Here it is... at long last... The Final Countdown!
Did you just sing that?
Announcing numbers 5, 4, and 3 of our Favorite 100 Supernatural Episodes!
How did we choose which episodes deserved to be on the Top 100 list? Rankings were determined by a group of rag-tag-war-torn fans who spend way too much of their time studying and writing about Supernatural! More specifically, participants in this ranking challenge included administrators and writers from The WFB, admins from the website Fangasm, and admins from Super-Fan-Wiki. Each individual’s rankings were tallied to create a consolidated list of our Top 100 Favorite Episodes - and by “tallied” I mean 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. Details about this epic project were described in "The Road So Far" introduction. It’s all about the Math, and say it with we – Math Don’t Lie. So let’s get to this week’s countdown!
#5 "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two" (2.22)
Story By Eric Kripke and Michael T. Moore
Teleplay by Eric Kripke
Directed By Kim Manners
This episode begins with Dean mourning and refusing to accept the death of Sam. So, of course, he makes a Crossroads deal to bring Sam back. With Sam alive and healthy, Dean and Sam, along with Bobby and Ellen, track the Yellow Eyed Demon to a cemetery in Wyoming – a cemetery smack in the middle of a set of churches built by none other than Samuel Colt, surrounded by railways that form a pentagram, a perfect devil’s trap!
Once at the cemetery, they quickly realize the devil’s trap was designed to protect against a specific crypt, which is actually a Devil’s Gate. And guess what gets opened? Ok, so this probably isn’t gonna end well.
Nightsky summed up why this show is so highly ranked among our favorites. "Starting AHBL2 with “Carry On” gives me chills to this day. This episode is perfection. Line after line, scene after scene is either a climactic conclusion to what came before, or a brilliant set up to what will come afterward. Dean's frustrated acknowledgement of what his life has been to this point, “You don’t think I’ve given enough? You don’t think I’ve paid enough?” and his bitter shame at his perceived worthlessness, “I had one job. I had one job, and I screwed it up. I blew it, and for that I’m sorry...” summed up his entire character in just a few words. His bedside confession to Sam is one of the top moments of the series, but the intensity just keeps building to the crossroads deal. “Dad brought me back; I’m not even supposed to be here. At least maybe this way my life will mean something.” I hate watching that, knowing what it starts. But all that heartache, for the family and for fans, is released and resolved wih their unexpected triumph. John returns and he, Sammy and Dean are all in full tears as John ascends to Heaven. The closing lines: “That was for our mom, you SOB”, “You’re my big brother. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.” and Dean echoing Sam's pilot line, “We’ve got work to do.” - epic. This show has so much heart. I’m in complete awe. I can’t believe I’m so lucky to be in love with this show."
Journalbookbinder: said, “Azazel, aka the Yellow-Eyed Demon, was a great character. That timeless line and perfect delivery of it when he gives Jake the Colt to take to the cemetery and Jake points it at Azazel's head, "Oh, I am shocked by this unforeseen turn of events." PERFECT!”
She added, “The standout here for me is that utterly perfect shot of Dean firing the Colt. I still marvel at that shot. Right up there with the dropped coffee cup when Sam discovers John has died. Seeing Sam's ability to be so cold when killing Jake and Dean's reaction to that set me back when I first watched it - AND we get the "we've got work to do" shot from the inside of the trunk! This episode is such a roller coaster and seems to set the course of the next few seasons.”
Nate Winchester said, “I still remember watching this for the first time and my jaw dropping when the show went and actually killed off the main bad guy! In Season Two! Don't you know that these things are supposed to drag out for years and allow the show to run forever and ever until the final episode? Sure, Buffy would rotate season long villains over the years, but Supernatural had gone through Season One with the same villain, that had made it seem like the more traditional show that was going to use its premise to hang episodes together.”
Nate added, “That moment where Dean takes the shot proved that this show was going to be a little different from everything that had come before. Topped off with a stellar performance by Frederic Lehne (who had to act blind) as the Yellow-Eyed Demon, Jensen showing a believable emotional breakdown, and a great exit by Jeffery Dean Morgan - everything about this episode is just perfection. PERFECT!”
