Largest Review/Discussion Fansite for Supernatural and SPNFamily Shows! Plot/Character Analysis, Spoilers, Games, News, Gallery, Interviews, Fun!

Article Index


The Audacity of Supernatural: Top Ten Most Shocking Moments

(SPOILERS AHEAD for Seasons 1-7!!)

It was the winter of 2011/2012, and I was suffering through law school finals (and I do mean suffering).  Desperate for distraction and thoroughly bored with my current tastes in television, I began looking through the folders of my favorite fanfiction authors to see what other shows they were writing about.  I had been an avid reader and amateur writer of fanfiction since high school, usually getting obsessed with a show for awhile only to drop it like a forgotten penny months later.  Most recently was CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0,” which failed to impress me during its second season (hence the boredom).  Anyway, one of my favorite writers of H50 fanfiction had a swath of stories for this show called “Supernatural.”  Now, I’ve never been a hardcore sci-fi buff, much less a fan of the horror genre.  “Supernatural” is not the kind of show I seek out to watch.  However, the word ‘brothers’ kept coming up, along with a lot of angst and action stories, and my curiosity was peaked.  I found an episode on the internet – I believe it was either the season 6 finale or the season 7 premiere, and was absolutely fascinated by the acting.  Because no matter how good looking these actors are, I wouldn’t be able to watch them if I didn’t believe they were who they portrayed themselves to be.  But I believed in Sam and Dean and Bobby and the odd, blue-eyed man in the tan trenchcoat.   

It’s rare in the days of run-amok reality TV and cheap entertainment to find a show that actually has a message, one that actually stands for something meaningful.  “Supernatural” is probably the farthest thing from a family sitcom, and yet, any given episode you will find deep, undercurrent themes of family and friendship.  Nor does the show have any kind of religious, philosophical, or political agenda – and yet, almost every episode presents moral and existential questions that exceed the confines of a fictional TV show, not to mention the almost prophetic social commentary.  And ultimately, it was the audacity of this show to try on so many hats so fearlessly and so well, that made me into an adoring fan. 

The show has demonstrated its audacity on a much smaller scale, as well.  Throughout its years there have been numerous instances and plot twists that have completely shocked me, for one reason or another, for good and for bad.  Here are my top ten.  What are yours?



Comments  

janiebee64
# janiebee64 2012-07-29 16:01
These were all great! I loved all your shocking moments. I will add to your choice of "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Jared was awesome in that episode, and I felt not only that we saw Emo Sam and Soulless Sam, but after he killed Soulless Sam and took in those memories we saw a different Sam. I saw him as the Sam of Season 1-5..the one we grew up with and IMO the very best Sam. Remember how different he was when he walked up that hill. We also saw a different Sam when he faced Hell Sam at Bobby's. That Sam was more like Season 1-5 Sam, but also one who was tired and had given up..more like the Sam we saw in "The Born-Again Identity". Jared played each one to perfection. Different mannerisms, facial expressions, body language..all of it was awesome. I definitely believe his performance in that episode should have earned him an emmy. That is one of my favorite episodes!! Thanks for all these..you brought back some wonderful memories for me.
Take care,
Jane
arefe
# arefe 2012-07-29 17:00
may I say something?!
i really like your articles all of them are so good
but reading them on black background is so difficult & my eyes going to blind!
if there is possibility to change the background that would be great.
st50
# st50 2012-07-29 17:38
My favourite, most shocking episode? 7.02 I think it was Hello, Cruel World.

Two scenes in that one....First, Sam having to admit to Dean that he was seeing Lucifer and wasn't sure what was real, and Second, the warehouse scene when we see the absolute panic and confusion of Sam, and Dean trying to reach him.

Those two scenes got to me the most. It was definitely the acting in both... Those, imho, were Jared at his finest. :)
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-07-29 21:25
Quote:
My favourite, most shocking episode? 7.02 I think it was Hello, Cruel World.

Two scenes in that one....First, Sam having to admit to Dean that he was seeing Lucifer and wasn't sure what was real, and Second, the warehouse scene when we see the absolute panic and confusion of Sam, and Dean trying to reach him.

Those two scenes got to me the most. It was definitely the acting in both... Those, imho, were Jared at his finest. :)
Ah, good ones! I did think about adding that warehouse scene actually, because I WAS surprised that the writers took it that far, and that we got to see such an intense brotherly moment from Sam and Dean. I'll consider it an honorable mention! :)
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-07-30 03:02
Oh, totally agree with that scene too!
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-07-29 20:07
This show gives me those "shocking" moments in so many episodes. My biggest surprise was when they actually KILLED SAM! I didn't see how they could fix that (HA HA HA!!). Then they killed the "big bad"-Azazel. Shows don't kill the big bad (they SHOULD, but they don't). Then they killed Dean and sent him to Hell (kept waiting for them to save him,but nope). Oh, and Skin! To start that episode with Dean attacking that girl, kinda freaked me out a little. Should have figured it wasn't Really Dean. After all, it's Supernatural!!!

