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In terms of brotherly drama it can't get much worse for Dean and Sam Winchester, or can it? This fourth season will tear them apart, and there's not much we, the audience, can do about it. 
 

 
I am still amazed that I am able to care this much about fictional characters. They are well drawn. Authentic. Brilliantly acted. Their story pulls us in, sometimes reflecting personal experiences of us. Their courage is an inspiration. And it's plain, great fun to watch, albeit it proves us to be textbook masochists. Who in his right mind loves a story that, to quote Randal, keeps ‘Kleenex in business'. Well, clearly a rhetorical question. Personally, I have never loved any TV show more. Or invested that much time in writing or talking about or promoting it.
 

 
  
Lazarus Rising (4.1)
 
Dean crawls back into life after being pulled out from hell by ‘the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition'. The brothers re-unite, but are different men. Ruby is there from the beginning, a fact Sam lies to Dean about. We meet Pamela, great, suddenly blind psychic. And, ahem, angels are real. You can't deny it anymore, Dean. They are devastatingly real.
 
Two fave moments here (sorry, folks, I am a weak woman…)
 
Sam and Dean finally in each others' arms. Yes, Dean, he is still alive.

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The best introduction to a new character: bad ass angel Castiel, in the coolest trench coat since Columbo.


 
 
Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester (4.2)
 
Okay, apocalypse starts slowly, breaking of 66 seals afoot. Rising of the witnesses. And they are angry. Sam is beaming about the angel news (at first, that is) – he was right all the time, there is some greater power watching! Fortunately, he doesn't know yet how hard the rock bottom is he's going to hit soon when the truth about the celestial dicks comes out. For now he is granted a moment of happiness and hope, while Dean still struggles with the idea.
 
Fave moment of many: The tragedy behind Meg. A parallel to the Winchester brothers. We hear about more terrible things the demon did to her. She had a little sister who killed herself.   How beautiful she was when not possessed. Too bad she had to be evil after being risen.
 
Megspeaks
 
 
In The Beginning (4.3)
 
Yes. Angels are in possession of DeLoreans. Castiel throws Dean back in time to stop the Winchester-Soul-Selling Tradition.
 
Two favourites:
 
Dean: Sammy, wherever you are, mom is a babe… I'm going to hell. Again.
 


 
 
Dean tries to explain to Mary not to get out of bed on the day in the future. Watching Dean torn up as he is in this scene makes me break out the tissues again. Looks, like I'm gonna need them writing this thing, as if weeping when watching the show wasn't enough, come on!

 
 
Metamorphosis (4.4)
 
Dean finds out about Sam's secrets with Ruby (well, the exorcising-with-the-mind thing, the blood drinking will remain a mystery to him for a while longer). Sam, for knowing how it feels like to be an abomination, sympathises with the rugaru.
 
Iconic moment of this episode: the brothers' fight which shows in a nutshell Sam's condition.
 
youhavenoidea 
 
Sam: You want to know why I've been lying to you, Dean? Because of crap like this!
Dean: Like what?
Sam: The way you talk to me, the way you look at me – like I'm a freak!
Dean: I do not.
Sam: You know, or even worse, like I'm an idiot. Like I don't know the difference between right and wrong.
Dean: Do you know the difference, Sam? I mean, you've been kind of strolling a dark road lately.
Sam: You have no idea what I'm going through. None.
Dean: Well, then enlighten me.
Sam: I've got demon blood in me, Dean! This disease pumping through my veins and I can't ever rip it out or scrub it clean. I'm a whole new level of freak! And I'm just trying to take this… this curse and make something good out of it. Because I have to.
 
 
Monster Movie (4.5)
 
The Winchesters look fabulous in black and white! More of this, please! I can't watch this anymore without hearing Jensen's tale from the L.A. convention March last: Todd Stashwick, the actor playing the shifter (as Dracula) went up to Jensen (in Lederhosen), saying: ‘remember, Jensen, we're grown men' – ‘I was like a basket case' Jensen admitted.
This episode is one single favourite moment. But I'm gonna pick this one out:
 
Sam corners Ed and tries to tear off his ear.
Sam: this is supposed to come off.
Ed: No, it's not!


 
 
The look on Sam's face is priceless.
 
 
Yellow Fever (4.6)
 
Ghost sickness! Bobby speaking Japanese! Scaring a ghost to death, ha! Jensen singing Eye of the Tiger! Dean screaming at the sight of a kitty. His vision of evil-Sam.
 