Lynn said, “This finale had it all! Dean's desperation kills me… I was open mouthed the entire time when Dean made the Crossroads Deal, absolutely astonished and pretty much wrecked. We knew how much the brothers loved each other. But this? OMG. And when it worked? I started sobbing all over again. And then the hug - I still can't watch it without sobbing.”
She added, “The entire silent conversation that goes on between Bobby and Dean when Sam walks through Bobby’s door is Priceless. How did we get so lucky to get this caliber of actors on this show? Then the confrontation between Dean and Bobby killed me all over again. Bobby's rage, borne out of love, and overwhelming grief at being about to lose Dean now is so heartbreakingly real.”
Lynn also said, “The last 10 minutes of this episode are insane, as the threads and the mysteries of the last two years all come together BRILLIANTLY. One Perfect Shot of Dean finally killing the Yellow-Eyed Demon is Absolute Perfection. Seriously, this is How To Do A Season Finale 101.”
Kate38 said, "The first time I saw this episode, I literally GASPED when John Winchester's spirit appeared! I love how they wove John back into the story at that pivotal moment to show us all that he wasn't staying in Hell, while simultaneously bringing the lifelong quest of the Winchesters to a stunningly successful close with the death of Azazel. To me, Azazel's death was more critical to the early part of the series than Sam jumping into the cage in "Swan Song". I'm sure that's just me, though. I love that John clawed his way out of Hell! I love that he was THERE to fight that battle with his sons, and that he had a few precious seconds to say farewell to his boys before his soul ascended to heaven and a peaceful rest. That felt so... appropriate."
Memorable Scene #1: Bobby tries to comfort Dean, to help him in his time of mourning for Sam.
Bobby: Something big is going down – end-of-the world big.
Dean: Well, then let it end!
Bobby: You don't mean that.
Dean: You don't think so? Huh? You don't think I've given enough? You don't think I've paid enough? I'm done with it. All of it. And if you know what's good for you, you'd turn around, and get the hell out of here.
Memorable Scene #2: Dean talks to dead Sam.
Dean: You know, when we were little - and you couldn't been more than 5 - you just started asking questions. How come we didn't have a mom? Why do we always have to move around? Where'd Dad go when he'd take off for days at a time? I remember I begged you, "Quit asking, Sammy. Man, you don't want to know." I just wanted you to be a kid... Just for a little while longer. I always tried to protect you. Keep you safe. Dad didn't even have to tell me. It was just always my responsibility, you know? It's like I had one job. I had one job. And I screwed it up. I blew it. And for that, I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. I let Dad down. And now I guess I'm just supposed to let you down, too. How can I? How am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy. God. What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do?!
Memorable Scene #3: Dean makes a Crossroads Deal to bring Sam back.
Dean: What do I have to do?
Crossroads Demon: First of all, quit groveling. Needy guys are such a turnoff. Look... Look, I shouldn't be doing this. I could get in a lot of trouble. But what can I say? I got a blind spot for you, Dean. You're like a... puppy. You're just too fun to play with. I'll do it.
Dean: You'll bring him back?
Crossroads Demon: I will. And because I'm such a saint, I'll give you one year, and one year only. But here's the thing. If you try and welch or weasel your way out, then the deal is off. Sam drops dead. He's back to rotten meat in no time. So... It's a better deal than your dad ever got. What do you say?
The deal is sealed. Sam is back and healthy. And Dean is happy and relieved and grateful... and he might be a little scared, but - and this is just my opinion - I am 100% sure he has no regrets.
Memorable Scene #4: Bobby knows what Dean did to save Sam.
Bobby: What is it with you Winchesters, huh? You, your dad. You're both just itching to throw yourselves down the pit.
Dean:That's my point. Dad brought me back, Bobby. I'm not even supposed to be here. At least this way, something good could come out of it, you know? I--I--It's like my life could mean something.
