stopped coming, right until the end. When the brothers can't locate anyplace to dial out, find themselves unable to leave (love Dean doing the little "I don't swing that way" anti- homosexual dance with the guy who hangs onto his car as he goes into reverse and returns to town), and encounter the car with nothing in it but blood, I was in a state of high anxiety.
     
  • Review - "Crossroads Blues"

    "Crossroad Blues"
    --Robin's Ramblings by Robin Vogel
     
    Not only is this one of my favorite episodes of SUPERNATURAL, it's one of its pivotal, too, and anyone why has watched the series knows why. I hear it in my head, sometimes, "Crossroads are where pacts are made," and I think about this wondrous episode and where it all began.
     
    The moody 1940's music, Robert Johnson playing his guitar, the cigarette falling from his lips when he realizes his time is up and he begins running from the hellhounds on his trail-one of the best openings of a SUPERNATURAL episode! "Robert, don't you die on me!" cries a woman, trying to rouse him, but of course, his debt has come due, and he is dead. We see him making this deal, to be the best blues man that ever lived, with a lovely red-eyed crossroads demon. She seals the deal with a kiss, and for 10 years, Robert Johnson gets what he wants-and once that time is over, hell collects.
     
    Dean teases Sam because he's now on FBI's most-wanted list, while Sam isn't even there as an accessory. The case they're working on involves big-time architect Sean Boyd, who leaped off a high-rise he designed himself after seeing a black dog chasing him. His jealous, bitter partner says Sean became talented and famous, somewhat abruptly, ten years ago-after a night at Lloyd's Bar.
     
  • Review - "The Usual Suspects"

    "The Usual Suspects"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    Linda Blair appears in a episode which, of course, necessitates Dean making a joke at the end about a hankering for split pea soup. Would we expect any less?
     
    I loved this episode, which had the boys facing a benign MOTW and an evil human monster in the guise of an officer of the law. Sam and Dean pretend to know the Guiles family, a husband and wife murdered, seemingly by a malevolent spirit. 
     
    While Sam weaves a tale for Diana in one room, the reasonable cop portrayed by Linda Blair, Pete, Diana's boyfriend, is trying to force a confession for the two deaths out of Dean, who was caught bending over Karen Guiles' dead body. Diana is trying to get Sam to roll over on Dean, who is already wanted on torture/murder raps in St. Louis (where they had thought him dead, until they caught him here in Baltimore and matched the fingerprints). That was the shapeshifter incident, which is now reopened.
     
    The spirit, trying desperately to communicate with the living, keeps leaving a written clue: danashulps. Sam works it up as an anagram in his room on paper. Even as Dean's lawyer tries to tell him how serious his charges are, all Dean wants from him is pen and paper so he can work up the anagram and a note to Sam, which he asks the lawyer to give his brother.  Dean announces he's going to tell everything, exciting the entire police station. They set up a tape to capture his confession, but all he tells them is that he's an Aquarius who likes long walks along the beach, that they are dealing with a bloodthirsty ghost trying to communicate across the veil (remember "redrum"), they have gotten "danashulps," which translates into "Ashland, which is where all this probably started. Furious, Pete manhandles Dean and has him locked up. 

    UsualSuspectsDeanquote
     
  • Review - "No Exit"

    Review: "No Exit"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    It's ironic that Dean makes a joke about Katie Holmes being held against her will by a cult, given that the MOTW in this episode turns out to be a man named H. H. Holmes, the world's first serial killer.
     
    This is a Jo-centric episode, and since a lot of folks in the watching audience didn't like Alona Tal or her character, it tends to be on the bottom of fave episode lists. I liked Jo, enjoyed her as a hunter in training, but couldn't see her as a love interest for Dean, if that's truly what was planned (I wasn't watching the net at that time). There was zero sexual chemistry there, at least IMHO. 
     
