Supernatural

Season 4 Episode 10

Heaven and Hell

7
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 20, 2008 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (47)

8.9
out of 10
Average
941 votes
  • The second part of the mid-season finale. An outstanding episode hampered by a slightly lackluster direction and one unfortunate choice.

    9.5
    With Kim Mannes behind the camera, this episode could have been great, a sure, solid ten out of ten. But J. Miller Tobin, who proved himself quite capable with a introverted, melancholic episode like 'A Very Supernatural Christmas', isn't quite able to seize the epic momentum the brilliant script from Eric Kripke offered him. His direction falls pretty flat and I would have really preferred to see Robert Singer or Phil Sgriccia direction this action-packed episode full of unexpected twists and thrills. The other thing I didn't like, and it's best to get it out of my system right away, so that I can concentrate on the good stuff, was the 'Titanic Hand' scene. I have nothing against the scene per se - Dean and Anna are so similar that I found only natural that they were attracted to each other - nor against Titanic, but nonetheless the hand scene felt to me completely tacky. Why a show like 'Supernatural' should make a nod to 'Titanic'? I don't know: it felt me out of place and even misconceived. It's fine, more than fine actually: brilliant, when the show borrows some imaginary from horror or sci-fi movies, but the nod toward 'Titanic' disrupted my feeling of immersion, making me awkwardly aware that they were trying hard to imitate that scene, which I even found cheesy in the original.

    Aside from this note, the episode is really great: the discovery of Anna's nature is powerful and emotional and the dialogue between her and Dean is one of the most clever piece of writing I've ever enjoyed. Eric Kripke has a real gift to discuss even the most somber, serious subjects in an offbeat, corporeal and almost tangible way that makes these matters all the more fascinating - and Anna's description of her angel status and her longing for humanity was both heart-throbbing and painfully realistic. Moreover, the epic resolution of the episode was beyond brilliant and 'Godzilla and Mothra' is a quotation that I really dug, since I felt that it was more coherent with the spirit of 'Supernatural', more down-earthed and sarcastically delivered. But then, it was the last five minutes that stand out: Jensen Ackles delivered perhaps his best performance ever and his final confession of what he did in Hell was both impressive and overwhelmingly intense, visceral and overwrought, warmhearted and mentally agonizing. It was the moment where, forgotten the talks about demons and angels, the show returned to its most sincere root: humanity. Struggling, suffering, loving humanity.
  • This is an absolute beast of an episode, and with a title like 'Heaven and Hell', would you expect anything less?

    9.5
    This is an absolute beast of an episode, and with a title like 'Heaven and Hell', would you expect anything less? Kripke's script thrusts our protagonists squarely in the middle of an epic tug of war between the forces of 'good' and 'evil' and cleverly predicates the whole thing not on the survival of the character they're both jostling over, but on which faction gets to slaughter her first. It's this kind of complex blurring of binaries, the deliberate rejection of categorical oppositions, that sets the Supernatural we now know and love apart from the one The WB gave birth to four short years ago. There is no black and white here: Allister and his cohorts may be 'evil', but Ruby, one of his kind, helps our heroes as much as she can and hell, Sam has demon blood pumping through his veins. Castiel and Uriel, angelic as they may proport to be, are firmly on the side of murdering poor Anna, all because she rejected the cold, emotionless, obedient existence of the angels and fell to Earth to experience that beautiful thing called life. They would rather kill her than have her return to Heaven - and that may be because their master ordains it, but then, what does that say about the forces of 'good', about God himself? Sam and Dean are caught amongst all of this, forced to make the tough decisions and call for themselevs exactly what is right and wrong and it is this conflict that enriches every scene, every line, of this episode. It's an impossibly overwhelming situation and one that forces the viewer to ask themselves questions about faith, morality and all of that other good, juicy stuff. And it certainly helps that the action sequences are massive, Julie McNiven is an absolute star and, magnificently, Jensen Ackles has us all shedding tears at episode's end. What would've turned into a corny schmaltzfest in the hands of a lesser actor is a harrowingly poignant tour de force thanks to his general, all round genius. God damn terrific. Again.
  • One week its Sam, the next its Dean! Explain...?

    9.6
    Its episodes like this that make me watch the show! Angels and demons - this is the episode we have been waiting for and it didnt disappoint. What the hell (no pun intended) is Alistair made of? I mean neither Sam or Cstiel can draw him out of the human he inhabits and I wanna know why :) I just love this episode - Anna's re-gracing scene was exciting as was her very own therapy session. I liked the return of Pamela, sassy and witty as ever. But the scene that clinched it for me and as a guy found it very sad the way Dean talked about his 40 years in Hell!
  • Great dramatic build-up - disappointing result.

    7.5
    Why are good characters so much harder to write than evil characters? That is, if they are either truly good or truly evil: by this point in Season 4, Kripke has so befuddled the absolutes of black and white, not to mention shifted the color grey into shades somewhere beyond chartreuse and magenta, that viewers are in a constant state of confusion about whether the angels are devils or the demons have hearts of gold. It has been a wild ride, and sitting back to savor the angst develop has been fun, much more fun than trying to pick apart every clue and come up with a new theory about the possible outcome every week- I gave up on that long ago. The unfolding story of the coming apocalypse has been fascinating, but this week - the last show before an eight week hiatus - was quite a disappointment.

    These two episodes - "I Know What you Did Last Summer" and "Heaven and Hell," - were obviously meant to be two pieces to the puzzle, or two sides of the coin if you prefer. Ruby's story v. Anna's story. Sam's pain v. Dean's pain. How the demon is good v. how the angel is bad. Unfortunately, the soda machine won't be accepting this coin because one side far outweighs the other.

    No matter how you feel about the new actress who plays Ruby, no matter which brother is your all-time-favorite, you must admit that the plot, characterizations, pacing, writing, and feel of the first episode was far better than the second. Both episodes suffered from frame story-itis, that is, there were long moments where one person was relating back-story to the other characters and the viewers. Difficult to pull off in the best of times. Sam's back-story about the events of the summer from his perspective? Brilliant. Why? Because the writers allowed us to actually see what happened to Sam, to feel the breakdown in his spirit, and to groan at his desperate descent into solace in the arms of a demon. We know him and we've traveled with him along this dark road every step. We know Ruby, and we've wondered about and suspected her since day one. It was beautiful and disturbing. A+. We were also introduced to Anna, a supposedly troubled girl who can hear angels and who is in horrible danger from both sides because of it. She is immediately conflicted enough to fit right in with our problematic brothers. The demon Alastair bursts on the scene, all blazing power and frightening snarkiness, and hints at just enough about Dean's time in hell to have us itching for more. A+ again.

    Unfortunately, everything that made IKWYDLS amazing, made H&H disappointing. Frame story about the angels' fall - both the heavenly angel Anna, and the earthly angel Dean, were attempted with absolutely no images to back them up. Words, words, words were all that the viewers got - a complex story of losing "grace," disobedience, the pleasures of being human, temptation, and the worst explanation of "God" that I've ever heard in any fictional genre was supposed to be communicated to the viewers through a few cryptic sentences from a character who we do not know, was literally dropped from heaven into our laps just a moment ago, and - oh, by the way - has suddenly woken up and remembered she's an angel. What? C-, and I'm grading on the curve here. And the story we've waited so long to hear, the final denouement of suffering Dean and his utter loss of self that he experienced in hell was handed to us in one tearful (albeit wonderfully acted) conversation. D+. Not enough. Not nearly enough.

