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Unabashed Spoiler Hound & Fanfic writer

Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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Abandon All Hope: "Here goes nothing."
"Dwell in peace in the home of your own being, and the Messenger of Death will not be able to touch you." --Guru Nanak

"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death." -- Harold Wilson

"So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it." --Haniel Long

Sorry this is so late. Between the holidays and the feeling of complete and utter despair that this episode effectively left me, it took awhile for me to recover from it and truth be told, I'm still not quite there yet, but inspiration has seized me so I must take it.

Odd to say this about an episode that literally wrenched hope from my fisted hands, but I thoroughly LOVED this episode. I don't know if it's because the last episode, The Real Ghostbusters, was just so unfulfilling or if it's because this episode did such a good job of just leaving me hanging, feeling like "okay, now what?" as well as "oh, gosh, there's nothing left to try other than consenting to be the vessels", probably a little of both, but it was a great episode at hitting all the right and the oh so terribly wrong notes. I was just as devastated, lost, hopeless and completely out of ideas as the boys were. From that point of view, the episode rocked and succeeded in so many painful ways. It also rocked because the emotions displayed were so raw both for the determination of killing Lucifer and most especially for the incredible casualties that the mission exacted.

All the performances were solid and completely heartbreaking. Everyone brought their A-game to the table and it showed. It was nice to see Ellen and Jo back if only to lose them in a heroic hail of salt, iron nails and propane, sending the hellhounds back "home" with their sacrifice. Both Samantha Ferris and Alona Tal just brought the pathos with everything they had and I LOVED how they played the mother-daughter bond with such believability that it made perfect sense for Ellen to not leave her daughter alone to die, that she would end up pushing the button for the cause. As an agonizingly tragic last act, it was beautiful.

Jensen played Dean's vulnerability and command-worthy stalwartness to the penultimate here!! He played each moment with the realism that made you totally feel Dean's every emotional and gut wrenching decision. My favorite scene (no, it's not the kiss, but I liked that too, poignant as all get out!) was when he contacted Bobby to give him the sitch (nothing good and all bad) and could barely hold it together when he told Bobby it didn't look good for Jo. You can feel Jensen pinching his eyes tight, trying to stop his tears, but you can also feel his caring helplessness at coming to the truth that Jo wasn't going to make it. Gotta love how Bobby, feeling the helplessness as well, maybe more so for not being able to be there for them, keeps Dean on point as hard as it is for both of them to do. You also can't help, but wonder if maybe deep down Dean feels a little guilt because she got hurt trying to save him (my friend Tiffany had an interesting theory about that which I'll cover in a minute). Though he's finally beyond carrying the burden of the loss on his own, coming to terms with the fact that war has casualties and that taking every loss personally isn't going to help anyone, you can't help, but wonder if he feels the loss just that much more keenly because of that and because of who it is.

I love the conclusion Bobby comes to, doing the research as only he can, that Lucifer is going to try to give rise to Death, the next Horseman, the Pale Rider, himself. Just that realization alone sends cold shivers down the spine. How the ritual is done is even more shocking and yet the details just adds to the despair. It all gels as Bobby relates it, why the reapers are gathering, why Lucifer is in Carthage, the Battle of Hell Hole, on the land of William Jasper's farm, it's all bad news and getting worse by the minute.

My next favorite scene is between Lucifer and Castiel. Mark Pellegrino and Misha Collins played their roles with stellar perfection! You can feel the tension, strangely, just like two brothers at odds with their beliefs and with their goals. Castiel was just as stalwart in his determination to stop his brother and Lucifer was as tauntingly sarcastic as well. Mark Pellegrino just nails the eerily calm demeanor perfectly throughout. I think it works because it's so unsettling. It gives off a sense of confidence that shakes you to your core. It would be easy to make him angry, belligerent, vengeful for all that he feels has been done to him, but that would make him easier to hate and vilify or feel like "oh, get over it already". I think it was a clever idea to make you wonder, to make you almost feel sorry for Lucifer because he presents his case so calmly, almost reasonably. I love how their first scene starts out benign, talking about Castiel traveling in a car and Lucifer calling him a "peculiar thing". I love that Castiel proclaims,

"You are not taking Sam Winchester. I won't let you."

