On the D/L – Supernatural
Season 10 Episode 16 – “Paint it Black”
Supernatural continues with the mostly episodic focus as the brothers Winchester go after a vengeful ghost as Crowley continues to struggle with his mother interfering in his business.
As I have said in previous reviews I have been enjoying the change of pace in the last few episodes with the focus returning to Sam and Dean on the road hunting like when the show started. The difficulty with this structure is that every now and again we’re going to get an episode like this one that so vastly drips in mediocrity that there’s not an awful lot to say about it.
We’ve seen plenty of these vengeful spirit episodes and I think the show has pretty much covered this story from every conceivable angle so it makes it tough to keep it fresh. This episode fails to capture any sort of imagination in the sloppy execution of this bread and butter case.
The main problem is that I felt something of a disconnect to the story at large. Despite the flashbacks to the setup of this situation I don’t think it really worked at giving the viewer a connection to what was going on. For me the obsessive woman who in turn is spurred by a man which causes her to become a murderer felt a little by the numbers.
I do appreciate the attempt to make this a little different structurally through the journal leading us into flashbacks filling us in on what happened. For one thing it gives the ghost of Isabella a chance to develop more as a character rather than Sam and Dean reading about what caused her to become the way she is through reading some dusty old book. I’m not sure whether it was down to the writing or the actress or a combination of both but it felt a little flat to me. These intensely passionate feelings that we were told about didn’t come across in execution so it was difficult to connect with the story.
It’s a shame because there was lots of potential here with the flashback concept and the idea of using blood and body parts to make up paint was a really gruesome one. It was sickening but I kind of liked it. It reminded me of some of the grotesque things that Supernatural used to play around with in earlier scenes.
Dean had a really strong scene when he went into the confession booth. In the story he was trying to lure the ghost out but it was a very sincere discussion that he had with the priest who was nothing but sympathetic to his plight. He opened up in a way that he doesn’t do with Sam probably because of the neutrality of his audience in this case. He knows that it will remain in confidence so just lets it all out.
Some important information comes across here. We learn that Dean still has plenty of strength within him and isn’t ready for death yet. He plans to carry on fighting and that’s a very significant thing for his character right now. Any sign of weakness and the Mark of Cain could easily take over.
I’m getting a little annoyed at Sam’s constant repetition of the same conversation around the Mark of Cain. Dean is clearly sick of it and so am I. The problem is that it’s not building up the arc so much as reminding us that it exists. It’s basically what happened in the latest season of Doctor Who and it’s no less annoying here. I would like to see Sam be given something else to do other than take on the role of expositionist to keep the audience remembering that the Mark of Cain exists.
We get a return of the plot that nobody wants in the Crowley and Rowena show. I really hate this story and don’t understand why Crowley is keeping her around. Every time there is a scene between these character the show commits another little bit of character assassination. I’m not far away from being completely unable to take Crowley seriously at this point and this story really does nothing for me. I only hope that Rowena decides to go after Sam and Dean so that they can kill her.
A short review this week but there’s really not a lot to say about this episode on the whole.
The ghost murderer plot had a lot of potential that it completely fails to rise to. I liked the idea of using flashbacks to give the vengeful spirit a little more of a character beyond what Sam and Dean read in books but the execution left a lot to be desired. I didn’t get the impression that Isabella was so intensely passionate about the man she was obsessed with and felt that it all fell a little flat.
Dean’s confession was a great sequence that told us a lot about his current state of mind. I love that he admits to a neutral party that he’s scared but still has some fight left in him. He’s not ready to give up yet and really has something to live for at the moment. It’s important that Dean remains focused currently and it’s great that he’s willing to be.
The constant reminders of the Mark of Cain arc really are becoming tiresome. Sam’s entire purpose seems to be to have the same conversation with Dean every single week and I’m getting as sick of it as Dean appears to be. Reminding us of a plot thread isn’t the same as building on it.
Crowley and Rowena really need to go away. I can’t take it at all seriously and it’s basically destroying Crowley bit by bit in terms of his character and turning him into a joke. I can only hope that she goes after the Winchester’s soon so that they can kill her.