After eleven seasons, something possessed me (see what I did there) to start watching Supernatural from the beginning. If you are a fan of the series, feel free to go back and re-watch it with me. Please do not be a troll and post spoilers for future episodes in the comments section. If you have been wanting to start Supernatural, then I encourage you to watch with me. Spoilers for the series as I go.
Another episode where the normal formula is not followed! This time we open with Dean and Sam finishing off a monster and Dean is nearly killed. That old adage of “what doesn’t kill you…” well it is kind of crap in most cases including this one. Electrocuting a monster (and unintendedly himself) caused Dean to have a heart attack, which does leave a person’s heart in worse shape than before. The severe damage done to his heart leaves Dean with only a few weeks to live according to his doctor.
Dean is sad he is departing, but at peace with his impending death. Sam not so much with the acceptance. He just got his brother back and is not giving him up without a fight. Calling everyone they know (including their father who not surprisingly doesn’t pick up), the younger Winchester finds a preacher, Roy (Kevin McNulty), who claims to have healing powers given to him by God. Dean is skeptical, but goes along to appease Sam.
At the tent where service is held, the blind preacher picks the faithless Dean out of the crowd of believers (Roy later explains he sensed a purpose in Dean that hadn’t been fulfilled yet), places his hand on Dean’s head, and heals his heart. Dean faints as he is being cured and later explains to Sam that it all seemed wrong. He felt cold and as he was coming to, he could see a withered old man in a black suit standing behind Roy.
The next day, the brothers get confirmation of Dean’s good health from another doctor, but also learn about a man the same age as Dean died of a heart attack the day before. Dean can’t shake the feeling it is all connected. After some investigation, Dean and Sam find not only did the other man died at the same time Dean was restored, but others had died on the same day as those who had been saved by Roy from the same afflictions those sought healing for.
Somehow the preacher has found a way to control a Reaper and is using it to cure those who are God fearing people and taking the lives of those who are considered sinners. The man who died in place of Dean was an openly gay teacher, another victim was an activist in women’s reproductive rights. Angry over Roy’s audacity at playing God, Dean goes straight to wanting to kill the preacher to free the reaper. Sam takes the more controlled approach and wants to destroy the talisman and altar used to tether the Reaper. A good thing too because it is not Roy, but his wife Sue Ann (Rebecca Jenkins) that controls the Reaper. Roy truly thought what he was doing was a gift from God.
Already racked with guilt over the death of another person so he could live, Dean now has to choose if he will stop the healing/killing cycle before the beautiful and sweet Layla (Julie Benz) is alleviated of her brain tumor. The two had met outside of the tent before Dean was cured and both he and Layla’s mother (Gillian Barber) think she would have been chosen to be cured if Dean hadn’t been there. As punishment for his lack of gratitude, Sue Ann choses Dean to take the place of Layla when the Roy goes to heal her. Dean seemingly gives in when the Reaper comes for him, but Sam is able to destroy both the altar and talisman before it can finish his brother.
Finally free, the Reaper takes Sue Ann’s life, but not in exchange for Layla’s or anyone else’s. Within a few months Layla will succumb to the brain tumor. She confesses to Dean that she is not afraid of death, it is God’s will. Moved by her acceptance, Dean promises to pray for her despite his lack of faith.
The Winchester brothers have had many brushes with dying over the course of the season so far, but I think this is the first time either one of them have come so close to actually dying. Learning his heart would give out in a matter of weeks was devastating to Dean, I’m sure, but he seemed to be okay with it. Constantly facing death will do that to a person. He did crack jokes, threaten to kill the Downey teddy bear, and promised to haunt Sam if anything happens to the Impala, but Dean has shown he is not comfortable with emotional scenes. He was trying to deflect Sam’s sadness from him. I also think he wanted to be brave for his younger brother.
All of that emotional defection comes back to bite him in the ass as he has to deal with the overwhelming guilt after learning someone else died so he could live. Dean never once redirected the blame off of himself and on to Sue Ann who was actually responsible for the fatalities. Surprisingly, Sam never really felt remorseful for bringing Dean to Roy even after learning about the death exchange.
I wonder if what Roy saw in Dean just his overall purpose at hunting the evil things in the world, or is Dean meant for something bigger?
What did you think of “Faith”? Do you think Dean is right in carrying his guilt? Were you surprised Sam didn’t feel any blame? Talk to me in the comments section below and please do not post any spoilers for future episodes.