Supernatural: Abandon All Hope
August 13, 2021 3:51 AM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Dean and Sam meet a demon named Crowley, who tells them where Lucifer is.


Crowley: Mr. Pendleton, I presume? The name's Crowley.
Mr. Pendleton: In my negotiations I was, uh, dealing with a very young, attractive young lady...
Crowley: Yes, I know. But you, piggy-banker, you... are a big fish. And I wanted to do you the honor of sealing this deal personally.
Mr. Pendleton: She said the deal would be sealed with a kiss.
Crowley: That's right.
Mr. Pendleton: No, I mean she's... I don't...
Crowley: Your choice. You can cling to six decades of deep-seated homophobia, or, just give it up, and get a complete bailout of your bank's *ridiculous* incompetence.
Mr. Pendleton: There are just things that I...
Crowley: Going once...
Mr. Pendleton: No, I don't think so...
Crowley: Going twice...
Mr. Pendleton: All right! All right.
[Crowley pulls him into a kiss, Pendleton squirms]

Castiel: [after downing five shots] I think I'm starting to feel something.

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.
Dean: If you're into that kinda thing.

Sam: It's Crowley, right?
Crowley: So, the Hardy Boys finally found me. Took you long enough. [he approaches, looks down at the rug, turns it up to find the Devil's Trap painted underneath] Do you have any idea how much this rug cost? [demons come up from behind and restrain the brothers; Crowley holds up the Colt] This is it, right? This is what it's all about. [raises the gun, shoots the two demons holding them] We need to talk. Privately.
Dean: What the hell is this?
Crowley: Do you know how deep I could have buried this thing? There's no reason you or anyone should know this even exists at all. Except that I told you.
Sam: *You* told us?
Crowley: Rumors. Innuendo. Sent out on the grapevine.
Sam: Why? Why tell us anything?
Crowley: [pointing the Colt at Dean] I want you to take this thing to Lucifer, and empty it into his face.
Dean: Uh-huh. Okay, and why, exactly would *you* want the Devil dead?
Crowley: It's called survival. But I forgot, you two at best are functional morons.
Dean: Yeah, you're functioning morons... more.

Dean: Uh, excuse me for asking, but aren't you kinda 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 gonna 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! [tosses Dean a bag of ammo, vanishes]

Castiel: [as he telekinetically loosens bolts on an overhead pipe] You seem pleased.
Meg: We're gonna win! Can you feel it? You cloud-hopping pansies lost the whole damn universe! Lucifer's gonna take over heaven! We're goin' to heaven, Clarence!
Castiel: Strange. Because I heard a different theory from a demon named Crowley.
Meg: You don't know Crowley.
Castiel: He believes Lucifer is just using demons to achieve an end. And then, once he does, he'll destroy you all.
Meg: You're wrong. Lucifer is the father of our race. Our creator. Your God might be a deadbeat but mine, mine walks the earth. [the last bolt comes out, the pipe falls, knocking Meg into the circle with Castiel; Castiel tries to smite her but can't]
Meg: You can't gank demons, can you? You're cut off from the home office and you ain't got the juice. So what *can* you do, you impotent sap?
Castiel: I can do this. [flings Meg down on the flames, uses her body as a bridge to escape]


Through Twitter, producer and director Jim Michaels revealed that the explosion in this episode "went way too large" and they had to rebuild part of a back lot in the set for almost $20,000.

First series appearance of Mark Sheppard's character Crowley.

At one point, Ellen tells the boys to "kick it in the ass". This is a tribute to Executive Producer/Director Kim Manners who passed away in 2009. He was fond of saying this phrase before a take to encourage the actors. A similar tribute occurs in The X-Files in the "Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster" episode. A tombstone is shown with Kim's name, dates of birth and death, and the epitaph is, fittingly, "Kick it in the ass."

The episode's title refers to Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy. The phrase "Abandon All Hope" appears in Dante's "Inferno" as the sign outside the gates of Hell. The full sign outside the gates of hell reads: "Through me is the way to the city of woe, Through me is the way to eternal pain, Through me is the way to a lost people. Justice moved my great Creator Divine Power made me, the Supreme Wisdom and the Primal Love. Before me, nothing else was created nothing, but the eternal and I last eternally. Abandon all hope, you who enter here." Canto III, Dante's "Inferno".

Jo Harvelle dies in this episode the same way that her father was described to have died in "Born Under a Bad Sign" (Episode 2:14). Sam (while possessed by a demon) recounts to her how her father had died while out on a hunt with his father. John used him as "bait" and he "died trying to hold in his insides" after being attacked by a monster. This is the same way Jo dies before the bomb is activated.

This is the first time that Meg calls Castiel "Clarence," after the angel waiting to get his wings in the Frank Capra movie It's a Wonderful Life.

