"All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1"
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
 
Kripke wraps up the "special kids" storyline in this and the next episode, for some, in an anticlimactic way. Kripke himself said he was getting tired of it, so instead of an army of special kids, he wanted the group pared down to one, the "American Idol," to use the YED's own words. 
 
Sam and Dean stop by a tiny cafe for a meal. Dean sends Sam in to get him a burger with extra onions (Sam argues about riding in the car with his brother and those extra onions), and some pie (pronounced "pah" by Dean). "It's Been Such a Long Time" begins playing wonky on the radio when Dean realizes something is terribly wrong. He runs into the diner and finds everyone inside dead, their throats slashed. Horrible country music is playing. Worst of all, Sam is missing. There are sulfur remnants on the door. Dean calls "Sam!" and "Sammy!" desperately, running around searching, but his brother is gone.
 
Sam wakes up in what Andy, another special kid, calls Frontierland, a very haunted place in Cold Oaks, South Dakota. Sam finds first Andy, whose last memory is of his fourth bong-load, then Ava, locked inside something, who the Winchesters have been searching for for five months. She's sure her fiancé must be freaking out if she's been gone that long! They run across Jake, who was "imported" from Afghanistan, and Lily, from San Diego. Andy tells them he can make people "do stuff," and confesses to making one dick guy have visions of gay porn 24/7. When no one but him finds that amusing, Andy is embarrassed. When Lily touches people, they die, and THAT is not funny! The group starts to argue, but Sam intervenes, explaining that a demon brought them together here.
 
In the middle of nowhere, Dean and Bobby look on a map for demonic signs. Dean speaks with Ash, who says he can't tell them the HUGE intel on the phone, they must come to the Roadhouse. Ash checks his watch.
 
Sam explains to the others that they are all supposed to be soldiers in a war to bring on the apocalypse. Jake refuses to believe it, insisting he's better off alone. He spots a little girl's face in the window of a building and hears giggles. "Are you lost?" he asks. Inside, on the blackboard, is written, I WILL NOT KILL. She comes close to Jake, but Sam has an iron poker and dissipates her with one swing of it. "THAT was a demon," he says, an Echieri, who mimics a little girl." Andy is still trying to digest, DEMONS ARE REAL. Sam has also figured out where they are because the bell with the tree engraving gives it away"”Cold Oak, a very haunted place deserted by people many years ago. Now Lily wants out of the group; she touched and killed her girlfriend! Sam gently explains that he lost people he loved, too, and right now fears for his brother's fate. 
 
Lily agrees to stick with the group to search for iron and salt, but breaks away when no one is looking. 
 
Horrified, Dean and Bobby find the Roadhouse burned down. Ash's body is in the wreckage, along with those of many excellent hunters, but they can't find Ellen. 
Lily wanders alone and hears a child giggling.
 
Sam's group finds a rusty knife and notices Ava rubbing her temples. She assures him it's not a vision, she just needs a sandwich. Andy runs up exultantly carrying two bags of salt. They realize Lily is gone and go searching for her. They find her strung up on an old windmill, dead. Ava begins to cry, Sam notes the demon won't let them leave this place. Jake offers to cut Lily down. Sam tells Andy he really wishes he could somehow contact Dean; there's no cell reception here. Andy asks for something Dean touched, Sam hands over a receipt Dean signed "D. Hasselhoff." Through that, Andy is able to send Dean an agonizing vision, which he likens to being kicked in the jewels, scaring Bobby. He saw Sam, and a bell with an oak tree engraved on it! Bobby knows where Sam is! They head out.
 
Working with Jake, Sam learns his power is supernatural strength. Jake appreciates Sam's calm and ability to make the others believe they're going to make it out of this, whether or not Sam himself believes it. 
 
In one of the houses, Sam lays down a salt barrier. "Why us?" whines Ava. She wants to be in bed with Brady, watching bad TV right now. Sam tells her that the demons killed Brady when they kidnapped her. Ava cries in Sam's arms.  Later, Andy has fallen asleep. Sam, sitting up, does, too. The YED comes to him, brings him outside to talk to him alone. Sam threatens to tear the YED to shreds. Many have tried, laughs the demon. Kill me, invites Sam. This is the Miss America Pageant, says the YED, I need only one soldier, one leader for my army, the best and brightest of your generation. You have the inside track, you're tough, smart, you're my favorite! You killed everyone I've ever loved! accuses Sam.  Little Jessica had to die, I didn't want you to become a fat tax accountant, insists the YED--I needed you sharp, on the road, honing your skills. Mommy was in the wrong place at the wrong time; it was always about YOU. 
 
