Well look who went and got motivated yesterday.  I had the chance to type up some thoughts and get it out to blogcritics pretty quickly.  It was just published this morning so you can find it here:

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/tv-review-supernatural-abandon-all-hope/

Also, Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune put out her review yesterday.  She calls it the best episode of the season.  You can check it out here:

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2009/11/supernatural-winchesters-cw-abandon-all-hope.html

Comments  

Randal
# Randal 2009-11-21 15:09
I suppose I'll leave my comment here. 8-)

Great review, as always. I loved the Meg as Persian rug gig and staredown with Lucifer. Castiel, in coming to grips with his weakening powers, is starting to learn that most perfectly human trait, pigheadedness.

In so many other mytharc shows, such a middle-season setpiece would be nothing but that, tossing out pieces of information. This one slapped a heaping dose of emotion on top of each peek down the characters' respective avenues.
PetraO
# PetraO 2009-11-21 21:58
There are a hundred thing I could say about this episode, but I'll keep it brief. It's 4 AM on my side of the globe...
Once again they have achieved the perfect balance between funny and dramatic. Seeing Ellen in a drinking contest with Cas, only to watch her grieve over her dead daughter before blowing herself up fifteen minutes later. It's the perfect way to deliver the punch.
Crowley was awesome! They need to bring him back. He's just plain cool.
Dean's sadness and the way he was falling apart when he talked to Bobby on the radio was heartbreaking. The way Bobby was trying to get Dean to focus while he was obviously close to tears himself was just as sad.
What also got me was Sam's rage at Lucifer. He was so furious and helpless at the same time, it was just painful to watch. That whole scene was awesome. Once again a perfect combination of scary, drama and humour.
I wonder what is going to happen in Detroit...

The end of the episode was very well done. I love it when they let the silence and expressions speak for themselves. Sometimes you don't need words to say anything.

Ok, this isn't brief... But you can go on and on about this one! Definitely one of the best episodes ever.
Dany
# Dany 2009-11-22 11:33
Great review Alice!

I still get teary every time I think or read something about this episode, I keep saying it's a tv show but it's not helping! Abandon all hope, I would say it's mission accomplished Mr. Kripke.

I'll be waiting for the recap (maybe some screencaps?) and all the others reviews and articles.

On a side note, I'm a LOTR geek to, I've got the collectors boxes with the extended versions and the "statues" (don't know how you call it), it's those that you have? (or I'm geekier?)
elenaM
# elenaM 2009-11-22 15:04
Thanks for another great review! Lucifer's really twisting the knife around with that "monster, freak" stuff...whateve r it takes, I guess. Poor Sam.

I'mm still a bit of a mess too-- crying again, btw--because I just read Samantha Ferris' blog about shooting the episode, apparently the idea to say "kick it in the ass" as a tribute to Kim came from one of the camera guys...it's on samanthaferris. net
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2009-11-22 17:50
Alice,
thank you for this moving review.
I’m still an emotional mess, this episode did strike so many personal chords of loss in my soul that I had trouble keeping them down, as the episode came in a moment I felt particularly vulnerable. Sometimes that show does that to me.

Again we’ve seen the power of silence – sometimes no words are necessary when you have actors like that, and I mean everyone – Crowley (fantastic Mark Sheppard) watching SS-documentarie s, Lucifer staring down Castiel, the mute adieu of Dean and Jo, Jo looking at her mother and seeing in her face that she will stay by her side, Sam’s pained expression as he holds Jo’s hand… Devastating.

I need to look up the previews you mention, but I, too, have a feeling that things are going to get really bad. Perhaps this is another Star Wars moment – you know, when the Emperor challenged Luke Skywalker to give in to his rage ‘and your journey to the dark side will be complete’. Maybe this is Sam’s journey to the dark side, as in really, really dark…Will his rage catapult him to say yes to Lucifer? In a moment someone he loves will be in danger or wounded (well, this leaves us Dean and Bobby, the others are dead)…Sam might get devilishly angry… Gosh, I have no idea…

They’re cooking up something big, I’m certain. This is going to be a hell of a ride.

