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Quick Reaction: 10x16 Paint It Black

Early review tonight, because tomorrow I'm heading down to Seattle for ECCC! Yay! Also, no lyrics for the cut-text today, because I drove home and didn't even listen to the radio.

I'm not drunk OR tired tonight, but that doesn't necessarily mean that this review will be any more coherent than usual.

Also, please remember my LJ rule - if you hated the episode, fine, but keep it to yourself. If you absolutely must post about your feelings, make sure you follow up every negative point with a positive one. Example: "I didn't like the monkey, but I must say that Jensen's eyes were particularly stunning in that one scene with the rutabega."

And I say that because I didn't feel this episode was as strong as last week's... but there WERE still elements to it that I enjoyed...

Let's get right to it...

Since this is an episode with multiple storylines, let's talk about them separately. Sam and Dean (and the case) and then Crowley and Rowena and the witch business.

Sam and Dean (and the case)

So, first off, dude with candle-stick... your ribs would be in the way of that downward slicing motion. Yes, you have ghost super-strength, but the candle-stick doesn't, and also there was no sound of ribs breaking. Because when I watch Supernatural, I watch for the anatomical realism, of course. :P

Where are Sam and Dean? Oh yeah, they're just driving, and Sam is on his phone and Dean is talking about the case - thinking it might be a curse - and Sam is totally ignoring him because he's absorbed with whatever is on his phone. Dean is a little annoyed, implying that Sam is still focused on the MoC. It'd be pretty funny if he was playing Angry Birds or reading fanfiction instead.

Does the second dude die at this point? I forget. Anyway, this time is a little different, because it's the wife that kills him. She did it because he left the fridge door open too long in their scene together. Seriously. Or at least, that's why I would have done it, as it was, all I could do was sit on the couch and yell "CLOSE THE DAMN FRIDGE!" really loud at the screen - and then even after she killed him, she STILL didn't close the fridge, instead, once the ghost left, she started freaking out that her husband was dead. Ugh. CLOSE THE FRIDGE!

The only thing the victims had in common was the fact that they were both religious and went to the same church. Sam and Dean go to check it out and they talk to the priest, who won't break confessional confidentiality... and then pawns them off on one of the nuns.

Now, we've already seen one scene of the nuns talking at this point - the italian-accented nun is telling the other nun about the love of her life and how he was an artist and suchlike... and both nuns have very pretty make-up, but we won't mention that, since nun's aren't supposed to wear make-up. Because when I watch Supernatural, I watch for the religious realism, of course. :P

Anyway, pretty non-Italian nun... uh, name? Who knows. We'll just call her Nun. Italian-nun was Isabella, right?

So, pretty non-italian nun is a little flirty with Dean, or maybe Dean is a little flirty with her, because she's cute... Sam, being the best bro ever, leaves the two of them to it instead of pointing out that Dean is sleezy for making eyes at a nun. Dean and Nun have a chat - the Nun is all over the detective speak - which is cute, though I got super suspicious that maybe she was our villain... because, you know, the boys have a bad habit of falling for monsters. Nun tells Dean about how dead guy cheated on his wife, or so rumour had it, but he didn't hear it from her.

Dean then asked her why a pretty girl like her became a Nun, because obviously pretty girls don't usually become nuns or something. The Nun talks about how her life before was painful and she found herself seeking a higher power and finding comfort in having a mission - or some such stuff. Dean is like "I know that feel, bro."

A wild Sam appears and asks, with really no subtlety whatsoever, about ghosts. Nun is like "The FBI believes in ghosts?" and Sam and Dean are like "*shrug* Sure, let's go with that." But Nun says she hasn't noticed anything of the sort and then ignores Dean's flirty flirt and takes her leave.

Sam and Dean shrug and leave, and THAT'S when Sam reminds Dean that Nun is married to Jesus, and maybe he shouldn't get his hopes up.

The one thing that all the victims had in common, besides the church, was that the last thing they all did was go to confession. So, Dean asks "When was the last time I went to confession?" And Sam is like "You've never been to confession!" He did not add "We aren't Catholic!" because he has already said that previously - so that we know the boys aren't Catholic.

So, it appears the plan is for Dean to go to confession and hopefully earn the ire of the ghost.

In the meantime though, we get more Isabella backstory - she loved her artist dude and became obsessed and stalkery, but he didn't love her back... so she became miserable until her father shipped her off to a convent for being a drama queen. She lost all her possessions (as you do, when you join a nunnery), except her journal, which they for some reason let her keep. We also learn that Isabella is from 1520's Florence, Italy.

