Episode Review – “All Hell Breaks Loose (2)”

Well it’s Thursday and what does that mean? Episode rundowns! Well, normally I’d be reviewing the episode playing tonight, but since it’s currently reruns (and this is the first review), I figured we should begin with what is the best episode of the show, and therefore the standard by which they shall all be judged.

I watch this episode about once a month and every time I’m amazed that it’s only one hour long. Just look at everything that happens:

  • Dean sells his soul.

  • Ellen returns.
  • We learn that Samuel Colt was even more uber.
  • YED puts his plan into motion.
  • The main arcs of both season 1 and 2 are resolved.
  • The boys save their dad.

I’ve seen summer blockbusters that did less than that in 2+ hours.

But not only is every moment of this episode necessary, but each one is filled with memorable moments:

  • Dean breaking down – this scene really drove home just how much he has lost. His mother was taken, and by that, his home. The only thing tying Dean to the world after that, is his family. And here we see a man who literally has nothing left. (well, the impala but this just goes to show the reasons for his feelings towards her too)
  • Bobby chewing Dean out – shows how much he cares for the boys, like an uncle. Still, the scene would have been too much, until they heard a noise and snap into hunter mode. These guys are definitely hunters first.
  • YED tempting Jake – A pet peeve of mine is how temptation is generally shown in fictional works. Take Star Wars. Never once in any of the six movies did I find anyone’s turn to the “dark side” to be remotely realistic (what made Vader think his ramblings in “Return” would be successful?). Yet at the railroad crossing the Yellow-Eyed Demon tempts Jake in a very sensible manner. By the end, we can’t blame Jake for his decision. Who’s to say we wouldn’t do the same?
  • The hell’s gate opening – Wait! The Winchesters failed? They never fail! Guess they do though. And this opens up realms of possibility for future episodes, because we don’t know if they’re going to win.
  • Dad returns – Not even hell can keep a father from protecting his sons. I still get a tear in my eye watching him wrestle the YED and then getting to go on to heaven. Dean and Sam, were finally able to save their Dad, just as he had always saved them.
  • The colt shooting – The expression of YED (when he realizes the shit is hitting the fan) and Dean (who has waited too long for this) are priceless. Then, the last remaining bullet is fired.

What more could you want from your TV? It even has one of the greatest lines of all time:
Sam: I kinda can’t believe it, Dean. I mean our whole lives, everything has been prepping for this and now I… I kinda don’t know what to say.
Dean: I do. That was for our mom, you son of a bitch.
You also have to admire the creators of the show. A lot of series will drag out the main plot point until it’s lost all meaning (yes I’m looking at you x-files). So kudos to Kripke & crew for concluding the main storyline in a timely fashion. However, in a turn of brilliance, as they close one over-arcing plot thread, a new one is created. I hope many creators (whether of books, tv or whatever) learn from this and realize that closing an arc isn’t dooming the story, but opening up new possibilities.

The only question from the episode is how did the released demons get out of a hundred mile devil’s trap made of iron. Only reasoning I’ve been able to come up with is like putting too much air in a balloon. That maybe even devil’s traps and salt/iron have “maximum capacity” and if you get enough ghosts/demons inside… the whole thing breaks.

But let’s face it, this is a minor quibble within one of the greatest hours of television I’ve ever seen. Great story, great characters, great effects. Everything adds up to a
salt shell rating.

May you always catch your demons…

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3 thoughts on “Episode Review – “All Hell Breaks Loose (2)”

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