Season ten of Supernatural is almost here! The Winchesters have traveled a long road, and they’re still alive and kicking. Mostly. We’ve watched them search for their father, battle the Yellow-Eyed Demon, team up with Castiel, fight monsters, and argue and make-up more times than I can remember. We’ve come to know and love the single Dean Winchester tear (a/k/a the “Single Emo Tear of Manly Angst”) and the wrinkle Sam Winchester gets on his forehead when he’s concerned. These weary and heroic brothers and their allies have become our friends over the last nine years.
Since we’re approaching the season ten premiere and the 200th episode of the series, let’s play the greatest hits and remember the road so far by looking back at the best episode of each season.
Season 1 – “Pilot”
Supernatural’s first season had a very monster of the week vibe. The brothers traveled from town to town hunting while they search for their missing father. The pilot episode set the stage and did so well. We meet Sam and Dean, learned what happened to the mother, and saw how that transformed their dad John into a sort of Batman figure looking for vengeance and justice. Dean brings Sam back into the family business and they go on their first case, sort of setting the template for the season ahead. The pilot effectively shows the danger of being a hunter – from both monsters and law enforcement – and pulls you into the Winchesters’ bizarre world.
Sam: “I mean, come on, you can’t just break in, middle of the night, and expect me to hit the road with you.”
Dean: “You’re not hearing me, Sammy. Dad’s missing. I need you to help me find him.”
Season 2 – “Crossroad Blues”
Crossroads demons always collect, but they don’t just knock on your door. They send hellhounds. The creatures make their first appearance in “Crossroad Blues,” and they freaked me right out. Supernatural pulls from real life inspiration, and this episode nails the crossroads demon mythology. Sam and Dean investigate deaths and reports about a black dog, and Dean learns his father made a deal with a demon to save his life. Cue angst and guilt.
Dean: “You know, I usually like to be warned before I’m violated with demon tongue.”
Season 3 – “Mystery Spot”
The hilarious “Mystery Spot” isn’t only one of Supernatural’s best episodes, it’s one of the best time-loop stories aired on television. Sam and Dean live their own version of Groundhog Day in which Sam watches Dean die over and over again until he breaks the cycle. Besides featuring the Trickster – he’s a fan favorite character for a reason – and being funny, the episode shows us that Sammy loves Dean just as much as Dean loves him.
Trickster: “Dean’s your weakness. The bad guys know it too. He’s gonna be the death of you, Sam. Sometimes you’ve just gotta let people go.”
Season 4 – “The Monster at the End of This Book”
Supernatural is skilled at going meta, and they rock it in “The Monster at the End of this Book.” The Winchesters meet Chuck Shurley. He’s an author writing stories about two brothers fighting monsters, and the two brothers are named Sam and Dean. He knows every detail of their lives and thoughts, and fans gush over the series and the brothers. Sam points out, “For fans, they sure do complain a lot.” Yep.
Chuck turns out to be a prophet of the Lord, and he’s protected by an archangel. Chuck sees what happens and writing seems to make it real. He can’t escape his role or warn the Winchesters about bad things because the skeevy angel Zachariah keeps him on task. The episode balances the meta and makes it work by making Chuck and his role important to the story. The creative team deserves all the props for pulling this one off.
Dean: There are ‘Sam girls’ and ‘Dean girls’ and… what’s a slash fan?
Sam: As in Sam-slash-Dean… together.
Dean: Like together together?
Dean: They do know we’re brothers, right?
Season 5 – “Swan Song”
It’s so hard to choose the best episode for season five. I remember watching this season and being floored by how solid each and every installment was. But in the end, it has to be “Swan Song.” While I adore the series, this would have been a perfect ending. Sam agrees to become Lucifer’s vessel and faces off against Adam as Michael. The final battle. Sam and Michael end up in the pit, Dean’s healed, Bobby’s resurrected… it’s an emotional hour of television and with a satisfying ending – it’s a sterling example of how awesome Supernatural can be.
Chuck: “Three days later another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should’ve. Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car… no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe.”
Season 6 – “Weekend at Bobby’s”
How can you not adore Bobby Singer? The slightly grumpy hunter is a father figure to Dean and Sam, but this episode took the time to shine the spotlight on his day-to-day life. He’s a busy guy. We’re used to seeing Bobby helping everyone, but here, he needs help. I loved seeing the character explored more and icing on the cake: Bobby has some delightful interactions with Crowley.
Bobby: “Do I sound like I’m done! Now look. I know you’ve got issues. God knows, I know, but I got a news flash for you. You ain’t the center of the universe! Now it may have slipped your mind that Crowley owns my soul and the meter is running! Now I will be damned if I’m going to sit around and be…and be damned! So how about you two sack up and help me for once!”
Season 7 – “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”
I won’t lie. Season seven wasn’t my favorite. I wasn’t a fan of the Leviathans or losing Bobby, but Charlie was a bright spot. The quirky and geeky hacker with a D20 tattoo came into the picture because Dick Roman forces her to break into an encrypted hard drive with information about the Winchesters. Luckily, she ends up on Sam and Dean’s side and helps them out. Watching her interact with the brothers is priceless, and I’m glad she’s become a recurring character.
Charlie: “These things are gonna eat everyone I know. What kind of douche bag stands by for that?”
Season 8 – “As Time Goes By”
This episode makes the cut because it introduced the Men of Letters, and the fact that the show can still bring in completely new groups like this in at such a late point in the series is reassuring. The secret society-like order is fascinating, and they look down on hunters. Sam and Dean learn about this from none other than their grandfather Henry Winchester. Of course. The encounter leads them to Abaddon who becomes especially important in the next season.
Dean: “I understand that this is not your idea of a happy ending and that you’re disappointed that me and Sam are mouth-breathing Hunters. But you know what? We stopped the Apocalypse.”
Season 9 – “Heaven Can’t Wait”
Few things are as wonderful as Castiel trying to understand humans, and in season nine, he has to live as one of us for a while. In “Heaven Can’t Wait,” he gets a job as a sales associate in a gas station, and he is ridiculously endearing. At the same time, watching Castiel muddle through human life lost and confused is heartbreaking. He’s fallen and though he tries to help Sam and Dean, he’s not in fighting form. Not like he used to be. This episode also has some outstanding Crowley moments. Castiel and Crowley were actually my favorite parts of season nine.
Castiel: “Earth can be a hard place, but these humans, they can get better. They’re just doing the best they can.”
Watch the season ten premiere of Supernatural on Tuesday, October 7, at 9:00pm ET/PT on The CW.
Before you go, scroll to the comments and tell me about your favorite episodes from each season because I know many of you have Supernatural Feelings with a capital “F.”
[Images: Home of the Nutty]