sadelyrate (sadelyrate) wrote,

"The Angel In The House": On the Presence of a Higher Power

For more than two full seasons, Kripke and co. have showered us with reds and yellows, demons and hellspawn.
But Evil loses its meaning without the presence of Good.

Warning: this is more a rambling list than anything else. My OCD was also on a roll, but got distracted. :)

Bad Day at Black Rock (3x03) introduced two new personas, Kubrick and Bela Talbot.
Ever since the latter half of the First Season, Kripke and co. have used red and yellow to signify evil and demons, as seen in Meg's clothing in Shadow (1x16), Salvation (1x21) and Devil's Trap (1x22).
The Second Season drove this point further, featuring abundance of red and yellow, for example, in Crossroad Blues (2x08) and in the Season Finale binding the PsyKids to the Yellow-Eyed Demon by showing baby!Sam and Jake's eyes flashing yellow, the blood redder than red and the sulphur like fine icing on the cake.

With the Third Season, we've been practically smothered with the flood of red and yellow in each episode. Given that the Hell's Gate was opened, and a multitude of demons were let out into the world, this might not be a surprise.
In fact, in the first two episodes, methinks it's just appropriate: there are demons involved in both, even though the baddie in The Kids Are Alright (3x02) wasn't a demon.
But there was no demon in sight in Bad Day at Black Rock (3x03). Yet, the reds and yellows continue to shine. And this is where Bela steps in.
However, I'm a fan of dualism, and couldn't help but notice how she and Kubrick reflect each other. Where the other is a young woman with a dark complexion, the other's a blonde man getting on in the years. Bela's a realist, putting her faith in no one and nothing but money and herself. Kubrick, however, is a visionary on a mission from God. And so forth. The only thing these two have in common is that they're not fans of the Winchesters.

Those differences made me consider the colours these two are associated with. Bela is constantly in the proximity of red and yellow (as elaborated on here by hearseeno): the uniform, her apartment. However, it's all being tempered by the presence of blue (the rag, her dress) and, in the case of her apartment, white.
Kubrick on the other hand, is surrounded by green, blue details popping up here and there. What I find interesting is how, in the motel room, the huge red window is nearly always in-frame with Sam, whereas the camera captures the blue-green shades and hues of the wallpaper and the comforter on the bed when Kubrick's shown. See?

So what?
bowtrunckle has been wondering since last Spring about where are the 'Good Guys'? We have demons, but where are the angels to balance things out?
This is the moment I'd like to point out that the complementing colour for red is green, and yellow/orange is complemented by violet/blue. If Red and Yellow stand for demons and danger, what could Green and Blue signify?

To draw conclusions based on a single episode is not really recommendable, though, unless one talks of something present solely in said episode. So a little research was in order.

I lack the time to go through every single episode of the 47 thus far aired, but hugemind and bowtrunckle suggested that in addition to Faith (1x12) and Houses of the Holy (2x13) which are the most religion-heavy episodes of the series so far, I might take a look at such episodes as Hookman (1x07; features a Reverend and his daughter, their church), Scarecrow (1x11; belief in a Norse deity), Salvation (1x21; the only visual of Pastor Jim) and so forth.
And what did I find?
Lots of curious details, that's for certain.

Let's go through them in order, shall we?

Lori Sorenson is the Reverend's daughter, raised in God's service, the church her home. She's a believer, sneaking into the church to pray in the middle of the night, admitting that she thinks reading about the avenging angels in a Bible resulted in the Hookman's appearance.
And she dresses like any girl her age.
In fact, the very first time we see her, she's wearing a blue-green striped shirt she fears is "too Martha Stewart" and changes it to a red halter-neck.
The next time we see her, she's attending a service lead by her father, Reverend Tom Sorenson clad in green vestments, his lectern adored with a green cloth. Lori herself? Is wearing a bright green vest and green- and blue-dappled shirt.
What about the people around her, though, the rest of the congregation? No, not green. Blue.
When she talks with Sam, rushes through the church during the showdown, Lori's wearing a pale blue shirt and green-striped jacket.
The final time we see her, though, she's wearing completely white button down. (And a blonde girl/woman in white? Not good. Especially if they've expressed any kind of love toward Sam Winchester.)

This episode was all about a small town with its Norwegian roots, the belief in an old deity. The most notable instance of blue and/or green I could find was that Emily's uncle and aunt are shown wearing jackets in said shades; they're the ones willing to sacrifice one of their 'own', and I can't help but think they were some sort of Head Priest and Priestess of that town.
What about Emily, though?
Blue seems to be her thing.

