Supernatural: You Can't Handle the Truth
August 31, 2021 5:39 AM - Season 6, Episode 6 - Subscribe

When several people kill themselves after asking for the truth and those around them become more forthright than they were prepared for, Sam and Dean investigate and realize that Veritas, an ancient goddess of truth, has been summoned, and is weaponizing the truth against her victims.


Dean: A dentist drilled a guy to death.
Sam: You mean the non-sexy kind of drilling, right?

Olivia: Why would federal investigators be interested in a suicide?
Sam: Well, um, it's a new, more caring administration.

Woman in Bar: I'm sitting like this so you'll look at my breasts. I just bought them. I need a lot of attention.
Dean: Good luck with that.

Bobby: Well, I'm here hittin' the books while drinking a nice glass of milk, while watching Tori & Dean.
Dean: Wh -- wait, who and Dean?
Bobby: Tori Spelling. I'm a huge fan. Girl's a real talent.
Dean: I guess it does work over the phone.
Bobby: You know what else? I get a pedicure once in a while at this nice Vietnamese joint.
Dean: Okay, please stop.
Bobby: This one girl, Nhung Phuong, name means "velvet phoenix". Tiny thing, but the grip on her! She starts on my toes and I feel like I am gonna --
Dean: Whoa, whoa, come on, man. Now I'm scarred for life! Thank you.
Bobby: I never told anyone that. Why am I telling you? Maybe 'cause you're my favourite. Although, Sam's a better hunter. Lately, anyway.

Lisa: You wanna know the truth?
Dean: Probably not.

Veritas: I've seen liars before, but you two? Gold standard.
Dean: Point of professional pride.


The title of the episode refers to a famous quote by the character Colonel Jessup from the play and later film A Few Good Men. Jensen Ackles appeared in a production of the play in Fort Worth in June 2007.

The news story about Jane Peterson's suicide mentions that Jane's method of suicide was jumping from a building, even though the episode shows her shooting herself in the head: "Jane hadn't shown any signs of depression," Peterson's sister said. "I mean, she was a little high-strung, but I can't believe she'd jump off a building. None of us can."

The Latin incantation used to summon Veritas is: "Prodeo prius mei visio, verum femina, tam ego posse adoleo ante tuus magnificentia." Translated into English: "Come forth first my visage, true woman, and I can magnify, before your greatness."

In her speech to Sam, Veritas mentions Micky and Mallory, a reference to the movie Natural Born Killers, and "getting the band back together", a reference to the movie The Blues Brothers.

Not for the first time, Sam says that a suicidal man "hung himself". Works of art are "hung", but people, whether suicides or murder victims, are "hanged". The brothers (or, actually, the writers), with their knowledge of grisly arcana, should know this.
posted by orange swan (8 comments total)
For someone who claimed to value truth, Veritas seemed to engender a sort of gratuitous cruelty rather than the truth. Surely it wasn't true that Jane's sister and the rest of Jane's family really wanted her to kill herself. Not that there weren't some enjoyable truth blurts involved. Bobby's was particularly good, but I was glad that Dean cut him off when he did.

I think Lisa was wrong about Sam and Dean's relationship being "the most unhealthy, tangled-up, crazy thing" she's ever seen, or that they're preventing each other from being happy. It's the life that they live that's messed up. It's made them more dependent on each other than siblings should be, but they generally treat each other with care and respect, and they are capable of living fuller, workaday lives without being together 24/7. The problem is not their relationship but the fact that even if they were separated, they just can't turn their backs on all the monsters and destructive supernatural forces out there, and as long as they're hunters, they'll be safer and more effective hunting as a team. Lisa says she wouldn't bring back her sister if she died, but she has no idea what it would be like to actually be faced with that situation and possibility. I mean, most people would bring back their departed family members if they could.

Can gods/goddesses be killed by an ordinary stabbing? I would have thought there'd be some specific weapon required, as there are with so many monsters.

Sam's interview style has certainly changed since he lost his soul. He used to get people to open up by being kind and sensitive and sympathetic. Now he pushes people for answers and uses certain unsavoury tactics against them, such as his poker player training. It's effective, but it's farther than Dean, who used to be the more aggressive one, would go.