I tell anyone who will listen, that this is the BEST show in the history of television. For these reasons, and a hundred more!! Jensen and Jared being the top two on the list
mjg021182
# mjg021182 2012-07-30 12:51
Quote:
Oh, and Skin! To start that episode with Dean attacking that girl, kinda freaked me out a little. Should have figured it wasn't Really Dean. After all, it's Supernatural!!!
Oh, I agree, this one was shocking. In that same vein, even though I was expecting the Levia!chesters, the opening scene to Slash Fiction was incredibly shocking. Just exactly how far they went in that scene, gave me the shivers. And those Js play incredibly believable bad guys!
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-08-01 02:15
Quote:
...the opening scene to Slash Fiction was incredibly shocking. Just exactly how far they went in that scene, gave me the shivers. And those Js play incredibly believable bad guys!
Yes, I thought the Leviathans played very convincing Winchesters. I actually believed it was Sam and Dean (like maybe they HAD to rob the bank for some reason) up until they shot everyone in the vault. Good one!
Sage
# Sage 2012-07-29 21:25
This was an awesome article.
Your #1 is perfect. I knew there was more SPN when I watched and still was shocked!

Was also shocked when they killed John. After spending so much time looking for him, poof, they kill him! And I even cried when it happened. Now, I think it was just the proof that SPN is daring, not afraid of doing something as big as killing the protagonists' father!
I had been spoilered about Sam's death, so it wasn't the same level of shock.

Death's Door was such a good episode, I think it doesn't fit with the rest of the season. It was very emotional, very human, and gave us so much insights to Bobby's life.

So many awesome memories. I must use this next month to re-watch SPN.

Thanks for the article :D
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-08-01 02:19
Quote:
I had been spoilered about Sam's death, so it wasn't the same level of shock.
See, that might have skewed my writing a bit. I started watching SPN during S7, so when I went back and actually watched Sam die or Dean get sent to hell, it wasn't a shock because I knew they'd lived.
I totally agree about Death's Door - one of the best episodes they've done on SPN, and it's not even about a monster!
arefe
# arefe 2012-07-29 21:30
mystery spot was one the shocking ep too + all of the ep that u said.
LEAH D
# LEAH D 2012-07-29 22:43
Excellent article. My personal most shocking:
1) John was YED! And of course followed closely by demon driving semi T-bone. Yikes what a finale.
2) Sam drinking demon blood, did not see that coming.
3) They killed Sam in S2 finale.
4) Actually sent Dean to hell. Damn those finales but I do like to be suprised.
5) Finding out Rudy's true agenda- I was one that bought into her being on the boy's side.

I'm a little harder to shock these past few years but I would love for them to pull a few new tricks out of their bag next season.
Bunyip
# Bunyip 2012-07-29 23:35
Great article. I agree with all the moments you described (and I'm with you regarding Abandon All Hope). I have to add, Crowleys reappearance and the sudden moment of dread when you realise that Castiel is 'in league' with him was another OMG episode ender.
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2012-07-30 03:00
Hi Bamboo24, those were some great picks!
The Man Who Knew Too Much may just be my favourite episode of season 6. That scene in the forest is magnificent. I remember being utterly captivated by that it. The two of them are so different (yet somehow quite subtely so) but still Sam. And as if that wasn't enough, Jared added even more nuance with Hell!Sam.
I feel like I saw On The Head of A Pin a bit differently than you, but it's been so long since I saw it last I may have to watch it again.
No matter how many times I watch that end scene from Devil's Trap, it makes me jump every time, even if I brace myself for it.
One scene I thought to maybe add was from The Rapture when Sam succumbs to his addiction and Dean actually sees him chomping on a demon... I was watching that scene through my fingers. What a shocking way for Dean to find out the secret his little brother's been keeping.
Oh, and maybe the one from Jump The Shark when the ghouls sliced open Sam's wrists...I was horrified!
caelius
# caelius 2012-07-30 05:44
I'd add Repo Man, which I think is one of s7's underrated episodes. I may not be delighted by the way that Sam's storyline was paced and resolved, but the retroactive revelation of what his headspace had been like under the surface all that time was super effective in its way, and it included some fine subsidiary shocks (I jumped at the head-banging in the library hallucination, and I'm still surprised that a suggestion as explicit as "the rapier wit, the wittier rape" made it onto screen). And I also found the Jeffrey storyline effectively shocking, both in the reversal of perspective at the beginning, where we saw how dark Sam and Dean's roles looked from the point of view of a victim of the week, and in the twist on reactions to possession at the end, with some sinister parallels to Dean's experience in hell with Alastair and Sam's experience with Hallucifer. I'm not personally a huge fan of Edlund as a writer of crack and comedy eps, but that was the Edlund I hugely admire, where the streak of zanyness is in service of dark psychological drama.

