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2.  Frontierland

Season: Six

Why it's on the list:  I've bent some rules, for this episode is stretching boundaries in the "standalone" department.  Come season six, some rules need to be bent.  Still, I kept going back and forth over whether I should this it on here.  After all, it has a tie back Samuel Colt and his significance to the demon killing colt that's been a big part of the mytharc since the first season, there's the reference to the Elkins family, and all the information in the Campbell family library.  Plus, this isn't Sam and Dean's first time travel trip via angel mojo, and even the side story is Castiel's part of the mytharc!  

So why is it here?  Because how could I possibly leave the Western off?  It's iconic!  The western story itself, which is hunting a phoenix in the form of a cowboy in 1861, works perfectly as a standalone.  Who wouldn't enjoy Dean getting so excited about his trip to the old west that he has to go shopping, getting Sam a Roy Rogers style white shirt with yellow roses, himself a Clint Eastwood serape, and them both some not so period cowboy hats.  Once Castiel sends them back to 1861 Wyoming, Dean learns the ultimate lesson, what he saw in the movies isn't the real old west.  "Nice blanket."  Hee!  There's the eye opening trip to the saloon where the women have diseases and the whiskey tastes like gasoline, the ludicrous notion of Sam riding a horse and the smokin' hot Sheriff Dean in a full length waist coat and proper hat having his high noon showdown in the town square.  Throw in the call back to Back To The Future II at the end and even if the viewer knows nothing about Supernatural they're very entertained.  

Favorite Scene:  So tough with this episode!  I'll go with the final showdown at the town square, because that scene manages to get my hormones in a twist.  Dean's outfit, his square jawed glare, both men with coats flipped ready for the draw, and Dean has an ace up his sleeve that his phoenix opponent doesn't know.  Sam arrived with the colt in time.  Of course all of this is complicated with Castiel and Bobby back at home trying to get enough power back into Castiel to bring the boys home.  The timing is tight for sure and the back and forth is exciting.  The phoenix goes down thanks to Dean's quick draw but, the ashes cannot be retrieved in time.  Lucky for everyone, there's a Back to The Future II homage to play out.  Samuel Colt did care after all.  


# raelee514 2012-01-24 01:28
To this day... my friends and I when we see pizza delivery advertisements still will randomly turn to each other and go: But wait, I have a coupon!
# sylvia37 2012-01-24 02:18
Great choices, Alice.

Oh, and although I love Dean pizza rolling Tinkerbell, my favorite part of Clap your Hands was when Sam had that tiny cup in his hands and looked up with that look and said, "Do you have bigger cups"? I howl every time I watch.
# annie 2012-01-24 14:55
Thats my favourite scene too. I loved seeing Sam's giant hands trying to hold that delicate little tea cup.

This was one of the only episodes of season 6 I actually liked the fact that it had me howling with laughter is a bonus.
# rmoats8621 2012-01-24 03:33
Alice, I liked your list. Your no. 1 is mine as well. Although I would add three more to your honorable mentioned list. One would be Faith. I just love that episode and I find that it's one episode that I gravitate back to. I love the hospital scene where Dean tells Sam that he needs to take care of his baby or he will come back and "haunt his ass". Another would be What Is and What Should Never Be. The whole episode is wonderful. How Dean responds to being with his mother is just heart-warming and heart-breaking all at once! Lastly, The Benders is still one that makes me jump. As Dean said, monsters they get...people are just crazy! That little girl was just creepy....
# Alice 2012-01-24 11:50

Actually, "What Is and What Should Never Be" was on this list originally, but it didn't pass the "standalone" test. For a new viewer, they really wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the emotional impact if they didn't see the Pilot and know how much Mary's loss has impacted Dean in his life. So it was taken off.

Faith was a finalist too. Great choice! As I said in the part one disclaimer, as much as I like season one, those episodes lacked a lot of the production quality that went into the other seasons. It's so tough with a show with this many episodes!
# Sylvie 2012-01-24 09:16
That was a great list. I just checked with Supernatural Wiki for some of the titles, and man, I don't know how you did it!

I do have a few favourites from season one though. Hell House (Sam in a bath towel, hello!...I know, a little shallow); Provenance, I love me a good ghost story, and that little girl was pretty scary; Something Wicked, Dean and kids in danger, it just brings something out in him that I love; The Benders, oh yeah, that little girl was creepy, reminds a little of the X-Files episode with the in-bred family; Playthings, a drunk Sam! need I say more; Heart, breaks mine everytime; Folsom Prison Blues, Dean sure does make a pretty good inmate; Live Free or Twihard, vampire Dean!
# SecretWillow 2012-01-24 10:46
Monster Movie is the very first thing that pops in my head when I hear 'stand-alone episode'. Even if I'm listening to someone else talk about a whole different topic, when I hear 'stand-alone', I think Monster Movie. Like word association.

