Supernatural Season 13: Grading the episodes and season

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW; Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW; Image Acquired from CW TV PR /
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW; Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW; Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

Supernatural Season 13 has come and gone. Now it’s time to look back at each of the episodes and give them a grade, along with an average grade for the season.

Supernatural Season 13 certainly started off strong. It brought back memories of the past in good ways, introduced new characters strongly, and gave us emotions that we hadn’t seen from the Winchester brothers in a long time. The second half wasn’t as strong, but the season as a whole certainly wasn’t the weakest of the show series.

When watching some of the episodes and recapping them, I gave them grades. It wasn’t something I kept going with all the episodes for one reason or another, but something that I’ve gone back and looked at. The grades I did give were based off the first look—that first impression I was left with at the end of the episode.

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Now I’ve been able to go back through the episodes one-by-one, thinking of them in terms of the bigger picture and the feelings I have about them. The grades do reflect the position of the episodes against the season as a whole. The grades will give you a clue as to how I would rank the episodes in the season, which is coming tomorrow.

Grades are done from A+ to D- (none of them failed!) and I’ll share my reasons why for each of the episodes. I’ll then finish with an overall grade, which is an average of all of them. I’ll do this in order of episodes, starting from the Supernatural Season 13 premiere and finishing with the finale.

Supernatural Season 13 finale
Supernatural — Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 1: Lost and Found

Episode grade: A-

Lost and Found. A-. . Supernatural. S13E1

Supernatural Season 13 started off in a strong way. We had no idea what to expect with Jack, in a way that we had no idea what to expect when angels were first introduced—when we first got to see Castiel. The memories of Season 4 came flooding back with the introduction of Jack, while keeping the child-like quality he had. When looking at Alexander Calvert, it was hard to remember that this was a baby, until he mentioned his love for nougat.

The episode was also a strong start for the Winchester brothers. Hot off the loss of Crowley, Castiel, and Mary, the Winchesters were alone and they needed to figure out who Jack was and what he could do. It was never going to be an easy start, but the writers got the transition just right.

Episode 2: The Rising Son

Episode grade: A-

A-. . Supernatural. S13E2. The Rising Son

Like the previous episode, the second episode was a strong start for the Apocalypse World. One of the big questions we had was about Mary and why Lucifer would keep her alive. She couldn’t understand why she was being kept alive and we got that reasoning extremely quickly.

We also got Michael’s introduction, which remains one of the best introductions in the series as a whole. Michael quickly made it clear why he won the Apocalypse in this world and showed his ability to overpower our Lucifer with ease.

Back in the Winchester’s world, we got a continuation of Jack learning the way of the world. This was a chance for us to get to know him through the Winchesters, and we got Donatello back. The episode also introduced us to Asmodeus in a big way. Despite this Prince of Hell getting an anticlimactic ending, there was a lot of hope based off this episode, which is why it remains at the top.

Supernatural — “Wayward Sisters” — Image Number: SN1310c_0080.jpg — Pictured: Clark Backo as Patience — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved
Supernatural — “Wayward Sisters” — Image Number: SN1310c_0080.jpg — Pictured: Clark Backo as Patience — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved /

Episode 3: Patience

Episode grade: C

C. . Supernatural. S13E3. Patience

I wanted to be able to grade this episode higher. It was Missouri’s return after more than a decade of wondering where she was. This was a return we knew would happen from San Diego Comic-Con 2017. We had huge hopes.

And all those hopes were crushed within the first act. Missouri was reintroduced and met Jody and then she was gone. It was one of the most disappointing moments of the whole season. I, personally, was left wondering what the point in bringing characters back was. They always end up dying and I wasn’t really that excited about other characters coming back in future episodes because of this.

However, it wasn’t an epic failure. The episode did give us an introduction to Patience, who was a smart and conscientious young woman. It was clear why she would choose Jody over her dad in the end.

Episode 4: The Big Empty

Episode grade: B+

. Supernatural. S13E4. The Big Empty. B+

I did initially grade this with an A. One thing that stood out for me was Castiel in the Empty. We got the humor of him refusing to go to sleep, along with Misha’s acting abilities standing out once more. Whatever that accent was supposed to be worked for the character and it’s left us wanting more from this Cosmic Entity.

There was also the chance for Sam and Dean to talk about their feelings. It’s not something that happens often, but we got the chance to see why Dean was so certain his mom was dead and why Sammy wasn’t ready to let her go. And then Jack had the chance to say his goodbyes to his mom, showing us why a shapeshifter can be good if she wants to be.

