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Okay everyone, have those boxes of Kleenexes handy? Good, because as far as tear-jerkers go, this is the gold standard.

SPN 0023

A limo pulls up under an overpass. An older man with a tin box and a shovel gets out, but not before he steps in a puddle. I have no idea if that was a symbol for something, Ben Edlund being cute or a happy accident but there you have it. He finds an area that must somehow be a crossroads and puts the box into the ground. Ah, I smell a crossroads deal coming. A man in a dark suit shows up. It's Mark Sheppard! Wow, this guy has been on everything. He's been awesome doing it too.

Mark Sheppard identifies himself as Crowley, calling the other guy dead meat, I mean Mr. Pendleton. Old guy looks surprised for before he was dealing with an attractive lady. Crowley knows, but this banker dude is a big fish so he was sent. I’m sure he was sent because banker dude is a homophobic jerk and demons love twisting that knife of irony. Lord knows they do it to Dean enough times. You know, demons like Ben Edlund J. Crowley wants to seal the deal personally and banker all too well knows the deal would be sealed with a kiss. “That’s right,” Crowley says with delight. Banker gets really uncomfortable. “Your choice. You can cling to six decades of deep seeded homophobia, or give it up and get a complete bailout of your bank’s ridiculous incompetence.” So now Ben Edlund is linking bank bailouts with crossroads deals? That actually makes sense.

I remember when recapping “I Know What You Did Last Summer” I thanked heavens that the crossroads demon there didn’t accept Sam’s offer, otherwise that kiss would have been awkward. You know Ben Edlund has been dying for this opportunity since then. As for those thinking this is risqué for TV, this is the CW for God’s sake! They just heavily publicized a threesome on Gossip Girl. Male kissing is so passé. Banker agrees after Crowley does the whole “going once, going twice thing” and this is no light peck on the lips. Full-on deep pressing and maybe some tongue. Gotta give them credit for doing it right. Continuity is important on this show.

Meanwhile, in the distance, someone is behind a pillar watching. It’s Castiel! Pervert. He’s on the phone. “Got him.” Title card.

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Back to the lip lock and Crowley lets the now squicked out banker go. Castiel tells Dean on the phone the demon Crowley is making a deal. “Even as we speak its, going down.” I never tire of the Cas dry humor. Even Dean finds that one odd. “Going down? Right, okay Huggy Bear.” A Starsky and Hutch reference! Perfect for two guys hanging out with their beautiful car. I saw that exact 1975 orange and white Gran Torino at the classic car showroom at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. Herbie the Love Bug was there too. I fully expect an Impala to be there when the show is over. Hear that guys! Procure this item now!

The banker tells Crowley “Damn you.” Crowley isn’t about to not rub it in this guy’s face. “Enjoy the obscene wealth. See you in ten years.” I like him. Crowley walks off and disappears in thin air. Castiel follows and then disappears into thin air. He may be a fallen angel but he still gets to do cool things. Castiel finds the house that Crowley is at, but he can’t go in since it’s layered in Enochian symbols. As we find out, he wants to avoid one pretty big angel, so don’t take it personally Cas. Dean tells Castiel he did great and they’ll take it from there. Yeah, how about that for weakling humans! No symbols of any kind can keep us out! We don’t even read “No Trespassing” signs.

Crowley is in his elaborate living room, pouring himself a drink, listening to classic R&B and strangely watching footage of Hitler. The only Hitler I like to watch is “Springtime for Hitler” from The Producers. The Third Reich never looked so fabulous! Crowley smiles while watching the Nazis march and takes his drink. It's so nice to be able to kick back after a busy day at the office.


Outside the gate of this gorgeous Spanish style estate woman walks up in a backless black dress with skimpy skirt and high heels. Yep, it's Jo. Man, she doesn't look like a schoolgirl here. She does the whole "my car broke down" thing on the intercom. The gate opens and outcome two creepy and large guys. One has this evil smile and tells her “We’re the only help you’re ever gonna need.” She does the whole backpedalling thing, pretending this was a bad idea. Considering the one guy grabs her and he eyes go black, they obviously know who she is. Man, what would they have done if this was a real innocent girl?

