Abandon All Hope... is the 10th episode of Season 5. It aired on November 19th, 2009.
A limo parks underneath a spaghetti junction of freeway crossroads. A mature, portly man climbs out and buries a tin box in the gravel and dirt. A man dressed in black suddenly appears behind him. “Mr. Pendleton, I presume,” he says, and introduces himself as Crowley. Mr. Pendleton quickly establishes that he was previously negotiating with a very attractive young lady, a fact very important to him because the lady said their deal needed to be sealed with a kiss. That’s right, Crowley says, but since he’s such a big fish, he gets the honor of sealing the deal with him personally. Crowley draws near as Pendleton stutters refusals. Crowley says, fine; he can cling to his homophobia and forego the complete bailout he needs to remedy his bank's “ridiculous incompetence.” Mr. Pendleton writhes as Crowley counts down his fading opportunity comply. He finally gives in, and they connect.
Castiel has been stealthily watching the deal go down from nearby and reports to Dean via cellphone that he’s “got him.” The Winchesters have learned, thanks to Becky and her encyclopedic knowledge of the Supernatural books, that Crowley may be in possession of the Colt (revealed at the end of "The Real Ghostbusters"). Castiel continues to follow him, but is prevented from entering his compound because it’s protected by Enochian warding magic. Dean thanks him for the intel and tells him that they will take it from there.
It’s evening at Crowley’s compound and seductively clad Jo approaches the entrance gate and requests help for her disabled car on the intercom. Two henchmen types respond, and one of them is immediately brash toward her. When she pretends to have second thoughts about needing their help and turns to go, his eyes turn black as he grabs her and snarls at her to get inside. She snaps his grabby arm and flattens him, and Sam appears and takes care of him and the second guy with the knife. Dean arrives and they set to move inside.
Crowley is inside the mansion having a drink and watching Nazi propaganda reels when the electricity goes out. He flashes a knowing smile and rises to find Sam and Dean in the house, weapons ready. He greets them as “The Hardy Boys” and tells them it took them long enough to find him. He starts toward them, but suddenly stops and finds that they’ve managed to paint a devil’s trap on the underside of the rug in his path. They become visibly nervous, and Crowley voices annoyance that they’ve ruined his expensive rug. Suddenly, two henchmen appear and restrain Sam and Dean from behind. Crowley produces the Colt and points it directly at Dean, but then adjusts his aim and shoots the demon that’s restraining Dean right between the eyes, then does the same to the one holding Sam. He then tells the stunned Winchesters that he needs to talk with them, privately.
Crowley tells them that he could have buried the Colt and no one, including them, would have been the wiser. But, he claims he told them where to find it, by way of planting rumors, because he wants them to empty it into Lucifer’s face. Sam and Dean don’t understand why he would want the Devil dead. Deeming them "functioning morons," he reminds them that Lucifer is an angel, not a demon, who in addition to his well publicized hatred for humankind, regards demons as mere servants and "cannon fodder." Crowley believes that once Lucifer exterminates humans, demons will be next. So, it’s about survival and getting back to a world where he can do what he’s best at, which is "sales." He extends the Colt to Sam to take, which he does very tentatively. Sam then asks if he happens to know where the Devil is, to which Crowley answers Carthage, Missouri. Sam looks at Dean for a nod and then points the Colt at Crowley’s forehead and pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. They appear to brace for some form of retaliation, but Crowley just sits motionless for a beat and then calmly gets up as though that had just reminded him that he needed to get them ammunition. Dean takes the opportunity to ask about the wisdom of Crowley’s plan in the event that they lose against the Devil. He replies that he’s going to make himself very scarce, assured that Lucifer will wipe them all out anyway. Finally, he suggests "how about you don’t miss...okay, morons?!"
Back at Bobby's place, Castiel and and Ellen are in the kitchen engaged in a drinking competition as Jo looks on, and Sam and Dean are in the living room discussing their encounter with Crowley. Sam figures it has to be a trap. Dean smiles and expresses his approval that Sam is finally having trust issues with a demon, and they share a light-hearted toast. Dean’s not sure that it is a trap, though, because his research has found Revelation omens all about Carthage. Plus, six people have gone missing from there within the past week. So, he thinks that even if it is a trap they still have to go for it because it looks like Lucifer might be there. Sam concurs, but Dean goes on to say that Sam can’t go; the risk is too big that something could go terribly wrong for them. He reasons that if it’s just Dean and Lucifer crushes him and wins this battle, they’ve only lost a game piece. But if Sam is there, Lucifer ends up with his vessel, hand-delivered. Sam shuts him down immediately, pointing out that they should have learned by now that if they are going to do this, they’re going to do it together. Dean says okay, but ends the discussion reiterating that "it’s a stupid friggin’ idea" for Sam to go. He looks past Sam and fixes his eyes upon Jo, who’s standing in the kitchen, not facing him. “Boy, talk about stupid ideas,” says Sam.
