Supernatural: Paint It Black

"Sammy, how long has it been since my last confession?"

Did this episode seem somewhat Catholic to you?

Halfway through and I was wondering when the story was going to take off. But that might have been unfair of me, because the monster of the week was a ghost with an interesting twist -- she was a beautiful witch from 1520 Florence who was just a bit more difficult to kill than usual, what with the blood and bone incorporated into the painting and all. If I'd been the lusty artist Piero, I hope I would have maybe absorbed a hint that Isabella was obsessed (the finger should have been a clue) and blown town before she knifed me in the back.

This episode strongly featured an old school Supernatural element that I've always enjoyed, which is Dean immersing himself in a new experience. In fact, Dean was so into Catholicism for a bit there that I almost expected conversion, baptism and communion. (That's Catholic, right? I'm not Catholic.) His flirtatious interest in Sister Mathias was sweet and a little sexy, and I think she was flirting back in a not too serious sort of way. I liked Sister Mathias' love of procedurals, her acceptance of the existence of an actual ghost hanging around the church, the fact that she and Isabella had bonded because they had similar man troubles.

The high point of the church plot was Dean's lengthy and semi-serious confession to the unfortunate Father Delaney that turned out to be more than just bait for the ghost. (Nice performance by Jensen Ackles, but hey, he's always good.) I used to get the feeling that Dean had a death wish, but Dean's confession suggested that might no longer be the case. Maybe his year off with Lisa and Ben a few seasons back didn't work for him then, but a life away from fighting monsters looks more appealing to him now. Or maybe it's just life, period, now that Dean is much closer to death.

Did anyone else pick up a hint that we might finally get to see God in the Supernatural-verse? It's way past time. (I'm still not clear on whether or not God is Chuck.)

This week's B plot also centered on a powerful witch, and finally moved the Rowena plot in a clear direction. Turns out those clever Men of Letters were responsible for bringing down the Grand Coven, and now Rowena has a mission in life that even relates to the Winchesters. I haven't loved or hated the Rowena plot -- it's hard to hate anything involving Mark Sheppard -- but it hasn't felt connected to the Winchesters until now. It's of course still impossible to tell how Crowley feels about his mum, or even how he truly feels about the Winchesters. But that's our Crowley.

There were some other interesting tidbits. I enjoyed Teryl Rothery from SG-1 as the gutsy Olivette, and laughed at the little salute to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Amy the Rat. (Or was that a gerbil?) We learned that Rowena was excommunicated from the Grand Coven because she "lay with a non-magic and hatched his spawn", meaning Crowley's father was a normal human instead of a witch. Interesting.

And the Grand Coven plunder was dispersed to the Men of Letters bunkersssss, with an S. Did we know there was more than one bunker? I'm imagining secret MoL bunkers all over the world now, filled with supernatural treasure.

Bits and pieces:

-- Sam refused to burn Isabella's journal, which turned out to be the right decision. I guess after all those years of doing exorcisms, Sam can read Latin?

-- Normal people, especially women, didn't have easy access to books in 1520, and very few could write. Isabella would have been rich as well as highly educated. Which I guess isn't surprising since she was having a portrait done.

-- Sister Mathias had a gray wimple that went with her gray eyes. Nicely color coordinated.

-- We got Crowley but no Castiel this time. Odd that we didn't get Castiel, considering the religious theme.

-- Didn't "St. Philomena's Church" look familiar? After ten seasons, they've probably filmed at every church in Vancouver, though. Note the sign on the church said, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

-- This week: Worcester, Massachusetts. Dean and Sam were agents Allman and Betts (Allman Brothers Band).

Quotes:

Sister Mathias: "A bit cynical, agent?"
Dean: "Scissors to the gut bring out the grinch in me."

Olivette: "It's a rabid group of sanctimonious do-gooders dedicated to our downfall."
Rowena: "They had equal magic?"
Olivette: "Worse! Public relations."
The Men of Letters had a public relations department? Did I miss that?

