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The thing about season 3 is, I always wonder what those other 6 episodes would’ve looked like. You know the one’s we missed out on seeing. I mean, had there not been the writer’s strike and we ended up getting the full 22-episode season, what more of the story would’ve been revealed? Did the creative team have it all planned out, partly written? How many of those ideas were fleshed out in coming episodes or utilised in later seasons, or are there some that couldn’t be reworked and were shelved or simply shoved into a draw somewhere? Sure, there would’ve been a couple of fillers in amongst the 6, but what more would we have seen of the over-all arc? What more of Dean’s plight, his desperation. What more of Sam’s struggle, his sadness as he coped with Dean’s impending death. How many more beautifully penned conversations would there have been as the boys bantered the problem back and forth. Would we have found out more about Bella, about Ruby, about Lilith? What would season 3 have looked like had it been a full season. Gosh, how I’d love to know. How I would love to see those episodes.

Still, for a season that was cut 6 episodes short, it doesn’t feel at all rushed. I look at the list of titles and I’m baffled by the strength of every single one of them…well except the season opener which is a bit of a disappointment, and maybe the ghost ship episode, but the rest of season 3 is super strong. I also realised that I must watch season 3 a lot, because I found that I was spouting dialogue left and right! I know a shocking amount of dialogue by heart! Makes me laugh…


Season 3 is kind of hard to watch. There’s this overwhelming sense of dread hanging over the whole thing, that kicks off right from the get go and never lets up. Even in the episodes not specifically about Dean going to Hell, that darkness is still dancing around the corners of the storyline. There’s a building sense of panic and hopelessness in both the brothers as they get closer and closer to the end of Dean’s year. They fight it right up until the very last second. At times they’re at odds as to how to do it, but in the end they stand side by side as brothers to face the inevitable. They’re there for each other to the very end. Sam never gives up trying to save Dean. Which got me to thinking. Off the back of a lot of what came out of Comic-Con there were questions around why doesn’t Sam ever get the chance to save Dean? But watching seasons 1, 2 and 3 with a more analytical eye than usual, it seems to me, he’s always trying to save Dean. If you look at my last two season write-ups, both the episodes I chose to focus on are about Sam trying to save Dean. Sure, he’s not always successful, but then, the only time Dean truly saved Sam successfully was when he made a deal and threw himself to the dogs, literally. Sam, to save his brother and the whole of humanity, threw himself to the Devil, literally. It seems to me these boys are even in both their successful and failed attempts to save each other. Saving each other is what they’re always doing in some way or another. Sam saving a dying Dean in “Faith”, Dean trying to save Sam from falling into darkness, Sam trying to save Dean from the Reaper, Dean saving Sam by selling his soul, Sam trying to save Dean from his deal, Dean trying to save Sam from Ruby, Sam trying to save Dean from throwing it all away for the Angels, Dean trying to save Sam’s soul….it goes on and on and on, season after season. They’re even-stevens in my eyes. I simply don’t get the argument. They are each other’s greatest strength and each other’s Achilles heel and season 3 is an excellent example of both.


The other thing about season 3 that got me really excited was; it’s when Jeremy Carver first came on board. I love all 4 episodes that he wrote for Season 3, but particularly I love the interactions he wrote between the brothers. Admittedly, this was a season where they were facing being ripped apart for eternity, but the depth of their conversations, their resonance and how Carver captured their relationship, their chemistry, well damn, it got me so excited for him being our Showrunner for season 8. Because he gets these guys, he gets their relationship and he gets how important it is. He gets their ups and downs, their anger, their humour, their love. He just seems to understand the Winchester brother’s dynamic. As we head towards season 8, hearing Carver talk about how the brother’s relationship is the heart and soul of this show and central to the story, and then watching the episodes that he’s written with that ticking away in the back of my mind, well it makes me all tingly with optimism.


I actually found this season the toughest to pick an episode to focus on. First off I thought I’d do “No Rest For The Wicked”, but I think Nicole may have taken me out and beaten me up if I focused on another doomed Dean heartbreaker! Though…what a season finale. It has one of my favourite brother moments of all time. That whole speech at Bobby’s before they head off to try and kill Lilith, when Dean says, “We take this knife, and we go after Lilith our way. The way dad taught us to. And if we go down, then we go down swinging. What do you think?” and Sam responds, “I think you totally should have been jamming "Eye of the Tiger" right there.” Gah! Brilliant response! As was Dean’s “Oh bite me. I totally rehearsed that speech too.” I love that whole conversation. This is a close to perfect finale and don’t even start me on the boys singing “Wanted Dead or Alive” in the Impala, the fear on Dean’s face, he’s so damn scared.

I love how Dean can see behind the veil and sees the demon behind the human they’re wearing. I love that we’re given a hint of the possibility of Sam having some kind of power we’re yet to see. That Dean is being so stoic, trying to remain strong for his brother and for himself as his time ticks away. I love the pet murdering Lilith kid, by far my favourite Lilith and one of my all time favourite big bads. That kid who plays her is creepy! I love what Dean says to Sam as the clock strikes midnight. He apologises, “I'm sorry. I mean this is all my fault, I know that” and then as his brother asks him, what he’s supposed to do, Dean says, “Keep fighting. Take care of my wheels. Sam, remember what dad taught you... ok? And remember what I taught you.” Sam simply nods. His eyes brimming with tears. In that moment, he looks like a little boy, listening to his big brother. Kills me. Kills me every time. Then of course we have to watch Dean ripped to shreds as Sam cries out for it to stop and Sam cradling his dead brother as we hear Dean’s screams for Sam from Hell. Yep. Thank you Mr Kripke for the torture…sweet, sweet, wonderful torture. Plus this episode gave us “Family don’t end with blood” a very important quote.

But I started at the end, which is weird!


