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Another season has come and gone - how the time does fly! And it's time to update my Road So Far Seasons. If you're new and haven't read them and are dying for some fabulous insights, sparkling writing, witty and pithy thoughts - yeah, you guessed it, don't read my stuff. However, if you're looking to pass Hellatus with as much reading as you can, feel free to see how I worked through Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 during 2009's Hellatus. 
Those can be found in the archives, and it also appears that on the episode guide pages Alice is listing general articles, so you'll find links to them there as those pages become active.
So here we go, my thoughts on the 22 episodes that comprised Season 5:
Sympathy for the Devil:
In typical Kripke fashion there is a lot packed into this episode. Lucifer finds a vessel, Dean is Michael's vessel, Castiel mysteriously returns from wherever he was "smote' to, Bobby is possessed, Meg slithers out from under whatever rock she's been hiding under for the last several years and the brothers are further apart than ever, oh, and did I mention we get douche, dick and ass-hat all before the nine-minute mark.
Mark Pellegrino is excellent as Lucifer although here we only see him as Nick. Lucifer is first introduced to us as Sarah, Nick's recently murdered wife. It's a credit to Pellegrino that he picks up and carries with him some of the mannerisms first displayed by Bellamy Young. Throughout the season we'll see the soft sincerity first displayed here, but be not fooled, there's a devil behind that gentleness.
Kripke carries on his fun with the fandom as well as poking jokes at Supernatural itself for we got not only super[annoying]fan Becky but we also get another moment where the brothers speak aloud the insanity of what they do.
Dean: "So we've just got to find -- the devil." [Sympathy for the Devil]
Dean: "I'm going to go stop the big bad wolf -- which is the weirdest thing I've ever said." [Bedtime Stories]
Dean: "All right, so this killer truck--"
Sam: "I miss conversations that didn't start with, this killer truck." [Route 666]
As a good season opener should do we get lots of new packages to unwrap and enjoy for the rest of the season, so I'm on to Episode Number 2.
Good, God, Y'All:
Rufus and Ellen and Jo, oh my! Castiel embarks on a journey to find God and Bobby is wheel-chair bound for Cas has lost the ability to heal. Dean gives away the amulet and Sam wants to drink what he thinks is demon blood and a horseman (War) arrives on the scene; the brothers part ways but more amicably than before.
Whew, tired yet? Sera Gamble clearly has been paying attention to Eric for she packs so much into this episode that frankly it is too much. Ellen and Jo could have been any hunters helping out, aside from the reunion between Ellen and the Winchesters there really isn't a lot about their return. Thank goodness they come back for another (although much more fatal) episode later in the season.
This second episode continues the trend of all the seasons' second episodes, further reveal the storylines for the season as well as incorporate a bit of a closed-ended story in itself. Wendigo did it, with the brothers thinking dad would be in Colorado; Everybody Loves a Clown reveals John knew other hunters, a whole network of them; The Kids Are All Right revealed Ruby as a demon who knows things about Sam while Dean learns that perhaps he'd like to have a kid and a home "“ but he knows it's not his life; Are You There God, It's Me, Dean Winchester reveals that seals are being broken and Lucifer can rise,here the first of the four horsemen is revealed, and dealt with, and Sam and Dean part ways as Sam realizes he's not safe to be hunting.
So that means the third episode will be no comedy ride, it's a ride of discovery and separation,
Free to be You and Me:
Apart yet in sync in what they do,and another musical montage to enjoy. Sam gets a breather from the hunting life but it's short. Lindsey is determined to find out his secrets and more importantly helps Sam realize that no matter how bad someone has been or what bad things they've done they can be forgiven. She's right. Part of the step is to admit your wrongs which Sam has done in Lucifer Rising, Sympathy for the Devil and Good God, Y'All and now it's time to get back in and make it right as best you can. It's a long journey for Sam but so was his descent; it's worth it.
Jessica brings out the softer side of Sam again, something that's been missing as he's mired himself in revenge and the relentless pursuit for answers,too bad it's just Lucifer messing with Sam and thus begins a season-long dance of Sam loudly decrying he'll never say yes and Lucifer opining that yes, in fact, he will. Lucifer was right in the end but I don't believe he knew what he was getting,truer words never spoken, "be careful what you wish for.'
Dean gets a reprieve from being the big brother and while he pretends with a brave face that all is well it clearly is not. Sure he takes Cas out to a brothel and buys him some beer and ultimately they make a mad dash to safety leaving Dean rolling in laughter that we haven't seen in a long time but give him a moment to digest and he quickly shows what he's trying to keep hidden; Sam is missed.
Another angel makes a brief appearance, Rafael, and there is the all-too easy joke about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which is fine except Rafael seemed to have no purpose other than to taunt Castiel for the futility of his search. On the other hand, the jug of holy oil is used to great purpose in future episodes so all is not completely lost.
Most important lesson learned here but shown in the next episode; Sam doesn't try to hide things anymore,he's just learned that Lucifer intends to "wear him to the prom.' Sam of past seasons would have hidden that but not anymore. Episode 4 opens up with Sam giving Dean a call,he wants back in.



