1.19 Provenance

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Promotional image from Provenance
Title Provenance
Episode # Season 1, Episode 19
First aired April 13, 2006
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Written by David Ehrman
On IMDB Provenance
Outline A haunted painting comes to life and murders its owners.
Monster Ghost
Timeline 2006
Location(s) New Paltz, New York
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Contents

Synopsis

The boys arrive in upstate New York, where Mark and Anne Telesca were found dead in a locked house, the latest in a series of murders over a number of decades in the same area according to research from John’s journal.

They visit the Telesca home, but there are no signs of any supernatural activity. All the furnishings have been taken to an auction house, so they decide to check it out, in case a spirit has itself attached to an object.

They turn up at the auction house, where the owner Daniel Blake tries to get them to leave. They speak to his daughter, Sarah Blake, who also works at the auction house and who confirms that the Telesca estate is being auctioned. Before she can tell them anymore, her father asks the boys to leave.

Dean thinks Sarah showed some interest in Sam, and suggests he take her on date in order to get more information. Over dinner, Sarah reveals she hasn’t been on a date since her mother died unexpectedly a year ago.

Sarah gets Sam copies of the provenances of the items of the Telesca house. Dean finds that a portrait of Isaiah Merchant’s family painted in 1910 was also owned by the other families that had been killed.

After dark, Sam and Dean return to the auction house and burn the painting. The next day, Dean pretends that he has dropped his wallet at the auction house, purely so Sam can see Sarah again. When they get there they are shocked to find the painting is still there and unharmed.

At the local library, they find out that Isaiah Merchant was accused of killing his wife, two sons, and adopted daughter.

Back at the motel Sam notices that in a picture of the painting in an old book, Isaiah is staring straight ahead, and in the painting now, he is looking down to the right. Dean also encourages Sam to pursue Sarah, but Sam is reluctant. He calls Sarah to see if they can view the painting again, only to find it has been sold to a friend of Sarah’s named Evelyn.

The boys rush to the house just as Sarah arrives, but they find Evelyn already dead, her throat slashed.

After alerting the police, Sarah and the boys return to the motel room, where they explain to her that the picture is haunted. Despite being scared, Sarah resolves to help them. Back at Evelyn’s house they examine the painting and notice more features in the painting have changed, amongst other things there is now a mausoleum in the picture with the name Merchant on it. They track down the mausoleum, where all of the family cremated remains are housed, however Isaiah Merchant is not interred there. Dean finds that Isaiah was buried in a pauper’s grave and goes to salt and burn the corpse.

Later, the three of them return to burn the painting as a precaution, but Sam and Sarah get trapped inside Evelyn’s house and attacked by the spirit of Melanie Merchant, who had been responsible for the murders all along. Dean returns to the mausoleum and burns an antique doll which bears some of Melanie Merchant’s hair. This finally dispels her spirit.

Back at the auction house, Sarah orders the painting burned and says farewell to Sam and Dean. As they are about to leave, Sam returns and kisses Sarah goodbye.

Characters

Definitions

Music

(plays at the Bar, when Dean hits on the girls)
  • "Romantic Piece, No. 1" by Antonin Dvorak S1Com
(plays at the auction house)
  • "One More Once" by Alan Pasqua (Black Toast Music) S1Com
(plays when Sam and Sarah have dinner together)
  • "Bad Time (To Be in Love)" by Grand Funk Railroad
(the song on the car radio; Dean "sets the mood" for Sam and Sarah)

Quotes

Sam: So, what are we today, Dean? Are we rock stars? Are we army rangers?
Dean: Reality TV scouts looking for people with special skills.
Dean: Grant Wood? Grandma Moses? What?
Sam: Art history course. It’s good for meetin’ girls.
Sam: Pickups are your thing, Dean.

Dean: It wasn't my butt she was checking out.
Sam: In other words, you want me to use her to get information.

Dean: Sometimes you got to take one for the team. Call her.
Sam: I don't understand, Dean. We burned the damn thing.
Dean: Yeah, thank you Captain Obvious.
Dean: So you think Daddy Dearest is trapped in the painting and he's handing out Colombian neckties like he did with his family?
Sam: You know what, I don’t get it. What do you care if I hook up?

Dean: Because then maybe you wouldn’t be so cranky all the time. You know, seriously, Sam, this isn’t about just hooking up, okay? I mean, I think this Sarah girl could be good for you. And I don’t mean any disrespect, but I’m sure that this is about Jessica, right? Now, I don’t know what it’s like to lose somebody like that, but….I would think that she would want you to be happy. God forbid, have fun once in a while. Wouldn’t she?

Sam: Yeah, I know she would.Yeah, you’re right. Part of this is about Jessica. But not the main part.
Dean: Sam... Marry that girl.
Dean: [inside the Merchant family crypt] Notice anything strange here?
Sarah: Uh.... Where do I start?
Sarah: You guys seem to be uncomfortably comfortable with this.
Sam: Well, this isn't exactly the first grave we've dug.
Sam: What kind of house doesn't have salt?! Low sodium freaks!
Dean: I'm the one who burned the doll, destroyed the spirit. Don't thank me or anything.

Trivia & References

Sam: What, like a Da Vinci Code deal?

Dean: I don’t know, I’m still waiting for the movie on that one.

Sam is referring to the bestseller The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. In the novel, clues to the big mystery are found in Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings. The movie was released in 2006 approximately one month after this episode aired.
Dean: Daddy dearest isn't here.
Mommie Dearest is a 1981 film based on the biography by Christina Crawford about her actress mother Joan Crawford. A wonderful overacted camp melodrama that is a must see for anyone who ever thought their mother was a bitch and got thrashed for not using the good coathangers: "no wire hangers ... ever!"
When Sam and Dean arrive at the auction, we see three luxury cars parked next to the Impala. The second is a Bentley with New York license plate "THEKRIP." This could be a reference to Supernatural creator and executive producer Eric Kripke.
Dean: So you think Daddy Dearest is trapped in the painting and he's handing out Colombian neckties like he did with his family?
A Colombian necktie is a form of execution in which the victim's throat is slit and the tongue is pulled out through the open wound.
While researching the Merchant family a newspaper article they find shares the front page with the lead story. "New Titanic Sinks, 1304 People Go To Watery Graves: Only 866 saved from 2,170 Aboard Liner Which Collides With Iceberg. Disaster Proves To Be the Greatest in Marine History of the World." The Titanic has been referenced throughout the seasons. In 4.10 Heaven and Hell Dean and angel Anna Milton make love in the back of the Impala, the final shot of a hand on the steamed up window reminiscent of the iconic scene from Titanic when Jack and Rose are having sex. In 5.17 99 Problems Dean refers to the Angels having the only lifeboats on the Titanic in refence to the coming apocalypse. In 6.17 My Heart Will Go On the angel Balthazar changes history and unsinks the Titanic.

Minutiae

When Sam and Dean are examining the detail of the painting, you can hear Jensen say 'Jared' instead of 'Sam'.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion

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