So, I’ve recently gone back to start rewatching Supernatural, a show I love. I’ve seen the first 5/6 seasons I think, but lost track of it then, but with 13 on Prime I’ve decided to try and watch it all again.
We start off with the estranged Winchester brothers Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) reuniting after their father goes missing. Their father is a monster hunter, having been after supernatural creatures since the death of his wife when Sam was a baby. Dean follows in his footsteps Sam has left the life to pursue college and a more conventional life. Sam agrees to help Dean with one job, but then what killed their mother kills his girlfriend and he agrees, hoping that finding their father will help them locate whatever killed the two women and for him to get revenge.
The first season is a lot more straight ahead than the later seasons, while there’s a background story arc unfolding most episodes are self contained “freak of the week” affairs, and for me this is the most fun. The duo drive into town, stop a monster and then move on.
As well as finding their dad the story of the series is about the two brothers reconnecting and understanding each other better. Sam appreciates Dean’s dedication and motivation to monster hunting, and why he’s reluctant to go against their father, while Dean begins to understand why Sam wanted to get out.
So, these are my personal favourite episodes from the first run:
The brothers discover a haunted house but the ghost keeps changing based on the versions told online. It turns out that a group of kids made up the haunted house as a prank, but the symbols they used were real (well, aside from one stolen from a Blue Oyster Cult album).
The episode is quite lighthearted, introducing the nerdy characters Ed and Harry (AJ Buckley and Travis Wester), a pair of paranormal investigators who know a lot less than they think. And there’s a subplot of the Winchesters pranking each other, which is nice and fun.
The idea of belief making the monster real is an interesting one, as is the fact that the fluid nature of urban legends makes it harder for them to fight it.
A rather creepy episode about the horrific figure of Mary who is summoned when her name is repeated in front of a mirror. It borrows quite a lot from The Ring in terms of character design, but it really works, especially the way she can move from through any reflective surface.
The final showdown touches on Sam’s feelings of guilt over Jessica’s death and also shows Dean being rather smart. It’s also interesting to see a vengeance obsessed villain undone by her own single minded pursuit of punishing wrongdoers.
A flashback heavy episode which sees the brothers encounter a shtriga, which sucks the life force out of children. As the boys try to find out who the shtriga is disguised as Dean remembers a similar case John was hunting when he was a boy. Frustrated with being cooped up and babysitting his little brother, Dean left their hotel room, putting Sam in danger.
It’s an episode to show why Dean follows their father’s orders so loyally and unthinkingly, and allows Sam more of an insight into his older brother.
Couples keep vanishing along a stretch of road, and John wants the boys to look into it. Dean wants to do it, but Sam, wanting to hunt their demon nemesis is angry that John keeps them in the dark and at a distance. They separate after an argument and Sam meets a mysterious girl named Meg, who encourages him to strike out on his own.
Dean meanwhile uncovers that the residents of the local town have been sacrificing the couples in order for the town to prosper. When Dean helps the chosen victims escape, he and a local girl are in the firing line.
The idea of the sacrifice is a nice touch, and means the villains here isn’t the monster but rather the locals, who are willing to let others die to keep the good life. It also works at moving the story forward and showing how the dark powers want to separate the brothers to weaken their opposition.
Dean is injured fighting a monster, and the prognosis is that it’s terminal. Sam, desperate to save his brother finds a local preacher who heals the sick. But when Dean is healed he sees a grim figure looking on and soon learns that every time the preacher heals someone, another person dies.
I love this episode because it’s the first time we really see how Dean views himself, seeing himself as unworthy of being saved and feeling that others should have been chosen.
The idea of a reaper figure being trapped is rather smart, and the story of the preacher is handled well and slightly tragic. He genuinely believes that his powers are god given, and that he is doing good work, unaware that others are suffering as a result.
It’s a good episode in that it includes an interesting monster, a nice twist in the story and helps develop the brothers as characters and their relationship.
Gonna be starting season 2 soon, and will probably do another of these after that.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.