Every weekday through September 12 BuddyTV is counting down the 10 best Supernatural episodes of all time.  Come back every day as we unveil the list, and see if your favorite episode made the cut!

Original Air Date: 
May 15, 2008

Written By:  Eric Kripke

Summary:  As Dean’s contract finally comes due, Sam teams up with Ruby (Katie Cassidy) in a last-ditch effort to save his brother’s life.  The trio manages to track down evil demon leader Lilith, but things go horribly awry when Lilith takes possession of Ruby’s body.  As Sam looks on, Dean is brutally killed by Hell Hounds.  In the last shot of the episode, Dean wakes up and discovers that he’s chained up in the depths of Hell.

Why It’s On The List:
  Dean dies.  After an entire season of build up, “No Rest for the Wicked” easily could have been an anticlimactic finale.  My worst fear was that series creator Eric Kripke would come up with some last minute miracle to save Dean’s life.  Though Ruby alludes to the fact that Sam (Jared Padalecki) could easily destroy Lilith with his mental powers, no such thing happens in the episode.  Sam is forced to look on helplessly while his brother is ripped to shreds.  It’s certainly not the happiest hour of Supernatural ever, but it’s undeniably moving and powerful.  The ending is also a complete jaw-dropper, which is essential for a great season ender.

The shocking plot twists are great, but it’s the little moments that truly make an episode worthy of inclusion on our all-time top 10 list, and “No Rest for the Wicked” has some great ones.  The most memorable tidbit has to be Sam and Dean singing along to Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” in the Impala.  It’s a moment that manages to be both hilarious and emotional at the same time, and of course the song choice is spot-on.  Any episode that finds Dean (Jensen Ackles) choosing hard rock over a touchy-feely conversation is one that deserves praise.

Ruby’s reference to Sam’s powers is also a great addition, and one that I’m sure will play out in season 4.  The character wasn’t extremely popular with the fans, but I liked the alliance she built up with the boys and the dynamic she brought to the series.  As sad as I was to see her taken over by Lilith, it was yet another chilling demonstration of how powerful the new demon leader is.  Watching the little girl snap her grandpa’s neck just for kicks was creepy enough, but seeing her take over Ruby’s body was truly frightening.  It’s one of the many disturbing moments in “No Rest for the Wicked” that helps to make it so unforgettable.  By the end of the episode, it’s obvious that the Winchesters have never faced any demon as powerful as adorable little Lilith.

With three seasons and 60 episodes to choose from, it was unbelievably tough to finalize our top 10 list.    “No Rest for the Wicked” makes it on for its perfect blend of interesting mythology and gut-wrenching emotional moments.  Add in a few dashes of humor and the sort of horrific imagery that Supernatural does best, and you have an episode that’s an undeniable classic.

Come back tomorrow to find out which episode made it to number nine on our all-time top 10 list.  We’ll be revealing one episode per day Monday through Friday, and will unveil what we consider to be the best Supernatural episode ever on September 12.  Did your favorite make the cut?  You’ll have to wait and see.

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