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'Supernatural' Recap — Episode 8.03, "Heartache."

Well, let’s cut right to the chase here. Last week’s promo showed us an episode focusing on Sam’s life in the year they had off. Girlfriend, dog, you know—flashbacks of the good times.

Did this episode deliver what was promised?

No, not really. But that doesn’t mean that what did show up wasn’t still good. And, because of the misleading promo, completely out of the left field.

Get it? “Heartache”?…okay, it’s a little one.

In any case, the cold opening is strangely reminiscent of Red Sky at Morning way back when, with a jogger running in the dark. Only this time, instead of some unseen adversary, a different jogger runs up and ominously rips the other guy’s heart out.

Then, of course, after the title is Sam and Dean, walking through…a farmer’s market. Dean doesn’t notice until Sam points it out, since he’s obviously just interested in these mysterious murders that have been popping up, but Sam seems pretty at home with it all. Of course, Dean just has to guilt him into going on the case with him (sigh), and they end up zipping over and talking to a local police officer about it.

(A police officer who is, yes, in fact played by Jensen’s father.)

The only lead the police have is from park surveillance that picked up the guy running next to the victim (who we, of course, know was the killer), but the dude is squeaky clean. Obviously there’s no reason he would go around ripping people’s hearts out of their chests. Naturally, the Winchesters go and check him out anyways, but basically what they pick up is that he had a health scare a while ago and is now a crazy fitness guy with no criminal record whatsoever. Not exactly prime suspect material.

Prime example of mental health.

Then, to complicate further, another crime happens nowhere near where they were investigating—as in, across the country–, with a completely different suspect arrested. So, they end up over there. The suspect is yet again a pretty outstanding guy (as Jimmy’s old friend Roger politely informs us) who couldn’t possibly have committed the other crime as he was in court all week. And, when they go to talk to him, he’s only saying one thing—“ K’uhul ajaw, Cacao, shi-jiiy,” (as we know thanks to Jim Michael’s informative Twitter account), over and over and over again.  So really, the only thing we get out of that is that he’s gone a little insane, and the Winchesters notice that he’s got two differently colored eyes.

That is, until we get a scene that brings us back to the times when Supernatural was actually scary, and the suspect stabs his own eye out with a piece of metal off the bed in the cell he’s being kept in.

Sam and Dean, not knowing about this, sit nice in their motel room and try and use Dean’s fancy new iPhone app to translate whatever the guy was saying. Which doesn’t exactly work out. But then they get a call, and we find out that the suspect had cut his own eye out—or rather, someone else’s eye, since apparently the one he very thoroughly removed was a transplant that’d he’d gotten close to a year ago.

Oh, and Sam finds out that their jogger suspect had an organ transplant a year ago as well, and he sent the audio file to the professor that, way back when, helped them with the Amazonian writing (because a certain someone isn’t around to help them anymore…). Then they haul ass to Colorado, because Dean had been looking up cases and the incidences so far were exact repeats of what had happened a year ago—which would place the next victim there.

At, apparently…a strip club. A man coerces one of the strippers in an alley…who then proceeds to rip his heart out.

But before we get to the really creepy part, we have the inevitable Winchesters-sit-in-the-Impala-and-talk-about-their-feelings, in which they completely forget about Adam and Sam is trying to convince Dean that, hey, maybe he doesn’t need a hunting side-kick. Which, well…he did alright in Purgatory by himself, didn’t he? Their little chick-flick moment gets interrupted by a call from the doctor that Dean had asked about the organs—turns out all of them came from the same guy. Someone named “Brick Holmes”, who apparently in the Supernatural universe is a majorly famous football quarterback who had a wreck the year before. He donated his organs to eight people—none of which live in Colorado, but apparently that’s where Holmes himself lived, so they go to check it out anyways.

Speaking of people in Colorado, we see the stripper from before, performing some sort of ritual and taking a huge bite out of the heart she stole and gaining some sort of

I hear it’s very exfoliating.

power. Great.

The Winchesters stop by Holmes’ old house, but the mother staunchly refuses to touch on anything that seemed out of the ordinary, insisting that the guy’s death was an accident. But, as we all know, accidents don’t just happen accidentally, and when the brothers leave with news another heart’s been ripped out, the mother has a conversation with the lady who did it, assuring her that she didn’t say anything to raise suspicion. They don’t exactly seem friendly with each other, but there definitely aren’t any secrets between them.

Anyways, the Winchesters find out what the dude had been mumbling—“The great god Cacao is born,” Cacao apparently being the most powerful Mayan god. That’s the only lead they have, so they decide to go snooping around the Holmes house while the mother isn’t home. They find that, apparently, Brick and his ‘mother’ had been sharing a room. And a bed.

Ooookay.

But, luckily, before we can dwell on that too long, Dean discovers a hidden room, filled with a ton of old sports equipment, from kendo to baseball—and, more importantly (?) a box full of letters to someone named ‘Betsy,’ ranging from pretty old-looking to almost new, describing preparing for a bunch of different sporting events, some of which are definitely not football. Turns out that four athletes in 70 years have actually all been the same guy, who for all they know has been alive since the Mayans were big, staying young as long as he made the required sacrifice—namely, ripping out a victim’s heart and eating it.

Now, where have we seen that before.

The Winchesters guess that the people with the donated organs were simply being compelled to follow the ritual—and also find out that, thank god, Holmes wasn’t sleeping with his mother. The lady was actually someone he’d met when he was a boxer—Betsy—who, as she aged, just had to keep changing roles from wife, to, eventually, mother. They get confirmation of this story out of her—and she tells them that if they get the person who has the heart out of the picture, then the curse will go away.

……wait, I’m sorry, what was I saying again?

Luckily, we know who that is, and Sam and Dean get to make a trip to the strip club to find the lady from before. It’s in the middle of the day, so there aren’t any shows going on (sorry Dean), but they run into who they’re looking for…along with the jogging dude and another one of the organ people, who sneak up from behind and knock Sammy out and hold Dean down so the lady can rip his heart out. Lovely.

But Sam is a bit tougher than they’d counted on, and he takes down one of the guys out of nowhere, creating enough distraction for Dean to whip his knife out and stab the lady in the heart. She burns out, and the other guys’ organs seem to fail, leaving three dead bodies—but the Winchesters got the bad guys, at least.

And now for more Impala talk with Dean completely ignoring Sam’s desire to have a normal damn life after all this, and we—in the last minute of the episode­—see what was in the promo. Amelia gave Sam a birthday picnic. No doubt the only actual celebration he’d ever had of the day.

Tune into the next episode of Supernatural on the CW next Wednesday, October 24th, at 9/8c!

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