Heartbreaking moments in Supernatural Season 1
The road so far has been accustomed to demons, plaid, and many one perfect tears. So we’ve decided to look back on the most emotional scenes of Supernatural — starting with Season 1.
“Moriah” aired on Thursday night and therefore set the final Hellatus countdown into motion before the Winchester brothers take their bow. After 14 years, over 306 hours of television and roughly 117 deaths, Supernatural is known for sending its fandom into full meltdown mode in truly soulless ways.
It wasn’t always like this. Back when we were fresh fans, full of hope and optimism, with the only guide of how the trajectory of the series will be played out came in the form of two catalog-model hunters.
This delusion soon shattered within the first opening minutes of Season 1. In a two-story house underneath a silhouetted tree, a nearby demon known as Ol’ Yellow Eyes waits to turn a baby Sam by bleeding into his mouth. With all plans, it goes awry and his mother, Mary Winchester is set on fire.
The lullaby croons from a crib mobile barely audible above John Winchester’s wails as he orders his eldest son, Dean to carry his baby brother out of the now burning house. Off-setting a mission of saving people, hunting things, the family business.
Naturally, with an origin story that dark, the eventual road laid ahead is cursed with events aligned with the same tone.
The Winchester effect…
Mary Winchester wasn’t the only blonde to combust into flames in “Pilot.” In a scene that paralleled his earliest memory, Sam arrives back to his dorm at Stanford. Body stretched out across the bed, a droplet of blood leaks onto his forehead.
Jerking his eyes open: Girlfriend Jessica Moore is pinned to the ceiling, contorted into the same position his mother was, twenty-two years earlier.
Dean kicks down the door and pulls Sammy out before the flames engulf both of them. As the wreckage plays out and the firetruck is stationed outside of the building, Sam tosses a revolver into the trunk of the Impala, simply stating, “They have work to do.”
It has been depicted various times that if it wasn’t for these two scenes then the Sam Winchester we know today would be very different. In fact, he would have been a lawyer, engaged to Jess and only speaking to Dean on the holidays.
Realistically, knowing the majority of their bond is twined together from their hunting lifestyle, they already don’t share too much in common. Cut out the tragedies, and there isn’t much to it.
Dean asks John for help…
Following a case that traces back to their old house, Dean stands solitary outside of a car garage in “Home“. It’s one of those rare times where he sheds his layers, calling one of his dad’s recycled phones and though going to voicemail it isn’t enough to deter him from seeking help.
See, there is an unidentified monster still causing havoc within those four walls and he’s unsure of what to do. Maybe it’s the same thing that killed his mother or perhaps something they haven’t landed on before. Either way, he knows it’s his duty.
Quick and to the point, he barely lets anyone in and found it easier, even back then, to compartmentalize. Before this scene played out, it was a known fact that being emotional and having a chick flick moment was only left to Sam.
Ghost!Mary saves her boys…
Before we knew death wasn’t an alarming factor in characters popping up from their graves, having Mary back in a yellow flame to protect her sons was a bit of a fantasy. Walking down the hallway, up-close to a Sam who has been thrown and currently stuck onto a pillar, she is merely an outline. As Dean enters the room and is about to shoot, Sam warns him not to since he has some clue on who it is.
The gun shakes and Dean startles when Mary shows herself. She apologizes to Sam before descending the house, with the vengeful spirit in tow, in the same flames that took her. This scene was poignant not only because it was the first time that the boys had seen her since Dean was a child and for Sam since that night, but it foretold Sam’s destiny.
Dean has few days to live…
In the 40 years Dean’s been alive and kicking, he’s had his heart stopped by an unlicensed doctor, been stabbed by an angel blade, murdered by hellhounds and even poisoned by a taco. Yet, all of it pales in comparison to being electrocuted in “Faith“.
Two situations happen; the brothers have to face the idea of their own immortality and we finally see Sam’s protective nature kick into overdrive. Even going to the point of having a conversation with his dad, a multitude of issues transpired between them, over voicemail. He finds a faith healer, Roy Le Grange, who later turns out to be tangled with a reaper and makes sure that his powers are used on Dean.
Julie Benz pops up in this episode as Layla who is dying of a brain tumor. However, when the reaper is set free and gone with it are Roy’s healing powers, she, unfortunately, comes back to the conclusion that she will die within six months.
This scene highlights their power balance and how no matter the importance of the Winchester brothers to the world, in the long run, Dean will always wrestle with the guilt he has for his life being put above others.
A flashback to their childhood…
Every so often we’re reminded through episodes like “Something Wicked” of how quickly the brothers had to grow up as their father took to the open road and left them in motel rooms. In a case, where a young boy whose mother owns the motel they’re staying at is reminiscent of Dean, we’re flashbacked to their childhood.
It wasn’t a childhood of luxury; instead, one where the dinner table was bare, there was one television to share and like today, Dean found himself making decisions that were always in the best interest of Sam.
One of which is where Dean makes Sam dinner or rather a bowl of spaghetti o’s. Sam claims that he is sick of having it so regularly and instead wants lucky charms. However, while Dean hasn’t had his share yet he still dumps the food into the bin and gives him the box.
In a moment that is metaphorical of their relationship, Sam offers him the prize. The scene may have convinced us that young Dean was selfish but if we take a closer look, we’re reminded that there’s nothing the two wouldn’t do for each other.
Ol’ Yellow Eyes inhabits John…
As with all Supernatural season finales, a few tears are sure to be shed along the way but nothing really prepared us for its big bad, Yellow Eyes to take over John’s body. “Devil’s Trap” sees Meg act as a decoy to direct them to an apartment building where John lays on the bed, dried blood embedded into his beard. Sam drops holy water onto him but by this point, Yellow Eyes is someone else.
It isn’t until they’re in a cabin in the woods that it then happens. Yellow Eyes pretends to be John by inhabiting his body to take the colt away from Dean’s hands but he’s ever the quick thinker.
Ripping Dean apart with his mind, it’s John’s love for his son that helps him regain his body only for him to take back over just as quickly. John tells Sam to shoot as Dean’s pleas for him to do the opposite can be heard in the background.
What happens to Yellow Eyes happens to John, too. If Sam were to go straight for the heart then it would also result in John’s death. Sam instead aims for the leg and in a puff of black smoke, Yellow Eyes gets away.
It was pivotal for Sam’s character’s journey to either shoot or listen to his brother; either having to face the vengeance that he’s wanted since the start of the season or choosing his humanity that’s anchored to Dean.
Which scenes in Supernatural Season 1 had you heartbroken? Are there any we left out? Share in the comments below.
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