Paint It Gray – Supernatural 10.16


I know it was called ‘Paint it Black’, but this episode felt more gray than anything. There were some things I liked very much, and others that left me scratching my head.

I’m always jarred by the episodes that bounce back and forth between story lines, and this one gave me a bit of whiplash. Every time we returned from a commercial I didn’t know if we’d be following Crowley and Rowena or Sam and Dean. I enjoy Crowley and Rowena (and enjoyed her snarky showdown with Teryl Rothery, especially the creative hamster ending). I liked realizing that Olivette was talking about the Men of Letters before the reveal, and I liked that it ties the Crowley and Rowena storyline back into the Winchesters’ directly. (And oh how I loved Rowena’s exasperated “Perpetually the Winchesters.”) Story of my life, Ruth Connell!

I’m still fascinated by the complicated relationship between Crowley and Rowena, and Mark Sheppard and Ruth Connell continue to knock it out of the park whenever they’re onscreen together. Watching two essentially evil manipulative characters interact and trying to figure out if they give a damn about each other or are just experiencing a twisted pride at each other’s feats of badness is intriguing. We got a few more tidbits of information here – Interesting that the grand coven held it against Rowena that she had Crowley. Is that why she resented him so much? Or why she abandoned him?

xxxxx 10.16 rowena

Not sure how I feel about suddenly finding out that there are Men of Letters bunkers all over the world. Fandom as a whole didn’t take kindly to that bit of canon retcon. The bunker is special to us, Show! Why dilute that specialness?

I was also a bit confused as to why Rowena was so utterly clueless about what the Men of Letters had done to the covens and to the community of witches. Am I forgetting something? She’s been waiting for her chance to get back at Olivette; surely she’s been paying attention to the last centuries of history. Hmmm. More gray.

I think my main problem with the episode, other than the minor whiplash, was that there just weren’t enough Winchesters. Instead we got lots and lots of backstory in 16th Century Italy. The best part of this was it gave Jerry Wanek a chance to construct some kickass sets.

Jerry Wanek works his magic
Jerry Wanek works his magic

Other than that, I’m not sure why we needed the multiple soft focus romantic flashbacks of the young nun-to-be and her Fabio…err, Piero?… with his longer-than-Sam’s tresses. I would have preferred more Winchesters.

My Tumblr dash:

Does anyone care about this nun’s back story?

No, I didn’t think so.

In fact, her backstory didn’t even create any sense of empathy for the wounded young woman. Artist dude never led her on or took advantage of her, so she just came off as sort of crazy. Body parts in a painting, ouch. Mostly I just didn’t care. By the third flashback, I may have screamed OH COME ON to my poor television.

I did like the other nun – she was smart and savvy and just a little bit snarky. And I rather liked her matter-of-fact explanation for what led to her ‘calling’, which applies pretty well to all sorts of ways that people deal with problematic pasts. Dean could certainly relate.

Cap and graphic margab92
Cap and graphic margab92

The confession scene was a highlight of the episode, mostly because I’m convinced that Jensen Ackles can sell me on just about anything and make me tear up. Wisely filmed in close-up, because Ackles can tell you more about what Dean’s feeling with his face than with any dialogue, it was heartbreaking to see Dean’s despair and hopelessness. Now that he’s essentially given up hope, he realizes there are so many things he would have wanted if he’d had more time. Ouch.

xxxxx 10.16 dean confession

The dialogue itself took a turn for the vague and confusing near the end of his speech.

“There’s people. Feelings. That I want to experience differently, or maybe for the first time.”

I’m fairly certain the writers weren’t being intentionally vague to enable anyone who ships Dean with anyone or anything to find validation in that statement, but that’s what happened. Ship Wincest? He’s talking about Sam. Destiel? He’s talking about Cas. Dean/Gina (who the hell is Gina?)? He’s talking about her, whoever the hell she is. It was vague enough that you could take it virtually any direction you wanted, but it certainly sounded like Dean wanted to explore something he hasn’t had a chance to. I’ll leave it at that. Make of it what you will.

I did love that Sam got to save Dean – because he was smart enough to read the damn journal. Dean is shutting him out again, and this time Sam’s not having it. He goes against Dean’s ‘order’ and does what he thinks is best – and he’s right! (Also, how hot is it that he can read ancient Latin? HOT). Smart and competent Sam two episodes in a row! Now if we could get some more Sam pov I’d really be a happy camper.

