The Official Supernatural: “A Most Holy Man” (13.15) Live Recap Thread

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My collected recaps and reviews of season one, which first appeared on Innsmouth Free Press, are now up (with a few extras) on Kindle. The Kindle version is available through  Amazon. The print version is also up. If you buy the print version, you get a Kindle copy thrown in for free. I also get paid if you get it on Kindle Unlimited (for free), read the Kindle version, or lend it to a friend via the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Just FYI.

Right. So, we start at the convent of the Holy Sisters of Malta. There is no such thing, though Malta has many convents of nuns and monks. To answer CC’s question from the previous episode’s discussion, the terms “convent” or “monastery” can be used interchangeably for monks and nuns. Also, double monasteries of monks and nuns were a big thing in the early Middle Ages, until they were banned more-or-less permanently by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. Some were even ruled over by abbesses.

But this is not one of those places. The man who sneaks out in the stone corridor after a small group of nuns passes by is in priestly garb (albeit somebody forgot to add the dog collar) and priestly confessors are allowed in convents for nuns.

He goes into a small chapel where a plain skull is on display in a glass case. Hmm, relics of bone are always in reliquaries that are exquisitely decorated with gold and jewels, as are often the relics themselves. This display is set up like a modern museum piece. I also get the impression that setting this teaser on Malta is intended to be a shout-out to the perennially (especially this year) popular Knights Templar via the film, The Maltese Falcon, while failing to realize that the crawl at the beginning of the film (based on Hammett’s own error in the book) is incorrect. The Templars no longer existed as a group by the 16th century and the military religious order that ruled Malta was actually the Knights of St John (the Hospitallers). More absence of pretty much any historical research on the part of this episode’s writers, Singer and Dabb. Not generally a good sign.

Anyhoo, predictably, he is caught out by a disapproving nun after smashing the case and grabbing the skull. Also predictably, he knocks her out (her groans emphasize that she is only stunned) and scarpers. In a double irony, he sarcastically asks for her forgiveness as he goes: As a nun, she can’t grant him absolution and he’s obviously not a real priest (the person who could). But I suspect he’s done far worse things than theft and beating down nuns, so I doubt it matters to him. He’d likely care a lot more if he knew Hell was real.

Cue title cards.

Cut to the Bunker, where we get the obligatory “Where are all the missing recurring characters this week?” wrap-up from Sam and Dean, with Dean taking in processing field reports while Sam does research. Sam can’t find anything about the Seal of Solomon. Dean says Castiel is in Syria, looking for a fruit from the Tree of Life (damn, was hoping we’d get an episode about that). Dean also reiterates that they can’t find Lucifer, so no archangel grace at the moment. That leaves the blood of a holy man on their dance card.

Sam figures they’re talking about a saint. Dean scoffs that this will be hard (try getting a knife and giving up some blood, dude; should work) while he eats cold pizza. Sam then infodumps about how many saintly relics (most of them likely fake) are being sold on the internet. He then mentions a possible seller – Margaret Astor. The Maltese Falcon shout-out No. 2: Mary Astor was the female lead in the film. They head to San Francisco (shout-out No. 3, as that’s where the film is set).

Margaret Astor is an elegant blonde who likes martinis (this is really more a Casablanca shout-out than The Maltese Falcon, but let’s roll with it). When the Brothers (in their regular rather than suits, for reasons I don’t quite understand) show up, she takes an immediate shine to Sam and blows Dean off pretty heavily. Dean rolls with it and Sam, after being initially startled, takes one for the team and flirts with her back. Margaret is flattered enough to ask what they need (even though she only usually takes personal referrals) and is surprised when Sam says they need “the blood of a saint.” When she asks him what that’s for, Sam is cagey, but says he’d be ever-so-grateful (while Dean tries hard not to gag next to him).

Margaret’s attraction to Sam goes just so far. She’ll only give them a name and an introduction to someone who might have some saint’s blood – a Mr. Greenstreet in Seattle. Shout-out No. 4, of course. Sydney Greenstreet played the main antagonist in the film. And, naturally, Mr. Greenstreet also turns out to be fat, like his sorta namesake, Kasper Gutman (Greenstreet’s character in the film). We meet him eating a donut.

For those of you wondering how the show can get away with this, it’s easy. Though the film may or may not still be in the public domain by now (technically, it should be as of two years ago, but it’s still a big moneymaker), it doesn’t really matter, since Warner Bros put out the film version we’re using here (Huston’s wasn’t the first, by far). While I’m pretty meh about the shallowness of historical research in the teaser, Huston’s version of The Maltese Falcon is one of my favorite films ever and Humphrey Bogart’s my favorite all-time actor. So, if the episode pulls this homage off, I’m pretty willing to be sanguine about all the silly history in a … shall we say … most holy way.

So, back to the show. The Brothers wisely put on suits to meet with the Fatman (sorry, Mr. Greenstreet). Dean introduces them as Sam and Dean Vaughn from Rhode Island. He asks them a question that catches them out about a fake family back east. He also calls them out on their cheap suits, especially when he finds out they want his sample of the blood of a saint, for which he paid quite a bit. This information is bought by Dean giving their real names, which Greenstreet doesn’t recognize. Considering the Brothers’ massive reputation in Occult circles, you’d think Greenstreet might have heard of them, but he shows no recognition. A hint that he is an ordinary villain and may not have what he says he possesses.