Supernatural — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 5: Advanced Thanatology

Episode grade: B+

B+. . Supernatural. S13E5. Advanced Thanatology

Out of all the episodes I’d graded on first impressions, this is the only one that kept its original grade. One of the strong points for me was bringing it back to the creepy, violent spirit lore. I got the feeling I had when watching Supernatural Season 1’s “Asylum” and Season 4’s “Family Remains.” These are the episodes I love the most because they are scary; they’re everything I expected Supernatural to be in the beginning.

This also brought Billie back, giving us a little new lore on Death. It was interesting to see this development, as we knew Death could never truly die. More importantly, it set up the books, foreshadowing their importance for particular characters.

Episode 6: Tombstone

Episode grade: B

B. . Supernatural. S13E6. Tombstone

Okay, I gave this an A on first impressions. I loved Team Free Will 2.0 getting together and that reunion for Castiel and Jack. But there was something that bugged me and that’s why now I’ve dropped the grading to a B.

Jack and Castiel didn’t get enough time together. We got all of one episode with Team Free Will 2.0 together. We could have at least had two. One episode of Jack making a mistake wasn’t enough to justify him running off the way he did. Another downside for me was Dean suddenly being his normal self again. He was near-suicidal and that wouldn’t have just gone away from one “win.”

Supernatural — “The Scorpion and the Frog” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “The Scorpion and the Frog” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 7: War of the Worlds

Episode grade: C

War of the Worlds. C. . Supernatural. S13E7

Unfortunately, this was an episode many people missed the first time. It aired on Thanksgiving! To make matters worse, it was a major plot-driven episode. The CW didn’t plan ahead and maybe that leaves me with some bad feelings about the episode.

However, I also don’t remember too much from the episode. I know that it was the one that Ketch and Kevin returned. I remember loving Lucifer without his powers for a bit, but there were so many plot holes. Like why didn’t Castiel just text Dean that Lucifer was back? It made Castiel look stupid and I don’t like it when smart characters look dumb. And don’t get me started with Ketch’s twin story.

Episode 8: The Scorpion and the Frog

Episode grade: D

C. . Supernatural. S13E8. The Scorpion and the Frog

Speaking of smart characters looking dumb, we get to “The Scorpion and the Frog.” It may not be surprising to hear that Supernatural Season 13, Episode 8 wasn’t a favorite of the entire SPN Hunters crew. There were complaints of forgettable episodes—and forgetting important plot points about both characters. And they made Sam looks dumb.

The big downside for me was just that it tried to cement a new King of the Crossroads and did nothing with him. By the end of the episode, he was killed off. Plus, they tried to set up a new Charlie-like character, who I may be able to get onboard with, and didn’t even mention her after that. Maybe she’ll come back next season, but something just felt off.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

Episode 9: Bad Place

Episode grade: B+

S13E9. The Bad Place. B+. . Supernatural

How can an episode go from an A+ first time to a B+ looking back? It’s got nothing to do with this being the first part of the Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot. I enjoyed the introduction of Kaia and the way Jack tried to connect with her. Seeing Kaia’s fear of the bad place gave us some interesting material to work with and build upon.

My issue was in some of the story telling and action choices. I still hate that Dean held a gun at Kaia. Even in his darkest states, he’s never done something like that and I couldn’t see him desperate enough to get his mom back to do such a thing. This wasn’t the only time Dean was out of character in the series. The second annoying part was suddenly seeing these angels complaining about dying out and needing Jack. Just eight episodes earlier they’d decided to kill him.

Episode 10: Wayward Sisters

Episode grade: A-

A-. . Supernatural. S13E10. Wayward Sisters

This episode drops from an A+ to an A- when looking back. It wasn’t the perfect episode, although it seemed it upon first viewing. If you’d asked me to rank the three Wayward episodes, this would definitely be the top one. I loved the way Kaia was slowly brought into the group, with Claire being the one she connected to the most, and the way Claire and Patience butted heads a little at first.

On looking back, though, maybe a little more time in the Bad Place would have made more sense. This was a backdoor pilot, so I wouldn’t look for more time just with the Winchester brothers. I wanted to see more of Claire and Kaia in the Bad Place. It was a strong start for a new show—and that’s what the backdoor pilot was supposed to be—and it’s a shame The CW has overlooked it.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

Episode 11: Breakdown

Episode grade: A

A. . Supernatural. S13E11. Breakdown

Donna Hanscum will always be my favorite out of the Wayward Sisters. She offers the comic relief, but is a badass at the same time. Despite everything that has happened to her, she has remained strong and supportive of others. This episode was just what we needed for her character to understand why she’d move off into Wayward Sisters if it did get picked up.

Unfortunately, it meant she lost Doug. However, this relationship ending made sense. Doug had seen enough evil in the real world and there was no way he could deal with it in the supernatural world. There was also the continuity with the vampire cure. Oh, and we got a human bad guy again and it’s been a while since we’d have that (not including the British Men of Letters).

Episode 12: Various and Sundry Villains

Episode grade: B

B. . Supernatural. S13E12. Various and Sundry Villains

This is another episode that drops from a B+ to a B on a look back. The millennial witches didn’t really do anything for me. However, I loved seeing Rowena again. The explanation for her coming back was simple and we got to see her for who she truly is—someone who will always look out for herself.

However, this episode started the depth to her character a little more. We saw her grieve for Crowley, foreshadowing what would come in “Funeralia,” while also showing us the fear she felt after seeing Lucifer’s true face. We also got more from Sammy about his PTSD from years ago. Overall, it’s remained a strong episode looking back.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

Episode 13: Devil’s Bargain

Episode grade: B+

Devil's Bargain. B+. . Supernatural. S13E13

Danneel Ackles’ first episode was a relatively strong one. I enjoyed her character, even if it was everything that I expected—I’ve come to expect a slightly more selfish character based on watching her as Rachel Gatina in One Tree Hill.

This episode gave us an excellent team up between Lucifer and Sister Jo. It’s a shame this team up didn’t last. Lucifer could have done well with Sister Jo as his adviser and First Lady.

What I love more—and it sums up the character quickly—was Ketch’s line “I’m Ketch.” I don’t need to watch it more than once to remember how he says the line. Plus he was upfront about working with Asmodeus and how that could work for the Winchesters. We also learned Gabriel was still alive.

Episode 14: Good Intentions

Episode grade: C+

Good Intentions. C+. . Supernatural. S13E14

After a two week break, we got “Good Intentions.” With another episode set in the Apocalypse World, I was excited for it. We’d get to see Michael again, another chance to see what the world was like, and a chance to see Jack and Mary together. It just didn’t live up to the expectations that I had.

We barely saw Michael and Zachariah was brought back and killed off in the episode—a character that had a major role in the fourth and fifth seasons. The saving grace for the episode was definitely Apocalypse Bobby and seeing how he loved Mary; well, his version of her. We also saw the type of mother Mary could be.

Another downside to the episode was Donatello’s ending. I don’t blame Cass for a minute, but I was sad to see Donatello not make it out alive.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW; Image Acquired from CW TV PR
Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW; Image Acquired from CW TV PR /

Episode 15: A Most Holy Man

Episode grade: B-

Supernatural. S13E15. A Most HOly Mand. B-.

As much as I didn’t like the directorial style, I still appreciate Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb for taking the risk. Plus, I liked that the episode was focused on collecting the ingredients for the spell. This is what I expected the next handful of episodes to be about, since it was such a big deal to everyone!

The season didn’t quite meet expectations in terms of the spell ingredients, but this episode is still a positive one. The priest was a hugely popular influence on the Winchester brothers, with messages that both could take away. Plus, we got a hint that maybe Chuck is watching out for the Winchesters. And, of course, we got that moment of Dean panicking about someone stealing Baby.

Episode 16: Scoobynatural

Episode grade: A+

A+. . Supernatural. S13E16. Scoobynatural

Was there any other grade that this episode was going to get? “Scoobynatural” was the most anticipated episodes of the season and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Coming back after another two-week break, the episode pulled in the second-highest numbers of the season. It’s one of those that fans will watch over and over again. In fact, it’s one that I let my young children watch because they view it as an episode of Scooby-Doo.

The episode captured the hearts of both shows. We got all the amazing memories of Scooby but it kept that adult feel of Supernatural. Plus, seeing Castiel try to fit into the cartoon and find a connection with Shaggy and Scooby was excellent. And did you catch the Scrappy cameo? That was so cute!

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 17: The Thing

Episode grade: C

Supernatural. S13E17. The Thing. C.

On the plus side, this episode was about one of the ingredients for the spell. On a negative side, it was one of the most ridiculous and least memorable episodes. I had to look at the episode synopsis again to even remember what it was about and then remembered that I hadn’t even watched this episode live (I was at C2E2) and when watching it back I was kind of glad I hadn’t tried to keep my eyes open through it.

But it did have some plus points, like bringing in other Men of Letters bunkers. I just wished it had focused on that more, because I’d love for Supernatural to delve further into the Men of Letters.