Competent boys in attractive suits...
Competent boys in attractive suits…

The other scene that worked well was the last scene of Dean and Sam in the car. I’m always grateful for a Broment, and this was a good one.

Dean’s still hurting, Sam’s driving, and he teases Dean into admitting he owes Sam a thank you. I love the way they’re both smiling at each other, teasing each other with open affection like it’s Season One all over again for a few minutes. I love Dean’s acknowledgement and his gratitude, and I love that Sam doesn’t need to hear it said explicitly to understand it for what it is.

Sam: Is this you thanking me for not doing what you told me to do?

Graphic by welovespn
Graphic by welovespn

And then Sam gets serious, telling Dean that he’s right there if Dean wants to talk. God, how I loved Sam in that moment.

Sam: I’m your brother. And if you ever need to talk about anything with anybody, you’ve got someone right here next to you.

Oh Sammy. Thank you for that.

Also, mad props for best use of signage ever.

Best use of signage ever
Best use of signage ever

So there were some good moments, but I also found myself a bit confused. Why is Dean talking about dying? The Mark isn’t going to kill him. Is he thinking of killing himself to protect Sam? At first I thought the suicides in this episode were a tie-in, but then there was a murder thrown in too, so I’m not sure.

And why is Dean so dead set against Sam researching how to get rid of the Mark? Is it just that he can’t stand the cycle of repeatedly trying and failing? He wants to hunt and keep busy because he can’t stand the feeling of banging their heads against a wall trying? Why does Sam feel like he has to hide from Dean that he is, in fact, still trying? It made sense when Dean made the deal back in S3 and Sam was going to die if Dean tried to break it, but it doesn’t make as much sense now.

Many fans shared my confusion, and there were lots of inspired hypotheses flying around twitter after the episode. Is the mark messing with Dean’s head, so that he’s vacillating wildly between wanting to keep going and being hopeless about it or wanting to die to protect Sam? Did killing Cain do something to him? Was some of Cain’s darkness absorbed into Dean (thanks for that one, bookdal)? Did Cain even die? Aaaaah! I’m pulling my hair out here, Show, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. It will depend on the outcome, I suppose.

The episode title was even confusing, in part because we didn’t get any Rolling Stones, damn it! Paint it Black almost seems like a better title for next week’s episode, considering the epic preview. I try to remain as unspoiled as possible, but woah, that preview gave a helluva lot away. Not sure why they do that – imagine the impact if we didn’t know all that was coming?!

What did you think of the episode? Enlighten me!

And with that, I’m off to SeaCon. Follow us for live tweets and photos and con coverage!

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34 thoughts on “Paint It Gray – Supernatural 10.16

  • And this is why I’m glad I don’t have t.v.! Watching this on-line this morning, with no preview to next week’s episode, I am so much looking forward to being surprised! (shocked? Horrified? No, no…don’t tell me!)

  • I agree on the grayness. I also wanted more Winchesters.

    I have always figured that there was a world wide Men Of Letters. It seems like it would be an old world tradition. That leads to something that has always annoyed me. Given that it was most likely something that came from Europe, why didn’t the European Men of Letters send someone to, at the very least, collect all the American’s treasures? All those resources just sitting there without being used. It never made sense to me. I hope they explain it.

  • Great review! I’m with Lynn. I liked some of it, but didn’t care for the episode as a whole. Seemed to me like the writers were trying to do too much –too much that I didn’t care about, unfortunately. The broments & Dean’s confession pretty much saved the episode for me.(BTW, I just assumed Dean made Gina up as part of his FBI persona). And oh good lord, that two-faced demon was… well, let’s just say I think talents of the VFX team could’ve been used elsewhere. 🙁 Oh, well, ya can’t win ’em all, as they say. However, on a more positive note, next week’s ep looks pretty damn good! 😀

  • Gina is the born again ex porn star. The confession really didn’t tell us anything new. Dean has said this before. Basically I screwed up and I don’t want to die. Teryl Rothery was wasted. Hopefully turning her into a guinea pig means she will return at some point. I did love that Sam wasn’t having any of Deans crap. He went with his own instincts (Sam reading Latin was just about the sexiest part in the ep) and saved the day.
    As far as the MOL there was the Judea Initiative too. So I imagine there are groups around the world that battle evil. Sam and Dean can’t do it alone.