Nonetheless, he changes his mind and decides they are perhaps “not above a little chicanery.” He decides to hire them to get the stolen skull from the teaser out of the hands of a mob boss named Santino Scarpotti (a name Dean recognizes), who runs the Seattle mob. Dean asks whose skull it is. Greenstreet claims it’s that of St. Peter (yes, that St. Peter). The blood of the saint in question is that of St. Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits).

Dean agrees, but all Greenstreet really has to offer is that the exchange of the skull between the thief and the mob occurs the following night. When Dean notes that this not a lot of info, Greenstreet serenely replies, “I have faith.”

Outside, Sam is complaining that they’ve been reduced to thieves (dude, you’ve always been thieves. And grifters. And murderers, too). Dean is unimpressed, pointing out that neither of them is “perfect.”

Dean: Look, this isn’t a perfect world and if I’m not perfect saving it, so be it.

We then get some classic music: “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers from 1944 film Here Come the Waves. Dean also meets a girl who is reading a book called “Guarded by Demons.” They’re hitting it off when Sam cock-blocks Dean by calling him over to talk about research. Damn, Sam. Bad timing, much?

But Sam’s just so excited about his research, you see. He’s found Mr. Nun-Smacking Teaser Guy, a small-time criminal whose name is Antonio Miele, and who’s staying at the Patricia Hotel. The hotel name sounds like a huge shout-out to something, but I don’t think it’s to The Maltese Falcon. I think it’s to the femme fatale, Patricia, in Bogart-inspired French New Wave classic À bout de souffle (Breathless).

As the Brothers enter the hotel, Sam accidentally runs into a shifty-looking dude as he’s coming out of the elevator. Not a real shocker, then, that when they get to Miele’s floor, they find his door ajar, his room trashed, and Miele dead.

As the Brothers try to figure out what’s going on, they are rousted by a dodgy detective (or at least a guy pretending to be a detective). But he has a gun, so they have to take his “suggestion” that they handcuff themselves to a radiator while he tosses the room. Even so, they make it pretty clear they’re on to his disguise. He snarks he’s going to “call it in” as he leaves. Sam then quickly pulls out a handcuff key to unlock their cuffs and Dean jokes that Sam is “like the Boy Scouts, always prepared.” No, Dabb and Singer, apparently you don’t watch your own show – Dean is the brother who is a walking arsenal, including lockpicks, and who once got himself out of a set of handcuffs using a car aerial. But thanks for forgetting 13 years of your own damned canon, sports.

On their way out, they pass the guy Sam ran into, lurking behind a newspaper. As they leave (and the police pull up, fortunately oblivious to the Brothers in their respectable suits), Sam and Dean compare notes and bring us up to date because … reasons, I guess? Anyhoo, they round the corner to where the Impala is and run into a bunch of Scarpatti’s men. Who insist on taking them to Scarpatti. In the Impala. Dean gives up the keys under extreme duress. The mysterious man watches them leave, looking worried.

Scarpatti is listening to opera (not an aria I recognize) and stroking a cat as the Brothers come in. Last time I checked, James Bond was not noir, guys. Pretty kitty, though.

So, Scarpatti gets up and is all proud of himself that he’s figured out the Brothers’ true secret identity as the Winchesters and that they’ve supposedly been dead for six years (try 13 for Dean, but hey, who’s counting, amirite?). But he hasn’t doped out their super-sekrit double-sekrit-probation identities in the supernatural world. So, he’s still as lame as any of the other villains in this story so far. Nice cat, though.

Anyhoo, he wants the Brothers to double-cross Greenstreet because he’s a good Catholic (who already had a collection of relics) and Greenstreet is a dirty, low-down dealer in the sacred. Dean cheekily calls him out on his hypocrisy, just to move things along (thank you, Dean, I was looking at my watch an awful lot). Scarpatti admits he hired Miele to steal the skull and paid him half up front. He claims he didn’t kill Miele and tells the Brothers he will pay them if they find the skull and if they don’t, he’ll kill them. Dean looks not even remotely impressed.

Back at the hotel, Dean is convinced the answer they seek is still in Miele’s room, but alas, it’s a guarded crime scene now. So, Dean starts pulling fire alarms. This motivates the cops to evacuate the hotel, giving a skeptical Sam time to toss the room. He does find a note, but then the mysterious guy whacks him over the head with a vase or something because … reasons. This story is as full of poor logic as it is double-crosses.

Anyhoo, the mysterious guy leaves with a box, looking furtive, but is followed by the “cop” in a scene that tries to be noir, but ends up looking more like the camp 60s version of Batman. The fake cop knocks him out and takes the paper.

Meanwhile, Dean finds Sam and wakes him up. Outside, as they’re looking for the mysterious guy, Dean makes a pretty funny crack about how Sam’s “Disney princess hair” acts as like a crash helmet to protect him from concussions. Look at it this way, Dean – at least Sam didn’t get tied to a chair this time.

They find the mysterious guy unconscious in an alley. When he wakes up, they drag him back to a room, rifle through his stuff, and interrogate him. He says his name is Lucca Camilleri. Dean susses out from his ID that he’s a priest and is after the skull.

Lucca says he was commissioned by the nuns to get the skull back. It turns out Miele was a local hood, so when he vanished at the same time the skull did, it wasn’t tough to connect the dots. Lucca has come to the States to buy the skull back. He has a fair amount of money in his briefcase, though it’s probably not enough. Too bad the fake cop didn’t look in there. Why didn’t he look in there, again?

