For these rewatch comments, I've decided to rearrange things a little to make it just a little more enjoyable for you...Namely by bringing information on music to the top so that if you feel like listening to the music while you read, you can. I will also include information on the clothes Sam and Dean wear in the Trivia section from now on since I have received permission to link to hells_half_acre on that subject(Thank you!).
Music Link: Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult
(while reaper is going after the abortion activist in the woods.)
It is pretty rare that an episode of Supernatural would start with a hunt in progress, but this episode is not really about the hunt... it is all about desperation, and faith. So we start with a scene that is everyday life for our boys - saving people, hunting things. Nothing special. Just another day of work. Except that their work is a "dangerous gig" and it was bound to happen sooner or later that one of them would get (fatally) wounded. I wrote in my comments on Scarecrow how Sam realized the importance of sticking together, now that they had already lost two people they loved: their mother and Jessica, and had no idea where their father was. He realized that he could not let Dean die. Because he was family. He has just saved Dean from a really tight spot - no matter that Dean insisted he "had a plan."
So, again, when the doctor tells Sam "We can't work miracles," Sam decides he is going to have to find a miracle of his own because he can't lose his brother. He is desperate.
Dean: I'm going to die and you can't stop it.
Sam: Watch me.
Dean is fatalistic. These things happen all the time. They probably know of other hunters that have died in the line of duty. Dean, being Dean, tries to make a joke of his situation - as he will time and time again in the seasons to come.
"Better take care of that car or I swear I'm going to haunt your ass."
While Dean decides he doesn't want to die in a hospital (where there aren't any pretty nurses) and checks himself out, Sam searches around for a solution, calling dad... calling dad's friends...
This point... that John did not answer Sam's call. There has been alot of speculation about that in other discussions as well. Why didn't he come, or at least call, at such an important time. Didn't he care about Dean at all? Well, he did sacrifice himself for Dean later on, so that shouldn't be an issue. He could have worried that he might put the two of them in even more danger. I like to think that maybe he helped them find this faith healer. That he was trying to help all along even though he could not answer the phone or rush to their aid in person.
People who know what comes later can also speculate that the demons and angels all worked together here to keep Dean alive. The demons, because they needed Dean to keep Sam alive for their purposes, and the angels, because they needed Dean for their own. Roy, the pastor, with "God" telling him who to heal... and his wife, Sue Anne, dabbing in the black arts... seems like a wonderous collaboration to me. Might make a good story.
Sam finds out about this "specialist" through one of their contacts and, probably knowing Dean's reaction, keeps the fact that he is a faith healer secret on purpose. And when Dean finds out and complains, Sam says, "maybe it's time to have a little faith."
How would you have reacted? I think my reaction would have been similar to Deans - but not as vocal... I would totally have shied away from sitting in the front, and probably thought those words that Dean said under his breath. Unfortunately, the pastor and probably other believers heard it. How embarrassing! I can never watch that scene properly. Everyone looking at him, the pastor urging him to come up and Dean saying, "pick someone else" because he is probably a little embarrassed (He's not one to like being put in the spotlight like that) and also doesn't want to get his hopes up.
"Maybe you can pick someone else."
Lo and behold he is actually healed... but in the meantime, he sees the reaper.
He tells Sam later that it felt wrong. Sam just wants to be happy that Dean has been healed, but Dean cannot shake this feeling. He should have died, but he hasn't. The natural order has been broken. We can be pretty sure from other episodes in the future(Season 2 and 6), that this is the "wrongness" he feels.
When Sam tries to deny the possibility that something is wrong,he says to Sam,"Excuse me psychic wonder - but you're just going to need a little faith on this one."
Here is that word again, but this time it's not about faith in miracles or God, but faith in his older brother. And Sam listens, because he does have faith in Dean.
They go out separately to find out how Roy is doing it.
Dean doesn't find anything from his talk with the pastor, except that the pastor had looked into his heart and he had stood out from all the rest... That he was "a young man with an important purpose - job to do. And it isn't finished." That sounds awfully familiar. Something like our good friend Zachariah might say, huh? Do you think Zachie might have been whispering in Roy's ear?
He also finds out on his way out that Layla, the girl they met at the meeting is actually very sick and has less than six months. He feels that she should have been healed instead of him. She deserves it more(in his mind).
I would like to note one more thing. I can't shake the feeling that Layla is alright with dying. She had made her peace. It was her mother who could not.
"My mom, she wanted to talk to the reverend."
Through his research, Sam finds out that Dean might be right.
Someone died of exactly the same symptoms as Dean at the same time he was healed. Naturally Sam would not have brought Dean if he had known from the start that someone else would die in Dean's stead, and he tells Dean, "I'm sorry. ... I didn't know." But now that they do, they can't let Roy kill another person, even if it means it might save another good person like Layla. Dean suggests killing Roy, but Sam stops him saying, "We're not going to kill a human being, Dean." (This is another important point - we'll see again in 1-14.)
(Did any of you notice that Dean is looking at a picture of Famine (One of the four horsemen) here? We will see him soon too aye?!)
They later find out that it was Sue Ann all along, and that Roy has no idea what she has done. Sam talks about Sue Ann being evil, and Dean says, "Desperate - her husband was dying. She would have done anything to save him." Is he reminding Sam here of himself? How Sam had been desperate to save Dean? This is something they understand. Because they would do the same thing (and they do) when put in the same situation.
Another interesting quote of Dean: "God save us from half the people who think they're doing God's work." I like the way he says "half the people" instead of just "people," leaving room for people who really are doing good work. This quote also reminds me that it is not just Sue Ann that thinks she is doing God's work. It is also Roy. And he has no intention of killing people - only healing them. Dean says to Layla at the end, "Roy's a good man. He doesn't deserve what's happened." In Dean's book, I'd imagine Roy is one of the other half.
Finally, the Reaper is freed from his bond and works his revenge on Sue Ann. I got the shivers watching him smile and just had to include it here.
And then the last, touching scene between Dean and Layla. Sam has seen Dean brooding and conflicted about what they had done and how it had affected Layla. He gives Dean a chance to see Layla and talk before leaving.
Layla: "If you are going to have faith, you can't just have it when the miracles happen. You have to have it when they don't."
And Dean: "I'm not much of a praying type, but I'm going to pray for you."
So the big question...what is faith in this episode? First, it's faith in those you love - family. And secondly, it's about faith in the possibility of good things, or miracles - even when you haven't seen it. Dean doesn't have faith of the second kind until he meets Layla. Isn't that funny...I just remembered what he said when he first met her..."Well, I bet you she can work in some mysterious ways." He’s obviously thinking of something totally different from faith, but don't you think that in the end, she does? She changes Dean somehow. Even after he proves that Roy was not really a faith healer. Layla makes him want to believe that good can happen.
But I have to add, when you talk about prayer, you cannot leave out the object. Obviously, Layla has faith in God (This is the God of Supernatural - not any god of the real world.) This is who she prays to. And when Dean says he is going to pray for Layla, he means he is going to pray to someone too. And I think my guess would be correct when I say that is God as well. Now, will God answer that prayer? The God of Supernatural, I mean. He seems to have a soft spot for Sam and Dean ...but he's not upstairs and he seems to be in no mood to meddle with the affairs of men or angels. The situation also reminds me of the other times Dean prays - to someone a bit more accessible - someone he considers almost family.
Location - Nebraska
Link :Clothes used for Sam and Dean Season 1 Episodes list by hells_half_acre