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It all snaps into place for Bobby. The place is crawling with reapers because they’re waiting for the big boss to show. Both Bobby and Dean take another pause to crumble over the revelation of what’s happening. The glances in this episode from everyone are so devastating. Dean with cracking voice again asks for anymore good news. Yes, Bobby has more. The angel of Death must be brought in at midnight through a place of awful carnage. There was this Civil War battle in Carthage years ago so intense it was called “The Battle of Hellhole.” Where did it go down? The land of William Jasper’s farm. Which I think by now would be a Civil War battlefield memorial. It seems every open field in Pennsylvania and Maryland was converted into one.
Back to Castiel and Lucifer, just to break the monotony. You know, in case we get bored with Dean losing it. Lucifer watches Castiel through the fire and a smiling Meg comes in. She’s very pleased with herself. She’s got the Winchesters pinned down. She wants to know what to do with them. Lucifer tells her to leave them alone. Meg doesn’t understand. “Trust me child, everything happens for a reason.” Yeah, your reason being you don’t want Sam and Dean interfering with your plan to raise Death. While Lucifer and Meg are pre-occupied Castiel calmly sees piping overhead. It’s a way to escape. Lucifer asks him if it’s time to change his mind. Castiel says nothing.
Ellen is tending to Jo, who looks horrible. That’s a great acting job for a young girl that looks so good. Sam and Dean are going through the odds. They have to get to the farm by midnight but have to get by eight or so hellhounds to do so plus get Ellen and Jo out of town. As Sam gets ready to look for a stretcher Jo speaks up. If for some demented reason your Kleenexes weren’t close by, fetch them now!
“Stop guys, stop. Can we be realistic about this please?” Jo can’t move her legs. She can’t be moved and her guts are being held in by an ace bandage. She isn’t going anywhere. Ellen tries to pull authority on her but Jo goes on. They’ve got propane, rock salt, wiring, iron nails. “Everything we need?” Sam asks. “To build a bomb Sam.” Ellen and Sam look at her alarmed, Dean instantly says no. Jo asks him if he’s got a better plan. Yeah, argument actually works for Sam too. Jo also mentions that these are hellhounds that have all their scents. They will never stop coming after them. I love the idea mind you, but it’s interesting that bombs like this can kill hellhounds. I’m sure since no canon has been established on how to kill one, why not?
Flash on the somber faces of Dean, then Ellen, then Sam. They know she’s right. They hate she is, but they know it. Jo’s plan is to let the dogs in. They climb up to the roof and make a break for it while Jo waits with her finger on the button. Ellen is in tears now and the reality is hitting her hard. She won’t let Jo do it. “Which is why we’re here, right? If we can get us a shot on the Devil, Dean we’ve got to take it.” Going to Dean for the practical response? Sorry, but I’d be making my plea with Sam.
Ellen tearfully protests more, taking her objections to both Sam and Dean. Jo stops her. “Mom, this might literally be your last chance to treat me like an adult. Might want to take it.” Ellen’s too busy bawling by now. I’m a mom, I don’t blame her one bit. She finally looks up at Jo who bravely smiles at her and nods. Ellen nods back. I honestly do think death is harder on the loved ones than the one actually dying. Ellen sobs some more than pulls it together. “Well you heard her, get to work.”
There’s a little montage of Sam and Dean putting together the bombs that I won’t cover too much. Nails, buckets, wiring, a door buzzer, propane tanks, salt, BOOM! Oh wait, not yet. The bombs are in place and Dean does the final setup for the wiring on the buzzer. Sam is holding Jo’s hand, doing his trademark Somber Face of Despair. He squeezes her hand in goodbye and she gives a slight nod back. Again, these guys don’t need words. They all know.
