Kim Manners directed 17 episodes for Supernatural before his untimely death.  Most of them were very good, some were great, and there was even one stinker. (Bugs!)  But no matter what the episode was about or how it turned out, it always looked amazing, and the acting was (almost) always fantastic.  Manners really knew how to shoot an episode to make it look cinematic, and the bond he had with Jensen and Jared allowed him to draw out some incredible performances from them.  That being said, which of his episodes were the best of the best?  Since we're all familiar with the episodes, I won't go into too much depth about each.  Instead, I'll offer a Clint Eastwood-esqe highlight version.  Read on for the Top Ten Kim Manners Episodes!

#10 - Shadow


The Good: Zoroastrian shadow demons!  Awesome.  Throwing Meg out the window was pretty cool, too.  And that teaser with all the "Meredith" whispering?  Ooh, that was scary.

The Sad:  I get choked up at the reunion with John, especially by Sam's reaction.  And Dean just wants his family back together hunting again!  Oh!

The Funny: "You mind doing a little thinking with your upstairs brain, Dean?"  "Hey, Sam, next time you want to get laid, find a girl that's not so buckets of crazy, huh?"

#9 - Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things


The Good: Zombie!  Sam is so worried about his brother in this episode.  Zombie!  The scissors in the chest thing was awesome.  Zombie!

The Sad: Dean has so much guilt about the fact that his father made a deal to bring him back to life.  Maybe you'll remember that for later in the season, Dean?  No?  Okay, then.

The Funny: "Neil...It's your grief counselors.  We've come to hug!"  "Nah, I think she went out to rent 'Beaches.'"

#8 - Fresh Blood

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The Good: Sam's decapitation of Gordon was epic.  The part where Gordon wakes up as a vampire and hears those heartbeat sounds and the watch is really, really cool.  It's menacing.  Dean's teaching Sam how to fix the Impala!

The Sad: Sam's whole speech about knowing when Dean's terrified because he's been looking up to him since he was 4 is really sad.  Just be his brother again, Dean.  Just 'cause.

The Funny: "Can you think of a worse hell?"  "Well, there's hell."  "What rhymes with 'shut up, Sam?'"

#7 - All Hell Breaks Loose Part II


The Good: Sam's alive!  The YED is dead!  John's out of hell!  The boys have work to do!

The Sad: Dean's breakdown over his brother's corpse is devastating.  What a brilliant job by Jensen.  Dean selling his soul to bring his brother back is so hard to watch.

The Funny:  "Well, check that off the to-do list."

#6 - Heart


The Good: I'm with Dean on this - werewolf!  Sam is so inept at flirting.  Madison was awesome, even if she was a werewolf.

The Sad: Gee, I don't know.  Maybe it's the entire last five minutes of the episode?  They should just rename this episode "Heartbreaking" and be done with it.

The Funny:  "Dean, always with the scissors."  "Shut up. Shut up.  Two out of three." *Dean throws scissors* "God!" "Bundle up out there, all right?"

#5 - Devil's Trap

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The Good:  Bobby!!!!!! Since I watched it on DVD, I loved the cliffhanger ending.  That crash was so jarring.  But I bet it was horrible having to wait all summer for that to resolve.  Sam taking Dean's side twice instead of John's was perfect.

The Sad: Did they just kill the Impala?  Wait, did they kill all four of them?  Dean figuring out his dad isn't his dad because he was being nice to him is so rough.  John!  Be nice to your boys!

The Funny: "What is this, holy water?"  "That one is.  This is whiskey."  "I got a Yorkie upstairs, and he pees when he's nervous."

#4 - No Rest for the Wicked


The Good: Holy water sprinkler system?  Brilliant!  I loved Bobby cramming his way into the fight.  I also liked Dean's escalating panic about seeing Demons and such.  Good continuity from Crossroad Blues, and it really added to the tension.  Dean's last words to Sam were perfect.  Lilith was so creepy!  Loved that!

The Sad: Dean's death.  Watching him get ripped apart was horrible, but I think the worst part for me was the fact that he died thinking Lilith was going to kill Sam.  Dean on meathooks was also very, very bad.

The Funny: "Ain't you just bringing down the room?" "Yeah, well, it's a gift." "And I wish you'd shut your pie hole, but we don't always get what we want."

#3 - In My Time of Dying


The Good: Tessa was an awesome character, and I'm glad she showed up again.  The Ouija board scene was fantastic.  I really loved how Kim shot that with the circular camera and Dean sometimes being there and sometimes not.  This episode was where Dean started realizing his father might not have been as infallible as he previously thought.  Finally!

