Supernatural Review: “Heartache” (Season 8, Episode 3)

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So Sam and Dean are investigating the string of mysterious murders and after questioning the “monster” in the opening scene – whom they do not know of course – and come across a crazy nut job and proceed to interrogate him. The only thing in their way? The crazy nut job only says one thing over and over, in a language that Dean’s translation app can’t even decipher. So the brothers decide to call one of their many assets with the hope of something turning up.

Meanwhile, the crazy nut job superhumanly breaks off a piece of his bed and proceeds to pry his eye out all the way down to the optic nerve. As this is happening, a stripper tears the heart out of a client and uses it in a strange sacrifice culminating in her devouring the heart. The brothers learn that the “monster” guy from the opening scene and the crazy nut job both had organ transplants from the same donor, a world famous football star.

With the first freak of the week episode, they really did try to jam as much stuff in as possible. The story isn’t hard to understand in the traditional sense, it’s just that there’s so many strings involved that it gets a little convoluted. At this point of the episode, it would have been eventually revealed that the donor is a vengeful ghost of some sort bent on killing anyone who won the championship he never could. This was not the case and though I say it went a bit too far, I was definitely pleased. The whole crazy nut job guy was fantastic in my opinion. The dead language thing and transplanted eye gave the episode a creep factor that reminded us that Supernatural was and will always be a horror-themed series even if it takes a lot of inspiration from fantasy.

Continuing the story, Dean and Sam visit the football star’s mother who is hesitant to give them any information. Once they leave, the stripper reveals herself and tells the mother that it is all for protecting her son. After learning the meaning of the crazy nut job’s mumbling and after digging through the mother’s house, they find out about a ritual the football star was going through in order to achieve immortality: he would perform sacrifices every six months by tearing and eating human hearts.

It is revealed that his “mother” is actually his lover who continued to age as he did not, but chose to remain at his side even after discovering the truth of his youth. Since the football star’s organs were donated, those people are now infected with the need to perform sacrifices of their own, much like how a werewolf infects others. With the help of the now-revealed and redemptive lover, they find the stripper from earlier – the one who has the football star’s heart – and kill her, successfully taking down the rest of the infected.

So in just one episode we have a deal with a god, the said deal gone wrong, and a group of infected people who are the real monsters in this episode who were all innocent until they were tainted by the said deal gone wrong; also, there were sacrifices everywhere.

I am glad they took their chances with the story, but it was all a little much. I do however, enjoy the basic concept of it and with a little more polish, it could have been spectacular. What was spectacular was the scene with Dean and Sam reading the letters from all eras of time. Great pacing, great dialogue, and a great way to reveal the truth. As anti-climactic as the final battle was, it served its purpose: knowing that once you kill the heart, the entire body will follow.

As much criticism as I have given this episode, it was no where near bad. It was more of a forgettable episode than anything else, hence the shorter review. The next episode looks like it will be another freak of the week, but looking even further than that, I see a Benny-central episode in the near future. I’m already prepared for the awesomeness that will ensue.

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