supernutjapan (supernutjapan) wrote,

Rewatching 2-13 Houses of the Holy

I'm back for my rewatch comments on Houses of the Holy. To be honest, I did not expect much from this episode. And, maybe that's why again I was surprised by it. People, this is a rewatch episode. There is so much you can glean from it and think about in a rewatch here that you could not fathom in a first time watch. So here we go!

"Down on Love" by Jamie Dunlap(plays while Dean is on the "Magic Fingers" bed)
"There's a Good Times a Comin'" by Doug Stableton (plays when a girl is being attacked by her date) Couldn't find this one :(
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan(plays at the end of the episode, when Dean tells Sam about "God's will")

We start with the messy room of a prostitute by the name of Gloria in Providence Rhode Island. She is listening to a television evangelist who's talking about listening to God(flashes of Season 9 anyone?), when suddenly everything starts shaking. Things fall off shelves and the creepy angel statues move around on her lamp stand. A being in a halo of light, which Gloria tells the police was an angel, appears and tells Gloria something.

And we already have an interesting rewatch point here. We know what happens when real angels are trying to communicate - high pitched sound (their voice), along with the same kind of shaking and things falling over and breaking - glass blowing up or breaking (I guess from the high pitch) as well. So it's very similar in some ways and different in others. It's interesting that they don't let us hear the actual voice of the spirit here - so it sounds like he's speaking in a language that only the one person can understand. It is easy therefore to believe both Sam and Dean's standpoints. We can still think that the person is just crazy or there really is an angel. The interesting addition is the feeling of peace. I don't think even a real angel has given that feeling in Supernatural. I've never heard of a spirit doing that either.

Anyway, after her talk with the "angel" and killing the local librarian who was evil from his very foundations, and locked in a psychiatric ward, she goes through a transformation. We can see she's taking care of herself and she is at peace. Sam is the one who goes to talk to her - I'm reminded of a similar scene in After School Special and even if Dean had not been on lock-down, Sam would probably have still been the one to do this. This is his specialty - drawing information out of people with his hypnotic eyes and kind words.

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I was chosen, for redemption.
And that, is exactly what Sam is looking for... redemption from his destiny. Suddenly, Sam has a little hope.

When Sam gets back, Dean is enjoying being stuck in their motel room a little too much for Sam's comfort.
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Dean: There really is magic in the magic fingers! ...Do you have any quarters?
Sam: No!

Sam tells Dean that he doesn't believe Gloria is crazy and to him, it looks like it could be a real angel at work. Dean denies this straight off. There is no such thing as angels. How does he know? Because he has seen so many crazy supernatural things, but he has never seen an angel. And he doesn't believe in anything he can't see. Sam's not going to give up on the little hope he found easily. He brings up the enormous amount of "lore" on angels - more than on anything they have ever hunted... And we have another cute little scene...





But here is also another theme of supernatural. For the Winchester brothers, nothing has to be on faith. They can and they do figure out every strange occurrence/ monster they come across.

Happily for Dean, who's really just going crazy with boredom, Sam agrees to go with him to check out the house of the man who was killed. Dean finds an angel ornament left out from Christmas and makes a smart alec remark while Sam looks on with a sort of desperate hope.
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Dean: Well, 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. Ha.
Sam: I'm laughing on the inside.

They take a peak in basement -

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I love these scenes of Sam and Dean looking into/out of things - like the holes in Bugs, the manhole in No Exit, and now here.

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Sam first finds a finger nail in the wall cement and they dig up the floor to find some bones. So now they know that the woman was going on some reliable information at least. For Sam, this is one more bit of proof that it is an angel and Dean has to admit whoever it is has the facts right.

The next scene is with our next recruit. We have another stray sheep who looks pretty unhappy with life. Is he watching a preacher show too? No, he's just staring into space with a magazine THESEUS on his chest. Anyway, when the "angel" appears and tells him what to do, he goes right away and we see him go up to the house and kill the guy with a knife right in the doorway. This time, we get to see what Gloria meant by "a sign" given by the "angel." This evil man also has an angel statue by his gate too. (Angels, angels everywhere...)

Dean is at the motel listening to police radio when Sam comes in from research and a food run. He is soooo bored. He asks Sam for quarters and Sam answers(as he throws Dean his dinner), "Dude, I'm not enabling your sick habit. You are like one of those lab rats that presses the pleasure button instead of the food button until it dies."

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Dean: I eat!

Sam has found out about the librarian's possible murder victims at the library, and Dean has found out about the new recruit through the police radio. They decide to go check out the victim's house again. And here we have a scene I haven't seen in so long... breaking in! Reminds me so much of Bloody Mary! This time, we get to see Sam opening the window lock from the outside.

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Inside, Sam goes straight to work on cracking the computer while Dean checks out the analog stuff. Sam is able to break into the locked files and finds letters of a personal nature to a minor.

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Sam looks happy again to find more proof in his direction.

Then Dean finds a church pamphlet and they realize that they all went to the same church: Our Lady of the Angels - that name does not make sense, but I guess they wanted the word "angels" in there. Angels everywhere! Anyway, off to talk to the priest. There is a moment of embarrassment when Dean is called on his lie about going to a church, but they have an interesting conversation about angels. Sam tries to find some more proof on his side by asking if angels could be thought of as fierce - not just kind or loving. He points to the stained glass of Michael and his sword (Ooooo! foreshadowing!).

