Season 1 Episode 12


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 17, 2006 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,338 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Dean is accidentally electrocuted fighting a monster, he permanently damages his heart. When he's diagnosed as only having a month, at most, to live, Sam searches for a means to save him and finds Roy Le Grange, a faith healer who may actually be the real deal. After Le Grange heals Dean, the brothers discover that Le Grange is using black magic to bind a "Reaper" to do his bidding...and each healing comes with a terrible price.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • This is a hard episode to watch, even though I think it's one of the best.

    It started out as your typical 'main-character-is-deathly-ill-but-we-all-know-they're-probably-not-going-to-die-anyway' story and then morphed into a tragic introspection about desperation, faith, and prayer. Gosh do I love this show!

    One thing I have found with shows like Supernatural, Buffy, and even X-Files that deal with 'good vs. evil' and 'the unexplained' is that they are very comfortable exploring the dark side of the paranormal - making it supernatural vs. humans - but seem reluctant to delve into the good side. They'll gleefully go on about vampires and demons and all that other classic horror supernatural stuff, but don't really bother to deal with the other side of the coin. That's the road Supernatural was on and this is where they gloriously veer entirely off course and take the uncharted path.

    In this episode, Dean is confronted with his own mortality. Okay, fine, pretty standard hero-development stuff there. But that conflict is resolved rather quickly and with unusual ease. It's only the tip of the iceberg, ladies and gentlemen, there's many more layers to this episode than that. What's the story? Dean and Sam are hunting a Rawhead (a creature that can apparently only be killed with a taser. God only knows what hunters did before those were invented) and through a series of unfortunate events, Dean ends up getting electrocuted and suffering from a massive heart attack (guess all those bacon cheeseburgers do have an effect after all). He's told that his heart is damaged beyond repair and that he has about a month or so to less if he overexerts himself.

    Dean, being Dean, takes this news externally very well - determined to die with dignity and to keep his game face on until the bitter end. Sam, ever the stubborn rebel, refuses to take the news of Dean's impending death lying down and starts scouring his way through their father's contacts in search of a cure. Anyone. Anything. He eventually finds a faith healer in Nebraska that he all but blackmails his brother into going to see. Long story short, Dean is healed and the day is things aren't all what they seem.

    The thing I really love about this episode is that it isn't afraid to dive right into tough subjects of faith and sacrifice and where to draw the line between morally right and morally wrong. So few shows are really willing to objectively do that (probably for fear of alienating people) and so I really respect Supernatural for the thoughtful and deep way they dealt with the issue. Not all was neatly tied up in the end, the morals were a bit grey but still clean-cut as to where the line was, and it forced Dean to question what he really believes and whether or not just having faith in something is helpful in the face of certain death.

    I really believe that this episode is one of Supernatural's all-time best. It was emotional, it was deep, it delved right into tough issues with sensitivity and respect, and it ended on a sad but somehow hopeful note. I love Layla's line about having faith means believing even whenever the miracles don't happen. It's true that with that issue we never really got a clear-cut resolution, but I honestly think that it was for the best. Such things are never cut-and-dry in real life and it would have been a disservice to portray anything less in the episode. The design of the Reaper was appropriately creepy and I like how Reverend Roy wasn't a corrupt obvious villain after all. I like how his wife wasn't evil either, or at least she didn't start out that way. I liked the character of Layla and certainly found her more compelling that Lori from our last heavily-religious-themed episode. Dean's character was challenged, Sam's character was challenged, and we all came out on the other side having learned something.moreless
  • 112-"faith"

