Supernatural S1E12: Faith
Alright, team, fam, buddies, pals, lovers, and miscellaneous. This is going to be a bit of an odd review, so bear with me here. I’m freestyling this shit this week, because Faith is one of those episodes of TV that I have ascribed an inappropriate amount of meaning to, and I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that instead of loudly dropping my knickers every time an adult Winchester man with a name that doesn’t begin with S enters the frame.
First up: hi, hello, I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I write about it here, if you want to know more about my experiences with that. What’s relevant for you to know reading this is that I deal with a lot of obsessions revolving around religion, health anxiety, morality, and the safety of my friends and loved ones. Faith is an episode that I instantly just imprinted on to, because it feels like it’s a reflection and manifestation of that internal belief system that my OCD has so kindly foisted on to me.
It follows Sam and Dean in the immediate aftermath of a hunt that leads Dean to death’s door, leaving him with just weeks to live after a serious electric shock. Sam, refusing to accept this, scouts out a faith healer for his brother, who actually seems to heal him. But Dean is sure there’s something more to it than that, and investigation soon reveals that someone is paying the price for the healing that the preacher has been delivering to his dedicated congregation.
How am I going to make this about me, I hear you cry? Baby, it’s like we’ve never even met before, you know I’ll find a way. It took me a long time to articulate just what it was about Faith that always stuck with me as much as it did, but watching it again now, a few years after being diagnosed as clinically Like That, it all started to make a bit of sense.
The way that my brain functions basically revolves around the notion that all my actions have serious cosmic, karmic, or moral repercussions. Excuse me, are you walking past the door without touching it nine times? my brain tuts at me. So you’re saying you want a missile to hit your apartment block? It’s not as all-consuming as it once was, but it’s still a prominent part of my life and my internal dialogue, and Faith is an episode that actually gives shape to those fears.
Seeing that retribution distributed by the universe for what Dean has gone through makes sense to me – it matches with my own internal schema of the world, even if I know that’s influenced by low levels of outright insanity. The focus on health, protection of other people, and religion as a means of asking those questions of faith, and of the painful choices we make in answer to them, is one that really hits home for me, given the way that my OCD-brain so often brings them up to me personally. It should probably tell you something about my state of mind, that a show outrightly named “Supernatural” reflects my lived experience, but I simply do not have the time to get into that now.
There’s something comforting to me about seeing that represented on TV, in a weird way, even though Faith remains very much a scary, spooky, horror-driven episode, full of altars of human blood and Buffy-Gentlemen-rip-off villainous wafting. But seeing this story, about consequence, faith, metaphysical punishment and balance, makes a strange amount of sense to me. And, if someone else put this story together, it assures me that it did to at least a few other people, too.
Faith is a really interesting episode for the first season, but it’s one I’m really glad that the show included, because it’s a surprisingly meditative and thoughtful look at faith amongst the, you know, scarecrow-slashing and wendigo-chomping we’ve seen so far. And I’m especially fond of it because it feels like it captures something inside my head that I have a hard time putting into words, and I’m grateful for that in particular.
Anyway, that all got a little serious – uh, something, something, hitting on Dean Winchester in a bar, there, we’re back to normal already. See you next time for a marginally less personal and hopefully more silly Supernatural check-in!
If you enjoyed this post and want to see more stuff like it, please consider checking out my other recapping projects – Jericho, Lost, Sex and the City, Doctor Who, and Carrie are good places to start! Please also have a look at my fiction work, such as my short story collection, Misandry. And you can always support me on Patreon for access to exclusive blog posts!
(header image via Geek Girl Authority)