I’m tempted to declare season 4 of Supernatural my absolute favorite of the series, but we still have about 12 episodes remaining before the big finale.  It’s too early to judge the season as a whole, so I decided to look back at the first 10 episodes and grade them individually.  I enjoyed every installment when it initially aired, but some held up better in my memory than others.  Read on for the report card, then chime in with your own opinions on the best and worst of season 4.

Episode 4.1:  “Lazarus Rising”

Some shows have trouble creating powerful season premieres, but that’s never been a problem for Supernatural.  Season 4 got off to a strong start with an episode that featured the resurrection of Dean Winchester, his reunion with Sam, and the shocking revelation that an angel pulled Dean from the pit.  Not only did “Lazarus Rising” wrap up the season 3 cliffhanger in a satisfying manner, but it took the Supernatural mythology in an exciting new direction.  GRADE: A+

Episode 4.2:  “Are You There God?  It’s Me, Dean Winchester”

The title of this episode is certainly the best of season 4 (at least until January 22, when “Criss Angel is a Douche Bag” airs), but it wasn’t the strongest installment of the year.  It was nice to see the return of characters like Meg and Agent Hendrickson, but the story about vengeful ghosts wasn’t all that unique or thrilling.  However, this episode gets extra points for introducing us to Bobby’s panic room and Lilith’s plan to raise Lucifer.  GRADE: B+

Episode 4.3:  “In the Beginning”

It’s not often that an episode comes along and answers questions that we’ve been pondering for years, but that’s exactly what “In the Beginning” managed to accomplish.  The time traveling setup could have been hokey, but somehow seeing Dean back in the 1970s seemed perfectly normal.  Some fans may complain that the lack of Jared Padalecki hurts this episode, but I think it makes up for his absence by offering plenty of answers about the Winchester family.  GRADE: A+

Episode 4.4:  “Metamorphosis”

“Metamorphosis” was a decent standalone episode with some memorable moments, but it suffers a bit coming right after “In the Beginning.”  As compelling as it was to see the brothers face off with a rugaru, it just can’t compare to the Mary Winchester story.  Of course, let’s not forget that this episode has the epic motel room confrontation between the brothers, with Dean punching Sam in the face — twice!  That’s the kind of juicy conflict that makes Supernatural so amazing.  GRADE: B

Episode 4.5:  “Monster Movie”

It’s true that I have a bit of a man-crush on writer Ben Edlund, and this episode is a perfect example why.  It’s standalone and doesn’t contribute much to the season’s overall arc, but it’s wonderfully executed and tons of fun.  I’m also impressed that Kripke and the gang had the nerve to film in black-and-white, which is something One Tree Hill didn’t bother to do for their 1940s episode.  It’s obvious that not all CW shows are created equal.  GRADE: A

Episode 4.6:  “Yellow Fever”

Five words: Dean screaming like a girl.  The only thing that made me laugh harder in recent months was the sight of Jensen Ackles performing “Eye of the Tiger,” which is also from this episode.  “Yellow Fever” allowed Ackles to show off his comedic chops, but I was a bit letdown by yet another story about a vengeful ghost.  Pissed off spirits don’t really get my blood pumping, but “Yellow Fever” has enough great Winchester moments to satisfy any fan.  GRADE: B+

Episode 4.7:  “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester”

There’s nothing like Halloween with the Winchesters, especially when Samhain is on the loose and causing havoc.  This episode didn’t quite live up to the awesome promise of a Supernatural holiday spectacular, but it is notable for introducing Uriel to the mythology.  The ass-kicking angel is a lot scarier than Castiel, as we saw from his willingness to smite an entire town.  Of course, he’s not nearly as dreamy.  GRADE: B

Episode 4.8:  “Wishful Thinking”

Sam and Dean go to a town where wishes really can come true, and we’re soon introduced to a bipolar teddy bear, a kid with super-powers, and Ted Raimi as a babe magnet.  As far as Ben Edlund episodes go, this isn’t quite as brilliant as “Monster Movie,” but it still has a freakin’ teddy bear shooting himself in the head with a rifle.  GRADE: A-

Episode 4.9:  “I Know What You Did Last Summer”

Need a heaping helping of delicious Supernatural mythology?  Look no further than this episode, which finally shed some light on what Sam was up to while Dean was six feet under.  It also introduced us to the character of Anna, who could overhear the thoughts of the angels.  I love it when Supernatural offers up answers, especially when they’re as satisfying as the ones found here.  GRADE: A

Episode 4.10:  “Heaven and Hell”

The second part of “The Winchester Sex Chronicles” finds Dean hooking up with Anna, who is revealed to be an angel fallen from Heaven.  The religious mumbo jumbo could be cheesy on a lesser show, but with a script by Eric Kripke this episode truly delivers.  It has action, sex, a hilarious Touched By An Angel reference, and a big smackdown between angels and demons.  What more do you require from SupernaturalGRADE: A+

After looking back at all the episodes, I’ve determined what I think are the top five of season 4 so far.  They are:

5.  “Monster Movie”
4.  “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
3.  “Heaven and Hell”
2.  “Lazarus Rising”
1.  “In the Beginning”

Agree?  Disagree?  Sound off below, then check BuddyTV tomorrow for a poll that will allow YOU to choose the best of season 4 so far.

– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)


Staff Writer, BuddyTV