Paint it Black is the 16th episode of Season 10. It aired on March 25th, 2015.
ROWENA MAKES PLANS TO RECLAIM HER MAGIC — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate a string of suicides committed by people with little in common other than the identical, grisly method of death – slow, self-administered disembowlment. All of the victims were members of a Catholic church and had recently given confession, leading the brothers to suspect the priest (guest star Stephen Daniel Curtis) is somehow involved. Meanwhile, when Crowley (Mark Sheppard) captures Olivette (guest star Teryl Rothery), the leader of the Grand Coven, Rowena (guest star Ruth Connell) pleads her case to be allowed to practice magic freely again.
In a church in Worcester, MA, Terry Sloan is absolved of his sins by Father Delaney. A spirit watches Terry as he walks out of the confessional. Terry takes a candlestick with him. Outside the church he disembowels himself with the sharp end of the candlestick.
At his lair, Crowley is being berated by Rowena for not intervening with the Grand Coven on her behalf, so she would be allowed to practice real and powerful witchcraft again. She accuses him of helping the Winchesters and preferring them to his own flesh and blood. In a church basement, Sister Mathias is talking to Isabella about the man Isabella loved before she became a nun, telling her his name was Piero and he was a painter and that Isabella was his muse and posed for him.
In the church, Frank and Lisa McCarthy are watched by the spirit, as Frank leaves the confessional. Later in their home, Frank sighs about having to work such long hours. Lisa calls him a liar and stabs him with a pair of scissors. After he dies, a cloud of smoke leaves Lisa’s body and she starts screaming in horror.
Sam and Dean pose as FBI agents to investigate the case of Terry Sloan and two other suicides, all Catholics. They visit Father Delaney in the church to discuss the McCarthy murder, asking about Frank’s confession, but Father Delaney won’t reveal anything he said. He does confirm, however, that all the victims (all men) had recently been to confession. Father Delaney introduces Sister Mathias, Dean checks her out and they introduce themselves as agents Allman (Dean) and Betts (Sam). Sam goes to snoop around, leaving Dean with Sister Mathias. During their talk. she hints that Frank as well as an earlier victim were possibly cheating on their partners. Dean then questions Sister Mathias about her choice to become a nun, and why someone would choose to quit one life for something so different, to which Sister Mathias says she needed to find something larger than herself to focus on.
Leaving the church, Dean points out that the theme of the case seems to be guys doing their women wrong. Lisa had no idea Frank was cheating on her, however, so maybe she was controlled by someone who did. All the victims did go to confession, so Dean asks: ”Sammy, how long has it been since my last confession?”
In the church basement, Isabella tells Sister Mathias about her love and obsession for Piero. She posed for the painting that turned out to be his masterpiece – in Florence, Italy, in 1520. But when Isabella confessed her love to Piero, he said he loved another more – his art. Isabella fell into despair and was forced into the convent by her father. The things from her father’s estate are spread out on a table in the church basement, including Isabella’s journal.
Back at his lair, Crowley has decided to do something nice for his mother. He brings her Olivette, the high priestess of the Grand Coven, powerless in iron chains. Rowena slaps her around, but Olivette says it’s a useless endeavor because what Rowena is looking for no longer exists. ”The Coven is a pale relic of its past power,” all because of persecution engineered by the Men of Letters.
Dean enters the confessional with Father Delaney, and talks about how he was dishonest to ”Gina” and sometimes seeing two or three girls at the same time, rolling his eyes at his feigned remorse. Father Delaney gives him a standard penance and advises him to do some soul-searching. Dean turns serious and starts to talk about how he doesn’t feel ready to die. He always expected to go out pedal to the metal, but now that the end seems closer than he thought he confesses he wishes he could experience life in a different way from what he is used to. When Father Delaney asks Dean if he believes in God, Dean reply's with, "I believe there is a God. But I’m not sure he still believes in us."
The ghost of Isabella watches Dean exit the confessional, later possessing Father Delaney. In the church basement, Sister Mathias starts reading Isabella’s journal, where she reveals that her love for Piero had become hatred, and she snuck into his studio one night. She was about to smear red paint on his portrait of her, when she discovered him making love to another woman. Isabella stabbed Piero to death with a knife.
Sister Mathias tells Sam and Dean all about the ghost of Isabella, who started appearing when her family’s treasures arrived in the church three weeks earlier. Sister Mathias gives Isabella’s journal to Sam and tells them she was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Dean assumes her ghost is tied to the journal and tells Sam to burn it. Sam is reluctant – ”there might be more in here” – but Dean insists.
Dean and Sister Mathias begin searching the church, discussing how Isabella could have gotten around by possessing people, even though she was tethered to an object in the church. In the basement, Sam is reading Isabella’s journal, about the time when Piero was painting her portrait. He asked for some of her blood to mix into the pigment, but she cut off a piece of her own finger and offered it to him, asking him to grind it up and mix it all into the paint. ”I had completely become one with the painting and with Piero.” Sam closes the journal and starts looking for the painting in the basement. Up in the church, Dean finds Father Delaney gutted, and quickly tries to lead Sister Mathias to safety but she slaps him, sending him flying. Dean struggles with the possessed Sister Mathias, who pulls out a knife and tries to stab him. She says the priest had to die because his business was to forgive the unforgivable.
In the basement, Sam burns the painting, forcing Isabella’s spirit to leave Sister Mathias and burn away.
After a bit of torture in Crowley's dungeon Olivette tells Rowena about the Men of Letters, their bunkers around the world and that the only known surviving Men of Letters in the U.S. are Sam and Dean Winchester. Gotten all the information she cared to learned from Olivette, Rowena begins casting a spell to kill the high priestess. As Olivette begins to violently convulse, Rowena quickly puts a stop to the spell, realizing that death is an easy way out for Olivette, instead she turns her into a hamster and starts asking Crowley about Sam and Dean. But he quickly shoots her down: ”My relationship with the Winchesters is my business. I’ll handle them. I’m not killing them.”
In the Impala with Sam, Dean is incredulous about Isabella mixing part of her own body into paint. ”No woman’s ever done that for me.” Sam points out that Dean should be grateful Sam didn’t burn the journal as Dean told him to, since it held the answer. Sam tells Dean that he can always talk to him and that they will find a way to get rid of the Mark of Cain.
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
- The name of the episode could be a reference to the song Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones.
- This is the first time that the effects of a salt and burn have been seen working since Of Grave Importance in the form of Isabella burning up. Vance Collins was destroyed by Garth off-screen by melting down his Indian Head penny, but Timmy's mother and Andrew Silver were both convinced to go to rest on their own and Bobby's burning up wasn't shown except for a reflection.
- The painting of Isabella is similar to Leonardo da Vinci's famed painting, the Mona Lisa.