Dean goes to confession and, at first, makes up a story about two-timing a girl named Gina. Has Dean ever been with a girl named Gina? I feel like he has. Anyway... he goes with the fake story, until the priest gives him 5 Hail Mary's and a couple of Our Father's, and tells him to do some self-reflection. At this point, my recovering-Catholic friend yelled "THAT'S IT?!?!?!!" because that is, apparently, an appallingly low sentence for the crime committed.

Apparently, the ghost felt the same way, but we'll get to that....

Dean isn't quite done though - since he happens to have the ear of a sympathetic stranger *cough*therapist*cough* he takes the opportunity to sigh heavily and then in a round-about way talk about what's really on his mind... which is his current fear of death and what may come after. He feels it's closer than ever before, and he's not going to go out the way he wants... and there's still stuff he wants to do, people he wants to love, things he wants to experience again or "for the first time" and um... the destiel shipper must be having a field day with that speech, I mean, even MY mind went there and I got excited, and I don't even ship in this show! (For the record, I'm also not anti-shipping - I just don't care either way. They could even make Wincest canon, and I'd just be like "well, that's an interesting direction to take the show!")

I love the way the confession closed off - with the priest asking Dean if he believed in God. One thing I've always loved about Dean is that he used to be an atheist. In my opinion, he still is.... even though he knows God exists, thinks he's a douchebag, and has expressed a desire to kill him. Anyway, I liked Dean's response of "Yes, but I don't think he believes in us" or whatever the exact words were. Another thing I like about Supernatural is the fact that despite angels, demons, and the confirmation that God has existed and possibily still exists, they're still operating in what is, ostensibly, a godless universe.

Anyway, Dean takes off and he and Sam mention the ghost as they leave... and Nun overhears and steals away to the basement. Meanwhile, Ghost is revealed to be Isabella! And the target is the priest! Because, much like my friend, she felt that the priest forgave Dean WAY too easily for his crimes against imaginary!Gina.

Down in the basement, Nun finds Isabella's journal but no Isabella, so she starts reading...

Then she brings in Sam and Dean, and tells them about what she read in the journal - apparently, Isabella wasn't just the obsessive "nice guy" type of cruch-haver, she was also murderous, and she went back to Italian dude's apartment intending to ruin the painting he did of her - only to find him having sex with a blonde woman. She then murdered the dude, as one does, when one is psychotic.

Nun also tells Sam and Dean about how she knew about ghosts the whole time, because she sees a lot of them in the church - but that she usually just talks them into crossing over or something. Neato! I like this little plot twist. It's really rare that Sam and Dean come across people who already know about the supernatural and live with it in a way that ISN'T hunting. I love it. I also love how this nun, up until now, had never really had a problem with violent spirits - only nice ones, I guess! I think that's kind of sweet.

Dean tells Sam to burn all of the Nun's belongings, but Sam is worried about burning the journal - thinking that it might be better to read it first in case there are more clues. Dean is like "DO WHAT I SAY!" So, Sam is like "Ugh, fine". Dean takes off with Nun to go find the ghost and slay her... and Sam compromises by reading the journal WHILE staking all of the belongings in the fireplace.

So, there are a few things I love about this - firstly, why are 16th century artifacts being shipped from Italy to a random church in America? Secondly, when did Sam learn to read Italian so quickly? (One of my friends pointed out that since the journal was from Florence, the language would at least be similar to modern Italian - if the journal had been from Sicily at that time, then it would have bene written in High Italian, and then Sam would have been screwed.) Also, what were the literacy rates like for Italian women in the 16th century? Because, when I watch Supernatural, I watch for the historical and linguistic accuracy, of course.

What Sam discovers is that Isabella was REALLY MENTALLY DISTURBED, and when Artist dude asked for her blood to paint with, she was like. "I have a better idea!" and CUT OFF THE TOP OF HER FINGER so that he could grind her flesh and bones up too! UGH! You know, I'm starting to see why maybe Artist Dude told her that he didn't love her... when people offer to cut off body parts for you, it's a sign that you should BACK AWAY.

Anyway, meanwhile, upstairs, Dean finds the gutted priest. It's sad times... and then Nun gets possessed! Oh noes! She goes in for the kill, but Dean is able to hold her off just long enough for Sam to burn the painting, though he does get a little beat up. It's also the second week in a row, and the second episode since killing Cain, that Dean HASN'T had to kill anyone on a hunt. I'm a little worried about the next time he does have to kill someone.

