Supernatural: Paint it Black

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Dean, she is married to Jesus.

Following a recent string of suicides from members of a congregation in Massachusetts, the Winchesters have a case. Using their latest FBI disguises, they talk with Father Delaney and Sister Mathias for any help they can get. Elsewhere, in hell, Crowley isn't lacking for complaints about his mother. As Rowena has mentioned before, she has been hunted relentlessly by the high coven of witches; Crowley has given her the high priestess on a silver platter. Sister Mathias is speaking with her a fellow nun, Isabella, about why they joined the cloister as they both joined to escape their previous lives. As she reveals more, Isabella's past reveals that at one point, she was the muse of an Italian painter. Isabelle grew to love him but her love was unrequited. Isabella bled and sacrificed part of her finger for his art and when she found him in bed with another woman, she killed him. This all took place in the year 1520. As it turns out, Sister Mathias is a medium that can speak with the dead and help them pass on but Isabella's spirit is taking vengeance on men that cheated on their lovers. After Sister Mathias tells the Winchesters everything, they have to act quickly before this ghost can take her vengeance once again.

Another week and another mediocre episode of Supernatural. Going back to the monster of the week approach, Paint it Black suffered from a boring, revenge driven ghost and a side plot that is unlikely to pick up any momentum. First, let's discuss the story of Isabella. After giving her flesh and blood (literally) to the painter, Piero, she kills him after finding him in bed with another woman and has been killing men who cheat on their significant others. Isabella's motivations were weak, at best, and she knew that Piero never loved her. Granted, he did lie to her to save her feelings but that didn't stop her from stabbing him to death. In order to stop her, Sam had to burn her portrait. That, or people could have stopped going to that church, but burning the portrait works too. Supernatural has had better monster than the ghost of a scorned lover and it would be much better to go back to the ones that create more exciting stories for the Winchesters. Beside this, the side plot surrounding Rowena will simply never work. After torturing high priestess, Olivette, we now know that Rowena's goal is to attain more power. We've always known that her ambition is far reaching but there is no purpose or the slightest inkling towards what that might be beyond that. Again, making Paint it Black even less entertaining.

Having two stories in an episode can be a good thing but in Paint it Black, they didn't complement one another. Isabella's story was slowly paced to allow time for the numerous/unnecessary flashbacks and Rowena's torture of Olivette was poorly received comedy. The pacing of the two clashed as the story teetered from one extreme to the other and never established a strong rhythm between the two. Technically, the lighting in Supernatural isn't what it used to be. Supernatural used to have dramatic lighting that created a dark atmosphere and a true sense of suspense but that memory is almost as old as Isabella's journal. The lighting for Rowena's scenes in hell, is cold and static and really lets the set designers down every time.

Speaking of Rowena, Ruth Connell has again showed us that her character is as one dimensional as they come. Connell clearly relishes the opportunity to play the 'good to be bad' character but that's all we get. The parts where Rowena is frustrated or satisfied never come across as anything but the same sarcasm we have seen already. While her dialogue is lacking, Connell's interpretation is one, flat note. Mark Sheppard is fantastic as Crowley because it's never the same thing. Sometimes Crowley can is furious, chipper, annoyed and even vulnerable. For Connell to get us to have any attachment to Rowena, she has to put some humanity into the character and not continue to show us the one side.

The good thing about Paint it Black is that it's over. Two plots can be a good idea but Supernatural should recognize that less can be more. We'll see what happens next week when Bobby Singer returns on Inside Man.

Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Rowena, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Ruth Connell, Mark Sheppard

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