    Let's talk about sex. The brothers' trauma is supposed to be punctuated by their individual groping after human feeling. Talk is cheap and I could go on for hours, but bottom line: Sam's worked. Dean's just felt...awkward. Sam's coupling with Ruby was dark, violent, and had nothing whatsoever to do with love. It was the definition of desperation. Dean's roll in the backseat of the Impala with Anna - probably written to epitomize his needs and fears about his own emotions - was simply missing something. Props to the actress for big eyes and soulful looks, but it just didn't work. Anna, fallen angel, wanted one more roll in the hay before heading back to virgin-town? That might have been funny if Dean got to be the Dean we all remember. This scene had no passion to sustain it, and, if that was the point, to show love rather than passion, well it didn't work, either.

    So we end up with a rather good fight scene - Demons -1, Angels -3, and, if the angels are the good guys of this piece, well woo-hoo and Praise the Lord, but that is yet to be determined. Anna is a casualty - back to heaven with her, a place that, apparently, none of us should ever wish to go. What exactly are we fighting for, again?

    Great dramatic build up, disappointing result. Why couldn't Anna's story have spanned more than a two-episode arc? Was it really necessary to dash off a hasty angel story and convoluted explanation of her fall and shove it in between sex scenes? This was not the story to get fans over an eight week lull. You.can.do.better.
  • "We cant fight Heaven and Hell!"

    9.5
    Sam and Dean help Anna try to remember. It turns out she's a fallen angel who loosed her powers when falling to Earth. Alasitair are after them. And now, the angels are after them too.

    I was rlly excited about this episode, the continuation of the previous one which had been rlly great, Sam and Dean running from hell AND Heaven, helping Anna. And... I was right! This episode was amazing! So great, so thrilling and full of action and drama, and suspense! Was awesome to see them running from the demons and the angels! This made the episode's plot great!
  • Review

    9.5
    Sam and Dean finally understand why Castiel and Uriel want Anna dead. However, they disagree with the angels' orders and try to help Anna restore an important part of her past so she can be saved. Meanwhile, Alastair and his demons continue to close in to the brothers. The title says it all there is a great clash of both demons and angels in a thrilling climax I really enjoyed it. The scene that follows this is a very sad scene with Sam and Dean, Dean reveals what happened it was greatly acted . awesome episode 9.5 out of 10 .
  • Unholy Smackdown!

    8.5
    Heaven and Hell-Dean and Sam figure out why Castiel and Uriel want Anna dead. Alastair and his minions try to track down Sam, Dean and Anna.

    The angel plot is certainly becoming Supernatural's most complex storyline yet. It seems that angels for the most part, are unlike machines, they just do what they are told. It kinda makes them seem one dimensional compared to demons, who have a lot of personality. Don't get me wrong, I still love Castiel and Uriel is good, but they acting more like drones than wise, powerful beings the more I see them. But "Heaven and Hell" is still an exciting mid-season finale for the series. The 2 reasons for that is the revelation of Anna's true nature and Dean's heartbreaking confession.

    The revelation that Anna was a fallen angel was a great development as well as the reasons why finally give depth to the character. Anna's explanation to Dean that angels simply do what they are told and don't do what they feel. It's a very shocking to find that being angel is almost as bad as being demon; at least the way Anna makes it sound. It's also great seeing Dean and Anna finding that they have a lot in common; also the "sex" line delivered by Anna was priceless. Its sad knowing that some angels actually rather be human and I like where the writers are going with their mythology with angels. I loved how the episode develops into a angels vs. demons showdown at the end of the episode. It's a great twist to see Sam, Dean, Ruby and Anna all working together to make it happen. It's a great way for them to win in the end when they force both sides to fight each other. There were some great action pieces and special effects like when Pamela returns to hypnotize Anna, Anna sending the angels away with her blood and Anna being engulfed into a blinding light that defeats all the demons in the room. Also, there are signature Supernatural gore scenes as Alastair tortures Ruby for Anna's whereabouts. But what really makes this episode for me is the final scene between Dean and Sam when Dean finally reveals what happened to him while he was in hell. Probably one of the saddest scenes from Supernatural and Jensen Ackles's best performance yet, Dean's confession is both heartbreaking and very surreal. Sam tries to comfort Dean, but it's obvious no words make up for what Dean went through. I loved how the scene just ends with Sam being pretty much speechless and Dean continues to wipe his tears away. It's powerful ending to the great episode that sets up the next half of the season wonderfully.
  • This episode proves to be a very juicy episode indeed.

    10
    This episode proves to be a very juicy episode indeed. Warning, spoilers ahead. Before we didn't know much about Anna, but now we find out she is an angel that turned human. I was a bit shocked by this news, is she good and what is she possibly hiding from the brothers? Maybe she did something really bad and isn't telling, once she turns into an angel again, who knows what she could do. This show just get's stranger and stranger, before we saw Sam make it with a demon, now Dean makes it with an angel? How messed up is that! Hot though, I have to admit. This episode was so amazing, it was filled with action, suspense and everything a great episode needs. The end of this episode was probably the most emotional we have ever seen Dean, and rightfully so. What a great performance to show the pain of what hell can do to someone. One of the best overall episodes so far, this is the cream of the crop when it comes to supernatural these days.
  • Not as good as the first part.

    9.5
    This episode was full of weird thing. Dean making out with an angel. Now Dean finally gets to have his sex scene which was typical. I kind of just wanted Sam to have one though, Kissing an angel. Come on. Anyways Anna finds her grace and becomes an angel again at the end, which turns out to be a happy ending for her. Teh angels & Alastair are official enemies of the Winchester boys. I expected this to give more of a perspective of what happened to Dean in hell but I was disappointed when it was only about Anna. Ruby getting tortured, pretty gross. Great episode & mid-season finale.
  • A quite satisfactory end to an awful character.

    8.0
    Overall this was a pretty good episode, but one of the weakest of season 4. And most of the blame goes to the character of Anna.

    Whereas she appeared rather likeable in episode 409, this time it became impossible to ignore how much her character's storyline was rushed, and how it just didn't fit in the show's mythology. I found the whole "Grace" thing to be surprisingly uninteresting and useless, just as was Pamela's comeback. And like this wasn't bad enough, the writers decided to spice things up a bit with a sex scene, which was as cheesy as it's las "Titanic Style" shot. There was no chemistry between Julie and Jensen. The only advantage the scene had, as far as I can see, was to pinpoint the huge different Dean had compared to Sam's sex scene with Ruby. Thankfully, they wrapped up Anna's storyline in a way that makes it impossible for her to come back the same boring character she was in this episode.

    Still, those 40 minutes weren't all bad. Alastair delivers spectacularly as one of the shows best villains, and the fight scene was just awesome. I found Ruby grew on me in this one, and that last scene was so shocking and upsetting it had me in tears. Jensen Ackles definitely deserves an award for his acting skills.

    To sum up, this was a rather average SPN episode, but still great tv. The show just needs to get back on track and get back to Lilith and the 66 seals.
  • Sam to Dean: Dude, you're confusing reality with porn again. Doesn't he always?

    9.5
    Sam: She was convinced that he wasn't her real daddy.
    Dean: Who was? The plumber, hmmm? A little snaking the pipes?
    Sam: Dude, you're confusing reality with porn again. Good to see that Dean still has his humour!

    You would have thought that spending 40 yrs in Hell would leave him humourless ... but not Dean, he still thinks with his "down-below"! How unreal it was, when they revealed that she was an angel! Who in their right mind would want to give up being an angel? i always thought that she was a bit looney! I just hope they don't make her a permanent fixture in Dean's life. I saw a little tenderness in his eyes towards her.
    Good Grief!
  • 30 year hold out.

