Top 5 Supernatural Season 4 Episodes

Season four hits the ground running, with Dean waking up in his own coffin having been pulled from hell. He doesn’t know why he was saved, or who is responsible for it, and discovers that four months have passed on Earth, although for him in hell it felt more like forty years.

While he’s been downstairs, Sam has been teaming with Ruby (now played by Genevieve Cortese), trying to track down Lilith. His psychic powers have grown in power, and he can now exorcise demons with his mind.

sn04

The brothers Winchester also learn they are part of a far bigger picture when they learn that Dean was rescued by Castiel (Misha Collins), an angel. Lilith is planning to open 66 seals which will free Lucifer himself. The boys learn that the angels aren’t as kindly as they would have hoped, and that there are divisions among the soldiers of heaven.

Freak of the week episodes are still the show’s bread and butter, but there are far more episodes that address the developing storyline. We see the brothers’ bond fray as Dean struggles to deal with his experiences in hell, and starts to feel that Sam is hiding something from him. Sam’s increased powers, and Dean’s fragility lead the younger Winchester to doubt his brother, and believe that he, Sam, is the stronger of the two and the only one who can stop Lilith.

The seals being broken provides a nice background ticking clock, as we hear about more being broken in the background, and the boys having to fight to stop some of the others. There’s a sense of the boys losing ground as the seals fall, and also a growing realisation that they don’t actually know what’s going on or who they can trust.

Criss Angel is a Douchebag

The brothers arrive where a magic convention is taking place, and where people are being killed in mysterious ways. The ways mirror the tricks that ageing magician Jay is performing, tricks that are notoriously difficult and dangerous. At first the brothers suspect Jay but soon realise that someone else is protecting Jay, increasing his abilities and moving the danger onto the victims.

I dug this episode because there’s a bit of humour to it, as well as a quite well handled story, as Jay, tired and worrying he was losing his talent. The reveal and reasons for the magic is pretty interesting, and it also leads the boys to reflect on their own future. Seeing Jay embittered and alone at the episode also nudges Sam back towards Ruby, as he doesn’t want to be hunting as an old man.

The Monster at the End of This Book

This is an episode that starts with goofy humour and then takes a dark turn, while also revealing more about the developing stories and the angels. The Winchesters discover that there are a series of books which are based on their lives, a series which became cult favourites and have dedicated fans. It’s a nice way of the show poking fun at its own fans, and subjects like fan fiction and the divide of Dean Girls and Sam Girls (I’m in the Dean camp).

The books are written by Chuck (Rob Benedict), who reveals that the stories arrive to him fully formed. Freaked out by this the boys read what is due to happen next, and learn that Lilith is heading to town. Originally believing Chuck to be a psychic they soon learn from Castiel that he is a prophet, and that his books are almost like a gospel of the brothers’ adventures.

It also sees the first mention of archangels, who remain unseen but are clearly powerhouses that demons fear. And Dean uses them to his advantage in facing off Lilith and changing what Chuck predicted.

Chuck reveals that he has left some things out of the books, like Sam’s drinking of demon’s blood to boost his powers, as he feels it makes Sam unsympathetic. At the end of the episode, Chuck has another vision but is warned not to by Zachariah (Kurt Fuller), the boss angel. Zachariah’s treatment of Chuck proves further evidence of the coldness of the angels.

Sex and Violence

A freak of the week episode with lasting ramifications, the brothers investigate a series of murders which they soon learn are the work of a siren, who infects their victim and manipulates them to kill others. After the poison wears off the killers are left with the fallout.

Dean and Sam’s already fraying relationship takes further strain, especially as both are infected by the siren and brawl, both revealing the beef they have deep down.

The siren is handled in a unique way, having appeared first as strippers it then shows deeper manipulation skills in how it tricks Dean, knowing the best way to get to him and what he really wants in life.

The end of the episode, where the brothers try to brush off what they said under the influence is a downbeat one, with it clear that neither believes the other and that the damage is done.

I Know What You Did Last Summer/Heaven and Hell

A big double bill that lands in the early stages of the season, this fills in some of the blanks and background. In the first episode we see the boys called in to find Anna (Julie McNiven), an escaped mental patient who seems to be able to hear angels. Over the course of the episode we also see why Sam trusts Ruby so much and how she helped him while Dean was in hell.

There’s also the arrival of Alistair, a sadistic demon who knows Dean from his time in the pit. The revelations come thick and fast and a lot happens in two episodes, we learn that very few of the angels have actually met God, that Anna was formerly Castiel’s commanding officer but fell after experiencing doubts over who their orders were from. Dean and Ruby have an uneasy truce when he learns that she saved Sam’s life.

There’s also a slightly awkward, Titanic style sex scene between Dean and Anna in the Impala. Or it might just be that I remember it as awkward because I watched it for the first time with my mum and sister.

So, in one episode we get a new villain, a bunch of angel revelations, a sex scene, an uneasy truce and some angel vs demon fighting. It’s a lot, but it’s well written and moves stuff along nicely.

The end of the episode is an emotional gut punch, as Dean reveals that he was in hell for forty years, and that every day he was tortured and offered a deal, that he would be spared further torture if he tortured other souls. It’s a phenomenal scene from Jensen Ackles, who is fantastic all season as the damaged Dean. The moment where Dean’s bravado fully cracks and he reveals that after thirty years he broke and took the deal is heartbreaking to watch.

Monster Movie

Back in freak of the week territory, and the first shapeshifter episode not to be massively creepy, this is a fun episode that sees the show pay homage to old monster movies, being shot in monochrome. Arriving in time for Oktoberfest the boys find strange tales of monsters killing people but in distinctly bizarre ways- a full blown wolfman, a Dracula style vampire complete with cape and accent, even a mummy. Not like the “real” monsters they have faced.

The episode is quite good fun and seems to belong to an earlier season, with Dean hitting on a waitress and them having to work out what they’re dealing with and get rid of it. As Dean puts it “a black and white case”, and it’s a nice standalone episode.

But there’s also some emotion here, as the shapeshifter reveals the reasons for his disguises. Having been reviled for his monstrous appearance and having had to hide, the onscreen monsters, feared and strong became his heroes. I mean, he’s crazy, but it’s an oddly touching backstory. This, and the goofy gags along the way make this one of the episodes that sticks with me the most.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s