“Paint it Black,” the 16th episode of Supernatural Season 10, focuses on our favorite Queen Mother, Rowena. It’s about time we learned more about Rowena and her past. When we first saw Rowena at the end of “Soul Survivor,” it was clear that her character was going to be interesting. In “Girls, Girls, Girls” we learned that she was a rebellious witch and Crowley’s mum. Since Rowena’s introduction to Supernatural, a bit more about her past has been revealed. “Paint it Black” gives our picture of Rowena a bit more color.
As we embark upon Episode 12 of the tenth season of Supernatural, there are still a lot of interesting stories to be explored. The scenes from previous Supernatural episodes at the start of “About a Boy” bring us back to the ongoing saga of the Mark of Cain and the mystery around Rowena. We’re still captivated by these stories each week. In “About a Boy,” Supernatural weaves together these story arcs, while being a very intriguing Monster-of-the-Week episode unto itself.
The midseason break left us clamoring for the return of Supernatural to find out what the rest of Season 10 has in store for us. “The Hunter Games” brings us back to the stories we visited in “What we Left Behind,” which are: What the hell is the Mark of Cain doing to Dean? What is Cas going to do about Claire? What does Rowena want, and what will Crowley do about it? We don’t get all the answers, but we do get to dig in to a very satisfying episode of Supernatural.
“The Things We Left Behind” touches on serious themes as Supernatural reaches its mid-season finale. The undercurrent of this episode lies in how our families shape who we are. Though the importance of family in determining who we are and what we choose to do is one of the main themes of Supernatural generally, this episode takes it further by exploring how personal choices affect members of our family. We begin to see reflection on the consequences of actions taken by Castiel and Dean. Rowena’s impact on Crowley and the legacy it has borne starts to become more evident as well. There are things that our characters may have thought, or hoped, they had left behind, but this episode reveals what they still carry with them and what might not be so easily forgotten.
“Girls, Girls, Girls” had a few really good moments, though it is probably one of the weakest episodes so far in what has been an outstanding Season 10. Some of the best parts were a revelation (who knew we would become so attached to Hannah?), while other great moments were less of a surprise because of the consistently strong characters on Supernatural (you can always count on Crowley). There were several separate storylines occurring, which is not unusual on Supernatural since Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins have both become season regulars. The multiple storylines worked mainly because the narrative with Castiel and Hannah was so compelling. The scenes with Castiel and Hannah were also beautifully filmed, which we appreciate in a series with sequences that often take place in dimly lit rooms, dark alleys, the Impala, Hell, or purgatory. Even when Sam and Dean have visited Heaven the scenes were generally dark both in terms of content and images. Seeing the angels Castiel and Hannah in a beautiful, natural environment just feels right, a heaven on earth, as it were, and is a nice contrast with the demon Crowley in the gloomy, prison-like atmosphere of administrative Hell. “Girls, Girls, Girls” places Sam and Dean squarely into their traditional hunter roles.
The King of Hell received quite a surprise during Episode 7 of Supernatural, “Girls, Girls, Girls.” When Crowley discovered that someone was killing his demons, he sent out his minions to capture the offender. Upon close examination, he was shocked to find that the witch causing all the trouble in town was his own mother. Though her appearance was a surprise to Crowley, some Supernatural viewers had guessed the identity of the mysterious red-haired woman when Rowena was first introduced. As we are expecting to see more of Rowena during Season 10, this is a good chance to explore the signs that connected this witch to the demon Crowley.