    8.5
    So Anna was an angel who didn't want to be an angel. I kind of liked her and Dean together originally, but the angel aspect made it less appealing; though, perhaps not to Dean.

    I wish they had found another way than for Anna to have to be an angel again if she want to be one.

    I think the most interesting part of the episode was the end, and Dean's confession. It was very emotional. I just wanted to hug him, and I think that tells of a great performance. Dean held out for thirty years, but gave in. I'm not sure he could have held off forever, and 30 years is impressive. I think Dean is in his own personal hell, and I'm not sure how he will be able to cope.
  • Sam and Dean, with the help of Ruby, protect Anna from the angels who want her dead and the demons that simply want her.

    9.0
    The best thing about this episode is the way the recurring characters of the season have come together and held their own in one integrated storyline. Unlike last season, you get a sense that it is indeed 'war' because the bigger players have come out to play. And while fans have made it tradition to hate characters that take attention from the Winchesters, this one is incredibly balanced and interesting, so much so that I I actually warmed up to the Scooby-Dooish four-people in the Impala scene that would have terrified me seasons ago. Everyone churned great performances: Misha, Robert, Mark, Tracy, Gen, Julie and of course the J & J. The only thing that would have made this more epic is the presence of Lilith and Bobby...but then there's 12 more eppys to go so I will wait in breathless anticipation for that confrontation.

    I like the the attempts of the writers to have so many characters in one episode; certainly an indication of the effort and thought that they've given in making season 4 fantastic. That said, I don't think they did as well in juggling everyone. The episode has great scenes but they don't flow well as an integrated whole. There are times when the shows feels too rushed, there were far too many indoor talking scenes and some of the plot devices are just too convenient(e.g. grace in a necklace?). But these little annoyances aside, the eppy is still topnotch as there are so many things you can take away from it at the end of the day. Plus, I love this show so much I can forgive it anything. What I love: One, Heaven and Hell made me think. It actually made me ask myself basic existential questions and that's a feat for a Monster of the Week series! It made me reflect about God and obedience, and what is it really about fallen humanity that makes us a possible object of envy. The mythology of angels and demons also fleshed out, although I won't think about that yet as it gives me an enormous headache. Second, it gave us great insight to how these characters have developed throughout the four seasons. Dean now thinks on his own, falls for a girl not even remotely his type and forgives Sammy and Ruby for a relationship that would have him hyperventilating years ago! And that scene where confessed what happened to him in hell, while predictable, is still Jensen Ackles in his finest. Lastly, there's Cas. He was great in this eppy. He didn't say much, and pretty much got ass-kicked by Alastair, but you know so many things are now percolating in his head. I am so excited to see him in the future.
  • So Anna gets rid of the angels with a blood-charm, the boys freak out and get Pam to help them figure it out, and they have to track down a tree. Then, the gang shows up in town, there's a big brawl, and then suddenly it turns out there was a plan.

    5.5
    Honestly, this is one of the lesser episodes in the series. Anna's acting was second-class (almost seeming like just an excuse to do a love scene with Jensen), and even Sam's acting was sub-par in this episode. This especially got bad in scenes like the end of the fight, where Anna "shouts" 'shield your eyes', over and over, and the others act like they know what they're supposed to do, but aren't sure they heard their cue. Dean especially got friendly way too quickly with a being that, according to the lore, essentially "chose" to be a demon - not being tricked into it, or doing it as a sacrifice. Sure, it's revealed that the rules are slightly different in this series - but they even reference Lucifer making the same decision. The tie-up, at the end, came out of nowhere, and you have to wonder why Uriel was wasting his time on the small fry instead of helping Castiel, and why neither of them did the Spirit Bomb earlier (since they imply she's still alive after that).

    The character of Alistair was great, though. He oozed evil, and they even have an oblique reference to Dr. Mengelev. Dean's reveal at the end of the episode neatly ties up the questions about it earlier, and unlike other parts of this episode, seems to be well-planned, and not an arse-pull.

    Dean and Alistair were awesome in this episode. Everybody else, well, wasn't.
  • The Ep of Revelations, Chapter II

    10
    Well, it's that dreaded time of year again: the obligatory, yet frowned upon, winter hiatus. But at least we get to leave off of the first half of the season with a bang. This week's ep, a grand payoff of a conclusion to last week's first-part set up, was more than enough to make us stand drooling for more until after the first of the new year.

    As I figured, this week's ep was a bit more action-packed than last week's and still yielded more revelations of the characters, along the way conveniently setting up the second half of the year. To start with, we get the huge reveal on newbie girl, Anna. Wow! What an angel! And I mean that quite literally...as it turns out that's exactly what she was. And what's more, she's lost her grace. Yep, seems that grace is actually a....thing. Energy, according to her. Anyhoo, she's lost it, fell to Earth (again, literally), and now she wants it back. Her back story: seems she willingly disobeyed the Powers of Heaven, ripped out her own grace, and fell to Earth, becoming human as a result. Now, the angels want her dead for that disobedience as Cas and Ur come looking to kill her. The reasoning for her disobedience was made pretty clear - mostly through her key scene with Dean where they compare pros and cons of being human - as being that she wanted to feel those things, humanly emotions and feelings and experiences. She got her wishes for a long time, until it came time that she had to get her grace back. And enter our brilliant suspense-filled climax. What I took as a brief moment of foreshadowing, we got one heck of a fight between the angels and demons - sans Winchesters! Cas and Ur take on Alastair and 2 of his cronies, and literally bite the dust, especially when Anna gets her grace back from Ur. While it was an extremely clever plan to orchestrate this fight, major events of importance happened during this climax. First, Anna's grace returns to her, causing her to once again become a full-blown angel. So she's not dead, something I began to fear early in the ep. Though she didn't seem to want to go back to being an all-powerful angel (hence her readiness to let Cas and Ur make waste of her), it was a sacrifice she was willing to make for the sake of the brothers. And since Dean is slated to be a value to the Heavenly Powers, this should hopefully gain her some respect and trust from the Almighty, so perhaps she will be spared and forgiven despite her disobedience in the past. Speaking of Dean, this brings me to the second major importance: Dean's ultimate weakness, which is Sam. I was truly blown away when it was revealed that Dean was the one who told the angels where Anna was, resulting in the reasoning behind it: Sam. Actually, it's not that surprising, really, hence Uriel's warning to Dean in the dream sequence about Dean being easy to break by "applying the right pressure points" (or whatever). So, it was either Sam or Anna on the proverbial chopping block, so naturally, who's Dean gonna choose? Exactly. Not that it was an easy choice to make, mind....

    As for the other angels, some pretty neat stuff happening there, too. So...Castiel has a weakness also. Dean. He likes him. (But then again, can you blame him?) Looking at these angels from what we've seen of them, they are all business. Good, perfect beings def against evil and such, so not bad allies to have on your side. But when you've got one who is determined to retain his all business stature (Uriel) working beside one who shows a slight sign of weakness (Castiel), things are gonna get complicated. Uriel's missions are strictly straightforward - at least, as far as he sees fit. Castiel is straightforward also, but only to a certain degree. From what I understand, in the angelic hierarchy it would seem Cas has a bit of "seniority" over Ur and that - mixed in with God's orders for Dean - is what prevents him from unleashing his powers at his own discretion. At least, his full powers. Otherwise, Sam would probably be dead and Dean thrown back into Hell. Uriel clearly doesn't like these little "loop holes" regarding the bros, whereas Castiel (to a lesser extent, anyway) at least makes time to listen to them. And all this makes for some serious obstacles into determining what is right for how they will all finish this war. It's possible that the angels can't really understand the humans because they haven't actually experienced the different ranges of human emotions, unlike Anna, who has. The angels see the black-and-white good-will-beat-evil no-questions-about-it of it all, whereas the humans see that good should triumph but there will be sacrifices and costs along the way, creating shades of gray, so to speak. One particularly interesting note is the effects of the powers themselves. To compare, Uriel's "exorcism" of the demon minions was similar to Sam's, yet Ur's flat-out annihilated them where Sam's simply dispels them out of their hosts' bodies. But whenever Sam does develop his own powers more, and he somehow (I hope not) becomes an agent of darkness, things are gonna get hella nasty in that arena. The magnitude of an angel's power looks very scary, too. Look what happened when Anna worked that spell to "dismiss" Cas and Ur. As Sam said, serious crap there.

