First, my apologies for the delay in this posting and for my lack of postings the month or so - most recently I had a computer-related emergency in which my hard drive flat-out died, taking with it my nearly completed handful of articles due for publication this week. So, here we are, finally, with the second part of the season two hits and misses. Second - I do have a timeline in mind for this series, which I hope to wrap up with season seven, part two before the premiere of season eight (eight!) in October. So yes, there is a method to my madness! Third - reminder that I'm striving to evaluate the Hits and Misses within the context of only the season in question and (maybe if it relates) preceding seasons. Thus if a "miss" from season four, for example, is corrected or clarified in season six, it's still a season four miss. Finally, you will notice this particularly list boasts a disproportionate balance among the hits and misses. Season two simply had too high a number of all around great episodes - it was a generally tight and well-executed season from beginning to end. Having already concocted the skeleton lists for season three and four, I anticipate this problem (if you want to call it that) will be limited to season two for now.
"Supernatural" Hits and Misses Season Two: Part Two
Alright, without further ado "¦.
Hit: Bobby learns of Dean's deal
Bobby is the epitome of tough love. By the end of season two, we are just getting know Bobby, and it's already apparent the father role he plays in the lives of the boys. What is particularly potent about this scene in the junkyard is that it plays both sides of Bobby's relationship with Sam and Dean: the gruff approach that comes simply from a place of love. The other element of this moment that is so gripping is the pure desolation on Dean's face when he admits to Bobby what he's done and why he's done it. Heart-wrenching hits all around.
Hit: What is and What Should Never Be
Just about this whole episode is brilliant from start to finish and stands as one of my top five episodes of the series, hands down. The concept of the djinn and be careful what you wish for reaches new heights, and we see what might have become of the boys if Mary had lived, if Yellow Eyes had never come into the Winchester world. This is one of the first expressions of Dean's deep but largely unexpressed yearning for his mother and is the ideal precursor to the soul-selling in AHBL because it underscores how fundamental to his being Dean's family is to him. Also, this episode has some great comic relief - a particular favourite moment being when Sam finds the lamb blood in the car and thinks Dean has lost his mind.
Miss: Special Kids Town, USA a.k.a. Cold Oak, South Dakota
Alright, this one hardly needs explanation as I'm confident I'm not alone in my disdain for the most things related to the Special Kids. This storyline crops up a few times throughout the season, seeming ill conceived from the get-go and poorly executed all around. And more importantly, how does YED go about getting the kids to Cold Oak? Obviously he has some sort of teleportation skills, I suppose. I understand it was necessary for the sake of the storyline, but overall this is a weak plot element that can only be chalked up to a miss, at least for me.
Hit: Hell Hounds
I'll keep this short and sweet: is there any greater way to do a truly terrifying beastie (short of actually have said beastie) than to cast it invisible to all but it's victims? I think not.
Hit: Ronald Resnick
This is another short and sweet one. Ronald was funny, adorably paranoid, dogged in his pursuit of the "mandroids" and very helpful to Sam and Dean (setting aside the whole take-a-bank-hostage-and-put-them-on-Henricksen's-radar). His character was loved and his death tragic.
I know that I already covered my issues with the other YED kids, but Jake is a special breed of miss. Simply put - Jake is weak. The character does not connect, and as a "threat" to Sam I don't find him believable. Yes, technically he does actually do damage to Sam but that, to me, is the result of contrived efforts to my mind. Maybe this is a nitpick alert, you be the judge. Either way - Jake is a capital "M" Miss.
Hit: Lawyer fakes out Henricksen
There is something that simply brings about a smile when the boys receive help from an unexpected ally. Still, I always wonder about this lawyer: where did she come from? Did she know someone who knew and/or owed the boys? What was it that made her lie to Henricksen in the end? What did Dean say in that meeting that swayed her to his side? Was it simply his effervescent charms or something more? Either way, this twist of her knowing little smile as she strolls merrily away from the interrogation always stands as a hit for me; the cherry on an already great episode.
Where to begin with this one? I suppose it wasn't a bad concept overall, but I think it falls down with the execution.
Hit: Grief over Sam's death
The way Dean mourns Sam is truly gut-wrenching. We reminisce over little-Sammy memories and watch as Dean swirls further in his own grief, getting more and more devastated. Finally, when he demands to the universe to know "What am I supposed to do?!" is there a dry eye in the house?
Miss: Driving Motivation of Crossroad Blues *NP alert*
Okay - this episode is full of juicy goodness. So, why is it on this list? Truthfully because I'm desperate at this point, and season two has very few misses. Additionally, there is something about this episode that never fully rang my bell. The thing about this episode was that it certainly set some things in motion for later on, like demon deals at crossroads, goofer dust, blackdogs etc. And it packed an emotional punch, throwing in Dean's face the reality of how he lived while John died. But aside from those details, I find the overarching hunting plot with the musician etc. of this episode boring. Don't get me wrong, the brother stuff, emotional plot development and character exploration is far from boring. But, to me the motivating plot seemed a tad lackluster. A demon making deals doesn't strike high on the fear scale, even by season two standards. This is a small thing, as this episode contains some of my favourite "Supernatura"l things, including the tricking of the CRD and the Winchester latinating. Nevertheless, in comparison to a season chalk full of largely stellar episodes, this one just packs a weaker blow and thus, lands as a miss.
Hit: John's ultimate goodbye
Wasn't it nice to get a proper send off with John Winchester? I know that the filming makes this scene visually a little bit awkward but on the emotional level it feels just right to me. The exceptionally proud look on John's face as he smiles at his boys and is finally able to move on from Hell to, one assumes, Heaven where he belongs is heartwarming and a great full-circle moment for the YED and driving plot that started the entire SPN ball rolling.
As episodes of SPN go, there are very few that I despise outright - unfortunately, Croatoan is absolutely one of those few. To me, this episode is largely a jumbled mess that never fully gets explained, at least not to my satisfaction. Okay, the concept is interesting and done properly, had great potential. It certainly could have really opened the debate about doing the greatest good for the greatest number even when getting there might involve morally questionable or grey action. However, the episode never explores that the way I wish it would have. Instead, we have infected people being killed and/or spreading their disease in zombie fashion and a confusing end whereby the virus just sort of goes away. Emotional elements to this episode certainly but overall one of the biggest misses of the series IMHO.
Hit: Sam and Dean in Prison Orange
It was bound to happen sooner or later, so why not have the boys head to prison on their own terms? What's brilliant about this is how uncomfortable Sam is with prison while Dean fits right it. This makes perfect sense for their personalities at this point in the show. Considering this now, I wonder if the rolls wouldn't be somewhat reversed, or at the very least both boys more hardened and certainly less likely to cheerily make lemonade from these life lemons. Regardless, this episode stands the test of time - I never get tired of watching this hit.
Hit: Those Needing No Explanation
Season two had some episodes that were just phenomenal, hands down. I could go into extensive detail about each and every one of these as I did with WIAWSNB, but then this list would never end. Instead I'll leave it to you the readers to talk about your favourite parts of these favourites:
>Born Under a Bad Sign<
>Houses of the Holy<
These are in no particular order and I'm not necessarily suggesting that these were without their flaws. I'm simply saying season two had some amazing moments and these episodes contained more than their fair share of them.
So there you have it - season two. I'm certain there are hits (and maybe a miss or two) that's I've failed to include here. I really struggled with this list, as I said, so just because it wasn't on the list doesn't mean I didn't love (or maybe loathe) it. Sound off below on your hits and misses of season two!