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"Abandon All Hope" is the first Supernatural episode that has given me nightmares, and I haven't gotten nightmares from a horror movie since I was 12 (granted I don't watch horror porn like Saw or Hostel). It wasn't so much what was in the show that got to me, though everyone did a wonderful job, it was what was not shown. I didn't, when I first watched it, connect the scenes from "Triumph of the Will" that Crowley was watching to the events in Carthage, my mind immediately linked Demon Crowley to Aleistar Crowley a famous occultist, who has been rumored to have ties to Germany during WWI and WWII, and figured that is why those scenes were being shown. It wasn't till I was sleeping that my brain put the pieces together and I dreamed of what it must have been like in Carthage, Missouri when Satan came to town.

Most people have heard of places like Treblinka and Auschwitz; but what is less known is that those camps were the result of the Nazi's during WWII realizing the drawbacks of their original methods of extermination. Genocide did not start with those camps, it ended with them. One of the early efforts was known as the The Einsatzgruppen. They would come into a town, collect all the Jewish citizens and anyone else deemed unreliable or worthless, march them out of town to a natural ravine, or worse force them to dig their own graves, where they would be ordered to lie down and if they were lucky shot, others lived, a few managing to scramble out to tell the tale of horror, but others died under the combined weight of the dead and the earth that covered them. Today nothing remains of the horror but human memory and a few old photos

I dreamed of Carthage, of the elderly and the infirm, of mothers, fathers and wives and children, watching as husbands and sons, friends and neighbors, people they would trust and run to in times of crisis, police, firemen and pastors become strangers. Worse than strangers, Monsters who dragged them to a field on an old farm, held them at gun point, maybe even killed some of them to discourage escape, while others dug a grave, and then they were marched inside it to die. If they were lucky, maybe they were shot, but its unlikely, Lucifer, would not have had a unit of the National Guard at his disposal, but he did have demons, strong enough to hold the terrified civilians in place, as one by one even the men, bodies broken beyond use, joined the others in the grave, until finally only a few remained top side to push the dirt over the bodies. No demon mojo would be needed now to hold the victims, they were caught, maybe mother's tried to protect their children with their bodies, a nurse her patient, an elderly man, his wife, but, it would have been hopeless and maybe would have even been crueler as air ran out and and lungs labored to breath, as backs struggled to bear the weight and failed, ribs breaking and crushing when strength gave way and they slowly died, while Lucifer waited for midnight and Death to appear.

If I had any complaint about this episode at all it is that Jo and Ellen's deaths over shadowed the nightmarish horror that is the Massacre of Carthage. Dean said it in "Lucifer Rising", "you know what's real, people, families that's real". Which is why, I guess in retrospect, I would have gladly traded Meg, explosions and all the other special effects for the writer to have found a way, in budget, to impress Dean, Sam, Jo, Ellen and us, with just how horrible the events of Carthage really were. But the past is past, so as we grieve for Ellen and Jo, characters who Kripke made us care for, and whose Actress's, final performances, brilliantly tugged at our hearts, let's not forget the real tragedy of Carthage.

Zaz - feeling kind of shell shocked - it was a really bad dream


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Like Dean said.. monsters I get,humans...... The evil that man can inflict. It's horrifying. Your photos chilled me... the casualness of extinguishing a life, or in this case many many lives. All for what??

Something we can never forget.. we must educate our children to the horrors man can do.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
I agree - and it is so easy to do - the terrifying thing is that there are people, young people, today who think that it was just Allied Propaganda

Nov. 22nd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
I had awful nightmares as well. Worse than I have had in a long time. It was a powerful episode.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
It was extremely well done, I can see why Alona said it was her favorite episode. She really got to do good work in it

Nov. 22nd, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
You're right -- the manner in which the show was filmed focused our attention on the small group of heroes, leaving the larger picture to a far broader focus.

I feel as if I missed that, in my shock and grief over what happened to Ellen and Jo. But in a sense I can see the intent: it's often far harder to grasp the impact of something when the scope is so wide. It's the macro, but the micro is where we can focus in, comprehend on a more intimate scale.

So while I wish there had been some greater acknowledgment of the horror of Carthage, I can see how the thinking might have gone. We KNOW Jo and Ellen and Sam and Dean and Bobby. We -- for better or worse -- don't know the residents of Carthage, and we won't ever be able to now.

Take a plane crash. It is a horrific event, one where hundreds of people may have died. We almost can't imagine seeing such a thing, much less being in one. We shake our heads, feel a hesitation at the idea of flying, the next time we're lining up in an airport.

How much worse might it be, if a friend, a relative, a child or a parent, was on that plane that crashed?

Does it mean the crash where we knew no one directly affected is less of a tragedy? Absolutely not. And it doesn't mean, to me, that Carthage was not important, or that those poor people should not be valued. But Jo and Ellen were characters we knew. It mattered to us on a personal level, what happened to them. How they died, why they died.

Maybe that's why we seem to grieve over Jo and Ellen in ways we seem not to, for the nameless and faceless people of Carthage. One theory, at least. And maybe in grieving for the two we knew, we are in a way grieving also for those we didn't.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
I agree it was a great episode, there is no denying that. Well acted, Samantha and Alona knocked it out of the park. All of the actors did a phenomenal job. And I am sure that you are correct that by killing characters we care about they were trying to make the impact of their "Walmart" Apocalypse stretch as far as it can go.

On the other hand from watching the reactions on various boards I am not sure that it always had the effect, that the writers meant it to have. Which makes the fact that the Massacre in Carthage is not even being mentioned for the most part even sadder.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
my mind immediately linked Demon Crowley to Aleistar Crowley a famous occultist, who has been rumored to have ties to Germany during WWI and WWII, and figured that is why those scenes were being shown.

I also thought the connection to the real Crowley was deliberate given the two new demons we've seen recently were named Alistaire and Crowley. But I hadn't linked what he was watching to the massacre at Carthage, and you're right, it was definitely overshadowed.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
It's 'Einsatzgruppen'. There is no 'ü' in that word. Might want to change that.

Nov. 23rd, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
Thanks for the tip - but since the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team spells it that way I think I will leave it for now. Chances are if I changed it someone else would write and tell me to change it back

but thanks anyway
Nov. 23rd, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
Actually nobody will suggest that because it is grammatically incorrect. Please feel free to check any German dictionary. This word as you spelled it does not exist in the German language, trust me on that.

And yes, I am German, I know what I am talking about.

I had a look at that link... umm... funny thing is that they actually spelled 'Einsatzgruppen' correctly throughout the whole text. Just not in the title on that page. A typo then, I guess. I have already send them an email. :)

Nov. 23rd, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
Ok thanks I changed it

You know HEART actually misspelled it in almost all the title pages and in the side bar links too - but just not in the text

Nov. 23rd, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
::big hug:: Your nightmares are scary, you know that? Thanks for sharing this. Much to ponder. And "the boards" you read seem to be full of dissatisfied whiners who count minutes of screentime. Why would Carthage even matter to them? Sad but true. But I agree that the loss of characters we care about (why is it suddenly everybody loves Jo? I was all alone when she was first introduced) brings the apocalypse home in a way that thinking about the deaths of hundreds of strangers cannot.
Nov. 24th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
Yeah it certainly scared me - I woke up feeling like I was suffocating - shudder

Thanks hon'

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )