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A few of my Favourite Things - Part Two 
21st-Dec-2011 04:50 pm
Now & Then
After much thought and deliberation I bring you:

Favourite Episodes

1. What Is and What Should Never Be (2.20)

This is still my favourite after all these years. Looking at my favourite top two episodes I'd say I'm drawn to "what if" scenarios. I love the way this episode explores how Dean's "dream" life looks. A mother, a brother who's happy and a girlfriend who understands him. It has everything, except the bond he has with real life Sam. Dean said he'd worked to remedy that but he knew this wasn't the real deal so made his way back to Sam.

I also adore the final scenes. Sam rescuing Dean (I've watched that too many times to be considered healthy) and the final chat in the hotel room. <3 Any ep that makes Sam smile like that earns extra brownie points.

2. The End (5.04)

Another "what if" scenario that I loved. To actually see an apocalyptic future on the show. \o/ The scene of Dean running from the zombies and then the army charging in to save him is probably one of my all time favourite scenes. For a TV show, that was some pretty epic filming. Adored Jensen's acting - the subtle differences between present!Dean and future!Dean was excellent. It was completely heartbreaking of course. The knowledge that Sam and Dean stopped talking in this future.....*whaaaaaa* The very end (Dean showing his trust and belief in Sam by returning the knife to him) made up for it all though. Loved every second of this one.

3. Bad Day at Black Rock (3.03)

What can I say. An episode of Sammy having a rotten day? What is there not to love. Excuse while I self indulge in some hurt!Sam. Look at those puppy eyes, and neck and....*sigh* or rather...*swoon*.

4. Mystery Spot (3.11)

Another "what if" episode. (Definitely seeing a pattern here). What if Dean died? What would Sam do? I find it fascinating that the way Sam reacted here is completely different to how he reacted when it actually happened. Almost opposite in fact.

I loved all the bro touching in this ep. Lots of bro angst. But also humour. The mix was perfect. It also contains possibly my favourite hug. Sam is so SO grateful to have his brother back. <33

5. A Very Supernatural Christmas (3.08)

SO many awesome moments in this episode. I couldn't restrict myself to 4 pics. For the wee!chester moments alone this ep is awesome. But throw in some tied up and tortured boys (which Dean yelling "leave him alone you son of a bitch" *g*) and you have an ep made in heaven. Amulet canon. \o/ And that final scene? *guh* SO MUCH TO LOVE.

(Damn! That was hard. Other favs: It's a Terrible Life (what if ep!!\o/) Hell House, Faith, Something Wicked, Devil's Trap, , In My Time of Dying, When the Levee Breaks, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Nightmare, Croatoan, Fresh Blood, Hunted, Swan Song, AHBL 1 &2, and more recently Slash Fiction and Hello Cruel World.)

Least favourite episodes

These only get one pic. I've chosen the moments that made me cringe the most.

1. Swap Meat (5.12)

So much yuk in this ep I can't even. Not least that Dean didn't figure that WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT Sam. Arghhh.. them sharing a drink here. *shivers*

2. Yellow Fever (4.06)

My biggest beef with this episode is that they wasted a fabulous opportunity to explore Dean's fear. Instead it ended up being a laugh fest. But it was Sam's nonchalance with his brother's pending death that I hated the most. Especially after losing him already. *grrrr*

3. The Devil You Know (5.20)

The whole Brady retcon was annoying but I really took umbrage in Dean "trusting" Crowley and going up to see Brady, even knowing he was going to get his ass kicked. Made no sense to me.

4. Hollywood Babylon (2.18)

This was my first ever experience with 4th wall removal and I just wasn't ready for it. I cringed aloud to the Gilmore Girls reference. Looking back it's pretty tame compared to future eps. It's a pretty harmless episode really. I just remember spending a lot of time cringing when I first watched it.

5. Red Sky at Morning (3.06)

Mostly just *meh* and silly. I think I was mostly disappointed with the way they treated Bela. She was never really given a chance to win us over. She was neither a goody or a baddy...just a pain in the neck. (though I grew to like her by the end). Her duping Dean here got my hackles up.