There's this lovely sense of loyalty, which even Lucifer points out, that makes you cheer because you can see the extent of Castiel's commitment to the Winchesters. Still, I love how Lucifer tries to make Castiel see the cost of this rebellion,

"I rebelled, I was cast out. You rebelled, you were cast out. Almost all of heaven wants to see me dead and if they succeed, guess what? You're their new public enemy number one. We're on the same side, like it or not so why not just serve your own best interests, which in this case, just happen to be mine."

Then Castiel says,

"I'll die first."

And we all cheer, but Lucifer has the chilling last word,

"I suppose you will."

Now, I know I'll stir a bit of controversy for saying this because some people didn't like the scene, but I liked Crowley. I'm not sure if he's to be trusted, but being a demon, that seemed almost expected and in this case, irrelevant. You can speculate that he was set up by Lucifer to give the boys the Colt, that all of it was planned and calculated by Lucifer so that the boys could get and use the Colt only to learn it's useless against him or you can take Crowley on face value, that his theory seems logical and sound and given the selfish nature of demons, it's not all together surprising that he would want to protect his own interests. The fact that it started the way it did somehow lulls you, at first, into believing that maybe the Colt might be their way out...Of course, none of us believed that because just by episode logistics alone, there was no way they were going to succeed in killing Lucifer, still, I thought it was a great intro.

My other favorite moment from the beginning was at Bobby's house. I loved Castiel drinking those shots and the picture that Bobby wanted to take of everyone:

"Anyway, I'm gonna need something to remember your sorry asses by."

Then Castiel's sobering words, even though you can't help, but wonder just how sober he was when he said them, which pretty much leaves everyone speechless:

"Bobby's right. Tomorrow we hunt the devil. This is our last night on Earth."

Nothing grimmer than that very matter-of-fact statement of truth. I loved that picture and a friend and fellow fan Tamara was kind enough to send me that pic. Thanks to her, I have that moment immortalized. I thank her from the bottom of my DeanGirl heart.

Sidenote: I LOVED that the background music to that scene was Oye Como Va by Santana. A particular favorite of mine from my youth. Once again, the music sets the mood perfectly.

The scene with Meg was good and played the transition to being trapped like rats effectively. Still not convinced of Rachel Miner though. I really miss Nicki Aycox. Still, I love how Castiel uses her arrogance against her as he uses her as a bridge to cross the flaming oil later. When the hellhounds attacked, it was tense and when Jo got hurt, you knew it was over for her in a second, especially after seeing her wound. My friend Tiffany thought that Dean didn't seem all that afraid, at least not for himself and you can see that when he discovers they are there, a look crosses his face (again, this deserves another "How does Jensen do that?") like, "Oh, crap" more than fear. He's worried for the others, but not necessarily for himself. Jo's heroism as well as her acceptance of her fate proves to us all that she's earned her hunter's credentials and has grown up. It's she who makes everyone see, especially her mother, that there is only one way out and that she can provide it as her last act to give them time to get away. I really enjoyed how they all created the bombs as they set their booby trap. In a way, it reminded me of the old show The A-Team. It wasn't as light hearted as that show does it, but the sequence had all the marks of an organized effort to get the plan in play. It was teamwork coalesced into a single motivation.

Okay, the scene when Dean kisses Jo was as beautiful as it was bittersweet. Chaste yet filled with unfulfilled potential. Alona Tal did a great job of showing a matured Jo from when we last saw her with Dean. She didn't fall for Dean's charms, preferring to keep her self-respect and yet you know that if the circumstances had been different, she would have liked to have had a second chance with Dean as the all grown up Jo that she has become. All this made her death that much more solemn and the sacrifice that much more keenly felt. I loved that Dean gave her that kiss and I loved their last words to each other:

"See you on the other side. Probably sooner than later."

"Make it later."

It was the right lift among the sadness. And this DeanGirl had a moment of envy and jealousy like you wouldn't believe. HEE!!! Can you blame me? A last kiss from Dean Winchester? If you have to go, not a bad way to do it in my book. Ahem, okay, DeanGirl moment over.

