Supernatural: Paint it Black, Review

A filler, but solid, episode of Supernatural allows the boys to move forward. Here's our review...

This review contains Supernatural spoilers.

Hell hath no fury like a 16th Century woman scorned. Sam and Dean investigate some random suicides and a murder that are all tied to one particular Catholic Church. It’s a typical haunting/possession with a twist. All the signs point to one nun, whom Dean makes of point of calling “hot,” who is clearly the one to blame in the preceding trailers… who is a great red herring for the viewer. 

Crowley caves and lets Rowena vent her frustrations with the Grand Coven on the high priestess—only to find that the Coven lost power during the time of witch hunts—fueled by the efforts of the Men of Letters. The reasons the Grand Coven kicked her out started as sympathetic on Rowena’s side. She had fallen in love with a mortal and had his child. We feel for her and her personal life. But then it’s revealed that her actions afterward, y’know being too evil for a group of evil witches—were the real reason she was kicked out.

There’s an unusual formula to this episode in which we see flashbacks for Isabella that led her to the convent life. She confides in Sister Mathias, explaining her obsession with the painter Piero and how becoming a nun didn’t give her closure on the matter. These flashbacks are detailed accounts of a murderess that we don’t often see on Supernatural. We get to see how Isabella became this vengeful spirit, and we feel for her. Until she totally overreacts to being friend-zoned by Piero, that is. Girl, there are other painters in Florence.

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There’s two clever deceptions done in the Isabella/Mathias scenes. One: it seems obvious that Mathias is the bad guy, leading Isabella and prying information from her to use in some scheme. The reveal came in one of the last flashbacks, in which Isabella’s previous life in Florence, Italy is depicted….the image of Florence is held for a few seconds too long, and then the year 1520 fades onto the screen. Excellent reveal. Isabella was a ghost, Mathias was just a chill nun communing with the dead, and Isabella’s attachment to the world is a gross combinations of her ground up bits in Piero’s painting.

Dean’s confessional was enlightening. At first he began telling the priest how he’s always leading women on, and mentions a Gina. It’s clear he’s not being repentant and the priest seems eager to push him on his way. But then Dean gets a chance to speak from the heart. The tone shifts, and both actors buckle down to show the subtleties in the way they speak and react. Dean is vague, but remarks on his fear of death, and basically how he wanted to leave this world as he’s lived it, riding off into the sunset.

The ghost effects were really good this episode. I like the demon-like ghost vapor that targets the ones Isabella finds guilty. We even get to see through her eyes in gauzy, floating point-of-view shots. The flickering, rapid fire way that she possesses Sister Mathias and attacks Dean was entertaining. It seems her ghostly power was even able to affect Mathias’s solid body, and flicker around like we see the ghosts on Supernatural do. 

A solid episode, a neat concept, and a little heart to heart with Dean on his Mark of Cain problem. Not a bad job, and a good filler episode that allows the boys to move forward.

Next episode we get to see Bobby again! And possibly Metatron too.

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4 out of 5