Bobby: What? And it didn't before?! Have you got that low of an opinion of yourself? Are you that screwed in the head?!
Memorable Scene #5: John Winchester climbs out of Hell to help his boys. John wrestles with Azazel, the Yellow-Eyed Demon, but as Azazel breaks free, he sees that Dean has the Colt. Dean shoots and kills Azazel.
Sam: You did it.
Dean:I didn't do it alone.
Sam: Do you think Dad really... do you think he really climbed outta Hell?
Dean:The door was open. If anyone's stubborn enough to do it, it would be him.
Sam: I kind of can't believe it, Dean. I mean... our whole lives, everything... has been prepping for this, and now I, I kind of don't know what to say.
Dean: I do. That was for our mom, you son of a bitch.
Memorable Scene #7: Dean confesses to Sam about his Crossroads Deal, admitting to Sam that he got one year.
Sam: Did you sell your soul for me, like Dad did for you?
Dean: Oh, come on! No!
Sam: Dean, tell me the truth.
Sam: How long do you get?
Dean: One year. I got one year.
Sam: You shouldn't have done that. How could you do that?
Dean: Don't get mad at me. Don't you do that. I had to. I had to look out for you. That's my job.
Sam: And what do you think my job is?
Sam: You've saved my life over and over. I mean, you sacrifice everything for me. Don't you think I'd do the same for you? You're my big brother. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you. And I don't care what it takes, I'm gonna get you out of this. Guess I gotta save your ass for a change.
Ugh. My feels. I’m in a constant state of brokenness.
#4 "The French Mistake" (6.15)
Written By Ben Edlund
Directed By Charles Beeson
Sam and Dean find themselves in an alternate universe where they are actors on a TV show about supernatural occurrences. So that means Jared and Jensen are playing Sam and Dean, who are playing Jared and Jensen, who are playing Sam and Dean.
Only in our happy little universe does that sentence make perfect sense.
Elle called the episode “fun and creative.” Alice called the episode the “most meta episode ever done on TV. Edlund’s greatest masterpiece.”
Gail said, “I don’t have enough superlatives for this episode. It’s got everything. What a daring thing to do, but it works on every level imaginable. On a personal note, whenever my husband and I feel like life is getting us down, we put this episode on and laugh, and laugh. It’s one of those where you can start a line in everyday life and start grinning immediately. Fantastic. Just fantastic.”
Nate Winchester said, “I've said before the mark of a great episode is one that I should hate, but just can't. The lore in this one makes no chuck-damned sense, but man is this one fun. That the cast got in on the joke to do simultaneous meta jokes during the airing of this episode makes it one for the history books. If I had any complaints, it's that we didn't get more of the behind-the-scenes cast to show up as themselves. You all make the magic happen, you should have gotten your moment in the spotlight.”
Journalbookbinder said, “Maybe the most meta of the meta episodes! When I heard the plot of this one, it sounded like it would be a complete disaster and yet it was actually a total masterpiece. Huge credit to Ben Edlund for this one. Wow. Sam and Dean running into AU version of themselves...their REAL Jared and Jensen selves only with some crazy fictional additions (they don't get along!) is hilarious. The show skewers itself, its creator, the actors, social media, everything. The scene where Sam and Dean are acting like they cannot act is utter perfection and one of the funniest of the entire series!”
Lynn truly loves this episode, so she had a lot to say! First, she gave Kudos to several of the actors. “I loved Sebastian Roche as Balthazar - loved the way he was always in the gray area, sometimes ally, sometimes out for himself, but always entertaining and witty. Genevieve Padalacki was also fabulous in this episode. Her aggravated ‘It's an alpaca, dumbass’ is one of the most iconic lines and she nailed the delivery.”
She added, “And of course, Jared, Jensen, and Misha all deserve accolades of awards for their comedic performances throughout this episode! I love that these actors are perfectly willing to poke fun at themselves too. Jared, Jensen, and Misha all deserve some kind of awards for the Acting Scene, because their every single word and gesture is PRICELESS. Between Misha shoving the makeup lady, Jensen looking constipated and Jared staring at the ceiling, I can't even. In my opinion, the Acting Scene is the most hilarious scene of the entire series!
