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Supernatural: Ranking The Seasons
It’s always been hard for me to pick what my favorite TV show is, but whenever I’m asked, Supernatural always comes to mind. It’s a show that has everything: action, comedy, drama, horror, deep story and character development. It has some of the best “throwaway” episodes out of any show in its genre. Supernatural has been running for quite some time. Currently, on its eighth season, the show still runs strong.
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
This probably doesn’t come as a shock to most fans. I wouldn’t go as far as to call this season terrible, but it definitely doesn’t live up to the standards set by its predecessors. In all fairness, Kripke left and Gamble had to come up with a story on the spot. The problem was that she came up with too many stories. Some of them tied together pretty well, but a few fell off. Eve had the potential to be a great Big Bad, but was tossed away like last night’s supper, and has only been mentioned once since. I never truly bought Castiel’s transformation. I think “The Man Who Would Be King” was fantastic, but the season finale kind of killed it. This season also held some of the weakest “monster-of-the-week” episodes. I mean if you’re gonna go dragon, then do it right. That being said, “The French Mistake,” “The Man Who Would Be King,” and “Frontierland” all go in the pro column.
I was very pleased with how Season 7 started off. It felt like a huge return to form. The show seemed to get its edge back. The Leviathan never really blew my whistle, but the way they were handling the story kept me intrigued. “Meet the New Boss,” “Slash Fiction,” and “Death’s Door” are all prime examples of what this show is capable of. Unfortunately, Season 7 hit a rough patch for me around halfway through. If Season 6 is guilty of too much, then Season 7 is guilty of too little. The story starts to get watered down. There is some side story arcs going on; Dean’s drinking problem and Sam’s Satan-induced insomnia. One plus is you get to see some lighter episodes in the second half, but I didn’t feel the intensity like I did in the first. All in all, a step up from Season 6, but not up there with the early days.
It’s hard to give a full assessment of Season 8. We are only nine episodes in. But, I must say, so far it is kicking Seasons 6 and 7’s asses. This could change depending on the next four-five months. Jeremy Carver is doing well with taking the helm. The show seems to have gotten its focus back. The only story line that hasn’t been too grasping, is Sam’s. I’m praying that there is some sort of deeper explanation for his actions, but I’m starting to doubt it. Either way, it doesn’t do too much to take away from my enjoyment of this season. Dean’s time in Purgatory and story with Benny are more than enough to make up for that. I like Benny, and I hope they don’t act too fast on the consequences of what he has done. I’m curious to see how the gates of hell arc will wrap up, assuming they intend to end it this season. Crowley has been top notch, as usual. And finally, we get some interesting story line with Cas, again. Let’s hope that Jeremy can keep this momentum going.
Starting off a show can be challenging in many ways. You have to make people care about the characters and plot fast or you’ve gone belly up. Fortunately, Supernatural pulled this off with flying colors. They may not have maintain the highest viewership, but their fan base is one of the most dedicated out there. This couldn’t have been achieved without Season 1. The only reason why Season 1 is this low on my list is because the other seasons are just that good. Season 1 holds the most throwaways, but that’s alright; most of them are like miniature horror movies. There’s a few clunkers (“Bugs” comes to mind), but that’s to be expected when a show is just getting its feet off the ground. The search for Sam and Dean’s father and the hunt for what killed their mother made a great basis to get you through the season’s weaker episodes.
Season 3 might have suffered a bit from the writer’s strike, but there is enough content and awesomeness to warrant making the top half of my list. It holds a lot of strong episodes, and there isn’t much time wasted. Watching Dean go from denial to acceptance to fear, and watching Sam’s increasing desperation to save Dean make for some good television. Episodes such as “Mystery Spot,” and “Jus In Bello” have become staples of the series. I can’t think of a time I laughed harder than “Do these burritos taste funny to you?” The only fault that Season 3 faces is a few weak episodes after its long hiatus. I’d say the season finale makes up for it, giving one of the most emotional endings in their selection, especially if you were watching on TV and were unsure as to whether the show would be coming back.
In Season 1, you get to meet Sam and Dean. In Season 2, you get to know Sam and Dean. The are forced with trauma early on, and things hardly look up for them. I do miss the days of “Yellow Eyes” and his “Children.” Sam and Dean both have some strong development this season, especially Dean. This was the season that made me realize that Dean is an awesome character. “What Is And What Should Never Be” is heart-wrenching. You can’t help but like Dean with episodes like this. There are so many great episodes throughout the season: “Nightshifter,” “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Tall Tales” and “Roadkill” are just a few in its lineup that impress. Season 2 has the best balance of myth arc and throwaway out of any season. It was the season that made me fall in love with the show.
Season 4 is where the fan base seems to split the most. It’s understandable. The show makes a pretty drastic change. It becomes more involved in the myth arc, as opposed to monster-of-the-week. It’s the first time that there is true turmoil between Sam and Dean. That can be pretty hard to swallow. But for me, the good heavily outweighs the bad, in Season 4. So much so that it gets put above Season 2, which I didn’t find anything wrong with. Supernatural has one of my favorite interpretations of angels (and demons for that matter). They are used in great manner. Castiel’s introduction makes “Lazarus Rising” my favorite season premiere. Great episodes are pumped out consecutively after that. There’s a few weak episodes here and there, but when this season is strong, IT”S STRONG! “In the Beginning” and “On the Head of a Pin” are incredible. The season finale, although not my favorite, delivers the most intense cliff hanger to date.
Season 5 was Eric Kripke’s swan song. There are too many great episodes to list, and only a few weak episodes. Even those, I found enjoyable. This season is probably why the last three seasons are at the bottom of my list. How do you top the apocalypse? Episodes like “The End” and “Abandon All Hope” really showcase just how strong the will of the Winchesters and company are. Even when Dean loses hope in the “Dark Side of the Moon,” he (through the help of Sam) is able to regain it in “Point of No Return.” Season 5 is the epitome of what this show is about: Sam and Dean. It shows that as long as they stay together, they can overcome anything and everything. That’s what makes this show so amazing. It teaches you that family is everything. That doesn’t mean just blood. It means people you truly care about. It teaches you that can take your own path. Sam and Dean were able to turn away from their destiny and take the road of their choosing. “Swan Song” perfectly ends a great season of laughs, tears, chills and heart. The only fear I have for the show is that it won’t be able to surpass this season.
Sorry for getting all sappy at the end there. I just love it so damn much. I hope you enjoyed reading. If you’re a fan of the show, feel free to share what you think the order should be.