    • “Gina is the born again ex porn star”. If you mean the girl from A Rock & A Hard Place, her name was Suzy. 🙂

  • I did briefly wonder if Isabella was actually a witch (c’mon, who else chops off body parts for a cause?) and if her fling with Catholicism was gonna tie in with how the Grand Coven started losing all their secrets to the Men of Letters . . . but I guess they ran out of time for that.

    Other than that, my first ever tweet was about how it figures that Dean is more disturbed by immortality via Mark of Cain than he ever was by the prospect of dying. He’s trying to figure out how to live now that it’s mandatory, was what I assumed through his conversations in the church.

    But the emotional conversations are all kind of vague so they could be talking about anything, I guess. Sam insisting he was going to save Dean was a bit too reminiscent of all of season 3, and (spoilers!) that didn’t turn out so well, so just repeating it now without acknowledging any context didn’t really work for me. I did love that he got to make the right call on a hunt and makes Dean admit it, though.

    Rowena was a joy to watch, of course, although trying to figure out what Crowley’s thinking about her is getting to the point where I need more to go on!

    Thanks for a comprehensive review, and enjoy SeaCon! I’ll be appreciating everyone’s kind updates for the at-home crowd!

  • Whiplash indeed!!! Whoa! Show had my head spinning and not in a good way!! The MOW seemed a bit contrived and I sorta saw it coming a mile away so no big reveal either. This may end up being one of a few episodes that I simply fast forward to the Dean/Sam moments and blow right past the other story line. Sorry writers!! Dean’s surrender to the “inevitable” has me puzzled. He seems to have decided something we don’t know yet and I worry that he is thinking that by removing himself he will remove the threat to Sam.
    Can’t wait for next week!!! No spoilers I promise but let me just say: Huzzah!!! 🙂

  • Like everyone else so far, I thought this one was so-so. But, for me Supernatural is sort of like sex and pizza – even when it’s not great, hey, still sex and pizza, so I’m still going to enjoy it.

    There really weren’t any things that stood out as bad, just ‘meh.’ Rather than go through that, I’ll focus on the things I liked and throw in a few of my own thoughts/theories. And yes, as usual, I’m going to go on and on and on… Sorry. Not sorry.

    I liked that the ghost turned out to be guano crazy even before she died. Instead of having that “oh I feel bad for you little lost nun” feeling I was completely on board with torching her bones. Also, I just like that her unstable nature translated into her afterlife. As for being tried for witchcraft, on a Rowena episode? Hmmm… perhaps she was trying to do a little blood magic there. There were enough references to the old ways with the witches, maybe it’s something. Maybe it was just an excuse to make an awesome set. (And awesome it was.)

    The ghost whispering nun was a great twist! Not only was she understanding of ghosts, but she’s been talking them into the light? The Winchesters need to keep her number. I’m not saying I want Sister Matthias to be a regular, but they haven’t had any clergy explicitly on their side since Pastor Jim. (Correct me if I’m wrong here!) A ghost whispering nun could prove helpful. Chances are someone is going to have to help Kevin (poor Kevin…) move on at some point. And dare I say it… Dean, since we’re not really sure what’s going on soul-wise with him these days.

    As for the confession, well, there’s a lot there. It was a highlight in the gray. I assumed Gina was a red herring. (Also, how completely adorable was it that he also mentioned lasagna? It’s the least sexy food, paired with the sexiest stuff. Just perfect.) Dean was hoping to be overheard by the spirit and draw it out to attack him, so why possibly risk getting someone caught in the crossfire? He didn’t know what the spirit might do – Dean wouldn’t want to accidentally put anyone in danger. That could also be why he was so vague at the end. Although personally, I took that vagueness to be more of an “I’m just figuring this out now” moment. Dean might have been a little surprised that he thought those things, or that he let himself feel that way. It goes against whole that whole “spurts of violence and alcoholism” coping mechanism of his.