Dean goes into the kitchen and attempts to use his "last-night-on-earth speech" on Jo. Though she calls him on it, she doesn’t completely shut him down. They almost kiss, but then she stops and laughingly declares that if it is their last night on earth, she’s going to spend it with her self-respect intact. Bobby calls everyone in so that he can shoot a group photo. Everyone grumbles a little but he insists, as he’s "gonna need something to remember your sorry asses by." Castiel echoes Bobby’s sentiment: Tomorrow, they hunt the Devil; this is their last night on earth.
When the team arrives in Carthage, it appears to be empty and no one can get cellphone service. Dean and Sam go off to make contact with law enforcement and leave the Castiel and the Harvelles to look for townspeople. Castiel gets out of the car and declares that the town is not empty; he sees reapers everywhere, standing motionlessly. He tells Ellen and Jo that reapers only gather like this at times of great catastrophe on the scale of the Chicago Fire, the San Francisco Quake, and Pompeii. He leaves to find out why they've come. He follows the only reaper that seems to be moving and ends up being captured by Lucifer.
Lucifer has Castiel entrapped within a circle of holy fire. Castiel immediately recognizes that there is something wrong with Lucifer’s vessel. Lucifer admits that “Nick is wearing a bit thin,” and that his body can’t contain him forever. Castiel tells him firmly, “You are not taking Sam Winchester. I won’t let you.” Lucifer acknowledges his loyalty but expresses frustration that Castiel, of all angels, is fighting against him. Since they were both cast out of heaven for rebelling, he figures that puts them on the same side. If heaven succeeds in killing him, Castiel is next on the list. Castiel says he will die before he helps Lucifer further his interests. “I suppose you will,” Lucifer replies.
The Winchesters and the Harvelles meet up again, neither pair having found any citizens in the town. Dean asks after Castiel and is told that he went to investigate the influx of reapers. He laments that they’ve only been in town for twenty minutes and have already lost their angel advantage. Demon Meg suddenly appears. She has hellhounds in tow and mockingly tells them that they shouldn’t have come. She says “her father” wants to see them now, so they can come the easy way or make it really, really hard. They all agree on defiance, then Dean shoots a hellhound he detects near her feet and they all and turn and make a run for it as Meg laughs. When Dean gets knocked off his feet by a hellhound, Jo sees him fall and turns back, firing. Dean yells at her to stay back but she keeps firing, getting the hellhound away from Dean and finally killing it. A second later, she is knocked onto her back, and her left side is shredded to ribbons by invisible claws. Dean scoops her up and they all manage to take shelter in a hardware store.
In the hardware store, Sam and Dean frantically secure the doors with chains and line all the entrances with road salt while Ellen tries to help Jo, who’s bleeding profusely. Dean manages to raise Bobby on a CB radio and tries to stay composed as he tells him about Jo’s condition and the dire state of things. When told about the hoard of reapers, Bobby surmises that Satan’s there to work a ritual that will unleash Death, as in the Horseman. The reapers are in town waiting for their boss to appear. Bobby has also been doing research on Carthage since they left and their discussion has just brought some facts into alignment for him. The ritual that he uncovered dicates that the angel of Death must be brought into this world at a place were awful carnage has taken place, and it must happen at midnight. One such place in Carthage happens to be William Jasper's Farm where a brutal battle soldiers named the Battle of Hellhole was fought during the Civil War.
In the place where Castiel is being held, Meg enters and reports to Lucifer that she’s got the Winchesters cornered and asks what she should do with them. She starts to protest when he instructs her to leave them alone. He quiets her and assures her that “everything happens for a reason.” He turns to Castiel and offers him a last chance to change his mind and follow him. Castiel, who has been studying the pipe layout overhead while Lucifer and Meg were focused on each other, just throws him an icy look in response.
At the hardware store, Jo overhears Dean and Sam trying to make plans to get her and Ellen past the hellhounds and out of town, and then somehow make it back to Jasper’s farm by midnight to use the Colt on the Devil. She interrupts them, and implores them all to be realistic. She can’t even move her legs anymore, and she can’t be moved because her guts are being held in by an ace bandage. She makes it clear that she is not going anywhere. Ellen tells her to stop talking like that, but Jo tries to make her get that she can’t even walk, much less fight. But, she can do something important, and they have everything they need to get it done. She lists the things they’ll need to gather in the store to build a bomb. Ellen protests and starts to weep, and Dean tells her no. She shuts him down by asking if he has any other plan. These hellhounds have all their scents down now, so they will stay on their trails forever. The only way is to “rip those mutts a new one” by leaving her there to lure them close, with her finger on the detonator. It will at least buy the rest of them a few minutes head start. Ellen looks at Dean as if to get him to talk Jo out of it, Jo tells her that this might literally be her last chance to treat her like an adult. Ellen then struggles to stifle her tears, and tells the boys to get to work.