More than Dean pizza rolling Tinkerbell, the part that always gets me in Clap Your Hands if You Believe, is when Sam is trying to be supportive and empthatic, and he claps his hand on Dean's knee. Even though Dean has always reached out to Sam, to hug, to comfort, to offer support of all kinds, this time, given the circumstances - soullessness and close encounters, etc. - Dean flinches, and his eyes get shifty, and he looks like he's ready to vomit. I'm rolling every time.

I agree with rmoats8621, Faith and The Benders would also be good ones to add. Every once in a while, I'll use Dean's line, "Demons I get, people are crazy", out in public. I get a lot of horrified looks. Thanks for the great list.
green kelly
# green kelly 2012-01-24 13:47
For the last 3 Christmases, I have given my husband shaving cream and a skin mag, and he has given me an energy bar and motor oil--all in brown paper bags. I even get up early so I can run to pick his present up at a gas station before anyone wakes up on Christmas morning. The Christmas episode is, by far, our favorite episode of the entire series, one-shot or not.
# buffsgirl 2012-01-24 14:37
Great list!

A Very Supernatural Christmas gets me every time I see it. I cannot hold back the tears when the camera pans out on the boys and we see the Impala outside the window while snow slowly starts to fall. Perfection.

Clap Your Hands if You Believe is one of my all time favorites. Maybe it was because I was a huge X-Files fan.... (Dean - "they were grabby, incandescent douche bags!" :lol: ). Although I adored the entire episode, the scene I rewind and watch two or three times in a row is when the guys are in the diner and Sam is giving the waitress the "silent how ya doin." Sam says..."So, say you have a soul and you're on a case and your brother gets abducted by aliens." The dialouge, their expressions, everything about this scene is pure genius. AND.... this episode had one of my favorite guest stars of all time. The woman who plays the fairy expert.... could she have BEEN more perfect!

Lastly, I'm sure we all have a lot of the classic music that is played on the show but everytime Styx "Renegade" comes up on my iPod I am instantly transformed to that scene from Nightshifter. Ideal music choice.

I have to go work for the mandroid now!
# Bevie 2012-01-24 14:46
Your number one choice is also mine. Love it to death, especially the very last scene after Dean comes into the room with the camera focused on the amulet. Just reading about it brings back the emotion and starts the tears to fall. I guess I need help! :o Where is Jasminka lately anyway?

And I still want to see that amulet returned.

Loved all of your choices, but would add more like others have. Faith for sure, the Benders, Something Wicked and Provenance along with one of my very favourites, Hell House. Loved the pranks and the way they were with each other in that one. Also loved Edd and Harry, the inept "professionals" . Ha! :P
# PENNY JAIME 2012-01-24 15:52
# MisterGlass 2012-01-24 21:37
It is amazing how good some of these standalones are. As soon as I saw the title, I immediately thought of "Tall Tales", and was glad to see it there. It is hard to think of another really good standalone episode to throw on here. "Provenance"? "Heart"?

Not "Bugs", obviously.

The Trickster was my first villain on the show, though my first episode was "Mystery Spot". I know why it isn't on here, but I thought it was the best possible almost standalone. If "Wishful Thinking" didn't have so many references to Dean's Hell I would put it on here too.

Thanks for the list Alice!
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2012-01-24 22:57
Terrific list Alice. I loved all your choices for standalones. They are all such wonderful episodes of television in their own right. Amazing too that so many were crafted by Ben Edlund. The man is a genius. (I would so love to spend an hour interviewing him about the creative process, and getting a glimpse of how his brain works. Sigh. Another thing to add to the wish list.)

I certainly can't argue with your pick of A Very Supernatural Christmas as #1. I love all the scenes you mentioned, but one of my very favourite parts is where Ozzie Carrigan-Pagan God is squishing Dean's mouth and about to pull the tooth, when suddenly the door bell rings?

Through smushed mouth Dean says "Aren't you gonna get that? You should really get that!" And "If you fudging touch me again, I'll fudging kill ya!"

Sigh. I almost wish the Carrigans weren't dead, because they were amazingly entertaining monsters. Can you imagine the comedy episode if they teamed up with Dracula.. All his scenes would be in black & white. All the scenes with them would be in garish too-bright colours!

I better go. I'm getting goofy creative.

These were great!

Pragmatic Dreamer :-)
# Karen 2012-01-25 10:39
Hi Alice
I love all your choices in both articles.
Bad Day at Black Rock, A Supernatural Christmas, Nightshifter, Monster Movie…
However my favourites will always be the Trickster ones (except for HOTG’s, will never forgive them for killing him). :-? :cry:
# digyd 2012-03-14 14:03
I'd have to go back to my Netflix to see the names of each episode and think hard about whether or not its a standalone in order to maybe come up with something different than what you have in these two parts. I doubt I will. Your picks were right on, even though I might favor different scenes than you. In Clap Your Hands, for instance, my favorite is when they are interviewing the fairy lady. Those tiny tea cups and just all they are learning...good stuff.

Overall, you are correct. Quality picks.