'Supernatural' season 11 episode guide: Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in this season's best stories

By @chelean on
Cast member Jensen Ackles speaks at a panel for The CW television series "Supernatural"
Cast member Jensen Ackles speaks at a panel for The CW television series "Supernatural" during the Television Critics Association Cable Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California July 18, 2014. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

“Supernatural” season 11 is coming to a close, but not before it leaves fans either fulfilled or traumatised. The show is about two brothers, but for this particular season, there’s one Winchester who stood an inch above his taller brother. Dean Winchester, played by Jensen Ackles, is arguably the bigger star this season.

That’s not to say Sam Winchester’s (Jared Padalecki) role was reduced to supporting. He is still very much a big guy, both figuratively and literally. Nevertheless, if fans are going to be very particular about it, Dean’s scenes appear to have been given more weight.

Here are Dean’s best episodes this season:

Supernatural Season 11, episode 17 ‘Red Meat’

Supernatural season 11 episode 17 'Red Meat' Supernatural season 11 episode 17 'Red Meat'  cwtv.com/shows/supernatural

There’s nothing surprising about Dean and Sam sacrificing their own lives for each other. Those are the very essence of the show: brotherly love and sacrifice. This episode has Dean trying in vain to convince a Reaper to bring back Sam. Sam was alive, but that’s not the point. It’s Dean being paralysed by grief and shock for a while upon learning Sam has died, and him moving into action abruptly to save a human couple who needed their help. It hurt him a lot, but he knew he had no time to mourn or demand for his brother’s life because his lifelong training as a hunter prompted him to help others.

That’s what makes Dean one of the most valiant characters on television.

Supernatural season 11, episode 12 ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’

Jensen Ackles and Kathryn Newton as Dean Winchester and Claire Novak in Supernatural 'Don't You Forget About Me' Jensen Ackles and Kathryn Newton as Dean Winchester and Claire Novak in Supernatural 'Don't You Forget About Me'  cwtv.com/shows/supernatural

This episode was actually more about the recurring female characters than about Sam or Dean. It was a delight to see Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) again with Claire Novak (Kathryn Newton) and Alex (Katherine Ramdeen). It was also pleasing to see how the disparate trio of women resolved their differences and became a family in the end.

Nevertheless, the brothers’ roles here weren’t negligible. Dean assumed the position of Claire’s father, albeit very briefly, when he told the troubled teen to show Jody respect for trying to give her a normal life.

Dean, as fans know, was a father twice (to Emma for a few days, and to Ben Braeden for more than a year). His relationship to both children didn’t last, though, and perhaps that’s a role he might not be able to play anymore. That is why seeing him reprimanding Claire in a fatherly tone reminds fans that Dean would have been a superb dad if not for the whole family business thingy.

 

Supernatural season 11, episode 14 ‘The Vessel’

Supernatural season 11 episode 14 'The Vessel' Supernatural season 11 episode 14 'The Vessel'  cwtv.com/shows/supernatural

It’s Dean as a sailor. Enough said.

 

Supernatural season 11, episode 15 ‘Beyond the Mat’

'Supernatural': Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester in 'Beyond the Mat' 'Supernatural': Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester in 'Beyond the Mat'  cwtv.com/shows/supernatural

Even a brooding, tough guy like Dean has childhood memories that he cherishes. “Beyond the Mat” gave viewers rare glimpse of a carefree Dean cheering on his childhood heroes. And Dean just being happy is a rare treat indeed.

 

Supernatural season 11, episode 21 ‘All in the Family’

'Supernatural' Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) in 'All in the Family' 'Supernatural' Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) in 'All in the Family'  cwtv.com/shows/supernatural

Dean doesn’t cry for anyone other than for his family. He gets angry, blames the villains (and himself) for every mess that comes their way, and basically just fixes things the best he could. His tears have become sparser as the show progresses.

But in “All in the Family,” Dean has done something he hasn’t done in a while, and not in front someone who is basically absent in his life. Dean cried to God. Fans expected him to get angry or question God (Rob Benedict), both of which he did, but they never expected him to pour his heart out. There must be something about being face to face with one’s creator to bring one’s defences down, even momentarily.

Although some viewers thought Dean’s crying was out of character for him, it just proves that there’s a lot more to Dean than what fans thought they have already uncovered.

 

Season 11 finale ‘Alpha and Omega’

Perhaps the biggest finale since season 5, season 11’s “Alpha and Omega” will see Sam and Dean, as well as Castiel (Misha Collins) and sometimes ally Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard), facing the Darkness (Emily Swallow).

“Supernatural” airs Mondays on TenPlay in Australia, Wednesdays on The CW in the US.

YouTube/The CW Television Network