    While battling a Rawhead, Dean gets electrocuted and his heart is damaged. Doctors give him only a few weeks to live. Sam searches for a way to save him and believes he may have found an answer in a preacher who claims to heal the incurable (Kevin McNulty). At the congregation, Dean is chosen, and is cured of his condition. However, he and Sam soon learn that an openly gay teacher died of a heart attack at the same moment that Dean was healed. Further research reveals that deaths occurred in unison with other healings, prompting the brothers to believe that the preacher is using black magic to control a Reaper, healing people in exchange for the lives of those he deems immoral. However, they eventually discover that his wife is behind everything, and rush to destroy the altar used to control the Reaper. The preacher begins to "heal" Layla (Julie Benz), a young woman with a brain tumor, and the Reaper goes after Dean. Sam destroys the altar, and the freed Reaper takes the wife's life, though the young woman is not healed. She later tells Dean that she has made peace with her coming death, and Dean promises to pray for her. my thoughts: good but not great i liked the reapers alot and good story overall really enjoyed it

    Written by: Sera Gamble & Raelle Tucker

    Directed by: Allen Kroeker

    Power rankings:


    2.)hook man




    6.)bloody mary



    9.)phantom traveler

    10.)dead in the water


  • Best episode so far.

    Supernatural opens up very differently compared to how it usually does, and that brought something new to the table. Though it does a great job of transitioning to its usual case of the week formula that involves reapers, necromancy, etc. Up to this point Supernatural has done enough to warrant it a great score. A lot of new material, like having a unique introduction to the episode, and using dark magic instead of ghosts, deformed humans, etc. Though the episode just keeps getting better and better and it had you glued to the climax. Even when it has you over the top, it keeps going further and further up with its conclusion. Dean's conversation with Layla was pretty sad and thought provoking. The best episode so far that contains an all around package.moreless
  • An episode I can watch over and over again. And have.

    Having seen all episodes (up and into to season 6 at this time), this ep is ranked as one of my all time favorites. It enters into a very grey area and seems to stay there, and stays there in a good way. There is no last minute hurrah or 'saved by the bell' climax, it simply leaves you wondering exactly what Dean was wondering... did they do something good?

    It is a hard question to answer- kill a stranger to save someone you know/love? And SN does not tie this up with an easy answer. And that is good because there is no easy answer. Every part of me wanted to see Layla live, but that would have been to clean and even a bit cheesey. To have the Reaper save her as a kind of thank you to the brothers, for unbinding him, would have been nice to see but would have ruined the story at the same time. I like how SN does not clean up all it's messes, cause, well, that's life.

    But storyline aside, even the mood, tone, lighting and setting were all excellent. Rainy, cold day. Muddy ground. Tent in a farmers field. I felt incredibly drawn into the emotions of the characters based just on those things alone. The episdoe made me want to curl up with a blanket, and okay, I admitt, maybe have Dean curl up in there with me. But that's beside the point. Sort of. Cause I think Jensen did a wonderful job in this episode portraying both a man who feels he has to do what's right (even against his own personal feelings) and an almost scared young man who just wants to curl up under that blanket and make it all go away.

    As for the end, I sort of wished Dean would have told Layla the truth about the Reaper. But only because I could see her going through the rest of her (short) life thinking Roy didn't/couldn't heal her because maybe she didn't deserve to live as much as others did. But that's just a personal opinion. Also, in later eps like maybe 'Dark Side of the Moon', it would have been nice to see Dean ask about Layla as a sort of continuity factor... or even ask Castiel. SN has always been good with the continuity.

    Cudos to: Jensen for acting and the writers for a superb story.moreless
  • While battling a Rawhead,an Irish hobgoblin, that preys on naughty children, Dean is electrocuted causing permanent damage to his heart...and leaving him with less than a month to live!!Distraught, Sam searches frantically for a way to save his brother.moreless

    I do I love thee? Faith is just a perfect episode. Sam drags a faith healer named George Le Grange, who may be the real deal. Blinded by his desire to save Dean, Sam doesn't question the source of the preacher's powers and convinces Dean to give it a shot. Thinking he has nothing to lose, a less than skeptical Dean goes to see Le Grange and is selected to be healed. To Sam's relief, Dean is cured. However, Dean feels guilty because a young woman named Layla, who has a brain tumor, has been visiting the preacher for a long time, patiently waits her turn. Dean's guilt multiplies exponentially when he learns that for every healed person, someone dies. It seems that Le Grange is using black magic to bid a reaper to his will.They plan to kill him, but don't want to kill human beings, so they destroy his spell book. When they get back to the church, Dean finds himself in a uncomfortable position about telling Layla not to go through with her healing. Anyway we find out that the Reaper was controlled by the wife. She gets her just deserts. Here's what this episode is about: Where is God? Is there free will? What's meant to be?

