Tonight’s episode seems to be a stand alone, so it will be interesting to see how this will play into this season’s themes of the Mark of Cain, family, forgiveness of past misdeeds and a certain amount of feminism, that’s been on display, as well.
The past few episodes, while not great ones, have been very good at weaving all of these themes, into the individual episodes, whether they’re mythology heavy or not and this is to the good. It makes the season feel cohesive, as if the writers have an agenda and a point to make. It also helps because then the end of the season doesn’t feel as if it was something tacked on and out of left field.
Okay, I’m back!
This isn’t going to be my usual recap. I’ll just list some thoughts and ideas I had about this episode.
Dean insists on taking cases as a way to ignore his problems with The Mark, while Sam remains preoccupied with figuring out what to do about it. This is the best I’ve seen the two of them behave towards each other, in some time. Their relationship isn’t toally mended. They still tiptoe around each other, just not as much as they used to. They’re still getting used to each other again and they’ve made significant inroads to normalizing this. It felt good to watch them bonding and bickering, very much like they used to do.
I really liked this episode, mostly. Where I got bogged down, was during the scenes where the ghostly nun was telling the living nun her sad, romantic story and we saw some flashbacks. The flashbacks were lovely, by the way, but her story was rather cliche. Maybe that’s the point. I know I got bored watching that part and here’s why. I’m thoroughly sick and tired of Hollywoods insistence on the artist/model falling in love trope.
I was once an art student myself. Not once did I ever hear of any of the other students falling in love with any of the models or vice versa, but this seems to be a popular stereotype of artists and painters. Hollywood likes this idea because it can’t conceive of any situation in which someone might be naked in front of another human being and not have sex be the result. For most painters, models are not people-people, they’re not even sexual objects. In an art class, they’re just bodies, made up of shapes and lines and angles, and sexual activity is the farthest thing from your mind, when you’re painting and drawing it.
I was able to figure out pretty quickly, that the nun was a ghost. I was only confused as to how she got into the church. I was also able to figure out, pretty quickly, that it was her painting, that held the ghost. So, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this was another episode where the plot was just a hanger, to focus our attention, on the discussions that Dean had, during the show.
I was hoping we’d get Dean into one of those confessional booths and I was not disappointed. Just when I thought his confession might be done, and that the priest’s eyeballs were about to roll right out of his head, the writers wowed me with Jensen’s beautiful monologue about Dean’s fear of death. It was heartbreaking, lovely and cements my opinion, that the writers are fully on point this season. In fact, all of the dialogue, this episode, was especially well written.
Also, this is the most feminist season we’ve ever seen on this show. True, there’s still only one recurring female character but the writers are nailing its depiction of women this season. I especially enjoyed the two women in this episode. We have two named women, sharing their stories and feelings. They have backstories and character arcs, even if one of those arcs is the cliche of the jilted lover! And most importantly, they did not make the nun an abstinence joke. I was waiting for it but Dean tiptoed right by it, when she challenged him about making fun of her.
Also, Dean was looking especially vulnerable and Sam’s hair wasn’t as annoying as it was last week. These are good things
Sam was driving on their way back to the Bunker and since this is a pretty rare event, I think the writers are probably trying to tell us something, for the rest of the season. That it will be Sam calling the shots, plot wise. He’s going to be in charge for a while and making some major decisions that will play out for the next six or seven episodes, I hope.
I liked that Sam explicitly disobeyed a direct order from Dean earlier, which resulted in saving Dean’s life. Had he burned the nun’s journal, he would not have found out, that it was the painting that the ghost was attached to. Sam made a call that went against what Dean wanted and it played out to the good. Take note of this event for later because I think it might have some bearing on how the end of the season, and the MoC, plays out. Remember, last episode, Dean explicitly stated that Sam shouldn’t bother looking for a clue. This episode Sam says he’s not going to obey that edict.
Well, I hope he’s not.
Oh, and this is a shoutout to the commenters on BellaUk’s website, who insisted that eventually the Crowley/Rowena story line and the Sam/Dean storyline would eventually crash into each other, when I just couldn’t see it. Okay! from now on you guys all get a pass, no matter how wild and crazy I think your theories might be.
Well, the stories are collapsing into each other and the intersection is, of course, The Bunker and the Men of Letters. I love this idea. Lately, we haven’t been seeing much about the MoL and this is a fantastic way to tie these two very separate stories together.
Are the writers setting up Rowena to be this season’s Big Bad? Will she endanger the brothers? Will Crowley make the sacrifice play and save them over his own mother?
Okay, let’s talk about Crowley for a moment. It’s become evident to me that Crowley is increasingly unhappy about his position as King of Hell. He often appears tired. Not tired as in exhausted, but tired as in sick of being in his position, sick of the other demons and sick of being in Hell. I think he genuinely loves the Winchesters. If that’s Sams feelings about Dean influencing him, through the blood he was given, I’m unsure. He seems to have the most fun when he’s out of Hell, and on the road with them, however much they don’t like him. I’m looking back on the advice he once gave to Kevin, about staying away from them, and he’s definitely not following it. I think Sam’s blood made him far more human than he’s willing to admit. At some point, he’s going to have to acknowledge his emotional attachment to them and I wonder what form that acknowledgment will take. Will he, again, choose the Winchesters over his mother as she keeps accusing? Is he really their bitch, as she claims?
Well, I’ll stay tuned.
Next week: The return of Bobby Singer!