This week I’m counting down Supernatural’s Favorite Episodes, Number 80 to Number 71! I won’t re-hash all the details about this epic project (which were described in "The Road So Far" introduction), but I’ll just quickly remind you that this list of Favorite Episodes is based on the rankings submitted to me from several participants, including admins and staff writers from The WFB, as well as admins from websites Fangasm and Super-Fan-Wiki. Each individual’s rankings were tallied to determine the Top 100 Favorite Episodes. And a friendly reminder that “tallied” means my computer-expert hubs took the excel spreadsheet and applied his math-genius skills, resulting in a formula that weighted and ranked the final results.
It’s all about the Math, and say it with we – Math Don’t Lie. So let’s get to this week’s countdown!
#80 "The Rapture" (4.20)
This episode is 100% amazing, from start to finish! To refresh your memory, in this episode, Castiel has been ordered back to Heaven, and he leaves behind his vessel, Jimmy Novak. As a result, we are given the backstory for Jimmy. As Alice put it, “The episode was a sad but very well done look of what happens to the families of vessels.” Part of what makes this episode so incredible is Misha’s outstanding acting – his portrayal of Jimmy was so completely different from his portrayal of Castiel! Jimmy is quiet - a devout family man, and a devout Christian. On the other hand, Cas is much more of a badass, determined to obey orders at any cost.
Gail agreed, saying this episode really “showcased Misha’s versatility as an actor. It was a heartbreaking moment when Jimmy had to leave his family again, and then very poignant when he sacrificed himself yet again to allow Cas to take his vessel, in order to to save Claire.”
Kate38 said, complete with the all caps, “IT'S ABOUT TIME we got some back story on Castiel's vessel. Jimmy's story is tragic, and the viewers needed to see how tremendous his sacrifice was."
I think Lynn summed it up perfectly: “Misha did a great job distinguishing Jimmy Novak from Castiel - he sounds, acts, so differently. He looks like such a baby in his simple grey tee shirt, so earnest about being special, chosen by an angel. My heart breaks, watching how the possession messed up Jimmy's entire life. It's so sad, the whole episode is so sad.”
And then there’s that ending! Bobby’s urgent phone call, asking Sam and Dean to come to his house ASAP, which is really a ruse orchestrated by Dean to get Sam there, so that Sam can be trapped inside Bobby’s panic room, as Dean and Bobby attempt to help Sam detox from the demon blood.
#79 "The Real Ghostbusters" (5.09)
Becky invites Sam and Dean to a Supernatural convention! Cosplayers attended the convention, including Hook Man and The Scarecrow, and who could forget the various panels offered at this convention, such as “Frightened Little Boy: The Secret Life of Dean” and “The Homoerotic Subtext of Supernatural.”
There there is Becky - sweet, adorable Becky. She is us on so many levels! As Lynn said, the character of Becky as portrayed in these Kripke-era episodes show a “genuine affection for fandom, along with poking a little fun.” Alice agreed: “Fans are nuts, but we’re really cool anyway. Kripke gets us!”
And of course, Chuck - sweet, adorable Chuck - is one of the featured guests at the convention. Journalbookbinder and I agree that the scene with Chuck on stage, awkwardly answering the fans’ questions, is priceless. I just wanna hug him.
We can’t forget Demian and Barnes, the Sam and Dean cosplayers who ultimately help the boys fight off the angry ghost, Leticia Gore. When Demian and Barnes say to the real Dean: ‘I'm not sure you get what Supernatural is about. To wake up every morning and save the world, to have a brother who would die for you...’ Lynn called that some true “fannish wisdom.” She added, “Fandom is powerful, y'all… I LOVE this scene, where the fanboys want to help fight even though they're terrified – ‘because that's what Sam and Dean would do.’ That's what it's all about, this little show that inspires all of us.”
And of course, there’s Dean’s speech to Demian and Barnes:
No. I am not a fan, okay. Not fans. In fact, I think that the Dean and Sam story sucks. It is not fun. It is not entertaining. It is a river of crap that would send most people howling to the nut house.
Ugh, just break my heart, Dean. Also, this line has been my ring tone foreverrrrrrr.
#78 "Slash Fiction" (7.06)
Well well well, in this episode, two Leviathans clone themselves as Sam and Dean and go on a murder spree, so basically Jared and Jensen finally get to play unconscionably terrible bad guys, so yay?
And then there’s Sheriff Jody, who shows up at Bobby’s to say thank you for saving her from the Leviathans. She ends up cooking and cleaning for him while he deals with the Leviathan he has locked up in the basement. The good news is that all of Jody’s cleaning leaks into the basement, and thus we learn that Leviathans hate borax, so yay!