The Sad:  Even though I frequently cursed him for not being a better father, I was still upset when John died.  Dean getting shocked by the crash cart is so hard for me to watch, even worse than watching him get ripped apart by hellhounds.

The Funny: "I full-on Swayzed that mother!"

#2 - Lazarus Rising


The Good: Dean's back!  Bobby and Sam are so happy to see him that they hug him!  The Hell flashes are really cool.  I really liked that we never saw full-on Hell.  It's so much worse to just see the flashes and how they affect Dean.  Castiel's two attempts to contact Dean are awesome, with the high-pitched whine and the bright light and the "holy crap, what the heck is going on-ness" of the whole thing.  And the whole scene where Castiel shows up in his Jimmy suit was really excellent, too.  And Pamela Barnes!!!!  Loved her.

The Sad:  When Dean accuses Sam of making a deal to bring him back and Sam tells him he tried but the demons wouldn't deal is really sad to me.  Sam is so upset that he couldn't save his brother, then couldn't bring him back.  And Dean's startled reaction, where he sort of starts to realize what the whole ordeal did to Sam is nicely understated but still quite emotional.

The Funny:  "I said take care of her not douche her up."  "You're invited, too, grumpy." "You are not invited!"

#1 - Mystery Spot

The Good:  Everything!  Everything about this episode is good.  I could go on and on about it ad nauseum, but I won't.  It's brilliant all around, and it's one of my favorite episodes ever.  It becomes even more poignant knowing that the Trickster is actually Gabriel, too.

The Sad:  Sam's OCD reaction to Dean's multiple deaths.  Man, he goes so far into the deep end it's scary.  Even Sam's eventual reprise was sad because while Dean came back this time, Hell still loomed.

The Funny:  So much funny in this one.  All of Dean's deaths, but especially the tacos, the shower, and the axing by Sam.  "Rise and shine, Sammy!" "Sammy, I get all tingly when you take control like that."  "Sam Winchester wears makeup.  Sam Winchester cries his way through sex.  Sam Winchester keeps a ruler by his bed, and every morning when he wakes up -- all right, enough!"



# Supernarttu 2010-01-25 04:36
Ardeospina, this was awesome!! I like the way you pointed out, in such a few words, what are the best qualities in each ep. Sometimes you don't need so many words to express your love *heart*

I have to say that AHBL2 would be in my top3. That ep is SO hard for me, Jensen OWNS my soul with his performance. The first minutes, hell, the 'first half' of the ep is so made of awesome that I don't have the words. Team that with the last minutes of AHBL1 first and I'm a withering pudding (Not the Dean-way though, hee!) on the floor. I havehavehave to watch the beginning with rewind every single time for several times, it's that heartbreaking. Oh, Dean. Oh Sam.

All these chosen eppies are the best of the best, allthough when I went back to remind myself of the eppies he'd directed, I'd say every single one of them (exc. Bugs naturally) are really strong ones, truly fine moments of TV.

I'm really sad that he's gone but he's left such a legacy behind and his touch is seen everywhere.
# Jasminka 2010-01-25 06:22
Wonderful, just wonderful, Ardeospina! Maybe Eastwood should consider you for writing his movies’ summaries for their press kits…

It’s hard to point to a favourite here, and I just realized that all those episodes are among my all-time-favour ites, with some of the best acting we’ve seen throughout this show. And, I agree, Kim Manners was making not only episodes, he made mini-movies, and fim students will study his art, I’m sure, to learn how to make tv-episodes work to enthral the entire attention of an audience.

Watched an entirely different film yesterday and learned that, during the Napoleonic Wars, when the Brits wished to honour a man, they called him ‘a proper bastard’. So, inspired by that – if there was a proper bastard in recent tv history, it was Mr Kim Manners.

Thank you, Ardeospina! Love, Jas
# Randal 2010-01-25 06:32
Nope, no good episodes here. (though *I* would slide Shadow up a few notches, varying mileage and all that).

What's funny is that when I think of my favorite visual shots of this show, Kim's behind a majority of them. The guy was a master.
# Karen 2010-01-25 08:55
Hi Ardeospina
Wonderful tribute. I liked your picks and the way you had set up with the good, sad and funny.
One of mine is still Metamorphosis. The confrontational scenes between Sam and Dean at the warehouse, the hotel and at the side of the road really moved me.
Kim Manners abilities to bring these emotions and moments out from the actors, was amazing.
# Sablegreen 2010-01-25 15:21
Loved you top ten picks. Great choices