(Note from Alice)  I'm honored to post the very first article from Ardeospina!  It's been a while since we've had a guest contribution and she's the first to actually take on something that I've always wanted to do but haven't had the time for yet.  Needless to say, I've very pleased with what she came up with.  So enjoy her wonderful take on our favorite third full time cast member.

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Hello, everyone!

Since this site has been such a boon for me during the Hellatus, I decided to ask Alice if I could start writing up some Top Ten lists as a way to contribute to the site.  She graciously said yes, and I went to work!  So thanks, Alice, for letting me join the fun.

Why Top Ten lists, you may ask?  Well, for one, I love making lists.  Two, I like seeing other people's opinions on the subject I'm talking about.  It's fascinating to see how one moment can resonate so much with one person and another person can have a totally different reaction.  Three, I don't really have a point three, but a two-point list isn't a very good list, so...

Without further ado, I present to you the Top Ten Impala Moments!

Top Ten Impala Moments

The Impala is the coolest car on TV.  But for Sam and especially Dean, it's more than just a car.  It's been there for some of the most important moments in their lives, offering silent support in their times of need.  It's acted as hotel, love nest, battleground, hiding spot, and so much more.  No wonder it's such a fan favorite!  Who wouldn't want a car like that?  That being said, it was really hard to pick just ten moments to highlight.  My criteria for this list were: only positive or fun or just plain cool things made this list.  The Impala gets vandalized enough for a separate list!  (Which I'm working on, naturally, since I'm in an Impala mood.)  Only one roadside confession allowed.  Why only one when there are so many good ones to choose from?  Well, that too could probably be its own list, so one will represent all.  Lastly, no Impala arguments allowed.  The boys fighting is so hard to see, and this is a celebratory list, so no arguing!  Plus, the added bonus with making your own list is you get to set the rules.

Honorable Mention - Side views for all - After School Special

Look at how they framed these shots.  So cool!  After four seasons, it's hard to find new ways to shoot the Impala, but they did a great job here.  Bonus points for making Sam look so small, too, because we all know what a giant he is.




   
Any episode that starts with a brutal hacking by scarecrow is memorable for me. Forget the intense brotherly drama, likely intensified by Sam's crazy moment the episode before. Leatherface is cool. The horror scenes are top notch, but that's because Kim Manners knows how to scare the crap out of people. 
I know the online saying. Those of us of rational mind say it all the time. â€œDon’t feed the trolls.” But sorry, sometimes, like with “Jensen vs Jared: I’m Going There” and “Sam Fans vs. Dean Fans, The Saga Continues”  I find the need to bring a little sanity into an insane situation. Lately, some fans have gone just plain nuts. From what I understand, Jared and Genevieve and Jensen and Danneel are getting some backlash just for becoming engaged. Some pretty damned vicious backlash.  Normally when I read such things, I shake my head, dismiss the crazy, and move on. However, the issue won’t die so it’s time for another reality check.  
 
I get the concept of celebrity. It goes back to what was said in “The Real Ghostbusters.” â€œWho wouldn’t want that?” Our lives are boring. Their lives are glamorous. We struggle to make ends meet. They’re richer than our wildest dreams. Many out there put actors (and athletes) on these enormous pedestals for the celebrity is better than us. They can do no wrong. 
 
I’m going to let you all in on a dirty secret. Being a celebrity sucks. Think about it. When two computer programmers from Ohio announce their engagement, they don’t exactly get crazy fans writing on their personal websites attacking them viciously over their impending nuptials. They don’t inspire scores of defenders either that attack the attackers and claim that these people are the greatest couple ever and belong together. Why do actors get this sort of attention? Have we become that bored? They’re human after all and usually every day people forced into a not so every day life.     
 
Most actors don’t join the profession to become celebrities. They love acting. It’s no different than when you choose your career, except they’re choosing something that’s way more grueling.  If anything, they deserve our adoration for having the guts to pick something far less secure.   Acting is one of the toughest professions in the world. Good work is very hard to come by and it’s a demoralizing career.   Not only do actors have to deal with the crazy fans out there, but it involves constant rejection and the bosses a lot of time don’t appreciate their work either unless it makes millions. If you don’t believe me, see what Conan O’Brien is doing these days. Money or no money, there’s such a thing as human decency. It so doesn’t exist in the entertainment business.  
Significant Mothers of Supernatural, Part One:
One-Hit Wonders
 
We survived again! Officially less than one week to go in this long, long hiatus. My goal during Hellatus was to contribute more than the one measly piece I did, but that clearly didn't happen. The one thing everyone knows about me (and my family) is that we have ridiculously bad luck and thus, as usual life had other plans for me, food poisoning being at the top of the list (seriously, one year we rented a cottage on our first vacation in nearly seven years - and EIGHT tornados touched down where we were staying). So, when the many crises were abated, I sat down to write one article and instead found myself with multiple points of interest, leading one article to become one of three instead. So here we go: Part One of the Mother series.
 
Mother is a word that we use in many contexts. It can mean the woman who birthed us, or Mother Earth, or it can be used as a verb, such as "you're mothering me" or it can be an adjective to describe a relationship other than parent-child. The world of Supernatural has explored many mothers throughout the series, good and bad, both desperate and strong. For the most part, these have been powerful characters with a significant role to play, regardless of their actual screen time. That said, this article trilogy intends to explore the significant maternal figures on the show.
 