Jo takes the guy down with a kung fu chop and out of nowhere the demon killing ginsu goes through his neck of the other guy. This week's brutal and lightening fast knife kill comes from our dear Sammy. Then he takes out the jerk in the same brutal fashion. Remember the early days when he was our gentle giant? Our boy has grown. Judging by the crazy killing eyes he has going for him now, something tells me he still craves that demon killing power. I don’t think his issues there are done. But hey, that’s me speculating. I do that.

While Sam is doing his crazy eyes thing over the body, Dean shows up and tells Jo nice work. They’re ready to move onto the next task and we go back to Crowley inside who calmly watches the lights go out. He smiles like he’s expecting this sort of thing. Probably because he is. He walks into the other room and Sam says “It’s Crowley, right?” “So, the hardy boys finally found me.” We haven’t heard that nickname in a while. I think the last time it was used was “A Very Supernatural Christmas.” I could be wrong though. I’m such a freak for knowing that off the top of my head.

Sam and Dean are standing in the long hallway side by side holding weapons and Crowley steps toward them, stopping short of the badly placed devil’s trap under the bunched up rug. Come on guys, at least lay the rug flat. Sam and Dean are disappointed it didn’t work. Duh! “Do you have any idea how much this rug costs?” You know, I’d be upset over that too. Sam and Dean are then grabbed from behind. Come on guys, you didn’t expect the ambush either? Coasting on fumes these days?

Crowley pulls out the colt. He obviously knows what they’re there for. He raises the gun and then takes out the two demons holding Sam and Dean. Interesting. Sam and Dean are certainly shocked. Sure I could nitpick and ask why the shock since they’ve seen it all, but then again I like drama so I’ll shut up. Another thing I noticed about this scene, an all new Smallville is coming on Friday. I’m going to take this moment to do a brief commentary on Smallville season nine so far. It’s been really decent and I enjoy how it’s embraced the darker comic undertones, despite the fact that we know Superman isn’t Batman. However, that hokey “Save Me” intro has to go. This is not farm boy Clark Kent anymore. They really need to rebrand the whole thing as Metropolis.

Sorry, back to Crowley who tells the boys they’ve got to talk privately. Sam and Dean both look at each other perplexed but follow him into the fancy study anyway. Crowley shuts the door with the wave of his hand and tells them he could have buried the colt. There’s no reason anyone should know it exists at all. Except that he told them. He was the one spreading messages through the grapevine. Castiel has some real seedy sources, doesn’t he? Sam asks why. You know Sam, you do that a lot. More times than not it gets you into trouble. Luckily this isn’t one of those times. Crowley tells them that he wants them to take the colt to Lucifer and empty it into his face.

Dean isn’t buying the act at all. “Uh huh, okay, and why exactly would you want the devil dead?” Tell me Dean, would you believe anything this guy says no matter what he answers? Crowley says it’s for survival. “But I forgot you two at best are functioning morons.” Dean flubs another comeback. I don’t mind that once in a while, but here a snappy line would have been cooler. Ben Edlund comes up lame. I love Crowley’s answer though. “Lucifer isn’t a demon, remember? He’s an angel and an angel famous for his hatred of humankind. To him you’re just”¦filthy bags of puss. That’s the way he feels about you, what can he think about us?”

Sam points out he created them. Crowley knows that to him they’re just servants, cannon fodder. If Lucifer does exterminate humankind, they’re next. Wow, that’s really interesting, but it makes so much sense to me. Angels hate demons, period. Crowley asks Sam and Dean to help him. “Let’s all go back to simpler, better times. Back to when we could all follow our natures. I’m in sales dammit.” You know, one thing that has always stuck in the back of my mind is why Lilith approached Sam during “The Monster at The End of This Book.” Why did she want to go back to the way things were? If Crowley was her lover, I wonder if something he said convinced her and she was being genuine with her offer to Sam. Maybe her botched attempt to kill Sam, for if she succeeded Lucifer would stay caged, convinced her she couldn’t tempt fate. This is consistent though!

