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I thought I'd explore each season in order to help pass Hellatus. I know this has likely been done before but as I explained in "Hellatus Begins" I'm new to the Supernatural realm, so I got some catching up to do. There will be four of these articles and the premise is simple, I'll give a quick comment on each episode focusing on a select few I deem to be significant to the season or the series.
While there will be four of these articles there will likely be some other articles interspersed simply because I'm watching quite a few of the episodes in each season to cement my thoughts and "˜gather research material' and I just can't [or won't] cram 22 episodes into a four or five day period and then try to write about them"¦so there will be some intervals but hey, it's Hellatus, we got the time.
Regarding the significant episodes, like Alice I'm setting some rules - or are they guidelines? These are subject to addition, subtraction, subversion - but not perversion, are completely random and totally without much in the way of forethought.
- These are episodes that set something in motion that we see in other episodes.
- These are episodes that changed the course of a character's thinking or even their journey as we know them.
- These are episodes that catapult the understanding of the story forward, likely because they delve into the past and explain, really explain, a lot.
- These are episodes that make me marvel at the depth and the quality of the writing staff.
Here we go!
Reflections on Season One:
Pilot, this is one of my comfort episodes, it is so impressive to go back and watch this episode now, four seasons later, and see how well this laid the foundation for things to come; the scene where Sam and Dean descend the staircase from Sam's apartment and discuss their childhood, pure exposition but sets the stage. I love that Kripke went back to that for In The Beginning and had Mary proclaim that she never wanted her boys to endure the lifestyle she endured"¦so satisfying.
Also: No chick flick moments, bitch/jerk, the journal, muddy Dean, Sam yanking Dean into the motel room (and on the commentary for Phantom Traveler we learn from Jared that he was instructed to yank Jensen off balance, no acting there"¦hee, hee), and of course we learned about the music"¦love the music.
Wendigo: this is another comfort episode due to the simplicity of the brotherly relationship as well as this comment from Dean: "Honey, I don't do shorts [tee, hee, yes you do"¦71 episodes later]
Defining moment/phrase: Saving people, hunting things; the family business.
Dead in the Water: First of all, Kim Manners...pause...
Dean and kids, he's quite good with them, probably all that big brother experience with Sam. Major character development and deep insight into Dean: When I was your age, I saw something really bad happen to my mom and I was scared too. I didn't feel like talking, but see my mom I know she wanted me to be brave. I think about that every day and I do my best to be brave." This is the first time we see Sam learn something about Dean that he never knew before; it's the first of many such reveals.
Phantom Traveler: Not one of my favorite episodes, mostly because the set up lacked any kind of fear factor, we know the boys are not going to go down in a plane crash; series over, so this one pushed the envelope too far for me. It does earn a spot in the significant category though.
Why is this one significant? Glad you asked.
This is the first time we see demons and it's obvious from the get go that Sam and Dean are both leery of tackling demons, even saying it's not their normal gig. We also learn that demons talk and they know about Sam's girlfriend. We figured out from Pilot that there was something big going on but here we learn that demons talk about it that struck me as important. We also get a momentous contact for the brothers and we watch their wonder and amazement at having dad's cell phone reactivated...all of a sudden there is a real chance that dad is alive and well and yes, they will find him.
This is not a great episode but for the introduction of demons and an understanding that there is a population out there of these entities keeping track of Winchester happenings"¦this is critical and ominous.
Bloody Mary: Sam likes to keep secrets, the first of many such instances, also this introduces a dangling thread about Dean that may or may not ever be answered. Kripke states that the writers have the back story for this and, based on their excellent track record for continuity and plot development, I'm going to believe them.
Most laughable moment in this episode is when the boys are assisted into the recently departed girl's bedroom by Charlie, as they set up their gear Dean jokingly asks if he looks like Paris Hilton. The writing has come a long way from this and while now they can get away with humor in dark situations; this one is an example of what not to do.