Like always, the ending just MESMERIZED!! Despite knowing that they weren't going to be successful, what happened at the end was just FREAKIN' AMAZING!! Once again, Mark Pellegrino gets TOTAL KUDOS for maintaining a steely, really scary cool throughout. His tone belies his actions as he buries the women and children of the town whom he has just killed to bring on Death. It's completely mind blowing how confusing the moment is. I LOVED that it was Sam and Lucifer who had the last conversation together. Like I said, even knowing that Lucifer wouldn't be killed, when he gets up after Dean shoots him point blank with the Colt, after what seemed like a long, uncertain silence, it's like the most eeriest resurrection EVER! I was just as aghast and dumbstruck as the boys were. It was THAT stunning a moment for me. When he then reveals that he is one of five things that the Colt can't kill, you feel your own spirit deflate with the knowledge.

Then it's just Sam and Lucifer and when Lucifer taunts Sam about how he will become his vessel in Detroit within 6 months, all of Sam's defiance feels useless, in fact, Lucifer uses Sam's rage against him,

"That's good, Sam. You keep fanning that fire in your belly. All that pent up rage, I'm gonna need it."

And what's irritating is that Lucifer is smiling all the while. Like I said, a confidence that scares the crap out of you.

It's when Lucifer, like Gabriel, points out to Sam that it's Sam's destiny to be his vessel, you can't help, but feel it's all true. You see the tears in Sam's eyes and your heart breaks with him.

"You, of all people, should understand."

"And what's that supposed to mean?"

"I was a son, a brother, like you, a younger brother and I had an older brother who 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. Tell me something, Sam, any of this sound familiar?"

It's here that you can almost hear the resentment, the vengefulness that he usually hides well with his measured tone of voice. And as Sam listens, you can't help, but see how painful the words are to hear, that Lucifer succeeds in telling his story to match Sam's journey, making them parallel and maybe by doing that, letting Sam see that their fates will be as one entity, brought together by similar emotions and actions. Again, Mark Pellegrino does this effortlessly and Jared plays the pain of realization to excruciating effect. When Lucifer sacrifices the remaining townspeople, now inhabited with demons, then says,

"What? They're just demons."

you realize that Crowley was right. Lucifer cares just as little about demons as he does about humans and is just using them as a means to an end. Castiel even affirms that with Meg before he uses her as a bridge. I cheered when he did. It's nice to see Cas taunt a little. I also LOVED that he rescues Sam and Dean just as the ritual begins. Angel teleportation is SO COOL!

As it ends with Bobby, Sam and Dean burning the picture in the fire place, you can't help, but feel the grim, dark, dismal, and pretty much hopeless outlook for the future of our boys and their friends. Talk about leaving no room for even a sliver of hope or in another way seeing only one hope left to them and that being unthinkable choices for both of our brothers. Using Dante's words from his Divine Comedy was a good choice and having studied it at length in an English class lo so many years ago, it was the perfect capper for the show to begin its holiday hiatus.

As I said, it seems odd to enjoy and love an episode so filled with demoralization, but I did and as much for the dark and sad events that took place in it as I did for the totally not-easy route they are taking our boys. I think it's a credit to the Supernatural writers for not painting a rosy picture of the future, that yes, we all believe that in the final analysis, Lucifer will be beaten back and that good will prevail, but not without hard choices being made, not without paying for making wrong decisions, taking responsibility for one's actions, not without human casualties. Victory is always portrayed as simply as just being good, acting good, doing the right things, but as humans we are all bound by flaws and frailties and the ability to make our own choices, our beloved free will governed by those flaws and frailties. It's what makes us who we are and some might say, it's those qualities that God saw as beautiful about us. I think that the second half of the season will be awesome and mind blowing and I can't wait to see what comes next.

Hope, oh, you bet it's there, but we're going to need one mighty bright flashlight to find it right now.

See you back here next year (gosh, that hurts just saying it) and thanks for reading as always!

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Both Samantha Ferris and Alona Tal just brought the pathos with everything they had and I LOVED how they played the mother-daughter bond with such believability that it made perfect sense for Ellen to not leave her daughter alone to die, that she would end up pushing the button for the cause. As an agonizingly tragic last act, it was beautiful.

I totally agree! They did an excellent job with those scenes.

Mark Pellegrino and Misha Collins played their roles with stellar perfection!

They really did! That was a great scene too~ So eerie...

Then it's just Sam and Lucifer and when Lucifer taunts Sam about how he will become his vessel in Detroit within 6 months, all of Sam's defiance feels useless, in fact, Lucifer uses Sam's rage against him.

Lol, when he said that, my first thought, was "Sam, stay away from Detroit!" Unless trying to do that is what will get him there... *looks worried*

Awesome blog as always!!! :D

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