Dean arrives with the buzzer. He looks completely torn apart. He’s putting Sammy’s trademark look to shame. So much so, this is the part that starts the waterworks for me. “Okay, this is it. I’ll see you on the other side. Probably sooner than later.” She gives him a smile and hands him his shotgun. “Make it later.” Oh man”¦talk amongst yourselves. (Deep breath). Dean isn’t taking her bravery well and really struggling internally. We all know that look. He somberly pauses and then places the buzzer in her hand. BOOM! Oh wait, not yet. Sorry, I have to joke in order to get through this.
Dean gently strokes the back of her hand with his thumb and looks at her with no clue what to say. They both exchange heartfelt glances of goodbye. Dean then leans forward and kisses her on the forehead. The sad score starts playing as Jo gets emotional. Dean pulls back, looks into her eyes and then gives her the most tender kiss on the lips. Oh that does it. **profusely sobbing now** Their relationship has always been so understated yet special. As two kids of hunters, they knew the life wouldn’t bring them together as a couple, but they have this special bond that’s unlike any other one they’ve had in their lives. It not love as much as deep admiration and respect.
Dean pulls away and as he holds her one last time, the distraught look on his face says it all. He’s heartbroken. Dean quickly pulls away and moves on. You know, Jensen has always proved he could bring it in the big scenes, but I think this is the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen Dean. The losses are really starting to take their toll. The acting here is some of the best work Jensen has ever done.
Ellen comes over next and I can’t tell because my freaking eyes are too watery. (Reaches for the tissues). Okay. The camera goes back to Sam and Dean now side by side. Sam is hurting, Dean is outright freaking devastated. This shot, even though it’s quick, is amazing. They’re really playing to all the actor’s strengths here. Take Ellen and Jo. Best performance from Samantha Ferris and Alona Tal ever on this show.
Ellen takes Jo’s hand and bravely smiles. Jo is weeping now. They both communicate with glances and nods. Jo loses it. “Mom no.” “Somebody’s got to let them in. Like you said, you’re not moving.” Back to Sam and Dean, still sad and devastated. Ellen states her reasons and as a mother, I back her 100 percent. “You’re right, this is important. But I’m not going to leave you here alone.” Jo weeps. Sam says “Dean” obviously not liking the idea, but Ellen orders them to get going. Then Dean protests with “Ellen” but she tells them again. They know never to doubt Ellen’s orders.
Okay, if ANYONE wasn’t crying by now, this is the bust out in inconsolable sobs moment right here. Especially for a diehard fan. As Sam and Dean go to leave Ellen says her final words. “Oh and Dean, kick it in the ass. Don’t miss.” Oh that does it. Back in five. I’m a wreck. We love you and really miss you Kim Manners.
(Ten minutes later). Still sobbing. Oh, where were we? Ellen gives them her brave glance, then to distraught Dean then to distraught Sam and back to Ellen again. Again, bouncing between the glances of these three really adds huge power to an already loaded scene. Sam and Dean go and Ellen gives her heroic smile to Jo next. Jo smiles and cries at the same time. Suddenly the hellhounds are making noise. They must have figured out Sam and Dean have left.
Ellen goes to the front door and undoes the chains. She kicks away the salt line and turns on the propane tanks. She takes her place next to Jo’s side and yikes, Jo isn’t looking too good. Not that she was before, but now her eyes are fluttering. There isn’t much time. I’m so damned nervous now! Ellen puts her arm around her and holds on tight, grasping the trigger in the other hand. “I will always love you baby.” Ellen hears a hellhound and then goes back to Jo, who’s slipped away. Ellen shakes her and then busts out crying, saying Jo’s name. Aw man, I was wreck before. This is making me worse! No mother should have to see their child die, even if she’s only beating her to the great beyond by a minute. Ellen weeps and I weep, for we mothers have an understanding. She tells her it’s okay and kisses her on the top of the head. Like I do with my daughter every night. Oh crap. Excuse me, I’m going to hug my kids right now.