Bobby tells Dean that the reason Lucifer came to Carthage, MO was because he needed a place where a massacre has occurred to raise Death. He specifically references the Civil War battle named after the town. He says it was so intense that the soldiers called it the battle of Hell Hole. The battle pitted pro-union and pro-confederate Missourians intent on swinging the state either way. Throughout the Civil, War Missouri was split between the two factions, though it remained in the Union. The battle of Carthage occurred in 1861 and had 7,100 combatants and 244 casualties. The Battle of New Hope Church is the battle that Bobby is actually referencing. Union soldiers called it the Battle of Hellhole referring to the rough terrain and the confederate earthworks and artillery.

Bobby takes the group picture with an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic, which were only manufactured between 1964 and 1976, making the camera around 40 years old at the time.
posted by orange swan (10 comments total)
I rather enjoyed that the 60-year-old banker who thought he was going to get to kiss a beautiful young woman to seal the deal was forced to suck face with Crowley instead. Served him right, the subprime mortgage creep. Watching a banker suffer the same and wind up with a one-way ticket to hell would have gone over well with an American audience in 2009. Hell, I can tell you on good authority that it goes over well with a Canadian in 2021. My RRSP's value declined by 30% that year.

No one in that "last night on earth" photo was smiling and it was just kind of depressing looking.

A terrible end for the Harvelles. Poor Ellen, sacrificing herself out of grief, with her husband and daughter and bar all gone. The hunter's life is a meat grinder.

I'm thinking about the dynamic between Dean and Jo. They had chemistry, but they never acted on it. I think that in Jo's case she held Dean at arm's length because although Dean was physically attracted to her and had a genuine if casual affection for her, she wanted more than that and she knew she wasn't going to get it from him. On Dean's part it was probably because Jo was a little too young when he first met her, and also had a mama bear on guard whom he didn't care to alienate, and it would have been too complicated a situation for a hookup for him, at least in the early days. Dean would have gone for it the night before they were to meet Lucifer, but Jo's reasons for noping out were still in effect. Interesting that they talk about seeing each other "on the other side", as though they're recognizing that they're ships passing in the night and hoping that there might be more to their story under other, better circumstances.

I rather liked the scene between Lucifer and Castiel, with the reflected firelight on their faces, and the air of tension between them. Castiel is always so hopelessly outmatched when he's up against an archangel, and he knows it, but he never flinches.

I did a google dive on Mark Sheppard to try to get a sense of what he's like in real life. He became a professional session musician (drummer) at 15. He has past issues with alcohol and has been sober since 1990. He retweets a lot of political stuff, and he's clearly a concerned liberal (i.e., pro-vaxx, anti-Trump, pro-LGTB, anti-racist). He comes across as funny and kind in his interactions with others -- with a penchant for teasing. I've seen tweets of his in which he encouraged someone who was struggling with addiction. In 2014, he left his first wife, to whom he had been married for ten years and with whom he had two sons, for an Australian mining heiress 20 years his junior, whom he had met at a Supernatural convention that she had attended as a fan of the show.:0

Sheppard has an account on Cameo, which if you haven't heard of it, is a website with what the company claims is a roster of approximately 30,000 celebrities (though in many cases the "celebrity" descriptor is a stretch) who will take a Zoom call or record a personalized video for subscribers for a price ranging from $50 or $100 to thousands of dollars. Sheppard records short videos of birthday greetings or congratulations or other messages upon request for $125 a pop. He, uh, doesn't seem to have worked much since leaving Supernatural in 2017 -- he's just done six episodes of Doom Patrol.
posted by orange swan at 5:06 AM on August 13, 2021

This one lives in my memory mostly as The One That Made Everyone I Knew Who Still Watched Supernatural Ragequit Supernatural. But there is a lot I still like about it, and compared to previous midseason hiatus cliffhangerish episodes (offhand I want to say Asylum, Croatoan, Jus In Bello, and Heaven and Hell) it stands up pretty well.

I am 100% sure that the extremely pointed shot of Jo's butt as she's leaning into the fridge was in the script, and it's annoying to me that it's in the same episode as the actually neat transition shot of Castiel looking up into the building and then down from inside the building, or the demons eerily sparking out one by one.

Ellen noticing how Castiel's eyes moved and estimating from that how many Reapers he saw is such a nice little detail to show us how smart and competent she is. But the idea that reapers come out in hundreds or thousands for mass casualty incidents and just invisibly hum around doing their own little jobs is a creepier image the more I think about it.

I really hate losing the Harvelles, it feels like such a waste typical of how this show barely considers women people. But that scene is intense, and so sad, even though to me Dean/Jo never felt enough like a thing to be sad about missing. In terms of recurring female characters I think the show really is just down to Meg at the moment? who we leave literally being a doormat, which is supposed to seem badass, I guess. (But I wonder if Castiel didn't get that idea from Alastair escaping his Devil's Trap.)