The YED shows Sam what happened in his nursery the fateful night: Mary enters, the YED is leaning over Sam's crib. He has cut into his wrist and is dripping blood into the baby's mouth.  Mary rushes in. "It's YOU!" she says. To Sam's horror, the YED slides her up the wall, onto the ceiling, where, in a very short time she will die. Sam is awakened by the group==Ava's missing! 
 
Jake and Sam split up to search for her. Andy returns to the house and finds Ava there. She slips a finger through the salt lining the window, allowing the Echieri demon to enter the house, materialize as a little girl and sink her claws into Andy's chest, ripping into and killing him. After the demon turns back into smoke and leaves the way it entered, Ava begins to scream. Sam comes in. "I just found him like this!" wails Ava, claiming she had just gone to the well for water. Sam's annoyed she went anywhere alone. He notices the broken salt line on the window and asks who did it. She suggests Andy, but Dean is sure he knows better. Sam adds it up"”Ava has five months unaccounted for, had that "headache" when Lily the demon got Lily. Ava stops crying and confesses, I had you going. I've been here a long time. They've been bringing special kids here three or four at a time, I'm the undefeated heavyweight champ. It was me or them, it was easy, even kinda fun. . .my mind opened up, switches flipped in my brain, now I can control demons. "Goodbye, Sam." She summons the demon back to kill Sam, but Jake appears, breaks her neck with one snap, and the Echieri slips back out the way it came.
 
Dean drives up and parks the Impala next to the woods; he and Bobby must walk the rest of the way.
 
Jake insists he and Sam fight to the death, since only one of them is supposed to get out of this alive. Sam wants them to face the YED together, and places his knife on the ground to prove his word. Jake drops his weapon on the ground, too, but delivers a punch to Sam that sends him flying so far, it was like watching a fight on SMALLVILLE!   What follows is brutal and intense. And the two exchange punches, using pieces of the fence as weapons, Sam finally knocks Jake to the ground. He's in a position to kill him, but changes his mind and throws the weapon"”previously Jake's--away.  
 
Sam hears Dean calling his name. Joyously, Sam starts running toward his brother. "SAM, LOOK OUT!" yells Dean. Jake thrusts Sam's knife into his back, twisting it around. Dean falls to his knees and grabs for Sam, who slides bonelessly into the mud, staring sightlessly into the rainy sky. Bobby runs after Jake. Clutching his baby brother, Dean, crying, refusing to accept Sam's death, says, "Hey, hey... come here, come here, let me look at ya. Oh, hey look, its not even that bad. It's not even that bad, all right? Sammy, Sam! Hey, listen to me, we are going to patch you up okay... You'll be as good as new. Huh? I'm going to take care of you, I'm going to take care of you! I gotcha. It's my job, right, watch after my pain-in-the-ass little brother.... Sam... Sam.... Sam! Sammy! No.. no-n-n-n-n-no. Oh God. Oh God... SAM! 
 
Dean closes his eyes, hugging Sam tightly. His brother is dead.
 
1.  This was the first time they killed a Winchester, and I, for one, was stunned. It made me feel horrible, too, to see Sam die and watch Dean's reaction. What about you? Were you spoiled, or did you know? I tried like hell to avoid spoilers, but this one was so huge, I couldn't. I knew, but it still was difficult to watch. I cried until my entire outfit was soaked!
 
2.  Do you think Sam was an idiot for not finishing Jake, or just being Sam? 
 
3.  Were you shocked to learn Mary knew the YED? About the demon blood being dripped in Sammy's mouth? I don't recall whether we knew we were set for season 3 yet by the time of this season finale, but either way, did this info excite you for the new season?   (Or did we know we were set for S3 and were all too busy buzzing about Rubela, as they were calling Ruby and Bela?) 
 
4.  Did the wrap-up of the special kids' storyline satisfy or piss you off? I was disappointed in Andy's death and Ava turning evil. She was so cute, and she and Sam were good friends and I had hopes for more. I was looking forward to Kripke doing so much more with this storyline, and to learn he just tired of it kind of annoyed me. And you?
 
5.  How did the death scene affect you? If you were prepared for it, did you still cry like I did, all messy and sodden? Or were you able to remain stoic?
 