I love the moment in “Fresh Blood” where Sam rips off Gordon’s head. Actually I wasn’t going to say that, even though I really do (grrrr Gordon), what I was going to say was, I love the moment in “Fresh Blood” when Sam asks Dean to drop the, I’m not afraid to die act, “'Cause... just 'cause.” That gets through to Dean. I think this is the moment where Dean registers what his decision is doing to Sam. I mean, I’m sure he knew, but having his brother stand before him and ask him to just stop, just ‘cause, shifts something in Dean and that tough act of his pretty much stops from that point on. Then we get to see Dean showing Sam how to fix the Impala, preparing Sam for a future without him…. “..that's my job, right? Show my little brother the ropes.” A-wah!

In “Dream a Little Dream of Me” we not only find out Bobby’s tragic back-story, but we see a different side to Dean and different side to his desperation. We see his dream of a life with Lisa and Ben, or rather, the perfect life that he thinks they represent and we see him face his demon self, the one that he knows he’ll become when he goes to Hell. The anger spills out. The anger of having so much thrust upon him, of having so much responsibility and we finally see him start to aim some fury and blame at his father for all of the past, for what he’s going through now and for the future he faces. “I didn't deserve what he put on me. And I don't deserve to go to Hell!” He’s in his own head, facing himself and discovering some home truths. Man I love that whole scene. Then, he finally admits to Sam, that he wants to live and Sam vows to find a way. I also see this as the start of Dean looking to Bobby as a father figure. There is something in their interactions in this episode, which telegraphs their deeper relationship to come.


“Mystery Spot” is a funny one for me, because though I totally dig this episode, the more I watch it, the more powerful it becomes. I remember at first I simply saw it as a “Groundhog Day” kind of thing. It was smart and very funny. But as I’ve watched it more and more, it’s become really rather painful. It’s painful to watch Dean die over and over and it’s painful to watch Sam have to deal with that day in day out for 100 days, slowly but surely getting more and more despondent as he tries to figure out the mystery and save his brother’s life (again). For me the worst death isn’t actually the one at the end, but the one at the beginning, where Dean grabs at Sammy’s jacket and hangs on with a fistful as he looks into his brother’s panicked eyes, sputters and dies. Man….that scene is agony. For some reason I find that one far more painful than the one at the end which is final…sort of. One thing I have to say for Dean Winchester though, he’s one seriously pretty dead guy. Even when he’s hit by a car, he’s still pretty! Had to be said…sorry. And of course we see how Sam deals with Dean’s death, something that’s somewhat of a prophecy as to how he really fares not far into the future. He becomes driven, robotic, single-minded. Without Dean by his side, he loses his Sammyness and is consumed by revenge. These two really are two halves of the one whole. Plus we have the Trickster’s conversation with Sam. Later in “Changing Channels” we find out that the Trickster is the Archangel Gabriel. In that episode, he wants the boys to play their rolls – that of Lucifer and Michael. Having that information when you go back and watch “Mystery Spot” adds a whole other layer to what the Trickster is saying to Sam. You’ve got to figure Gabriel/Trickster knows what’s going on, knows what Sam’s future truly holds. This was the last episode shot before the writer’s strike, but it was “Jus in Bello” that aired before the show went into the strike hiatus.

“Jus in Bello” is an all-time favourite of mine. It’s penned by Ms Gamble and I love everything about it. I love that they’re trapped. It’s one of those confined space, no escape scenarios that I dig. I love Henriksen. I love the other police officers and Nancy the virgin. “Nobody kill any virgins!” Gold. But the thing I love most about this episode is the genius plan! Dean’s idea to unlock the doors, let the demons in and fight (like men in tights) sounded a bit fool hardy, until they played the tape of Sam speaking an exorcism over the PA system. I think this is one of the best plans the show has ever seen. And I love that it was Dean who came up with it. We always think of Sam as the brains of the unit, but Dean is smart and resourceful and I love nothing more than seeing his mind in action…amongst other things.


An episode that’s grown on me is “Long-Distance Call”. I remember not being particularly taken by this one on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. watch, but now…I love it. The dialogue between the brothers is beautiful. All through this episode Dean’s façade peels away in layers, revealing the frantic terror beneath. All through this episode Sam is trying to be realistic, but gentle with his brother. He can see his brother’s unravelling and though he must be feeling the same way, he manages to remain calm and clear headed. Even if it’s not what Dean wants to hear, Sam tells him what he needs to hear. The final scene between the boys, where Dean admits to Sam he’s scared and that the hope that it was dad on the phone was simply the last act of a desperate man, has to be one of the most poignant interchanges the brothers have ever had. Honest, raw and tragic…and yet it ends in a joke…

DEAN - “Deep revelation, having a real moment here, that's what you come back with? And me?”
SAM – “ you want a poem?”
DEAN – “The moment's gone.”
It’s the perfect smile moment to get us through the pain and it was written by Mr Carver….which brings me to the season 3 episode I chose to look at more closely:



Yeah, who doesn’t love this one? Well, if you don’t you’re a Grinch! This has become my compulsory Christmas viewing. I watch it every Christmas Eve and usually again Christmas Day (along with "Elf" – "you sit on a throne of lies!"). If I’m away for Christmas, I pack it to come with me. Last Christmas my Twitter pals and I did a rewatch together and had people from all over the world joining in to enjoy this episode with us, as we all watched as one, online. I simply love “A Very Supernatural Christmas”.

"A Very Supernatural Christmas" was written by Jeremy Carver, but the initial idea came from the mind of Eric Kripke. Kripke says he'd always wanted to do a holiday episode, but it had to be the most bloody and violent holiday episode ever! It had to have an Evil Santa. Of course it did! Kripke and the creative team came up with the teaser pretty early on because they all knew what they wanted to do…drag Santa UP the chimney! He says the scene where Evil Santa drags the father down the stairs in a sack as the kid looks on, and then turns around and eats one of the kid’s cookies, was one of the times his family rang him to ask, “What’s wrong with you?” Kripke also says he was obsessed with getting that Special Presentation opener because he remembered it from when he was a kid. It was on NBC. It took the production crew ages to track it down as no-one knew who owned it, who owned the music, how they could get permission to use it, but Kripke made them preserve until the piece was found and approved. It turns out; this is his favourite part of the episode. He also said they all wanted the boys to kill someone or something with a Christmas tree, but it had to be fully decorated! It’s those little details that make this episode so perfect and so deliciously twisted. And then thankfully, the idea was handed over to Jeremy Carver to pen and he worked some kind of Christmas miracle writing magic and created what is one of the most original and touching episodes of the series.