But then there’s that ending, when Leviathan!Dean tells Sam that Actual!Dean killed Amy Pond, so now Sam is really mad, and he storms off, telling Dean he needs some time alone. Definitely not a yay at all.
Kate38 loved this episode, citing Season Seven as one of her favs, then adding, “This is one of my favorite episodes from that season! I love that Jensen and Jared got to play and then "meet" different versions of themselves. There was humor throughout ("Who's got two thumbs and a full-blown bats-in-the-belfry?" - LOL!), but the episode was also injected with the perfect amount of shock over the horrible murder spree and creep-factor over the leviathans. Such a great episode!" Kate38 is much more of the yay! with this episode.
Alice also loved it, calling it “one of the more entertaining episodes of Season Seven, with dual Winchesters and a dual baby too!”
I must admit, there were two scenes that I did enjoy:
Dean: Nobody puts baby in a corner!
Sam: You know that’s a line from…
Dean: Swayze always gets a pass!
And of course, there’s the whole scene in the car as Dean sings ‘All Out of Love’ by Air Supply. He sang silently in the episode, but he actually sang out loud in the outtakes. Definitely a yay!
#77 "Monster Movie" (4.05)
There’s just so much to love about this episode! Shot entirely in black and white, it’s a tribute to some of the classic old horror movies! As Nate Winchester said, “This entire episode was great, experimental fun!” Kate38 agreed, adding, " I appreciated the homage (to old horror films) and enjoyed feeling like the writers and crew had fun creating this one. I also appreciated the lightness of this episode before we got punched in the face with the truth about Dean's experiences in hell.” Alice said she thought this was “one of the best episodes in terms of cinematography and direction.”
To refresh your memory, a shapeshifter is terrorizing a town during Oktoberfest, and frankly, Dean couldn’t have been happier. The shapeshifter is masterfully played by Todd Stashwick. Alice loved his performance, saying, “It is one of the best guest appearances of the series.” Lynn agreed, adding, “Todd was so perfect in this role, able to carry off the camp and the pathos and make it a little scary too.”
Elle had her own perspective on the episode, partly because her hometown is renowned for Oktoberfest: “This is particularly amusing to me, to see the eccentricity of the celebration in oversized cups, the pretzels etc.” Elle went on to explain that the combination of “the old monster-movie style of filming plus the shifter is so ridiculously hilarious… it all adds up to comic genius.”
Of course, the show cannot give my heart a moment’s peace, so we had to have a scene where one of the boys endures some self-reflection, in this case, it is Dean:
Girl: You’re giving up your life for this terrible responsibility.
Dean: I realized that I save people. It’s awesome. It’s kinda life a gift, a mission... a mission from God.
One of my favorite scenes is when Sam and Dean are at the bar, and Dean explains to Sam that Cas healed all his scars and wounds when he brought him back from Hell… thus, Dean concludes that he’s been re-hymenated. Is that even a word? Sam does not think that’s even a word.
And I’ll just leave you with this gif, because Dean. Strapped to a table. Wearing lederhosen.
#76 "Home" (1.09)
It’s our first trip in the Way-Back Machine this week, all the way back to Season One! In this episode, we find Sam and Dean returning to their childhood home in Lawrence, Kansas after Sam has a vision. Listen, this just has pain and anguish written all over it, right? Right. Nightsky said it best: “My heart breaks watching these boys dig into such a traumatic past.” 100% Agree.
To quickly recap: Sam and Dean visit the old house, meeting the new family that just recently moved in. This poor single mom just thinks her house has a few creaks, and I can’t help but feel sorry for her because she’s just so unaware of All. The. Things. Fortunately, the boys keep investigating, leading them to the fabulous Missouri Mosley, who ultimately helps them purify the house.
Let’s not forget the return of Mary, as she appears inside the house to banish the poltergeist and save her boys. As Alice said, “This is the Mary Winchester I like to remember.”
And then there’s that final scene, when we find out that John has been there the whole time, at Missouri’s house! I just wanted to reach into my TV and hug Missouri as she chastised him for not talking to his sons! Elle commented that she “didn’t like the way Missouri treated Dean” (and I’m sure others felt the same way), but let me tell ya, I loved that she said out loud to John what we were all thinking!
What would our show be without a punch-you-in-the-feels moment? Cue Dean. He found a brief moment to sneak away from Sam and call his dad, leaving John a tearful message:
Dad? I know I’ve left you messages before. I don’t even know if you’ll get ‘em. But I’m with Sam. And we’re in Lawrence. And there’s somethin’ in our old house. I don’t know if it’s the thing that killed Mom or not, but... I don’t know what to do. So, whatever you’re doin’, if you could get here. Please. I need your help, Dad.