(Ten minutes later). Okay, I’m better. No, actually I’m not. Let’s just get through his heart crushing, stomp on it until there’s nothing left scene. The hellhounds burst in. Ellen holds onto the trigger while Sam and Dean get away. Finally Ellen feels the breath of one at her ear. “You can go straight back to hell you ugly bitch.” She presses the button and blows the store to kingdom come. Sam and Dean watch with horror outside and then run. Welcome to the distinguished Supernatural death pool Ellen and Jo. You’re in perfect company and adding some real class to it.
On a side note, the day this episode aired, a well known activist for breast cancer in Ohio, Stephanie Spielman, passed away after an 11 year battle with the disease. In that time she offered so many women and their families hope in fighting breast cancer. She went through five rounds of it herself. Through her name and fundraising efforts, she started a goal to raise $100,000 for the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University. She ended up in her 11 years raising over $6 million. Her husband, Chris Spielman, former OSU Buckeye and NFL football player, does a radio show here in Columbus. For years we got firsthand accounts of this family’s struggle and bravery. I was already an emotional mess when I watched this episode and then found out afterward Stephanie had died. I was a complete wreck at work that Friday. Both of these things are the smack you in the face reminders that life is fragile and should be cherished.
(Pulling myself together to move on, because that’s what heroes do.) Sam and Dean arrive at the field in time to see Lucifer digging a massive hole while people look on. That’s where the townspeople went. Sam asks, “Last words?” Dean ponders this for a second. “I think I’m good.” “Yeah, me too,” Sam says. Yeah, it’s not much, but it’s what these guys would say. They share one more troubled look. “Here goes nothing,” Dean says.
The devil keeps digging and Sam walks through the crowd with the shotgun. “You wanted to see me?” Lucifer tells him he doesn’t need that gun. He’d never hurt him. “Not really.” Then we see the barrel of the colt at Lucifer’s temple. “Yeah,” Dean says, “well I’d hurt you.” He cocks the gun. “So suck it.” He blows Lucifer away right in between the eyes. Lucifer falls to the ground. Sam and Dean don’t exactly know what to think. They’re on the brink of possibly being relieved when Lucifer wakes up. Oops, I guess it doesn’t work. “Oww,” Lucifer says. Okay, it doesn’t kill, but at least it stings. Sam and Dean are not happy as Lucifer gets up. “Where did you get that?” He asks Dean before tossing him across the field and into a tree. The mark of death of his forehead disappears. “Now, where were we?” He asks a very troubled Sam. Yeah, I’d put that as the right time for a commercial break. So much to absorb!
“Don’t feel too bad Sam,” Lucifer says while Sam looks more than bad. Outright terrified actually. “There’s only five things in all of creation that thing can’t kill and I just happen to be one of them.” Five things huh? Let the speculation begin! Lucifer will get to Sam in a minute though, he’s almost done. Sam takes this opportunity to rush over to Dean to see if he’s okay. Well at least he has his priorities in line. As Sam checks out an unconscious Dean, Lucifer stops his digging and asks if Sam wouldn’t happen to say yes right here and now. Judging by Lucifer’s tone, he doesn’t seriously think Sam will.
Sam’s answer is more than predictable. “It’s never gonna happen.” Oh, but Lucifer thinks it will. In less than six months. In Detroit. As someone very familiar with the town (being born and raised there) I can’t think of a better place for an apocalypse. I think it’s already started there. I’m still dying from speculation over what happens to Sam between now and then that gets him to say yes. I’m sure Kripke is somewhere in LA rubbing his hands in evil delight over driving us fans crazy about that.
Sam stays defiant. “You listen to me, you son of a bitch. I’m going to kill you myself. You understand me. I’m going to rip your heart out.” Uh Sam, angel, remember? No heart. Lucifer loves hearing this. “Good, you keep fanning that fire in your belly. All that pent up rage, I’m going to need it.” None of this though prevents Lucifer from throwing dirt on the big pile. Why? That’s Sam’s next question. What did he do to this town? Lucifer claims he was generous with this town. One demon for every able bodied man. “And the rest of them?” Oh Sam, why do you ask these things? The answer is never good. You notice that mass grave he’s digging? That’s everyone else. “I know, it’s awful, but these horsemen are so demanding. So it was women and children first.” Sam is horrified. Um Sam, Lucifer remember? Total destruction of the human race? Ring a bell?
Lucifer tells Sam he has to do this. “You of all people should understand.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” Sam asks. Fine, if he must spell it out for you. “I was a son, a brother like you. A younger brother. And I had an older brother that I loved. Idolized in fact. And one day I went to him and I begged him to stand with me. And Michael, Michael turned on me. Called me a freak. A monster. And then he beat me down, all because I was different. Because I had a mind of my own.” Could it also be because you’re a misguided homicidal jerk? I can’t wait to hear Michael’s side of the story.
“Tell me something Sam. Any of this sound familiar? Lucifer drops it for now since midnight is calling and he has a ritual to finish. He tells Sam not to go anywhere, not that he could. Sam stands and broods more then goes back to Dean. Lucifer says his mumbo jumbo to the pile of dirt in front of him, then turns to the demons watching. “Now repeat after me. We offer up our lives, blood, souls, to complete this tribute.” The demons repeat and then start falling lie flies, each going out in a flash before dropping to the ground. Dean is awake now and watches with Sam in disbelief. “What?” Lucifer says with repugnance. “They’re just demons.” So Crowley was right! Wow, does Lucifer want everybody dead?
Back to Castiel. Remember Castiel? Pretty boy angel in a ring of fire? He’s turning with his mind a screw to an overhead pipe while talking with a smug Meg. “We’re gonna win,” she gloats. “Can you feel it? You cloud hopping pansies lost the whole damned universe. Lucifer’s going to take over heaven. We’re going to heaven Clarence.” Castiel smirks for he gets to gloat too. “Strange, because I heard a different theory from a demon named Crowley.” Meg doesn’t believe he knows Crowley. “He believes that Lucifer is just using demons to achieve an end and that once he does he’ll destroy you all.” While doing this Castiel is unfastening the bolts one by one and Meg doesn’t notice. She’s not exactly the sharpest demon in Hell. Meg thinks he’s wrong. “Your God maybe a dead beat but mine walks the earth.”
Castiel takes offense but gets payback by loosening the last bolt. The pipe swings down and knocks Meg right into Castiel’s arms. The scene is actually steamy. Castiel puts his palm to her forehead and nothing happens. Uh oh, angel can’t kill demons anymore. It’s a bummer Sam can’t either. That really hurts to lose both demon killers on Team Winchester. Meg of course taunts Castiel for not being able to kill her. “So what can you do you impotent sap?” “I can do this,” he says and pulls her closer. Just when it looks like he’s going to kiss her he throws her down to the ground on top of the ring of fire. While Meg screams in agony Castiel steps over her freeing himself from the circle. Awesome! There’s the Cas with balls we all know and love. I knew he was still there!
Back to Lucifer who’s doing the ritual thing. The ground shakes and Sam and Dean watch completely helpless. Then Castiel shows up! Suddenly there’s a flash of light reflecting off Lucifer. The three are gone. Lucifer isn’t too worried. He knows he’s not done with the Winchesters. Something rises from the ground and Lucifer greets it with a smile. “Oh hello Death.”
The final scene is short, tragic, and to the point. Back at Bobby’s house and the news is on. It seems a bad storm touched off a string of tornados that went and wiped out Carthage, Missouri. The loss of life and property is staggering. Those are the only words heard in this scene. Bobby, Sam and Dean are by the fire. Bobby holds the picture he took and throws it into the fire. It’s the closest thing to a salt and burn they’ll ever get. They all watch somberly as the fire burns away the images, especially the part of Ellen and Jo with Dean in the middle. Dean especially is looking at Jo. The flames over take her image and burn it away.
Roll credits. Damn you Ben Edlund! Damn you Phil Sgriccia! Damn you all. I need nine weeks to recover from that one.