All's well that ends well - except for the fact that all those people are dead and Nun is the only one left standing.

Dean and Sam drive away - with Sam, uncharacteristically, driving while Dean winces in the passenger seat - obstensively indicating that he's only not driving because of his injuries.

Sam brings up the fact that Dean was in confession for a long time - and says that if Dean needs someone to talk to, Sam's right there beside him! Awwww... and Sam also brings up the fact that he heard Dean agree with Nun about needing a mission and whatnot, and he wants Dean to know that he understands, but that he doesn't want Dean thinking that there's no hope left.... he then tries to get Dean to agree with him and actually sound like he believes it - but Dean doesn't do the best job. So, Sam is left to frown at the road as they drive off in silence.

Crowley and Rowena

Meanwhile, in Hell, Rowena is still giving Crowley a hard time.

On a completely different note though: Tall Henchman! COME ON! They JUST USED THAT ACTOR FOR THEO LAST SEASON! Did they really think we wouldn't recognize a 6'4'' dude who looks a little like Bull from Night Court but with hair?! (Is anyone old enough to remember Night Court? Probably not.) I don't really understand how this happened, because Show USED to have a rule that if you had a significant part on the show, they wouldn't hire you again for AT LEAST two seasons...seriously, I have talked with a stunt guy (who played a demon) who was thinking of shaving his head just so that he could get back on the show quicker. "Theo" didn't really change his appearance at all - the only difference was that it was a non-speaking part, but it was still a significant part WE SAW A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF HIM!  And did they really not think we would recognize the guy that Cas STOLE GRACE FROM?! What the hell? Unless it's an upcoming plot point, I am officially mad at them - even though it was nice to see that actor again, because I like looking at him.

I also confused my friends by saying "That's Theo!" and then they were like "uh, no," because they thought I was talking about our actor friend Theo, who was on the show in S8... and then I had to explain... and also tell them that I know what our friend Theo looks like, thank you very much. :P

So, anyway, Rowena is being annoying. Crowley wants her to stop being annoying. So, he acquieses a LITTLE to her wishes - and brings in Olivette (sp? name? God, I haven't even been drinking.) Anyway, Rowena ties her up and starts punching her, getting revenge for the grand coven kicking her out and forcing her (I guess?) to live on the run and barely practice magic because she's technically not allowed or... the coven reduced her power? Who knows.

At one point, Rowena changes into a red dress for no apparent reason - if she was hoping to avoid obvious bloodstains, she should have gone with a brown dress, btw. Brown is the way to go to mask bloodstains.

Olivette tells Rowena that he coven was decimated anyway through witch hunts and whatnot - and the most crushing blow came from the Men of Letters, who plundered all the witches' magical things and sealed them into bunkers all over the world. She doesn't know what happened to the Men of Letters, but she DOES know that the American chapter was destoryed in the 1950s, but recently two members have resurfaced in the form of the Winchesters.

Rowena then has a great line about how everything always comes back to the Winchesters - and the line repeats "Winchesters" enough that it starts to lose all meaning and trip me out a little... "Winchester is a really weird name" I muttered to myself. "How did I never notice this before?"

Rowena than decides that she has nothing to fear from the covern, given that they're apparently super weak - so, I guess she's going to start using magic to it's full potential now? Who knows... her first order of business is to turn Olivette into a hamster though. A CUTE LITTLE HAMSTER!

Rowena than asks Crowley about the Winchesters and the Men of Letters, and Crowley tells her that the Winchester's are his business,  not hers, and he is not killing them. My friend then asked, "how about turning them into hamsters?" which I thought was a valid question.

Anyway, the gist of it all seems to be that Rowena will soon be gunning for the Winchesters in order to access the Men of Letter's bunker and get her hands on magical relics so that she can rule the world or something!

All very interesting.

I will say that although I felt this episode was weaker than last week's - I DO think they're doing a much better job this season of tying their stand-alone episodes into the character/myth-arc.

The preview for next week looks pretty damn epic.

As usual, let me know what you thought in comments! Also, as usual, please forgive spelling mistakes, I am not the best speller and spell-check doesn't work for me on LJ anymore. 

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
missyjack
Mar. 26th, 2015 08:56 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed it, but my judgement may have been clouded by my fetish for nuns!

Dean gave me feels, and I like to think Sam has been spending his time in the bunker learnign archaic languages.

Have a wonderful time at ECCC! Are you doing the WS cosplay? I hope so. Anyway - look froward to your reports!
hells_half_acre
Mar. 26th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
Haha, I enjoyed it too, don't get me wrong! But, without a fetish for nuns, it just didn't do ALL the things for me. ;)

Kathleen's guess was that there was a LOT of time to kill in the cage between torture sessions - and that Lucifer must have been teaching Sam archaic languages on their downtime. I kind of like that image, because it's hilarious.

I AM doing the WS cosplay at ECCC. I'll take pictures! :)
borgmama1of5
Mar. 26th, 2015 11:17 am (UTC)
Because, when I watch Supernatural, I watch for the anatomical realism...I watch for the religious realism...I watch for the historical and linguistic accuracy...

While so many of us are just watching to see Jensen and Jared, silly us...

(I also was furiously thinking "shut the refrigerator door!" throughout that whole scene, to the point where he deserved what happened to him!)

I have to say, this was the first episode that I wasn't annoyed by Rowena being so over-the-top. She came across as more than a caricature finally. And the ghost twist, with the nun sending them along, was neat. Definitely an old-school vibe to the case.

I wish Dean would reference having spent a year anticipating his death before, and what is different/same this time. I am also a little perplexed...he is acting like he has a terminal disease, expecting a gradual decline, but it seems to me that the Mark is more like a time bomb and he should be worried about triggering it...And when he was confessing that he's not done with living yet, I was trying to figure out what he wanted to experience yet...Thanks for clearing that up for me, I never would have thought in that direction! :D
hells_half_acre
Mar. 26th, 2015 03:48 pm (UTC)
While so many of us are just watching to see Jensen and Jared, silly us...

Who? ;)

(I also was furiously thinking "shut the refrigerator door!" throughout that whole scene, to the point where he deserved what happened to him!)

I'm glad I wasn't the only one!

I wish Dean would reference having spent a year anticipating his death before, and what is different/same this time. I am also a little perplexed...he is acting like he has a terminal disease, expecting a gradual decline, but it seems to me that the Mark is more like a time bomb and he should be worried about triggering it

I'm guessing that they're not referencing S3, because they don't want to draw attention to the possibility that they're recycling plots - not that they are! Like you said, the MoC is completely different in that it IS a trigger and also Dean technically won't die, he'll just become everything he hates (which, granted, was also the threat in S3, though it was a "after centuries of torture" threat, rather than a "immediately and for eternity" threat.)

And when he was confessing that he's not done with living yet, I was trying to figure out what he wanted to experience yet...Thanks for clearing that up for me, I never would have thought in that direction! :D

Well, that's just one possibility - I think mostly everyone would feel like they are not done living yet... except perhaps for a lucky few who have lived well and long.
thursdaysisters
Mar. 26th, 2015 03:05 pm (UTC)
Now I have Sam and Dean Winhamster stuck in my head.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 26th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
*snort* Ah, hahahaha.

I am slightly envious that I didn't think of that. :P
supernutjapan
Mar. 26th, 2015 03:48 pm (UTC)
This ep wasn't that great for me this time around. Let's hope it will be better on a rewatch.

But YOU! I LOVED your review LOL! I feel very happy now. Oh, did you notice Rowena changed two times? Black at the beginning, blue in the middle, then red for the last hamster scene which as you said must have been for the blood but, I'm sure brown is much better for that purpose LOL

I love that gal, although she takes up way too much of the show time.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 26th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I had fun writing it. :)

I didn't notice the first change! Probably because black to blue isn't a big a change as anything to bright red.

Rowena is interesting and I'm curious as to where the story is going, but I agree that it's slower moving than most of our villain plots - they seem to take three scenes to arrive at a point that could have been reached in one.
khek
Mar. 27th, 2015 12:38 am (UTC)
I had too many questions and observations this episode.

First, Worcester is about 45 miles from where I am sitting at this very moment. And it is currently covered in patchy snow with morning temps around 20 degrees. I was very jealous of all the green grass and coatlessness of the Winchesters.

I think I may have missed something significant about Rowena. When she popped up, wasn't she from the past? The reason I'm now doubly confused is because it seemed like Olivette was from current times, given her clothing, hairstyle and jewelry. But she was acting like she'd been with Rowena just before Rowena appeared with Crowley. Are they both hundreds of years old? Or were they talking about events hundreds of years ago and are possessing current time bodies? So confused...

I liked the nuns, but I've never seen habits like that. All the nuns I know of in Massachusetts have black or navy blue headdresses and wear plain dresses or regular clothing. If I were a nun though, I'd prefer the grey ones in the episode!

