Ok so disclaimer: if you absolutely love supernatural and it’s your religion, I do respect that but please DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE cause I’m gonna be harsh and you’re not gonna like it and it’s gonna be painful for all of us =p this is not for you.
This is for you who much like myself was intrigued by SPN and was like « meeh idk themed series were good when i was a child but nobody has the time to waste on that anymore I’m gonna skip« . This article is designed to tell you NO YOU’RE WRONG cause you’re missing out on one of the coolest work about subtext and metanarratives ever aired on TV as well as one of the most significant cultural phenomenon of our times. It started out as a plain boring show and then became self aware and turned into the kind of whatever-fest you can see in homestuck or on a lesser extent in the recent episodes of Sherlock. (that was the why should I care section) Also Supernatural is well known for having a gif for every concept so I’m gonna try to use that fact.
But the show is not everyone’s thing I mean it’s basically monster hunt each episode and I’m the first one to say how unbearable this is. Lucky for you I’ve got you covered: I’m gonna explain wtf is going on and what episode are actually interesting, so that you can power through the good parts and take advantage of me suffering to it all xD Needless to say that there will be major spoilers I mean thats the point. This guide is written from my own personal experience but also compiling several sources of ratings to narrow down the best episodes cause hey that’s what I do.
Ready ? Set. Go!
The basics :
<Carry on my wayward son>
This is the story of Sam (the young and cute one) and Dean (the one who hits on girls and likes pies and strippers ) Winchester traveling in their 1967 Chevy Impala (the thing with the wheels) around the US (the country with the army), and who are apparently subtextly gay for each other. They do: the family business, hunting people, saving things. (yeah cause their dad was a monster hunter)
Season 1 :
Dad is on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days.
The series starts off by Dean coming to get Sam, who has kinda sworn out hunting because of the mom dying thing. But his girlfriend Jessica dies the same way (like burning on the ceiling or something) so he changes his mind and comes with, following the footsteps of their father, looking for him. Also as time goes Sam kinda develops some weird telekinetic powers and premonitions. A recurring enemy in this season is a demon possessing a girl called Meg who’ll be on and off the show for a loong time. At this point you should watch :
01×12 – Faith
01×17 – Hell House
Notable mentions :
01×02 – Wendigo: pretty typical episode of this era quoted as an example
01×08 – Bugs: notably bad episode that the writers love to make fun about.
At the end of the season, they find out that a demon named Azazel is responsible for their mom and Jessica’s death. They go to an old family friend for help : Bobby Singer. With him they find their father.
Ok so the dad dies so that Dean could come back to life (#awkward ambiance). They figure out that Azazel feeds children demon blood and they end up fucked up. Turns out he’s preparing an army of psychic children for the coming war (?), also that explains Sam’s powers. Now go watch:
02×18 – Hollywood Babylon
02×20 – What is and What should never be
Oh yeah they learn that their dad was stuck in hell or something. Shit goes down, final battle approaches. Sam dies but Dean sells his soul to resurrect him, thus leaving him with only 1 year to live.
They get a kickass Colt gun that can kill almost everything and use it to kill Azazel but not before he opened a gateway to hell letting out tons of demons so that the series may go on. Also the father comes back and dies for realsies this time.
02×15 – Tall Tale: kinda cute and important for the future
02×16 – Roadkill: idk i thought it was influential and tolerable also typical
Dean resurrecting Sam creates tensions, and Sam starts hunting with a rogue demon named Ruby who encourages Sam to embrace his psychic powers. At this point you should probably watch:
03×02 – The Kids are alright
It’ll help for the plot ^^ A recurring character from this season is Bela, another hunter who steals the Colt at some point because she is blackmailed or has reasons. Now it’s time to watch:
03×11 – Mystery spot
03×13 – Ghostfacers
A demon girl called Lilith appears and organizes the demon forces. They track her down, she possesses Ruby’s body, and kills Dean who ends up in hell. Also turns out that Sam is immune to her.
You may also want to watch:
03×03 – Bad Day at Black Rock: kinda fun
Now shit’s really started to go down. Sam is badass and going out with Ruby. Dean is risen from the dead by Castiel, an angel and arguably the most important character in the show and also the dude with the best lines in the whole history of television and also Dean’s boyfriend. In this season he hangs out with an angel buddy called Uriel. A recurring enemy in this season is the demon Alastair. Feel free to watch
04×03 – In the beginning
as it presents neatly things about the Winchester family. Sam realizes that his demon-originated powers may be dangerous and struggles between trying to stop using them and getting addicted to drink Ruby’s blood to strengthen them. Meanwhile Dean is acting very tsundere about what happened in hell (drama queens). In this season, you may hear about Pamela, a psychic that helps them figure out stuff about Castiel and angels ?
