Paint it Black Recap

Worcester, Massachusetts

Father Delaney hears Terry Sloane's confession and absolves him. As Terry walks out, an unseen force swoops down on him. The man picks up a candlestick and removes the candle from the support spike. He then walks outside and cuts himself using the spike.

In Hell, Crowley's major domo comes in and asks him to speak with Rowena. He points out that the witch is taking out her frustration on Hell's court, and shows his superior the face that Rowena put on the back of his head. Crowley agrees to see his mother, and she feigns subservience until he points out the disfigured minion. Rowena still wants her son to help her deal with the Grand Coven so they will lift their ban on her using magic. When Crowley asks why he should help her, Regina reminds him that she gave birth to him and he wouldn't exist without her. With that, she shatters every piece of glass in the throne room and walks out.

As Sam and Dean drive to Worcester, Dean tries to discuss the case, which involves three suicides in two weeks. Sam vaguely responds and Dean tries to get his brother to focus.

At the church, Sister Isabella and Sister Mathias discuss their pasts. Isabella says that she fell in love with an artist, Piero Mutti, but hesitates to provide more details. Mathias says that they're a lot alike, and some nuns entered into service because things overwhelmed them.

When they arrive in Worcester, Sam and Dean go to the sheriff's station. There's no connection between Terry and the other two victims, other than the fact that they're Catholics. Sam notes that isn't unusual in Massachusetts, and Dean tells him to check Terry's cell phone and see what he can find.

At the church, Delaney hears Frank McCarthy's confession. Frank goes home with his wife Lisa, both of them unaware of the unseen presence. That night, Frank is getting a snack out of the refrigerator when Lisa comes in. She suggests that her husband come to bad and points out that he's been putting in a lot of hours at work. As Frank agrees with her, Lisa suddenly snatches up a pair of scissors, calls her husband a liar, and stabs him to death. The presence leaves her body and Lisa stares in shock at her dead husband.

After they hear about the new murder, Sam and Dean visit Delaney, figuring that he's the common thread. They've talked to Lisa, who remembers being at the church, and ask if Frank mentioned any marital problems in the confessional. The attractive young Mathias comes in and Delaney introduces her to the Winchesters, explaining that she's their director of social services. Once Delaney leaves, Mathis shows them around and Sam goes to scan the church. Dean asks Mathias about the victims and she realizes that he suspects a crime. Dean explains that when they checked Terry's cell phone, they found several texts of him arguing with his girlfriend about his cheating on her. Mathias admits that she heard rumors that Terry was involved with someone else, and makes Dean promise not to tell anyone that she told him.

As they look around, Dean asks the nun how she ended up where she is. Mathias merely says that after her life became painful, she needed a mission: something larger than herself to focus on. Dean tells her that he understands. Sam comes over and asks Mathias if there's a cemetery nearby, and she confirms that there are crypts beneath the church. When Dean asks her if she's seen anything strange around the church, Mathias says that she hasn't.

As the brothers leave, Dean confidently tells Sam that Mathias has a thing for him. The Winchesters figure that all of the dead men were cheating on their women, but Sam is sure that Lisa didn't know that Frank was cheating on her. Dean suggests that whatever possessed Lisa did know, and figures that whatever supernatural force is killing the men is tied to either Delaney or his confessional.

In Hell, Crowley summons Rowena and tells her that his minions have captured Olivette. They bring her in, bound in iron chains, and Crowley tells Rowena to do whatever she wants with the prisoner. Once he leaves, the two witches snap at each other and Rowena boasts that her son is now the King of Hell... and Olivette's captor.

That night as they examine some artifacts shipped to the church, Mathias asks Isabella about Piero. The Italian nun says that she posed for the artist and was his greatest model. She leaves out the fact that she posed for Piero in 1520, in Florence. Isabella admits that after she told Piero that she loved him, he said that he could only love his work but valued her as a friend. Heartbroken, Isabella went into mourning and her father forced her into a convent. She never saw any of her things again except for her journal.