    Ruby's betrayal was a very interesting thing. Okay, maybe it wasn't complete betrayal, as she was willing to give up Anna for the sake of the brothers. That alone says a lot about her integrity toward Sam and Dean despite her demonism. Ruby made it obvious to Alastair that she wanted no part of this fight. Yet, really she chose to do so by following Sam in the first place and eventually took it upon herself to become his own personal power trainer. Granted, it was because he is rumored throughout the underworld to become some destined demon army leader, but in the wake of learning she had developed some serious lovey-doveys for him, she has made it difficult on herself. Though she's proven to be a cunning, loyal ally, even she is only yay strong. And I gotta give the girl mega props this week for including Dean in her begging to Alastair to let her walk away if she gave up Anna. This says a lot about how she is gaining Dean's trust, as much as he is gaining hers now. I look forward to seeing Ruby and Dean fighting side by side some more.

    And I thought Lilith was bad! Skank can't hold a candle to my man Alastair. Dude is just super creepy as all get out. So for real, he reminds me of Hannibal Lecter, except in the demon world. The voice, the mannerisms, even the looks. Serious chill factor with this guy. And not just because of those things, but because of his wicked mind. He even stood up to Cas and Ur, after that extremely disgusting torture scene with Ruby. But this just makes him such a fascinating villain. I don't care who disagrees, I like the guy.

    Personally, and this may sound silly, but I thought the most disturbing part of the ep was Anna's warning that if they didn't deliver Anna to the angels that Dean would be thrown back into Hell. This not only shows how right Anna was proven when she explained that disobedience was a serious infraction in Heaven (hence the angels wanting to kill her), but it shows one other thing here: Sam's weakness. Which, as we all know, is Dean. When Anna first told them the warning, Sam was immediately ready and willing to kill any and all angels that came after them, hence his questioning Anna about weapons to use against them. No sir, little bro wasn't about to let big bro go back in the pit, now! Add to that, Dean's expression of sheer terror at the idea was all too obvious. But I'll touch more on this latter part in a bit.

    For the life of me, I can't seem to find any words for Sam this week. Well, nothing different than I said last week. But one thing grabbed my curiosity: Sam's powers are evidently more powerful than realized. Ruby made the comment that he should oust Alastair, but given that Alastair is apparently immune to Sam's current level of powers, there's something about said powers that Sam is clearly uncomfortable with, hence his reluctance to use them even when Ruby tries to beg him to do so. So...more to learn in time, I guess.

    I stand corrected. Last week I noted that the preview for this week's ep looked like it was gonna include another hot, steamy sex scene, this time involving Dean and Anna. And whooooop!!! I mean, come on! Dean having sex in the back seat of the Impala itself!? Can it get any more sexier and hotter than that?? Okay, that aside for now, this week was all about Dean (aside from Anna, of course). The most important being his time in Hell. Which leads us to the last scene of the ep, which rocked on epic levels of proportions due to that tremendously brilliant acting from Jensen Ackles. But building up to that point was just as important. Dean's time spent in the company of angels has definitely changed him. He even mentioned God's very name to Anna when he is thrown by the fact that she didn't want to be a part of the angel faction in sheer casualness. This says monuments about his faith. I think Dean has reached the conclusion that there is goodness and that God does exist after all. And this is just my own personal opinion, but I'm starting to think that Dean may possibly be in training to become an angel himself. It kinda makes sense: his being pulled out of Hell by one, for starters; his defiance and rebellion toward Cas and Ur, yet he remains alive when they could waste him with the flick of a wrist; Castiel's liking toward him. I believe these are trials he is facing and must overcome at some point later on for a greater purpose. But the last scene was a long time coming, and finally it's here. We get a very disturbing glimpse into what it was like down in Hell for Dean. The man was tortured and carved to the point of literal nothingness, then rematerialized so they could start over on him. That is, until Alastair came along and offered to let Dean do it to other souls. At first, Dean refuses, but then it must've just gotten to the point where the poor boy just lost all control of sanity and started to torture other souls after all. Now, time may very well and good move differently there, but even 40 years wasn't long enough for Dean to lose his humanity. Even Ruby told him last year that it might take centuries, but eventually Hell would burn away his humanity. His breakdown at the end showed just how devastated he was at his actions, and undoubtedly something like that - even when explained here it still is uncomprehensible to us - will scar his soul for life. After all, it was his soul down there, so no wonder he doesn't want to feel anything. After something like that, I'd probably never want to feel anything again either. The burden of carrying that around for the rest of your life would be unimaginable. But hopefully, like Anna said, at least he isn't alone - there are people who want to help. And he finally talked about it, so that's a great start to something that is gonna be so intriguing to watch in the future.

    Bits and Pieces:
    - Whether Alastair's gone or not, I'm just glad they have the knife back. Now if only they could find the Colt...
    - Loved seeing Pamela again. She's turned out to be a very entertaining character. Hope we get more of her.
    - Enjoyed seeing Bobby's little "demon" shelter room again. Very cute continuity.
    - Just a very off-the-wall thought that occurred to me during the last scene of the ep: after all Dean had been through in Hell, makes me wonder what poor Bela's suffering through.

    A perfect 10 conclusion to a perfect 10 2-parter. Damn. No more eps till January. But all I can say is, if the second half of the season is anything close to phenomenal as this fist half has been, we're in for a seriously brilliant year. Happy Holidays, my peeps. Keep it safe, and see you...well, next year! Ho ho ho!
  • Revealing, heartbreaking, shocking – Pretty much a typical SN episode!

    10
    What an episode. Full of shocks, twists and revelations and if our hearts weren't already broken for Dean before this, they sure are now.

    We pick up where we left off – showdown. First thing we learn is that Anna has secrets – that she's worse than an 'abomination' then she does a blood ritual which blasts Cas and Uriel who knows where! Personally, I would have pushed for more answers about her before blindly protecting her against angels, who obviously know a lot more about her than we do… and in this universe, ignorance can get you killed. Dean's developed a major Achilles' heel (understandable once we know what happened in Hell), namely that he flatly refuses to look at the Big Picture and focuses on one person, no matter what the cost. Predictably, when ordered to hand Anna over, he immediately balks. Sam actually called Castiel 'Cas' to his face! Dean's only called him that once, why would Sam suddenly call him that?

    Again we see that Castiel is just too gentle to be a soldier – he doesn't intervene with Uriel/Ruby/Dean and gently knocks Sam out with a touch. During the 'Godzilla/Mothra' showdown, Dean had to save him. Then another surprise – Dean actually helps Ruby up and the newfound trust continues throughout the episode as Dean trusts her to babysit Anna and even includes her in Sam's plan. He even thanked her for the hex bags without cringing. Given Alistair's behavior, seems Ruby really is still on our side despite her ambiguous actions over season 4. Maybe we must just trust her and see where it goes.

