Warning: Spoiler Alert
Now this was enjoyable! Although The CW series “Supernatural’s,” subject matter’s pretty grim, the shows always handled it with a light-touch/tongue-in-cheek attitude, since early in the series’ run, a likely reason the show’s now in its tenth season. When you’re dealing with monsters and demons, The King Of Hell and Angels, as well narrowly averting the apocalypse, it helps to have characters, that can bust out a joke when things go dark. Although there’s been some light-episodes this season, the overall mood’s glum, so it was good to see the show-runners, pull something out of their old playbook in the episode entitled “Paint It Black.”
The graphic tells us we’re starting out the episode in Worcester, Massachusetts, however hailing from Boston, I can attest, the citizens sounded more like Ohioans, than Bay State natives. However, taking that in stride we’re in one of the city’s Catholic churches and a man named Terry Sloan’s finishing his confession to the Parish Priest, Father Delaney, who says to Sloan he’ll see him on Sunday as he departs the confessional booth. Suddenly the camera’s showing us a distorted effect, zeroing in on Sloan, stopping when it reaches the back of his jacket.
The camera’s back to normal when we see Terry from the front, but we watch his facial expression change from placid to agitated. He stops at one of the church candles, extinguishes the wick, removes the candle and takes the candle stick holder with him, the holder has a large spike protruding from its middle. He carries it outside, then standing directly in front of the church, he stabs himself in the chest with the spike and starts ripping his flesh downward.
Our next scene’s in the chamber of The King Of Hell, Roderick Crowley’s whose mother Rowena, never fails to remind him his real first names Fergus. One of Crowley’s toadies, comes to address him and begs the King to talk to his mother and Crowley asks what she did now. The small bearded-man tells Crowley that Rowena’s vexed at her son and taking out her frustration on Crowley’s court, he says he realizes they’re in Hell, but she goes too far, then he turns around to show Crowley, Rowena put a smaller version of his face on the back of his head.
His mother enters and immediately laughs at the toady, saying she always knew he was two-faced and he storms from the room. Crowley tells Rowena, he’s incredibly close to locking her back in her cell and his mother tries to guilt him saying he doesn’t appreciate what she’s done for him, which he laughs at. She brings up the fact that he broke plans with her to confront her rival Olivette and the Witches Council, to help the Winchesters. She then walks off in a huff, breaking glass along her way out of the room.
Sam and Dean reach Worcester, while Sam thinks the rash of the suicides in the area, are just a coincidence, not black magic. Meanwhile inside the church, we see two young attractive nuns talking about what led them to join the church. One of the women’s Italian and she tells of her relationship with a painter, who told her she was his muse and inspired his work, but then she stops her story. The American nun, says the two are a lot alike, so many people think that people enter service to the church to heed a higher calling. However many times, people enter their profession, because their past’s been too overwhelming, the Italian nun smiles to show she relates to what her friend said.
Lisa and Frank McCarthy enter the church, he enters the confessional booth she prays in the pews. When he finishes his confession, he comes over to her, takes her hand and they start to leave the church, while we see the same distorted camera effect from behind them. That night at home, Frank’s making a late-night snack, when Lisa tells him he should come to bed, as he’s been working lots of late-night hours and he looks a bit uncomfortable, then says the jobs kept him busy. She snarls liar at him, then takes out a pair of scissors, and stabs him repeatedly until he dies, his blood splattered all over her, we see a spirit leave her body and she’s suddenly aware of what she’s done.
“The BOYS,” interview Father Delaney in their guise as FBI Agents Allman and Betts, Delaney says he can’t believe Lisa McCarthy murdered Frank and Sam says her prints were all over the murder-weapon and his blood covered her. He then asks if Delaney can reveal Frank’s confession, but the Priest says that would violate his vows. He then introduces Sam and Dean to the American nun, we saw earlier, as Sister Mathias the director of Social Services and she’ll show them around. Sam excuses himself and says he wants to check out something else while the Sister gives Dean the tour.