But turns out Castiel mostly wants the Winchester to stop Lilith from releasing Lucifer by preventing her to break all the seals (the first one being Dean escaping from hell, oopsies). Now it’s time to watch:
04×05 – Monster movie
04×17 – It’s a terrible life
04×18 – The Monster at the End of This Book
OMG, amirite ? And also
04×22 – Lucifer Rising
because every once in a while it’s good to know how things end up ^^
You may also want to watch:
04×01 – Lazarus Rising: historically significant as the first episode with Castiel
04×06 – Yellow fever: or maybe just the eye of the tiger scene
04×12 – Chris Angel is a douchebag: it’s about magicians so yeah
04×13 – After School Special: I have to mention it, lots of flashbacks of VERY CUTE winchester children
04×19 – Jump the shark: Another member in the winchester family?
05×01 – Sympathy for the Devil
Ok so now Castiel wants to find God to find out « what the fuck dude ». Enter old family friends, Ellen and her daughter Jo, hunters too. As for the boys, they’re trying to stop the Apocalypse by defeating the four horsemen of the apocalypse. But the only way to slay Lucifer would be for Dean to become the vessel of archangel Michael. More drama between the brothers, yada yada yada.
05×08 – Changing Channels
05×09 – The Real Ghostbusters
Jo and Ellen end up dying for the cause (idk they made a bigger impression on me I suppose) and by now you’re familiar with Crowley. As pressure is increasing, notably in the form of archangel Zacharia, and attempts to use the Colt against Lucifer prove stupid, Dean comes to accept that he’ll have to be the vessel.
05×19 – Hammer of the Gods
The knight of the apocalypse arc is kinda cute I mean Death is spreading pandemics through control of biomedical companies and stuff. They come up with a plan where Bobby pawns his soul to Crowley to get the location of Death so that they can use Death’s power to trap Lucifer.
05×22 – Swan Song
05×05 – Fallen Idols: the Paris Hilton episode
05×07 – The curious case of Dean Winchester: an episode about ageing
05×10 – Abandon all hopes: shit goes down, lots of intrigue progression I suppose
05×11 – Sam, interrupted: asylum episode
05×13 – The Song Remains the Same: if you’re into stuff that happens with the previous generations/time travel
05×21 – Two minutes to midnight: making the deal with Death
Ok so now Dean has stopped hunting since Sam was trapped in hell with Lucifer and his living with his family (Lisa and Ben from forever ago). But surprise! seems like Sam has returned since forever ago. Brama ensues (new term I just coined, fits so well). Crowley, newly appointed King of Hell, tries to coin them by keeping Bobby’s soul but they counter him by getting control over his bones (that’s important for demons).
Sam is all weird though so they finally figure out that Sam’s soul is still in hell. That keeps them busy for a very long part of the season.
At this point you probably want to take a little break and idk say brush up on the staff behind this cool series, creators, actors, this is the time to look them up and pay tribute, before going into:
06×15 – The French Mistake
Let us resume our activity flow. Don’t you think we’re lacking a nemesis? The new one is Eve, mother of demons.
06×17 – My heart will go on
Defeating Eve is going smoothly but oh! it seems that Castiel and Crowley are planning something fishy together (remember that adjective). Turns out that they wanna open purgatory and split the rewards of the souls that are in there. After doubts and hesitation they follow through, Castiel double crosses Crowley and becomes as powerful as a god.
Oh and also at some point they erase Lisa and Ben’s memories of Dean for their own peace of mind.
May want to watch:
06×05 – Live hard or twihard: twillight episode, cant go wrong with that
06×10 – Caged Heart: contains one of the best Castiel quotes
06×11 – Appointment in samara: Dean becomes Death. nuff said
06×18 – Frontierland: frontier time time travel
Of course this god business was all a ruse to keep the public hanging through mid season cause as soon as the show starts again Castiel kinda explodes because purgatory contained mythical creatures called Leviathans (delayed fish pun) that he couldn’t withstand. With Cas gone, the show kinda blows. However, it takes on a whole other dimension in self-mockery and irony as Leviathans can be destroyed by spilling laundry detergent on them and they organise under a leader whose name is Dick, Dick Roman. Knowing the homoerotic subtext tendencies in the show you can imagine how many epic lines this season contains.
Leviathans take over food industries and try to get humans to be apathetic and healthy to turn them into the perfect food. Meanwhile Sam starts to have hallucinations about Lucifer.
07×08 – Season seven, time for a wedding
Bobby dies in a battle against Dick and turns into a ghost cause nobody really dies in this show at least not on the first try. Winchesters want revenge and focus on work and denial. He starts to haunt them more and more and to be more and more aggressive.
Castiel finally returns as a powerless human, but sacrifices himself to free Sam from his madness right away.