Anyhoo, Lucca is downcast because how he has to go back to his parish and explain how he lost their major symbol that they’ve had for generations (obvious reference to the set-up for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is obvious). When Dean points out that the world isn’t perfect, Lucca goes into a rant about how you should try to help, anyway, since the world never will be perfect. This motivates Sam to impulsively offer to help Lucca get the skull back.

Dean asks for a short conference with Sam about how problematical this new quest is. Sam suggests they get the skull, dodge Scarpatti somehow, meet with Greenstreet, get the saint’s blood, and doublecross him. Somehow. Dean is not impressed by this hairbrained scheme, so Sam asks Dean what he would do if someone stole the Impala (well … again) and Dean goes into a scary, homicidal state: “Murder. I’d murder ’em all. There’d be torture, I mean, lot of torture, first, but then there’d, it would end up with death. If I can’t have it, nobody can.”

In the Impala, Lucca still can’t remember the face of the man who hit him, but he does remember the number on the slip of paper. It turns out to be a tracking number for a package from Valetta, Malta. Hmm.

Sure enough, Fake Cop shows up to get the package, but the Brothers and Lucca are already staking him out. They follow him to a dock where another car also pulls up. Out gets Margaret Astor.

Inside a warehouse, she and Fake Cop (who is carrying the package) walk in. Fake Cop wants a raise. She says no. Her intended client? Scarpatti, who is not thrilled to be having to pay again for something he already paid to steal.

So, it turns out Margaret killed Miele – or had him killed – and if Scarpatti doesn’t pay up, she will sell the package to the other bidder. This is, of course, Greenstreet, who shows up with his own goons. After Fake Cop opens the package and pulls out a black velvet bag, revealing a plain skull (actually, a relic like that would be inside a well-decorated reliquary and/or be heavily encrusted with jewels and gold, itself), Margaret then starts the bidding.

In the car, Lucca and Dean are having a conversation about God. Lucca trusts in God. Dean says he really shouldn’t, since he knows for a fact God doesn’t care and won’t help. Lucca says that no, he means that all good things come from God, like what Sam is doing now, which is pretty recklessly coming in with Lucca’s box of money. As soon as he says the words, “Let’s make a deal,” Dean and Lucca go in.

While Lucca creates a distraction (by saying so), Dean chokes out all the guards then goes in alone. Meanwhile, both Greenstreet and Scarpatti whine about how Sam double-crossed them. Margaret cuts this short by saying she doesn’t care. Sam’s cute and he has money, too. She then gives everyone a piece of paper to write down their best price. The best price gets the skull.

Sam doesn’t quite have enough, though he stalls as long as he can. Scarpatti puts up three million, but then Greenstreet throws a wrench into the works by offering Fake Cop a million up front to kill Margaret and sell him the skull.

Unfortunately, Margaret unwisely turns her back on Fake Cop, who does shoot her. This starts a general shoot-out as Scarpatti and his men pull guns, Sam ducks for cover, and Dean comes in, guns blazing. As Lucca prays a Pater Noster and we get Gregorian monk chant on the soundtrack (sounds like a Dies Irae), Fake Cop shoots Scarpatti, tries to shoot Dean, gets blocked by Lucca (who gets shot), and gets shot by Sam. It turns out Lucca was only grazed, so praise be and all that.

The only bad guy left standing is Greenstreet. It turns out his story about having saint’s blood was a porky. Dean punches him out and the Brothers shop him to the police.

Then they send Lucca off at the airport, but (in the least surprising twist of a rather dull entry) it turns out he is the saint they were always looking for. It seems Sam found out that the Pope called Lucca an Apostolic Protonotary Supernumerary and Lucca says it means the Pope thought he was “a most holy man.” Oh, golly (and stuff and nonsense, as Lucca is far too timid and ineffectual to be a saint).

So, of course, they get some blood from him and take it home. Because they are creepy that way.

Back at the Bunker, Dean is looking at the vial of Lucca’s blood (which is strangely still fresh without any anticoagulant in it), while Sam is having a mini-meltdown about how they can’t save everyone and is it possible for there to be a world without monsters. Dean says he doesn’t know, but “I have faith.”


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66 thoughts on “The Official Supernatural: “A Most Holy Man” (13.15) Live Recap Thread”

  1. It’s so fun to see why and when others got into the show. Sounds like you got into it not much earlier than me. I watched it because my teenage daughter wanted me to, and I got way more into it than her. I could relate to the characters. At times throughout the series, I could relate to Dean, or to Sam, or even (God help me), John. It’s funny, because I had never related to male characters in any book or show before.

    And yes, it makes me think about my spiritual life as well. The show can be completely maddening, but that’s because it’s got enough real substance to make you think, so you end up wanting more. And then they go do stuff that is completely stupid. Most shows, I just don’t care that much about.

    1. I first caught the tail end of Faith, had no idea what it was then but loved it, could not find it again until seasin 5 when I caught all of Abandon All Hope and have stuck with it live until I missed my firstveoisode this season.

  2. This is the kind of thing I do in the morning: husband got up, we are watching Freaks and Geeks. Sam just got tied to a chair.

    WHAT was the first Sam-tied-to-a-chair episode. I can’t remember now.