Though, the flashbacks to young Sam and Dean were not in the original script. They had to add in a few pages for timing and it was Ben Edlund’s idea to include the flashbacks to the dark, dank, festiveless motel room that was the Christmas home to the young Winchesters. Can you imagine this episode without them?

Part of the power of “A Very Supernatural Christmas” comes from the juxtaposition of the opulence and warmth of Christmas in all the homes the Winchesters visit, as opposed to their own situation both now and in the past. Nothing has changed. They’re still holed up in a grungy motel room with only each other.


In the flashbacks, we see young Sam’s desperate need to believe in his father, his need to believe that John would make it home to his sons for Christmas and we see Dean’s desperate need to try and make it right for Sam. He ends up sharing with Sam the family secret, telling Sam that their dad is a superhero and when John doesn’t make it back for Christmas day, rather than see the crushing disappointment on his little brother’s face, he nicks some presents from down the street and fakes it. He covers for John and tells Sam that his father came in the middle of the night and dropped the gifts off for him. Of course, Dean didn’t know the stolen presents were chick presents! But the thought was there. The need to protect his little brother from the truth, that they were left alone on Christmas day and the need to try and give his little brother some form of normalcy, a little happiness in his life. Dean was 12 years old. Poor little guy. Of course, Sam sees through it, sees what Dean is doing, knows that Dean must be equally as shattered. Sam’s a smart and empathetic kid even at 8. So he gives Dean the gift that Uncle Bobby had given him to give to John. He gives Dean the amulet. You get a great understanding of what these kids went through in this episode. Sure we saw a similar scene in “Something Wicked”, but this is Christmas for Heaven’s sake. These kids are alone, older and wiser and tragically, a little more jaded.


I wish that the amulet had stayed just as a gift from Sammy to Dean. I was so disappointed when it became something else. When it become some tool to find God. Its strength and power was in what it represented to Dean. That moment when he became the one his little brother looked up to over his father. It was the first thing Dean ripped from the Shapeshifter’s neck in “Skin”. It was the first thing Sam gave Dean back when Dean returned from Hell in “Lazarus Rising”. It represented so much of their relationship and giving it this extra duty, this extra reason for being, reduced its significance for me. Sure, I bawled my eyes out when Dean dropped that amulet in the bin. I was deeply shocked by that. But I recovered, because for me, the amulet had lost some of its shine, it no longer simply represented a young boy’s love and thanks. It no longer simply represented Sam and Dean. I think that was a huge mistake.


In the present, Sam and Dean are trying to solve a pesky husband dragged up the chimney case, complete with festive jumper wearing Pagan Gods with plastic covered furniture and an excess of Christmas paraphernalia! But what is really happening is that they’re both struggling with Dean’s deal. Dean has only one Christmas left. It’s making him reminisce about Christmas’ past and romanticise the Christmas’ that they did spend with their father. Sam won’t have a bar of it because his memories are very different. But what’s really happening is that Sam and Dean are both desperately hanging on. Dean to his one last chance, Sam to not wanting to opening acknowledge the last of anything. It’s painful to watch them grapple back and forth, neither quite reading the other right. Until they have that conversation…

SAM - “I mean, I just, I don’t get it. You haven’t talked about Christmas in years.”
DEAN – “Well yeah, this is my last year.”
SAM – “I know. That’s why I can’t.”
DEAN – “What do you mean?”
SAM – “I mean I can’t just sit around, drinking eggnog, pretending everything’s okay. When I know next Christmas you’ll be dead. I just can’t.”
All the pennies drop.


You know, the scene where Sam throws Christmas for Dean makes me cry my eyes out every time. But as gorgeous and heart-wrenching as this act is, this isn't what moves me the most. It’s not so much the fact that Sam did this for his big brother, doing for Dean what Dean did for him as a child, even though it must have hurt him to face the moment and I adore Sam so much for doing this for Dean, I mean, he bought fishing floats and air-fresheners to decorate the tree, he even made eggnog, I mean the look on Dean’s face says it all, but as gorgeous and heart-wrenching as this act is, it’s the gift giving that kills me. Here are these two guys, they save the world, save strangers and yet they have so little. They have only their clothes, weapons, car and each other. But look how happy they both are to simply give each other the most mundane of gifts. Wrapped in brown paper and the comics section and bought from some gas mart down the street. They both snuck out independently of each other and bought what little they could get in the boondocks, with the 5 bucks they have to their name. Each wanting to surprise the other with a Christmas present. I always, always sob my way through this scene, partly because it’s so lovely but mostly because they break my heart. They just break my heart. In this moment, with all that lies ahead of them, with all that hangs over them, these simple gifts, this simple act of love, what each will do for each other in even the smallest way, this tiny moment of joy written on both their faces, it makes my heart explode in every which direction. I love this episode. I love this scene. This scene and this scene alone makes me want to run around cheering that Jeremy Carver is back in the fold. I pray he writes more moments like this.
There’s so much fun in “A Very Supernatural Christmas”. It’s gory and ridiculous and tongue in cheek. But it’s the mirrored moments between the brothers in the past and in the present that pack the emotional punch.

Season 3 is full of those moments. I don’t think I sufficently noticed the depth of the interactions and conversations between the brothers before, or how Dean’s deal affects them both is such different ways, well I did, but not to the level I did during this rewatch. As I said at the very beginning, they may be each other’s Achilles heel, but they’re also each other’s greatest strength and season 3 might be the best example of both of these parts of their relationship. For now. Because who knows where this story will go…..


