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5.10 Abandon All Hope ...: Last Words? (Part One - Episode Summary only)

I finally broke LJ with this one: my post was too large for a single entry. Oops! The episode summary is in this part, and the meta commentary runs in Part Two. *sheepish grin*

5.10 Abandon All Hope …: Last Words?

Hunters die to learn

There are things the Colt can’t kill:

Satan raises Death.

Episode Summary

A businessman who had negotiated with a crossroads demon for a bank bailout summoned the demon, but got a male demon in place of the pretty nubile female he expected. Desperate, he sealed the deal with a kiss despite his distaste for kissing a man. Castiel, watching, called Dean on his cell to report having found Crowley, the demon purportedly in possession of the Colt. As the demon vanished, Castiel followed him, but reported the walls around his estate were covered – like the funeral parlor in Death Takes A Holiday – with Enochian warding sigils Castiel, as an angel, couldn’t pass. The brothers headed to meet him.

In a little black dress and with her hair done up, Jo Harvelle arrived at the gate of Crowley’s mansion posing as a damsel in distress whose car broke down. Two guards opened the gate and invited her in, undressing her with their eyes and telling her she didn’t need to make any calls because they were all the help she was ever going to need. Turning to leave, she was stopped by the first guard, whose eyes flashed black as he insisted she stay. She turned unexpectedly and struck him down even as Sam killed the second guard with the demon-killing knife, and then finished the one Jo had dropped. Dean complimented Jo’s moves and handed her his bag, letting her equip herself with wire cutters, and they moved on to the house. Inside, Crowley was watching television when the power went out. Smiling in satisfaction, he headed toward the front, encountering Sam and Dean in the corridor. He teased them for having taken so long to show up. Realizing one of his rugs was rumpled, he stopped before stepping on it and flipped it back to reveal a devil’s trap spray-painted onto the back. He expressed irritation at the vandalism, and then two demon guards grabbed Sam and Dean from behind, holding them as Crowley pulled out the Colt and casually pointed it at Dean – and then shot the demons in quick succession, telling the brothers he wanted to talk to them in private.

Crowley told them he had intentionally leaked rumors of the Colt because he wanted them to use it to shoot Lucifer. Crowley maintained that Lucifer, as an angel, cared nothing for the demons he’d created to be his servants, and said he would destroy the demons as soon as he finished destroying humanity. He offered them a deal to return the world to the way it had been before the apocalypse began: he would give them the Colt, and they would kill the devil. Sam hesitantly accepted the gun he held out, and asked if he happened to know where Lucifer was. Crowley reported Lucifer had an appointment in Carthage, Missouri on Thursday. Sam thanked him, and then pointed the Colt between his eyes and pulled the trigger, only to learn the gun wasn’t loaded. Crowley threw Dean a pouch full of bullets, and disappeared.

At Bobby’s, preparing to go after Lucifer, Ellen Harvelle competed drinking shots with Castiel, who was unaffected by the alcohol but observed he was beginning to feel something. In the next room, Sam observed to Dean that it had to be a trap, and Dean teased him about finally having trust issues with a demon. Dean noted that trap or not, if they had a snowball’s chance of killing Lucifer, they had to take it. Saying the town was lit up with demonic omens and suffering a blight of missing persons, Dean thought the devil was there, but argued Sam couldn’t come along because it would be handing the devil’s vessel right over to him. Sam protested, asking if they hadn’t learned a thing, and said if they were going to do this, they would do it together. Dean reluctantly agreed. Shifting to the kitchen, he tried to persuade Jo to make merry, but she teased him and declined, preferring to retain her self-respect. Bobby summoned them all into his living room where he’d set up his camera for a group shot to remember them by, and Castiel dampened the moment by saying it was their last night on Earth,