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“What if I give you this thing and you go kill the devil.” Crowley hands the colt to Sam, who looks at him strangely. Then Crowley shakes it a little and smiles. I really like this demon! Eventually Sam takes it, albeit reluctantly. After a long awkward pause Sam asks if Crowley knows where the devil is. He as a matter of fact does. Carthage, Missouri on Thursday. Now this smells like a setup. I love ambiguous situations on this show but I want to believe this guy. He’s fun and seems like a straight shooter (pardon the pun after the kissing scene). “Great, thanks,” Sam says matter-of-factly before putting the colt to Crowley’s forehead and pulling the trigger. It clicks but doesn’t fire. I love Crowley’s reaction to this! He’s so calm and doesn’t even flinch. “Oh yeah, right,” he says like he forgot something, “You probably need some more ammunition.” He goes to the desk and gets some. Ah, the cheeky demon.

Sam and Dean are tired of the act now. Dean asks the daring question of whether Crowley is signing his own death warrant. What if they go against Lucifer and lose? “Number one, he’s going to wipe us all out anyway, two, when you leave here I go on an extended vacation to all points nowhere and three, HOW ABOUT YOU DON’T MISS OKAY! MORONS!” He throws Dean the ammo and vanishes. Yeah, that didn’t leave Sam and Dean with a lot of warm fuzzies.


# Jasminka 2009-11-30 02:35
Alice, I’ve already run out of tissues, couldn’t you wait with posting this until I replenished my stocks? But thank you anyway for this deeply moving recap, though I had to use a towel in lieu of Kleenex. ;-)

I really liked Crowley, too, I like his style, his weird combo of listening to easy music and watching the worst division of Nazi-soldiers. If I’m not mistaken those were SS-uniforms, the so-called death’s head squadron, infamous for their cruelty. Fitting for demon, I guess.

Please, keep speculating about Sam’s craving for demon power, I do it as well. He was very cold there, no more hesitating about killing humans ridden by demons. Desperate times, desperate measures. I miss the gentle Sammy, but I love this one, too. I guess, I just love Sam, period, in whatever mood he is in.

I second your remark about whether things are perfect between the brothers – I don’t think so. They probably put it away to not waste their potentially last night with fighting, but the issues are certainly still there and will undoubtedly surface again, soon.
But seeing them at that table, so grown up and supportive of each other (despite the undertones) made my heart leap with joy. For the last time while watching this episode. There was no room for that afterwards.

Cas showing in his conversation with Lucifer how hard he will fight for the Winchesters and this world, was great, and Castiel keeps growing on me (and, by the way, Misha never looked better).

After that first encounter of Cas and Luci (yes, I know…) there is no time to admire the good looks of anyone here, as it is pure heartbreak that ensues. Dean carrying a lethally wounded Jo into the store, everyone realizing she won’t be going anywhere but they still tried to lie to themselves about that, because they can’t handle that notion, Dean’s breakdown, Bobby’s splitsecond-bre akdown before pulling Dean back, Ellen’s breakdown, silent good-byes, Ellen staying with her daughter, Jo’s heartbreak and relief about her mother not leaving her, ever missed Kim Manners.
I’m growing tired of every fiend rubbing Sam’s history with his brother into his face – come on, guys, he knows. No need to bring it up again and again. Running out of arguments, folks?

And then the ‘funeral scene’, burning that picture… the guys’ solemn and silent expressions are all we need to know what’s going on. It was a heroines’ burial. Sort of. But it captured the emotion…

Speaking of… I’m an emotional mess. I just watched this episode with a friend who wasn’t able to get it online yesterday. I couldn’t stop crying, it got even worse than watching it the first time. What’s going on with me?! I feel quite vulnerable these days, but this – oh my. This episode reminded me like no other of my losses, and it drowned me in those emotions. Great film making, be it movie or such an incredible tv-show does that. Kudos to everyone – I have rarely seen better acting on this show, and the composition of this episode was exceptional.

Thanks so much for doing this episode justice with this great review. I’m going to need another pot of hot chocolate and a lot of those candles that smell like Christmas cookies which I pile up every winter to recover from that episode. Whatever it takes.


Cheers, Jas
# Suze 2009-11-30 07:03
Bastards. It's just not fair.

I've been cheerfully imagining Jo dead ever since " No Exit " and she finally goes and it's awful! Be careful what you wish for ...

