This was such a different episode from last week, wasn't it? After all of last week's action and humor, the new plot twist and the "Renegade" ending, I was feeling all pumped up and had a general euphoria over this show. After "Houses of the Holy" was over, I felt the show nicely brought things down a little bit, slowed the pace, chose a topic that was more thought-provoking than the action movie we got last week. Again, much like some of the other episodes that have aired this season, this one has roots in one of last season's favorites, "Faith." It all goes back to Sam and Dean's different philosophies on life. Sam's willing to take things more on faith. That's why he was easily amenable to the thought of a preacher who could heal, and specifically, could heal his brother. Dean, on the other hand, only believes what he can see. It's naturally a more cynical view, but it's what allows him to deal with the things he fights every day, while at the same time to deny the existence of a higher power, or something that counterbalances all the evil in the world. A couple lines of dialogue at the beginning of "Houses of the Holy" even mirrored the conversation Sam and Dean had when they were walking up to the tent.
At the heart, here is a supposed "angel" who comes to an individual in the form of a bright light and lets that person know they have been chosen to carry out an important task. Said task involves killing someone who's up to no good and going straight to the cops to confess. Then they are put behind bars or placed in a mental hospital, where a sense of peace overcomes them despite the brutal act they had just committed. They supposedly did it all under the guise of "God's will." So that we don't get a one-sided version of things, Sam immediately believes this is all the work of an angel; meanwhile, Dean is emphatic in his disagreement. He just feels this is a vengeful spirit, even after Sammy's touched by the angel himself. By the way, I thought it was very funny that when Sam admits to Dean that he saw an angel, Dean offers Sammy a drink out of his flask. (And when did Dean start having a flask, anyway? Have we seen this flask before?) Anyway, when Sammy gets the sign, Dean won't let his little brother carry out the "angel's" terms. He won't let his little brother kill, even though Sam claims he wasn't going to do that. But the attempted-rapist dude still ends up dead (impaled), and both Sam and Dean's beliefs are tweaked a little bit. Sam thought for sure it was an angel, but instead it's the deceased Father Gregory. So his faith had to be shaken - especially since his destiny may take him to a bad place, and he was counting on his belief in a greater good to help him cope with what they do every day as well as to possibly save him from whatever's supposed to happen to him. As for Dean, even though he tried to change the outcome, he couldn't. So maybe, just maybe, he opened up his mind a tiny bit. It's Dean, so despite him saying he saw "God's will" at work, I really think it'll take a lot more than this to let faith in, especially after what he admitted to Sam about his mother. Speaking of which...
There were a couple brotherly scenes where I felt Jared and Jensen excelled:
- When Dean told Sam that their Mom had faith just like him. And that the last thing she ever said to him when she tucked him in at night was that angels were watching over them. It was very cool to hear Dean talk about Mary, especially since he didn't visit her grave when Sam did back in "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things." It was a heartbreaking scene, and Jensen delivered it perfectly.
- The final scene where Sam's beliefs had clearly been shaken was really well done. Of course, my favorite part had to be when Dean told Sam that he's watching over him. Sam acknowledges his brother's protection, but also tries to make his big brother understand his need to have faith in something much bigger than them. Jared did such a good job.
- Sam prays every day? I never saw that coming. Neither did Dean.
- Dean on the vibrating bed - that's classic. And I love how he kept asking for quarters. What was that song he was listening to on the bed?
- I liked how they didn't forget about "Nightshifter." They explained that the fact that Dean couldn't go with Sam (in white scrubs) to visit the "crazy hooker" at the mental hospital was because it was a government facility, and Dean's face had just been plastered all over the news for the bank robbery. See? Consequences from "Nightshifter" are already starting.
- Do you think Sammy was chosen by Father Gregory because of his weirdo visions, his need for redemption, or was it another test?
- The car chase thankfully gave us a little action there at the end.
- It doesn't matter that I've heard "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" a million times in my life: The fact that the Bob Dylan tune was used at all was very cool.
- I loved that geek look Sammy gave Dean after he hacked into the sick guy's folder of e-mails.
- Did anyone notice there wasn't a "previously?"
- Did you get a load of next week's promo? Can't wait.
- "You gotta try this. There really is magic in the magic fingers." "You're enjoying that way too much, it's kind of making me uncomfortable."
- "You got any quarters?"
- "She seriously believes she was
Touched by an Angel?"
- "You know what? There's a ton of lore on unicorns, too. In fact, I hear they ride on silver moonbeams and they shoot rainbows out of their ass." "Wait. There's no such thing as unicorns?"
- "There are just some angels you just file under bull crap." "And you've got angels on the bull crap list?" "Yup."
- "You bring quarters?" "Dude, I'm not enabling your sick habit. You're like one of those lab rats that pushes the pleasure button instead of the food button until it dies." "What are you talking about? I eat."
- "Roma Downey made him do it."
- "I guess if you're going to stab someone, good timing."
- "I'm watching out for you." "Yeah, I know you are."
Editor's Note: If you've got questions for
Supernatural mastermind Eric Kripke, please post them below in comments. Just make sure to bold his name so they can be easily identified.
This was such a different episode from last week wasnt it After all of last weeks action and humor the new plot twist and the Renegade ending I was feeling all pumped up and had a general euphoria over this show After Houses of the Holy was over I felt the show nicely brought things down a little bit slowed the pace chose a topic that was more thought-provoking than the action movie we got last week Again much like some of the other episodes that have aired this season this one has roots in one of last seasons favorites Faith It all goes back to Sam and Deans different philosophies on life Sams willing to take things more on faith Thats why he was easily amenable to the thought of a preacher who could heal and specifically could heal his brother Dean on the other hand only believes what he can see Its naturally a more cynical view but its what allows him to deal with the things he fights every day while at the same time to deny the existence of a