    One of the things that I really love about the show being on for 10 seasons (other than the obvious!) is that there are plot points that aren’t really possible with a shorter run. With what they do, it is likely that Dean has outlived what he expected to be his lifespan. Dean probably wasn’t expecting to make it to 30, certainly not 35 and beyond. Not counting all the dying and coming back. There are references in the earlier seasons to “We won’t live that long” and now, well, Dean’s not the baby-faced 26-year-old from season 1. (Oddly, he’s better looking, but I digress…)

    It makes sense to me that the Men of Letters would have had a European origin. And it also makes sense to me that the last surviving bunker would be in the U.S. The U.S. logically would’ve been the last place to get a bunker (well, maybe Australia) so it would be the most up to date on standard and magical security. The last surviving Man of Letters never said it was the only one ever, just that it had all the knowledge collected. Plus the Kansas bunker dates to the mid-1930s – which was a great time to get the Hell out of Europe. (And since the SS was into magic, it was probably a good idea to get anything powerful far away.)

    I am 100% standing by my Cain is still around theory. If this bites me on the butt, so be it. But Cain is somehow entangled with Dean at this point. I think Dean can feel the growing darkness and that’s part of the hopelessness. As Dean-Cain (dammit I want a Lois and Clarke DVD in the background when this happens) gets darker I think there will be an inching back towards Demon!Dean. And hopefully more growling. And more smart Sam.

    I love that it ended with Sam in the literal and figurative driver’s seat. He is calling the shots, he’s turning out to be right, and he can save his brother.

    • Love the “sex & pizza” reference! I agree that Cain is still around. I’m not sure how that part of the story will play out. I think there was more good than bad in the episode. I liked the concept of the ghost nun but I’m not sure the story needed that much background. I liked the confession scene. It was a good statement about what Dean is going through. Especially since as you mentioned he didn’t expect to make it to 30 let alone 36. The last scene was great. Good interaction between Sam & Dean, Sam offering to listen, Dean declining to talk as usual. Although in Dean’s defence it is not always easy to be open with those you know. It’s usually easier to talk to strangers. I think that is why the confession scene worked so well. Anyway this eepisode was still better than Bloodlines. Can’t wait for next weeks episode !!

      • What is this Bloodlines you speak of? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Never happened. 😉

        I agree that it’s easier to talk to strangers. It makes sense that Dean would talk to a priest. The confessional offers neutrality as well as the promise of confidentiality. For viewers, it also offers a similar camera angle to watching the boys in the Impala – side by side, sharing the space, talking, but not having to face each other.

  • Totally agree with your review Lynn, was very interesting to read. There defo wasn’t enough Winchesters and during the flashback scenes I was getting bored. I just didn’t care and wanted to see what Sam and Dean were up to.

    I want to like Rowena more than I do, but she just kinda annoys me. If she wasn’t Scottish, I’d probably like her less! Thought it was strange the witches didn’t know that Crowley was the King of Hell, surely they would have tapped into this from all their witchy activities!!

    Was so glad when Sam made his own decision to read the journal and ended up saving the day. I feel sad that Sam doesn’t get used to his full potential these days, so it was great to see him solving this one. As much as I’m a Dean girl, I’d love to see more of Sam stepping up and having some meat back to his character. Highlights for this episode, as others have said, the confession booth as Jensen Ackles is just awesome and ofcourse the end scene with the boys in the car.

    I’ve not watched next weeks preview yet so will leave it as a surprise. I don’t know how this season will end and who knows what will be in store for season 11.

    p.s enjoy SeaCon, love your tweets etc from the conventions 🙂

  • I have heard that the song Paint It Black refers to a young girl’s funeral, which would make sense in the episode. But I would have at least a little bit of the song. Great review, spot on.

  • Edited: I have heard that the song Paint It Black refers to a young girl’s funeral, which would make sense in the episode. But I would have at least liked to hear a little bit of the song. Great review, spot on.

  • As usual, the previous comments have covered a lot of the same ground that I would have. I could have totally skipped the ghost in the past scenes entirely and gone with more Sam and Dean. I think (hope) that some of the vagueness that Dean was referring to will be clearer (probably in the Season Ender just so I can wait and wait).
    I miss the classic rock songs!! There aren’t nearly as many as there used to be and that’s too bad. Rowena and Crowley make an interesting duo of distrust and evil although Crowley did say he wouldn’t kill the Winchesters. Interesting line and I’m not sure about what he feels about the boys anymore- which I do like. Then maybe again, he doesn’t either? Next week looks very interesting and I hope the MoW is less predictable than this one was. The thing I like the best about SPN is that even a mediocre episode is still a lot better than most of the other crap on tv. Carry on Winchesters!