Love Crowley ( he reminds me of someone I know, which is slightly worrying ... ) Also loving the whole Doomladen Pit of Hopeless Despair thing they've got going ... Darkest hour before the dawn, surely ( or rather, knowing Mr. K, the darkest hour before the really dark bit where everyone dies horribly and evil triumphs forever, but we've got that to look forward to ... lucky old us ... )

Castiel channels Legolas, hurrah! Perfect profile, no people skills, it all fits ...
# Randal 2009-11-30 12:25
You all cried during that episode? Really? Saps.

That was one mofo of an hour (six hours if you include all the goddamn commercials). If that was Totenkopf, those psychopaths were originally mixed up with the early days of the political camps. Yeah, demony. Crowley simply must come back.

I, too, don't think things are 100% hunky dory between them, but even if issues are on the back burner, time can surreptitiously heal. Will they ever be perfect again? Who's to say, but they know (even Dean) that the other is still fueled by a humanity.

Cas is adapting to the dissipation of his powers, which is cool to see, and if he is channeling Legolas, he too will soon be fighting side by side, not with charges, but with friends.

Dammit, I'd love to type more, but this damn cat keeps on walking on the keyboard.
# Jasminka 2009-11-30 14:42
Randal, I’m going to have t-shirts printed, saying ‘I’m a happy sap’ – are you really trying to convince us that it was only something in your eye? 8-)

P.S.-do you actually say 'totenkopf'? One of those German words that entered the English language? So, there was no need to translate it, good to know.

# Sablegreen 2009-11-30 15:25
Alice, thanks so much again for such a great recap.

I was also surprised that the boys tried the devils-trap-und er-the-rug- trick. I thought that was just a ruse to lull Crowley into a false sense of security and they really had Cas or Ellen or Jo ready for the real attack. That was a let down. Also the boys were certainly over powered very easily. But they had too much to cover in this episode so, acquiring the colt couldn’t take much time. Yes, the interplay between the boys and Crowley was not as one would expect from the boys. Again it just seemed this part of the epi was rushed. I would have liked to see this as a stand alone epi myself. I know there are only 22 epi, they can do, but there are one or two so far this year I could have done without.

The connection with Cas and Crowley was a surprise. I wondered if it was more than just picking up on grapevine gossip. After all Cas is still an angel, and while he may not have ties to his angel brothers, I wouldn’t have thought he knew many demons either. My mind went back to Ruby. How she always found the right answer, how she always came up with info ‘through the grapevine’, how she saved the boys on many occasions, but we found out she had her own agenda, and all that was necessary for her goal. I was happy to see that Cas really seemed sincere in his vow of loyalty to Sam and Dean. So far this season, Cas has been developing into a good friend. Given Kripke’s twists and turns, I hope that is true.

I also liked Cas’s reaction to Lucifer. Cas really never once accepted or even considered Lucifer’s comments as true. He lies and Cas has not a doubt in his mind about that. Sam on the other hand, was not as solid. His weakness is he anger, and I really wish Kripke had put more effort in dealing with it this first half. And yes, that involves Sam’s powers…which are not gone. Not if you believe past episodes.

The boys toasting each other was a good sight too see. Yes, I think they are really back....deep down, I like to think they never left. I suspect Kripke will still tear at that concept, but that’s just what he does..

I do have to agree that Dean’s caution was valid. When Sam came on so strong, I really reminded me of the Sam of s4. Hell bent on revenge, letting anger guide the way. It was risking a lot to put Lucifer and Sam in the same space. Sure we know there are 12 more epi, but Dean doesn’t. With so much at stake, this was not a good tactical decision. This resulted in the death of Jo and Ellen, and flaring anger from Sam….just want Lucifer wants.

Bobby held Dean together which is what the boys counts on Bobby to do. Hope that connection is ever touched by Kripke. The hint of a relationship lost between Jo and Dean was pivotal to this episode. Too bad Kripke didn’t ever have this relationship develop in past seasons. But then, it probably would have ended just as Sam’s and Jessica’s did. The boys are NOT allow any ‘life’ outside of angels and demons.
# Sablegreen 2009-11-30 15:30
Oops, meant 'hope that connection is NEVER touched' Don't know what happened to the 'n'. :-)
# Bevie 2009-11-30 17:15
Thanks a bunch for making me cry AGAIN! LOL

Just kidding. A fine recap indeed, capturing all the emotional pitfalls from all the marvellous characters inhabiting this Supernatural universe.

