Supernatural: A Most Holy Man

Loved it. But how do I review an episode like this one?

I guess I could start with how clever it was, with tributes throughout to the hard boiled detective genre in general: the photography, the forties clothing, the music (particularly the sax), the classy old Patricia Hotel instead of the usual kitschy ugly motel room. The wayback dialogue was fun, too. I particularly loved how the mobster Scarpatti was introduced with a Persian cat on his lap and opera blasting in the background. Laugh out loud, big time.

And I enjoyed all the little tributes to The Maltese Falcon: the names Astor and Greenstreet, the setting of San Francisco, the relic originating in Malta, Ms. Astor constantly coming on to Sam, who was our stand-in for Sam Spade. I kept thinking he'd have to sleep with her to get the relic. Guess not.


The best part of the story was Father Lucca, though, and that's where the story started to feel a lot more like it belonged on Supernatural. Father Lucca was an "apostolic protonotary supernumerary," a most holy man. In the big confrontation scene, Father Lucca was outside praying for everyone, and everyone got shot except the boys. Father Lucca ended up just getting grazed with a bullet.

Father Lucca believed that the world will never be perfect, but if good men do good things, it can get better. This is all about the Winchesters and their calling – they have dedicated their lives to doing good works, like Father Lucca (but of course, their methods are a bit different). The key to winning this time was simply doing the right thing, giving the skull to Father Lucca and walking away without the puzzle piece they needed to retrieve Mary from Apocalypse World. Getting the blood they needed after all had symmetry, perhaps a synchronicity that borders on predestination. It certainly felt like Chuck really was looking out for the boys and Father Lucca that day.

(I enjoyed Dean and Father Lucca's brief discussion about God, which is always fun on Supernatural since Dean and Sam have inside information, big time, but know that they can't talk about it because no one will believe them.)

That bit at the end reminded me of the trials and shutting the gates of Hell. Sam still longs for a big win, a major change, not constantly playing defense. Since the series has to end someday, maybe that's what's coming. Maybe the boys really will get a major win at the end of the series before they die in a hail of Butch and Sundance bullets and ascend to Heaven.

And you know, I keep thinking that this time, the final time, when they go to Heaven and don't come back, it won't be like "Dark Side of the Moon" where their heavens were completely separate. Maybe by the end of the series, Dean's and Sam's heavens will include each other.

Bits:

— Castiel is in Syria looking for the fruit from the Tree of Life, and the boys have no idea where Lucifer is. They also had nothing so far on the Seal of Solomon.

— Scarpatti mentioned that officially, Dean and Sam died six years ago. Was that back during Leviathan season when their doppelgangers were killed after their crime spree?

— Dean and Sam had to ride in the back of the Impala. Has that ever happened before? (Note from later in the week: yes. I just remembered the scene in "The Song Remains the Same" with John and Mary in the front seat.)

— Cromartie called Sam "Lurch."

— This week: Malta, San Francisco and Seattle. Not their usual at all. Dean and Sam Vaughn said initially that they were from Rhode Island.

— The next episode airs Thursday, March 29. It's going to be "ScoobyNatural," the animated Scooby Doo episode we've been hearing about.

Quotes:

Dean: "The internet. Not just for porn anymore."

Dean: "Look, this isn't a perfect world we're trying to save, okay? And if I'm not perfect trying to save it, so be it."
We know you're not perfect but we love you anyway, Dean.

Dean: "You're like a boy scout. You're always prepared."
Sam: "Yeah. You're like... I don't know what you're like."
Dean: "Yeah. Thanks."

Dean: "What happens if we can't find the skull?"
Scarpatti: "As they say at NASA, failure is not an option."

Dean: "Sure you're not drowsy? How many fingers am I holding up?"
Sam: "I'm fine."
Dean: "Okay. I'm just saying, you've taken a lot of shots to the head lately. I know that Disney princess hair gives you some padding, but..."

(Sam tries to explain to Dean how Father Lucca feels about the skull)
Sam: "If somebody stole the Impala, what would you do?"
Dean: "Murder. I'd murder them all."
Sam: (taken aback) "Right. My point being I don't want a dick like Greenstreet or Scarpatti to win. Not this time."
Dean: "There'd be torture first. A lot of torture. And there'd... it'd end up with death. If I can't have it, nobody can."

Greenstreet: "I thought you were working for me."
Scarpatti: "And I thought you were working for me."
Sam: "Right, yeah. Turns out I'm working for me."

The Maltese Falcon, Scooby Doo... it occurred to me after I saw this episode that right now, Supernatural might have the biggest creative carte blanche that any series has ever had. They could experiment with nearly anything and as long as it was interesting and fun and fit into their mythology, there'd be no risk of getting canceled. How many shows have an opportunity like that?

Three out of four cartes blanches,

Billie
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Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

7 comments:

Chatter said...

What you said is the complete truth, what other series can experiment like supernatural does and not be ridiculous?

Dragonfire said...

I know. I've discussed how only Supernatural could pull of Baby or Changing Channels or Fan Fiction or The French Mistake or Scoobynatural. Put epiaose like that on any other show and it'd get laughed off the air, but on Supernatural that's just par for the course!

Loved this episode, really hope we get Chuck back.

Austin said...

"Murder. I'd murder them all." Billie, if only your quote recap could capture facial expressions!

Nick said...

"what other series can experiment like supernatural does and not be ridiculous?"

Buffy :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! This episode was more ground breaking than I thought. Sam and Dean have "never" ridden in the back of the Impala at the same time before. Good catch!
I don't think it is possible for SPN to ever Jump the Shark....and it isn't like they haven't tried.

Billie Doux said...

Turns out I'm wrong because I just remembered that Dean and Sam did ride in the back seat, with John and Mary in the front, in "The Song Remains the Same."

http://www.douxreviews.com/2010/02/supernatural-song-remains-same.html

Patryk said...

I also wonder: was it the only episode of Supernatural where absolutely nothing supernatural happened? (the prayer was ambigious enough)