    The Winchester brothers come to the Roadhouse to find Ellen and Jo in a huge argument over the latter beginning a career as a hunter. Given that she lost her husband, Bill, to the life, it's understandable that Ellen doesn't want to lose her only remaining family the same way. Jo, an adult, wants to be treated like one, so they are at an impasse. (Great use of the song "Surrender" - "Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right, they just seem a little weird, surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away. . . "
     
    So we have a ghost in Philly, PA who likes kidnapping petite blond gals in an apartment complex that used to be a warehouse located next to a prison that no longer exists. Prisoners were executed by hanging there. This ghost drips black ectoplasm on his victims from the ceiling, and this black, gooey stuff also pours from one light switch in the wall, which for some reason has no plate covering it. The ghost likes to look at the gals through the light switches and floor-level vents, and grabs them by their ankles down there, too, scaring the crap out of them. He uses chloroform to knock them out, hides them in walls, sometimes starving them, other times killing them first. Whatta guy, huh? 
     
  • Review - "Simon Said"

    Episode Review: "Simon Said"
    --Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
     
    Andy Gallagher is another of the "special kids," like Sam, but his power is a lot more fun than Sam's headache-inducing visions. He can tell a girl to sleep with him and she will, tell a guy carrying a cup of coffee to hand it over, and he will, or ask Dean Winchester to merely give him his beloved Impala,and he WILL! Oddly, Sam is immune to Andy's persuasive power, but not Dean, which leads to some funny moments.
     
    At the Roadhouse, Jo wins money off a hunter who challenges her to a video game in which she has all the high scores. Sam and Dean consult a naked Ash re: the demon in Blue Ridge, OK,no demon there, but he does dig up intel on a kid named Guthrie, whose mother died above his mother's crib on the child's six month birthday. Jo plays REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore" on the jukebox, indicating to Dean how she feels, and he tells her he doesn't dare run away with her because he IS scared of Ellen. Ash comes up with information on one Andy Gallagher for the Winchesters; he might be a kid who lost his mother to the ceiling demon, too.
     
    When Dean sings "I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore" in the Impala as they're driving away from the Roadhouse, Sam says, "You're kidding, right?" Is he reacting to Dean singing the song, or his possible hook-up with Jo? Who knows? Dean sang it damn well!
     
  • Review - "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

    "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things"
    --Robin's Rambles, Robin Vogel
     
    Weirdest title ever! So we have Angela, who loves Matt who is loved by Neil (unrequited). Angela, learning that Matt cheated on her with her roommate, Lindsay, ends up in a car accident, dies, and is resurrected as a nasty zombie by Neil, who hides her, has sex with her and doesn't seem to realize she killed Matt and is trying to kill Lindsay, too.
     
    Got that? 
     
    Into this mess rides Sam and Dean. Sam wants to visit Mom's headstone, something Dean is dead set against (pun unintended). He sees no reason to visit a headstone with no body there; Mom burned up in the fire, so nothing was left but ashes. In a touching scene, Sam buries John's dog tags in top of Mary's grave, telling her he feels John wants her to have these. "I love you, Mom," he says. Dean, who had originally said he was going to go to the Roadhouse and drink while Sam performed this task, instead finds a hunt"”there is dead grass, a dead tree, dead everything surrounding Angela Mason's grave, and he wants to check it out what appears to be a demonic presence. Sam finds it odd, Dean's stumbling onto a hunt here of all places.

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  • Review - "Bloodlust"

    "Bloodlust"
    --Robin's Rambles
    by Robin Vogel
     
    To the tune of "Back in Black," the newly-restored Impala returns! Dean is doing so much cooing, Sam suggests they get a room. It's obvious both brothers are thrilled to be riding in the beautiful car again, on the road and on a case involving cattle mutilation and a dumb sheriff named Manners who denies it all when they show up claiming to be from Weekly World News (or World Weekly News as Dean calls it. (LOL!)
     
    Gordon Walker! This is his episode introduction, where he becomes, briefly, a father figure for Dean and a subject of suspicion and hatred for Sam.
     