After Sam and Dean have tearful goodbyes with Jo, Ellen kneels beside her and calmly smiles. Jo starts to cry and says, “Mom, no!” Ellen says someone has to open the door to let the hounds in because Jo can’t move. This is important, and she will not leave her there alone. Dean and Sam start to protest, but Ellen tells them twice to get going. As they turn to go, Ellen tells them “Kick it in the ass. Don't miss.” When the boys have made it out of the building, she clears the chains and salt from the door and sits and wraps her arm around Jo. She looks down at Jo and discovers that she’s already gone. She sobs, but then hears the hellhounds burst in, braces and clutches Jo’s hand and the detonator. When she feels the hellhound’s breath on her face, she snarls “You can go straight back to hell, you ugly bitch!” and detonates. Having just barely cleared the blast zone, the boys turn and witness the inferno.
Sam and Dean arrive at the farm and spy Lucifer at the head of a crowd of motionless townspeople, shoveling into a hole. They pause to get ready and get set, somewhat awkwardly foregoing “last words.” Sam moves toward Lucifer with shotgun in hand and yells “You wanted to see me?” Lucifer casually tells him that he doesn’t need the gun, as he would never really hurt him. Dean appears from Lucifer’s blind side and aims the Colt at his forehead. “Yeah? Well, I'd hurt you,” Dean snarls. “So, suck it!” and pulls the trigger. Lucifer falls and the boys look at each other in silence, not quite sure what to do next. Then, Lucifer gasps deeply and whines ”oowww!” Sam and Dean are mortified. He gets up and points at the Colt and asks Dean “Where did you get that?!” Before Dean can respond, he smacks him across the field and into a tree, knocking him out. He tells Sam not to feel too bad; there are only five beings in Creation that the Colt can't kill, and he happens to be one of them. The bullet wound/devil’s trap in his forehead fades away.
Lucifer goes back to shoveling as Sam hurries over to Dean and checks his pulse. Lucifer leans on his shovel for second and asks Sam if it’s too crazy to hope that he would just say ‘yes’ right now. Sam shouts that it will never happen. Lucifer taunts him by saying he thinks it will happen, within six months, in Detroit, and mockingly urges him to conserve his obvious rage so that he can use it for his own purposes later. Growing more frustrated, Sam demands to know exactly what he did to the town. Lucifer reveals that as part of the ritual, every able-bodied man was possessed with a demon, and the rest of the townspeople are in the hole that he’s tending to. He says he knows it’s awful but it’s what he had to do, and Sam of all people should understand. Sam wants to know what he could possibly mean by that. As he did with Castiel, Lucifer begins to draw comparisons between himself and Sam to support why Sam should support him: He, too, had an older brother he idolized, that he begged to stand with and trust him, but instead he turned on him. His brother Michael called him a freak and a monster and beat him down, all because he had a mind of his own. Sam is visibly disturbed by the parallel.
Lucifer excuses himself to continue with the summoning ritual, as it’s almost midnight. Dean comes to and he and Sam watch as Lucifer sacrifices the demons one at a time. Noticing Sam and Dean’s reactions, he unapologetically says "What? They're just demons."Back in the ring of holy fire, Castiel is now concentrating on loosening a bolt from the overhead pipe while Meg floats around, grinning with anticipation of Lucifer’s takeover of heaven. She’s confident that the demons will be going there soon. Castiel says that’s not what he’s heard. Attempting to keep her distracted as he dismantles the pipe, he tells her that a demon named Crowley is sure that Lucifer is just using demons to achieve an end, and that when he succeeds, he'll destroy them all. Meg recoils at Crowley’s name and tells him he’s wrong. Her father and creator walks the earth, as opposed to the deadbeat Castiel calls god. The pipe finally swings free from the wall and shoves Meg through the fire and into Castiel. He attempts to smite her by laying a hand on her forehead, but nothing happens. Meg ridicules his disconnect from heaven, and calls him an “impotent sap.” He responds by pushing her facedown onto the fire and walking out over her.
At the farm, the ground quakes as Lucifer stands with arms outstretched over the mass grave. Behind him, Castiel appears next to Sam and Dean and motions for them to stay quiet. When Lucifer turns and sees that they’ve disappeared, he smiles. He walks forward and in a sing-song voice says ”Oh, hellooo, Death.”
Back at Bobby’s place, the television is blaring news reports of a storm system that is devastating several towns in Paulding County, MO; a staggering loss of life and property is predicted. Sam and Dean stand next to Bobby in front of his fireplace as he stares a long time at the photo he made everyone pose for the night before they went to Carthage, and then he tosses it on the fire. Before the screen fades to black, the camera zooms in on Jo's face as Dean watches it burn.
