Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #12 – “Faith”

A quick note by way of introduction may be required here. For quite some time now, certain members of the Richmond WriMos have been trying to persuade me to watch the CW show Supernatural. I  have relented and am now embarking on watching Supernatural via the wonders of Netflix. This series of posts will simply be my first impressions, almost stream of consciousness style, presented in the form of the time elapsed in the episode and my thoughts expressed as bullet points. It’s effectively live tweeting the episodes except I don’t have to stick to 140 characters or fewer. So without further ado here’s my take on:

Season 1 Episode 12 – “Faith”

  • 00:49 – Huh, the teaser features Sam and Dean, not our usual Inevitable Death types.
  • 02:09 – Kinda liking how the teaser feels like the climax of an episode. It implies that there’s a whole raft of Winchester adventures that we aren’t privy to.
  • 02:41 Rawhead: “Don’t taze me, bro!”
  • 03:01 – Dean mixing water and electricity didn’t go well for him? What a shocker. Wait, does that make Dean the Inevitable Teaser Death?
  • 04:18 – Not dead, just a bad heart. Or a ‘dicky ticker’ if you’re stereotypically British. Though apparently he will be dead in a month.
  • 04:42 – “That fabric softener teddy bear. I want to hunt that little bitch down.” – And I thought my Murder Dog theory was from out of left field.
  • 05:25 – Dean’s somewhat glib acceptance of impending death feels out of character. Sam’s angsting over it feels entirely in character though.
  • 06:43 – Quoth he of the terrible hair: “You know this whole ‘I laugh in the face of death’ thing. It’s crap. I can see right through it.” For once, I’m on Sam’s side.
  • 07:34 – A faith healer? I am no longer on Sam’s side.
  • 08:21 – “How can you be a skeptic with the things we see every day?” – A question I always wanted Mulder to ask Scully in the first four or so X-Files seasons.
  • 08:33 – Is that Darla? I can’t stop myself making Buffy comparisons if you’re going to cast actual Buffy actors, show.
  • 08:41 – Darla is actually “Layla” and when I hear the character name I get stuck with an Eric Clapton earworm.
  • 09:57 – Oh, this preacher. The last thing I heard from Nebraska with an accent this Southern was Larry The Cable Guy.
  • 10:47 – Dean gets to be the first guest on stage and is massively, hilariously uncomfortable with it.
  • 12:31 – Did Preacher Man just knock Dean unconscious? I bit that’s a bit of info his son didn’t share with Dusty Springfield.
  • 12:45 – Interesting creepy grey ghost-like figure just flashed on screen behind Preacher Man
  • 13:00 – Dean was genuinely healed? I guess that’s the episode done then. I assume the next half hour will consist of the Winchester brothers doing the Carlton dance.
  • 13:52 – Oh, the irony of Dean accusing Sam of needing a little faith. Trying to decide between the George Michael or Buffy references…
  • 15:05 – So Preacher Man got his powers whilst in a coma. I’d guess demonic possession but he doesn’t appear to have the black smoky eyes, just the squinty blind ones.
  • 15:42 – “A young man with an important purpose. A job to do.” So I guess Dean is the latest of a long line of Chosen Ones in genre media.
  • 17:04 – So Layla/Darla has some kind of illness. Probably a side effect from her vampirism.
  • 17:43 – I guess an inoperable brain tumor is a kind of vampire.
  • 19:09 – So Preacher Man is a conduit for illness, passing it from those he heals to other poor schmucks. That’s a black little twist on faith healing
  • 20:14 – Dean identifies the figure I mentioned at 12:45 as a “Reaper,” and we cut to it chasing a jogger. On the soundtrack? “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult. A little on the nose,but also hilarious. (Actually, on the Netflix version I’m watching it was “Death in the Valley” by Death Riders, but I check to see if music was changed for rights reasons after I’m done writing these)
  • 21:25 – So in the Supernatural universe the Grim Reaper is represented by multiple semi-spiritual beings known collectively as Reapers. Interesting bit of mythology building.
