Friday, November 20, 2009

Abandon All Hope

ABANDON ALL HOPE opens at a metropolis cross roads where rich Mr. Pendleton eagerly awaits a beautiful demon to kiss so he can seal the deal to get his bank bailed out. Unfortunately, for the extremely homophobic geezer, Crowley has decided to land this big fish himself. The pucker takes place and Pendleton is left disgusted, but debt free. Lurking in the background is Castiel. The celestial spy, code named “Huggy Bear,” has tracked down the demon with the colt. Cas follows him to an impenetrable house and calls in reinforcements.

Later that night a beautiful and distraught woman—it’s Jo Harvelle!—rings the house for help after her car breaks down. The guards let her in and just as they’re ready to pounce, Dean and Sam swoop in.

“The Hardy Boys finally found me.” Crowley

It seems Crowley has been waiting for the Winchesters, but instead of putting up a fight he does the damndest thing…he kills his own guards and hands over the Colt. Er, surely it’s not that easy?

“Take this to Lucifer and empty it into his face.” Crowley

Then again. Seems Crowley believes it’s just a matter of time before Lucifer turns on his own. First the humans, then his minions. If Lucifer is dead, Crowley will survive. The boys reluctantly believe he’s on the up and up and taking their strange luck a step further Sam asks, “You wouldn’t happen to know where the devil is perchance, wouldja.” Crowley tells them he’s got an appointment in Carthage, Missouri.

“I think I’m starting to feel something.” Cas

Ellen is trying her hardest to get Cas drunk, while Jo watches in amazement and Sam and Dean argue about splitting up. Dean doesn’t want Sam to go to Carthage because he fears they’d be handing over the vessel. Sam insists they have to stay together. Dean finally agrees but calls it a stupid freakin’ idea. Then he goes and hits on Jo with a last night on Earth speech. Just as it looks like she’ll capitulate she laughingly denies him, saying she’d rather die with her dignity. (Stupid woman!) Out of nowhere Bobby demands they all take a picture together, but their reckless silliness morphs to an “oh, shit” moment when Cas says, “This is our last night on earth.”

The boys, Ellen, Jo and Cas arrive in Carthage to find an empty town and no cell phone signal. The brothers decide to check out the PD and leave the other three to look around. Cas quickly discovers the town isn’t empty, but completely over run with reapers. He goes off to investigate and finds himself imprisoned in a fire circle by Lucifer.

“You’re not taking Sam Winchester. I won’t let you.” Cas

Satan’s skin is growing thin, his vessel isn’t strong enough to contain him. Cas tells him he’ll never allow him to get to Sam. Lucifer doesn’t understand why Cas won’t side with him, but the angel said he’d die before letting that happen.

Meanwhile Meg has shown up and unleashed a pack of hellhounds on the Scooby gang. Dean pulls a horror movie heroine move and trips. Before he can be devoured Jo fights off the mutt but is disemboweled. The Winchesters and the Harvelles hole up in a store and everyone comes to the realization that Jo is not going to survive her injuries. Contacting Bobby by CB Dean learns that Lucifer is intending to unleash the Angel of Death. The reapers are waiting for their big boss to show up at midnight.

“Can we be realistic about this, please? My guts are being held in by an ace bandage.” Jo

The boys need to get out and use the colt to kill Lucifer. Jo suggests building a bomb, which she’ll trigger, while her mom and the boys escape through the roof. She’s not going to make it anyhow, and if they don’t do something the hellhounds will never stop hunting them. The boys and Ellen are horrified by her suggestion, but come to the sad reality that it’s their only option. They cobble together explosives from propane tanks, lanterns, nails, salt, wire and a doorbell and then fold Jo’s hand around the trigger.

“I’ll see you on the otherside. Probably sooner rather than later.” Dean
“Make it later.” Jo


Dean gives Jo a tender kiss goodbye and then Ellen announces that she’s staying with her daughter. Someone has to open the door and she will not leave her little girl alone. She tells Dean to kick it in the ass. The boys leave and Ellen unchains the door and goes to sit next to her child. She tells Jo, “I will always love you, baby” and then realizes Jo has passed away. Ellen starts to cry and then the doors open. She can hear the scrabbling of invisible dogs coming her way. One arm tight around her daughter she poses her finger over the trigger and waits until she feels a hellhound’s breath on her face.

