Houses of the Holy is the 13th episode of Season 2. It premiered on February 1st, 2007.
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Sam and Dean investigate the murders of several people by individuals who claim they were visited by an angel and were carrying out God's will. After the brothers learn those murdered were actually guilty of secret crimes, Sam begins to believe this angel really does exist, but Dean stands firm on the fact a demon is behind the slayings - until he sees something even he can't explain.
A woman named Gloria is sitting watching TV in her house, and smoking. There are statues of angels on the desk next to her. She comes across a program with a man talking about God, and she turns off the TV. The lights start to flicker, and then suddenly the TV turns back on, and the man keeps talking about angels and God. She tries to turn it off, but it won't turn off. Everything suddenly starts shaking. She stands up and she sees a bright light behind her. She turns around and she can almost see a shape in the middle...
Some time later, Sam, disguised as an orderly, interviews Gloria who is now in a psychiatric facility after murdering a man named Carl Gulley. Gloria claims that an angel told her to do it, and is completely at peace. Sam returns to a motel room, where Dean is keeping a low profile after his media exposure during the bank siege in Milwaukee. He relates her story, and Dean scoffs at the idea of angels. They proceed to investigate Carl Gulley’s house, where they find a woman's skeleton buried. Sam later finds out after visiting the library that three people went missing, proving him to be a serial killer.
Overnight another murder takes place – a man kills a stranger and says an angel told him who to kill. Investigating the victim’s house, they find evidence on his computer that he was stalking a young girl over the internet. Dean discovers that both victims attended the same church - Our Lady of the Angels.
The boys visit the church and speak to Father Reynolds, who has nothing helpful for them, until he mentions his fellow clergyman Father Gregory was shot on the steps of the church. Dean thinks it may be Father Gregory, a vengeful spirit making people kill parishioners whose guilty secrets he knew. Sam is skeptical - he thinks it may be God at work, and reveals to a startled Dean that he prays regularly.
The boys return to investigate the church’s crypt where Father Gregory is buried. Whilst they are in different rooms, an angel appears to Sam, and tells him he will be given a sign of someone to kill, someone about to do evil. The boys get into an argument again, and Dean finally admits the reason why he doesn't believe in angels is because their mother also believed in angels, but that didn't stop her from being killed. Dean still thinks it is the spirit of Father Gregory, and suggests that they summon his spirit. If Father Gregory appears after being summoned, they'll know he is a spirit and not an angel. As they buy the supplies necessary for the summoning, Sam sees the man he says the "angel" wants him to kill, identified by a bright light around him.
Dean takes off after the man and tells Sam to go and perform the séance. Sam is interrupted by Father Reynolds, just as the spirit of Father Gregory appears. Sam is crestfallen, knowing that this means he is just a spirit. Father Gregory is not malevolent - he genuinely thinks he is an angel. Father Reynolds argues with him, and manages to convince him of the reality. He finally puts Father Gregory’s soul to rest by saying the Last Rites.
Meanwhile, Dean is following the man Sam had identified, and stops him as he is attacking a young woman. Dean chases him in his car, until the man’s car nearly collides with a truck. Very coincidentally, a metal pipe from the truck perfectly impales the man, killing him.
Back at the motel, Sam explains to Dean why his faith is important to him. Dean describes how the man died, and, against his better instincts, admits he thinks it may have been the hand of God at work.
- Sam Winchester
- Dean Winchester
- Father Reynolds
- Father Thomas Gregory
- Gloria Sidnick
- Zack Smitt
- Male Attacker
"Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan "Down On Love" by Jamie Dunlap
- Father Reynolds comments on Michael's "flaming sword". In "Sympathy for the Devil", it is revealed that that sword is a metaphor for vessel, and that Michael's true "sword" is Dean himself. This is foreshadowed by Sam seemingly gesturing toward Dean (when in actuality he is indicating a painting of Michael) and saying, "Father, that's Michael, right?"
- Sam describes angels as fierce, wrathful, terrifying, and as being more like God's warriors, not like the loving creatures found in Hall-mark cards. Come Season 4, this description will fit them to a T.
- Dean reveals that Mary used to tell him that angels were watching over him—in fact, these were her last words to him. He uses this to test if the Mary who appears in "What Is And What Should Never Be" is the real one. The reason behind why Mary used to tell him this is revealed at the end of "The Song Remains the Same".
- This episode establishes that Dean does not believe in a higher power, while Sam does. This is touched upon again in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester" and subsequent Season 4 episodes. Ironically, Season 4 sees Dean saved by angels and become important to them, whereas Sam is viewed as an abomination by angels due to his links to demons and Lucifer.
- This is the first mention of Raphael; he will not appear until "Free to Be You and Me" (after a brief, white light, unnamed appearance in "The Monster at the End of This Book").
- This is the first mention of Michael.
- The church that serves as "Our Lady of the Angels" is St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church.
- The episode title references either Led Zeppelin's 1973 album or their 1975 song of the same name.
Batman (1966) (TV Series)
- Dean asks Sam if he is supposed "to wait for some divine bat signal".
The 700 Club (1966) (TV Series)
- Dean asks Sam when he became "all Mr. 700 Club".
- Sam says they'll need "Whoopi" for their séance.
Touched by an Angel (1994) (TV Series)
- Dean says, "But she seriously believes that she was... touched by an angel?". Dean later make a reference to Roma Downey's character, Monica, a kindhearted angel, in Touched by an Angel.
Spongebob SquarePants (1999) (TV Series)
- Sam uses a Spongebob Squarepants placemat in place of an altar cloth for the séance.
The Drew Carey Show (1995) (TV Series)
- In the teaser, Gloria is watching The Drew Carey Show.
Sam: "Dean, there's ten times as much lore about angels as there is about anything else we've ever hunted."
Dean: "You know what, there's a ton of lore on unicorns too. In fact, I hear that they ride on silver moonbeams, and that they shoot rainbows out of their ass!"
Sam: "Wait, there's no such thing as unicorns?"
Sam: (about the supplies for a séance) "Dude, alright. I'll admit we've gone pretty ghetto with spellwork before, but this takes the cake. I mean, a SpongeBob placemat instead of an altar cloth?"
Dean: "We'll just put it SpongeBob side down."
Father Reynolds: "What are you doing? What is this?"
Sam: "Uh, Father, please. I can explain. Um... Actually, maybe I can't. This is a - a séance."
Father Reynolds: "A séance? Young man, you are in the House of God."
Sam: (apologetic) "It's based on early Christian rites, if that helps any."
Dean: "I think I learned a valuable lesson: Always take down your Christmas decorations after New Year's, or you might get filleted by a hooker from God."
- Finnish: Jumalan nimissä (In the Name of God)
- French: Ange ou démon (Angel or Demon)
- German: Haus der Heiligen (House of the Holy)
- Polish: Domy Boże (Houses of the God)
- Hungarian: Angyalok otthona (Home of Angels)
- IMDB Page on this episode - View