There're other "meh" episodes but none I hated as much as those first three.

But let's not dwell on the negative. So many fabulous episodes compared to the not so fabulous ones. :)

And for zebra363 *g* My seasons in order of favourites...

1. Season 2
2. Season 3
3. Season 1
4. Season 4, 5, 6 (tied for 4th)

I know that's a cop out but that's HARD! It's hard because I think Season 4 had the strongest overall story arc of all the seasons but I found it so hard to watch. So full of angst with the boys drifting further apart. S5 was the same. There were some great eps in 5 and 6, but they were also hard to "enjoy". I mean... I loved watching at the time, but find re-watching hard. S7 is shaping up to be one of my favs. It will depend on where they go from here though.

A Few of my Favourite Things - Part One: Favourite Shots

(Imagine heavy. Screencaps by me).

feel free to share yours. I figure we all have different likes and dislikes *g*
21st-Dec-2011 09:15 am (UTC)
A lot of your faves are mine too. Though I think Faith would be in there somewhere, I can't think instead of what thought, they're all so brilliant!

I think we have some differences in worst episodes, I wouldn't say Hollywood Babylon was a favourite of mine but I did enjoy the fourth wall nudging. As for 'The Devil You Know', I completely agree it makes no sense but I did rather enjoy the ep, partly I think due to the Brady actor I remember from Smallvile days, and mostly due to Mark's performance.
21st-Dec-2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
Faith is an awesome ep. I loved it dearly (and was probably the episode that had me fully hooked!).

I did enjoy the performance of Brady. And there were some moments I enjoyed...but. Yeah. I remember being so annoyed that Dean went up to Brady unprepared.

I haven't re-watched it so it might be worth taking another look. I might look at it differently now.

21st-Dec-2011 11:48 am (UTC)
I've been looking forward to this post!

That Sam smile in WIAWSNB might be my favourite from the entire series.

A Very Supernatural Christmas is definitely in my top 3. I'm planning a rewatch for Christmas Eve. Mystery Spot is too painful for me to call it a favourite — one death per episode is enough! It was the first episode I saw (after careful deliberation by sarren and blue_pax) and definitely did its job as a recruiter episode.

Something I like about The Devil You Know is that Dean explicitly says that he trusts Sam (in relation to Brady). I enjoy Dean standing guard at the end of the episode when Sam kills Brady, too.

I don't mind Red Sky At Morning — ghost ships appeal to me and I found it pretty amusing that Bela could so easily put one over Dean.

4. Season 4, 5, 6 (tied for 4th)

I know that's a cop out

Yes, it is. :) Actually, it makes me feel a bit sad that you haven't had a favourite season in such a long time — though as you say Season 7 is looking good so far.

(What happened to comment previews?)

Edited at 2011-12-21 11:49 am (UTC)
21st-Dec-2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
There were little moments that I didn't mind in Devil you Know but overall I remember seething at some of the decisions they gave Dean. And I just didn't believe Sam's motivation in killing Brady so I found it quite brutal. I mean... I get why he did it, but...idk, seemed strange to me. I need to re-watch this ep. (If I can bring myself to do so).

Yeah.. Red Sky was more *meh* than grrrrr. I was really struggling to come up with another 2 eps I really didn't like. :)

Actually, it makes me feel a bit sad that you haven't had a favourite season in such a long time

It's not that I didn't enjoy them. I really, really did. But if I had to list (in order) the seasons I enjoyed the most then those trail a little bit. Perhaps the first three seasons are more about fond memories. There was an innocence to those early seasons that I kinda love.

The recent seasons took quite a dark turn and my heart was often breaking throughout those seasons. But I did love that they were prepared to take that step. Sam's blood addiction is an amazing turn and really bought home his destiny.

(There's been some major changes to LJ re comment. Including removing subject lines and comment previews. There's been a lot of pissed off people around the place..)

Hee... chat more tomorrow. (did you end up watching the Christmas ep the other night?)

Edited at 2011-12-21 12:19 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
We watched the NCIS Christmas episode and latest Misfits, and then I stayed up late reading sonofabiscuit77 to get my SPN fix after the others went to bed!

