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There are missing people posters on a telephone pole, all women. The Impala, looking mighty fine in the rain, is slowly cruising through an empty downtown block. I’m guessing that more than a few are missing. A jeep is behind them carrying Ellen, Jo, and Castiel. Wow, those girls really like him. I love how they bonded. Sam and Dean have their cell phones out, but no signal. We know that’s never a good sign. Dean waves Ellen and Jo over and tells them they’re going to check out the PD. They should stay there and try to find something. Ellen pulls over and she and Jo get out. Jo notices Castiel is still in the back seat and knocks. “Ever heard of a door handle.” She turns around and poof, Castiel is behind her. “Of course I have.” Show off angels.
Castiel looks around, something is definitely not right. Of course only he can see what’s really wrong. The perks of angeldom I guess. I love this shot. Castiel looks around at the empty street all alarmed and Ellen asks “What is it, Cas?” Castiel says the town’s not empty. The camera starts from Castiel’s right showing Ellen and Jo’s point of view of an empty street and swipes to the left behind Cas. Then on the other side of Cas there are tons of older men standing there in formation wearing dark suits. Great shot! The director in this one is the always talented Phil Sgriccia and he does wonders again.
Castiel says there are reapers. Ellen asks if there’s more than one. Judging by the way Castiel is looking all around, even on rooftops, I’d say yes. “They only gather like this in times of great catastrophe. Chicago fire, the San Francisco earthquake, Pompeii.” Carthage, Missouri? Population 3? No, I’m sure there’s more than that but these small Midwestern towns don’t scale like that. So yes, something else must be up. Castiel tells them he needs to find out why they’re here and walks off to do his mysterious angel act.
Castiel walks around and the reapers don’t respond, except he spots one up in the window with white eyes staring at him before walking away. Within a flash Castiel is up there and goes down the hall to investigate. It’s a trap Cas! Someone says “Hello brother” and Castiel is bathed in white light. Oops, too late. I must say, the feeling of this whole scene is really creepy. It’s so good to see Castiel finally getting something meaty this season. His storylines have been so lacking so far. Back to Ellen and Jo, who are reuniting with Sam and Dean. They both got nothing except for Cas finding the reapers. A shared glance of brotherly worry.
They should be worried! Castiel is in a room trapped in his own flaming circle of angel doom. Ha, the shoe’s on the other foot, huh Cas? He turns toward the corner and it’s the big bad himself. Lucifer in a Nick suit. Cas knows who he is. “So I take it you’re here with the Winchesters,” Lucifer surmises. I get that he’s smart, but come on, that’s not much of a stretch. They’re like yin and yang these days. Castiel gives the most unconvincing “I came alone.” Aww, his loyalty is so endearing. Lucifer even notices that. “Loyalty, it’s such a nice quality in this day and age.”
Might I comment here that the way the light from the ring is reflecting off of Misha’s face, his eyes come across as black as night. They’re quite entrancing. I thought I was blown away by his baby blues. Great job to the crew on this one. “Castiel, right?” Lucifer asks. “I’m told you came here in an automobile. What was that like?” Castiel gives the honest answer. “Um, slow. Confining.” Cas doesn’t understand that Lucifer is using that humiliation as a chance to convince him that joining him would be cooler. Lucifer calls him peculiar. Oh yeah, well Castiel’s meat suit isn’t rotting. “What’s wrong with your vessel?” Castiel asks Lucifer. Nick isn’t doing so good. His eyes are gaunt and his skin is peeling in some bad ways.
Lucifer, who doesn’t lie, even when being purely evil, confesses that Nick is wearing a bit thin. He can’t hold him forever. This riles up Cas who tries to charge Lucifer, but that flaming ring stops him. Pesky angel traps. Then this part is so great! Castiel gets all tough. “You are not taking Sam Winchester. I won’t let you.” Whoo hoo! I just fell in love with Cas ten times more. Lucifer doesn’t understand why he’s fighting him, of all the angels. After all, they both rebelled and were cast out. He kind of has a point there but their intentions were hardly similar. I think that is an issue being raised here with the whole Sam and Dean betrayal and being vessels thing. Do good intentions matter? Will motives in the end save Sam and Dean? Who knows?
“Almost all of heaven wants to see me dead and if they succeed guess what, you’re their new public enemy number one.” I think you’re overestimating Castiel’s importance in the food chain there Luci. “We’re on the same side like it or not, so why not serve your own best interests, which in this case just happen to be mine.” That’s the cool thing about Lucifer, we know he’s speaking the truth. Or his own twisted version of the truth. “I’ll die first,” Castiel says and I know he’s telling the truth. “I suppose you will,” Lucifer replies.
Back to Sam, Dean, Ellen and Jo walking alone in the town. Dean notices they’ve only been in town twenty minutes and have lost the angel up their sleeve. The theory is Lucifer got him. “I don’t know what else to think,” Dean says. “There you are” someone says from a distance. It’s Meg. I guess I’m not shocked since I saw this in the preview. She’s quite a bit sassier in this one compared to the premiere. “Meg,” Sam says, just in case we’re confused. She says they shouldn’t have come there. Dean charges forward and points the colt at her. She isn’t scared.
“Didn’t come here alone Deano.” Hey! That’s my pet name for him bitch. Invisible growling beasts pop up around her. Dean knows hellhounds when he sees them. I mean hears them. “Yeah Dean, your favorite.” She tells them her father wants to see them and Sam says they’ll pass. She gives them the “make it easy or make it really, really hard” ultimatum. They’re completely surrounded by hellhounds. Those are the best things to use on a low budget. It’s like Jaws. They’re totally scary because you know they’re there, the horror in which everyone is reacting shows they’re in deep trouble, but there’s nothing really there. Thanks to a few strategically placed growls though and they become the boogeyman.
Dean shoots a hellhound next to Meg. At first I wondered why he didn’t shoot Meg, but that wouldn’t have helped them with the invisible hellhounds. Better they take one of them out while they know where one is. They all run and during the jagged sequence we get the view of the fleeing hunters from the eyes of the hellhound. Awesome. One gets Dean and pulls him to the ground. Jo then jumps in and blows one back with the shotgun. That’s enough time though for another to turn on her. She gets knocked to the ground and is sliced and diced, must like Dean in “No Rest For The Wicked” (still crying!) Sam shoots that hellhound and Dean picks up a Jo, who’ pretty well gored and spattered with blood. Sam and Ellen keep shooting and Dean with Jo in his arms leads the charge into a local hardware store.
Sam is the last man in holding off the hounds while Dean takes one bad looking Jo over to the counter. Blood is trailing everywhere. While Ellen tends to her Sam and Dean chain up and salt down the place. This all happens in classic Phil Sgriccia shaky camera action, which adds to the intensity. He is the master of action on this show. Sam and Dean come over and while Jo is reeling in agony Ellen pulls back Jo’s hand off the wound. Her guts practically pop out. Ugh, she’s a goner. This is where Ellen, Sam and Dean only communicate with their eyes and worried faces and it’s pure gold. Man, why aren’t these actors together more often?
To say that could have gone better would be an understatement.
Ellen is nursing Jo and a devastated Sam brings over supplies. He goes over to Dean who’s trying to get a short wave radio going. I suppose I believe an old fashioned hardware store in a small Midwestern town still has one of those things. Dean asks how Jo’s doing and Sam is at a loss for words. He looks like he’s going to cry. He tells Dean the salt line is holding up. They’re trapped like rats. Dean, whose acting in complete control, reminds Sam what Meg said. Her father is there. This is their one shot no matter what. Sam doesn’t like it, but doesn’t question Dean either. What amazes me is how this is all an act for Sam’s benefit.
Dean gets the radio working and Ellen asks Sam for help. Back to Bobby who is trying to call the boys on the cell phone. Oh yeah, that doesn’t work. Bobby hears Dean on the radio and swiftly answers. “Bobby, we’ve got problems,” Dean says. There goes that understatement thing again. How about, “Bobby, we’re totally screwed.” Bobby has about one second of worry and then answers. “It’s okay boy, that’s why I’m here. Is everyone alright?” Back to Dean, who’s losing it. He tells him no. It’s Jo and it’s pretty bad. Bobby takes another second to take in the bad news and goes on. It’s time to figure out what to do next. Dean can’t, for its time for his mini-meltdown. He’s fighting everything within not to bust out in full fledged sobbing. Bobby gets all tough as if he knows exactly what’s happening to Dean. “I said what do we do next Dean?” Dean takes another second of two to fall apart, even burying his head in his hand. Come to me Dean and we’ll have some ice cream and a good cry together.
Dean pulls it together, because that’s what heroes do. Bobby wants to know what he’s got. Fade to later and Bobby is asking how many reapers Castiel saw. Dean isn’t sure and judging by the edge in his voice, he’s still pretty upset. Does the number matter? Yep. Ellen comes over and says that by the way Castiel was looking around, over dozen reapers probably more. I’d go with the probably more. Bobby doesn’t like that. Dean knows it’s bad but why. “It sounds like death son. I think Satan’s in town to work a ritual.” He’s planning to unleash Death.
Dean needs clarification. “You mean like this dude and taxes are the only sure thing?” Yeah, I’d say that Death. The horseman, the pale rider in the flesh. Dean thought Death was always walking the earth. “Hell, I’ve died several times myself.” Yes Dean, you and Sam both. You’re both like cats, even though Sam looks like a puppy. Bobby clarifies not this guy. This is big daddy reaper. He’s kept in a box 600 ft under. Last time he was unleashed Noah was building a boat. You want to know how many people in New Orleans took the Katrina flood to be a sign of the apocalypse? After seeing this, they could be right.