    Dean: Hey, you better take care of that car, or I swear I'll haunt your ass."

    Sam: I don't think that's funny."

    Dean: Aw, c''s a little funny."

    My favorite Dean and Sam moment from season one.

    I also love, love to death, how Dean doesn't fear the reaper. He might get pissed at the reaper, or tell him bad jokes, or be annoyed that the reaper is interrupting his life, but he doesn't fear the reaper.moreless
Rebecca Jenkins

Rebecca Jenkins

Sue Ann Le Grange

Guest Star

Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty

Roy Le Grange

Guest Star

Julie Benz

Julie Benz

Layla Rourke

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Sam was trapped in the basement, there was no way he could have escaped through the window because it was too narrow.

    • Trivia: In this episode, it is revealed Dean is 27, but in "Pilot," he says he is 26. That means he has had a birthday, but they haven't mentioned it.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • David Wright: Roy Le Grange is a fraud. He's no healer.
      Dean: Amen, brother.

    • Dean: Man, you're a lying bastard. I thought you said we were going to see a doctor.
      Sam: I believe I said a specialist.

    • Dean: You're not gonna let me die in peace, are you?
      Sam: I'm not gonna let you die, period.

    • Dean: It must be rough, to believe in something so much and have it disappoint you like that.
      Layla: You wanna hear something weird? I'm okay, really. I guess if you're going to have faith you can't just have it when the miracles happen. You have to have it when they don't.
      Dean: So what now?
      Layla: God works in mysterious ways. Goodbye, Dean.
      Dean: Hey, um, you know, I'm not much of a praying type. But I'm gonna pray for you.
      Layla: Well, there's a miracle right there.

    • Sam: You know this whole "I laugh in the face of death" thing is crap, I can see right through it.
      Dean: Yeah, whatever. Have you even slept? You look worse than me.

    • Dean: Look, Sammy, what can I say, man, it's a dangerous gig. I drew the short straw. That's it, end of story.
      Sam: Don't talk like that, all right? We still have options.
      Dean: What options? You have burial or cremation.

    • Sam: What do you got those amped up to?
      Dean: A hundred thousand volts.
      Sam: Damn.
      Dean: Yeah, I want this rawhead extra freakin' crispy.

    • Dean: And God save us from half the people who think they're doing God's work.

    • Dean: I'm not gonna die in a hospital where the nurses aren't even hot.

    • Dean: I'm gonna die, Sam... and, you can't stop it.
      Sam: Watch me.

    • Dean: That fabric softener teddy bear... ooh... I wanna hunt that little bitch down...

    • Dean: You gotta take care of that car, or I swear I'll haunt your ass.
      Sam: That's not funny
      Dean: Come on... it's a little funny.

  • NOTES (4)

    • During the shooting of the episode, it rained for five days continuously and the crew had to tow the cars outside the country temple in and out of mud due to continuity problems.

    • "Faith" is Eric Kripke's favorite episode from Season One. In the Supernatural: The Official Companion - Season 1 he states: "It's when I first realized what the show was capable of. Is there a God? What's meant to be? And is there a free will? And is your life worth the cost of someone else's life? It's a metaphysical and moral study of the boys' universe."

    • When Roy is healing the old emphysema patient, and the Reaper is killing the jogger, the background music is Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper.

    • International Airdates:
      Denmark: March 26, 2006 on TV3
      Portugal: December 25, 2006 on AXN
      France: February 12, 2007 on TF6
      Germany: January 21, 2008 on ProSieben
      The Netherlands: September 21, 2008 on NET5


    • Dean: You ever actually watch daytime TV? It's terrible.
      This is an in-joke to the fact that (Jensen Ackles) used to play Eric Brady on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.