# rlwgsd 2010-06-28 23:59
That was amazing. Thank you. One small disagreement with regards to changing channels. I dont think you gave enough credit to the fact that the writers so totally got away with the whole Grey Anatomy Satire and the "Commercial" that Sam did for the herpes medication. I have to say the one thing that i love about supernatural is the fact that we get something of a break from the intense episodes with a little comedy thrown in at the right time. Also I think that The Real Ghostbusters came at the right time. I felt that it was tribute to the fans that was well deserved. It had to be placed where it was because anywhere else in this season would have been just wrong. And after a long day at work it was refreshing to be able to come home and watch theses two episodes. And i am very glad to have had them after Abandon all hope. That episode totally killed me, Elle i know what you mean about the last scene with jo and dean (omg) and ellen and jo. i didnt stop crying.I had to put my germen shepherd down a couple of years ago and i still miss him to this day, watching her say goodbye to jo still makes me cry.
again thank you for the article it was amazing.
# elle2 2010-06-29 09:26

Thanks for the comments and wow, another German Shepherd lover. I have a new one (born on the day my beloved RJ died) and here we are nearing his one year birthday, amazing to me; he fills my heart with great joy and I can't imagine my life without him. He's a 90 pound baby (and still growing, oh, my!) and he snuggles and cuddles which makes him a perfect Supernatural viewing companion!

You bring up excellent comments on Changing Channels, there is so much I could (and would) say about this episode and it's sheer brilliance. Can't remember if I reviewed it or not, I'll have to check. I kept my comments short simply for the length of the article, but there will be more said on this excellent episode when I write my Jeremy Carver article.

I love the satire and all the digs and pokes and laughs at the expense of other shows. Just love them. And poor Sam, that's where the 'double dipped' comment came from, not only the Nutcracker but Herpexia -- bwah!!!!!

I have found that Changing Channels and The Real Ghostbusters make an excellent double feature, especially if I'm not trying to view the season as a whole and look for the major mytharc story but rather enjoy Supernatural at its best, poking fun at the 'successful' shows (financially and viewing millions that is) and then poking fun at itself and the fans ('it's not jumping the shark if you never come down...HAH!)

Thanks for comments. Have you gotten a new dog to fill the void? Jobe has not replaced RJ but rather given me new adventures and joys and I see much of RJ in him; he's a joy!
# Bevie 2010-06-29 12:58
elle2, I enjoy your articles very much so don't be deprecating yourself, and almost always agree with them.

Just as rlwgsd said, I love the episodes that aren't heavily into the despair of the apocalypse mytharc. I just needed a break from all the sturm and drang and angst that have built up over the last two seasons. I can view these without my stomach clenching up and depleting the tissue box. And wasn't Chad Everett absolutely awesome as old Dean? I just loved old Dean and Bobby together. :D

Another thing I loved about this episode was watching Sam completely fool the witch with his bluffing. I'm sure his daddy taught him his poker skills well even though Sam is reluctant to hustle, he can do it beautifully when necessary. I was so proud of him!

I completely understand how you felt saying good-bye to your doggy friends. I too have been in that very same position with 2 beloved dogs (weimaraner and black lab) and also my darling loving cat Scruffy. It is a hard price to pay even for the many happy years preceding, but giving a good home and love to the furry members of our family is worth it in the end.

Looking forward to part 2. (This site is keeping me sane during hellatus)
# Suze 2010-06-29 14:45
Loved poker-witch and the anti-christ, Changing Channels was great fun although Gabriel = Trickster = me sulking, Fallen Idols was mindless fluff but for some reason I found The Real Ghostfacers totally excruciating ... I had to watch through my fingers, it wasn't exactly bad ... just 40 minutes of cringeing. Which is a bit odd as I thought Uberfan Becky was priceless the time before. I think a little bit of all that mind-melty stuff goes a long way!