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Sam: So they're not really the Hallmark card version that everybody thinks? They're fierce, right? Vigilant?
FR. Raynolds: Well, I like to think of them as more loving than wrathful. But, uh, yes, a lot of Scripture paints angels as God's warriors. "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, the glory of the Lord shone down upon them, and they were terrified."

As they walk out of the church, they find flowers at the foot of the steps and ask him about it. When he tells them about Father Gregory and how he had died before he could administer the last rites, the violence in the neighborhood, how he had been praying for help and how they could "use some divine intervention"... Dean thinks - vengeful spirit! while Sam ... he still wants to hang on to his hope for redemption.
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We have an interesting revelation here too. Sam prays - every night.

Dean notes that Father Gregory would know all the people who were killed and that would explain knowledge of the evil done by these men. (But... the next recruit is Sam... When and why would Father Gregory have found out about Sam? Was he one of those spirits who could read people's minds as well - as Dean suggested some could do? Or was there actually some higher power at work here? Interesting thing to think about.)

So, while Dean goes in to check out Father Gregory's grave, Dean straggles behind and sees "the angel." His face here is a lot like the others - awe maybe, and deliverance?

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He faints. Which wasn't seen in the others... Maybe just overwhelmed? Dean comes rushing in and wakes him up. Dean knows right away that Sam has seen it and after taking a swig - offers Sam his flask! Sam's like no - it's not like that. He's at peace and he is sure it is an angel. The angel has told him of someone who has not done anything bad yet, but will. And he is supposed to kill this person before he does. We have a very interesting conversation here -

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Sam: Dean, the angel hasn't been wrong yet! Someone's going to do something awful, and I can stop it!
Dean:You know, you're supposed to be bad too, maybe, maybe I should just stop you right now.

And I'm reminded of Hunted. Gordon suggesting that if Dean had kid-Hitler in his car wouldn't he kill him? It also reminds me of I Believe the Children Are Our Future and the brothers' stance there. Dean's trying to show Sam that, hey, this "angel" is saying something wrong here from their moral standpoint. But Sam is blinded by his own hope. He asks Dean why it is so hard for him to believe there are such things as angels.

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Dean: Okay, all right. You know what? I get it. You've got faith. That's — hey, good for you. I'm sure it makes things easier. I'll tell you who else had faith like that — Mom. She used to tell me when she tucked me in that angels were watching over us. In fact, that was the last thing she ever said to me.
Sam:You never told me that.
Dean: Well, what's to tell? She was wrong. There was nothing protecting her. There's no higher power, there's no God. I mean, there's just chaos, and violence, and random unpredictable evil that comes out of nowhere, and rips you to shreds. You want me to believe in this stuff? I'm going to need to see some hard proof.

I think I'd rewatch this episode even just for this one scene because it's really ouch/heartache/*hugs boys tight*...*weeps* for me. Sam has always believed in angels and probably God himself. He's being praying every night for a very long time. All the while knowing of the evil inside him. Dean, on the other hand, has seen his mother - who believed in angels - killed by an evil demon. That pain and feeling of abandonment (and then of course a whole life of seeing evil all around him) made him unable to believe in a "good" higher power. Then I remember Season 4 and his disbelief there. Why would angels, who didn't even save his mother who believed in them, save him? How could he justify that?

Going on, Dean shows Sam his proof that it actually is a spirit and challenges Sam to find out the truth by doing a séance. "Don't you want to know for sure?"

There is a funny scene as they walk out of the Gas'nSip(?) with a Sponge Bob place mat to use instead of an alter cloth, but just as they are going back to the car, Sam sees the sign (Dean cannot). Dean tricks Sam and leaves him behind to do the séance while he goes after the man with the groceries. "You're not killing anyone, Sam."

Sam actually does what Dean says and goes to do the séance despite his worry. He's just finished the ritual and is waiting for a sign when Father Raynolds comes in and confronts him. We have a funny awkward scene there before Father Gregory finally appears. Father Raynolds' disbelieving face, and Sam's heartbroken one...

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They find out that Father Gregory had thought he had become an angel and was doing God's work to smite evil in reply to Father Raynolds' prayers. Even Father Raynolds knew that man cannot become angel and Sam and Father Raynolds together convince Father Gregory to "be at rest." There is a touching and beautiful scene where Father Raynolds administers the last rites (which he could not do before):

We also have the Father mentioning Raphael in the rites...

While that's happening, Dean has an experience that he can only describe as "God's will," which are the words Sam had used as they talked in the church.

He comes back thoughtful and finds Sam all discouraged. Sam tells Dean that it was not an angel but Father Gregory and I really like how Dean takes out his flask again, takes a swig and gives it to Sam. This time Sam accepts it and drinks.

But even more significant is the next scene with "Knocking on Heaven's Door" in the background. Seriously makes me want to weep.

Sam: I wanted to believe ... so badly, ah ... It's so damn hard to do this, what we do. You're all alone, you know? And ... there's so much evil out there in the world, Dean, I feel like I could drown in it. And when I think about my destiny, when I think about how I could end up...
Dean: Yeah, well, don't worry about that. All right? I'm watching out for you.
Sam: Yeah, I know you are. But you're just one person, Dean. And I needed to think that there was something else, watching too, you know? Some higher power. Some greater good. And that maybe . . .Maybe I could be saved.

Especially when I think of what is really going on... those "higher powers" and what they are really trying to do. And it's not them that save Sam in the end is it? One man was quite enough.

Definitely a great episode for a rewatch.

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