Rowena beats the captive Olivette, who says that Rowena was too ambitious for her own good. When the younger witch insists that they could have become a power to be reckoned with, Olivette tells her that the Coven is no longer the power that it once was. The Men of Letters turned the church and the people against them, then took their spells and magic artifacts. And stored them away in their bunkers. Surprised, Rowena realizes that Olivette hates the Men of Letters more than she hates her.

Dean goes to confession in the hopes of luring the killer to him. He tells Delaney that he betrays women and can't remain faithful. Delaney tells him to engage in some serious soul-searching, and Dean says that he's not ready to die yet. However, he's recently realized that he may die quite soon, and he's not ready yet. Delaney asks him if he believes in God, and Dean says that he does... but he's not sure if God believes in them. As Dean leaves the booth, Isabella forms behind him, unseen. As the brothers leave, Mathias watches them for nearby. Once the Winchesters are gone, Mathias goes to find Isabella but there's no trace of her friend.

Delaney leaves the confessional and Isabella's spirit enters his body.

Mathias finds Isabella's journal in the shipment and reads it. In it, Isabella explains that her love for Piero soon became hatred for the artist. She snuck back to Piero's studio, ready to destroy his painting of her. However, she found Piero and another woman in bed having sex. Furious, Isabella stabbed Piero to death while his woman looked on. After reading the entry, a shocked Mathias slams the journal shut.

That night, Mathias calls the Winchesters. When they arrive, she tells them that Isabella is the killer. Mathias admits that she's encountered restless spirits before, but they never harmed anyone and eventually moved on. Dean points out that Isabella arrived at the monastery three weeks ago... the same time that the shipment did. Mathias explains that the shipment came from a monastery in Tivoli, and the murders started shortly thereafter. Isabella was convicted of witchcraft after she killed Piero, and the authorities burned her at the stake so that there are no bones to salt and burn. Dean figures that Isabella's spirit is tied to the journal, and tells Sam to burn it while he and Mathias search for the ghost. Sam objects, saying that there might still be clues in the journal. Mathias agrees with him but Dean tells his brother to burn it.

In Hell, Rowena is furious that the Grand Coven never recovered their items of power. Olivette explains that Men warded their bunkers against the witches' magic. The American chapter was wiped out in the 1950s, but she tells Rowena that Sam and Dean are using one of the bunkers. Satisfied that Olivette has told her everything, Rowena plucks a hair from her head and promises to make Olivette pay for ruining her life. She begins to kill Olivette using a spell, but then gets a better idea to prolong her suffering.

As Dean and Mathias search the church, Dean figures that Isabella is riding her victims out of the church. Once she uses them and the killing is over, Isabella "lets go" and is pulled back to the church where she's anchored.

In the storeroom, Sam decides to read Isabella's journal. In it she explains that several days before she killed Piero, she cut off the tip of one finger and told him to grind it up and mix it in his paint so she would always be a part of it.

Dean picks up readings from the next room and tells Mathias to stay back. He goes inside and discovers that Delaney has gutted himself under Isabella's influence.

Realizing that the painting is Isabella's anchor, Sam searches through the shipment for it.

Dean goes back out to get Mathias to safety. However, the possessed nun grabs Dean and slams him against the wall, and draws a knife. She tries to ram it into his stomach, saying that Delaney deserved to die for forgiving men of their unforgiveable sin. As Dean tries to hold her back, Sam finds the painting and sets it on fire. Shrieking in horror, Isabella leaves Mathias' body and then bursts into flame.

When Crowley comes back, Rowena shows him a hamster running in its cage. She explains that she transformed the woman and then asks her son about the Winchesters. Crowley insists that they're his business and won't kill them, and Rowena seemingly accepts his answer and walks away.

As the brothers drive home, Sam asks Dean what he said in the confessional. Dean doesn't answer, and Sam says that if he needs someone to talk to, he's there for him. He figures that Dean sympathizes with Mathias because he's hiding his pain by taking on missions. However, Sam insists that the Mark isn't terminal and that they'll find a way to remove it. Dean half-heartedly agrees and then stays silent.

Written by Gadfly on May 22, 2016