But the most shocking moment of the series to me still has to be the s1 cliffhanger. For what could conceivably have turned out to be the end of the series, that was jaw-droppingly bold.
caelius
# caelius 2012-07-30 07:09
Forgot to say, I also love how almost casually Sam slips up and lets Hallucifer in by telling him to shut up, but also how it isn't casual at all, because that inconspicuous breaking point is a response to "big brother is probably dead."

s7 may have been shorter on the brother moments than I wished, but there are some great ones that hardly get mentioned, and that's one. Dean is still Sam's point of vulnerability, and there's still a part of even the mature Sam of s7, the Sam who wants Dean to be able to work on Dean, wants Dean to unload on him and let him help, who will always instinctively think of Dean as Big Brother and react with terror to the prospect of losing him.

I will now stop with the Repo Man stanning!
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-08-01 02:24
I LOVED Repo Man. I'd say that Jeffrey killing the puppy was the most shocking moment of that episode to me - that's when you realized how thoroughly he'd planned it all, and just what a sicko he was. And Sam's hallucination in the library of the people banging their heads, suddenly and violently, off the tables was pretty shocking (and disturbing!) as well. I guess Repo Man would also have to be an honorable mention!
st50
# st50 2012-07-30 09:35
Caelius:
Oh gosh yes! I have often commented here and other places how much I love that episode (Repo Man)! We finally got to see some of what Sam had been going through (I do so wish there'd been more scenes with Lucifer!) - the constant barrage of commentary from Lucifer with some fantastic lines there - and the final "SHUT UP" was perfect - no way Sam wanted to hear his fears for Dean vocalized like that.
The shocker was that, after he'd hung on for so long, that was all it took to break Sam's control! Poor Sammy! :(
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-07-31 12:00
That was a good look down memory lane. I've watched every episode so many times, but so many of the scenes still schock me. Like in season 2 "All Hell Breaks Loose, part 1", I gasped in horror when Sam is actually killed. And in season 3 when Dean really goes to Hell. This show has never backed down from putting it's money where it's mouth is! Chills up and down my spine. It's either a horrific scene or a really sad one. But if I may send a message to TPTB. LAY OFF THE IMPALA IN THE FUTURE, BABY HAS PAID HER DUES!!!
ismira
# ismira 2012-08-02 03:07
I agree with the s1 finale. I jumped; I was SO not expecting that crash, and it was in retrospect, a terrible idea to watch the DVD at full volume. My heart must have stopped for a bit.
Another shocking SPN moment for me was Sam/Lucifer in "The End"- the white suit, the soft smiles, and Dean's devastated expression. Dean giving the vampire "one hell of a haircut" in Bloodlust- it still gives me a chill to see his expression in that scene. The ending of that Famine episode in S5 with Sam in the panic room and desperate Dean outside. The whole of On The Head of A Pin and When The Leevee Breaks (I still can't rewatch those two) and recently, yes, The Repo Man with Sam's hallucination of people banging their heads (but mostly because they CUT that scene on Indian TV and I saw it online much later- imagine my shock.)
Great article!
E
# E 2012-09-17 20:35
I posted this over on 'part deux' of the shocking moments post as well, cause I was shocked! when Sam killed Madison in Heart. Not only was that awful and difficult for Sam, but it was one of the first episodes of Supernatural that I saw and imagine my surprise to find a show that would actually go 'there.' So often a drama will end up pulling it's punches in the end, but not this show. I was horrified and heartbroken.

I felt the same way about Jump the Shark on so many levels. I remember the online fandom going nuts at the mere suggestion of a third Winchester brother. Fans everywhere were condemning the episode before it was even aired. Trust Kripke and co. to NOT go with the obvious. It was shocking that John had sex with anyone after Mary. It was shocking that there was a third brother who had remained hidden for 18 years. It was shocking that the infamous third brother was dead long before the episode even began. It was shocking that they would show Sam getting tortured like that; it was gruesome!