I don’t think we’ve seen an episode like “Abandon All Hope” in quite a long time: Just completely devastating and dark from start to finish. And what a perfect title, as hope certainly seems as if it is dwindling as friends are lost, the Angel of Death returns to Earth, an entire town is wiped off the face of the planet and Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) promising that Sam (Jared Padalecki) will accept his offer to be his vessel in six months. It is a lot to digest given what we just saw but let’s try to break it down:
1) The deaths of Jo (Alona Tal) and Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris). Didn’t see this one coming. Long fan favorites and oft-regulars on the show, Jo and Ellen have been one of the staples of SUPERNATURAL. Not anymore. After the Winchester Brothers acquire what they believe will be a weapon to kill Lucifer by the demon Crowley (played by the great character actor Mark Sheppard), they travel to a town where they believe him to be. Upon arriving, Meg (Rachel Miner) unleashes hellhounds on them and Jo is eviscerated by one, bleeding out everywhere. In order to give time to the Winchester Brothers in order to kill Lucifer, Jo and Ellen will lure the beasts in and ignite a series of propane tanks killing them, and unfortunately, themselves. It was a sad moment and one that it turned out was completely unnecessary as the gun that Dean (Jensen Ackles) acquired while it hurt Lucifer, didn’t take him out.
2) The death of the town. Completely brutal. As the Harvelles and Winchesters entered the town they wondered where the townsfolk were as it appeared they had abandoned the place. But the sad truth we learn later as we see Lucifer shoveling dirt that had actually used them in order to bring about the rise of the Angel of Death. He had to first kill as he put it “the women and children first” and then use the men to recite some chant that was some ritual sacrifice.
3) Lucifer. Well if you didn’t think he was as bad as they had been portraying him up until this point, your mind as probably been changed after this episode. Sure, in some ways, Lucifer’s ideas and opinions about human kind and God and angels made a semblance of sense – on paper (and TV). But in reality, as we saw in “Abandon All Hope” he is as evil as we thought and doesn’t even blink an eye. The even scarier thing for Sam is that Lucifer tells him that he thinks Sam will accept his offer to become his true vessel and he’ll do it in six months in Detroit. He knows already and he knows the location? That’s crazy. How do you escape a fate that this super-powerful creature already believes is going to happen?
4) Angel of Death. We’ve already seen what Pestilence can do (turning the Harvelles’ town against each other and killing numerous townsfolk along the way), but what can Death, who appears to be much more powerful and deadly going to do? They barely escaped and saved the town from Pestilence, how can they even hope to defeat someone that in order to just be brought to Earth an entire town had to be wiped out? And what awaits the brothers when Famine and War arrive? “Abandon All Hope” indeed.
5) Angels and demons. They are certainly acquiring a number of both angels and demons on the show that will probably end up playing a role in how they might go about defeating Lucifer and his minions. We were introduced to Crowley tonight. We have already met the Angel Gabriel/Trickster and the kid with the super powers. Methinks that eventually we will see them all come together as a Justice League of supernatural beings in order to take the big, bad man down.
6) No SUPERNATURAL until 2010. While this was a great episode even for as dark as it was, I can’t believe we have to wait a month and a half for the show to return. It is almost not fair after this episode as we are left wanting so much more.