  • Mini Review - "Everybody Loves A Clown"

    Everybody Loves a Clown
    --Robin's Rambles
    Robin Vogel

     

    Except Sam, who was afraid of Ronald McDonald, as Dean kids him. There is a lot of kidding in this episode, a lot of crying, accusation, the brothers wearing t-shirts and tight jeans, a clown killing parents and devouring them, the introduction of Jo lusting for Dean (at the wrong time) and Ellen, who probably wants to hack of Dean's penis before anything can happen between Jo and him.

    But I digress. It's a sad scene when the boys burn John's body, apparently a tradition amongst hunters. Sam is crying hard, lots of tears falling down his face, but Dean's tears hover, and only one spills down his cheek. Dean lies to Sam—John said nothing to him at the end.

    A week later, Dean works under the Impala, restoring the beloved car handed down to him by his father. Sam is on his case—talk to me, let out your grief--but stoicism and sarcasm is Dean's way...he offers Sam slow dancing, hugging and crying. What about revenge? wonders Sam, aren't you angry? Even if he was, they have no idea where the demon is, and the Colt is gone, so what can they do? Turns out a woman named Ellen left a message on John's phone months ago, and Sam thinks they should go check her out. Dean agrees

    They borrow a soccer mom type SUV from Bobby and we are introduced to Ellen, Jo, Ash and the Roadhouse, a saloon where hunters can sit, have a drink, clean their guns and exchange information. Ash, who was sleeping on the pool table, his hair all business in front and party in the back, takes John's huge envelope of info and tells them to return in 51 hours for info on the demon.

  • Mini Review - "In My Time of Dying"

    "In My Time of Dying"
    --Robin's Rambles
    --Robin Vogel
     
    John Winchester is declared dead at 10:41 AM. His stricken sons, Sam and Dean, watch in sorrow as the hospital staff tries but is unable to revive him. He had seemed fine just moments before.
     
    In the aftermath of the devastating accident between the Impala and the semi, the possessed truck driver pulls the door off the car to find Sam pointing the Colt at him. The driver knows that bullet is meant for someone else, but Sam vows to shoot him with it anyway. When the demon exits the poor driver, he driver is horrified: "Did I do this?"
     
    Dean, in limbo between the worlds of life and death, sees himself on life support. Separately, using the same expression, he and Sam both come up with the idea of getting some hood priest to lay some mojo on him and bring him back. There is a reaper roaming the hospital, bringing dying people to the other side, and Dean realizes it's here for him. When he conveys that to Sam during a hilarious and brilliantly-done scene of the two of them over an Ouija board (called a "talking board" for stupid reasons, I'm sure), it becomes obvious to both of them that a reaper can't be stopped; Dean is doomed.

    Board
     
  • Randal's Look Back At "Simon Said"

    Hey, I remember you from The X-Files, Mr. Character Actor. You're right, it's all gonna be okay; for us viewers with such a stunning introduction, not your mandible. I spy with my mind's eye blood and shattered bone and the start of one of my all-time favorite episodes, the hilarious and mythologically important Simon Said. And we begin, as usual, on the road.

    DEAN: That's my point. There's gonna be hunters there. I don't know if going in and announcing that you're some supernatural freak with a demonic connection is the best thing, okay?

    SAM: So, I'm a freak now? DEAN: You've always been a freak.

    A bit of brotherly back-and-forth, to be sure, but check out the interplay of expressions between their respective last lines. There's something deeper at work, even if neither of them quite realize it this early in Azazel's Plan 2.0.

    The Roadhouse awaits, sudsy with beer and Bed Edlund comedic flourishes: Dr. Badass; REO, complete with Kevin Cronin's well-coiffed vocal cords and last, but certainly not least, Dean's grinning expression of fear. Hey, can't blame the guy, Ellen doesn't brook any bullshit.

    Off to Guthrie, Oklahoma - do cities with a sub-10k population have their own bus line? – and gentle businesswoman Tracy admonishing an exuberant Webber, fan of ass-kicking backstage pass-getters.

  • Recap - "What Is And What Should Never Be"

    I love going back and recapping landmark episodes. You know, the ones that constantly stick with either Sam and Dean forever and traces of it can still be seen today. This one especially is a ground breaking character defining moment. Dean Winchester was never the same after this.

    For those that are trying like mad to remember what happened just before "What Is And What Should Never Be," Sam and Dean had to go deep after their encounter in "Folsom Prison Blues." Deep like Yemen. But apparently relocation to a Middle Eastern country isn't necessary. How about a license plate change instead? That'll work better. The Impala doesn't stand out at all. Plus criminals never come from Ohio.
  • Recap - "Born Under A Bad Sign"

    This is one of the most intense recaps I've ever attempted. "Born Under A Bad Sign" is a delicious, thrilling, and completely nerve wracking episode that ranks in my top five of best episodes ever. It's not only one of the best acted episodes of the series, it's one of the best directed as well. So much detail went into the making of this, and this recap is going to do its best to capture every bit of that. So, in the process, treat this recap as though you were tackling your next novel. Get comfy!

    The writer is Cathryn Humphries, who created an absolute classic and proves that no writer does brotherly angst better (well, her and Sera Gamble). The director is first timer for SupernaturalJ. Miller Tobin, and boy did he bring something fresh. Nothing like a few director's tricks here and there to take a suspense filled tale and slam dunk it into the stratosphere. This is also THE episode that everyone goes back to when trying to pinpoint when Jared Padalecki's acting finally soared to new heights, putting him and Jensen on even ground. This episode was the acting game changer, and the show and viewers have never been the same since.

    So, here we go, intense detail and all, "Born Under A Bad Sign."
  • The Road So Far...Season Two: Part 2

     
    Hunted: So you didn't like Gordon before,now you can really dislike him. Not only does he shoot at Sam, he beats Dean up, sets a trap to blow Sam up, not once but twice, and makes it clear he's got Roadhouse connections as well. I'm sure Alice will have something to say about his choice of wheels, but not being a car person, I can't even tell you what color it is. I do like his weapons rig though,nifty.
     
    Season two is nothing if not intense for significant episodes and as such Hunted joins IMTOD, Bloodlust, Simon Said, Crossroad Blues and Croatoan on the list of significants for the season,and there are more to come.
     
    Hunted gives us another glimpse at the differences of Sam and Dean, similar to the likes of Scarecrow, Salvation and Devil's Trap Sam and Dean have a difference of opinion. Sam's determination to follow his own course of action repeats what we saw in Scarecrow and another middle of the night (or dark of night) exit on Dean, the difference is this time he tacitly agreed to give Dean some more time, after Dean pleaded with him. Well, technically Sam did give Dean more time,he left him behind. 
     
  • The Road So Far...Season Two: Part I

    I'd forgotten how awesome season 2 is, deals and deaths, grief and guilt, Sam possessed, Dean shot, Sam immune, Dean dreaming, werewolves and clowns, zombies and alligators - although not zombie alligators, the Trickster, a shapeshifter, Gordon and Henricksen, Ellen, Jo and Ash, and the inimitable Bobby Singer.
     
    Season 2 builds on the foundation of season 1 and along the way deepens the mystery, develops the characters and is just plain awesome. The music is superb, there are so many episodes that could, should and do rank as significant and very few clunkers to be found. Here we go!
     
    Once again the rules (or guidelines) for these seasonal journeys!
     
    1. These are episodes that set something in motion that we see in other episodes.
    2. These are episodes that changed the course of a character's thinking or even their journey as we know them.
    3. These are episodes that catapult the understanding of the story forward, likely because they delve into the past and explain, really explain, a lot.
    4. These are episodes that make me marvel at the depth and the quality of the writing staff.
     
    (I cut and pasted it from Season One's journey, so no need to check if they've been altered so far, they have not.)