    As always when the boys are in trouble, they head to 'uncle' Bobby, only to find he's on vacation so they're on their own, but we do get to see Bobby's awesome panic room again. Can't believe Pamela came to help – after what happened last time she tangled with an angel, I would have told Dean to go jump. Very funny how she pretends to be helpless then slaps Sam on the ass! Wonderful to see she is still her old self. She's really adorable. Those white eyes are definitely creepy though.

    Then the transformation – Anna's a fallen angel. This turns a bad situation to an incredibly bad one. Now the boys and Ruby are caught between two armies who will crush them to get to Anna. Gotta admit, liked Anna a lot better once she's angel-Anna, not so annoyingly sweet or clingy. Sam goes into research mode and finds Anna's 'grace', funny how Ruby teases him about being 'buff for a nerd' – she really didn't know him before! Of course, she's never seen him like this, it was something we noticed when Dean got back and in the flashbacks last week – no computer, no books, no research. Ruby naturally wants Sam to use his powers on Alistair (did she not notice Sam nearly got them killed the last time she suggested that?!) but Sam sticks to his guns: he's not going to use his powers. Good boy.

    Dean naturally asks Anna the question Cas won't answer: why'd they save him? Unfortunately, Anna doesn't know so we're going to have to wait and see. Always wonderful to see the serious, gentle side of Dean and we get a lot of info on angels and the setup in Heaven – loved that they set up the 'faith' part exactly as with Hell: no-one's ever seen God, but they must assume He exists. Exactly as Casey described Hell. A very nice balance to the Heaven/Hell series mythos. Did have a good laugh about her 'unknowable father' rant – she just described Dean's relationship with John! Wonderful parallel. The oak tree is beautiful and the lighting just gorgeous. Not surprisingly with so many demons, and now angels, running around – someone got to the grace first.

    As if things weren't bad enough – they find out the price of disobedience for Dean (as the angels' chosen one) is Dean will get sent back to Hell. I cannot believe Sam Winchester even *suggested* killing angels! Is he high?! Sam, I'm pretty sure killing an angel would qualify you as EVIL! Then they send everything they've got after you and squish you like cockroaches.

    As Anna describes how an angel doesn't feel then becomes human, think of Castiel – look at how he's changed from the first time we met him. He didn't understand sarcasm or humor, and in this episode he calmly says "Yes we are… and?" He's becoming more human every day. Problem is, so is Uriel – every time we meet him he is darker and obviously enjoys his job, enjoys the pain he inflicts – he is one sick puppy.

    Surprise, surprise – another sex scene, Dean this time. Having enough scenes to compare with now, the writers are writing the boys consistently: Sam is an intense, passionate lover where Dean is a surprisingly gentle, sweet one. It fits though – Sam bottles everything up inside, when he does express himself, it's very emotionally or passionately. Dean is brash only when the girl means nothing to him, when she does, his behavior becomes sweet and shy. I like that the writers actually thought about that enough to write it into the sex scenes! I actually didn't enjoy this though – it was just too weird: she's an angel, it was kind of out of nowhere, and in the back of the Impala! It just didn't work the way Sam/Ruby's scene worked. There was no passion and it just felt too awkward. The writers should have just skipped the whole thing.

    Sam's plan is designed with his usual talent for detail and timing – Sam's got a real gift for this! We've seen him come up with plans like this before since the pilot. Playing on Ruby's shaky relationship with other demons, she surprisingly asks not just for her and Sam to survive, but emphasizes Dean too. It would have been sweet if it wasn't actually planned that way. A stroke of genius – instead of getting caught in the middle, put the two sides in one room and let them fight it out. Anna gets her grace back and disappears, we're just not sure to where. Ruby getting tortured was bad though!

    Clever for Dean to play on the fact the angels knew what he'd done in Hell and Uriel naturally assumes Dean will give in again. If Uriel had called Dean's bluff, Dean probably would have had to improvise and offer Anna up. This is the second time they've threatened to send him back to Hell and haven't. Dean's right to want to know their plans for him, he's obviously important enough that he's got immunity. And Dean's smart enough (and reckless enough) to play that.

    Can there be any doubt that Cas has a soft spot for Dean? The gentle way Cas looks at him, he really feels for Dean. You can always tell when Cas doesn't like a plan, he stares at the floor. Cas mentioned 'history' to Anna – what was that weird look when she kissed Dean? The regret he seemed to feel at first is replaced by a frown – there's something going on there that we're not understanding. She cuts off his apology, 'orders are orders'. Did they have some sort of relationship? Interesting.

    Demonic arrogance versus angelic righteousness – Dean, Sam and Ruby just get out of the way. I always hoped we'd see the bad-ass side of Cas but turns out he really is that gentle, probably why an angel like Uriel is necessary. Cas did well though, just was seriously outmatched. I expected more of a display of powers rather than a physical fight, that was a surprise. Dean didn't tell Sam anything about Alistair but this time Alistair talks right in front of Sam – Dean had such 'promise'. Given what Dean reveals at the end, given Dean's training and capacity for doing horrific things when necessary, it's easy to see why Alistair would consider Dean such a good protégé. Dean would be a perfect candidate. We all knew that if Dean went dark, he's make an exceptional demon – think of the black-eyed Dean in 'Dream'.

    Alistair got caught in the blast of light from Anna – was he just displaced like Cas and Uriel were, or back to Hell? Then we have the magic knife back. Most guys seeing the girl they're sleeping with all cut up and covered in blood would fuss, Sam blatantly doesn't, only asking how she is. Doesn't seem terribly worried either. Ruby might possibly be in love with Sam but doesn't look like there's much affection from Sam's side. However, the three of them are now acting like the Three Musketeers, as if they're a team. It actually doesn't bother me because Ruby and Sam's little whatever-that-was seems to be on hold and Ruby and Dean almost have this brother-sister thing going. I'm not sure if I should be freaked out or astonished the writers have managed to write in a female character that fits as part of the team.

    Then comes The Talk. Sam's way with Dean never changes – when Dean doesn't want to talk about something, Sam backs off and waits, and eventually when he's ready, Dean will open up. Perfect example: 'Croatoan'. The only problem is with Dean's explanation of the true passage of time is: shouldn't he have changed more when he came back? The incredible guilt he must feel for what he did, the reason for the nightmares is now obvious. No-one can hold out forever but Dean tried until he just couldn't bear it anymore. As if Dean hadn't already had such a hard life, this just eclipses it all. It's a miracle that Dean is still as good as he is. Most people would have become a monster, I think only Dean's previous experience with such horrors and John's extensive training saved his sanity. That poor, poor boy.

    This could explain some of why Dean reacted so violently to finding out Sam was using his demonic powers – Dean had just seen up-close-and-personal what the consequences of that choice could be. It also explains the testing in 'Pumpkin' – given Dean's activities in Hell, they had to make sure whose side he was on.

    The writers never fail to make us weep for Dean. Is there a more tortured character on television? Not to mention the utterly humbling acting abilities of Jensen Ackles! This is a horror we never imagined, but now Ruby's statements about Hell make sense – "Sooner or later, Hell burns away your humanity." Now we know how. By torturing others as you yourself were tortured, you become a monster to survive and eventually that's how you turn evil. Is it any wonder that most demons aren't like Ruby? Who would want to remember? The question then is: how does Ruby? That's what is so awesome about this show – nothing and no-one is black and white, there's always shades of grey. It makes the Winchester world so much harder and who can blame John for raising his boys – particularly Dean – as if everything was good or evil. Choices are so much easier that way. Talk about info-overload! Now that all the Heaven-and-Hell rules of the SN universe have been laid out, the storyline will obviously continue from this point, enforcing those rules.