07×20 – The girl with dungeons and dragon tatoo
A young brilliant student named Kevin enters the scene and turns out to be the new Prophet (succeeding Chuck or something ?). Bottom line he saves Cas and can read tablets left by Metatron, scribe of God who contains secrets about destroying Leviathans (not a giant washing machine). Ensue fights over the tablet and the shota. The good guys win but during the final confrontation when they go down hard on Dick, Crowley betray’s their tacit alliance and captures Kevin. Cas and Dean are sent on a honeymoon in purgatory.
You may want to watch:
07×14 – Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie: just cause we haven’t done many episodes this season and it has unicorns and clowns
07×17 – The Born-Again Identity: Castiel’s new identity
Dean manages to escape purgatory with his new vampire BFF, Benny Lafitte. Sam has meanwhile given up on hunting to live a normal life, falling in love with a girl named Amelia in painfully diluted flashbacks all over the beginning of the season. Normal life which he quits to go back to going back to hunting. Kevin’s mom (later referred to as Kevin’s mom) turns out to be awesome and badass. Also there is a tablet from god to banish all the demons and one against the angels so everybody fights over that. We hear back about Garth, a fellow hunter of the violent hardcore kind that noone really cares about.
08×04 – Bitten
Castiel mysteriously reappears and decides to join the team as a hunter (yay!). It has to do with a mysterious angel named Naomi that calls him every now and then and wipes his memory.
08×08 – Hunteri Heroici
08×11 – LARP and the real girl
08×12 – As time goes by
So we’ve won a new hideout, the base of the men of letters, a scholar-hunter’s association, and a new charismatic nemesis, demon from the olden times called Abaddon who will rival Crowley for the control of hell. Turns out there are three trials to close the gates of hell forever (from that tablet you know) : bathing in the blood of a hellhound, free an innocent soul from hell (they chose Bobby) and cure a demon by feeding them human blood (they chose Crowley). Sam is the one carrying out the trials so as in every season it takes quite a toll on him.
The boys are starting to get suspicious of brainwashed Castiel who still acts for Naomi who wants the control of the angel tablet and they end up distrusting him.
08×20 – Pacman fever
Crowley gets hold of the demon tablet and Kevin, so the boys hunt down the aptly-named archangel Metatron. Which is a bad thing cause as soon as he can he kills Naomi, takes away Castiel’s powers and seizes the control of heaven. Thousands of powerless angels also end up on earth.
08×13 – Everybody hates Hitler: the nazi episode
08×16 – Remember the titans: cute episode about prometheus
Sam is kinda dying yet again from the trials but not really cause angel Ezekiel starts possessing him to fix his body. Castiel and the fallen angels start discovering the human world. Abaddon takes control of hell.
09×05 . Dog dean afternoon
As it always seems to be the case, the fallen angels are divided in a civil war between the factions of Bartholomew and Malachi. Ezekiel is revealed to be Gadreel, the guardian of Eden who let Lucifer in and betrays the party to join Metatron. He kills Kevin as a token of his good faith.
Meanwhile Crowley decides to help Dean get the Mark of Cain and the First Blade, only weapon capable to kill Abaddon but which leaves Dean with terrible bloodthirst. Castiel defeats Bartholomew who was after him and kinda steals his place.
09×15 – #thinman
After a disastrous attempt at a spinoff series, it turns out that Castiel has gained quite a lot of followers among the angels, which he looses quickly when he refuses to kill his boyfriend. The angels turn on Metatron when Castiel broadcasts to all the angels his plans to use them and make himself into God. Deans kills Gadreel and Abaddon, dies in the process and resurrects as a demon in the arms of his new lover Crowley.
To go further:
09×04 – Slumber party: an episode about Oz with Charlie
09×06 – Heaven can’t wait: a cute episode that puts in perspective point of view, suffering, etc
09×08 – Rock and a hard place: to see the brothers in a chastity group
09×18 – Meta Fiction: about stories and illusions
09×22 – Stairway to heaven: a destiel episode with a cool castiel quote
Ok so in this amazing season nothing happens, they all try to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean, Dean has a love affair with Crowley, Crowley’s mom has an important part and a truly awful accent, and Charlie dies at the end. They get rid of the Mark with the help of Cowley’s mom thanks to an old spellbook.
10×05 . Fan fiction
The 200th episode. A must see. Involves musicals
To go further:
10×06 – Ask Jeeves: vaguely funny episode following a murder in the manor style
So that’s about it up to now. They recently releases a documentary called « a very special supernatural special » which I recommend because it summarizes really well the highlights of the show as well at the point of view of the creators.
gosh I wish I had had something like that… this show presented like this is clearly AMAZING =o seriously DO NOT MISS OUT ON IT just because most episodes are bad.
Big thanks to Dolkeem who helped a whole lot