6.  Do you think Dean had a new appreciation of how Sam felt during all his visions after having one of his own? Kicked in the jewels? Ouch!
 
7.  The Roadhouse "“ How did you feel about its demise? Were you one of those who felt it never should have existed in the first place? What about Ash? I liked the Roadhouse and Ellen, not a big Ash fan. Sam is the computer geek, we don't need another. The Roadhouse just seemed a good central place for hunters to me. 

8.  Why do you think Sam's powers haven't evolved like Ava's have? Why do you suppose some special kids were given powers like Lily's and the kid who can also kill with a touch and electrocute people? What's the point of such powers?    

 

Comments  

Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-03-07 14:10
Hi Robin. Thanks for a great review.
1. I wasn't spoiled by the ending, I still remember watching it the first time. I was so amazed and shocked!! They killed of a main character! It's funny 'cause this was the episode that got me hooked, so this'll always be close to my heart. I'd have seen a few eppie here and there but not really appreciating it (yeah, what a fool, I know) but after this one, I was so gone, it was ridiculous :-) I remember the week I had to wait for the last eppie was pure torture :-) And then I went online and looked S3 and ordered my S1 & S2 DVD's...;-)

2. I don't think Sam was an idiot, he was still the Sammy who believed in the goodness and kindness of people, and really when you think about it, he won. He didn't do what YED wanted. But sadly that cost him his life.. And later Deans. But he did the right thing at the moment. And I bet he regrets that more than anything... He's such a tragic character, gotta love the guy. A true tragic hero like Jas said.

3. That bit with Mary was a really interesting tidbit. And it took them long enough to explain it (and even longer when you think back at the "I'm sorry" she gave Sam in Home) :-) But, it was worth it. Mary a hunter, so didn't see that one coming.

4. I wouldn't have minded, if some of the psykids had survived that showdown, but the fact that Sam is the only one left makes it more special. And lonely. And tragic. So I love it ;-) But Andy and Ava, they were really good characters and I was sad to see them go.

5. That death scene. Oh man. It crushes me. Deans face kills me. And Sam, slipping away, not even a chance to say goodbye, no last words. So heartbreaking. The saddest moment ever.

6. I bet Dean felt some sympahty, but he has felt it before, seeing Sam in pain is never fun for him, or for us...well, except Sera ;-)

7. Wasn't a fan of the Roadhouse. I liked Ellen and Ash and Jo but not so much the bar itself. So, good riddance.

8. I've been thinking about that too, Sams powers. I bet it's because he has never really embraced them like Ava, Andy and the others? All of them seemed to enjoy using them, where as Sam was afraid of using them. And then when Ruby came in to the picture, she got the external influence, the demon blood, to drop those barriers. It's been so ingrained in Sams psyche that the powers are BAD and EVIL that he just can't accept and embrace them and use them (the fear that he'll go dark side if he does) without some kind of outside "excuse". Dunno. But it's really fascinating, seeing how it all unravels :-)

All in all a great eppie, not the best on the whole, but with the best ending, those last minutes will haunt me forever :cry::
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-03-07 19:19
I knew Sam was going to die because I was watching my dvds for the first and second season until I caught up with season 3, but even then it made me cry, just like your recap has. LOL! :cry::

2. I don't think Sam was an idiot, but I did wish he had knocked Jake on the head a little harder and had taken the knife with him. That would have saved a LOT of trouble and travail!

3. Yes, I was surprised Mary knew the demon. Great set up for season 4's In the Beginning.

4. I was very pissed off that sweet Andy died and I'm still pissed off about it!

5. Even though I knew it would happen, I was still all messy and sodden like you. Heart wrenching to see Dean holding and talking to Sammy and knowing he would never answer him again. I'm all teared up just thinking about it now.

6. Definitely Dean had a new appreciation. Ouch!

7. I was sad to see the roadhouse go as I was very fond of Ellen and Joe, and Ash was certainly an interesting character. We didn't see a body though, only a hand and a watch.

8. Have no idea.:| Though going by the other kids, he really shouldn't need anything like demon blood to kick in his powers. Perhaps he thinks he needs the blood because he is reluctant to let himself go whole hog into his dark side as he calls it.

Just like Supernarttu says, those last minutes are haunting and unforgettable. :sad:
Suze
# Suze 2010-03-08 07:18
1. I started watching in S3 so I knew Sam was still around but it was still a bit of a GULP moment non the less.

2. I think it was very ThenSamish not to squish Jake when he had the chance, also pretty stupid ... At least disarm him, Sheesh!