    I'm getting a little tired of crying for Dean, how do the writers continue to manage it?! Every time I think SN can't get any better, it raises the stakes yet again. There's not another show that is capable of this level of excellence or consistency. And now we go into withdrawal with no new episodes till end January!!!
  • A worthy conclusion to last weeks epi

    10
    So one brother is sleeping with the demons and the other is sleeping with the angels...? The irony wasn't completely lost on me... ;)
    Besides this, I loved this episode. For the first time we got to learn a whole lot more about the angels, what they are and what they do, and that was about time. During the last four seasons we have learned a great deal about the demons, but angels have only been introduced this season. I really like that Ruby is becoming a part of the gang now, and she seems really trusted by both the brothers now. She has proven so far that she is trustworthy... The ending of the epi was fantastic. Jensen actually made me cry, he is such a good actor!! It must have been horrible for Sam being down there, and I can understand why he doesn't wonna go back...
  • Predictable but awesome!

    10
    I loved this episode! From start to finish, this was just all around fantastic. But I seem to have predicted weeks ago that Anna is an Angel and Dean tortured souls in Hell. Anyways, I'll go by subject. Oh, and I apologize if this turns into one big ol' blob of words. Stupid thing never separates my paragraphs.

    Castiel: I think this episode had a few purposes. One of them, at least I think, is to foreshadow what's to come of the extremely awesome, lovable, breathtakingly beautiful...crap, erm, Angel we know as Castiel. I'm thinking someone's gonna be taking a trip. In a few instances, the camera was on him, and I think for a reason. When Uriel made the comment about "Worse than this abomination you've been screwing", Castiel looked down with this pained look. When Anna kissed Dean, I know some people looked at it as jealousy (and by all means it very well could be...and I mean for Anna not Dean hahaha) but I think it was more of a "I wonder what that's like" kind of look. And then he looked down again with that pained expression when she told Dean she forgave him. So Kripke, if this is your plan, to have Castiel fall (probably in defense to Dean) then by all means, DO IT!! I'm sure it won't be anything less than heartbreaking and exciting all the same.

    Anna: I saw from a mile away that she was a fallen Angel. Krip, maybe next time make her really seem nuts. You know, the whole twitchy thing and talking to people who aren't there. Good times! :D Dean/Anna: I knew this was going to happen, and I know some people thought that scene was lame and cheesy and just sickening, but I loved it. And I'm leader of a group on these forums called SNS (Supernatural Sadists)!! So that's saying something. It was just a loving, tender, romantic scene that I thoroughly enjoyed...*devil horns pop out* and could that man have a sexier back?! Ruby: Okay, it's really sad because I loved Katie, but I think I'm starting to like GC more. Her acting isn't all that great, but I like what she brings to the character. I don't think Katie could have pulled off the sweeter side of Ruby because she was too bratty. And I think it's cool how Dean actually trusts her now (or at least appears to be trusting her). Sam: Now I want to know what the hell he has to do to exorcise his his psychic flabbiness? Hmmm...OH! You know, I didn't leave a review for the last episode so I'll say it here. Drunken Sam really reminds me of Christopher Meloni. That rage he has, and determination. I loved it. I actually found Sam hot, and not even really annoying for once! (No offense whatsoever to Sam!girls. I'm no Dean!girl...totally, because extremists scare me. He just irks me sometimes.) So yeah, bring on the evilness!!

    Um...anything else? Other than Uriel being junkless and Castiel being...OH!

    Dean saved Castiel! He looked a bit shocked when he did too. Teehee..."he likes you"...teehee...okay, I'll stop now lmao.
  • I absolutely love this episode. I really like Ruby in this episode. Castiel is amazing as always. He shows compassion. Dean showed so much emotions.

    10
    There must be more to Anna's Heaven storyline. I believe that character development is amazing. Castiel/Mischa Collins had improved so much from his Charmed day. His looks speak more than words. Dean showed so much emotions and depth. I really like Ruby. I would like to know where her loyalties really lie. I feel that she really cares for Sam. Their chemistry is amazing. (It helps that they date in real life. ) I don't know what happened to Anna. With a selfless sacrifice, she may have gone back to Heaven or be rebirthed into the human realm again. I hope that Dean's memories of hell will be wiped out by the end of the season as his reward for being good.
  • wow ..wow this is a realy good episode

    10
    this episode is great ...and krepki is a genious and he gave us such a wonderfull episode full of twists and the last scene was great ...i held myself from crying and burst into tears hardly ....jensen knows how to make your heart aches , he is one excellent actor that sometimes i wonder how such a good actor still be unkown and many others that suck and can't even act are well known and are famous world wide ..this is not fair sometimes i feel that the directors of hollywood are blind and don't have good taste and make huge stars out of nothing while the real talents are still undiscovered ...but jensen is such an excellent actor that i'm sure that he will make it some day ....and i hope all u supernatural fans and jensen lovers that you go to his movie and fill the theatures cause i think that this movie may be jensen's break into the movie world
  • Angels&Demons, Dean&Sam, Anna&Ruby..Not the best SN episode, but still a great one.

    9.0
    Ok this episode left me with mixed feelings. I liked it more than the previous one, but still it wasn't as great as the rest of season 4. Maybe cause I was expecting more of it and was kinda disappointed.
    So what I liked about it: 1)Misha Collins was amazing! This guy is so…well I cannot even describe what a wonderful actor he is. The way he showed us Castiel's emotions with looks and no words, was absolutely perfect. How he looked at Dean, at Alaistar, at Sam.. This was just great! I hope we see more of him next year.
    2)Angels vs Demons fight..I kinda liked it. Yes it wasn't epic enough to be called a real fight, but it was cool. Uriel kicked some ass and Castiel got kis ass kicked. That was fun.
    3)Pamela! Oh I love this woman =)
    4)The final scene of course made me cry and still makes me cry every time I watch it. Jensen was absolutely amazing! And the director (forgot his name) made a great job filming it. Dean's back to Sam so that they don't see each other, but we see them both. That was a great choice. I just wish there was a hug. But wishful thinking, I know =) We waited four seasons for one hug, I guess we'll have to wait another four for the next one, lol
    5) Sam calling Castiel Cass =)
    Things that I didn't like that much :
    1) Ruby.. Ok GC was by no means better in this one, but she's still not selling it for me. Don't know, there's sth about her that I don't really like, but maybe that's just me. The only thing I liked in her acting was the way she looked at Sam. But I'm not a fan of the whole "Demon love" so.. Another thing that I kinda liked with Ruby, was the look she gave Dean when he said "thank u" and the way she looked at him when he defended her and fought with Uriel. But still, less Ruby-better (for me)
    2)The Impala sex. It was sooo funny that really cracked me up. Dean taking Anna's pants off. LMAO! That was absolutely hilarious. Like a bad old erotic movie or sth. And in the end they decided to kill us with that "Titanic" hand =)) I guess they do know how to make fun of passion =) Of course I liked seeing a half naked Jensen, but I guess I suck at being a fanfirl, cause I could have lived without that scene
    Things I didn't like at all
    1) Anna! Sorry guys, but I don't trust her and don't like her. The actress was great, but the whole fallen angel storyline..naaah, it's kinda..well kinda stupid. I hope we won't see her anymore
    2) The ScoobyDoo gang and the Impala riding around the country and saving the world =) I really prefer "the boys" without girls. And it doesn't matter it they are angels or demons (and I'm not confusing porno with reality =)) )
    3) There was no Bobby at Bobby's!! Yeah I know Jim Beaver was not available, but still I miss the guy. Hopefully we'll see more of him next year.