Lynn also loved the meta aspects of the episode, saying, “The Show isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself and the industry. Ben Edlund gave us a brilliantly written episode that incorporated so many different things - from real life fandom aspects; to throwing shade at the Show’s critics; to the semi-glimpses behind the curtain; to using both actors and actual set people as the Show’s production team (real-life stunt coordinator Lou Bollo plays himself); to breaking the fourth wall without actually breaking it – it is all absolutely brilliant! And when Fake Serge Ladouceur says ‘an atrocity is happening’, I just burst into laughter every time. Perfection!”
Nightsky concluded: "It's all been said. Falling through that window is definitely a trip to Oz. It’s so surreal. Everything is just SO MUCH FUN! It’s impossible to choose classic lines from this ep because everything is classic! Season 6 kills off Kripke, then Bob Singer, then all the Execs on set. It’s great meta."
Nightsky has a unique memory of this episode. "This episode was a turning point in my journey to becoming engrossed in the show and the fandom. The first time I saw this ep, I knew very little about the fandom or the Js. I was binge watching the series, and had not yet grasped how special it was nor what it would mean to me. I clearly remember how upset I got at the line “at least they’re talking.” I thought they were saying the Js really did NOT get along, in real life. I didn't know enough about the show, the actors or the fandom to understand that the whole episode was a parody! It was the first time I researched anything about any show online to learn the truth! I didn't know why, but I needed their love as brothers to be genuine. It made their story - and the love I was starting to feel for Sam, Dean and the show - authentic, deserved... and safe. I could trust what I was seeing and feeling."
She added: "Gen saying “You’ve been Sam Winchester way too long” then the shot of Jared on the computer with a framed picture of him as a cowboy behind him - at the time it was simply funny but now it seems eerily prophetic! One more notch up in this episode's genius!
Memorable Moment(s) #1: So much meta!
Bob: Cut! What is happening? What's happening?! What's happening?!
Serge: An atrocity is happening.
Kevin: Seems like they should stop.
Bob: They can't stop. Nobody stops. Did we get anything we can use?
Kevin: Well, uh, technically, we have them saying everything in bits and pieces. Could be sort of experimental?
Bob: Whatever. Season six.
Dean to Bob Singer: What kind of a douchebag names a character after himself?
Kevin Parks: Well, we can clean up, reset the window; takes about 95 minutes, basically. So we'd have to blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings.
Bob Singer: Ha! Right! You answer the hate mail.
Bob Singer: Jensen, we're thrilled to see you collaborating so creatively. And your enthusiasm is refreshing. Dean Cain was like that on 'Lois,' And that man's a real actor. And we will clear this set exactly when we shoot the 2 3/8 pages we are scheduled to shoot on this set. So you do your 'actor stuff' and we'll do our 'camera stuff' and, uh...
Listen, at this point, I am crying again - but because I am laughing so hard! #happytears
Memorable Moment(s) #2: Misha as… Misha.
Misha: You guys! You really punk'd me! I'm totally gonna tweet this one. 'Hola, mishamigos. J-squared... Got me good.'
Misha: Ooh, 'priority.' what's in it?
Sam: I bought part of a dead person.
Misha: Oh, cool.
Memorable Moment #3: Sam and Dean realize they are actors on a TV show - cue some of the most unforgettable lines of the series!
Make-Up Artist: Okay, hon, we're just gonna get this makeup off your face.
Dean: Wha- I'm not wearing any ma- Oh, crap! I'm a painted whore!
Dean: No, seriously. Why? Why would anybody want to watch our lives?
Sam: Well, I mean, according to that interviewer, not very many people do. Look, I'm not saying it makes sense. I'm just saying, we landed in some dimension where you're Jensen Ackles, and I'm something called a 'Jared Padalecki.'
