Television Reviews

Why Season 2 Is SUPERNATURAL’s Best

As the final season of Supernatural is underway, I’ve been getting increasingly sentimental, albeit a little in denial. It’s wild to think that it has been 15 years since I became obsessed with a little genre show when it premiered. I was a teenager in high school and remember catching each episode, on time, every week – and back when The CW was still The WB (am I old?). The series followed me to college where I binged the first couple of seasons as I unpacked my apartment. It was a familiar comfort in a new, unknown world for me. It may sound dramatic, but I’m sure for a lot of fans, this show has been a best friend of sorts and something to turn on in moments where you needed a break.

It’s both crazy and wonderful how this show has impacted the television landscape and captured an audience for so long. As I reflect on the series, there is one season in particular that has always stuck out to me as a collective whole. One that transcends the rest in terms of quality, creativity, and overarching themes. When most shows can experience the dreaded “Sophomore Slump”, this show used it to carve out its identity beautifully. Let’s talk about why season two is Supernatural‘s best.

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Premiering on September 28, 2006, the 22 episodes that it is comprised of are, without a doubt, the series’ best. As stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles settled into their roles for its second year, their chemistry and believability as brothers shines through. As the season takes on darker themes, from losing their father to Sam’s fear of turning evil, the cast were really given a lot heavier material to play with. Outside of those larger themes, this season flourished in a lot of other ways, giving great moments and kickstarting a lot of things that would carry on for the remainder of the series.

Spoilers for the series ahead

It Introduced Us to Beloved Characters

While Supernatural may center around two brothers on their own, especially in the earlier seasons, the second season expanded the cast to deliver some iconic and memorable characters.

In the first episode, we’re introduced to a young woman named Tess, as she faces death alongside Dean. However, it is revealed that Tess is a Reaper who tries to comfort Dean in his time of dying. While I’ve not enjoyed the show-runners continuing with this human-like Reaper appearance, Tess was a pleasant familiar face throughout several seasons, holding some importance in some Angel-centric episodes later on.

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Another character that evolved throughout the series and into its religious mythos has been The Trickster (Richard Speight Jr.), a character introduced in “Tall Tales” halfway through the season. The Trickster popped up again in season three and five, before it’s revealed he is an archangel, which took his character to new heights. He’s been featured in 12 episodes in total and surely became a fan favorite not only in the show, but the actor himself within the fan community.

Season two also saw the introduction of a beloved trio that would become family. Ellen and Ash, who ran a hunter-favorited bar. Alongside them was Ellen’s daughter Jo, who itched to become a hunter just like her late father. The trio has had various episodes throughout the series, some together or just one-off’s on their own. While the three characters eventually died, their memory continues on with subtle mentions in later episodes and are forever in fans’ hearts.

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It Gave Me The Creeps

While there have been plenty of scares throughout the series, no season held as many iconic creepy moments/episodes than season two. From the naturally terrifying killer clown in episode two, aptly titled “Everybody Loves a Clown”, to scary dolls in “Playthings”. We saw zombies, shifters, “aliens”, werewolves and so much more – it definitely ranked highest in the creature feature department.

Even in the more humorous episodes like “Tall Tales”, you can see how the tone and editing style remains cohesive throughout, and especially compared to later seasons after series creator Eric Kripke’s departure. It really felt that the show had found its identify and felt comfortable in telling the stories it wanted to. It served as Kripke’s sandbox, as he surely gained more creative freedom after a successful first season. The next season somewhat continued on this path, and it tried with its shortened season (due to the writers strike), and you can pick up elements in season four in some of its cinematic style, but nothing compares to this one.

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How It Tackles Grief

When Supernatural returned, it hit its audience with an emotional season opener – the death of John Winchester. This character that was such a catalyst for the series as a whole, was now gone. But while we as viewers dealt with the grief of the character, his two sons were living it.

Supernatural had to deal with a parental death, and while it was not soaked in realism (hello, demons), the loss was very real. Especially in cases of multiple children, where dynamics are different from child to child, we watched as the brothers both dealt with John’s loss in their own ways – Sam with his guilt and Dean with his anger. It is without a doubt the shows biggest human connection with we as viewers.

Though John’s death was not the only big one in the season to shake emotions – we also briefly lost Sam. At the end of the penultimate episode, Sam is killed by Jake, another “special kid” that has been manipulated by the Yellow Eyed Demon. The same demon who had taken their father. It is the most crushing moment in the series, as Dean runs to save his brother and comfort, but he’s too late.

In the season finale, overcome with grief for not only his father, but now his brother, Dean sacrifices himself by selling his soul to a crossroads demon. It’s another instance of realism in the series in a sense. If you strip away the supernatural elements, you’ll find a lost soul who feels what we all do in the time of loss. The feeling of not being able to go on without them, the feeling of emptiness – and sometimes the guilt of being the survivor. It’s selfish, but it’s human.

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There are so many other moments in season two that helped shape the remainder of the series. While the first season is incredible in its own right, I think this season did the job of solidifying the longevity of the show and helped to cement the connection with its fans. There is not a single weak episode out of the 22, and each perfectly built upon the mythos and has since been revisited in some way. It is the perfect season and will forever stand out as a peak for the series.

How do you feel about season two of Supernatural? Do you agree with me on its importance? I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as how you’re feeling with the show wrapping up. So make sure to leave some comments below!

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