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Supernatural Fodder

Supernatural: Faith

Impressions

Wow! Another great episode! Surprises, danger and an unusual monster!

Critique

The writers just turned the whole series on its head.

All this time I've been preaching (pun!) on how the brothers are never in serious danger, and now this.

Dean is dying.

The brothers are chasing some creature in an abandoned house. Sam attempts to rescue some children they find trapped there, while Dean, the more experienced of the two, hunts the creature. He corners it, and electrocutes it. But the path of the electric shock leads back to Dean. His heart is damaged. Fatally.

Sam is not content to let Dean just die. Dean is more fatalistic about it. Sam, the master researcher, tracks down a faith healer, Roy, with the help of one of John's friends.

Dean is skeptical, but it turns out, Roy's the real deal. With the emphasis on "deal". See, every time someone is healed, a different person has to die, courtesy of a creature called "a reaper".

Dean gets healed. At the cost of someone else's life. Dean is dismayed to find out, but now he's extra driven to end the reaper. But there is a complication: to stop the reaper, the brothers must kill Roy who seemingly controls the creature.

Sam and Dean now face a moral dilemma. Do they kill a human, even if the human is responsible for others losing their lives? They've never faced this possibility before. Their decision illuminates the individual personalities of the brothers in ways that haven't yet been explored. Dean is ready to bull ahead to stop the creature at any cost. He rationalizes the decision by viewing Roy as the monster. Sam is convinced they can undo whatever black magic Roy is using to control the monster. In the end, Dean agrees with Sam. So Sam is developing as the voice of caution and the moral compass of the pair. Dean is showing himself to be the type willing to make any sacrifice to defeat the evil.

Then another complication arises. Dean has gotten to know a beautiful young woman who is dying from a brain tumor. If he stops the reaper, she can't be healed.

In the climax of the episode, Dean must choose to save Layla, or a stranger he's met only briefly. If he saves the stranger, the reaper can be set free. Dean chooses his mission over the young woman.

At the same time, Sam is trying to protect the stranger. But Dean's interference doesn't work, the reaper is still attacking his prey. Dean notices Roy's wife praying in a corner. She's the one controlling the reaper. He interrupts her spell, and the stranger is saved.

But Layla, Dean's charming lady friend, isn't saved. Later, the brothers figure out that Roy's wife must have a black magic altar hidden somewhere. If they can destroy it, the reaper can be stopped for good. But Dean is now having second thoughts. If they stop the reaper, Layla will die.

Sam tells Dean they can't play God with people's lives. Dean listens, and accepts. Once again, Sam shows himself as the moral guide, and once again, the de-facto leader.

Sam finds the altar that night, and destroys it as Roy's wife attempts to use the reaper to kill Dean for interrupting her spell earlier. But the wife traps him. And Dean is still in danger, destroying the altar wasn't enough.

Sam escapes and destroys the cross the wife is using to control the reaper. The reaper, freed now, stalks the wife and kills her before Layla can be healed, and Dean killed.

In the end, Dean still has doubts, but a visit from Layla comforts him somewhat that they did the right thing.

Trivia

Episode written by Raelle Tucker and Sera Gamble (an apparent pair of newbie writers, few credits). They put this one together right, IMO. I'm looking for bigger things from them if they can keep this up.

Directed by Allen Kroeker, who has a ton of credits, including Roswell, Enterprise, Tru Calling, Firefly, Dark Angel and Bones.


Posted by Miller on September 20, 2006 7:31 PM
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