Dean: Oh, hey. Least my baby made it. Hey. Hey! What - I feel sick. I'm gonna be sick. I want to go home. I feel like this whole place is bad-touching me.
Dean: This must be fake mine!
Inside Dean's fake-Jensen's trailer... ok, listen, you know that makes sense... anyway, they discover that Jensen was on the daytime soap opera "Days of Our Lives" and he played Eric Brady and yes I watched it back then, and I HAVE NO REGRETS.
Inevitably, Sam and Dean are forced to actually act out a scene, and thus were born some of the most iconic lines from the entire series:
Dean: Says Dean grimly
Sam: If there's a key, then there has to be a lock.
Memorable Moment #4: Sam and Dean go to Jared’s house… er, um, mansion.
Dean: Right. Right. 'cause you're not Ruby. You... I mean, how could you be? You... of course! You are the lovely actress who plays Ruby. And you are, uh, in... Jared's house, Uh, because you two are... Married! You married fake Ruby?
Too soon? Too soon.
Memorable Moment #5: The boys beat up an “extra” who is actually Virgil, sent by Raphael to get the key to the angel weapons and kill the boys. Because of that fight, Bob calls Sera, the new showrunner, and suggests they bring in Kripke to talk to the boys.
Dean: You heard my brother. That's right, I said 'brother.' 'cause you know what, Bob? We're not actors. We're hunters. We're the Winchesters. Always have been, and always will be. And where we're from, people don't know who we are. But you know what? We mattered in that world. In fact, we even saved a son of a bitch once or twice. And yeah, okay, here, maybe there's some - some fans who give a crap about this nonsense.
Memorable Moment #6: In the end, they are still brothers.
Sam: Solid. It's real. Nice.
Dean: Yeah. Yeah, real, moldy, termite-eaten home sweet home. Chock full of crap that want to skin you. Oh, and, uh, we're broke again.
Sam: Yeah. But, hey... at least we're talking.
Oh my, I really needed to laugh like this! Thank you, Show. Well Done indeed.
#3 "Baby" (11.04)
Written By Robbie Thompson
Directed By Thomas J. Wright
In this episode, Sam and Dean investigate a case in Oregon involving animal attacks. On the surface, this would seem to be a typical MotW episode; however, it is anything but typical. The entire episode is essentially told from Baby’s point of view. And it is glorious.
Alice said, “No other episode takes me to my happy place like this one does.”
Nate Winchester said, “It's fitting this episode was in Season 11 because on a scale of 1-10, this episode goes to 11. While everyone may love the boys, I make no secret that my lust is over the car (and the guns) so to have the sexiest member of the cast finally get her shining moment is a dream come true. That the entire episode is filmed from the car's perspective makes this episode fascinating from a technical and writing standpoint. I like to call this one the lost Kripke episode, because on reflection, this one really should have been done back in Season 5 and is worthy to stand among his standard-setting best episodes.”
Kate38 said, "I love how the writers and producers take such chances with this show. This episode was a HUGE gamble that could've fallen FLAT on its face, but it remains one of the absolute best episodes in the series, as evidenced by its third place in this countdown! Who would've thought that an episode filmed entirely from inside the car would be so compelling? First of all, the story was really cool! Even the monsters are afraid of the coming Darkness! What!? Throw in some visually creative camera angles, some sweet and humorous "Night Moves" (literally and figuratively), and a wonderful broment when Sam wakes up from his dream, and you have the makings of a true classic. I also love the fact that Jensen and Jared seemed to have fun filming this one. That just adds to my enjoyment every time I watch it."
Nightsky: "Baby" is a love letter to Jared, Jensen and the Impala. It's as if Robbie Thompson wanted to honor how much of themselves they've poured into this show by dedicating one entire episode to say "we truly, deeply, get your characters and the lives they've been living. We're going to let them, and you, be yourselves... together. Have fun, boys. You're safe with us. You're home."
