The Winchesters went noir in this week’s Supernatural, as they infiltrated the murky world of black market relic dealing in their hunt for an all important spell ingredient…
With Castiel off in Syria looking for a fruit from the Tree of Life, and Lucifer missing, the brothers were left pondering how to lay their hands on the third seemingly impossible requirement for opening the rift between worlds – the blood of a most holy man. With no real idea what that even meant, Sam suggested they try to find the blood of a saint, and for some reason instead of tracing someone living who had been canonised and asking them for a little donation to, y’know SAVE THE WORLD FROM THE IMMINENT APOCALYPSE, he decided relics were the way forward.
After a spot of (fairly cursory) research, Sam found a dealer of ancient artifacts who seemed legit, a woman named Margaret Astor, with a penchant for vintage style and tall men. Much to Dean’s chagrin, Sam used all his wiles to procure a contact from Ms Astor, and this lead them to a foppish Brit aristo named Richard Greenstreet. Greenstreet told the boys he could get them the blood of Saint Ignacious, but for a price, and seeing as they didn’t look too loaded, he asked them to steal the skull of Saint Peter from the head of the Seattle mob for him instead.
Sam and Dean managed to find the man who took the skull from a monastery in Malta, but when they tracked him to his hotel, they found him already dead and the skull missing. After getting themselves kidnapped by mobster Sacrpatti, the boys became embroiled in an increasingly complex plot to double and triple cross the various shady characters they encountered.
When Sam was knocked out by a man named Camilleri, who claimed to be a priest trying to buy the relic back in order to restore it to its rightful place in his parish, the Winchesters decided they would do the right thing and try to help him, even though it put their chances of getting the holy blood in jeopardy. And he’d bashed Sam on the noggin. The scene in which Sam ‘persuaded’ Dean to help Camilleri by asking how Dean would feel if someone took the Impala was priceless. Jensen Ackles is excellent at comedy, and Dean’s murderous hatred for the hypothetical car thieves was a highlight this week, as was his disgruntled expression at Astor trying to move in on his brother. Dean Winchester does not like to share.
The climax of the episode revealed that Astor had played both Greenstreet and Scarpatti, and was in possession of the skull herself, planning to sell it off to the highest bidder. Sam got in on the auction, but – unsurprisingly – the gathering turned into a bloodbath when the bent cop in Astor’s employ was bought off by Greenstreet. With Astor, Scarpatti, and the cop dead, Sam and Dean tried to threaten the saint’s blood out of Greenstreet, but it turned out he’d been leading them up the garden path. Quelle surprise.
Luckily for the boys, as they were saying goodbye to Father Camilleri, Sam asked mentioned he’d looked the priest up on Wikipedia or something, and seen he was a ‘protonotary apostolic supernumerary’ and asked him what that meant. And wouldn’t you just know it, it turned out that meant he’d been anointed a ‘most holy man’ by the Pope himself…
But even with one of the ingredients secured, it appeared Sam was still having a crisis of faith. It’s sad to see the man who was once such a hopeful boy so down in the dumps, but luckily Dean seems more optimistic about keeping on keeping on.
“A Most Holy Man” was a fun episode, and a good example of how the show isn’t afraid to play homage to various styles and genres to keep things fresh thirteen seasons in. However, the plot was convoluted, and relied heavily on the Winchesters being dumbed down somewhat. The ‘twist’ of the priest being the most holy man they were seeking was somewhat dampened by the fact I spent the entire episode wondering why they wouldn’t have sought out a living saint rather than making deals with shifty types who might or might not be able to lay their hands on relics – most of which they knew to be fake. The Winchesters have been in this business for a long time, and it seems bizarre that the most obvious solution would have eluded them. I mean, Sam is able to hack Homeland Security records, but he can’t Google what ‘protonotary apostolic supernumerary’ means?! Overall though, this was a fun filler, and I liked the fact that the mission was tied in to the main arc of the season.
Final Grade: C
+ Dean’s little proud face when boy scout Sam had the keys to the cuffs was adorable. And props to the writers for poking fun at Sam’s incredible amount of concussions. Hardest cranium in TV history!
+ It was great to see the boys being brothers and working a case together. That’s the heart of the show.
+ The supporting cast was very strong this week.
– The plot was unnecessarily complicated and contrived.
– What was the point of the woman in the cafe twirling her hair and flirting with Dean? I thought we were over the whole ‘women as one-dimensional set dressing’ thing, guys!
– Dean’s chat with Father Lucca would have been so touching but for the fact it reminded me that all the mystery of an absent Creator was ruined by the Chuck reveal. No, I’ll never be over it!
Extra Thought: With no renewal announcement forthcoming, does Sam’s speech about not being able to win against evil for good herald the end of the road for our favourite brothers?
What did you think? Was “A Most Holy Man” iconic or a sin? Sound off in the comments or over on Twitter.