I knew that subject lines were going, but hadn't heard about comment previews. I don't know why they'd take something that worked perfectly well away.

I have ingredients for a peach pie and am going to give it a go! However, don't be surprised if I arrive with hommus or something instead!

(Another edit: It's obviously going to take me a while to adjust to no comment previews!)

Edited at 2011-12-21 12:28 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
Oh yes... SPN fix before bed. Sounds familiar. :D

I do hope the pie works out. Pie would be awesome. :)

I haz popcorn and licorice. :D (and fruit and chocolate)
21st-Dec-2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
You have excellent taste. :)

Mystery Spot is actually my absolute favourite - I adore it as a character study of the way they work: that Sam's worked out all the details but needs Dean to keep pushing him on to the next step; that Dean is eternally in the moment and will never appreciate the scope of what they're facing without help from Sam. It's beautiful.

What I find frustrating when I compare it to Yellow Fever (Which ... would definitely make my not-a-favourite list) is that they're both comedic episodes that address how badly a character is dealing with the current trauma in his life - but in Mystery Spot I never felt as though I was supposed to be laughing at Sam for being distressed about this. The dialogue was funny, some of the situations were funny, the Groundhog Day feel of the thing was funny ... but Sam was perfectly within his rights to freak out about this, because it's what a person would do. Whereas Yellow Fever said that not only is intense distress funny, it's so funny that we have to break everybody's character in order to contrive situations that will show off every possible way in which you can laugh at someone for freaking out. For the purposes of this episode Sam is an idiot, because otherwise Dean's day might have been less abysmal and thus less funny. It's peculiar to me that no one sat down at any point and said 'this worked because ...' and 'so this won't work because ...' :)
21st-Dec-2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
You have excellent taste. :)

Hee... thanks. It's quite revealing about a person isn't it? I used to be self conscious about this stuff but now I get that we like different things and that's OK. :)

That's a perfect comparison of those episodes. Mystery Spot worked on so many levels. The writing was excellent - they allowed the characters to remain true, even when playing up some of the more slap stick moments of Dean's deaths. YF had potential to do all that as well - except they played it for laughs. Ignored the characters completely. Even he MotW was badly handled. No idea what planet they were on when they thought this was a good idea.

21st-Dec-2011 01:39 pm (UTC)
We are similar! Although no way is craptastic Season Five* on par with Season Four or Six.


*with some notable exceptions like The End
21st-Dec-2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah.. season 5. It's tough. For me the saving grace was that at least they were working towards getting back together. Also I thought there were some pretty sturdy eps in there. Or at least moments. Two of my fav bro moments come in S5..more on that later. ;)

Off topic but...how's your film going?
21st-Dec-2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Agreed on your favs :D And argh yes, I hated Swap Meat. It felt like such an insult to basically have an episode with Dean bonding more with this new version of Sam, and then ending on Dean looking irritated at having old Sam back and him asking him to turn the music down. They were so cute when they are teasing one another over their different music tastes, I did not want a downbeat ending like that to suggest that the brothers don't even like one another or enjoy each others company!

Will forever be my least favourite ever, and even more annoying that the season dealing with Lucifer and the Apocalypse is when they choose to do that random time-waster. They didn't even go for the extra comedy of Jared playing body-swapped Sam, instead it was kind of weird with them telling us that Sam still looks like Sam, yet with Dean having to very obviously look downwards at the different actor... The scene in the bar when Jared was playing the whole "I would love to have the sex with you" bit would at least have made the episode a bit funnier overall if he could have played the bodyswapped Sam with Dean all along so idk what they were thinking with that episode. Even more frustrating after everyone had been getting excited for a possible Sam and Dean bodyswitch when the episode was first spoiled!