I have to tell you all something. I am so enjoying doing this project. It’s a butt-load of work, I really had no idea when I took it on, but it’s made me look at the seasons in a slightly different light and it’s made me appreciate this show even more. As fans we all know how special this show is. We have all fallen in love with it for our own reasons. But for me, re-watching the episodes with a view to writing up the season, well it’s made me fall head over heels in love with the show all over again and it’s made me even more head over heels in love with the Winchester brothers, their spirit, their souls and their bond. It just confirms to me that, no matter what, I’ll hang in there with them because, no matter what, I still believe in them, I still believe in what they represent to me and what they represent to each other and I still believe in this show. It makes me profoundly happy and reaches into my heart in a way that no other show ever has and I doubt ever will.
Wow, sappy ending was sappy! Anyhoo… Let me know what your thoughts on season 3 are. Do you love “Bad Day At Black Rock” best? Or like me, do you adore the episodes with all the deep and tortured emotion!
Coming soon: Season 4. Crikey!
Thanks for reading!


# saumya 2012-07-24 09:17
absolutely no words.. i have loved the winchesters the moment i saw thwm and mind u the arrival of Supernatural was quite late in India.. it is only in 2012 dat we got to see all the seasons but i saw all the seven seasons back to back by downloading it from internet coz i couldn't take not knowing wat happens next.. even i think that is season 3 might have been a little different wid all the 23 episodes but even widout dat it was complete..! all the episodes that u mentioned above were heratbreaking and beautiful at the same time..
# PENNY JAIME 2012-07-24 11:43
Wow. You read my mind. You picked up on all the little things that I have noticed in those episodes; and that I love. Especially the cheezy gifts! My fav scene in "Dream" is the one where Dean talks to himself. He and Bobby got so close in that one. Mystery Spot, Sam eating dinner alone, with a cheeseburger across the table. So many little things that make all those episodes great. I am looking forward to a Jeremy Carver season 8, that's for sure!!
# m1tchells 2012-07-24 12:04
It seems to me these boys are even in both their successful and failed attempts to save each other. Saving each other is what they’re always doing in some way or another. Sam saving a dying Dean in “Faith”, Dean trying to save Sam from falling into darkness, Sam trying to save Dean from the Reaper, Dean saving Sam by selling his soul, Sam trying to save Dean from his deal, Dean trying to save Sam from Ruby, Sam trying to save Dean from throwing it all away for the Angels, Dean trying to save Sam’s soul….it goes on and on and on, season after season. They’re even-stevens in my eyes. I simply don’t get the argument.

EXACTLY THIS! Another wonderful article! Thanks!
# winmomwannabe 2012-07-24 12:05
I just started with Season 1 again recently and am half way through. But I may have to skip to season 3 after reading this. I cried reading your re-cap. Very beautiful and I too sobbed at a Supernatural Christmas. Totally want to jump into the TV and hug them as a mother only can when I watch that episode. Now even having trouble seeing my computer screen through my tears just to write this. Very much looking forward to more brotherly connections in Season 8. Everything they said at comic con is making me hopeful, especially that Dean has a renewed drive. I'm sure the monsters in Purgatory gave him something to think about! Again, thank you for making me cry before I have to go to work! Ha.
# sweetondean 2012-07-24 16:59
Ohhhh sorry for the pre-work tears! :-)
# Bamboo24 2012-07-24 12:53
My thoughts on S3:
Honestly, before the end of S7, S3 was my least favorite. Which is strange, considering all the brotherly moments and great episodes! And I know I'm in the minority.

I think what I couldn't get over was how much I disliked a lot of the minor actors in S3. Aside from Gordon and a few of the other baddies, I felt like a lot of the characters were one-dimensional and uber-stereotypi cal - like Richie from "Sin City". I also didn't like (hated) the acting of the girls who played Bela and Ruby (especially Ruby). I just couldn't stand them. If they'd been played a little differently, I think I would have been okay with it (because I've loved many other female guest stars on SPN), but every time these particular two came onscreen, I cringed. Especially Ruby. I know lots of fans prefer S3 Ruby to S4 Ruby - I just happen to prefer it the other way around.

I also chafed at the idea the writers seemed to be pushing that season (looking back it was more of a foreshadowing, a red herring, even), suggesting that a demon (namely Ruby) could be "good" because she once was human. The ill-logic of that troubled me greatly, and I was very pleased that Ruby turned out to be what I always assumed she was (evil and manipulative) and that we haven't had a "good" demon yet on SPN. It's an oxymoron anyway.

HOWEVER - S3 had its moments for me, and I enjoy many episodes and many more parts of episodes that don't make my 'list.' My favorites were "Jus in Bello," "Mystery Spot," "A Very Supernatural Christmas," "Fresh Blood," and "Bad Day at Black Rock," with "Long Distance Call," and "Dream a Little Dream of Me" coming in as honorable mentions.

And S3 has a serious nostalgic quality about it - it was also the last time we'd see them so united until the very end of S5. More than that, it was the last time we'd see the brothers emotionally open with each other, save for a few heavy moments, until the latter part of S6. And even then, we've never gotten back to how the brothers were before the events of S4. So, gotta love S3 - back when the brothers still had a bit of innocence about them. Nostalgic, indeed.
# Mel 2012-07-26 12:46
Agree with this - S3 was my least favorite season.
# st50 2012-07-24 13:37
Perfect review. Absolutely perfect.
And yup, I'm with you on the deep emotional brother episodes. They're what this show is all about, if you ask me.
# EireneS 2012-07-24 13:50
Thank you Sweetondean.
# hedi 2012-07-24 15:21
thank you for this amazing article like always. and you know what? you actually made me cry with your last paragraph!! damn , it's so true! and because i too , finished re-watching season 3 , i can tell that you said what i was exactly thinking about this season.
season 3 is one of the best seasons so far , even though it's only 16 eps but it tells its story in a very good and perfect way and you don't even feel rushed at all. i like that about this season .
and like you , i really really love that scene in fresh blood and the time where Sam with his eyes full of tears tells dean that "I've been looking up to you since i was four , dean. studying you , trying to be just like my big brother. so yeah i know you , better than anyone else in entire world." man , i just love this conversation.

and of course "A very supernatural Christmas" is just brilliant just the way it is. and the amazing thing is if you wanna recall it , you won't say that it's a episode about some pagan gods hunt , you'll say that it's an episode about two brothers who saved the world and they just wanna sit down and watch some game on Christmas.
and that's why i love this show even more now.
thank you Amy ! thank you!
# Bevie 2012-07-24 16:16
Oh my, Sweetondean! This was a wonderful article and I can't find one thing to disagree over. It's exactly how I feel about season 3 and especially A Very Supernatural Christmas. I bawl at the same things you do, and it happens every single time I see it. I so hope Jeremy Carver remembers the wonderful way he wrote the brothers and brings it all back in season 8.