“You can go straight back to hell you ugly bitch.” Ellen

Kaboom! The Harvelle’s and hellhounds are no more.

The Winchesters find Lucifer shoveling dirt onto something while an audience of townsmen (who are actually demons) watch. The boys forego any last words and tricking Lucifer manage to shoot him in the head. Yesss! Nooooo, he gets back up again. Seems there’s only five things in creation the colt won’t kill and he’s one of them. He knocks Dean out and asks Sam if he’d just give himself up now. Sam says never, but Lucifer says he’s pretty sure he’ll surrender in the next six months in Detroit. Then he reveals that he’s covering a mass grave, women and children first, and he offers their lives, blood and souls, along with some demons to complete his tribute.

While he calls the Angel of Death forth, Cas manages to get the best of Meg and break out of his circle. But it’s too little, too late.

“Oh, hello, death.” Lucifer

That right there would’ve been a helluva cliffhanger for this hiatus, but the show inexplicably ends with the Winchesters back at Bobby’s place where he morosely takes the last keepsake of the Harvelle’s, the pic they all took, and throws it in the fire.

The End.

I have mixed feelings on this episode. Hated the ending. Why burn that picture? And Lucifer’s line gave a stronger, punchier finale. I also didn’t like that the boys, when faced with what they genuinely thought might be their last moments, had no final words for each other. I loved the emotional farewell for the Harvelle girls. It was tender and kick ass at the same time. They were the best part of this episode for me and I think this is just the beginning of the self sacrifice we’re going to see. Loved how Pellegrino played Lucifer as smarmy and petulant, but unyieldingly confident. And I look forward to seeing what happens next. Too bad we have to wait so long. So what did you think? Was it a mixed bag for you too?

7 comments:

smcoffman said...

My thought on the picture is that they wanted to have a funeral - they cremate hunters, and without their bodies there wasn't a way to "bury" them. So they used what they had - the last image of them all together.

Agree that the Lucifer line is a nice ending, but the burial is a really somber ending that drives home the impending doom hanging over them all... it's possible that none of them will make it through this.

Took awhile for me to "get it"... but once I did, I really liked the ending.

TerriClark said...

Huh, I didn't make that connection. I think that's an excellent point. Thanks for sharing! Put that way it certainly is fitting.

sarah said...

I just want to know what the other our things are that the colt can't kill...

Guessing..

God. Horsemen.

Another guess...

Reapers.

Wild card...

Bobby.

heh.

MJFredrick said...

I didn't make the connection either. Now I love the ending!

The dh thinks it was a pointless episode, that it didn't do anything other than show the Colt can't kill the devil, which we knew, because he's an angel, and only an angel can kill another angel. And like I said to Natalie, I would have been more moved by Jo and Ellen's sacrifice if we'd seen them more, like we do Bobby.

Samantha Ferris gives her thoughts here: http://www.samanthaferris.net/

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Really nicely done, Terri, with the way you set off each section with a quote!

There were things I didn't like about this ep, but the way Ellen and Jo died really overwhelmed them, and all I can think about is the things I DID like:

--the gathering at Bobby's

--the way Sam and Dean came to a consensus without arguing or trying to exert their will over the other

--Jo's kick-assness; she always had it, but I always love seeing it, more than the whinyness she displayed in "No Exit."

--how hot Misha Collins looks surrounded by fire, when all he does is stand there

--Mark Pellegrino's portrayal of Lucifer--it feels like more of the real angel is coming through, since we've mostly seeing him trying to cajole people

--the Meg replacement did a good job channeling the character

MJFredrick said...

This:

--how hot Misha Collins looks surrounded by fire, when all he does is stand there

Also, Dean on the CB trying to convey to Bobby how seriously hurt Jo was, without saying it out loud. WONDERFUL performance.

TerriClark said...

MJ thanks for the link to Sam's blog. I enjoyed that! And I totally agree about that scene on the CB radio.

LOL, Nat, on the "how hot Misha Collins looks surrounded by fire."