    So I've given this episode 9 points. It wasn't bad, but it could have been better
  • This episode had its moments but all and all not one of the best.

    8.5
    This episode had some great moments. The whole Anna thing was very interested and Dean coming clean at the end was most definitely necessary before he drinks himself into rehab. But, I must admit, I miss the old Sam just a little. Let's face it, it maybe nice and sometimes exciting to see him show a little backbone every once in a while but he is a great victim. He is also great at being super sensitive. It seems as the the roles have change Sam's the hardass and Dean needs a tucking in. Oh, and by the way, I think the writers could have had a whole lot more fun with the Ruby possessing the maid thing in the first part. I was expecting a whole lot more with that, that could have been a light laugh in the middle of their usual crisis as usual.
  • Isn't it a sin to sleep with an angel?

    8.5
    This week episode picks up right where the last one ended. Instead of the boys getting their butts kicked by angels, Anna saves them by doing this ritual that invovled lots of her blood. Oh, and she turns out to be an angel who fell to Earth. Though the episode is highly chaotic, you cannot help but wallow in its awesomeness. We get another appearance from Pam, who grabs Sam's ass in her entrance. We also get this angels versus demons fight, but Castiel seemed a little weak against Alastair. We also find out what really happened to Dean in hell and why he preferred not to talk about it. I'm fairly surprised that the episode was cliffhanger-free, but that doesn't mean that I won't miss it during its December hiatus.
  • I loved it!

    10
    This episode is by far, one of the best. For sure I'd put in on my Top Five list.
    I like how Anna turned up to be a fallen angel.
    Being an Angel is not as mighty as one would think. Not knowing the creator, just following rules without questioning anything. Being an angel sucks badly!

    At any rate, I liked how Castiel and Uriel dealt with the demons, finally doing some handwork for a change. Oh, so Alastair is too powerful that Castiel couldn't exorcize him.. hmm..

    I can't even imagine how this 40 years in hell would've changed someone not as strong physically and mentally like Dean. Think that anyone else would be a sadistic bastard or suffering of some kind of paranoia after being brought back from the pit.
    I liked how he finally confessed to Sam what he's done while in hell. Good character development and this season is getting really ezciting!!
  • I love this series because of that!

    9.5
    Probably one the greatest episode this season so far!

    First of all, I may say I have this suspicious that this Ruby is actually someone related to the winchester boys. I thought it was their mother until she got sex with Sam.

    I don't know, but each episode is aired I have more this feeling, she is holding something from us. I am 100% sure about that.

    And well, in this episode, we start wondering about angels, I mean I dont believe much of that in real life, cause I believe angels are good and all.

    But if I enter in the series vibe, we kinda realize that human beings are not that bad.

    Really fascinated
  • Angels and Demons and Winchesters, Oh My!

    8.0
    The previous episode challenged a number of sensibilities. I can't imagine that this episode will be any different. My only true regret is that some fans may end up tossing the remote and taking the show off their "must watch" list before taking the time to consider what the writers were trying to do. As blasphemous as some of the concepts might appear to be, this is nothing more than another attempt to take a very broad concept and apply it to the "Supernatural" universe.

    I will be honest and say that I cringed when Anna was revealed as a fallen angel, especially when she gave Dean her long list of reasons for wanting to become human. I'm sure the notion of angels having to take the existence of God on faith was incredibly galling to those of far more devout belief. Nor was it particularly thrilling, I imagine, for Anna to describe angels as cold and unfeeling, utterly rigid in their thinking.

    For all that, however, I can't help but notice that these comments were coming from a fallen angel. In other words, not an angel who was still part of the flock, but one that had fallen from grace on more than one level. And one that was specifically designed by the writers to play on all of the concerns and fears that the Brothers Winchester might have, particularly Dean. I would expect a fallen angel to describe the angelic life in a negative light!

    Since the series is ultimately told from the perspective of the Winchesters, focusing on their reactions to things, Anna is seen in a more positive light than the angels. The angels are seen as rigid and uncaring, because to the brothers, Anna hasn't done anything wrong. Of course, part of that is their inability to internalize the context. Anna may be a rather pleasant and sexy fallen angel, but she's in the same category as Lucifer. Her self-awareness on that point doesn't change very much, because she's denying her integral decision to disobey.

    In a larger context, what we're also seeing emerge on "Supernatural" is a continuum approach to free will. God created angels and gave them just enough free will to do their job. The drawback is that some of them get a taste of it and rebel, especially when they're close to humans, who have quite a bit more. Should humans go too far in the free will department, really breaking the rules, then they slip into the demonic territory. One can then interpret Lucifer as the polar opposite: the ultimate excess of free will and pride.

    Because humanity is in the middle of the continuum, they see everything in extremes on both sides. They accept those extreme interpretation perhaps too readily. Humans would see the apparent rigid obedience of the angels as oppressive: they get to bask in the light of the Lord, but they are bound tightly by chains of God's authority. The rules of their existence feel restrictive and cold.

    On the other hand, the demonic side of the equation is seen as unbearably depraved. It's everything horrible a human can do, unleashed without a hint of moral reason. How many Hunters automatically equate demons as pure evil? Yet we've already seen examples of demons with more or less human qualities, especially Ruby. And now, as of this episode, we see how the line is blurred more than we realized.

    Hunters exist within a niche of humanity that must operate in somewhat questionable moral ground, somewhere south of the midpoint of the free will continuum. Sam, as a result of Azazel's intervention and Ruby's influence, has slipped further down the spiral. The reaction of the angels to his actions and choices are a good indicator of this.

    The revelation at the end of this episode is even more startling, because the parallels between Dean and Ruby throughout the episode (who and what they were willing to risk for Sam's sake, for example) pay off in a huge way. Dean spent a lot more time in hell than Sam had thought, and for quite some time, he was torturing souls. In other words, he's not only not so different from Sam, in terms of his choices, but he might even be further down the demonic path than even he suspects.

    This places his reactions with Sam earlier in the season in a deeper context, but it also explains some of the reactions from Castiel and Uriel. If Dean was going proto-demon, and God pulled him out of Hell for some specific purpose, would the angels assigned to the task question the meaning behind that? No wonder they test Dean so much, and worry over his associations!

    Merging the obvious definitions of good and evil \with the "free will continuum" aspect, there's a clear divide between various characters, and their relationships follow in suit. Uriel is the highest on the ladder, and he finds human free will distasteful and doesn't trust the Winchesters at all. He certainly doesn't like Ruby. Castiel was closer to humanity, and came to appreciate them. He finds it easier to relate to humans, but there's still a distinct separation. Anna was even closer to humans, and as a result, she fell, tempted by the emotions and freedom that humanity offers.

    The innocents of the world, the ones being saved by the Hunters, are in the wide middle between Castiel and the Winchesters, who are at the top of the "too much" category. Somewhere below them would be Ruby, who is certainly a demon and not particular good, but demonstrates redemptive qualities that the majority of demons lack. From there, demons like Lilith, Azazel, and Alastair are much further down.

    It's easy enough to see how one might slip down the ladder towards the bottom of the continuum, but the real question is how one can climb back up. That's the process of redemption (and, from the religious point of view, salvation). We already have angels falling and Dean being pulled up from Hell. We have Sam pointing to demons and monsters who make the choice to reject the urge to do evil, however rare that might be. Now those metaphors don't just apply to Sam; they also apply to Dean. The stakes have gotten higher.

    This is still a bit of oversimplification, and the amazing thing is that this is still setting the stage for what must, inevitably, come of this wave of information and perspective. We might see how all of this is adding up for the Brothers Winchester, but speaking in terms of storytelling, this is preparing the audience for something bigger. These episodes are defining the rules of the game so that the implications are clear when the clock strikes midnight.