    Paula, I depend upon your particular expertise here,

    1. The first one where Sam gets knocked out and tied up is “Skin,” then he’s tied to an iron wall stud in “Shadow.” But I don’t think he gets tied to a chair until “Bloodlust” in season two. He also gets tied to a chair in “Born Under a Bad Sign.”

      Dean actually gets tied to a chair first–in “The Benders.” Though that’s after Sam gets kidnapped.

  3. oh back to the past: I began watching SPN ‘live’ during Season 9. I retired and began watching the TNT block ‘daily’ (it was on 7am to 11am in my time zone and I was still used to getting up that early; now it starts at 8am my time and I am generally waking up at that time). The FIRST very first episode I watched was When the Levee Breaks; it was at 7am and I was ‘shocked’ that this SAM guy beat up the nice guy (Bobby) from Deadwood (Elwood — I never forgave the Hearst character for having him killed and THEN showing up for the funeral JUST for widow to blast him) but then it was Lucifer Rising (I was just DOWN for the show) and Dean’s LOOK at Sam at the end and Sam’s puppy-dog eyes “I’m ‘sorry.” I thought HELL with you BUDDY, you beat up Elwood. OH, and I was still shocked that Sam STRANGLED Dean. And then Meg hit Sam in the face with the rotary phone (I used to work for the phone company and those things have LEAD in them, they can KILL) and I was so happy (Sympathy for the Devil). And Rufus is my favorite recurring character (HATED them killing him in 6) so I enjoyed the ‘War’ episode next.

    I can say those episodes got me into the show for five years now and they ‘do’ make me think about my spiritual life. What would “I” do if this was all real?

  4. So. .. I spread my Dean!Michael theories on previously last month with the usually not happening, never happening, last thing that would ever happen response.
    And despite my best efforts,at logical explanation no one sees what I see… that the show has created the perfect storm snd,gas shown us Dean’s manic need to save Mary + uber critical c.f. big bad need for win (s) + his fatal flaws of lownself esteem/ depression leafingvto reckless sekf-sacrifice to save lives ones and/or to get win when faced with loss of lived one. Stuff we have seen time asnd time again, All derived from the loss of Mary as a child and the resulting responsibilities thrust upon him by John.
    We have seen his,tragic flaw kick in time and time again mostcrecentky in Advanced Thanotology so I do not see how his m.o. can be under dispute frankly not how his manic need to save Mary is under didoute,after Foudry or Asa…. or the,end of last season. I guess people just hate Mary that much for not wearing an apron thst they watch eyes wide shut.
    Whateva. Call me Cassandra,,Castiel’s cat.
    So imagine my surprise when now that Jensen gas leyvit skiooed rhat he is,exvited,about playing something other than Dean, a character from the past that requires doing homework and sounds exactly like Dean!Michael that most people are guessing everything other than Dean! Michael because that woukd be too obvious.

    Sigh. And I missed my window for writing this up because i was laid up again. Oh well.
    Just call me the Dabb Whisperer.

    And I threw up in my mouth a little as I said said that.

    1. I am surprised how little I like most of Season 8, there are MULTIPLE episodes I just don’t rewatch; the show is on daily, mostly 4 episodes a day, and today I got Remember the Titans which I am not watching — LORD the Greek gods were awful in this — Taxi Driver at the end of the block and I will say I am going to avoid THAT one like the plague. I don’t even like Goodbye, Stranger all that much, because Jensen and Mischa said they’d ‘go there’ but the script read like a romance novel. So I guess I will spend THAT hour washing my hair or something. Just multiple ‘poor’ episodes in Season 8; I saw what the showrunner was doing in his ‘planning’ by season 10 but boy, 8 and 9 had multiple episodes that ticked me off.

  5. Maybe we should do a ‘thing’ of our least favorite episodes.

    For me, it’s Man’s Best Friends With Benefits. Just the worst. And then Bugs. (But I find myself fond of the actor who became Alfie so it’s not the bottom.)

      1. I hate to say this but I may need a,rewatch at tbis point to really sort it out. There is bad writing, horrible Mary sue nonsense, Sam pimping, and,tbings,like important virgin goddesses boning their uncle’s. So much to sift through.

        Season 1 stand outs were Route 666 and Bugs

        1. I don’t hate Bugs as much now, but BOY that is a crappy episode to sit thru. Graham Greene calls Dean a liar and just says “I’ll talk to you” (Sam).

          I am always shocked that this is a Kim Manners episode, but then I think HOW BAD would the episode be without ‘him’ as the director.

          1. I accidentally hit reply and finished up early so here’s the ‘rest’ of my thoughts:

            That whole first season had episodes in which Dean is treated like absolute crap: after Bugs (and Graham Greene’s dismissal of Dean) we have the forever unpopular Home (with me) because Missouri treats him like crap; and then Route 666 in which CASSIE treats him like crap.

            IF I was watching in real time back then it might’ve dissuaded me from watching the rest of the season!

            “Maybe” these scripts were from an intensive Sam-propping phase of the writing process? Because that is all I come up with. NOBODY ever seemed to say, Sam, you’re not all that and a bunch of beans, at least not until Season 4 when we saw Sam had become ‘degraded’ by his interactions with Ruby.

            I am having a guest over so I will post more “I HATES IT 4EVER” comments later.

            It’s like Sam had to be the bestest and the mostest (I typed that and autocorrect tried to make the word ‘moistest’ not ‘mostest’ and I just thought to add this for YOU, CC, because you and I notice autocorrect destroying our brilliant thoughts all the time) every single episode.

