The Supernatural review: S05E01-10

Or, Supernatural’s finest hour. From ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ through to ‘Abandon All Hope…”.

Recently, I’ve had cause to watch the entire run of Supernatural through, by means of introducing it to my partner and various other friends. As a build-up to the new season next September, and as I’ve finished my previous series of literary micro-reviews, I’ve decided to go through every episode to date.

I’ll aim to get these up twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday mornings, but the schedule may deviate. For now, season 5, episodes 1-10.

‘Sympathy For The Devil’
Writer: Eric Kripke / Director: Robert Singer

There’s a sense of chaos to this episode, a fitting one if you consider the events of the plot. Nothing in particular makes it great, it’s just a combination of all its parts working together brilliantly, pulled together by an experienced hand in the form of Robert Singer. And poor Bobby.

‘Good God, Y’All’
Writer: Sera Gamble / Director: Phil Sgriccia

Rufus! One of the great things that Supernatural managed with season five is showing all of the players in a bitter, different light – war torn, resigned but still swinging. This is a fantastic episode, one that highlights the division between Sam and Dean well, and quickly changed up recurring characters to a battle footing.

‘Free To Be You And Me’
Writer: Jeremy Carver / Director: J Miller Tobin

‘Free To Be You And Me’ isn’t as action-packed as ‘Good God, Y’All’ or ‘The End’, but it serves as a poignant calm before the storm. The fact that most of the gruesome action takes place off-screen only serves to add to the overwhelming sense that this might be a battle that we can’t win.

‘The End’
Writer: Ben Edlund / Director: Steve Boyum

Ben Edlund had a great run in season five, which began with this excellent episode. Seeing a post-apocalyptic Earth, with a stylish and creepy ending was brilliant, but main credit goes to Misha Collins and Jensen Ackles here, for their radically different portrayals of established characters.

‘Fallen Idols’
Writer: Julie Siege / Director: James L Conway

No. No, no no. Why the show felt that it had to stunt cast with Paris Hilton, I’ll never know. Neither will I know why this episode made it past the writers’ room in the first place. Julie Siege’s episodes are normally passable, but this one was a real turkey – completely irrelevant and a shade disrespectful.

‘I Believe The Children Are Our Future’
Writer: Andrew Dabb, Daniel Loflin / Director: Charles Beeson

While I’m quite glad that the Antichrist plotline was abandoned, this is still a great episode. I don’t think that they went as far as they could have done with the moral struggle in it, but still, it’s funny and it’s great to see Sam put in his place by a little kid on a couple of occasions. Stop whining about your childhood, Winchester.

‘The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester’
Writer: Sera Gamble / Director: Robert Singer

Sera Gamble is so hit and miss for me. Sometimes, she writes episodes that just chime completely and hit the ball for six. Other times, I couldn’t care less. This is in between really – it’s quite funny in places, but it’s totally forgettable, only buttressed by the other great episodes in the season.

‘Changing Channels’
Writer: Jeremy Carver / Director: Charles Beeson

Well done, Jeremy Carver. This episode had one of the best twists of the season, probably the best, actually. Revealing the trickster to be Gabriel is a great touch, but we finally got to see Doctor Sexy MD! Funny, tense and shocking, it’s one of the greats.

‘The Real Ghostbusters’
Writer: Nancy Weiner, Eric Kripke / Director: James L Conway

Hopefully, this will be the last ‘meta’ episode that the show does. It’s good as a standard instalment, but the Chuck storyline is beginning to get a bit tired by now, and despite a few laughs it’s a bit of an empty mechanism that the writers seem to keep turning and turning.

‘Abandon All Hope…
Writer: Ben Edlund / Director: Phil Sgriccia

Easily the best midseason finale of the whole series. ‘Abandon All Hope’ is relentless from start to finish, keeping up the pace and the heartbreak up until the final episode, as we say goodbye to Ellen and Jo and realise what must seem like the pointlessness of their fight when the boys fail to kill Lucifer.

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