If my thesis is right and blue and green denote faith, belief in something, then this episode should showcase those colours in abundance, right?
But I'm not sure if it's just me and my current obsession about colours/my screen, but there's something about the lighting of this episode that makes it all look a little sick. Like they'd used green/blue filters. Granted, it was raining, there was a hospital, a swimming hall... both places where it's really not that uncommon to see pale greens, aqua, light blues, all in combination with white.
I'd like to draw your attention the first room the boys are shown sharing, for there are green walls, floor, bedspreads, striped curtains and other details.
This is also the room Dean stumbles into past a blue vending machine, in his dark clothes, and where Sam receives him wearing his jeans and his green shirt over a white undershirt.
Roy's tent, too, is worth a look. There are pale blue banners around and in it, blue drapes along the white walls.
And we can't forget Layla Rourke, either, considering her Woman of the Week-role in this episode. The first time we meet her, she's wearing a corduroy jacket that looks pale green-blue. That's not all, though, for the next time she's seen, she's hit the greens in her wardrobe hard.
Even in the very end, she's wearing a blue denim jacket.

We finally got a good look at Pastor Jim, and then we could kiss him goodbye. But no blue nor green was in sight in his church, was there?
Unless you count the window behind Meg as she kicks down the door, light streaming through the glass in the shades of red, green, blue, then no, not really.

Houses of the Holy
This episode is a treasure trove. *adores*
In the very beginning, we're hit over the head with blue = religion via the televangelist, for the light-cross next to him is blue as is his tie and the glittery curtain behind him.
Gloria, locked up in a facility, is shown wearing greens, sitting in a room with off-white walls, the light cold (blue filter?). She also specifies that the angel appeared in white light.
The greatest detail featuring green or blue, though, is when the boys are shown in their room. Sam's backed by the green wall, mostly, whereas Dean's framed against the red wall. Even when Sam goes to wash his hands, the wall visible is green.
This gets reversed in the end, though. The beliefs of both of the boys have gained a blow, and now it's Dean with the green wall behind him, and Sam against the red. (Warning: picture collage, 256 KB)
There are more instances of blue and green, too. When the 'angel' signals the right house to Zach, the edges of the halo are green, while the humanoid figure within the light is blue-tinted. This was later repeated in the crypt, as Father Gregory answers Sam's seance.
Zack's victim, a member of the Church of Our Lady of Angels, has a cup with an angel on a blue background next to his computer. Not to mention that the newsletter of the church has a blue bar at the top, complete with white text and a cross.
Even the painting of the Archangel Michael slaying the Satan (by Raphael) features the angel with green and blue sashes.
If the pattern holds true, the rapist-wannabe was also a member of said church. And he drives a blue car.
This one, methinks, is a matter of opinion, but I think Father Thomas Gregory has truly blue eyes.
As for Sam's clothing... in the beginning, he's wearing the same green shirt he wore in Faith (1x12). For the rest of the episode, he's favouring a striped shirt with blue, brown and white.

There were other episodes I glimpsed for details, like Bloodlust (2x03), in which Gordon and Sam face-off wearing red plaid and blue stripes. That whole episode is summed in that photo, if you ask me: Sam and his willingness to believe the vampires vs. Gordon's single-minded desire to exterminate them.
Next time we got to meet Gordon, in Hunted (2x10), he has found a new purpose to his life, his faith in his mission unshaken. And he's wearing a blue-tinted shirt.
Even in the latest episode he makes an appearance in, Bad Day at Black Rock (3x03), he's dressed in blue, still believing in the righteousness of the imperative to get Sam Winchester killed.

This is getting long, I admit. But there are a few things I'd like to point out still. For it wouldn't really be fair to leave the title cards out of this scrutiny, don't you think?
Season One, the title card suggests flickering lights, old lamp buzzing, electric pale blue-green. This was the season when everything begins and Kripke's own faith carried the series further.
Season Two, the title card is naught but flame and fire, a pentagram flickering in and out. This was the season when we learned more about demons than ever before, Devil's Traps seen and used in a multitude of episodes.
Season Three, the title card is once more bright and cold, tinted with blues and tainted red, slight hint of green. As it is, it looks like this will be the season when we'll learn more about Mary.