To say that Lynn loved this episode would be an outstanding understatement. First, she loved the inclusion of the Show’s many inanimate objects. She said, “The Show has so many beloved objects, all of which were so wonderfully included in this episode, from the army man in the ashtray, to the Legos in the vents, even the Green Cooler. However, the star of this episode is the Impala herself - sleek and black and beautiful, strong and capable and not afraid to get her hands (or wipers or doors or seats or windows) dirty (or bloody). Resilient, as she takes a beating again and again (much like her boys) and yet struggles to get back up and keep going – keep fighting (much like her boys). Everything about her, from her ancient tape deck to the initials in her paint, is iconic.”
And, of course, Lynn truly loved all of the brotherly moments. She said, “Just watching the boys side by side in the car, rolling down the road and arguing about the lack of beer in the cooler, was so satisfying. Watching them singing and laughing and mock fighting and GRINNING at each other nearly bowled me over. There’s a comfort and familiarity in the scene of the brothers together, safe in the Impala, settling down to sleep where they’ve slept countless times throughout their entire lives. I smiled so wide it hurt, and I absolutely could not stop. It felt like a drug, instant euphoria.”
Journalbookbinder said, “This is how we know Robbie Thompson loves us and loves these characters. I can only wish there had been more episodes like this. A "Baby-style" episode, one per season after this first one, would have been excellent. The idea of showing us only what takes place inside the car was so well-shot and so well-done. Jensen's stunt driving was awesome. The entire scene with Cas on the other end of phone in the car talking into the air while Dean is outside killing the monster is perfection. So unique. So funny. So good. Sam and Dean talking over the back of the seat before going to sleep in their only true "home" is a perfect Sam and Dean moment and the shot of them sleeping from above is iconic. Furthermore, the footage shot while Jared and Jensen drove around, alone, with just the camera mounted on the car is some of my favorite footage ever created on the show. Very sad that Sam's one-night stand "Piper" did not accept his offer to take his phone number. (BTW, is she NUTS?) Innovative. Touching. Decent hunting story. Perfect Supernatural.”
Memorable Moment #1: Night Moves.
Memorable Moment #2: Sam and Dean have a little fun.
Memorable Moment #3: Sam has a vision of John. In this vision, John tells Sam the darkness is coming and only the boys can stop it. He also says “God helps those who help themselves.” Oh and in this vision, it’s Young John, as in Matt Cohen!
Memorable Moment #4: Cas is back at the Bunker, doing research. And watching Netflix. And doing research. Which leads to another opportunity for Dean to name a creature - so, were-pire? Or better yet, ghoul-pire.
Dean: Hey, Cas. Tell me you got something that doesn't involve chicks in prison.
Sam: Bet you never thought you'd say that out loud.
Castiel: It's a nachzehrer.
Sam: Come again?
Castiel: A ghoul and vampire-like creature.
Dean: A ghoul-pyre! Huh?
Memorable Moment #5: While Cas is on the phone talking to Dean, Dean is not even near his phone because he's fighting with the deputy. And yes, Baby played a pivotal role in helping Dean kill the deputy.
Dean: Turns out I did shoot the deputy.
Memorable Moment #6: Never forget that Dean knows Baby better than anyone, and he loves Her dearly.
Dean: Oh, Baby... I'm so sorry.
Memorable Moment #7: But never, EVER forget that they were never really homeless.
Dean: Okay, Mom. Let's go home.
Sam: You know what? We are home.
What a great episode. You can learn more about "Baby" in Nightsky's multi-part interview with Robbie Thompson. In it, they discuss how he came up with the idea for "Baby", what he wanted to achieve with such a creative format, the music that is so much a part of the mood of the episode, and much more. #ThankyouRobbie. Thank you, Show.
So that’s episodes 5-3 in the Top 100 Favorites list! Did any of these make it onto your list? Let us know in the comments! Next up - the Final Two Episodes! Which episode will be #1??
Twitter: @MamaPrior or @PriorStudios
Staff Writer, https://fangasmthebook.com/
Staff Writer, https://thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/
See the whole list of our Favorite 100 Episodes from the beginning! 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. You can find those lists, and all of WFB's Top 10 articles in WFB's Article Archives!