  • Just because we didn’t get any Rolling Stones tunes doesn’t mean “Paint It Black” wasn’t a great title. I’ve always seen the lyrics to that song as referencing death, and more specifically a funeral. Many churches–Episcopal churches in particular–have one defining characteristic, which is red doors. Combining the church setting and the multiple character deaths, seems to me that “Paint It Black” is a great title. And then, looking ahead to next week, where it seems like the MoC is bubbling back to the surface, the title here could even be seen as a bit of a teaser where Dean is moderately successful at not wanting to kill or destroy–not wanting to paint the church doors (demon) black, even. Just my $.02.

    Yes, Dean’s confession scene was absolutely breathtaking. Vague references aside (though I’m definitely tallying all of them, haha!), who would have ever guessed that our Dean would actually admit to believing in God? I still remember the first time he tried to pray back in 4×18, and contrasting that with all those beautiful scenes of Dean in the church was just really appealing to me. And I love that Dean’s last line about there being “more to it” than he thought–while framed with him behind the screen?–genius. I freaking love how this show is shot.

    And I agree with the whole idea that even mediocre Supernatural is better than top-of-the-line for most shows. I for one enjoyed this episode a lot!

  • I want to point out only a couple of things.

    The first one is about the journal written in Latin. I highly doubt that the aristocracy spoke Latin in 1520 Florence, after Dante who lived two centuries before and with the De Medici’s court . They mostly spoke a Florentine language, that is known now as ancient Italian. Let’s say that Isabella spoke Latin because she was a nun, I’ll go for a poetic licence. 😉
    By the way the set is a masterpiece, and the view of Santa Maria del Fiore from the window is the same that I see from my coworker office, I kept looking for him!

    The second one is about Dean’s confession (kudos to Jensen Ackles’ by the way, he got me from laughs to tears in a matter of seconds). Dean begins with a fake confession: Gina is completely made up, because he needs a cheating story to hook up the ghost. Then he goes on with his fears but he is vague because his feelings are. He is a man whose life is coming to an end, and doesn’t want to die. Yes, die, because becoming “that thing again” is even worst than dying for Dean. I wasn’t upset about the vagueness of his desires: I’ve seen it too many times in myself and other people when they have to face something as life changing as Dean is now: you simply wish that things were different, but you can’t really point out what “different” means.

    As always, I’m sorry for my English, I hope I made sense above. Thank you and have good time in Seattle!

    • So if Dean ‘dies’ again he goes back to being a knight of hell? because the first blade doesn’t work unless the person has the mark of cain – I guess he could kill himself but I don’t see him doing that because he’s one of those people who just doesn’t know how to give up and if he really is going bad, he’ll probably leave it too late before he attempts to slit his own throat.
      furthermore, I personally don’t see why Dean would think he would ever kill Sam. People have been telling him he’ll do that from his father to uriel, to lucifer to castiel…he never has. I don’t know why he believed Cain when he said that he would. Precedent does not support this theory at all.

  • Can I just add that no one picked up on the fact that Dean said he believes there is a God. Something that Sam believed in season 1 and Dean has never said before. In his heart he wants to believe there is something to hope for but knows better. That really spoke to me.
    I agree with everyone else about the greyness. Just gonna look forward to next week.
    Thanks for the review, great as usual.

    • YES! I mean, I was as surprised as most people were with the whole “things, people, feelings” bit, but seriously the thing that hit me the hardest was hearing Dean actually say out loud that he believes there is a God. I still remember the first time he tried to pray in season 4; how far he’s come on this journey toward faith. And without the show getting all preachy–the progression has felt very natural, at least to me.

  • Did anyone else note that Florence is the place Charlie was going to to research the Mark and that was where the “ghost story” took place from the 1500s? Significant? I don’t know what the problem is with going back and forth between 2 storylines, I didn’t think it was that confusing at all. I too am very eager to get back to the MOC storyline but enjoyed Crowley and Rowena and Jensen’s performance in the confessional. My two cents.

  • “Why is Dean talking about dying? The Mark isn’t going to kill him. Is he thinking of killing himself to protect Sam? At first I thought the suicides in this episode were a tie-in, but then there was a murder thrown in too, so I’m not sure. ”

    I didn’t watch the epi, living in Germany and you have NO chance! But reading your comment helps to go on with the show.
    So my thoughts are that Dean is dying not in the “normal” way. He ‘s dying because he can feel tha he’s changing by the MoC. Every day he’s dying a little bit more and feeling totaly helpless is like dying, right?

