After several weeks of episodes that were heavy on the humor, Supernatural turns dark. Very dark. In one of the bleakest episodes of the series, the hunters reunite to track down the Colt, face down Lucifer and attempt to stop him from resurrecting He Who Rides a Pale Horse, losing two members of the team in the process.
The episode starts off with Dean and Sam tracking the Colt, now in the possession of a demon named Crowley. (A nice little play on Aleister Crowley, since Aleister was the oh-so-charmingly polite British demon who tortured Dean in Hell for three centuries, and this guy was the supposed chum of Bella, the irritating British chick.) Unable to get close to Crowley, the Winchesters concoct a plan to infiltrate his mansion. They recruit Jo, Ellen’s daughter, to stand around in a short skirt and pretend her car broke down. After Crowley’s demon goons try to make a move on her, Jo ices all of them and gains Sam and Dean access to Crowley’s mansion. Interrupting Crowley’s “me time” (which consists of (watching footage of Nazis goose stepping to Motown music), the Winchester boys have a surprisingly easy time getting the Colt.
Crowley himself had been dropping hints all over town to get the Winchesters to come to him to claim their occult peacemaker. He wants them to cap Lucifer with the Colt, explaining that essentially, they are on the same side. Crowley believes that once humans are eradicated, Lucifer will then turn his attentions to the demons he created as his own army to take out the humans. Rather than sit around and wait to be destroyed, Crowley wants to strike first and have the Winchesters take out Lucifer.
After doing a smidge of research back at Bobby’s place and having a Hunter’s Reunion with Sam, Dean, Castiel, Bobby, Jo, and Ellen in attendance, the gang finds out that they will likely find Lucifer in Carthage. Not Roman Empire, Hannibal-and-his-elephants Carthage, but rather Carthage, MO – the scene of one of the bloodiest battles in United States history during the Civil War. There, Lucifer is trying to resurrect Death himself, who was laid to rest in the ground of the town. Before scampering off towards certain doom, Dean makes a play and flirts with that sassy lassie, Jo, who turns him down cold. Undaunted, Dean laughs it off and has a beer before Bobby takes a group photo to remember the gang all together before some of them (inevitably) die.
The Brothers Winchester, Castiel, and Mama and Daughter Harvelle head off to Carthage to find a ghost town. Not just any ghost town, but a ghost town packed with Reapers and Hell Hounds… oh, my! Even worse, they encounter Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ daughter, Meg. After Castiel separates from the pack to do some digging on what’s going on, he finds himself trapped in holy fire by Lucifer, whose human vessel is deteriorating rapidly and he’s desperately seeking Sammy. While Lucifer goes off to dig up Death, Meg babysits Castiel, blabbering about every phase of the plan. Castiel manages to knock Meg into the circle of Holy Fire with him and then pimp-smacks her to the ground, using her as a bridge to walk out unscathed.
He doesn’t quite arrive in time, however, to help the Winchester boys and Harvelle women. The Colt takes out several reapers and hellhounds, Dean decides to take one for the team and leaves himself to the mercy of an invisible Hell Hound (which is familiar territory for Dean). Jo rushes in to save the day and gets seriously mauled by a Hell Hound herself. Dean scoops her up and the foursome seek refuge in a hardware store to treat Jo’s wounds and regroup. Jo, on death’s door thanks to being nearly eviscerated by the hellhounds, offers to stay behind and detonate a homemade iron nail and salt bomb to allow her mother and the Winchesters to escape and take out Lucifer. Dean kisses Jo goodbye and Ellen offers to stay behind with her little girl to detonate the bomb, buying Dean and Sam enough time to escape. Jo dies in Ellen’s arms and a teary-eyed Ellen blows up the hardware store along with herself, Jo’s body and a whole mess of reapers and hellhounds. Women don’t seem to do too well around Winchesters. Seriously.
Sam and Dean take off to Carthage where Lucifer has been hard at work digging a mass grave for the town’s residents. The men had offered themselves as a sacrifice and the women and children met their demise first, already stacked several high in the massive crater Lucifer has dug. Sam takes a shot at Lucifer and the Colt temporarily air conditions Lucifer’s brain for about ten seconds or so before he springs back and the wound heals itself. (Although it wasn’t directly explained, the Colt probably could not kill Lucifer because he’s an angel – albeit a fallen one – and not a demon.) Sam and Dean are temporarily incapacitated as Lucifer launches into a chant that zaps the rest of the town’s menfolk dead and resurrects Death (who we don’t get a glimpse at, and likely won’t until January 21, 2010). Everyone’s screwed.
Castiel pops by and whisks Sam and Dean back to Bobby’s hunter headquarters where they brief him on everything that’s happened and they mourn Jo and Ellen by burning the photograph of the old hunting gang. It don’t get much more depressing than that. This time around, Supernatural’s take on the Apocalypse is perhaps the bleakest yet, making Buffy the Vampire Slayer look like an episode of Seinfeld by comparison.
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