The way the brothers were written in all of the episodes was perfection for me. Tugging at the heart and that foreboding lurking behind everything said and done.

The boys and the amulet and Dean coming in with it around his neck still to find his brother is giving him his Christmas.
Wahwahwah! Can't help it! Agree completely the humongous mistake the writers made to make it mean more than just the love of two brothers. Spoiled it proper! Even so, I would love to see Jeremy somehow repair that and bring it back, as Sam surely retrieved it from the bin.

I sympathize with you reviewing season 4. Crikey! indeed!

The division between them in season 4, with the lies and sneaking around just depresses the hell out of me. So good luck with that! (there were awesome episodes in season 4, even though the division cast a pall over it for me, and I do realize it is a favourite season with the majority of fans).

Anyway, looking forward to the next one. :-)
# sweetondean 2012-07-24 19:47
I'm positive Sam removed the amulet from the bin, but I don't know whether we'll ever see it again. It almost represents a previous incarnation of the brother's relationship. Maybe they've gone so far together they don't need that symbol anymore because what they have and who they are is now deeply ingrained within them. Maybe right at the very end, in the final moments, whatever they may be....we'll see it again... :cry:
# LEAH D 2012-07-24 18:44
SO enjoying your look back at previous seasons! The moments you highlighted are also my favorites. I agree with you about the amulet, it's sad how it became symbolic of Dean's dissolutionment instead of the brother's bond.

I do remember Jensen saying(at a con I believe) that he didn't miss it because it kept hitting him in the face during fight scenes. HA. No nostalgia there.

I also liked the scene in Sin City where Dean is trapped with the demon. I rather enjoyed their conversation. They seem to kind of like each before it was over.

Yeah though, the emotional heartwrenching, gutwrenching scenes are the ones I love the most and S3 had plenty of those. The finale was an absolute doozy

Thank again sweetondean.
# sweetondean 2012-07-24 19:42
I think Jensen even said the amulet chipped his front teeth!
I loved that scene between Dean and Casey too. I think there was some kind of mutal understanding there. :-)
# Sage 2012-07-25 05:03
I think it's the opposite?
The brothers seems to have grown apart since the amulet was discarded. I don't know, I don't think it was a conscious decidion for the writers to make, but that's how it feels to me.
# sweetondean 2012-07-25 05:32
I see it as a maturation of their relationship, I think they have grown up and with that so has their relationship. They can't be the same way they were at 22 and 26 and not because of all the water under the bridge but because we grow up and how we interact with people including those we love, changes as we grow. For me it's a natural progression of their relationship. I still see depth. In fact I see more depth. I don't see weakening. I just see different.
# Sage 2012-07-25 08:18
No, maybe you're right and that's how they intended to be perceived.
I understand people change. And I don't think it's their age, because Dean was a grown man when the show started, but everything they went through, that would chance anyone.

It's just how it feels to me, it feels (again, to me) as if something broke that day and was left there in that trashbin. Maybe Dean's faith in Sam. Or faith in general.

But there's a chance I'm projecting my feelings, heh.
# Lia 2012-07-25 09:39
"It's just how it feels to me, it feels (again, to me) as if something broke that day and was left there in that trashbin. Maybe Dean's faith in Sam. Or faith in general."

I kind of feel the same way. It's more than a maturation of their relationship, I think. We rarely see much depth to their interactions anymore or the kind of connection that they had. I don't think that they have to lose that to be grown ups. If anything it should just be refined by that.

I don't know the end of S7 left me feeling unsatisfied about the way the boys were left. It felt like the show was sort dancing around their relationship all season instead of addressing it -- not that there weren't nice brother moments like the end of Plucky Pennywhistle. There were, but they've become less communicative rather than more so, which doesn't seem like maturity to me. IDK. I was just unsatisfied with S7 in that regard. I have high hopes for Carver as well.
# Sage 2012-07-25 10:19
While, as I let everyone know here (sorry!), I'm a bit disappointed on those spoilers for season 8, I'm getting my hopes high that Carver remembers what made Dean and Sam special.

Maybe if they allowed the boys to have some fun from time to time. Seasons 5, 6 and 7 were too 'heavy', too end of the world, you know. That must be too soul-crushing and leave little time to repair the family bond.

And yeah, season 7 left me cold in regards of Sam and Dean :|
# sweetondean 2012-07-25 16:52
You know, there was a moment in season 7 that spoke loudly to me about the brother's relationship and where they're at and it's a part of the reason I feel like I do. It wasn't the scene as they both laughed and bought each other gag gifts at the end of Plucky's, though that was adorable and it wasn't about them pouring out their hearts to each other, it wasn't hugging, it wasn't even one of those looks that speak volumes they so often flash each other's was a inconsequential scene, emotionally speaking that maybe some didn't even pay much mind to. It was the moment in "Of Grave Importance" when Dean showered with the door open. He showered with the door open. He and his brother continued their conversation through an open bathroom door. He didn't even bother to close it when he got out to dry off. He showered with the door open, so he and Sam could keep talking, yelling their theories back and forth. That scene may not have meant much to most people, but it meant a hell of a lot to me. Because that act, that act of absolute comfort demonstrated to me that this relationship is still on solid footing. There was something incredibly intimate in that interaction. Dean could have closed that door, taken a moment by himself, blocked out his brother but he chose not to. To me this scene showed a level of intimacy and a level of comfort that doesn't need to be displayed in other ways. These guys are simply at home with each other. Just how I see things I guess....
# Lia 2012-07-25 18:31
Yes! I love that scene, but it slipped my mind when I was commenting before! I agree that there's a certain comfort level between them that I love is still there, but that didn't stop Dean from questioning why Sam didn't tell him that he'd used the Talking Board to try to contact Bobby. There's still a level of distrust one Dean's part I think, and that bothers me.