    “And why is Dean so dead set against Sam researching how to get rid of the Mark? Is it just that he can’t stand the cycle of repeatedly trying and failing? He wants to hunt and keep busy because he can’t stand the feeling of banging their heads against a wall trying? Why does Sam feel like he has to hide from Dean that he is, in fact, still trying? It made sense when Dean made the deal back in S3 and Sam was going to die if Dean tried to break it, but it doesn’t make as much sense now.”

    Maybe he knows that his pain-in -the-ass little brother is doing something dangerous by researching. He didn’t want Sam to be in danger, alway protecting him etc. or maybe he didn’t want Sam to be disapointed when he couldn’t find a solution for the MoC.
    And for Sam hiding his research, he too knows more about the MoC i guess. And he knows the consequences for him. And he is the same protectiv-mode as Dean is. He thinks Deans has enough on his plate and he also knows that dean never would allow Sam to recue Dean by riskin his own life.

    A lot of maybe’s right. But hej an girl can dream!

    So I hope for me the show is turning the corner into the right direction. PLEASE let it be Sam to save Dean, please please please. And I NEED more of Sam getting Dean to talk more bro-moments. And well for Rowena and Crowly, not so sure about the couple. As can’t see them acting pwww I#m not sure, not my kind of cup of tea….

    And at the end, sorry for my rotten english, not my first language, but I’, still trying!

    Keep up your good work Lynn! Youre side and some others are my only chance to go on with SN. So thanks for that!


  • I think in part Cain revealed and shook Dean to his core regarding the mark’s thirst for blood and the fact that Cain’s first blood spilt was his own brother. In the past 10 years everything Dean has done has been with Sam in mind. He’s worried that if Sam keeps up the research or if the darkness of the mark drags him down, Sam will go down with him.

  • what I would like to know is was that painting supposed to be the Mona Lisa? I could google it but I’m lazy.
    Also I’ve seen a lot of comments about ‘feeling sorry for the nun’ and I’m like, why? because she got her heart broken or because she’s a ghost? personally I found her heartbroken angst tiresome and self-inflicted although I did see how she would get the wrong idea if Pierro was grinding her body parts into his pigments. Nothing says I love you like cutting off someone’s fingers after all. but mostly she just seemed to have a really low emotional IQ and ganking her was doing her a HUGE favour. As for the other nun, I kept expecting her to proposition Dean for some reason.
    I’m glad you explained the ‘feelings’ thing because I just did not get who or what he was talking about. but with Supernatural’s propensity this season to bring fan fiction to life, it did cross my mind, before my mind vigorously crossed that shit out, that he was talking about Sam somehow. especially considering how old married couple they’ve been this season. However, he probably meant that he sees now that there are other lives he could have lived; other people he might have included in his life to make it more wholesome maybe. He’s always been the one saying that ‘in this life’ you can’t have anyone but maybe now he wishes that he had made room for someone. I think. maybe. I don’t really know.

  • “It was vague enough that you could take it virtually any direction you wanted, but it certainly sounded like Dean wanted to explore something he hasn’t had a chance to. I’ll leave it at that. Make of it what you will.”

    I had a huge issue with the confession, for two different reasons:

    1) I do not like what was hinted at with the statement. It was a nod to shippers, a tease. And completely unnecessary. Even my boyfriend (who is not in fandom) groaned at it. It took me out of what was meant to be a very vulnerable, honest moment for Dean (which Jensen acted beautifully) and that’s unfortunate.

    There is so much drama & nastiness in fandom as it is when it comes to ship wars, so why add more gasoline to the fire. I’m just getting sick of fan service – fan service is never good for any show. It’s too polarizing. Take a step back, writers & write what is best for the story, not what you think will make this part of fandom or that part of fandom squee.

    2) I also took it to mean that Dean possibly wanted to change his purpose in life. Like was Dean hinting that he wanted more in life – like what? A wife? Marriage? Normal? All things which we know Dean cannot have, and has accepted he can’t have. He’s a hunter, and he has come to embrace that & the life it requires. He knows he is at his best, side by side with Sam, hunting evil things and saving people. That’s a pretty impressive purpose.

    I just don’t get what else Dean could have been referring to.

    I actually really hope someone @ Seattle Con this weekend asks Jensen about it because I would be really curious to hear his viewpoint.