            OH I especially loved Nightmare for Dean’s lying to Sam’s face about Sam’s dreams and finding out Sam could move things with his mind (and you know, it was kind of neat how the writers began to let us see the depth of Sam’s obsession with DEAN’S safety — like in Faith) and then Dean looked at the camera at the end and I ‘knew’ he was thinking IF and HOW he might have to kill Sammy, if Sammy was a monster. The script and the acting gave me the willies. But Max sure was over the TOP in all his scenes, I am surprised the actor did not end up in therapy for all the crying and snot-wiping he had to do. Boy, THAT was just hard to watch for Max’s expressions of pain.

            I liked Dean IMMEDIATELY going into ‘wiping down’ everything they might’ve touched so they would have no police presence in their lives (after Max’s Uncle had his head cut off — boy, was Max mad at HIM).

    1. I actually kinda liked “Swap Meat,” but we were still in the Samnatural phase of the show then, so God forbid we ever follow up a supernatural-hit-by-Hell-on-Dean-Winchester storyline. I also liked the actress who played the girl who got possessed. She was genuinely scary as the demon.

      1. OMIGOSH I meant Repo Man for ‘the noir’iest episode of any series.

        I liked Swap Meat too.

        Do you think that Nora was ‘meat-suiting’ for Meg? It sure seemed like Meg. especially the way she ‘knew’ Sam.

        1. Edlund was a writer capable of using genre and mixing genre a la the French Mistake.
          I never ever thought about the Nora Meg thing.
          Season 7 was Gamble on the way out erratic 7

          1. It’s just the way Nora ‘knew’ Sam when ‘whoever’ the demon was entered her. Most demons say WINCHESTER but ‘Nora’ said SAM so that is what led me to Meg being the one who jumped into Nora.

            Also, Meg has an interesting sense of humor, I loved the ‘yep, tastes like moron’ line. I felt badly for the actress who usually played Meg (Rachel Miner) and her illness. She really brought something to the part.

      2. Yes another interesting storyline for Deanthat was wasted. Demon contract? What Demon contract?

        Agreed. That actress’s portrayal of a demon was scary. I cringed each time she kicked Dean.

    2. I never got a noir vibe from swap meat at all when I saw it… more b movie horror
      The ear did remind me of blue velvet which was neo noir but swap meat did not remind me of neo noir or lynch either.

  6. Joining in on the season discussion between CC and Paula: the Season I don’t like the most episodes of (even the worst season has 1 or 2 episodes that are just better than first-rate) I find myself not caring to watch a number of episodes of Season 8 Now the golem and grandpa and larp episodes are first-rate always good for me. But the whole thrust of the season I did not like. Now I liked Season 9 more but disliked the over-arc of Sam’s anger at Dean. Ugly scenes. But lately the over-arc has been better.

    CC, I am more enthusiastic about this season since “I” also think we are going to get Michael!Dean. IF they don’t do ‘that’ they had better come up with something equally good (but a surprise to me).


    Thanks for the link Paula! I had not seen this before Great minds I guess… Thematically they nailed it. If Kim Manners had still been there it probably woy kd have been brilliant.

    It has been a long while since I have seen season six and a longer while since I have seen much in the way of classic Noir although I do love a neo noir crime film or western when I come across it and never turn down the opportunity to see it

    I totally agree that that they could have done a lot better with the titles. I tbink they tried to be nourish with many but they just should have gone full on noir.

    And they should have just not let gamble have her Sam fantasies play put on screen. Dean was the anti-hero-lead. Sam was the unreliable sidekick. Cas was the absent “reliable” sidekick. Bobby was the absent “reliable” sidekick who suddenly lied.

    Less Sam pimping. Less The Man Who Knew Too Much.

  8. I’ve been so busy, I didn’t realize ScoobyNatural was out. I’m curious to see what they did with combining my favorite show as a kid with my favorite show as a grown up.

    Happy Easter, everybody.

  9. Paula, are you doing the recap for Scoobynatural tomorrow?

    Does anybody know if #Scoobynatural which trended #1 on twitter for over an hour counts for Supernatural in the twitter ratings that CW uses?

    1. As Dean said Crowley the episode Dean WALKED INTO Hell to get same out of the Cage (Crowley said, Don’t worry about Sam) Have you MET me?

      Asmodeus is getting the one person (the denim-wearing nightmare) on his CASE actively? I am so looking forward to that I can taste it!

      The Scooby episode was wonderful.

  10. Okay I liked it. I loved how they really hammered Sam having a stick up his was. Dean was adorable. Cas bonding with Shaggy and Scooby was perfect.
    My only quibble was that I thought purple was witch related not ghostly.

  11. Eric Kripke wrote a Cate Blanchett movie called The House with a Clock in its Walls that will be out September 21st.

    I did not read about this ‘anywhere’ not even that it was being made.

    Got it off, my fashion site that follows Cate.

    1. How do you go from Boogeyman to Catt Blanchett?
      He has one hit genre show rhat succeeded despite him. One that flopped because no Kim Manners or Jensen Ackles no matter how hard he tried to recreate Jensen. And one show that got another season to give fans a good series finake.
      Poor Cate

  12. I liked the episode more than you; had a kind of a whimsical tone for me, like Dean walking into the ‘shoot-out’ guns a-blazing, or Sam NOT being tied to a chair. I think the writers are just playing us, Sam will get tied up only every 4th episode not 3rd episode. Just a thought.