And yeah I'm never sure how to take Yellow Fever because in some ways it is really funny, but at the same time I wish they hadn't gone so O/T with things like the cat scream. I would have loved more of protective Sammy in that episode looking out for Dean and being surprised at his big brother showing fear (Phantom Travelor was a great one for that), but I guess they felt that early season 4 and the beginning of the rift wasn't a good time for that? But yeah Idk, there's kind of a weird balancing of tone in that episode, especially when Sam and Bobby go on to kill the ghost in such an horrific way.
21st-Dec-2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Yes yes. All the reasons why Swap Meat was so awful. The last scene with Dean being annoyed that Sam was back was the worse thing ever. I know it was probably meant to be about how much Dean wanted Sam to be this doting little brother..but by now they had worked beyond that. They were working toward being equal. The fact that they are so different is what makes them work so well.

Grrrr..let's forget that one even happened.

Yellow Fever is weird because it did give us a lot of humour. I know many loved it (I might be wrong but I think it might have been voted best S4 ep in the Supernatural Magazine../o\). Jensen does comedy well but it was such bad timing for an ep like this. To make fun of Dean's horror and fear just...argh. It's like the writers didn't even know these boys.

But it did give us Jensen air guitar-ing on his leg.. so that's a win! :D
21st-Dec-2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
LOL It's funny because I think Jensen's Eye Of The Tiger performance overshadowed the actual episode in a lot of peoples minds, so maybe they were mostly voting for that *g* I was annoyed when the official companion just talked about Jensen's singing in the episode section for that episode actually. It was a really great moment obviously, but I was surprised they didn't want to discuss the actual episode itself more...

With that episode I always kind of like the smaller moments more like when Dean is scared and flinching away in the corridor and Sam is sort of steering him along. Those moments are so brief though, but I would have *loved* if the episode had been more about that and Sam looking for his suddenly scared older brother. Instead it was mostly Sam being annoyed with Dean being scared of going into dark places with a gun or whatever, and showing no compassion at all much of the time which didn't feel very in character.

I did really like the ending at least, not just for the pretty scenery, but for things actually getting a bit darker with Dean's flinch with Sam's eyes turning yellow for a blink and you'll miss it moment. The episode itself would have been so much better if they had gone for that subtle horror instead of the joke of Dean running from a yorkie and so on. I normally have nothing bad about Jensen's acting, but I have noticed he has a bit of a tendency to overplay the comedy, although to be fair it sounds like the director was pushing him along in that episode with things like the cat scream. But still that sort of broad humour didn't do much for me
21st-Dec-2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
And my favourite seasons have always pretty consistently been 2 and 4. And then I think probably 3 and 6 after that? Then 5 and 1 in last place...I feel like one of the few who just isn't that into season 1, but honestly I found it hard to get into many of the MotW episodes of that season, and found the writing a bit clunky. Season 2 was such a revelation to me because it seemed like the episode quality just shot up 100%

And season 5 is one of those seasons where I LOVED some of the episodes, but the season overall was so inconsistent that it really frustrated me. I suppose especially because season 4 spend so long on building up to the apocalpse beginning once the last seal was broken, so I was expecting something more like The End for the entire season 5 tone and I then found it a bit jarring with how much filler there was in the first half and plots like the antichrist boy which went nowhere.

Season 6 wasn't very popular with fandom I know, but I was impressed at how focused at was, even if it didn't have the same number of really excellent episodes that season 5 did, at the same time it didn't have quite as many really filler episodes either and I felt like the writers really knew where they were going
21st-Dec-2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
For me season one is more.. I suppose.... nostalgic. It was definitely clunky and the story lines and plot holes where definitely at their worse. In terms of how I felt when I was watching then it's up there as one of my favs. There was so much bro!love (which is my main attraction to the show) that I found myself totally absorbed and invested it in.

I agree with your thoughts on S6. I loved how gutsy it was. To actually present a soulless!Sam was right out there. Damn hard for me to watch, but I appreciated what it was doing. And yeah.. it had direction. Like S4 did.