Lynn talked about this scene, saying, “This was one of the first times I had to stop and stare at my screen, and ask who was this Dean Winchester character, who was so complex, and who the hell was this actor making me FEEL so much for him?”
#75 "Nihilism" (14.10)
Okay, this one is as recent as it gets in this week’s countdown, so I’ll just hit a few of the highlights! Let’s start with Rocky’s Bar! Michael has re-possessed Dean, and in doing so, he locked Dean inside his own mind, in his happy place, where he owns a place called Rocky’s Bar. The bar is a fan’s dream too, full of Easter Eggs, like the moose head on the wall, and the stuffed squirrel holding a beer, and the Impala’s old license plates – there are even custom beer taps that read Family Beer Business! It was also awesome to see Pamela there, working as a waitress, and still full of sass and spunk. I think all of the participants agreed that Rocky’s Bar was simply perfect - kudos to everyone in the set department for all the little gems inside the bar!
Another great highlight of the episode is the teamwork between Sam and Cas as they try to help Dean regain control of his mind. Gail said, and I agree, it was “refreshing to see Smart!Cas again.” They managed to capture Michael, and then they figure out a way to get to Dean, trapped inside his own mind.
And then! Yep, there it is – Poughkeepsie! Sam finds Dean and tells him their SAFEWORD, a throwback to when Crowley said the same word to Sam as he helped Sam expel Gadreel. I think I literally screamed at my TV when Sam said this! Both Gail and Journalbookbinder commented on Jensen’s outstanding acting in this episode – switching effortlessly, seamlessly, between the Dean we’ve known and loved for years, to the chilling, intimidating Michael. #AllTheAwards
As much as I love the ending, it is Rough. Billie telling Dean that all the books on all the shelves, showing all the ways it ends for Dean… and now suddenly, there’s only one ending… and the look on Dean’s face as he reads it… I just can’t. Nightsky called it “one heck of a teaser, that kept us wanting more.” Listen, the only thing I want right now is for Dean to not have that look on his face.
#74 "The Devil in the Details" (11.10)
Details indeed. The main story of this episode is the fact that Sam is locked in the cage with Lucifer, and Dean is determined to get him out. However, there are other details within this episode worth noting, such as the fact that we get some of Rowena’s backstory as she responds to Crowley’s question, “Mother, why do you hate me?” She replies:
I hate you, because when I look into your eyes I see the woman I used to be, before magic, before the coven. When I was nothing but Rowena, the tanner's daughter. A pale, scared little girl, who smelled of filth and death. I hate you, because when you were born, your father said he loved me. Then he went back to his grand wife and his grand house, whilst I lay pathetic and half dead on a straw mat, my thighs slick with blood. I hate you, because if I didn't, I'd love you. But love, love is weakness. And I'll never be weak again.
Kate38 said, "That's so perfectly conflicted for her and adds color to a character.” Read that again – perfectly conflicted. Rowena, with her perfect clothes, and her perfect hair, and her perfect makeup… of course, she would most surely be perfectly conflicted too.
Now let’s talk about Sam locked inside the cage with Lucifer. I loved that Sam played it smart, played it strong, even though he had to be consumed with fear. In spite of all of Lucifer’s taunts, Sam held his ground:
Sam: So my answer is no. This isn’t because of Dean, or the past. This is about me. Having faith in my friends. Having faith in my family. We will find a way.
Sam: You’ll taunt me, and you’ll torture me, and I’ll say no, and eventually, sooner than you think, my brother’s gonna walk through that door and kick your ass.
Lucifer: You’re betting on Dean?
Sam: I always have.
And of course, Dean eventually finds his way into Hell, and with some help from Cas, Crowley, and Rowena, he does manage to save Sam… but at a price.
That price? Sam may have refused over and over again to say yes to Lucifer, but Cas just couldn’t see any other way to defeat Amara without Lucifer’s help – so he said yes! Gail said she was “definitely NOT happy” about that, adding, it would be “just another mistake for him to regret and be blamed for later.”
There’s one more thing I’d like to highlight… Crowley, on Christmas morning, in a onesie, excited about his new toy, a Sam Funko Doll. That’s it. Crowley in a onesie. May we never forget that most rare, most precious gem.
#73 "Something Wicked" (1.18)
Ok, folks, it is really hard to Not write a 233-page dissertation about this episode, I’m just sayin. So in an attempt to not drip tears all over my keyboard as I write, I’ll keep it short and very much to the Point! On the surface, this is another classic, creepy MotW episode as Sam and Dean try to kill a shtriga that is sucking the life force from children. But as the episode goes on, we find out – through flashbacks to Sam and Dean as young children themselves – that John was hunting this same shtriga years earlier! As Nightsky pointed out, the “parallel between the two brothers in current time with the Dean and Sammy 17 years ago… it seems that it has always been big bro taking care of little bro.”