We've seen Lucifer in Nick and Sam's dreams, and we've seen him with Castiel and Meg, but having Sam and Dean meet him properly as a sweaty guy in dad jeans cheerfully digging a hole in the middle of the night (that turns out to be a mass grave, that turns out to be very much already occupied), was a nice choice, and a way to see that Lucifer really is something else. "What? They're just demons."

It's kind of goofy sweeps business, but I like that Lucifer casually hangs Detroit over Sam and Dean's head almost from day one, like Babe Ruth calling his shot. His description of his confrontation with Michael is I'm sure based on truth but it's also so so calculated to get in Sam's head and freak him out as much as possible and, for a lot of reasons, it kind of works. The entire existence of prophecies surrounding Lucifer are extremely confusing to me, I'm not sure where they really come from or how much he's predicting events vs directing them. But Sam and Dean don't know either, just that he's always been right. 
posted by jameaterblues at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

In contrast to the well-written paragraphs above, I've only got scattershot comments this time around:

Can hellhounds attack the living and undying? Or those who are not close to death or are not waiting on death’s doorstep due to a contract coming due? I thought when they were introduced only Dean could see them because he was already pretty much committed to the Pit (through his deal).

I love the Hardy boys crack.

Good on Joe for having self-respect! I do find it poignant, however, that when she’s on the ground in the hardware store, it’s Dean she addresses, while ignoring Sam. She is still leery of Sam and trusting of Dean.

Do we eventually come to learn what the other four things in creation are that can’t be killed by the Colt?

Only old white-men reapers. No young pretty women versions. And only able-bodied men demons (not women). I guess that's (sadly) pretty typical for this show. (Men demons fights! Women demons seduce!)
posted by sardonyx at 10:00 AM on August 13, 2021

Mark Sheppard! One of our ideal dinner guests! But right now, I'm conflicted by that mining heiress marriage. I guess it's disappointment at fulfilling the middle-age male mid-life crisit cliche?
posted by Kitteh at 11:12 AM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

There's some info about the "four things" in the trivia section of this episode's IMDb page. I didn't include it because it contained spoilers.

This wasn't the first time the show has used a Hardy Boys reference. There is also one in "A Very Supernatural Christmas". I know they can't use it too often, but honestly it's so funny I wouldn't mind if they used it a few more times. Crowley does get off some really good Sam and Dean cracks during his run on the series that we can all look forward to.

Mark Sheppard does seem like he'd be a delightful dinner guest, but yeah, that marriage....
posted by orange swan at 11:12 AM on August 13, 2021

Like jameaterblues, I'm still sad about bringing back Jo and Ellen just to kill them again - especially since it's not a bad episode otherwise - I do like the Castiel and Lucifer conversation, and the lighting on that was amazing.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:46 PM on August 13, 2021

When I saw this, I has to wonder about the destruction of the photo at the end. We know there are other photos of hunters posing. I guess we have to assume the were successful in their hunts. Is destroying the photo something like burning bones? (Making it so that unsettled spirits can't escape through pictures?) Does Bobby just not want a reminder of that painful day (even if it is that last photo of Jo and Ellen)?
posted by sardonyx at 4:46 PM on August 13, 2021

Big fan of Mark Sheppard also.

I liked the giant "Anti-God is Anti-American" flag sign next to the Adult Video store. And the theater marquee (?) has part of "Jesus Saves" - I wonder if that's alluding to anything in this episode?

Speaking of, does Jesus ever show up in the show?

My read on the photo - the Harvelle's were already burned, so "safe." Burning of the photo was a symbol in surrogate since there weren't any remains to say goodbye to. It was a gesture for the living to grieve to.
posted by porpoise at 6:41 PM on August 13, 2021

I do find it poignant, however, that when she’s on the ground in the hardware store, it’s Dean she addresses, while ignoring Sam. She is still leery of Sam and trusting of Dean.

...oh, man. I never thought of it like that.

I thought when they were introduced only Dean could see them because he was already pretty much committed to the Pit

I think Dean could see the hellhounds because they were there for him, but otherwise they're just invisible and can technically eat whoever. I thought at one point it was established that once you see a hellhound you can see them forever, but I apparently just made that up. (Not that many humans get a second chance to see a hellhound, I suppose.)

I took burning the photo kind of the same way as porpoise--it didn't have a practical or ritual purpose, it was just too painful to keep.

You could watch like 99.99% of this show and not know that the concept of Jesus exists in this universe, which I guess shows how far they thought they could push their luck.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:10 PM on August 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

From this episode (and a few others), I got the impression that people were seeing the hellhounds, which is why I was puzzled. I didn't think they should be visible outside of extraordinary circumstances.
posted by sardonyx at 9:47 PM on August 13, 2021

« Older Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Kami...   |  Ted Lasso: Carol of the Bells... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments