My 5 favorite throwbacks to Supernatural past in Nihilism

Supernatural -- "Nihilism" -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Nihilism" -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /
Supernatural Season 14, Episode 10
Supernatural — “Nihilism” — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Supernatural Season 14, Episode 10 was packed with nostalgia. It’s hard to pick out favorite moments — and some are definitely sad moments — but I’m sharing my five favorite ones.

Supernatural returned with an episode for the history books. Full of drama but also humor and emotion, this was an episode that had us on the edges of our seats. Even though we knew the outcome for Dean, we had no idea how it would play out and for once, that spoiler didn’t ruin a thing.

One thing we didn’t know we’d have was all that time inside Dean’s head. We had no idea that we’d get some characters returning, especially one from a decade again.

If you haven’t watched the episode yet, I urge you to do so. I am going to get spoilery in this post. Here are my five favorite throwbacks to the show’s past in “Nihilism.”

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5. The recurring storyline

Dean lived out a time of contentment, a completely made up moment by Michael. It was the only way to keep him down and out. Yet, there was more to this than just that Dean was trapped. He was in a Groundhog Day-type false memory.

It soon became clear that he and Pamela Barnes were living through the same events. A lawyer would want Dean to sell the bar, Dean and Pamela would chat about Sam and Cass being on a hunt, vampires would attack, Dean and Pamela would do tequila shots, all over and over again.

Remind you of anything? It should!

Mystery Spot” brought in the recurring storyline. That was very different and not one I liked. Despite the situation of Dean being stuck in his head, I liked that we got to see Dean happy, living that retired hunter life in his Groundhog Day-like “memory.”

SUPERNATURAL — “Simon Said” — Photo: David Grey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
SUPERNATURAL — “Simon Said” — Photo: David Grey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

4. The use of the bar

Dean running a bar brought back plenty of memories of Supernatural Season 2. I couldn’t help but think of Ellen and Jo Harvelle. While the two may not be on the show anymore, they are certainly there in spirit.

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The use of the bar reminded me of Harvelle’s Roadhouse. I could see it being a place for all hunters to come when they want to check in with each other or follow up on some leads. Hey, they’d come in just to get away.

If Dean was to retire, this is what I could see him doing. It’s what I could have seen him doing back in the second season, and I’m glad we got a touch of Ellen and Jo nostalgia here.

3. Dean fearing he’d become a demon

There were many moments that Sam and Castiel heard in Dean’s head. It was full of trauma and pain. There were two moments that stood out for me. One of those was Dean’s fear of becoming a demon.

It was loud and clear and it felt like this was a fear he still has. After all, the fear has come true. Dean turned into a demon in Season 10, and while it was short-lived for us, it did have an effect on Dean.

While I enjoyed the use of the memories and the way they came about, it was this memory that I loved the most. The second was Dean calling out for Sam, but it was the fear of the demon that spoke volumes, especially now that he ironically had an archangel running the show.

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2. Everything Pamela Barnes

It took me a couple of seconds of “is that Pamela? No, it can’t be. Yes, it is! That’s Pamela Barnes!” And I absolutely loved it. More importantly, I love that we got that surprise. This was one of those character returns that worked so well and the surprise made it all the more special.

While, at first, it can seem odd that Pamela would be the one Michael would put in this memory, there was more of a bittersweetness to it. It’s clear that by using Pamela, Michael was breaking Dean down more. After all, he and Sam blame themselves for Pamela’s death.

But in this fake memory, we got to see the Pamela from the Season 4 premiere. Ten years later, Traci Dinwiddie still looks amazing and Pamela is just as I remember her. I wouldn’t have even needed to do a Season 4 rewatch recently to remember her attitude, sass, and love for fun.

Supernatural — “Nihilism” — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

1. Leaving behind blood and bone

Michael made it clear that Dean couldn’t force Michael out. This isn’t like forcing another angel out, one that doesn’t do as much damage to a vessel. Michael will leave behind a dribbling mess, and that’s even if Dean would survive it at all.

This is a throwback to the fifth season. It’s one that I only realized right away because of a rewatch that I’ve been doing. In Supernatural Season 5, Episode 3, we get to see Raphael’s vessel after he’s vacated. The vessel was brain dead, just blood and bone.

With this throwback, we get that reminder that archangels are far more powerful than any other being. They cause a hell of a lot of damage to their vessels.

Castiel withstood it because of his own power. Sam withstood it because of very different cagey reasons. Would Dean be able to withstand the damage Michael could do if he was forced out?

As much as the throwback is one of those bad ones, because it means we can’t really see a way out for our guys, it was an important one. Plenty of people will forget what could happen to a vessel after an archangel vacates and this line was necessary.

Next. 5 top Supernatural throwbacks in Various and Sundry Villains. dark

What were your favorite flashbacks to Supernatural past? Which moments did you love the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Supernatural continues Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.