    While it's possible to reconcile most of what happens in the episode, not everything works. Anna's true nature was revealed in one of the most awkward scenes in recent memory, and the whole concept of the "grace" didn't seem to fit into the "Supernatural" mythos very well. So angels can take on physical form if their grace is removed or voluntarily discarded? For that matter, was Lucifer once in human form, thus beginning the process that converts humans into demons through perversion in Hell? There are a lot of questions still to be answered and there are a lot of ways that this can still go wrong (and for some, it already has), but I, for one, can't wait to see where all of this leads.
  • Possibly the best one ever.

    10
    Possibly the best one ever. And this show has delivered some *storming* episodes - gore, ethics and spunk.

    Every day for 30 years. How, oh, how do you square with that one? What happens down there stays down there - or at least it should. How Dean tells Sammy was one of the most powerful scenes this show has given us - and once again we fall at the feet of awesome acting.

    Danna? Dean and Anna was a really interesting combination - a brave one on part of the writers, and something with incredible potential. I really like how this showing is moving, but fear for these budding relationships (Suby, Danna) because the girl fans will rip it to shreds. Ah well - the boys really deserve partners other than each other - and no normal female could ever withstand their world.

    The torture scene really brought back the grit and sheer horror that this show flagshipped in its first 2 seasons. I stated before how much I missed it and am darn glad to see it back. And how can you not feel for Ruby after all that? Was also sweet how Dean has stopped directly insulting her now - and even helps her up before Sammy.

    The writers have made another brave decision with the Angels - they have kept them equally dark and extreme as the demons. Like all great TV shows, there is no true black and white. Every character is flawed - it is only how they try to overcome those things that we fall in love with them.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is not all it is cracked up to be - but I am perfectly blissful here in the Empire of the Winchesters. I dare this show to try and be any better - not impossible, damn close .
  • A day in the Life of Anna: the good, the bad and the ugly. A thought-provoking chain of events that leaves you wanting more, more, more! Plus, the barrier of religion and TV - a breach?

    9.0
    Judging from some of the reviews I've read here, this episode was both enthralling and controversial for separate reasons. Enthralling:
    We've been left hanging in the last few episodes in terms of info. But the writers of Supernatural dangle the carrot just so, to maintain our interest without pushing us away. Dean's revelation about not only being tortured but becoming the torturer in Hell was definitely a defining moment for our Winchester heros. In a weird sort of irony, Dean, like Anna, is a fallen angel. He's been fighting the good fight most of his life only to end up in hell and turn into what he's feared most. He's a broken soul, who, with the arrival of angels in Season 4, has only begun to somewhat renew his faith - albeit with some questions given the angels don't exactly endear themselves to anyone. And like Anna, Ruby is also a representation of Dean. Since her initial appearance, I've actually been rooting for her. Ruby is a tough cookie, a smart ass, like Dean is. And Dean has to pull for her too because despite the fact that she's a demon, there is some 'good' in her. Dean needs to believe in that since his ordeal in Hell essentially made him a demon. He's a good guy and tries to convince himself he is one on a day-by-day or kill-by-kill basis, but he has a great deal of guilt associated with his misdeeds to bear. If Ruby, the full-fledged demon is redeemable, than maybe for Dean, there is hope for him too. Controversial:
    There are few reviewers here a little perturbed by the interpretation of the writers with this particular episode. I need to emphasize the word 'interpretation' because that's exactly what it is. Given the many types and versions of religious scripture, there is more information on the 'workings' of Heaven rather than Hell (from what I've read anyway) and all this information is highly subjective. My stance on this is much religious scripture, no matter how current, is essentially based on the writings and teachings from a very elite group of men many centuries ago. Their interpretations then, given their own experiences and learnings of that time would certainly differ in a more contemporary setting. Think about it: Sam and Dean have consistently looked at the varied lore on many types of creatures and phenomena they've dealt with. The lore of yesteryear has ultimately helped them deal with the evil of today. And while those interpretations haven't always been 'bang on' once the boys have seen these evil suckers face-to-face, the lore is not entirely wrong - just different. All I'm saying is, the demon-angel interpretations here are stand alone from scripture, a unique way of looking at the same thing differently. Besides, if the writers did stick to scripture for their research, would it make those of us well-versed in it regard each episode as predictable? The writers are trying something new and raw, and I like it. BTW, I Googled both Castiel and Uriel. Castiel is "an angel of Thursday" (funny, since Supernatural airs on Thursdays) and Uriel is the "patron angel of literature and music" as well as an "angel of transformation, the archangel of salvation" and the list kind of goes on for him. As for Anna, her name could be one of six listed under the angel index, but only one specifically lists a "high-ranking female" who is labeled as "the immaculate one, genius of fertilizing water and the fruitfulness of the earth." My point is, don't take too much of the religious references too personally. (SOURCE: http://www.sarahsarchangels.com/index2.html)

    People expected more out of the Demons vs. Angels fight scene, while I wasn't surprised. If angels are the foot soldiers of Heaven, it stands to reason Demons stand as foot soldiers of Hell. To an extent, they may, at times, be on equal footing. Clearly, Uriel, whose specific purpose is destruction, had no problem snuffing out the lives of the other demons. It would've been interesting to see him up against Alistair. Equally matched or no? It's hard to tell who's where in the totem pole of high up or down below unless it is verbally expressed within the episode. Plus a major battle scene between two angels and three demons now would've ruined all subsequent battles betwixt them later on. Better to start small here. Plus, it would've taken away from tremendously emotional scene with Dean at the very end. I was very moved by this, not just because of the tremendous acting talent involved but because knowing the character as we do, the agony of reliving what happened as he speaks, let alone the ordeal of revealing this information at all, is tried and true to Dean's character. The events of the last two episodes, including this one were the catalyst for Dean to reveal his extreme inner turmoil. He's so filled with self-doubt and self-loathing, he's struggling to believe that this war they're fighting will amount to something good. Despite Sam's own encounters with darkness, Sam is still purer as a character having not been subjected to the rigors of hell. And Dean will go great lengths to preserve that innocence even if it means sacrificing himself. That's my piece. I look forward to Supernatural in the New Year!
  • Jensen Ackles little story in the end stole the whole show away...

    10
    I was kind of confused while i was watching this episode. All the angel and demon talks kept me thinking all the way to the end.Some of it i really do not understand, some i do...i mean, i thought angels were supposed to be much more powerful than demons. So i did not get why Castiel could not take over Alastair during the fight. Like i said, confusing...But, on the other hand, the last scene was touching beyond words. Jensen Ackles has once again proved to us that he is capable of bringing out anything. The way he described the whole story with all the tears rolling down his cheeks brought me and my cousin to tears as well. Well done!
  • Angels and Demons are both after the Winchesters.

    10
    Where the hell is the Oscar for Jensen Ackle's crying scene at the end!?

    This episode was great! First off, the acting was not only phenomenal...the story line was brilliant! I was first really weirded out with Anna's power to send the angels away, but when we found out she WAS an angel...that was quite a plot jerker!

    I, personally, think Sam and the new actress who is playing Ruby are perfect for each other. I mean, Dean hooked up with an angel so why can't Sam hook up with a demon? I think this show needs some romance. Yes, Jared and Jensen are good eye candy but I think it will make the show that much better to add girls to the drama.

    Jensen Ackles's crying scene is the best in the world!! I wanted to jump in there and give him a hug! Lord knows how hard that must have been for him!

    Standing Ovation and an Oscar to Jensen Ackles for his brilliant work!!!
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