I was never one of the Jo haters. I really liked her from her first appearance with the rifle in ELAC, and she just got better in all of her following episodes until excelling in this AAH. Whatever was unspoken between Dean and Jo will never be known now that she is gone. I really believe that Dean had a great affection for her (Maybe even a possible future love).
I'm really grieving for the loss of wonderful Ellen and Jo. I admired Ellen's no nonsense character from the first viewing as well. Rest in Peace you two exceptional women!

Loving Cas being the badass he can be, defending the boys and loving the way he walked over Meg to get out of the fire. Hope he is taking care of Dean's amulet
and NOT LOSING IT! Did he steal Dean's ring and bracelet also? Still wondering where they went to.

Love the way the boys are back together. Things must be a little better now if they can snark back and forth again. The losses of Ellen and Jo should drive home the need for them both to be adamant with not becoming mere meat suits for two warring angels. Let the very HUMAN Winchesters triumph in the end to defeat the smarmy Lucifer! And for God's sake, Kripke, keep Bobby alive for they really really need his backing, advice and loving encouragements to be able to persevere in the face of all this tragedy. Please, haven't they lost enough already?

Wondering just what Lucifer is wanting. Does he hope to put himself in God's place in heaven? If he rids the world of humans and demons alike, what else is there for him? Ruling over the heavenly hosts? What about all the humans through the years that also occupy a place there. Are they at risk from him?
# Randal 2009-11-30 18:57
Jasminka, those shirts would go well with the 'got salt?' ones. 8-)

No, that word hasn't 'entered' English, really, I'm just a history geek.

sablegreen, that's really my one big problem with the episode: almost too much for one hour. They did a good job (obviously, as it was f-ing great teevee), but I would have loved it over two hours, could have fleshed out/mercilessly teased stuff even further.
# anene 2009-11-30 19:22
Eh! This episode fell flat for me on account of the lack of a cliff-hanger and Sam and Dean moments that i watch the show for.

High points:
Ellen and Jo's death were really heartbreaking. I'm gonna miss Ellen. That was Alona's and Samantha's best work.

Cas is back to being the warrior he was back in season 4 that i liked with the bonus of being on team Winchester. I just hope he stays that way instead of the weepy sap he turned into since season 5 began.

Mark Pelligrino was wicked as Lucifer. Of all the angels, he is my favourite. I really want to see how he plans to get Sam to say yes to him.

There was a lot of pretty shots of Sam and Dean's lovely faces.

Misha is very pretty.

Crowley's smooching of the business man.

Low point:
The taking of the picture and burning it doesn't make any sense and seems too rushed and forced. Good riddance anyways.

It didn't do it for me. Dean shouldn't have been knocked out. He should have been awake to hear what Lucifer said to Sam. The scene would have been better.

Too much secondary character that i like but i seriously would rather have more Sam and Dean to bother about for a re-watch.
# Narcissus 2009-11-30 21:43
Another great recap in a line of great recaps :mrgreen:

I agree with you guys, the boys definitely still have some issues simmering away on the 'back burner' as Randal said. I think they're going to leave it that way, until the pot boils over and everything explodes, then they're going to have one angsty showdown, and then push everything to the back again. But the show being the show, things will never happen as predicted. Heh.

Ellen and Jo...what else can I say that hasn't been said? It was mind-blowing, amazing, spectacular, heart-shatterin g, sweet, scary, tragic....etc.. .

For me, I think Lucifer has become the guy I love to hate...he's such a slime-ball, and everyone who's played him did such a great job. him too. I'd love to see where the writers are going with him. Alice, I love your theory about Lilith in makes sense.

Castiel is raising the kick-ass quota, big time. He's making up for his lack of powers by learning some of the subtle nuances which makes humans, humans. Love the way he handled Lucifer and Meg too.

And I can't believe I'm finally saying this after five seasons: Sam needs a haircut!! Actually, his hair is looking pretty good this season, except that it's just getting a bit too...floppy.

To finally shut up, this episode is one of the best bits of TV of all time. Tune in world, and see how good story telling is done!