I like that the MotW episodes are engaging this year. I like it when the show takes a break from the continuing saga.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 27th, 2015 02:57 am (UTC)
Both Rowena and Olivette are very very old. Witches in Supernatural, once they reach a certain level of power (it seems) stop physically aging. Rowena is Crowley's mother from the 16-1700s and she has lived until present day - so all that time has passed for her.

And yeah, the weather is very Vancouver - it's why I can't really use weather patterns to timeline. :P

I look horrible in grey, but then I'm also an atheist, so I don't think I have to worry about what nun habit I would wear. ;)
shadowsong26
Mar. 27th, 2015 01:11 am (UTC)
This episode made me giggle inappropriately way too many times XD

Also, I kept waiting for the two plots to coincide somehow, but...I feel like they didn't even have anything thematically to do with one another? Like, I vaguely remember Isabella was executed for witchraft but...that's not much...IDK.

Anyway.

The visual effects for the ghost were super-pretty! There was one moment where she was like floating in the air all smokey over the priest and it was pretty and I liked it.

Dean then asked her why a pretty girl like her became a Nun, because obviously pretty girls don't usually become nuns or something. The Nun talks about how her life before was painful and she found herself seeking a higher power and finding comfort in having a mission - or some such stuff. Dean is like "I know that feel, bro."

It's kind of interesting, because that speech/conversation would have had a totally different meaning in, say, S8...

I also really liked Dean's response to the 'do you believe in God' question.

Nun also tells Sam and Dean about how she knew about ghosts the whole time, because she sees a lot of them in the church - but that she usually just talks them into crossing over or something. Neato! I like this little plot twist.

I really liked this, too!

Oh, man, the magically readable diary--that was one of the 'giggling inappropriately' moments, because a) archaic language, b) probably really faded ink, c) handwriting...like...okay, I've read/looked at historical documents from the sixteenth century, and even reading in English, it's not easy. Like...here, take this letter, written by Thomas More at around the same time...it's not that quick to read! And, yeah, I get Sam being able to do it because that's what he does and it does not actually surprise me that he reads Italian, but the modern nun got through that thing suuuuuper fast. So, yeah. Like you said. Historical and linguistic accuracy, yay!

And...yeah...I stopped giggling when I realized that Isabella was...mmm...how to put this...a mite unstable? Because seriously, your boyfriend asks you for blood for his Art, the solution is not to one up him by freaking mutilating yourself. Seriously.

And Rowena! Rowena was fun this episode. Also I think she changed twice? Wasn't she in a black dress, then a navy dress, then the red one? Still, kind of hilarious that she took time out from the all-important work of beating the crap out of what's-her-name for a wardrobe change. I have no idea why she did it, either.

Also, her face was perfect when she realized that, despite the Winchesters technically not being the center of the universe anymore, they kinda still are. XD

My friend then asked, "how about turning them into hamsters?" which I thought was a valid question.

Oh, man, that would be hilarious.

I DO think they're doing a much better job this season of tying their stand-alone episodes into the character/myth-arc.

Definitely agreed with that. Also I really love the expansion to the Men of Letters history--like, compare what Henry and Dorothy said about them to what Olivette did here, it makes me wonder exactly how active they were, or if they became gradually less and less active over the centuries, or...what.

And yesss next week looks awesome. :D
hells_half_acre
Mar. 27th, 2015 04:43 am (UTC)
I felt the same way about the storylines (not)intersecting.

Agree completely on the magic readable diary - my thesis project for my MA involved reading hand-written police reports from 1916 (in english!) so, only 100 years ago and in a language I am very familiar with - and it was quite a challenge!

Yeah, it also paints them in a little bit more sinister light - though, it's all about perspective of course. ;)

All in all a great episode. If I didn't respond to a particular thing you said, it's because I agree with you and have nothing to add! :)
ithuriel788
Mar. 28th, 2015 02:45 am (UTC)
Huh, I rarely notice clothing, but did notice Rowena's red dress. I took it as a marker of passage of time, to show that Rowena was taking her time torturing Olivette.

I have no problem that Sam could read Italian. He is fluent in Latin, right? Not much of a stretch.

As for all those relics being shipped to a random church in Massachusetts . . . I got nothin, sorry.



hells_half_acre
Mar. 28th, 2015 04:48 am (UTC)
Ah, the passage of time! That makes sense. I guess since not much time was passing in the boys story-line, I just didn't clue into that.

Also, you are 100% correct about the Latin, of course - I was just giving Show a hard time for fun.

:)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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