  • 22:49 – So Sam won’t cross the line and kill a human being, regardless of reasons. While I support his stance, I think the fact that it seems Dean is willing to cross that line could generate some interesting stories down the line.
  • 23:47 – A line Sam will cross: breaking into a blind Preacher Man’s house
  • 24:30 – I guess blind guys suck at dusting. It’s why Stevie Wonder’s mansion is a metaphorical pig sty.
  • 25:47 – It seems Preacher Man is directing his pet Reaper at those that don’t fit his definition of morality. A problematic approach to spree killing, to put it mildly.
  • 26:03 – Layla! (You got me on my knees) Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Life is Right!
  • 28:02 – First Amendment scholars might frown upon Dean shouting “Fire!” in a crowded tent, but I maintain that his shenanigans are cheeky and fun
  • 28:44 – So Preacher Man isn’t responsible. Who could it be now?
  • 28:53 – Mrs. Preacher Man is the guilty party. She was one endearingly Southern “bless your heart” away from being my prime suspect
  • 29:58 – “The Lord will deal with him as he sees… fit.” Mrs Preacher Man is a stone cold bitch, y’all.
  • 30:54 – Dean has some survivor’s guilt about being healed and Layla not being. If it wasn’t for the whole collateral deaths thing that would be a lot harder to parse out.
  • 31:08 – I don’t think Preacher Man realizes that his “gift” has a terrible, terrible cost. Which means that he’s that rare TV creature, an honest man of faith.
  • 32:07 – “God save us from half the people who think they’re doing God’s work.” Amen to that, Dean.
  • 33:19 – That lingering camera shot is making me wonder if Dean plans to sacrifice himself to the Reaper to heal Layla
  • 34:47 – The canine minion of Murder Dog provided an excellent jump scare. To the point that my flinch spilled my coffee.
  • 35:34 – Yeah, that’s a creepy as f*** dark altar.
  • 36:16 – Mrs Preacher Man be totes cray cray, y’all. And she reminds me of Kai Winn from Deep Space Nine with her condescending tendencies and obvious evil
  • 36:49 – Dean is in the Reaper’s sights, and that bothers him a great deal. Kind of proves Sam’s point he made at 06:43
  • 37:58 – The binding is broken. The Reaper is free. Methinks that Mrs Preacher Man is about to be in a whole world of hurt.
  • 38:22 – This particular Reaper has quite the smile. It’s an almost predatory leer.
  • 38:53 – Mrs Preacher Man has been Reaped, and I have no sympathy.
  • 40:00 – I can’t decide if Sam tipping Layla off is kind of sweet or a dick move.
  • 41:24 – “If you’re gonna have faith, you can’t just have it when the miracles happen.” I can’t improve on that sentiment.

As I have noted on this blog before, I am endlessly fascinated by the intersection of faith, religion and narrative (It’s one of the reasons that Dune is my favorite book), so as you can imagine, this episode really hit the sweet spot for me. It’s another episode that lays with Judeo-Christian imagery but takes it in a few unexpected directions in the name of world building. For example this establishes Reapers as an entire class of supernatural beings (no pun intended) and give the show its own twist on the idea of angels of death. I also liked that the show eschewed the usual hypocrisy of the religious character by making the Preacher Man a genuinely good man of faith who thought he was doing the Lord’s work. That’s a fairly rare thing in media that isn’t explicitly targeted at the Evangelical crowd.

One criticism of the episode is that it wasn’t as visually interesting as the last few episodes have been, but I’m not sure if that’s due to sub par direction from Allan Kroeker or if it’s simply the nature of the setting. It’s hard to make big tent spooky, after all.

All in all, a good episode with some great thematic meat to it. Though i’d prefer more than merely a rerun of Daddy’s voice mail to tie it in to the season arc so far.

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One thought on “Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #12 – “Faith”

  1. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #23 – “In My Time of Dying” | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

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