Best, to my mind though, is Dean's rant at Sam (could anyone check if the guy breathes at all???):
 
C'mon, we hunt monsters! What the hell? I mean, normal people, they see a monster and they run. But not us, no, no, no, we search out things that want to kill us! Or eat us! You know who does that? Crazy people! We… are insane! You know, and then there's the crappy dinner food and the skivvy motel rooms and the truck stop waitress with the bizarre rash. I mean, who wants this life, Sam? Seriously? Do you actually like being stuck in a car with me eight hours a day every single day? I don't think so! I drive too fast and I listen to the same five albums over and over and over again and I sing along and I'm annoying and I know that. And you… you're gassy! You eat half a burrito and you get toxic. You know what, you can forget it.. Stay away from me, Sam, because I'm done with it. I am done with the monsters and the hell hounds and the damn ghost sickness and the whole apocalypse. I'm out. I'm done. I quit.
 
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It's The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester (4.7)
 
It was about time a real Halloween episode came up, and man, this one really nailed Sammy to the wall -  the angels are dicks. There goes his belief and his trust. Even harder to fight the good fight now. Gory story. (With the impact of the story, I didn't really mind that they messed up the Samhain mythology here.)  
Super-Sammy being immune to demon ray-gun stuff… and Dean's devastated expression at realizing what his baby brother is capable of doing.
 
I wanted to go with all kinds of fave Sam scenes here, but I love the scene in which Dean tries to comfort Sam most:
 
Don't give up on this stuff, is all I'm saying. I mean, Babe Ruth was a dick, but baseball's still a beautiful game.
 
 
 
And: Astronaut!
 
astronaut
 
 
Wishful thinking (4.8)
 
Oh,my, be careful what you wish for. Sam reveals (not news, actually) that he isn't the guy who left for Stanford anymore. Not by far.

All kinds of crazies in this episode but, and I guess I'm preaching to the choir (so forgive me for not being original at all): my favourite is the suicidal Tedd.y
 
Teddy: Tea parties? Is that all there is?

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Yeah, right, teddy bear doctors...but adorable one!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I Know What You Did Last Summer (4.9)
 
Another episode I need to put on my all-time-fave list. After wondering for almost the whole first half of the season what happened to Sam when Dean was gone, this episode is an eye opener alright. Plus: we meet Anna.

And it is "again" a testimony to the marvellous actor Jared is. Playing e.g. a drunk well is as hard as it gets. I've hardly seen in well done. Jared nails is. His desperate Sam is so painfully at the end of his wits that it almost hurts physically to watch him. Well, done, Jared. Well, well done.
He gets close up to Ruby, but more than that she is able to get through to him. Finally, Sam reveals to Dean some of his past without his older brother.
 
My fave scene is (although the hot sex scene was a close contestant, who am I kidding) the one Ruby finds a way to touch Sam's depressed soul. And, frankly, Sam Winchester is, no matter how exhausted he might look, some fine eye candy. There you have it. Shallow woman, again.
 
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Heaven and Hell (4.10)
 
Pam, blind, but still gutsy as hell, returns. She helps Anna find out that she is, in fact, an angel. Uriel, again, turns out to be a major dick. Alistair tortures Ruby (which is part of a huge con plan, brave of her to go for it, because the pain was real for her, well we know what prize she was expecting for her loyalty). Dean and Anna make love. And Dean talks about hell.
 
There are two scenes I particularly love:
 
Pamela and Sam meet again. He is movingly sweet with her.
Pamela: Sam, is that you?
Sam: I'm right here.
She takes a grab: Oh, know how I can tell? That perky little ass of yours. (and Dean likes this moment, too)
 
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And, of course, there could be no other. Dean's big revelation at the end:
 
Dean: they sliced and carved and tore at me in ways that you until there was nothing left. And then, suddenly, I would be whole again. Like magic. Just so they could start in all over. And Alistair, at the end of every day, every one, he would come over and he would make me an offer: to take me off the rack. If I put souls on. If I started the torture. And every day I told him to stick it where the sun shines. For 30 years I told him. But then I couldn't do it anymore, Sammy. I couldn't . And I got off that rack. God help me, I got right off it, and I started ripping them apart. I lost count of how many souls. The...the things that I did to them.
Sam: Dean, Dean, look, you held out for 30 years. That's longer than anyone would have.
Dean: How I feel...this inside me...I wish I couldn't feel anything. Sammy, I wish I couldn't feel a damn thing.