My kids have a theory that all our dead cats are still around the place and the live cats can see them, although we can't, and when the live cats go all mad and pouncy they're playing with the dead ones. ;-)

I'd love them to be right.
# elle2 2010-06-29 20:14
Hi, Bevie and Suze,

I think Sam was excellent in episode 7, he played that game of poker with great confidence and showed that even when he was pitted against the crisis of Dean dying in minutes he was able to keep his focus and in the end win; did we really expect less?

As for the timing of The Real Ghostbusters... with the season complete it doesn't really bother me as I said I can 'view' around it. I love your use of the 'sturm and drang' and while I love good old Winchester angst, I'm looking foward to the 'smaller' aspect that we're hearing Season 6 is likely to bring. Less big overpowering storylines and smaller more intimate with a through line, I'm quite eager to see it play out.

Glad the site is keeping you sane, the schedule I'm looking to keep to of an article a week (or perhaps slightly more as I've got some 'extra' things that came to mind) keep me pretty sane as that's a lot of writing.

Glad you like my writing! :-)

As for our beloved furry friends, yep, the years of love and play are worth it even with the sorrow. When RJ died last year I immediately started looking, not to replace him but because I needed that presence in my life. Jobe is a joy and in one week he'll be a year -- amazing!

Suze, I know you don't like Gabriel = Trickster and for that I'm sorry. At least we got two Trickster eppies this season and if Bardicvoice's idea is correct -- and it could be based on what we know of Dean's, Castiel's and possibly Sam's outcomes in Swan Song it sounds solid -- then perhaps we'll get some more Trickster/Gabri el. Like Ash, I'm cool with it!

As for Uberfan Becky, yeah, didn't mind her so much in Sympathy for the Devil and like you said, a little goes a long way. Still, Sam and her scenes were priceless.

I like the theory on the dead kitties and perhaps that is what my dear Munchkin is looking at from time to time. He'd like my past kitties and they he. As for Jobe, I know he and RJ would have gotten along together.

Part 2 will be up shortly, I've sent a lot of stuff to Alice and Jenna, some of which requires a lot of work on their part but they were willing to take it on.

Happy Hellatus all, filming begins tomorrow!
# BagginsDVM 2010-06-29 22:47
I've enjoyed all your "road so far"s & this one is no exception!
I'm so sorry to hear about RJ's passing, but happy for you & Jobe. One of my current dogs was born within days of the death of her predecessor. I am a vet, & thus I've been on both sides of the table, as the doctor & as the grieving pet owner. It never gets any easier to recommend or to make the choice. And you never replace a deceased furry friend; he or she lives forever in that special spot in your heart & you just find a new place in your heart for that new love. That's one thing about hearts...they never get too full.
I like the idea about the dead kitties too.
# rlwgsd 2010-06-30 02:01
First i have to tell you all that most of my viewing of supernatural season 5 took place at this time of the morning . I work two jobs the parttime one at a movie theatre and on thursday night we have midnight shows of the new movies releasing that friday so i get home at like 1:30 am and have to be at work at 8:30 the next morning. That being said When i watched TCCODW and Chad Everett came out of the bathroom I just about fell off my bed i was cheering and laughing so hard. And to date my self i remember watching him on medical center as a kid with my mom and i had such a crush on him. He was the perfect actor to play the older dean. Being a dean girl that was a dream come true.
# elle2 2010-06-30 10:22
BagginsDVM and rlwgsd,

I'm so glad you've enjoyed all my Road So Far articles. These are the hardest to write (and last year I did four of them...whew.) When I finished this one and sent it off, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted; I do enjoy going back, however, and rereading them once they're posted.

My vet was great, the whole staff is included in that comment as well. When I came in with RJ who they had all known for the decade I had him they were all crying. I couldn't do that job if it meant I would be crying with everyone else.

When I brought my little Jobe to them at nine weeks they were all so excited to see him and tell him that he had a good mommy and he wagged his little tail and sat on command and even thrust out his little paw to shake (even though it took a little longer to master that command)

I too like the idea of the kitties. Munchkin loves to cuddle and he'd make fast friends with my other gentle kitties.

rlwgsd...I don't remember Chad Everett from anything (although I hazard I can date myself nearly as closely as you can :-) but I do think that was inspired casting. He had the mannerisms down perfect; he did his homework no doubt about it.

With SPN moving to Fridays will the viewing schedule be any easier for you? Hope so.