In some ways I love each season for different reasons. ;)
21st-Dec-2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
On my recent rewatch I did find myself getting very nostalgic at how beautifully things were filmed back then, and how openly affectionate Sam and Dean were with Dean looking out for Sam with his visions. It's never going to be my favourite season, but I was happy to find how much I enjoyed it looking back now and remembering how it all began

And I always wish that people would rewatch season 6 when they talk about a lack of direction and focus because I think it's all there if you look for it, but yeah I agree about each season having something to recommend it. Even with season 5 probably being my least favourite, it still has sooo many great episodes and of course the epic brotherly love in the finale
21st-Dec-2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't even know where to start to list my favourite and not so favourite episodes, but Mystery Spot is absolutely one of my favourite episodes as well. I just love how they had a little something of everything blended together perfectly. And oh the hug!
22nd-Dec-2011 11:59 am (UTC)
Yeah. MS is definitely a great episode. They got so much of that right. A great one to re-watch also. I seem to pick up more and more each time.

21st-Dec-2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
*Enjoys your post without anything meaningful to say* ;D
22nd-Dec-2011 12:00 pm (UTC)
*hugs* enjoying is good. :)

22nd-Dec-2011 03:08 am (UTC)
LJ finally seems to be letting me comment!

We share favorite eps, albeit in maybe a different order! Must be why I ♥ you so much! (Actually, we share 4 of 5... I keep rotating beloved episodes in and out of that 5th spot.)

I can't rank the seasons, other than to agree that season 2 was my favorite as well. Season 3 felt too short to compare to others; season 6 felt like 2 entirely different seasons; season 4 was brilliant at times but too painful to embrace... I give up and will just go with visions!Sam-with-the-most-awesome-hair for favorite season overall!

I can't rank least favorite eps either. Because I don't know whether to pick eps that left me the most 'meh', or eps that frustrated me. Though the ones that frustrated me tended to have awesome moments in them as well. (Case in point - Bugs had the stupidest resolution of all time, but I loved the reveals on Sam's relationship with his dad and how Dean saw it.)

Off to savor your other lists!
22nd-Dec-2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
The comment thing is confusing me. I still see subject lines etc. but others don't. I have no idea if I need to change my setting so other people who comment here get subject lines. I better investigate that.

I give up and will just go with visions!Sam-with-the-most-awesome-hair for favorite season overall!

\o/!! :DD

Bugs definitely had the most ridiculous conclusion EVER, but I agree. The was a lot to love in that episode. All the Sam and John stuff was great.

22nd-Dec-2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
The comment thing is confusing me. I still see subject lines etc. but others don't. I have no idea if I need to change my setting so other people who comment here get subject lines. I better investigate that.

My experience so far: When I comment on your journal the comment window has still the old design with all the features. Same with my own Journal. I don't know if that will change once my paid account expires.
When I commented on a community and a basic account journal it was the new design (puke).
22nd-Dec-2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Ah... I haven't commented on a comm yet so I haven't come across it. I'm still all head shaky over this. :(
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Dec-2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Hey <3

Ah yes. I forgot about route666. Definitely not one of my favs. And Bugs had many redeeming features. It was just that ridiculous ending... /o\

And I would love you to do a similar thing for Harry Potter! \o/
24th-Dec-2011 04:37 am (UTC)
We agree much on the Show. Probably on the top one for sure. Although Mystery Spot and Croatoan has perfect moments. (An aside: I don't count The End in the same way. It's in it's own league. It's almost unfair to compare it since it was like a short epic film rather than an episode. Just amazing.)

Did want to question what you meant about Sam's reaction to Dean's death in Mystery Spot. I thought when Dean died on the Wednesday and it stuck that we got that montage of almost-robotic, driven Sam. All business, ruthless hunter. He turned off his emotions and had one purpose. To hunt the Trickster down.

Fast forward to S4 and what we learn of Sam post Dean's death. There was a period of drunkeness. But then he got his act together and became all Hunter with Ruby and it was all about tracking down Lilith. By the time Dean came back, he was too far gone. Lost if you will. His need to undue his one biggest wrong (not saving Dean) overwhelmed everything else that was Sam.
24th-Dec-2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
We agree on a lot of favorite episodes. I think I would've arranged them differently, but the most important ones are there, definitely. I'm a "what if" lover, too. *g*
AND THANK YOU FOR PUTTING "Swap Meat" as #1 of the least favorite episodes.
24th-Dec-2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Cool. :)

Putting Swap Meat as least favourite is very, very easy. ;)

Thanks for dropping by.
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