Harlem Shake was shot.
This episode had a number of wonderful scenes and will also be remembered as having a high body count, even by Supernatural standards. We lost Bobby – again – and also lost Mrs. Tran (Lauren Tom) and Benny (Ty Olsson). But this is Supernatural and there were obvious loopholes left for each character. Bobby promises to try to come back to help, we don’t see Mrs Tran’s body, and Dean (Jensen Ackles) didn’t burn Benny’s bones. I’m sure there will be much debate over Mrs Tran’s death in particular. If like me, you were confused by Ajay (Assaf Cohen) being called a coyote, the term is a slang term for people who smuggle people out of Mexico.
The VFX team of Mark Meloche, Grant Lindsay, Ryan Curtis and Adam Williams deserve particular praise for this episode. Really, they’ve been killing it all season, and I’ve been remiss in commenting on how spectacular the effects have been all season. This episode featured a number of great effects, but my favorite was the graffiti morphing into Purgatory. No doubt the art department is also due some high praise for that as well. Bobby’s ascent to Heaven, which is interrupted by Crowley, was also a spectacular effect – it looked great, but it also evoked a real emotional response.
Having commented on some of what I really liked about this episode, I also have to say that the episode also suffered from a number of very large plot holes. One example that really jarred for me was that suddenly it is really easy to get into Purgatory. What happened to Crowley (Mark Sheppard) not even knowing where it was and how difficult it was to get in and out? It suddenly makes Sam not even trying to free Dean even more problematic. Also, it took Benny, Cas, and Dean a very long time to get to the portal, but Benny is able to take Bobby and Sam there immediately? There is a rabbit hole into and out of Hell that Crowley didn’t even know about? It took an army of angels to free Dean from Hell, and now a mere mortal can simply walk in and walk out with a soul? What are the odds that that portal into Hell is right where Bobby is being held? Really? Hell consists of four hallways? And why wasn’t Bobby’s cell locked? Don’t get me wrong, Hell looked great and the inmates were spectacularly creepy, but I was distracted by the logic problems.
We finally get to see Amanda Tapping really get some meaty scenes. Naomi comes to Dean, playing good cop. But she also knows all the buttons to push. She offers him help and says she wants to help Cas. Then she tells Dean that Sam and Bobby are in Purgatory – she knows that will freak him out and spur him on to get them out. Her best moment is squaring off against Crowley, however. I loved how offended she got at being called a bureaucrat.
Mark Sheppard as Crowley was also terrific in this episode. It’s really great to see Crowley actually becoming a sinister, evil enemy again and not simply comic relief. His final scene with Kevin is particularly chilling. I’m really looking forward to getting more information on his past with Naomi.