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Supernatural: Faith

Dean: "You're not going to let me die in peace, are you?"
Sam: "I'm not going to let you die, period."

This was the episode that hooked me.

The whole thing just worked. Maybe it was old-fashioned revival faith healer scenes intercut with the reaper stalking his victim. Maybe it was the moody photography, or the old tent in the mud and the rain. Maybe it was because they incorporated the darker aspects of Christianity, the intolerance and bigotry of the far right. Whatever. It was a powerful mix, with surprising depth.

The performances were excellent, too. I particularly liked the way Jensen Ackles handled Dean's resignation to his approaching death, and his anguish over Layla. Dean didn't run from the reaper that last time. I think he was ready to die in Layla's place. Dean has said that he's not afraid of what they hunt. I don't think it's bravery, or recklessness. Is it possible that Dean has no fear because at some basic level, he wants to die?

It occurred to me for the first time during this episode that the supernatural we see on this show is pretty much always evil. Is there a god in the Supernatural universe? Angels? White magic? Roy Le Grange appeared to be a good man, and he was exactly that. He sensed what Dean was and wanted to help him. ("I didn't pick you, Dean. The Lord did.")

Bits and pieces:

— Was that one dark, weird motel room, or several? Green striped curtains, and black wallpaper with roses on it. Multi-colored spots like camouflage. In the final scenes, the motel room was blood red, and hard to see.

— Julie Benz (Layla) had a long-time recurring role on both Buffy and Angel as an evil vampire named Darla. She can play evil as well as she played good. (Note from later: She's now one of the stars of another favorite show of mine, Dexter.)

— Sam used the alias Burkowitz. I have no idea what that's in reference to, or if it refers to anything. Except maybe the famous serial killer.

— This episode took place mostly in Nebraska.


Dean: "That fabric softener teddy bear. Oooh. Gonna hunt that little bitch down."

Dean: "Hey. Better take care of that car, or I swear I'll haunt your ass."
Sam: "I don't think that's funny."
Dean: "Aw, come on. It's a little funny."

Sam: "We still have options."
Dean: "What options? We got burial or cremation. I know it's not easy, but I'm going to die and you can't stop it."
Sam: "Watch me."

Dean: "I'm not going to die in a hospital when the nurses aren't even hot."

Dean: "I bet she could work in some mysterious ways."
Dean was dying, and he still managed to flirt with Layla.

Sam: "But you said you saw a dude in a suit."
Dean: "What, you think he should have been working the whole black robe thing?"

Dean: "God save us from half the people who think they're doing God's work."

Dean: "I'm not much of the praying type, but I'm going to pray for you."
Layla: "Well. There's a miracle, right there."

Excellent. Four out of four stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. This episode personally left me cold. I don't know why. The faith healer, and reaper, and crazy wife just seemed chessy to me. But I didn't start to watch until It's a Terrible Life, so I know how good Supernatural can get.

  2. This one had moral dillemas, just like I like it. What Sue Ann was doing was wrong, she can´t be God and choose who lives or dies. But the whole thing with Layla just left me torn. On one hand, a person shouldn´t die for her but on the other, she shouldn´t die because she was an innocent, good person.

  3. I love this episode. And it's fascinating to watch from the perspective of much later in the series.

  4. Glad I've stuck with it. This episode was incredibly good, especially coming after the one before. Great character arcs for both brothers, and I now care about what happens to them.

  5. This was when I knew that Supernatural was a good show. I loved the complex characters and grey-area moral dilemmas.
    I also love the relationship between Dean and Sam as it was portrayed here. (Okay, so I loved it earlier too. This was just the icing on the cake.)
    Ordinarily I would be put off by them deliberately bringing very obvious and sort of in-your-face religious elements into the show...but they handled it so well that I have to salute them for it.

  6. I've been started [binge] watching this show for the first time, and one of the things I really like about it is the character development. The show could easily have been a solve the puzzle of the week type mystery show where the characters are de-emphasized with a supernatural twist. Instead I've noticed a lot of nuanced characterization.

    This episode in particular impressed me because I thought Dean's acceptance of his fate was a result of the fact that he embraces the soldier mentality when it comes to the work they do that his father has instilled in him. Therefore Dean had probably already thought about the fact that he might die in the line of duty and accepted it the way soldiers usually do.

    Sam on the other hand rejected the soldier concept and probably has not seriously contemplated it and could not accept Dean's terminal illness.

  7. When I saw the actress who played lylia on this episode I said

    Rita what the hell are you doing here XD

  8. Am watching this show for the first time, and I agree, this is the first episode that I liked. And - first time I have ever liked Julie Benz on screen (her performance on Buffy always made me cringe, like chalk screeching on a blackboard - don't throw anything at me, please).

    But something I have to wonder about in all these shows in which people really do have souls - why is death something to be avoided? Why, if you could be going to heaven, does death matter?

  9. Victoria, without posting a spoiler, I think this is a question that Supernatural tries to answer in later seasons.


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