Just; wow. I had not watched this one in awhile and it was one of those episodes that felt like it was 90 minutes long in the best way. So much was crammed into this one! Sometimes there are a ton of characters and they ALL have great lines and a purpose.
It starts with meeting Crowley for the first time. I love the way he is introduced. Combating homophobia in a demon deal! I just love him.
Many times in this episode, I LOVED the jump cutting of the supernatural beings (Cas, Crowley, Reapers) appearing and disappearing a flash. The difference between the human-seen world and the supernatural being world was GREAT and just made me feel like so much more was (is?) going on that meets the eye. Cas appearing and disappearing to move around the town of Carthage was especially good.
We have the “last night on earth” photo at Bobby’s. Cas doing shots. Dean getting shot down trying to convince Jo that her last night on earth should include a roll in the hay with him and she chooses “self respect” instead. I have to think that Dean fell in love with her a bit more for REJECTING him that night!
We get a lot of time with Lucifer and Mark Pelligrino is AMAZING. I always liked the way they decided to make Lucifer somewhat sympathetic. Very persuasive and sometimes “nice” – but then the callous way he disposes of people and demons shows you he really isn’t very empathetic at all.
I loved the scene of Dean shooting Lucifer in the head with the barrel entering the frame from the side while Lucifer is talking to Sam.
It’s unnerving that Lucifer is not bothered at all by Cas zapping Sam and Dean to safety in the end – it’s like he is just certain that he’ll get to inhabit Sam at some point so waiting isn’t a problem.
I really liked Bobby talking to a falling-apart Dean via CB radio. That whole exchange was great.
I enjoyed finding out more about Lucifer as he talked to trapped-in-holy-fire Cas.
The invisible hellhounds are always so scary.
But this episode belonged to Sam Ferris and Alona Tal. I’ve been rewatching since the SPN finale and this episode; specifically the two of them, this was the first time since I started the rewatch that I had tears in my eyes. Watching Jo make the practical decision and Ellen decide to go down with her daughter. It was so sad and so beautiful and so brave. I loved Ellen’s satisfaction at being able to blow up the hellhounds even though her daughter just died in her arms. The little blow of her hair with the breath of the hellhound next to her was PERFECT! As was her smug smile knowing that she was about to take them all out in one giant fireball.
Dean kissing Jo goodbye was incredibly touching, but it was Ellen and Jo that just destroyed those roles and were, arguably, the bravest characters we’ve seen up to this point (including Sam and Dean, to this point).
Also, what a great evolution of Jo from “kid sister/hunter wannabe” to the bravest one in the room – the one thinking most like a practical, strategic hunter; how to save the most people with the fewest casualties.
Couldn’t agree with ALL you said more! So I won’t repeat any of it. What a masterful episode!!
A few additional thoughts:
I loved Crowley’s introduction. His snark, his confidence, his style, his pad. And they couldn’t have chosen better than Mark S.!!
Love that Crowley is watching horrible things like Hitler for entertainment!
Jo looked HOT in that little black number and played the damsel in distress perfectly before she totally kicks ass!
Crowley’s way to give Sam and Dean JUST enough info to be useful tools, but not enough to hurst him is so fun to watch.
And I love watching how even Dean’s legendary lack of reverence at strong supernatural beings fails him here just a little bit when meeting Crowley. HA!
LOVE LOVE LOVE the scenes at Bobby’s house!!! And our recreation of that final photo is sitting on my night stand and gives me so much joy every day!!! Making it AND seeing it! Thank you for all involved!
And I have a TON of respect for the writers that they NEVER made Dean and Jo into anything more than a fun flirt and a crash and burn for Dean. Amazing how Jo teases Dean and THEN shoots him down! All that made the final kiss THAT much more emotionally valid and important!
GREAT pan shot from behind Cas making an empty street into a Reaper filled one.
Mark P.’s early portrayal of Lucifer’s utter contempt for human kind is chilling.
There are SO MANY important players in this episode it’s astounding.
I remember being SHOCKED that Ellen and Jo both died in this episode. They had so much more story in them. Yes, their deads made a deep impact on Sam and Dean, but I still think that killing them wasn’t necessary to drive the story forward. What a sad waste, as amazingly touching and impactful as those scenes were. It really felt like mother/daughter energy for me. It is so HARD to watch!
GREAT make up on Jo, making her all grey and looking like she lost a lot of blood.
Dean reaching out to Bobby and his relief at hearing his voice and looking for reassurance is a GREAT scene. All of the characters seem so incredibly real in these scenes.
There is NOTHING more scary than seeing your one and only chance fail. And you can see that on the guys’ faces. Especially after what they just lost. That was a shocker.
I also LOVE that after the initial shock wears off – or at least Sam believes he is not in immediate danger – he goes straight back into research mode and asks Lucifer some questions. That is brave, too.
Pretty ruthless of Cas to use Meg as a bridge over the Holy Fire. HA!
Bobby shouldn’t have burned the photo at the end, but I get that it stood in for a hunter’s funeral they weren’t able to have for Jo and Ellen! And I love that no words were spoken in the last scene!