Thanks for the comments.
# Karen 2010-07-01 10:09
Hi Elle2
Loved it, loved it, loved it.
So many heart breaking and great moments in this first half.
I have only ever seen Abandon all Hope when it originally aired. I still to this day can’t bring myself to re-watch this one.
Bobby being possessed?? I still don’t buy this one, yeah I know get over it.
I agree with you on Jesse and Becky. They just seemed to drop Jesse’s story line completely, so was there a point to his character?
And Becky suddenly announcing at the last minute that she knows who has the Colt, it just didn’t sit well with me.
Changing Channels/Tricks ter will always be my favourite.
The Curious case ranks up there too. Loved Chad Everett and the grumpy old men sequences. Dean’s little happy dance. Sam winning the game. Yeah Sam!
# Evelyn 2010-07-03 16:03
Loved your look back and analysis of Season 5 so far elle. It's always interesting to look back on the season as you have, from a different perspective, with less emotion, and see what worked and didn't. I enjoyed reading your take on the season so far. Thanks.

Adding my two-cents about Chad Everett. I also remember watching Medical Center. It was one of my favorite shows at the time and especially enjoyed Chad, guh! He was handsome back then and he still is. It was nice to see him again, especially as Dean. And I agree with ya'll, he was perfect casting. Chad got Jensen's mannerisms down quite well - he even got Jensen's walk down, which is saying something. Chad did Jensen proud.

Quick Medical Center story. Way back when, (I believe I was about 9-yrs old) I cut through my leg one night playing with the neighborhood kids. The gash was very deep and icky looking and in need of stitches. Well, back then you didn't just go to Emergency Rooms like you do now, so we had to wait for our doctor to get in his office so I could go there and get my leg stitched up. So, while we were waiting, I was sitting in this lounger chair with my leg elevated watching, guess what, you got it Medical Center. Such irony and humor. I just have to laugh whenever I think about it. :D
# Elle2 2010-07-03 18:58
Hi, Karen and Evelyn,

I watched Abandon All Hope not that long ago and while it doesn't hurt as much as it still breaks my heart. There were some missed or lost opportunities and some gaffes but hey, you can't get it all perfect, especially when you can't write all 22 episodes first, review them, see what is fiscally possible and all that and then start shooting them. SPN gets it right more often than not so I'm pretty darn pleased and try to be gentle when I criticize; I have to remember, these are real human beings doing this stuff and I don't want them to stop!

Evelyn, I'm finding that unless something is so unique (Changing Channels to Point of No Return and some others) I'm going to stay away from actual reviews as the episodes air but rather wait and do a season in review. So often I find that while something may not have worked initially (such as all of The Real Ghostbusters) upon seeing in the context of the whole, it works quite well. That episode has grown on me quite a lot and I do look forward to it, I just skip Becky's part which just isn't ever going to work so I'll ignore it and then the episode isn't diminished for me.

I found that to be the case in Season 3 when Ghostfacers aired after the long hiatus coupled with the writers' strike which shortened the season, I loved it at the time but understood why so many bemoaned it. ( I had only just started watching SPN at Mystery Spot so I wasn't as -- uh, dedicated, yeah that's the word.) But upon viewing the season as a whole, the episode rocked perfectly.

Glad you enjoyed Part 1, hope you enjoy Part 2...ooops, I'm posting this afterwards and I see that you did enjoy Part 2!
# Rlwgsd 2010-07-04 02:24
Well funny you shold mention that about the move to fridays. About March I changed my availability at the theatre so that i had thursdays off and i was able to watch the show, Being a theatre and fridays being the busiest day i will have to just depend that much more on my dvr. It is worth waiting an extra 4 hours and will always make sure the weekend starts off good.
# Jasminka 2010-07-04 14:23
I am really late to this party, dear, but as I have been on a holiday I have a wonderful excuse .
I love your looking back on the road whe travelled with the brothers this last season... Off to reading Part II!

LOve Jas
# elle2 2010-07-04 18:29
Hi, Rlwgsd and Jas,

So darn it, Rlwgsd, just when you got your schedule coordinated...t he CW up and changes things. Well, good for you on your positive outlook, DVR and the weekend for the rewatches. :-)

Hi, Jas, yeah, you're back from holiday. I knew you were away and thought, geez, just when she leaves I post this big thing. :-)

Glad you're back, hope you had lots of fun and some rest and are now enjoying catching up on the site...we kept it busy for you.
# Rlwgsd 2010-07-04 19:52
Happy Fourth of July to Everyon.