    I really liked the priest. He had the strength of his convictions but I agree lacked charisma. But there were plenty of saints who just locked themselves away and prayed and who knows if ‘they’ had any charisma.

    1. He seemed like a nice guy, but there is far, far more to being a saint than that. Saints have great power to change entire cultures around them. That power comes directly from God, with whom they have a close relationship and who works directly through them. He never claimed any actual relationship with God (unlike, say, Joshua). In fact, it was pretty clear Chuck put the Brothers in *his* way to help him and his little community, which makes *them* the saints. His turning out to be a Most Holy Man was simply a lure to get them into the situation and a signpost that they were on the right track.

      1. So by that definition, someone like Martin Luther King Jr was far more of a saint. I expect sainthood is not just about power but about being in it for the long game, although I suppose that power from God is what gives both the vision and the stamina to do this. I find that attempts to change culture are extremely time, energy and labor intensive on even a very small scale.

        As far as those who lock themselves away and pray, who knows what benefits are reaped. Maybe the power of their prayer is what gives energy to the others.

        As for the show, it is probably too soon and it was too easy to have gotten the blood, so this is just a red herring.

        1. BEST line in the Bible was at the end of St Paul’s Letter to Timothy: I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the Faith.

          For me the essence of sanctity. I know one of the attributes of sanctity is ‘charisma’ but my confirmation name is Theresa after St Therese (the Little Flower) who was a cloistered nun and never exhibited much charisma I could see. But I do also believe that people like Mother Theresa DID exhibit charisma in SPADES.

          Anyway, this is a very interesting thread.

    1. To answer your question, the official reason at the time was claimed that double monasteries were allowing in worldly concerns–most notably, sexual impurities–by allowing men and women to mix. Men and women didn’t actually mix in double monasteries, even in death, but there you go.

      More likely, it was probably a mix of paranoia about female leadership and concerns that a fair number of these double monasteries were run by royal and noble women who were given the posts by their families so as to gain secular control over the Church in that region (which also weakened Byzantine control over the area). The Patriarch in Constantinople at that time, a man named Nikephoros, was the major force behind the ban.

  13. Yeah meh.
    Nice review.

    I thought Dean talking about protecting the sanctity of baby was ominous.

    I thought Dean at the end was ominous.
    I think Dean!Michael is going to be gung-ho about making the world a better place.

  14. Bogart did not inspire Breathless per se in my opinion. I mean the character’s Bogart obsession is a sign of his inability to live in the real world.

    All French new wave directors were also film critics and film scholars. They lived and breathed film.

    Much like Tarantino, their creative work as a film director is informed by and/or reacts against previous work.

    Jean-Luc Godard created an extremely revolutionary work of film in Breathless. It is a new and unique vision. The main character, Michael, is obsessed with Humphrey Bogart and sleeping with an American shop girl named Patricia played by Jean Seberg. Of course Michael plays at being cool. He is nothing like Bogart. He is a pretty criminal on a collision course with the law.

    The film despite its modernity actually fits beautifully into the laws of classic tragedy with the audience knowing all along that this will end badly.
    Fabulous movie. Great director. Misogynist too.

    Just my take. Great catch though.
    Boy are Singer and Dabb showing off. Still a turd of an episode.

    1. Semantics. Michel explicitly idolized and modeled himself after his perception of Bogart and Godard was obviously doing his own take on noir, with Bogart the most overt model. If that’s not inspiration, I don’t know what it can possibly be. An anti-homage is still a type of homage.

      Ironically, Michel’s toxic masculinity worldview had very little in common with Bogart’s actual roles, but that’s an article I’m working on right now, so more on that later.

      I didn’t like Breathless. I thought it was shallow and dull and gratuitously misogynistic. Flashy, to be sure, but lacking in substance, and sweet Jesus, did it drag. A bit like Polanski.

      1. To be sure it is semantics. Yes undoubtedly he was influenced by film noir and probably enthralled by Bogart as a man’s man himself.

        You have to remember rhat I have not seen much in the past 12 years and I have read even less and my mind is just ztarting to work a bit again after a lonf and mudfled Rip can Winkle sleep.

        I am very impressed by the catch by the way. Much much less impressed by them tossing it in as to show off their film school cred. Bad episode. The least they could have done is let Dean have a few Bogart moments.

        Truffaut was also a fan of film noir and I like the way it influenced his films much much more. Obviously Shoot the Piano Player but even his Antoine Leaud films akways,seem to borrow from it and of course the way he uses black and white.
        Godard too so suppose but Goddard for me is such a modernist with the framing and cutting that his use of black and white along with the economy of his compositions become for me more a linguistic visual shorthand than a,trapping of genre. As I recall there is a striking sequence thst illustrates this in Masculine-Feminine.

        As a one time film studies geek and alway film lover I like his films and the several times I have seen Breathless it did literally take my breath away. However he waa a pig of a man, something always broadcast in his films of which the feminist in me is never not aware.
        I would be interested in reading your paper.

  15. Yeah they hit the Maltese Falcon allusions hard.
    Honestly I thought Gasmble did a better job with film noir than this heavy handed episode did. Perhaps I will like it better on a second watch. It felt too heavy handed and not in the. Comedic way that sublime Peter Falk Maltese Falcon parade managed. Meh.