But that kind of scene is exactly what I'd like to see more of between them, and I'd like for Dean to demonstrate that he does trust Sam. I mean, hell, it's not like he hasn't lied to Sam. He killed Amy after all and then lied about it. Yes, he acknowledged that it didn't feel right, but now we're being told that he's going to keep an important secret from Sam when he gets out of purgatory. I'd really like them to have learned by now that lying to each other never turns out well. They aren't stupid.

Anyway, that's the kind of scene, something that really showed their connection, would have been nice in the finale.
# Sage 2012-07-25 20:42
I'd really like them to have learned by now that lying to each other never turns out well. They aren't stupid.
The problem is that they grew up as liars, and sometimes I think that's all they know now. Do you imagine how many lies they must had told when they were kids? To teachers, other their own father sometimes.

It may be a bit overdone now, anyway.
But you know, in season 8 I'd love if both brothers were keeping secrets from ecah other. Lies everywhere. As opposed to one of them lying and the other finilly finding the truth and getting mad. Maybe that way they'd learn a lesson.
# sweetondean 2012-07-25 20:52
I'd like to see an end to the lying, just because I'm pretty much over it you I think it's done.

But hey, I have an older brother and we're very close and I sure don't tell him everything! There are things that I will always keep to myself and I think he'd be thankful for that...there are somethings those we love, really don't need to know.
# Lia 2012-07-26 05:46
Of course Sam and Dean are liars. It's necessary to their job and their survival, but lying to outsiders and lying to one another are two different things. I know it must be harder for Dean because he lied to Sam growing up to protect him, but he has to realize at some point that his lies don't protect Sam and could endanger him if what we're hearing about S8 is true.

I really thought in The Mentalists when Dean told Sam that lying to him didn't feel right, that he'd learned something. It wasn't just that he was sorry that he'd lied about Amy, the act of lying to Sam felt wrong. And I thought woohoo! some actual character development for Dean! *sigh*

I agree that we don't tell the people we love everything, but when it's something that may have an impact on them, or things that might mean life or death -- we should, right? I thought Dean was learning that.

I don't know, if they are going to continue to use the lying trope, then they need to do something knew with it. For me at least, it had gotten old by the end of S5. That's why I was excited when I thought that it was being addressed in S7.
# Sage 2012-07-25 20:17
You can bet plenty of people reflected on that scene and how Dean showered with the door open, hahha.

but don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything is lost between Sam and Dean. I still think they love each other deeply. I don't think I could see the show in any other case.

But while I think Sam trusts Dean with his life and more, I'm not 100% sure Dean would do the same. It's something between Sam and Dean, and also between Dean and the world.

Maybe we'll have a chance to see the bond repaired next season. I'm very pessimistic, but the small part of me that keeps the faith, thinks this time is the time, that Sam and Dean will find themselves and each other again.

Of course it may be a matter of perception, that we just don't see things the same way :)
# sweetondean 2012-07-25 20:25
Yessss I was trying to word how I discussed that shower scene very carefully! ;-)

I think you're spot on with that assessment of Dean and his lack of trust and I also think it's more his perception of his whole world and plight, rather than simply focused on Sam.

I'm hoping that with his renewed recognition that Hunting is what he's born to do, that he comes back from Purgatroy with clarity and purpose, helps him regain some trust and faith...but I think Sam and him still have a road to travel.

I'm excited to see them set of on and explore that journey.

I'm always optimistic thought! :-)
# Sage 2012-07-25 21:22
You know, I'm pessimistic, but since I was so mad at the spoilers, I got to a point that thought 'well, things can't be worse than this, so they can only get better'. I still side eye those interviews, but I'm not at that stage when I said I wouldn't even give s8 a try.

Also, Jensen's words made me find some hope. I just love the way he always talks about SPN.
# Lia 2012-07-26 05:51
I know just what you mean about the way Jensen talks about Dean and about the show in general. Wouldn't you love to have a one-on-one conversation with him about it?

As for the S8 spoilers, I keep telling myself that the spoilers for previous seasons have often been misleading.
# winmomwannabe 2012-07-25 12:34
I agree with your comments about growing up. People in their early 20's are not the same as people who have lived more of life. Especially when you consider the life these 2 have lived. And lived through!

I think many of us faced tragedies and crisis in our lives that changed us forever. Maybe not obvious change, but change none the less. And some of us, me included, may still long for the more innocent days. Like days before 9/11, Columbine or Aurora, or something more personal. As we age we take a lot of baggage along with us and it is natural for us to change and probably some of our relationships too. Don't we all have moments of thinking back to fond times and find ourselves wishing, or dreaming, life could be like that again. And maybe relationships too?

For me, because I love this show I can't help but long for their more innocent days. If can you ever really call their life innocent that is. I am currently watching season 1 and they are definitely not those young men anymore. They have lived life, seen things, experienced hell. Who can be the same after that? I mean end of the world?

Since it is a TV show and not real life I know they can 'fix' anything if they really want to and find a way. And I 'love' the brother moments. But I think we all know this show is not just frivolous stuff so the natural progression of our emotions that come with age is slowly appearing in the show. They are both 30 or more now. I have sons in their 20's and they still have their goof moments, but can see the older one has matured, along with his relationship with his brothers. And they haven't been through any of the stuff Sam and Dean have.

I think they can recapture some of it, but maybe not ever all of it. As I see in Season 1, they were different young men then they are now. And as mentioned somewhere in these replies I also agree that men don't share with each other like women. I think as they grow older it changes. The Winchester boys, er men, have their looks and because they have been so close don't always need a lot of words. A look can say a lot for them.