Episode 18: Bring ‘em Back Alive

Episode grade: C+

C+. . Supernatural. S13E18. Bring 'em Back Alive

Going into the Apocalypse World was something I looked forward to. “Bring ‘em Back Alive” was an episode I looked forward to for a couple of reasons. It was the AU world and Ketch and Dean would team up. I’d been waiting for this team up for a while, knowing it would be just as good as we got.

While I love Charlie, I wasn’t overly excited about her coming back. That was purely based on characters we’d already seen. Missouri was killed off and, up to this point, Kevin hadn’t even been used. I worried Charlie would come back just to kill her again. Plus, it didn’t feel like a lot happened and the commander was wasted potential.

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 19: Funeralia

Episode grade: B-

Rowena returned for this episode, which was a good one for me. I always love to see character development and actors get pushed into emotional roles. That’s what we got with “Funeralia.” Ruth Connell knocked it out of the ballpark as she begged Death to bring back Crowley and take her instead. In this moment, she was just a mom who grieved for her son and it was heartbreaking.

The episode also gave us a reminder of what could happen if fate is screwed with. The mention of plagues and natural disasters was a good touch.

Episode 20: Unfinished Business

Episode grade: D-

D-. . Supernatural. S13E20. Unfinished Business

This was the weakest episode of all out of Supernatural Season 13 for me. There were a few things working against it and I wouldn’t choose to watch the episode again to be honest. There’s always one episode per season like that for me.

I’m not a Tarantino fan and I’m not a Gabriel fan, so an episode with both mixed together just didn’t do it. I loved the risk Richard Speight Jr. took with the directing (similar to my love for the risk with “A Most Holy Man”) but I couldn’t get past Gabriel and the Winchesters not bringing up that they knew exactly how he felt about being tortured for years. The plus point for me was seeing Gabriel vs. Loki directed by Speight.

Supernatural — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 21: Beat the Devil

Episode grade: D+

Beat the Devil. D+. . Supernatural. S13E21

I considered ranking this higher because there were moments that I loved. I enjoyed seeing the monsters in the Apocalypse World and loved Rowena’s decision to stick around after she accidentally sent Lucifer through the rift. But there were so many pointers that I hated.

Rowena telling Lucifer everything was a major negative for me, but it was Sammy becoming a damsel in distress yet again. Plus, Dean didn’t fight to go after his brother, something that Jensen Ackles now says he wasn’t overly happy about but it was too late to change.

Episode 22: Exodus

Episode grade: C-

. Supernatural. S13E22. Exodusd. C-

The Apocalypse World was vastly underused, so when it came to Mary wanting to stay for these people, I didn’t feel it at all. In fact, I was with everyone else on the Mary-hate train. I’m really glad Sam found a compromise.

While I didn’t love seeing Jack being manipulated, I did enjoy seeing how it was happening. He just wanted to hear both sides to the story and was willing to give Lucifer the benefit of the doubt. It would take an episode for him to realize the truth, but this showed just the type of manipulator Lucifer could be. It’s no wonder he’s blamed for temptation!

Supernatural Season 13 Finale
Supernatural — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Episode 23: Let the Good Times Roll

Episode grade: B+

B+. . Supernatural. S13E23. Let the Good Times Roll

Most season finales are epic. The Supernatural Season 13 finale should have been, but there was one thing that ruined it for me: Jensen’s spoiler of playing someone new. Had he not said that (coupled with Andrew Dabb saying it had been a long time coming) I wouldn’t have guessed the Michael twist until the very end. Had we just seen Dean in a suit for Supernatural Season 14, I wouldn’t have known.

Because of that spoiler, the ending was actually anticlimactic. I loved that Sam and Dean worked together to take down Lucifer, that Jack was able to see Lucifer for who he really was, and for the mentions of where Ketch, Rowena, and Charlie were so we didn’t get lost in the story trying to guess. The continued mention of Jack being family and Jack still searching for that place was also an excellent touch and that’s why it got a B+ instead of something lower for the spoiled ending.

Supernatural Season 13 overall grading

Overall, this works out to be a B.

S13E1-23. Supernaturald. B. . Supernatural

There were certainly some strong episodes. The first half of the season was definitely better than the second half, although there was a good mixture of standalone and overall story episodes. One thing I wished was used more was the Apocalypse World. I’d have happily wanted a full episode or two of the Resistance in the Apocalypse World and the angels battling things out with them—follow the rule of show, don’t tell.

It was a stronger season than Season 12 and than the middle of the series, but it still doesn’t beat the first five seasons. Although, I’m not sure if anything will!

Next: Supernatural Season 13: Best and worst episodes chosen by the SPN Hunters writers

How would you rank the Supernatural Season 13 episodes? What would you give the season as a whole? Drop your thoughts below.

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