She's a character that's always appeared to be in the eye of the storm, but only at the end of the Second Season was it even hinted that she had a larger role beyond Dead Beloved, Wife, Mother.
It's not a rare or a new idea to compare her with the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven. Mary has also been, repeatedly, connected with roses, just like her Biblical counterpart.
What's curious about roses is that they're a sign for secrets and secrecy, everything said in a confessional taking place sub rosa. And Mary Winchester has always been shrouded in mysteries.

All we know about her, canon-wise, is that she was born in 1954, she married John Winchester, bore him two sons, died on the ceiling of her youngest one's nursery on the night of November 2nd, 1983. She recognized the YED (All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1; 2x21), she stuck around after her death and gave up the ghost to apparently save Sam, after saying "I'm sorry" to him (Home, 1x09). And that she had an uncle, a man who paid for a tombstone with her name and years of birth and death in Illinois (Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, 2x04). Of course, we also know that everyone who knew her is dead by the time of The Kids Are Alright (3x02).
Why mention her in this meta, though? The negligee she died in was pale pink. The clothes her incarnation mostly wore in What Is And What Should Never Be (2x20) were in different shades of pink. Except for the blue velvet dress she'd donned for the dinner. And for the blue she's wearing in every photo we've ever seen of her: the one in the Pilot (1x01), both of the photos in Home (1x09).
She had faith enough to tell little Dean every night of his childhood that "angels are watching over us" (Houses of the Holy, 2x13). And before the end of Season Two (All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2, 2x21), we got to see only the idolized, angelic view of her as the very epitome of Mother, right down to her name.

Kripke and company have drowned us in demons and kept their mouths shut about the other side of the coin. And perhaps the truth about Mary Winchester is not that she was the last PsyKid of her generation, that she was a demon incarnate, but that she was, literally, "the angel in the house".

Looking at the mish-mash of instances where blue and/or green has featured in, the connections and the themes, mood perhaps, too, I'm tempted to say that these colours stand for things commonly observed as 'good'.
Green seems to represent Faith above all else, no matter the object: Lori's belief in God and prayer in Hookman (1x07), Sam's bullheaded refusal to believe Dean couldn't be healed in Faith (1x12), Layla's faith in Roy's healing abilities in the same episode...Sam's desire to keep on looking for a cure for lycanthropy in Heart (2x17), Kubrick's ability to see the hand of a Higher Power in Bad Day at Black Rock (3x03). Probably a number of other instances. Even Dean in Born Under A Bad Sign (2x14) was wearing his dark green button down when BED!Sam shoved a gun into his hand.
Blue I can't as easily pin down to a single thing, yet. Save for this sense of holiness, that spark of Divinity, Hope... *ponders*
I've speculated, mostly to bowtrunckle, that the appearance of Red, Yellow and Blue together signifies an important thing for the supernatural element in the episodes. And in Houses of the Holy (2x13), there are candles laid on the stonework of the stairs to the church in the memory of Father Gregory. Blue, Red, Yellow. Small white votives. Same thing with the glasspaintings in the crypt. Same thing with numerous children, things associated with them (Dead In The Water, 1x03; Home, 1x09; Something Wicked, 1x18; Salvation, 1x21; The Kids Are Alright, 3x02 to name but a few).

Also, like Red and Yellow are more likely to be paired with Black (ie. demons so far met), Green and Blue come usually with White, further implying a radical difference, an opposing force.

But what does all of this tell about the boys, about where Season Three might take them? They (Sam) are dealing with demon(s) (Ruby), the line between 'right' and 'wrong' growing ever more blurrier, the moral acrobatics even more elaborate, the risks becoming more and more acceptable.

As always the boys are caught in the middle, soldiers for neither Heaven or Hell... And Dean's the moral anchor Sam should hang onto this season, like the beginning of Bad Day At Black Rock (3x03) suggested. The surest way to ensure Sam's loss of humanity was not killing him, but destroying the last thing he holds dear. And the boys know that their enemies know this.
*crosses fingers*

Sub Rosa:
World Wide Words

Blue and Green:
Wikipedia entry on Blue
Wikipedia entry on Green

Pretty As A Picture
Screencap Paradise

I'm missing things, more than likely, but... *aims to update link-list in the future*

My deepest gratitude for all who have the stamina to wade through this and keep up with my ramblings and whims. Deities know I'm a lousy commentator at best, but I would appreciate to the heavens any and all feedback on this. :)
Thank you.

Tags: details, meta, rambling, season 1, season 2, season 3, supernatural, thinky thoughts, zany
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