Reviewbr> "We've got work to do." - Dean
Following on directly from events in Part 1, we find Sam is dead at the hands of Jake, Dean is coming to terms with what this means and what his options might be, and Bobby is urging Dean to move on with things due to the looming battle with the demon hordes that is just around the corner. And if that sounds to you like we might have just slipped into Tolkien land then you're not alone. To cut to the chase, and in order to stop this review heading toward Lord of the Rings length, Dean makes a deal with the crossroads demon; his soul after one year in return for Sam's life. This has shades of where we entered the season? One year huh, just the right amount of time for, say, events in season three to culminate.
Dean and Sam head to Bobby's place to see if between them they can't deduce the YED's plans for Jake and the upcoming war. Everyone is flummoxed but can see events are unfolding in Southern Wyoming. An unlikely source in the form of Ellen, who quite by chance survived the destruction of the Roadhouse in Part 1, has the secret Ash was about to reveal in the form of a map.
With the hunter team geared up and ready to go itβ's off to Wyoming to confront Jake, the YED, and to prevent the gates of Hell from opening. Our team almost succeed in their quest and get help from the most surprising source. A fitting conclusion to season two ensues. Ready to unlock the gates of Hell?
Got to say, great way to end season two, though the cliff hanger was perhaps a bit too subtle and may not pan out how we might think in season three. Think resurrections, things better off dead, and Sam's reaction to Jake. Not entirely sure if Kripke and Moore haven't written themselves into a corner with the development, and for sure they can't leave this sort of thing hanging without incurring the wraith of Supernatural fans everywhere. The episode did also add the framework for season three and indicated not all is as hopeless as it seems. Dean has one year before the hounds of hell will be all over his arse, but a certain other Winchester showed the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of how to cancel contracts with demonic entities. Only problem I can see here is the colt, remember the one that can even kill demons, is now sans bullets. Actually by our count there was already an extra "silver" bullet but hey, let's not get into that nit picking territory that does threaten to derail some of the episode reviews. Great end to the season, though I still think they should have thrown on another regular episode, with plenty of Black Sabbath on the soundtrack, and finished things with the cliff hanger in All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1. Off topic, but if Kripke needs an extra script I have one about a Yowie who rips Kylie's head off before disembowelling Nicky Webster before the starting credits roll. Give me a bell Mr Kripke, Supernatural Downunder, now we're talking.
I had one slight issue with Kim Manners' helming of the final episode and though minor it did impact on my enjoyment of Part 2 overall. Actually, that's where I deducted the point. Manners goes with the "bullet vision" happening for no apparent reason, and dude, this is so trite it's almost rusted. You all know the shot I mean: slow mo bullet from a gun's barrel, camera swings through 180 degrees to follow the bullet's trajectory, before finally everything speeds up as the bullet hits its target. Okay so arguably this is a major plot development that underpins forty three previous episodes and the whole reason for the Winchester's obsessive "hunting", but come on, even Uwe Boll uses this technique in pretty much every movie he directs. This all had impact back in the late 1990s but by 2007 it's been roundly used and abused by about every hack Director this side of the black stump.
The episode leaves me wanting to hit season three like a wild night up the Cross
Other than that slight misjudgement, Manners handles the episode well, nails the major plot points, and keeps things romping along like a CGI deer attacking Naomi Watt's four wheel drive. If you want to claim that Manners is one of the best directors currently in the Supernatural stable then you will get no argument from me, which is why bullet cam was a disappointing rehash of "Hollywood Directing 101".
Eric Kripke and Michael T Moore handled the writing duties for the final episode jointly and did a pretty decent job of things. I was digging the whole five churches with connecting private railways forming a huge "demon trap" concept. The idea of an abandoned church slap in the middle of the trap was also pretty cool. Even higher on the cool stakes was the fact that the YED had to use the one thing which could destroy him for all eternity in order to further his plans, simply an awesome catch 22 right there for the forces of evil. Kripke and Moore have things going pretty pear-shaped at the cemetery on the edge of Hell and I didn't see the resolution coming. Left field comes to mind, but perfectly fitting and I'm going to say an excellent full circle conclusion to the overall plot arc of season two. As stated the Writers also lay the groundwork and erect the framework for season three, and if you don't think I'm gnawing the side out of my tinnie in anticipation of the DVD box set happening there then you haven't been reading the episode guides in enough depth.
A slight hint of things to come hit that note of crystal for me in All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2. The character of Jake was slightly more complex than first supposed and highlighted a flaw in the rejuvenated Sam Winchester. Sure in Part 1 Jake took down Sam and fulfilled the YED's requirement, but could this have been due to Jake not trusting Sam? In Part 2 we find Jake prepared to kill the YED till the demon announces some pretty diabolical result for Jake's immediate family. At the end Sam did not need to kill Jake, the YED had abandoned ship, and Jake was pretty much out for the count. Considering all through season two, and underlined via Heart, Sam has questioned the need to kill all things tainted with the supernatural, why this change of mind toward the end of the final episode? Some things may indeed be better off dead, as the YED informs Dean. Hopefully this wont devolve in season three with Sam emoting all over the place about how he could still be evil, pull yourself together man!
I'm not even going to go near the final Winchester family reunion Dean's right, let's leave the emotional stuff to the chicks and Sam.
In terms of borrowing from other horror vehicles, where do you exactly start with this episode? The gates of Hell, their closed status and possible re-opening, crops up quite a bit in the dark genre. Off hand I can think of The Sentinel, The Gate, The Ninth Gate, a Roman Polanski movie (name escapes me), and if we want to be pedantic then for heck's sake Sunnydale. Do a google and you are likely to find 101 other references. Not exactly the most original of ideas but we do get a slight spin, no pun intended, on the concept in Part 2.
The whole concept of "some things shouldn't be brought back from the dead" is about as hoary a horror concept as it gets. Besides the perennially copied "The Monkey's Paw" we have the whole zombie sub genre, and, flashing neon lights at us, Pet Semetary by one Stephen King.
In terms of the mulletville we get two corkers to finish the season with; "Carry On My Wayward Son" from Kansas and Boston's "Don't Look Back".
Well I had a lot of fun with All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2 and thought it topped off a pretty decent second season for Supernatural. A whole bunch of plot arcs finally get closed out, we have season three ready to rock, and end of day I'm a pretty happy camper. Still think this episode should have been the first of next season but at least we do get closure and can to a certain degree wait patiently for the new season DVDs to arrive on the office desk. They here yet?
And that's it friends and neighbours, we've finally come to the end of the season two episode guide. I actually feel like it's the last day of school and am ready to pound out into the summer for adventures and the like. Unfortunately there's a whole bunch more stuff to get through so I'll see you over in the Dr Who aisle till we revisit with the Winchesters hopefully sometime around Christmas.
All I can say is if you have seen Part 1 of All Hell Breaks Loose then you don't need me to recommend Part 2. Must-watch stuff, and no doubt you greedily caught both parts before reading the final instalments in the season two guide. Shame on you, and hope you are feeling guilty. If you haven't seen Part 1 then check that out before even thinking of Part 2 else it possibly won't make much sense. For those people who haven't caught up with Supernatural as yet, well sorry you pretty much are going to have to backtrack to the pilot episode in order to get the full nuances going down here. Great conclusion to the second season, we now wait with anticipation for season three.