Friday, March 27, 2015

Supernatural 10x16 "Paint It Black" [Contributor: Deena Edwards]

"Paint It Black"
Original Airdate: March 26, 2015

This week, the brothers are investigating a grisly string of deaths, mostly suicides, by people who were all members of the same Catholic church. Their ends are quite brutal -- disembowelment, slow and painful. But they’re not the only ones suffering.

In Hell, Rowena seems to have switched permanently to tantrum-mode over things with Crowley, the Winchesters, and the Grand Coven, making things a living... well, you know, for everyone around her. Eventually, Crowley succumbs to his mother’s wishes -- mostly to stop her whining -- bringing the leader of the coven, Olivette, to her, so that Rowena can plead her case and be allowed to practice magic freely once more. She soon finds out, however, the coven is no longer what it used to be, thanks to the Men of Letters, who over the years were responsible for the deaths of many of its members and the taking of their spells and secrets. Because of this, they’re no longer all-powerful. Olivette continues by mentioning that there are still two surviving Men of Letters -- Sam and Dean. How Rowena is going to use this information is unclear, but we all know by the way she backs down all too easily when Crowley tells her to let it be, it’s not going to be good.

Now, let’s dive right into the main plot of the episode.

After a woman brutally stabs her unfaithful husband to death, Sam and Dean go to the church and speak to the Father, who tells them all the victims had recently been to confession shortly before their deaths. While Sam steps aside to take a look around with the EMF meter, Dean speaks to a Sister Mathias, his curiosity kicking in as he asks her why she joined the convent -- how she was able to quit one life for another. She replies that her life before felt hopeless, and she needed to find something larger than herself to focus on. “A kind of mission.” She laughs it off, afterward, deciding that he must have no clue what she’s talking about, but the words have struck a chord with him. He, of all people, knows this feeling more than anyone.

The last place we ever would expect Dean Winchester to be is confession at a church, but seeing as the fact every victim had gone to confession before their deaths is too much to ignore, and so he goes, because it just might draw the ghost to them. You don’t think it’s something he’ll take seriously--- it’s all light at first, his tone almost humorous as he reminisces on about his ways with women, but it quickly grows more serious.
- “What if I said I didn’t wanna die… yet? You know, that I wasn’t ready?”- “Are you expecting to?”- “Always. You know, the life I live, the work I do… I pretty much just figured that that was all there was to me, you know? Tear around and jam the key in the ignition and haul ass until I ran out of gas. I guess I just thought sooner or later, I’d go out the same way I lived. Pedal to the metal and that would be it. But now? …I’m just starting to think maybe there’s more to it all than I thought.”
Faith has always been a tricky subject with Dean. At the very beginning of the series, the thought of angels and a God existing was almost laughable to him. Of course, over time, things changed, the introduction to actual angels being one of them. Still, he always came off as skeptical, not being able to get behind the concept of a God because of all the terrible things that happen in their world. But now, he openly admits to believing in one, though, he claims, he doesn’t quite think He believes in them anymore. It was such a heartbreaking scene, reminding us all that even when they don’t show it and seem to have other things on their minds, they’re still dealing with the same inner struggles that most everyone else wonders about, too. He always puts up a strong front, especially lately, in his decision to stop looking for a cure to the Mark, pretending to be ready for that happens. But he’s not ready.

The subplot in this episode is pretty interesting, as it switches from now to 1520 in Italy, a conversation in present day between Sister Mathias and another nun, Isabella, telling a “love” story about herself and a painter named Piero. As deep as her feelings were for him, they weren’t returned the same way, and she only found this out after cutting off part of her finger to allow him to use as pigment of his painting (gives a WHOLE new meaning to the term “finger painting”). Afterward, she was so distraught that her parents sent her to join the convent, though some time after she snuck out, finding Piero in bed with another woman. In a fit of rage, she murders him, and is sentenced to death herself, burned at the stake because the death was so brutal they accused her of witchcraft. The betrayal by Piero is her reason behind the murders -- killing unfaithful man who she sees are deserving of it.

After Dean’s confession, Sister Mathias reads Isabella’s journal, realizing that she was behind the deaths all along. She immediately tells Sam and Dean, also admitting that she’s always been comfortable around ghosts. Seeing as the Church was built over underground burials, she’d met many spirits in her time there, most the completely harmless sort. Dean figures, among the rest of her belongings that were sent to the church, the journal is what’s keeping her tethered there, but Sam’s doubtful, and sure enough, after reading the portion in the journal about the flesh and bone of her finger being used as pigment in the painting, he realizes that that is what’s keeping her there, burning it only moments before Isabella can kill Dean (possessing Sister Mathias’ body).

Afterward, on the drive out of town, Sam reminds Dean that he’s there for him, and he’s not giving up. Not on him, not on getting rid of the Mark. “I don’t buy for one second that the Mark is a terminal diagnosis.” Dean, having realized earlier on in the episode how actually terrified he is that his end is near, doesn’t argue. It seems maybe at this point, Dean is ready to face the facts. Sam isn’t going to give up on his brother, he’s not going to let Dean give up on himself, and Dean, well… Dean might finally be realizing that -he- doesn’t want to give up, either.

Memorable Moments/Quotes:
  • “And yes, one expects to suffer in Hell.”
  • “After all I’ve done for you…” “And what exactly would that be?” “I gave you life.” Nobody guilt-trips quite as hard as the King of Hell’s Mama.
  • “Tell me you didn’t think that nun was hot. I think she had a little thing for me, too.” “Dean, she was married to Jesus.”
  • “Sammy, how long’s it been since my last confession?” “You’ve never been to confession.”  “Well that’s too long.”
  • “What was that one for?” “Emphasis.” EMPHASIS! Y’know, if you weren’t an evil witch, Rowena, you and Josh from Drake & Josh might actually get along. You both like to do/say things twice for emphasis. (I’m such a nerd.)
  • “You know how it is. The sex, the lasagna…” 
  • “AGAIN with the Winchesters. Perpetually, the Winchesters.”
  • Rowena turning Olivette into a hamster. Just another reason why I love her.


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