The episode was directed by Guy Bee, whose work I tend to like. This is the episode they were filming when they made the Harlem Shake video. Guy commented on Winchester Radio that they included iconic things like the Impala (and
Guy didn't mention it but one of the directors for an earlier episode said that the space for filming on the boat is very small. I liked that Guy managed an overhead shot to show how confined Kevin was. It looks like things are closing in on him.
Osric plays a kid on the edge pretty well.
Then the Winchesters arrive and are met by Kevin and his fry pan. What good is that against demons? Maybe it has a devil's trap in it.
One of the things about looking at caps is that they can be taken out of context and you can catch fleeting expressions. Sam doesn't appear to be too impressed with Kevin's defensive tactics.
Who knows what Dean is looking at but he does a pretty good Betty Boop.
Here's Sam looking a bit more serious.
I like how they frame the demon with the boys. He looks trapped by more than marks on the ground.
Great crane shot of the crossroads.
I like how it transitions from the devil's trap underfoot to the one overhead. If it was really this easy to get a demon to crack and tell how to get into Hell, don't you think Sam would have squeezed it out of a demon back in Season 4? He squeezed info out of Alastair with less motivation.
It's fun to see the Watchman set again, this time done as a seedy part of town with strip joints and bail bonds. Guy said it was rainy and cold every time they shot at this set. It makes for cool reflections. Later when there is a closeup of the reaper talking to the boys, you can see the steam from breath. The front cab is from Red Check Cab.
A cross behind the guys as well as a pregnant woman and a guy hitting the bottle pretty hard.
Spend your evening at Sally's Bar and then go get saved after last call.
The psychic sign appropriately stays behind Sam while he's talking with the reaper. It also picked up the reflection of the white neon cross from the mission across the street. The wiki says that the bumper sticker says "How's my driving? Call 1-555-GO2-HELL".
Dean gets the red adult movies sign.
Is the cab driver the SPN version of the ferryman who takes souls across the river Styx? Sam and Dean argue about who will go. For once it works out ok for them even though they split up.
Sam and the reaper go down a dark alley surrounded by great graffiti. Guy said that one artist did the whole thing. They were looking for skulls and pretty much everything off every heavy metal album ever made. There's also a homage to Banksy, a well-known street artist who's been around since the early 90's. Here's my favorite of his images.
I think the woman on the wall behind the demon is the piece that's supposed to be the tribute. I'm not sure what she's doing. The demon is surrounded by red light and there's a disembodied head wig stand in the window as well as a leg.
Skulls, teeth and tentacles.
When Sam is hanging on to the reaper waiting for the door to open, this is what's on the wall next to him.
I love the door.
This was my favorite special effect in the episode.
With nothing better to do, Dean goes back to check on Kevin. He brings him food from Biggerson's and the black checked food containers show up again.
Kevin comes out next to the caution vest on the wall.
With all the checks this season, I expected this to be a checker cab too but the cab company for this taxi is KC's Sunshine Cab Company claiming "No Destination Too Far." Uh-huh, uh-huh.
Sam finds out he's in Purgatory where there is a convenient door to Hell. Crowley and Cas couldn't have used this in Season 6? Maybe Purgatory had to be opened another way to harness the souls' energy.
Looking good there, Sam. Another week or two and he'd be grubby enough to look like a Purgatory native.
Then he gets sucked through a rock door which he left open. I wonder if any other Purgatory residents also decided to go to Hell. In addition to the fact that the episode didn't mention that either of the guys had been to Hell and what it meant to go back, this is the most cliched version of Hell possible besides a literal burning pit. It's the equivalent of the fluffy white cloud, cherub-infested version of Heaven. I'm going to figure this is so far less than what happened to Sam in the cage that he's just going for a stroll and doesn't even notice.
I did like his mirrored image with the face on the wall.
We don't really get any idea how long Sam wanders around looking for Bobby but it doesn't seem too long.
This chick was the eeriest thing here. Was she expecting Sam to come as the Boy King or Lucifer?
I didn't have any idea Bobby was going to be in this episode. I really miss him. For as long as he's been in Hell, he seems surprisingly undamaged.
He's still got the red Hell light while Sam has the more white while they're on their way out.
A brief look at Crowley dressing down an employee who could pass for an angel. He's got a little bit of home blazing away in the fireplace. Looks like they got snow, wherever he is. Probably not Hell unless it's freezing over.
Dean puts the fry pan to it's intended use.
Then he gets a visit from Naomi. I like how he gave her a wide berth. The whole interaction between these two was done really well.
Then this face knowing Sam had to pass through Purgatory.
And this face knowing he's asking for Benny's life.
I'm glad they didn't have Benny go off the wagon. They let him go out with honor. He still has his bag of AB with him in the truck.
Bobby looks grimy enough for Purgatory already.
This was another really well done scene and we got to see more of the mural. Shopping cart.
Fire and feathers.
Lots of fangs and a wheel?
I think in the past it's been Benny sticking his hand out. This time it was Dean.
Awesome face looking out the door with the horns and more little fanged faces.
And a bit of light in the corner. Maybe a halo? And a wing?
These two shots after Dean drives away were some of the best. There's the adult movie sign reflected on the sidewalk.
Then this foot splashes down into it.
Evidently you continue to wear what you died in when you get wherever you're going. Note to self, don't die in the shower.
Here's a big act of trust on Sam's part.
Straight off the cover of some romance novel.
I think I wrote in an earlier entry about how Sam and Dean would work out their stuff and we'd get another hug. Close enough.
Sam delivers the bad news about Benny. It's another friend Dean has lost to the war. Way to feed Dean's abandonment issues.
I liked the effect they used for Bobby's soul and the way the boys watched it go up.
The dark demon smoke tangled with it was cool too.
So is Naomi just an angel or something else? Why doesn't she just smite Crowley? For that matter, why doesn't Crowley just kill Sam and Dean?
Thanks to bertee, I will never be able to look at this and not think of a patronus.
Only the penitent man shall pass.
Then Crowley goes for Kevin and shows up under the red light. Did Naomi tip him off?
Ominous full moon.
I enjoyed the episode while I was watching it but afterward, was pretty dismayed by what they did to canon and what a disappointment Hell was. Throughout all eight seasons, we've had various villains but looming in the background, bigger than the Big Bads, was Hell and it's impact on the boys' mental health. I read maraceles thoughts about Hell and they helped a little but overall the episode just smacked of a lack of creativity. If Heaven is a road trip through your best memories, shouldn't Hell at least be related to your worst memories and the path something you have to figure out? It's just crying out for comment fiction about what Sam's journey could have been like.
Caps from homeofthenutty, another LJ source I'll credit as soon as I can find the username and me.