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There are no words to express how fabulous an actor this man is.  If you follow Sam's reaction to Dean's words, you will notice how accordingly Jared responds here, a evidence of his talent. Both actors are actually listening to one another, crucial to play a scene like this well. With moments like this I am hardly able to say how much I respect and admire their abilities.
 
 
Family Remains (4.11)
 
Creepy children again. Disgusting, too. And Supergirl.
 
Best scene here, and, I admit, again not the most original suggestion: Dean's second part of revealing how he feels about his time in hell and giving the perfect description of a man who survived torture (I addressed this in an article 'Torture and Survival of Dean Winchester', in case you want to look into it again or - those of you who haven't read it might be interested to understand a tiny bit more about the psychology behind it).
 
Sam: You were in hell, Dean. Maybe you did what you did there, but you're not them. They were barely human.
Dean: No, you're right. I wasn't like them. I was worse. They were animals, Sam. Defending territory. Me? I did it for the sheer pleasure.
Sam: What?
Dean: I enjoyed it, Sam. They took me off the rack and I tortured souls, and I liked it. All those years, all that pain, finally getting to deal some out yourself. I didn't care who they put in front of me. Because that pain I felt, that just slipped away. No matter how many people I save, I can't change that. I can't fill this hole. Not ever.


 
Someone get me a drink. Oban. Double. Neat.

Comments  

Tiecg1
# Tiecg1 2010-04-20 02:13
Sweet list from a great season. "When the Levee Breaks" is one of the best episodes of the series (easily in my top five), so great job there with the screencaps. I was hoping to see the pic of the scene specifically of Sam tearing up and turning his head away from hallucination!D ean and saying something like, "please don't say that to me... don't you say that," when "it" says he's nothing to him. Tears me apart more than the fight at the end.

My other favorite episode was "Sex and Violence". The story and twist was brilliant. Other faves include "Metamorphasis" and "It's a Terrible Life." Surprisingly, the one ep that I didn't take much pleasure in was "On the Head of a Pin." Everybody else in the world seemed to love that ep. It moved the story along and had many exceptional plot developments, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. Who knows why... to each his/her own.

Your lists have been excellent, and this one's no exception.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-04-20 05:02
Alice,you're absolutely right - I never had to work in a cubicle, thankfully with my job that will never be the case. It does have its perks.

Tiecg1, thank you. That 'monster' talk of the brothers tears me up, too.

Thanks, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-04-20 05:03
Alice,you're absolutely right - I never had to work in a cubicle, thankfully with my job that will never be the case. It does have its perks.

Tiecg1, thank you. That 'monster' talk of the brothers tears me up, too.

Thanks, Jas
marie-a
# marie-a 2010-04-20 06:27
as always, great work, Jasminka and a real pleasure to read. though, I have to add the scene between Sam and his former teacher in "After school special" at the end of the episode. For some reason, that makes me cry every time I see it. His reaction to the "Are you happy" was a great job and this moment where Sam is almost in tears, is very emotional.
Karen
# Karen 2010-04-20 07:31
Hi Jasminka
Thanks for another fantastic list.
Season 4 nearly gave a nervous breakdown…it tore at every emotion I had.
I know everyone was getting mad at Sam, but I tell you he broke my heart. I really felt for him.
And now with Season 5, it’s slowly catching up to me almost having another nervous breakdown, especially with the last few episodes. Those two characters will be the death of me.

It’s funny the scene you picked for ‘Are you there God’ is the one scene I always fast forward thru. I found Meg so whinny and overdramatic, I can’t watch it.
I prefer the last scene with Castiel and Dean. Dean giving Cas attitude and Cas giving it right back.
Thanks again Jas, this has been great.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-04-20 08:38
Tiecg1,marie-a, Karen, Dany – hey, happy you liked my choices and added some of your own!

Tiecg1, I agree wholeheartedly – When The Levee Breaks is one of the best episodes of the show, on so many levels. The scene you refer to was a close choice, too, hell, I could have taken the whole episode and put all the scenes in it… it’s so devastatingly heartbreaking and so well acted. And – it’s perfectly alright to not like On The Head Of a Pin that much. I, personally, loved it, as many did, but I also heard other voices. The great thing is, we don’t have to be of the same opinion. I love variety.

Marie-a, that scene in After School Special also moves me deeply. I had a teacher like that once, who took a lot of interest in a little girl and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. Today I have a friend who is a teacher like that who really cares about the boys and girls in her class.