- Sam Winchester
- Dean Winchester
- Bobby Singer
- Ellen Harvelle
- Jo Harvelle
- Death (unseen)
- Mr. Pendleton (the banker)
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
"Everybody Plays the Fool" by Main Ingredient "Oye Como Va" by Santana
- The Winchesters go after the Colt thanks to Becky's information from the previous episode.
- After acquiring the Colt, the Winchesters attempt to kill Lucifer with it, just as the Future Dean tried to do in The End.
- Lucifer, inhabiting Nick's body, was last seen in Free To Be You and Me.
- Ellen and Jo were last seen in Good God, Y'all.
- Meg was last seen in Sympathy for the Devil.
- Hellhounds were last featured in No Rest For The Wicked.
- The title of this episode is a reference to a passage in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, which depicts the narrator, Dante himself, taking a trip down into the different levels of Hell with the Roman poet Virgil. As Dante passes through the gate of Hell, an inscription is noted on the gate that reads: "Lasciate ogni speranza, o voi ch'entrate" which translates to "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here".
- The scene where Castiel takes 5 shots in a row across from Ellen is a reference to Lord of the Rings, where Legolas in a drinking contest with Gimli, who passes out, only for Legolas to comment "I feel something. A slight tingle in my fingers. I think it's affecting me."
- The shot of Dean checking Jo out before he goes to (unsuccessfully) hit on her mirrors the shot of him checking her out in her debut before he goes to hit on her but decides not to.
- Likewise, the shot of Jo about to kiss Dean in the kitchen is later mirrored (in a much darker tone) when he kisses her as she's dying.
- When Castiel lies about coming alone, Lucifer says he admires his loyalty and loyalty in general. This is ironic considering he's the one who invented betrayal.
- Many viewers express puzzlement as to why Bobby burned the picture at the end of the episode. It's likely due to the Hunters' tradition of cremating their dead; because Ellen and Jo's bodies were destroyed in the explosion, the picture served as proxy.
- Dean replies "You mean, like, as in this dude and taxes are the only sure thing" to Bobby's thoughts that Lucifer wants to unleash Death; this is a reference to a letter written by Benjamin Franklin in 1789, "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." It was first used in the book The Political History of the Devil written by Daniel Defoe in 1726, "Things as certain as Death and Taxes, can be more firmly believ'd."
- In honor of the late Kim Manners, who died of cancer and was a director and producer on the show, during the filming of this episode in the scene where Ellen says her final goodbye to Sam and Dean, Brad, one of the camera men, instructed her to add in the line, "kick it in the ass," which was Kim's catchphrase. The original line was supposed to be, "And Dean, don't miss."
- This is the first appearance of Crowley in the series.
- Castiel being trapped in Holy Oil was a plot device used to prevent him from teleporting Ellen and Jo (or anyone else, for that matter) to safety (or a hospital) before they died.
- Dean makes fun of Castiel's lingo by calling him "Huggy Bear." In the '70s TV series "Starsky & Hutch," Huggy Bear was the street-smart confidential informant often employed by the title characters. In the movie adaptation of the show, the character is played by Snoop Dogg.
- While the photograph of Ellen, Bobby, Jo, Dean, Sam, and Cass is being taken, Bobby moves his leg even though at this point he's supposed to be paralyzed from the waist down.
- When the Winchesters, Harvelles and Cass drive into abandoned Carthage, one of the Missing Persons flyers posted is for "Leslie DeHann". Lesley DeHann was an assistant production coordinator on Supernatural from 2005 - 2010.
- Carthage, Missouri is actually the county seat of Jasper County, not Paulding.
- [Crowley is about to seal the deal with a (male) banker with a kiss]
- Crowley: Your choice. You can cling to six decades of deep-seated homophobia, or give it up and get a complete bailout for your bank's ridiculous incompetence.
- Dean: Oh, uh, excuse me for asking, but aren't you kind of signing your own death warrant? I mean, what happens to you if we go up against the devil and lose?
- Crowley: Number one, he's going to wipe us all out anyway. Two, after you leave here, I go on an extended vacation to all points nowhere. And three, how about you don't miss, okay! MORONS!
- [Jo leans in towards Dean as if to kiss him, then puts a finger to his lips]
- Jo: No. Sweetheart, if this is our last night on earth, then I'm going to spend it with a little thing I call self-respect. (laughs and leaves)
- Dean: ... If you're into that sort of thing.
- Lucifer: Castiel, I'm told you came here in an automobile.
- Castiel: ...Yes.
- Lucifer: (with genuine perplexity) What was that like?
- Castiel: Um... slow... confining.
- Lucifer: What a peculiar thing you are.
- Lucifer: (to Sam) 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?