3. More plot thickening stuff, Hurrah!

4. Really sorry to see the last of Andy ( I've got a bit of a soft spot for useless stoned blokes ) I liked Ava too but her going darkside was a good twist. I was enjoying the Freaky Deaky Kids Of Ol' Yella storyline and would have been quite happy for a few to escape the cull ...

5. Bit sniffy, but I knew he got better ...

6. Hehe ... Winchesters in pain, always fun ...

7. WAAAAA!! :cry:: :cry:: :cry::

8. Tricky, I reckon the previous chaps are right and you get stronger once you claim the powers rather than denying them, which I can only see Sam doing as an absolute last resort when faced with the end of the world or something ... Oooh, hang on a sec ...
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-03-09 00:24
1. I was a bit stunned too. Whoa! They just killed Sam! I was watching this as a DVD marathon, so no spoilers. I'd seen bits and pieces of S4 at that point, so i knew Sam wasn't going to stay dead. I also knew that at some point Dean ends up in a grave, but had no idea how he'd end up there, so it was cool to see the setup to that situation forming

2. definitely in character
3. agreed, that was pretty cool

4. I really liked the psychic kids storyline and thought it had potential, and yeah I was a little disappointed that Kripke thought "Simon Said" and "Hunted" were just kind of "meh" eps because they didn't have, like, monsters'n'stuf f. I get that that's his thing, but I loved those episodes, and those characters! Overall, though, i loved the AHBLs and was ok with the way it was wrapped up.

As for Ava, know how you feel. Loved that character. I think it's a case where staying true to the character is sacrificed to the exigencies of plot and storytelling, in this case trying to create a great twist. I had similar feelings about Jake, and more recently Anna in TSRTS, for example. But, well, real people do surprising things all the time, and it made for an unexpected plot twist--I sure didn't see it coming.

5. Forgot to breathe for a bit, so definitely affected, but no actual tears

6. what Supernarttu said

7. Loved the Roadhouse crew--Ellen, Jo, and Ash all. I agreed with the Krip about all those hunters always cleaning their guns in the background being a little ridiculous, but thought it would've made more sense to have it just be a bar, and go a lot more subtle with the undercurrent of hunter activity. As for having a home base not making sense for a road show, doesn't Bobby's house serve that same function?

I figure smart as Sam is, his hacking skills have gotta have a limit. I mean, the technology's changing constantly and the boy majored in prelaw. How does he keep up?? So I thought it made sense to have a guy with some specialized skills to back 'em up :geek:

8. Interesting. Alice and bardicvoice both had points that made sense to me re: Sam's powers. he doesn't like using them, sees them as profane; they make him a freak. his inhibitions interfere with his powers.

Ava and Jake's powers evolved when they gave in to the dark side, so to speak; they embraced their powers and grew in them, no extra demon blood involved because the inhibitions had been removed. Sam on the other hand needs encouragement and an extra boost to remove his inhibitions. Enter Ruby and the demon blood.

Different powers--hmmm. not sure, seems like different abilities manifest first depending on who you are. But as they grow it seems like there are overlaps--we've seen electrocution, visions, telekinesis, mind control and demonic control all exercised by more than one individual

:D :geek: :geek: :geek: :D
Randal
# Randal 2010-03-09 12:45
Eight questions? Some of us don't have the brainpower to answer that many. Be kind, rewind!

1. I wouldn't classify myself as a spoiler junkie, but sometimes I like to know things, and since I knew, I wasn't surprised and, therefore, completely unaffected emotionally.

2. At that point, Sam being Sam. Season four Sam might have, after stabbing him, cut off his head. 8-)

3. Surprised but, as Supernarttu said, helped to clarify/embelli sh what she said in Home.

4. I liked the storyline, so Kripke, as he is wont to do, gave the worst possible world: killing the storyline and offing one of my all time favorite characters. Wanker.

5. Cool as the other side of a cucumber pillow.

6. These ain't your momma's visions! Metaphorically speaking.

7. I didn't mind the Roadhouse. Ellen kicks all kind of ass, and I liked Ash, so even if they were going to blow the place up, they shouldn't have *cough* killed the Skynyrd roadie.

8. I always figured how they developed was a complex mixture of physical and mental attributes, upbringing, experience, how these interacted with the blood on a physical and mystical level. We can all take the same painting class, but we'll all find our own style and preferred techniques, or those we simply have an aptitude for.