Supernatural Watch: Season 8, Episode 3 - Heartache

Let’s recap, shall we?

An all-pro quarterback named Brick was actually an ancient Mayan warrior who drove his car off a cliff because the love of his life was in the final years of her life. After his death, eight of his organs were donated to people across the country who continued the ritual sacrifices – which allowed Brick to live for more than 900 years – because, well, that’s what happens when you mix organ donation with blood sacrifices to a Mayan god who promises you everlasting youth. The only way to stop the murders is to take out the organ recipient who got the heart, which in typical Supernatural fashion, is a stripper.

Did you ever think when Supernatural began in 2005 that you would read an episode synopsis like that? I know I didn’t. “Heartache” was a jumbled mess from beginning to end. I understand that it’s Season 8 and the writers are trying some “monster of the week” stories that haven’t been done before, but that doesn’t excuse a convoluted story that featured zero redeeming qualities. Brick and Betsy’s love story was surface level at best and the final fight scene was a total dud. Anyone who’s seen two episodes of Supernatural could have predicted that Dean would pull out his knife and stab the stripper right in the heart. Why didn’t the monsters search Dean and take away his knife when they had him pinned down? I guess we’ll never know since they’re all dead now.

Forget the Mayans for a minute.

I hate ripping Supernatural episodes apart, so let’s focus on the bright spot of this episode: Sam wanting to stop hunting. As I mentioned in my recap of the premiere, we are seeing a return to the Sam we met in Season 1, the Sam who built a life away from hunting and is eager to return to it once his mission is complete. Unlike Dean, Sam is able to separate his life from hunting. To borrow a line from Dexter, the need to hunt and kill monsters got in Dean too early. The line between his personal life and his work blurred until it eventually disappeared altogether. Sam has let that line blur for the majority of the series, but now Amelia has brought that divide into sharp focus for him.

We all know what happened the last time Sam tried to return to his normal life, which begs the question: will the writers kill off Amelia this season? Her death would give Sam some extra motivation to finish closing the gates of Hell, but it could also take the possibility of Sam’s “happy ever after” off the table for good. Losing a second girlfriend would make Sam wish for the days he was soulless. He would become more hardened and gruff than Dean, which would totally alter the dynamic between the brothers and take the show too far away from its heart and soul. Do I think they’ll kill Amelia? Yes, I do. But the writers better be prepared to handle Sam’s emotional fallout in a way that doesn’t totally ruin the character we’ve come to know and love over the past seven years.

Dean: the master of stonewalling.

Sam’s urge to “hang it up” is hitting Dean at the worst possible time. We have yet to understand completely how Purgatory changed Dean, but this much seems clear: there’s no settling down in Dean’s future. He’s set to follow in Bobby’s footsteps, hunting monsters until one finally puts him in the ground. This seemed like Dean’s destiny all along, but let us not forget that the Kripke’s intended series finale (“Swan Song”) saw Dean settling down with Lisa and Ben for a normal life. There might be love and happiness at the end of Sam’s rainbow, but Dean’s days will only be filled with cheap hotels, bad food and the constant threat of mutilation and death. Let’s see if a found footage episode can turn things around.

“Heartache” will soon fade in with the rest of the bad Supernatural episodes, leaving us with a mere speed bump in the road to an awesome season. We have a found footage episode coming up next week, and we all know how well Supernatural does with its unorthodox episodes. This episode wasn’t all for naught, however – did you notice any similarities between Dean and the gentleman who played the detective early in the episode? You should have, since the actor is Jensen Ackles’ dad, Alan Ackles. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see him pop up again in a future episode?

Line of the week

Dean: “I bought a translation app.”

Next week on Supernatural

Does found footage mean Sam and Dean can say the f-word again?