Lynn summed it up like this: “I legit screamed when the shtriga jumped up and attacked Sam - and jumped up and down when Dean finally got a do-over and got to save his little brother.” Amen!
Journalbookbinder reminds us that this episode brought a true “insight into Dean feeling responsible for Sam.” Kate38 added, “It’s a glimpse into how Dean got one of his many emotional scars."
Emotional scars? Do you mean the fact that Dean is himself a child, left with the responsibility of taking care of his even younger brother? Do you meant the fact that Dean sacrificed so much for Sammy, from the last bowl of Lucky Charms to Heaven knows what else? Or maybe it’s the fact that, as Dean opens up to Sam, we see that he is consumed with guilt, consumed with the belief that he has failed Sam? Listen, I have emotional scars just watching this.
Thank heavens Sam listens to Dean, really listens. Sam finds a new understanding of Dean as he opens up to him, understanding Dean’s need to follow orders, Dean’s deep-seeded guilt.
It’s fine, it’s fine. We’ll just all have emotional scars together, m’kay?
#72 "Stuck in the Middle (With You)" (12.12)
Where do I even begin with this one? In a nutshell, this episode centers around Sam, Dean, Cas and Mary attempting to kill Ramiel, a Prince of Hell. That’s surely going to end well, right?
I think what makes this episode one of our favorites is due in large part to director Richard Speight Jr. I think all of the participants in this Countdown Group agreed with Alice, as she said, “The homage to Quentin Tarantino, done with SPN style, and all of it brilliantly directed by Richard Speight Jr. makes this one of the best episodes on Season 12.”
The participants also pointed out other superb elements:
Nate Winchester called it “well structured non-linear storytelling.”
Elle agreed, adding, “Visually incredible storytelling. The reveals in this episode, done piece by piece, with that Tarantino styling, are phenomenal. A perfect episode of drama, action, and emotion presented in the most unique way.”
Kate38 commented, “The plot pieces - Mary's deception, Castiel's near-death experience, hearing Castiel say that he loves his family, Crowley using his genius to come to their rescue – all of these created an overall interesting story. Add in some excellent direction by Richard Speight, Jr. and it becomes difficult to NOT like this one."
Gail loved finally learning a bit of Crowley’s backstory, specifically how he became the King of Hell… she also loved the diner scene. Same, Gail, same.
I think one of the most powerful scenes in the episode features Cas:
No, you listen to me. You… look, thank you. Thank you. Knowing you, it... it's been the best part of my life. And the things that... the things we've shared together, they have changed me. You're my family. I love you. I love all of you. Just please... please, don't make my last moments be spent watching you die. Just run. Save yourselves. And I will hold Ramiel off as long as I can.
Hang on, I need to grab some tissues.
#71 "Let the Good Times Roll" (13.23)
To refresh your memory, in this episode, Sam, Dean, Cas and Jack escape Apocalypse World and are then confronted by Lucifer and Michael. That leads to Dean making a most difficult decision.
But before I get to that ending, can I just say, Yes, yes, I personally would love to see Sam and Dean get a break, a vacation.
Back to the meat of this episode. You know this one - where Sam and Dean and Cas and Jack are forced into an epic showdown with Michael and Lucifer. The one where we see the undeniable strength within our favorite characters.
And let’s not forget that decision that Dean makes, saying yes to Michael, and then stabbing Lucifer. As Gail put it, “Finally! Lucifer is dead!”
Then there is that ending... in the words of Nightsky: "That’s what a Supernatural finale should be – thrilling, gratifying, well-written, superbly acted, fantastic cinematography with scenes that take your breath away, plot closures that make sense and a tantalizing cliffhanger. This was an ending worthy of taking its place among the best finales of the series.” 1000% Agree!
So that’s episodes 80-71 in the Top 100 Favorites list! Did any of these make it onto your list? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to join us again next time as we continue the countdown with episodes 70-61!
Twitter: @MamaPrior or @PriorStudios
Staff Writer, https://fangasmthebook.com/
Staff Writer, https://thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/
If you missed the earlier parts of the countdown, go back and catch up!
and the great stories that just missed the coveted Top 100: Honorable Mentions!
You can find them all with the tag Top 100 Episodes!
Need a little help compiling your Top 100 Favorite Episodes? Karen and Nightsky are sharing their Top 10 episodes of each season, to coincide with the #SPNSummer2019 Hiatus Rewatch. You can find those lists, and all of WFB's Top 10 articles in WFB's Article Archives!