    Although I still think Letch has to be CRowley, (He is not acting like torture psych Letch) , I got a Crowley vibe off of this chick too. .. come on Guarded by Demons.

    1. Which Gamble episode are you thinking of? I can only think of Monster Movie but I can’t think of another film I would call NOIR.

      1. The theme for the entire season six was noir. I’m not surprised you missed it, though, as there wasn’t very much about the season that was noirish.

        1. Well, that explains THAT.

          I guess NOIR has betrayal at its base and that was Castiel. But other than that I got nothing.

          1. Dean was Sam Spade from the Big Sleep betrayed by his partner. He even has a bandaid on his nose at one point which is straight out of the Big Sleep and its remakes like Chinatown. The way everyone talks down to Dean, beats up Dean, Dean not knowing who he can trust, and Dean being slow to put the mystery together is all from the Big Sleep. Also Death basically hands Dean the case.
            The Big Sleep is an extremely influential film that gets remade a lot. In the seventies there was Chinatown and a fab film with Eliot Could as Spade whose name escapes me at the moment. Also Ryan Johnson’s Brick is A phenomenal take. Gamble had her faults but she is more takented run Singer and Dabb.
            Carver rewrote Reichenbach. No way Dabb wrote it
            The monsters ran in families, Eve was a femme fatale. It probably was where Dabb got his idea for Bloodlines.
            Also production was on board with the film noir trappings.
            When I rewatch I will write it up.
            Other film noir stuff….
            Sam was the amnesiac. Lots of betrayals amongst partners. Lots of tropes and,episode titles straight out of film noir
            It was really quite obvious in my opinion especially the Big Sleep references.

          2. “The Third Man” 6:03
            “The Man Who Knew Too Much” 6:22 Most people are familiar with the version that gave us quee sera sera. There is an earlier B&W nourish version.
            And even when the titles are not taken directly from noir titles they sound like noir. See the attached list to see what I mean.
            Film noir films often center around a hardened male character whose trust is betrayed, most typically by broad but ocasionally by a trusted male friend as in the case of season 6. This betrayal by Cas and Dean’s futile attempts to find out who is behind everything going on is the mytharc of season 6. It is a reworking of the Big Sleep with Dean as Sam Spade, an interpretation hammered in place by Dean getting bashed in the nose at some point that season… I cannot remember the episode. All Sam Spades get the nose bash even if the script gives them anorher name.
            The following website has decent info. I cut and pasted some essentials for cvomparisons,to season 6.
            “The primary moods of classic film noir- melancholy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt, desperation and paranoia.
            Heroes (or anti-heroes), corrupt characters and villains included down-and-out, conflicted hard-boiled detectives or private eyes, cops, gangsters, government agents, a lone wolf, socio-paths or killers, crooks, war veterans, politicians, petty criminals, murderers, or just plain Joes. These protagonists were often morally-ambiguous low-lifes from the dark and gloomy underworld of violent crime and corruption. Distinctively, they were cynical, tarnished, obsessive (sexual or otherwise), brooding, menacing, sinister, sardonic, disillusioned, frightened and insecure loners (usually men), struggling to survive – and in the end, ultimately losing.
            Storylines were often elliptical, non-linear and twisting. Narratives were frequently complex, maze-like and convoluted, and typically told with foreboding background music, flashbacks (or a series of flashbacks), witty, razor-sharp and acerbic dialogue, and/or reflective and confessional, first-person voice-over narration. Amnesia suffered by the protagonist was a common plot device, as was the downfall of an innocent Everyman who fell victim to temptation or was framed. Revelations regarding the hero were made to explain/justify the hero’s own cynical perspective on life.
            Film noir films (mostly shot in gloomy grays, blacks and whites) thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love, and they emphasized the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of the human experience. An oppressive atmosphere of menace, pessimism, anxiety, suspicion that anything can go wrong, dingy realism, futility, fatalism, defeat and entrapment were stylized characteristics of film noir. The protagonists in film noir were normally driven by their past or by human weakness to repeat former mistakes.
            Film noir films were marked visually by expressionistic lighting, deep-focus or depth of field camera work, disorienting visual schemes, jarring editing or juxtaposition of elements, ominous shadows, skewed camera angles (usually vertical or diagonal rather than horizontal), circling cigarette smoke, existential sensibilities, and unbalanced or moody compositions. Settings were often interiors with low-key (or single-source) lighting, venetian-blinded windows and rooms, and dark, claustrophobic, gloomy appearances. Exteriors were often urban night scenes with deep shadows, wet asphalt, dark alleyways, rain-slicked or mean streets, flashing neon lights, and low key lighting. Story locations were often in murky and dark streets, dimly-lit and low-rent apartments and hotel rooms of big cities, or abandoned warehouses. ”
            This should be ringing a lot of bells.

          3. Big oops.
            The Big Sleep protagonist is Philip Marlowe. Dean was the Marlowe stand-up.
            Sorry. Another cold and still in huge fibro flare.

          4. I think the Big Sleep was the main influence because of the position Dean was in throughout the season. He was working for Grandpa Shady and then Crowkey knowing both were withholding the truth from him, and he was trying to investigate what was really going on at the same time he did his jobs for them. He was beat up a lot. Marlowe always gets beat up. And it is a convention that directors love to copy in their homages (Chinatown and Brick).
            Betrayal is a reoccurring thing in film noir. The betrayal of the hero by a friend happens too …
            Characters come back from the dead (crowley), have amnesia and worry about the horrible things they may have done (Sam), bad girls go good… sort of (Meg). Ignore the color,and look at the shots and the lighting, framing, location. They tried really hard.
            This is the season Meh becomes a femme fatale. Eve is a femme fatale with a killer kiss.