Dean: "Ah, Gina. Well, don't get me wrong, I mean, it was good times. The sex, the lasagna… "
Have we seen Gina? I don't remember.

Dean: "I believe there is a God. But I am not sure he still believes in us."

Rowena: "Again with the Winchesters! Perpetually, the Winchesters."

Dean: "Who mixes their blood and bones into paint? No woman's ever done that for me."

It had its good points, but I didn't care much for this one. Two out of four lasagnas,

Billie
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Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Two and a half, at least! The church was beautiful, the hamster-witch funny, and the two-faced demon ... well, unexpectable. Plus SmartSam and Confessing Dean who always at his best when confessing. And I like the psycho-nun too.

audrey L said...

I was bored with this one.
I can't say I like or don't like Rowena, she just bores me, I don't care.
I am also tired to see Crowley siting on his throne. I miss the cruel king of hell. The new crowley is pathetic and it 's sad.
Not enough Sam and Dean, too much bla bla bla, not enough action.

Heather1 said...

I also thought immediately of Amy on Buffy when I saw the hamster/gerbil running on the wheel. And thank you for pointing out that Olivette was Teryl Rothery! It's been bugging me. I knew I knew her but I couldn't place her. I guess it was the blonde hair. I enjoyed the episode (because I almost always enjoy Supernatural) but this season does feel like it's "meandering" too much. But I hear Bobby's back next week! As always, I'm prepared to go where they want to take us.

Juliette said...

I quite liked the ghostly nun (though the 'hot' one should not have been wearing all that make-up, and seriously Dean, a nun? You're nearly 40, stop perving on every woman you meet!).

I really want to get rid of Crowley and especially Rowena though, primarily because they feel like they're on a different show, possibly a gorier version of Charmed. I knew Rowena had turned Olivette into a rat because I saw the Buffy reference coming, which seems... not quite the right way to do meta rothery references. Loved seeing Teryl Rothery though.

And yes Billie, converts to Catholicism are baptised, take Holy Communion and are confirmed, usually at Easter (so, next week!). I didn't get quite the same vibes from the show, but the scene in the confessional was definitely my favourite in the episode. I'd love it if Chuck showed up again, but it's more effective if he doesn't...

sunbunny said...

Officially sick of the Mark of Cain brooding. It's been a long time since Dean's seemed to be affected AT ALL by it. He was moments from death here and at no point did he Hulk out or lose control or anything. If they're going to leave the Mark at that, fine, but stop acting like it's killing Dean when you're not showing that on screen.

I am so sick of Rowena I want to throw things. She is so annoying and so over the top. Please, someone kill her already.

The flirting with the nun weirded me out too. Dean is a flirtatious person, I get that, but I feel like nuns should be out of bounds. It was creepy.

I can't be sure but that might've been the church from Houses of the Holy.

It was a fun little episode. We've had so many ghosts this season! I love ghosts. Getting back to the Supernatural classics. It's fun. BUT I STILL MISS CASTIEL.

Anonymous said...

Teryl Rothery was the only good thing of the episode. The rest was off, way off.

Let me add my voice to the chorus: please, dispose of Rowena, kill her, sent her away, whatever. She is poison to the show.

Coldrun said...

Kind of love the witch stuff this season. More Rowena please .:)

Marianna said...

This was a fun episode, but it wasn't as good as I hoped an episode named after one of my favorite rock songs ever would be. I bet Isabella would have gotten along with Anya. =)

Olivette was turned into a hamster. I have pet rats; they look quite different, most noticeably in that they have tails.

I wasn't clear if the "spawn" Rowena hatched was Crowley. I thought Rowena had said that she abandoned Crowley and then joined the Grand Coven. Was she referring to a child she had after Crowley? Maybe we'll get to meet this mysterious child!

I think Gina was just a character in a story that Dean made up to egg on the ghost.