Again, just because I appear a realist, doesn't mean I don't long for their earlier days sometimes and that relationship. But as in real life, betrayal, death, faith and love all play a part in our maturing relationships. Whether we like it or not. And whether we want to accept it or not.

Here's to a great upcoming season and the opportunity to repair relationships. Maybe not make them exactly as they were, but still good. Having a common goal again sounds like a good step towards that repair. I'm excited to see what happens.

Leaving this post with this to ponder. What age and/or relationships would you personally like to go back to if you could? Even for a day. Bet you have one or two. Don't think I'd want to go back forever, but I would definitely take a day off from life for a short one day visit. Just to relive the joy of that day or moment.

Back to S1 and Dead Man's Blood
nicole murray
# nicole murray 2012-07-24 19:50
You make me feel like a bad fan! beautifully written Amy! another tolstoy long season review. I too felt season three was so super strong, I wished for those last six episodes. I'd like to think we would have had more clarity of Bela's character. I was getting the impression she was probably abused and that if she did the deed, she would, by law, lose the inheritance...s o she took the demon deal to get rid of her parents and keep the money. probably like that psychic kid from season two, she was most likely abused by dad and mom turned her head...It would have been interesting to see how Dean would have handled that. Him always putting family first--how would he react to finding out about what Bela did at 14 to protect herself? but look at me babble...

I too loved A Very Supernatural Christmas and watch it every Christmas, along with the XFiles episode The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas. Surprising since it is a total knock on pagan gods and generally speaking I'm less than impressed with Supernatural's handling of pagan gods--they're written even weaker than demons! That end scene gets me every time--how much can be expressed just by a glance...but that stoic manness of the that it looks like something deep may be said and then just want to watch the game? just brilliance. We don't have more hugging moments because THIS is how men act. This is how they show affection and strength all in one. Just beautifully done...

and thanks for NOT reviewing No Rest For the Wicked...althou gh that Lilith is my favorite villain...ever. ..
# sweetondean 2012-07-24 20:17
Exactly. Men don't hug it out every 5 seconds. This is how men act and show their support and affection - like in Abandon All Hope when Sam says "Last words?" They look at each other.... Dean, "I think I'm good." Sam, "Yeah, me too." I loved that interchange, because like the moment in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" when you think a D&M is coming, it says everything that needs to be said, without saying anything at all. But we've had this conversation before! :P

I also think Bela was abused, I think that was implied and you raise a very good point about Dean...I think that may well have shifted his opinion on her.

And yes, little girl Lilith is awesome! :lol:
# LEAH D 2012-07-25 18:17
I think when people talk about brotherly moments they are not necessarily meaning gushy, huggy moments. Nothing wrong with hugs, but it is the feeling of closeness that was lacking. Yes they love each other and they are comfortable in each others presence but this season they seemed distant despite that. Personally I miss the simple heartfelt talks(usually over the Impala,sigh) and the way they used to joke around more. Yes they have matured and been through the ringer but I would like to think fun isn't completely off the table. I would like to see them ENJOY each others company again. Not just be in the same car not communicating. This is why looking back to early seasons is enjoyable to me.
# Amy 2012-07-24 22:20
Season 3 really was amazing. So many excellent episodes though knowing what becomes of the amulet I can no longer watch the christmas episode. Hurts to much. I still beleive the amulet should have been with Dean at Stull cemetary. It should have been the light glinting off the amulet that gave Sam the stregnth to do what he needed to do.

Dean threw it away as a show he lost any faith he had and that included (maybe especially) Sam. So to see it back around Deans neck would be symbolic of his faith coming full circle. The brothers bond.

If Kripke needed flashbacks to tell this story he could have the light glint off the amulet. Samifer looked confused, worried, reach out to grab it. Flashbacks of Sam giving it to Dean as children. Dean throwing it away. Dean finding it in Sams duffle....adn then the montage we got.

The amulet was robbed in favor of the Impala which until that episode kripke never bothered to show what the impala would mean to Sam. We already had the history with the amulet. I didn't need ha;f the episode to explain why it was important. We already knew.
# sweetondean 2012-07-24 22:24
I loved the use of the Impala, because then and always, I think of it as their home. It's the only constant in their inconstant life, outside of each other.
# Lia 2012-07-26 05:59
I love the use of the Impala too. It is their home. I noted in the S6 finale, which Kripke wrote, when Sam is in his head trying to put the pieces of his mind back together, he picked up a set of keys in the hotel room and said, "I guess I'll take my car." MY CAR, and it was the Impala.

The past couple of seasons I feel as though writers have been a little heavy handed with Dean and his baby. I know that when Dean punched Sam over stealing 'his car' it wasn't really about Sam taking the car, it was about Sam disappearing and Dean being worried. Still, I love that Kripke still gets it because if feels like a lot of the writers only get the superficial stuff like Dean's baby and pie, but they get the deeper symbolism.

Speaking of pie, you ever notice that Sam never does get pie, does he? Passive-aggress ive little shit.
# sweetondean 2012-07-26 06:03
Lia! OMG I just laughed so loud! Passive-agressi ve little shit! Oh gosh. That really made me laugh. :D

I think that's how the series will finish. Sam will finally remember the pie. The End.
# Lia 2012-07-26 06:26
LOL Well, as the youngest sibling, I know that you have to find other ways to get back at big brothers when you're smaller. Sam may be bigger now, but he still bitchfaces and makes snarky remarks. It's the kind of thing that follows you around. I mean no one knows how to push our buttons like family, right? So pie -- what better way to get back at Dean when Sam's annoyed about something or just because it winds Dean up. My husband and his brother are in their 30s and still enjoy winding each other up for no good reason. Believe me, 'bitch' an 'jerk' are tame. LOL But when my brother-in-law was in ICU after a motorcycle accident, my husband just might have sold his soul for his little brother (who ironically is the bigger of the two physically).
# st50 2012-07-26 09:17
Just spit out my cereal on that last line. Thanks. That was perfect. :lol:

I also loved that Sam recognized the Impala as 'his' car, too. Once again, it's an anchor - a home - to hold onto. It's these little things that mean so much, and that some of the writers do so well.
# buffsgirl 2012-07-24 22:37
I love you! You are awesome and write my heart each time you post something.

A Very Supernatural Christmas is the one episode that always, without fail, makes me cry and you described it so beautifully that reading your write up made me teary eyed.

I'm sure this project you have taken on is time consuming but you are appreciated! Keep it up!! :-)
# PaintedWolf 2012-07-25 02:16
Another great one sweetondean!
I love season 3 (oh hell, who am I kidding? I love this show, period.)
Bad Day At Black Rock is still the first episode I go to when I'm in need of some cheering up. It always leaves me with a huge grin on my face. There are just some awesome episodes here- A Very Supernatural Christmas, Fresh Blood, Dream, No Rest For The Wicked, Mystery Spot...
AVSC was just all kinds of Awwwww. The gift giving gets me every time too. This was definitely the episode where I took notice of Jeremy's writing, and that's what makes me excited for Season 8. He knows how to write our boys.
I think I read somewhere that if they got those extra 8 episodes, Sam would have saved Dean from Hell, but at the cost of going darkside...
Whew, looking forward again to season 4. I'm sure that one's gonna be a doozy ;-)
# Lia 2012-07-25 09:57
This was a really terrific review, and it caused me to recall so many moments. Thanks for that.

On Bella, because so many ppl brought her up here, I do think she was abused and that's what caused her to make the deal with Lilith. That's not what condemns her in my eyes or, I think, in Dean's in the end. It's her complete lack of empathy for anyone else. She doesn't hesitate to screw over other people in her attempts to save her own skin. That's what makes her so different from Dean. He puts his neck on the line for other people, not just Sam but complete strangers, every day. When it comes down to it, that's what Dean loathes about her. I don't see how learning the truth about her abuse would change that.

There's just so much good stuff in S3 as you say: Dean starting to see his father as a man with faults and not a hero, his fantasy of Lisa and Ben (funny how that plays into S6), Sam becoming robo!Sam in Mystery Spot. If anything bothers me about S8 spoilers it's the idea that Sam just goes blithely along without Dean. I'm not saying he has to go robo, but that he's 'happy'? I hope Carver will temper that with some real mourning because I don't care how much they've matured, Sam can't lose the most important person in his life without being screwed up by it even if he thinks Dean is in Heaven.

Anyway, I've gotten off topic. I just wanted to thank you for this piece. It's awesome, and thank you for encouraging some faith in Carver. I'm hoping for the best as well. You're right. He's terrific at showing the connection between the boys in a realistic and heartfelt way. I'm hoping for some of that because I surely miss it.
sexy lingerie
# sexy lingerie 2012-07-25 21:01
Great! Well Done
# Joyful 2012-07-26 04:24
Thank you again Amy for a wonderful essay on Season 3..... I agree wholeheartedly that this Season has some of the strongest, most amazing episodes in the history of the show... I mean, Mystery Spot, A Very Supernatural Christmas, Just in Bello and No Rest for the Wicked to name just a few. Wow! What a lineup! I too rewatch Supernatural Christmas each December, and get teary each and every time! Mystery Spot affected me the very first time - after watching I had this hollow sad feeling inside for about 24hours, with the last scene just sucking the humour out of the episode with the shattered look on Sammy's face. But yes, I love watching that episode each year. I am into Season 4 and already 'hating' Ruby's influence on Sam, but that's for the next review! Great review. Thanks again.
# Mel 2012-07-26 12:43
I'm not at home so I don't have any of my references to the interviews etc, but insofar as the missing six episodes are concerned - not only those episodes but the four that were written/produce d after the writer's strike are very different from what was originally planned.
This was back when EK still did not plan to have angels on the show. The plan was that Sam would 'go dark' and follow Ruby to save Dean. Dean would not go to hell and and then in S4 (if there was one) have to save (or kill) Sam.
Thank God for the early pick-up that year (also because of the writer's strike affecting production)beca use SPN's ratings were relatively the worst in S3. Without the Writer's Strike, the show most probably would have been cancelled.
# Sage 2012-07-26 13:11
I must admit the original idea sounded very appealing to me.
Sam saves Dean (yay) from Hell, but Dean has to save Sam from Hell in a different way.

But I loved Season 3 and still resent those missing episodes :(
# anonymousN 2012-07-27 09:57
I would have liked there not be a strike as the ideas Kripke had sounded brilliant to me but what they came up with because of the strike is just as brilliant...Sea son 3 well another brilliant season...I loved all the episodes and especially.Myst ery spot is one of my all time favourites Jared was brilliant and well i never liked Gabriel because of that one episode...malle aus malciferum The ending scene was one of the most powerful scenes...Jus in bello a jewel of an episode including a very creepy Lilith..The kids are alright..The way Jensen portrayed Dean's doubts about Ben being his son was very good...No rest for the wicked at the end of it i was absolutely blown away and was waiting eagerly to see what they were going to do next ..season4 worth the wait
# Sylvie 2012-07-28 12:34
Spot on yet again. How can "Supernatural Christmas" not be the favourite of season 3? It was perfect in so many ways. It gave great insight into what their life has been like ever since their mother died. Sam not wanting to celebrate Christmas at first because the thought that Dean wouldn't be there for the next one is probably the scene that breaks my heart the most, just the look on his face and Dean's reaction, my heart breaks every time for that one.

It would have been great to get our extra 6 episodes, I always feel jipped out of that. But we got a most extraordinary season anyway. "Ghostfacers" makes me laugh more every time I see it. I love those two dorks and the way they parallel Sam & Dean. I catch myself singing the theme song out of nowhere!

Thanks for doing this Amy. I've rewatched all 7 seasons over June & July, and I must say, I'm ready to start all over again. It's a sickness that only true SPN fans can understand, because we all share it.