Monday, June 18, 2018

Supernatural - Abandon All Hope

Devil's in the details, Dean.









This is basically an extended version of my user comments for the episode on the IMDb:


I can see why “Supernatural” might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It plays fast and loose with Biblical characters and scripture, when concentrating on its own mythological structure for demon hunters, Dean and Sam (and their helpers/colleagues) Winchester. A mother and daughter hunting team, Ellen and Jo Harvelle (Samantha Ferris and Alona Tal), join them while their mentor/scholar, Bobby (Jim Beaver) awaits at “headquarters” by his radio for details and communication. A demon named Crowley (Mark Sheppard; the serial killer who could emit fire at will on “The X-Files”) has an offer for Sam and Dean (who arrive at his posh estate, complete with security gate and long drive, including well-manicured lawn and Hitler recordings displayed on projection for him to enjoy…), offering a Colt that is supposed to kill Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino; who has run the gamut of colorful characters, from the god-like spiritual Jacob on “Lost” to heinous wife-abusing scumbag, Paul, on “Dexter”). While all of this might sound ludicrous on its face, “Supernatural” wears a straight face and is presented with enough conviction—and has the talented cast to get over the material—to make the plot work. Pellegrino, with slithery bravado and charismatic villainy, makes for a game Lucifer, “encasing” “fallen angel”, Castiel (Misha Collins) in a fiery circle, questioning why he wouldn’t join him instead of fight against him considering both have fallen out of favor with God, walking the earth seemingly without much support of their Father. Meanwhile Sam is trying to avoid Lucifer’s capture as Dean once again gets throttled by God’s abandoned angel when the Colt’s bullet to the head doesn’t work. The invisible hellhounds do nothing for me, but I did enjoy Rachel Minor’s antagonistic, Meg, forthcoming in her devotion to Lucifer and his supposed plans to replace God and rule Heaven. Minor has that confidence and swagger that comes with full belief that her Master is on the path towards victory, with sights set on releasing Death upon the earth. Writing this synopsis, I realize the ongoing mythos could perhaps encourage perplexity and disbelief, but the show always casts well and has enough sincerity to rise above its expected negative critique. Dean saying goodbye to Jo—the two having an ongoing flirty back-and-forth that never is fully realized—with a kiss and genuine disappointment is well done as is a magnificent piece of acting from Jared Padalecki, whose Sam looks on without the ability to help the town, possessed by demons, as Lucifer admits to his misdeeds with no remorse or conscience in his actions…Jared’s face welling up with disdain, hopelessness, despair, and rage is incredible, without few words said yet so much speaks from his body language and expressiveness. While Castiel eventually punishes a mocking Meg, luring her into a trap, Lucifer remains unharmed as two of the hunting team (a photograph of them, as none expect to make it back to Bobby alive, is taken to commemorate their eventual journey to Carthage where Satan was awaiting with his “reapers”), Jo and Ellen, bid the show adieu, setting an explosive inside a store (Jo, fatally wounded by one of the attacking invisible hellhounds when she saves a tripped Dean from hurt, has her intestines held by a bandage and can no longer walk) for the horde of hellhounds waiting outside.


Pellegrino has a cache of heels in his repertoire, a rogue's gallery. His Jacob, though, is opposite all of the sleazy and vile characters, making the actor quite a versatile, prolific performance artist deserved of greater notice. I have seen him as two choice creeps on CSI: Miami, as a serial killer who broke the necks of online escorts he "cleansed of their sins" and as a husband trying to carry away items from his dead, estranged wife's house after a hurricane tore up the neighborhood!

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