            The noir layering is quite extensive really.

            I am sure if I had watched it really I could,say more. It has been years. I really hate the Sam pimping.

          5. The Man Who would Be King uses Classic Noir Structures of Flashback and Narratio. And of course it ties into the end of season twist of Cas being the silent partner in Crowley’s power play to open the door to Purgatory to steal all the souls. Cas then double crosses Crowley by giving him a Macguffin jat of blood and kills Raphael. Lots of back room meetings with bodies left behind. Pretty noir.

          6. The Man Who would Be King uses Classic Noir Structures of Flashback and Narratio. And of course it ties into the end of season twist of Cas being the silent partner in Crowley’s power play to open the door to Purgatory to steal all the souls. Cas then double crosses Crowley by giving him a Macguffin jat of blood and kills Raphael. Lots of back room meetings with bodies left behind. Pretty noir.

            French Mistake. The Winchesters function as unusually apt Rosenstein and Guildenstern characters plopped in the middle of an angelic neo noir French Connection over angelic weapons. Yeah I know the title references a ribald line from Blazing Saddles however the French Connection allusion is definitely there. Isn’t Sam’s arm badly cut, a direct reference to Roy Scheider’s character in the,French Connection?

            Noir presents the seedy underbelly of things. Episodes like Live Free or Twihard in which sweet teens are wooed by sweet words into a seedy life of tricks, pimps and vamprism fits noir themes.

            Likewise Frontierland presents the noir western in which a man can only trust himself and a monster trying to turn over a new leaf and stay straight cannot because circumstances won’t allow it.

            Even poor Lucky is a sad sack of a character with his back against the wall unable to win against the larger forces that control things.

            These are all noir themes. They tried to infuse a crime/ mob vibe to the workings of the angel, demon, monster, and Campbell hierarchies. The shady raids on Monster hang outs did capture a G-Man vs Mobster feel. I think if they had had the balls to at least desaturate the palette more along the lines of the X-files or Twin Peaks whast they were going for may have been more obvious

          7. Attempted Gaslighting of Dean throughout the season by Sam, Bobby, Grandpa Shady, Crowley,, Cas…

            Dean is rhe anti-hero detective who can trust no one and finds himself in bed with dirty angeks of sorts.
            Balthazar, he olde knight in sour armour, and Meg, recast in as a femme fatale,, are honesr with him sorr of… at least they are fighting for the same outcome if not on the same team.

            The season opening with Dean going through the motions and feeling like a loser,going out getting roofed ending up on the wrong side of town, getting dragged info something shady which doesn’t make sense, being sold a bill of goods… It is all classic film noir trappings. The season clising too with The Cas double cross, the Macguffin, the Car monologue and Cas going pall crazy femme fatale on Dean and Dean staring Death in the face.

            Extremely noir in the vein of dark, atmospheric, flash lights, gun play, trust no one, warehouse setting, clipped dialogue, femme fatale… And Then There Were None.

            I guess on Paper Mannequin 3 fit this bill too via warehouse and a woman scorned but… yeesh.

        2. The winchesters roles in French Mistake obviously were not noir nor was the meta aspects of the episode.

          It is possible to tip one’s hat to a genre without going all in and frankly they could not have,every episode be straight in noir or else it would not be supernatural.

          however the nods to the French Connection are there and virgil’s behavior Definitely was noir and the angelic backstory was mob infused noir behavior.

          I think she did pretty well and she would have d one better if she had just canned the Sam pimping. Having San be the amnesiac was fine. Having Sam be the amnesiac sex God best killer hunter whatever thst ever was…. epic fail. And this lead to fans,totally misconstruing the Gaslighting and multiple beatings that Dean as the Philip Marlowe stand in and protagonist anti-hero endures as charactet bashing. They were essential noir tropes. Unfortunately the whole thing really fanned the fangirl wars.

          One wonders what some Dean narration might have done.

          The season did kept hitting the tropes for better or worse.

          This is just what I having a look at the wiki episode titles. If I did a rewatch I would likely catch a lot more.

          1. Well now that is,weird. I eas,sure I wrote a reply commenting on the link you posted w8rh your IFP noir link…. anyhow.
            So great minds think alike I guess. Nice piece.
            I love classic film noir and neo noir including neo noir western. They had the bones and if Manners had lived (RIP brilliant one) they might have had a brilliant season. They did pretty well for a show that was notvconceived as a neo noir detective drama.
            YES. More noir titles would have helped. More riffing no noir plots too. They are classic for a reason.
            I know fans really hated new Meh however boy does she nail that trope. Balthazar too. And Cas.

  16. Yeah. Definitely a precious relic would have been encased in highly embellished and adorned metalwork executed by monastic metalsmiths such as Theophilus the,12th century German monk, probably from Hildesheim, who wrote On the Diverse Arts. Here is the arm reliquary that I conserved and radiographed as well as installed, deinstalled and couriered back in the day when I was a real person.

      1. The monk that made it did nice work. I just did what was ethical to return it return it back to its former gilt silver enameled and repousse splendor.
        I bet Chicago does. Cleveland had a great medievalist as its director in the tbirties and forties who made some spectacular acquisitions.

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