Arriving in Carthage the next morning, they found the town apparently deserted and cellphone service cut off. Splitting up, Dean and Sam went to check the police department while Ellen, Jo, and Castiel tried to find anyone. Castiel noted they weren’t alone: the town was full or Reapers, all just standing and waiting as they gathered in times of great catastrophe. He went off alone to try finding out why they were there, and following one Reaper inside a building, found himself transported into a cellar and trapped inside a ring of flaming holy oil, facing Lucifer. Seeing lesions on the face of Lucifer’s vessel, Castiel asked what was wrong, and Lucifer told him Nick couldn’t contain him forever. Castiel proclaimed he wouldn’t let Lucifer take Sam. Lucifer expressed wonder that Castiel was fighting him, since both of them had rebelled and been cast out of Heaven. He asked why Castiel didn’t recognize his own best interest and join him, and Castiel maintained he would die first. Lucifer left him trapped.

Reunited and walking the town, Dean, Sam, Ellen, and Jo encountered Meg. Dean pulled the Colt on her, but she noted she hadn’t come alone; disturbed puddles and the sound of growling betrayed the invisible presence of hellhounds. Meg said her father wanted to see them, and that they could make it easy or hard, but Dean asked when they’d ever made it easy and shot one of the hellhounds, aiming where a puddle was disturbed. The four ran for it, but Dean was pulled down by a hound and Jo, turning back to help him despite his order to keep going, emptied her shotgun to free him and was savaged herself. With Ellen and Sam blasting covering fire in all directions, Dean picked Jo up and ran for the nearby hardware store. Dean and Sam salted and chained the doors and windows while Ellen tended to Jo, but the blood pumping from her ripped side made it obvious she was critically hurt.

Sam observed they were trapped like rats, but Dean emphasized Meg’s comment about her father being there, saying this was their one chance to kill Lucifer and they had to try no matter what. Raiding the store’s stock of equipment and batteries, Dean succeeded in powering up a shortwave radio and punched a call through to Bobby, who was frustrated with his inability to reach the hunters by cellphone. Overwhelmed with grief and fear, Dean started to break, telling Bobby he didn’t think Jo was going to make it, but Bobby pressed him to lead, to say what they would do next. After hearing the report of multiple Reapers being in town, Bobby hazarded that Satan was in town to do a ritual to unleash the Angel of Death, the Fourth Horseman. Bobby said the last time Death had been freed was when Noah was building his ark and the rest of humanity was destroyed. From his research, he reported Death had to be brought into the world at midnight through a place of awful carnage, and said there had been a Civil War battle at Carthage the soldiers had called the Battle of Hellhole, which took place at Jasper’s farm.

Meg reported to Lucifer having the Winchesters pinned down. When she questioned being ordered to leave them alone, Lucifer told her to trust him, saying everything happens for a reason. He told Castiel he had time to change his mind, but Castiel said nothing, instead looking at the pipes running beneath the room’s ceiling.

At the hardware store, Jo stopped the brothers’ attempt to figure out how to get her and Ellen out of town and themselves to the farm before midnight, asking them to be realistic and to get their priorities straight. Pointing out that the hellhounds had all their scents and wouldn’t stop hunting them, and acknowledging that she was going to die anyway, she advocated building propane bombs spiked with salt and iron that she could detonate to take out the hounds after the others escaped through the roof to the building next door. Ellen protested, but Jo insisted this was Ellen’s last chance to treat her as an adult, and Ellen told the brothers to get to work. Hours later, with bombs wired throughout the store, Sam held Jo’s hand as his farewell, yielding his place to Dean bringing her the detonator. He kissed her on the forehead and the lips, and stepped back for Ellen, but Ellen didn’t say goodbye. Pointing out that someone had to open the doors and let the hounds in and Jo couldn’t move, Ellen said she wouldn’t leave Jo alone. The brothers reluctantly accepted her insistence, and Ellen told Dean to kick it in the ass and not to miss. The Winchesters left and Ellen unlocked the doors, brushed aside the salt, opened the stopcocks on the propane tanks, and settled in beside her daughter, telling Jo she would always love her. Jo died in her arms, and then she heard and felt the hellhounds surrounding her, and threw the switch, blowing up the store. The brothers saw the explosion, then ran for the farm.

At the farm, they saw the townsmen standing watching one man filling in a mass grave, and after a moment for last words, moved in. Sam challenged Lucifer, drawing his attention, and when Lucifer said Sam knew he would never hurt him, Dean appeared at Lucifer’s side saying he would hurt Lucifer, and fired the Colt point-blank into Nick’s forehead. Lucifer fell, and for one instant the brothers, bemused, thought they somehow, unbelievably, had won; then Lucifer groaned, got to his feet, gestured toward the Colt, and asked in irritation where they had gotten it. He backhanded Dean across the face, throwing him across the field and into a tree, and Dean dropped, unconscious. Lucifer turned to Sam, the bullet wound in his head vanishing, and told him not to feel bad because there were only five things in all of Creation the Colt couldn’t kill, and he just happened to be one of them. Lucifer turned back to his grave digging, and Sam knelt beside Dean, searching for a pulse.

Lucifer asked if Sam would just say yes right then, ending the whole tiresome discussion, but Sam, furious, said it was never going to happen. Lucifer said he thought it would happen within six months, in Detroit. Sam angrily said he would kill Lucifer himself, and Lucifer encouraged him to stay angry because he would need the power of all that pent-up rage when he moved in. Looking across the motionless townspeople, Sam asked what Lucifer had done to the town, and Satan said he’d brought a demon for every able-bodied man, and every other person in the town was in the mass grave he was filling in. Lucifer observed that the Horsemen were so demanding, but that he had to do this. He told Sam that he of all people should understand, saying he too was a younger brother who begged his older brother to stand with him, but Michael turned on him, called him a freak and a monster, and beat him down. He asked Sam if that sounded familiar, and then turned away to complete his ritual, telling Sam not to go anywhere.

As Lucifer started to chant, Sam knelt again beside Dean, who started to stir. Lucifer had the demons possessing the townfolk profess that they offered up their lives, blood, and souls to complete the tribute. As they finished speaking, each of the demons burned up from within, and their hosts fell. Seeing Sam watching in horror, Lucifer dismissively, distastefully said they were just demons. Meanwhile, Castiel focused on unbolting one of the pipes with the directed power of his mind, talking with Meg to keep her from noticing and to draw her into line with the pipe. Meg was gloating that the demons and Lucifer were going to win and take over Heaven, but Castiel said he’d heard a different theory from a demon named Crowley, saying he believed Lucifer was just using demons to achieve an end, and that once he did, he would destroy them all. Meg said he was wrong, that Lucifer had created them and unlike Castiel’s deadbeat God, walked the Earth – and Castiel pulled the last bolt free, causing the pipe to swing down, strike Meg, and sweep her across the ring of holy fire into his arms. He tried to destroy the demon within the host, but nothing happened. When she taunted him with his impotence, he flung her into the flames and used her body as a bridge to cross the broken ring of holy fire unharmed.

In the field, Lucifer spread his arms over the mass grave as the ground quaked and the Winchesters watched in helpless horror. Castiel appeared, gesturing them to silence, and translocated all three of them away in a flash of light. Lucifer, seeing the light, turned to see them gone, but only smiled; then he strode forward, looked up, and said hello to Death.

Back at Bobby’s place, the television news reported the governor of Missouri having declared a state of emergency, with a storm system having spawned a number of tornadoes in the vicinity of several communities, including Carthage. The announcer said the loss of life and property was expected to be staggering. With that report continuing in the background, the brothers watched as Bobby tossed a print of the photograph he had taken of their group before the fight into the fire. All three of them silently watched the photo burn, the only memorial they could offer to Ellen and Jo.

Apologies for the lengthy delay in getting this one up. My hopes for the new year include less schedule insanity in my real life, to better enable my fantasy one!

I'm finally making my own icons, sometimes. Many thanks to raloria , who cued me into the delights of and who posts the most delightful screencaps to start from!

And ... on to the meta commentary and production notes ...

Tags: ben edlund, castiel, dean winchester, episode commentaries, jared padalecki, jay gruska, jensen ackles, meta, misha collins, phil sgriccia, psychology, sam winchester, supernatural, supernatural university

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