It's certainly a very different matter for a man to be hung than to be hanged. As appalled as I am by the violent protests Canada's prime minister is facing now on the campaign trail, as an editor it does always make me snicker to see those "Trudeau Should Be Hung" placards (and of course the extreme right wingers who stage violent protests always do use "hung" instead of "hanged" because they're fucking idiots whose idea of a trenchant political critique is to compare Trudeau to Hitler). Sometimes I like to imagine Trudeau seeing one of those signs and saying, affably, "I am, thanks," while beside him his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, nods complacently in agreement.
posted by orange swan at 6:14 AM on August 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

OMG! That would be an absolutely priceless reply from Justin and Sophie. And it's probably one he could pull off relatively easily. Yes, there would be jokes, but overall, I think it would be a net win for him.
posted by sardonyx at 6:18 AM on August 31, 2021

Oh god, that happened in middle school English- the teacher corrected a student, saying "Men are hanged. Pictures are hung." and another kid chimed in with "Men can be hung!"

No more productive work was done that day.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:46 AM on August 31, 2021

Sam: "Believe me. ... I can't lie here."

Classic tells for lying.

Well, I guess the cat's out of the bag now. I kind of like this development over Dean's essentially non-consequences of being in Hell for 30 years and turning torturer.

Did like the lady who had just purchased a new set of breasts and gets off on attention.

Did not like Bobby being ashamed of getting pedicures and that his first girlfriend might not be vanilla cis het, and Dean reinforcing those with declarations of disgust.
posted by porpoise at 5:29 PM on August 31, 2021

Did not like Bobby being ashamed of getting pedicures and that his first girlfriend might not be vanilla cis het, and Dean reinforcing those with declarations of disgust.

Oh interesting, I took that as Dean not wanting to know details of whatever his girlfriend was into sexually because he doesn't want to know details of Bobby's sex life, more tangled up with seeing Bobby as a parent than a shaming thing, but you could be totally right. In any event, Dean knows who's got the brains in this relationship, if he found out Bobby was into pedicures he'd be on the phone with Sam two minutes later telling him they need to look seriously into pedicures.

It says a lot about them that Sam might be possessed by Lucifer waiting to restart the Apocalypse and that's only Dean's second-worst case scenario.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:44 PM on August 31, 2021

I fully own up to being uncharitable.

But I've got very little charity left for this particular writer's room.

Bobby starts talking about a "tiny Vietnamese girl" - which has loads of foul baggage for his character's age and the creator's (fouler since its second hand) ages (war brides, "happy endings," foot fetish*) - that Dean immediately takes into sexual territory - where non-sexual touch is pleasant and enjoyable and involves a social aspect**. Pedicures and manicures that come with massages. Haircuts with scalp massages. RMT/ therapeutic massages - same sex, even.

Would Dean even accept fully-accredited therapeutic touch from a male kinesiologist/ physiotherapist? What about one who presents as homosexual but fully professional? Dean is written to present as a casual homophobe, and Sam not any better.

I could see Dean not wanting to share a father-figure's sexual experiences, but it was Dean that took the conversation into sexuality. But my read is that Bobby was starting down the path to sharing a non-vanilla experience that was positive and Dean shot it down with a "yuck."

But Dean didn't explore getting a pedicure or consider discussing it in positive light with Sam (but who he's currently having very serious doubts about).

I'm super surprised at the tolerance for "slash fic" that everyone involved has shown. Decree from on high (corporate)?

*holy moly, I had no idea that people are down on Quentin Tarantino's thing with feet - I think that he's fucking creepy, but not because he has lots of characters discuss foot massages

**ok, there's a lot of potential ugliness to this as well; service provider v person purchasing the service
posted by porpoise at 10:50 PM on August 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

But, yes, that Sam might still have Lucifer remnants in him is not, ahem, the end of the world, is interesting writing speaking to the importance of relationships that the show tries to explore.
posted by porpoise at 10:53 PM on August 31, 2021

No, that’s all super on point, there’s a lot about that conversation that’s on or over the line into icky, especially given the track record.
posted by jameaterblues at 12:58 AM on September 1, 2021

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