dean

An introduction to 'Supernatural'

If you were going to introduce someone to Supernatural, which 5 episodes would you use to do so? A lot of episodes from seasons 4 and 5 wouldn't work, because they're so arc-heavy. Most of 7 has a completely different feel from the rest of the show, and all the flashbacks in beginning of 8 might be confusing. Hollywood Babylon would probably work pretty well, as would Night Shifter or Folsom Prison Blues, or ... well, most of 2 would work pretty well. And 1, and a fair chunk of 3. Parts of 6 would be okay, and the two halves of 10, barring opening, closing, and center episodes. Haven't watched enough of 9 to be able to judge.

Okay, off the top of my head, and in order by season:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

...Argh. I can't do it. Maybe two lists? One for if they feel more like funny stuff, another for creepy?

Funny: Tall Tales ... No, that's no good either. I look at the list of episodes and get paralyzed because I just want to do them all, but if you could share only 5....
Indexing: ,
Tough question.

1) On the Head of a Pin: to show the show at its height of storytelling (can be watched on its own, I think).
2) What Is and What Should Never Be: because of Dean!
3) Mystery Spot: because of Sam!
4) The French Mistake: as an example for a meta episode.
5) Scarecrow: as an example for a classic monster of the week episode, brother angst and bonding included.

As you know, I'm a big fan of S8-S10, but I wouldn't use them to introduce someone to the show, because I don't think you can understand the full brilliance of, say, demon!Dean before getting to know regular!Dean first. :)
That's a pretty good slate. I think season 10 has two batches of MotW episodes that work even if you're not familiar with the show, but you're right that by this point there's so much backstory and character development underlying everything that there's pretty always stuff that you won't catch unless you've seen the previous 9 seasons.

Edited at 2015-07-03 05:53 pm (UTC)
Was thinking a bit more about this list, and 2 and 3 seem particularly apt: 2 gives you an awful lot of insight into how the inside of Dean's head works, and how much he carries with him all the time. And 3 shows just how absolutely vital Dean is for Sam to be able to continue functioning as Sam. If you look at Sam post-Wednesday and soulless!Sam--they're pretty much the same. Except soulless!Sam can pass as normal if he tries really hard. Post-Wednesday Sam can't manage even that. Not to mention it's a brilliant handling of the Groundhog Day trope.

The episodes are also sort of mirrored: WIaWSNB places Dean in a world where everything is completely altered. MS places Sam in a world where nothing changes--nothing except Dean, who manages to keep coming up with new ways to react to Sam. Everyone else stays exactly the same, but because Sam changes over the course of the episode, so does Dean, even though he keeps getting reset.

...Man, I love "Mystery Spot" so much. It is unbelievably well-written, acted, and directed, and stands almost entirely on its own.

Yup, definitely goes on the list.
Mystery Spot Sam is S4!Sam in a nutshell, I find. It's incredible, how Carver took the current Sam characterisation up to that point (sweet puppy who constantly angsts about the darkness inside him but is of course way too good and sweet to ever be dark) and twisted it into something new and much more compelling, something which has then been the basis for all of Sam's actions up to the end of 10x23.

I love what you say about the differences and similarities between Mystery Spot and WIAWSNB - very clever and observant.