Supernatural “Paint It Black” updated an old threat as the Winchesters face off with another evil painting. Supernatural arrived in 2005 to fill in the gap left behind by the end of The X-Files and followed two brothers tasked with hunting creatures, ghosts and demons of every ilk. There’s little they haven’t faced at this point, from vampires to banshees or demons and angels.
Supernatural has run for fifteen seasons, getting by on the chemistry of its cast and ability to reinvent itself every so often. Episodes could run the gamut from very goofy to surprisingly creepy, and the poor Winchesters brothers have literally been to Hell and back – more than once. It’s to the show’s credit that after more than 300 episodes it still feels fresh, though it certainly evolved and changed throughout its run. Supernatural will come to an end in late 2020, and it will be interesting to see if there’s any attempt to reboot it in the years ahead.
The Winchesters faced an evil painting way back in the first season of Supernatural during the episode “Provenance,” where a creepy portrait contained the vengeful spirit of an evil girl. Supernatural “Paint It Black” from season 10 features a similiar scenario and opens with the boys looking into a mysterious rash of suicides where victims disembowel themselves shortly after giving confession, which eventually leads them back to a haunted portrait.
Supernatural’s “Paint It Black” falls very much into the monster of the week category, as it pauses the Mark of Cain storyline for a good old hunt. The episode builds to the reveal that Italian nun Isabella is actually the vengeful spirit of a woman who murdered a painter she was in love with. Isabella tells her story to Sister Mathias throughout the episode, revealing painter Piero made an incredible portrait of Isabella in 1520, to the point she gave some of her blood and a piece of her finger to the painting. When it was complete she confessed her love but he rejected her, which eventually led to her stabbing him and being burned for “witchcraft.”
Sam figures all this out after reading Isabella’s journal and burns the painting just in time to save Dean from being stabbed by a possessed Sister Mathias. Other major subplots on Supernatural’s “Paint It Black” include Dean confessing to a priest his fear of death coming sooner than he wants – he leaves out the Mark of Cain part – and Crowley trying to please his angry mother Rowena by kidnapping Olivette, the High Priestess of the Grand Coven of witches. Rowena wants to practice magic again and tortures Olivette for information, only to learn the Coven was all but destroyed by the Men of Letters – of which Dean and Sam appear to be the only remnants.
Supernatural “Paint It Black” ends with Rowena turning Olivette into a hamster, and planning to scheme against the Winchesters. Back in the car, Sam recalls Dean took a long time in the confession booth with the priest and reassures him that they can talks whenever he wants, and they’ll find a wat to remove the Mark.
Next: Supernatural “O Brother Where Art Thou”: Amara Challenges God