Turns out Sister Mathias knew that Frank McCarthy stepped out on Lisa, but she knew nothing about it. After some more conversation about the couple, Dean asked what led her to devoting her life to the church and she asks if he’s making fun of her. He replies of course not and she explains that her life became painful and she needed a mission to dedicate herself to, then says Dean most likely thinks she’s nuts. However he tells her he can relate more than she knows. Sam comes over and asks if there’s a graveyard nearby and Mathias informs him the church’s built on burial grounds.
Crowley summons his mother with some news he thinks will please her, then shows he made Olivette his prisoner, and she’s wearing an iron collar so she’s powerless. Rowena can do what ever she pleases to her longtime enemy, when Crowley leaves, Olivette berates her for consorting with demons, until she tells her rival her son’s The King Of Hell.
Back at the church, Sister Mathias goes back to her conversation with the Italian nun, named Isabella. She starts telling more stories about the artist Piero, then tells her friend she realized she’d fallen in love with him. She told him, however he told her he only loved art and would never have room in his heart for a woman. We see a graphic as the scene closes, telling us the scene’s taking place in Florence, Italy in the year 1520. It turns out Isabella’s the ghost.
We then find out that when she returned home, she was still obsessed with Piero, so her father shipped her to a convent. She had to make do with all the luxury she grew up with, her journal, recounting her life the only possession she retained. Her family’s possessions went to the church she worked in and three weeks earlier got sent to the church in Worcester, which is when she arrived.
Back in Hell, Rowena’s getting her jollies, repeatedly slapping Olivette across the face. She tells Olivette she’ll get what she wants, but her rival says what she wants no longer exists. The Witches Council’s now a sad shadow of what it was in its glory days. Their powers and spells were stolen and then hidden by a group that won the Public Relations Battle, then set up bunkers around the globe where they stored what they plundered. The group’s called “The Gentleman Of Letters.”
Dean decides to try to attract the spirit, so he goes into the confessional and starts spinning a tale of being habitually unfaithful to every woman he’s gotten involved with. Delaney tells him to say some Hail Mary’s and some Our Father’s and his sins will get excused, then asks Dean if anything else’s troubling him. That’s when the elder Winchester gets sincere and asks the Priest what if I told you I’m not ready to die yet. He then says in his line of work, he’s always taken it as a given he’d go out violently and young, but some recent events have made him reevaluate things. Father Delaney asks if he believes in God and Dean responds “I believe there is a God, but I’m not sure if he believes in us anymore.”
Turns out that Sister Mathias realized Isabella was a spirit from the moment they met, she’d met several spirits since she joined the church and all were benign. However after calling for Isabella, she opens her journal and reads that Isabella went insane, left the convent and went back to Piero’s, unsure of what she’d do, confront him for ruining her life or ruin his masterpiece, the painting of her. After being inside for a couple of minutes, she hears the sounds of lovemaking and catches Piero in bed with a blonde and stabs him, long after he died. She got tried as a witch and burned at the stake.
She tells Dean and Sam what she read and that she knew Isabella was a spirit, but thought like the others she met that she was harmless. Dean and the nun head to the chapel, while Dean tells Sam to burn the journal. They arrive downstairs to find Father Delaney, brutally slain on the altar, then Isabella takes control of Sister Mathias and attempts to kill Dean.
Sam reads the journal rather than burns it, and finds out that some of Isabella’s blood, skin and bone got added to the paint. The possession that ties her to the church is the portrait Piero painted, he finds the crate, opens it and burns the portrait, sending Isabella to rest.
Olivette tells Rowena, that the American chapter of “The Gentleman Of Letters,” closed in the fifties, but got recently reopened by Rowena’s favorite pair of brothers the Winchesters. She’s about to kill Olivette with a spell, but has a sudden change of heart and turns her into a hamster in a glass tank running endlessly on a hamster-wheel. She then asks Crowley about any involvement the Winchesters have with “The Gentleman Of Letters.” Crowley says the Winchesters are his affair and he won’t kill them.
Sam and Dean driving home, when Sam says to Dean he doesn’t believe for a second that the Mark Of Cain’s terminal and they’ll find away to defeat it. Dean responds half-heartedly, Okay Sammy, what ever you say, but we can tell he puts no stock in Sam’s words.
The Story Continues Next Wednesday Night at 9:00 pm on The CW.