Karen, hi, yep, season four tore me apart in slow motions… like one of those medieval death sentences… what a strange comparison… I really did not entirely understand the anger many felt about Sam, I never did, just as you I felt for him and I understood him, I got really protective over that invented character…
That scene in Are You There God… you would have picked is also a great one! Somehow, though, Meg had to be there… I’m a sucker for tragedy… might well be some occupational hazard.

Dany, picking those photos also had me well up a few times, going through the episodes in my mind or for real… it is some kind of torture, you know. But the kind I love… Ah, come on, it’s not five weeks… only four episodes to go… Gosh! Only four more… What would we do if this was the end of the show?! Luckily, we know we’ll meet the Winchesters again. And Bobby – please, let Bobby be there…

Thank you so much, ladies. Best, Jas
Randal
# Randal 2010-04-20 10:20
Your introduction says it all. There's an authenticity, and the fact that it's found amidst the weeds of fantasy and horror only demonstrates its power. Maybe the rest of TV land could funnel their vast largesse and purchase a clue or three.

Just to pick one example, the second scene you chose from 4.3. No Star Trek time travel scientific gobbledygook, just heartfelt emotion that was sold without haggling. (and the end of Heaven and Hell as well, hell.)

Yellow Fever, best rant ever.

Astronaut!

I fucked rolled when I first watched Afterschool Special. That *was* my grade school gym teacher, a first class lunatic.

Cas' intro, arguably Bobby's finest moment (well, maybe 2.22). Great job Jas, season four's episodes, like the kids, are alright.
Julie
# Julie 2010-04-20 10:23
I really love Season 4 ( although season 5 is rapidly becoming my favourite I think! ) and I have been looking for ward to re-living it with you Jas.
Again we start with the old question , how is it possible to care so much about fictional characters? I think the emotions and memories your choices here inspire answer that one very well. How many other shows could move someone to tears simply by looking at an image or reading a passage from the script? None other that I can think of. I also think that it is testament to the wonderful team who produce this show.
I am pleased that you included some moments of light relief , including my own personal favourite - the homage to the mad genius Ben Edlund - `The Bi-Polar Teddy!!` How does a mind come up with an idea like that? Also loved the `diva rant ` from Yellow Fever.
After that it gets pretty dark, with words and images designed to rip us to shreads and ,yes , keep Kleenex in business. The look of utter devastation from OTHOAP. Reliving the agonies of the panic room and the awful `M` word moment from WTLB. The one which I have never watched without falling apart , the `dont get out of bed ` speech from ITB , even typing that`s hard! And of course `THE` scene from the end of Heaven and Hell which , judging by Jareds recent comments , had pretty much the same effect on the Js.
You also included `The Bobby Singer Moment`, the `princess` speech from Lucifer Rising. Probably my favourite Bobby moment ever and that`s from a VERY long list!
To end on a shallow note ( No! I hear you cry! ) thank you for the lovely hug image from Lazarus Rising to warm all our hearts , but I would have so understood if it had been from the other angle!
Thanks again Jas. Here`s to Part 5 Ju x
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-04-20 13:50
Randal and Julie, awwwwwh, you love my lists... Believe it or not, making this I sometimes thought... okay there are going to be many protests, but so far a lot of pleased voices. Glad about that.

Randal, couldn't agree more with what your say about the simplicity of the show.
You had a teacher like that? Oh, my condolences....

Ju, what can I say, it is an emotion-wringin g show... we all know that...Perhaps they should produce Edlund-Teddys. You know, like the tribbles you can buy.
And, you know, that pic from Lazarus Rising used to be my desktop image a while ago, as it moves me so much (even though it's Dean and not Sam). I have a sweet other pic now as a desktop. I have my indulgence. Don't worry, I'm taking care of my needs in that department.... But thank you, dear.

Best always, guys. Jas
joelsteinlover
# joelsteinlover 2010-04-20 15:43
That shot that was used in both WTLB and PONR on Dean's face (and Sam's but not as noticeably) where he's saying justified but overly mean things to Sam ("You're a monster" or "I don't believe in you") where it's angled slightly upward from below is really effective. It jars me when I see it because it isn't used too often and it makes me realize how off the words he's saying are. I thought it would be the same director but it isn't...I guess Phil and Robert trade tips.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-04-21 21:03
Hey, Jas!

Great job on all four of your favorite moments lists. You chose some really great ones! And isn't listmaking fun? Goodness knows I love it.

Astronaut! Man, I just love that moment. It's so ridiculous! Brilliant.

Cheers,
Flamey
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-05-05 17:53
My favorite season! Love your picks :D