First, I'll start with the Honourable Mentions.  These were individuals who were mothers in some senses, but their specific impact on going-ons and/or character development wasn't as strong. Note that none of these are in order of favouritism, but rather appearance:

Hey, I remember you from The X-Files, Mr. Character Actor. You're right, it's all gonna be okay; for us viewers with such a stunning introduction, not your mandible. I spy with my mind's eye blood and shattered bone and the start of one of my all-time favorite episodes, the hilarious and mythologically important Simon Said. And we begin, as usual, on the road.

DEAN: That's my point. There's gonna be hunters there. I don't know if going in and announcing that you're some supernatural freak with a demonic connection is the best thing, okay?

SAM: So, I'm a freak now? DEAN: You've always been a freak.

A bit of brotherly back-and-forth, to be sure, but check out the interplay of expressions between their respective last lines. There's something deeper at work, even if neither of them quite realize it this early in Azazel's Plan 2.0.

The Roadhouse awaits, sudsy with beer and Bed Edlund comedic flourishes: Dr. Badass; REO, complete with Kevin Cronin's well-coiffed vocal cords and last, but certainly not least, Dean's grinning expression of fear. Hey, can't blame the guy, Ellen doesn't brook any bullshit.

Off to Guthrie, Oklahoma - do cities with a sub-10k population have their own bus line? – and gentle businesswoman Tracy admonishing an exuberant Webber, fan of ass-kicking backstage pass-getters.

After a heavy episode like "Home" something lighter but entertaining is required. "Asylum" fits the bill perfectly. I don't know about you, but to me insane asylums are creepy as hell.  Lots of bad karma.  After getting my professional start at a mental health facility, I can attest that the therapists are often wackier than the patients (except you of course Jasminka!).

So, if you're Dean Winchester, what do you do when you find out your brother is psychic? Why make fun of him of course!  If you're Sam Winchester, what do you do when you're uptight over finding dad?  Why take it out on big brother of course!  I love Dean's wisecracks, comparing Sam with J. Love Hewitt and Haley Joel. How does Sam handle these snide remarks? At first normally by cuffing Dean on the shoulder. There's that sibling rivalry we love! 
They're here!  They're here!  It's been sooooo long, but new episode is around the corner.  How do I know? (other than the countdown clock telling me).  Preview clips!  Here are three preview clips for "Sam Interrupted."  The first one has been out since this afternoon via The CW, the second two were just released by Warner Brothers.  Warning, they really tease!

First, the synopsis:

SAM & DEAN LOCKED UP IN THE NUTHOUSE?! - Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) go undercover at a mental institution in response to a distress call from Martin Creaser, a former hunter (guest star Jon Gries) who's a patient there.  Creaser thinks supernatural forces may be the real reason behind a large number of patient suicides and is afraid for his own life, but the experience proves to be a very dangerous one for the Winchester brothers as well. "Sam, Interrupted" was written by Andrew Dabb & Dan Loflin and directed by Jim Conway.

Clip 1 (from The CW)



Clip 2



Clip 3

The very first mention of Castiel comes in season 3, when he is one of the beings mentioned at the start of the invocation Sam reads over the grave of the sea captain in Red Sky At Morning.  (I haven't found a transcript of the invocation, but it appears to start by calling on "Aziel, Castiel, Lemistiel...".)  "Red Sky At Morning" is the only episode of Supernatural which was written by Laurence Andries, who is otherwise listed as a consulting producer on Season 3 of Supernatural for the episodes before the writers' strike.  Neither he nor anyone else can have known what he was starting.

"What know we of the Blest above but that they sing, and that they love?" (William Wordsworth)

The big difficulty in understanding Castiel is how little information we have about him.   We are shown few of Castiel's interactions with anyone except Dean, or with various fallen or disobedient (and therefore largely unreliable) angels.  Apart from Dean, there's no-one who talks about Castiel when he's not around, and there's almost no information about what Castiel has been doing and who he has been with.   In  It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester,  when Sam is introduced to Castiel Sam says "I've heard a lot about you".  Really?  Sam may have heard a lot from Dean about what Castiel has done, but what could he have heard about Castiel himself?  Even when we look at what Castiel has said and done, his statements and actions for most of his time on earth have been compromised by the orders he has been given, and by disarray, dissention and disobedience amongst the angelic host.  He's beautiful, and he's an enigma.

Love, love, love, love! this episode. "Home" is one of my personal favorites; my blue funk, down in the dumps, reaching for pint of Haagen-Dazs and settling in for a long night of comfort episodes. It's the episode that put season one back on course in a major way. It's the game changer that helped define the rest of the series to come. How much can I gush about this one? They went for kick-you-in-the-gut emotion and nailed it. The score is as dramatic as the family drama, violins and all. It's easily the most emotionally powerful episode of season one.   Sam's a psychic. Who knew? Not that there's an obvious trail of hints leading up to that, because there isn't. Sam's finally forced to tell Dean the truth in order to save Jenny and her family. Dean takes it about as well as one would think. "Come again?" That would have been my reaction.