A Ride Off Into the Sunset: The Best Supernatural Episodes

Solomon Kenworthy, Web Editor

     2020 will mark the end of many things in the world of entertainment, but none might be as hard-felt as the 15th and final season of CW’s longest-running show, Supernatural. Due to the show’s long life span, the Winchester brothers have seen their fair share of good and bad days, both in their fictional world and in the writing room. In honor of the world of hunters and monsters coming to an end, let’s take a look back at the highlights; these, in no specific order, are the best Supernatural episodes. 

“Wendigo” – Season 1, Episode 2

Dean (left), and Sam help locals escape the Wendigo’s layer. Photo courtesy of Flickr

     Don’t watch this one before going anywhere near the woods. While making a stop in a town called Blackwater Ridge, the brothers eventually help a family whose sibling got lost during a camping trip. This was a great episode to demonstrate the dark tone the show was going for, at least for the first five seasons anyway. As with many early episodes of most shows, the out-of-place exposition is noticeable upon rewatch but is outmatched by the great chemistry between the leads. The small story within the episode was interesting, and the creature design itself was originally frightening. It set the golden standard for the “Monster of the Week” episodes that has never truly been topped.

“The French Mistake” – Season 6, Episode 15 

     There’s no better way to describe this episode than a masterclass of weird and awesome. Sam and Dean are transported from their fictional universe into our world, finding themselves as actors working on a TV show called Supernatural. A pure fun script where it’s clear how much fun can be had in certain episodes. From the cameos of real producers and directors to the self-awareness of the script, everything here just works. Sometimes we may wonder what would happen if our favorite characters from fictional worlds appeared in front of us, and “The French Mistake” answers that question, just maybe not in the way you expected. 

“Scoobynatural” – Season 13, Episode 16

Shaggy, Scooby, and Dean enjoy reasonably sized sandwiches. Photo courtesy of Flickr

     “Like Scoobs, what are the Winchesters doin’ here!?” After being transported into an episode of Scooby-Doo, Sam and Dean try to figure out not just the mystery of how they got there, but also help the Scooby-gang with their own. This is one of the best crossover episodes in recent years. From the animation to the original voice actors from Scooby-Doo returning, this is a beyond-spectacular example of how to go outside a show’s comfort zone and make it work. Moments such as the Scooby-gang being told that there are real monsters or having them contemplate life are quite humorous, to say the least. Only in the animated world of Scooby-Doo would seeing a man torn into three pieces be so funny. 

“Baby” – Season 11, Episode 4

     “Baby” is a masterclass in the use of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” in media. The brothers decide to investigate a seemingly regular case of a possible werewolf attack. It’s not the story here that’s particularly interesting, but the filmmaking behind it. Aside from one shot, the entire episode is shot within the “third brother,” the 1967 Chevy Impala. Small things such as this being the only episode to not feature a score, add to how impactful and important this car is to not just characters in the show, but the fanbase as well. It goes to show that there are still interesting and creative ways to present seemingly repetitive story ideas. 

“Swan Song” – Season 5, Episode 22

Sam and Dean confront the Devil, wonderfully played by Mark Pellegrino. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

     Nothing ever really ends. In a daring attempt to stop Satan himself from causing the apocalypse, Sam and Dean put together one last plan. As much as some great moments came from the later seasons, had the showrunners keep their original plan, and made this the series finale, it would have been one of the best in TV’s history.  There aren’t necessarily any specific moments that make this stand out, but more so it’s clear how much care and passion went into this episode. Everything from the score, acting, writing, and directing are at their best here, not just for Supernatural, but TV in general. 

     In the pile of many detective or monster shows, Supernatural will always stand out. This is in part due to its originality and creative ideas, but also it’s the ability to adapt, and somehow not get canceled after 15 years. So let’s hope that its final season can end with something of value, even if it’s not as glamorous as a ride off into the sunset.