    Overall, I really disliked the episode. I was bored. And like you, did not think there was enough Winchesters. I don’t always mind when the Winchesters take a back seat but I hate to see them being reduced to set decoration or to the B/C story line – especially to one-off characters like the nuns.

    When the J’s are on set, I want the writers to REALLY be making the time count – I was character insight & development for Sam & Dean. Sam & Dean are playing the supporting roles way too often as of late. It’s still their show, right?

    This whole episode felt off to me & very un-Supernatural-ish. As much as I love the J’s, I didn’t even really feel like their heads & hearts were in this episode.

    • I think it’s incredibly interesting how many interpretations came out of the confession scene. I’m beginning to think it was brilliantly vague. I did not come up with the shipping angle at all – but, I’m not a shipper. (I’ll read anything, but in the show, nope, not for me.) Consequently I more of less just glossed over that “things, people, feelings” part. Lisa floated through my mind, as did Ben, but at no point did I jump to Cas or Sam. Once it was pointed out, I could see where people either ran with it or groaned about the fan service. But it had to be pointed out to me. It was not an intuitive leap for me as a non-shipper.

      For me, the whole thing hinged on the line “I’m starting to think…. that maybe there is more to it all than I thought.” That fed into my free will vs. destiny obsession. I heard that and thought that Dean was heading towards the path of “this is inevitable” which would also open up the possibility that just because he’s managed to not kill Sam yet, doesn’t mean he won’t get there. Obviously, I don’t want him to (permanently) kill Sam, but hurtling towards destiny… that intrigues me.

      • BL, I’m with you. I didn’t think Dean was thinking about anything particular, he’s just not ready for his life to be over yet. There is a reason fighter pilots are all young gungpho types instead of folks in their thirties.

  • Was I the only one who spotted the “continuity” error right at the end? As we saw the Impala drive away, Dean was in the drivers seat, and Sam was the passenger. You cant mistake those profiles.

    Agree it was a “funny” episode, far too much of the nun, although it built her story beautifully, she got more disturbed as the episode went on. It was one guest character interacting with another guest character, which never works well. Recurring or key characters are fine to work together, but why not write it as though she was following Sam or Dean around telling her story, or was it the fact that the human Nun knew she was a ghost. A little bit of tweaking the story could have improved the episode. Also why all the possessions suddenly turned up in the church in the US after all these years, left me puzzled.

    The nun story was a bit forced, simply for a couple of key moments to be played out. These were summarized by Sam anyway – taking on a mission to absolve pain/guilt, and having someone to confess to.

    Beautiful set design though, and loved the finger chop towards the end!

    The confession – initially I thought why is Dean jumping at the chance to confess. The “Gina” reference didnt worry me, we know Dean is a womaniser, but it all led to him “confessing” and this would have been very hard for Dean. Also he is troubled, we know that. But here is someone who he could talk to, who wouldnt try to fix things for him, just listen. And also with the priest thinking he was an FBI agent, then Dean could talk about “in my line of work” and it was believable to the priest. Best part at the end, was when Dean said he believed in God, and I thought, “Oh yes you sure do, and probably more than the priest does”. (And I thought of Cas, who at the moment, is a bit sidelined this series)

    Best Scene I loved Sam reading the journal, while he (appeared to) piled up all the other items for burning. Multi tasking at its best !

    Rowena – similar to the ghost Nun, her story has been building over the series, but finally we are getting the tie in – and the future conflict.

    MOL – Im a librarian, so I love the MOL, and why shouldnt there be bunkers in other places? We know there are other hunters out there, so why couldnt there be other MOL bunkers either deserted, in ruins or with “men” working in isolation. great potential story lines there. (I have always wondered if Bobby’s library (the copies of course!) ended up at the MOL). Also I wasnt sure if Olivette was referring to a stash of witchcraft material, or actual MOL bunkers. Loved the idea that witches and MOL have been in combat for centuries or at least decades.

    (I only get to watch Supernatural once, and I go in spoiler free, so apologies if my memory is wrong.)

    • I started to think later, that perhaps the Nun’s obsession was a parallel to other obsessions in the episode/series. Bit subtle, or perhaps I am overthinking it

  • Just rewatched the episode and I think that Gina was a name Dean made up during confession to have a confession that would get the nun to go after him That’s why he was so vague and why Sam asked him afterward if there was anyone listening. It was all a ploy to draw the nun out to Dean so they could handle her. 🙂

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