And – thanks by the way for pointing out that Lord Of The Rings-moment. I’m just a dork as you are, with the extended versions at home, but when I saw that drinking game scene I was like ‘okay, I’ve seen this before – but where!?’. Thank you, I can sleep now.

I also liked (even though I am a huge fan of the brotherly moments) that there were so many intense interactions between Dean and Jo, Dean and Bobby, a little in the beginning with Sam… Just as you noticed, in those moments, Dean needs Bobby… it makes sense, as his kid-persona pops up when he’s desperate, and he needs fatherly consolation or a loving order to get a grip and concentrate at the things at hand.

Jensen’s performance broke my heart. When talent was distributed, he was sitting in the front row.

I wanted to write something more, but my brain works too slow,so I posted this as a replica of my comment for discussion's sake, in case you wondered.

;-)

Best always, Jas
elle2
# elle2 2009-11-22 18:08
I waited to read this (and anything else) until I wrote mine and sent it off to you, Alice, so now I can read and write to you on yours. We are so alike in our thinking on so many levels that will be reflected when my review gets posted.

I too enjoyed Cas' bonding will Ellen and Jo. Interesting that the Ellen could get Cas to trade shots with her. I'd missed that it was a shout out to The Lord of the Rings (I too have the extended versions -- hee, hee) but yes, htat's it exactly.

I too wonder at the brotherly bond, is Sam going to fear Dean's dismissal of him and thus go down that rough again, I think not although the devil will give it his best shot.

I miss the Harvelles already, I truly wish they didn't have to die but I do say 'have to' because I know that to do otherwise, with such beloved characters (especially Ellen) would be to cheapen the effects of the Apocalype, it's deadly, so death must visit and be painful.

I think the previews show that both brothers will deal (possibly) with what has just transpired, Sam with Lucifer's words and Dean with two more deaths he'll no doubt carry as his burden, somewhat like what Pamela's death did last season.

My belief is that with the repairing of their bond well underway they will aid each other in healing and moving forward. Some say the brothers didn't have much together this episode but I say that their important togetherness was often unspoken, from Dean and Sam quietly side by side at Crowley's, to their moments at Bobby's, to their working in unison at the hardware store, to their stoic committed confrontation of Lucifer with nothing needing to be said between them. They've gotten their anger out, they've gotten their blame out, they've gotten their apologies out...Dean was good and so was Sam, because they've said all that needs to be said...and they know it.

Great episode, damn you, Kripke, and thank you at the same time.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2009-11-22 18:19
Oh my gosh, I’ve just seen the promo for ‘Sam, Interrupted’ – now I’m officially freaked. Not only because of the cookoo’s nest look, but the issues-info we’re given – I agree, Elle2,
and hope that we are right – the brothers will try to help each other out instead of lunging at each others’ throats. I believe they’re past that. Then again – you never know what Kripke’s mind comes up with…

Love Jas
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2009-11-23 15:14
Great review Alice. There is a lot to love in the episode and a lot to be sad about.

Dean and Sam's bond has always been strong. If it hadn’t been, they wouldn’t still be alive today. The martyrdom of Jo and Ellen will strengthen their bond for each other and their position against the angel and demon war. You ever want to bond people and motivate them, creating martyrs is the way to go. That was the worst thing Lucifer could have done.

I’m sure Kripke will have the devil tempt the boys some more, but, for me, I would like to see them get on with putting Lucifer back where he came from. And yes, Jas, Sam’s anger is a weakness, but it can also be one of their greatest strengths, as soon as they realize how to use it.

Cas’s loyalty was interesting…e specially when he said he wouldn’t let Lucifer take Sam. I’m wondering if this is a show of remorse for letting Sam out of the panic room. I would like to think he was sort of apologizing for what he did, also for helping in the capture of Anna, and his resistance in helping Dean until it was too late I do believe he knew what he did was wrong when he did it. Or maybe it’s just the angel vs. demon concept...ie angels are good, demons are bad, God’s not around, so I’m going to pick up where he left off and carry out his last command. Just a thought. I guess only the second half will tell.