‘Supernatural’ Review: “Heartache”
'Supernatural’ season 8 goes for the heart with its third episode of the season “Heartache,” as the boys investigate a pair of mysterious deaths to find that a sports star may have made a deadly deal for immortality with a Mayan god, and accidentally unleashed a curse on others.
Last weeks’s ‘Supernatural’ episode “What's Up, Tiger Mommy” saw Sam and Dean rescuing Kevin Tran’s mother Linda, and winding up bidding against Crowley for the Word of God tablet in a supernatural auction run by Plutus, the God of Greed. So, what does the latest season 8 episode bring? Will the Winchesters finally be able to rid the world of Crowley’s demonic scum, once and for all?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 8 Episode 3, “Heartache”
At night in Minneapolis, a jogger runs down a secluded path, before an older, heavier man enthusiastically passes him. The younger man finds the older waiting for him at the end of the path, who tears the younger’s heart right out of his chest when they stop to chat!
Elsewhere at an organic farmer’s market, Dean catches up on the reports on his phone while Sam seems largely disinterested, having spent the last year enjoying the good things. Sick of his attitude, Dean reminds him that they don’t give up on obvious cases like this, and the two visit a local morgue to find more about the jogger. The other jogger turns out to be a man named Paul Hayes, but doesn’t seem a likely suspect for the crime given his age and somewhat feeble condition.
The boys pay a visit to Paul, who explains that he became a health nut after a scare one year earlier. When that doesn’t pan out, Dean pays a visit to the victim’s apartment, but similarly finds nothing incriminating. Having deduced that Sam missed out on a similar killing in Ohio earlier, the boys next travel there to learn the truth, but find that the alleged perpetrator of that crime couldn’t have committed the Minneapolis murder. Instead, the man only repeats the words in the same foreign tongue over and over again. That night, the man alone in his cell manages to rip off part of his bed frame, and stab himself in the eye.
With Dean’s app unable to translate the man’s mysterious words, he’s called to the hospital to oversee the injured man. Evidently, both Hayes and Arthur Swenson received transplants in the last year, while the boys next deduce that they should go to Boulder, Colorado. There, a woman named Randa exits a club to seduce a man in an alley, throwing him against a wall and taking his heart at the first opportunity.
After a tense moment in the car in which Sam intimates that Dean is best in his element without his brother, Dean gets a surprising phone call: apparently all the organs came from their quarterback hero, Brick Holmes! Elsewhere, the Randa woman bites into her captured heart, and her eyes go a luminescent red.
Sam and Dean next pay a visit to Holmes’ mother who flatly denies anything odd about his death, even as Sam points out that there were suspiciously no suspicious circumstances to Brick’s accident. After the boys leave, the woman Randa steps out and reveals that her own new heart came from Brick following the accident, and they need to keep one another safe.
The boys learn from a source that the language Swenson spoke ad nauseam was that of the Mayans, who frequently prayed to the divine god Cacao. Dean chides Sam for an e-mail he intercepted about applying for college classes, and informs his brother they’ll have to keep on Holmes’ mother if they want the truth. They enter her house late at night, deducing from her clothes in Brick’s closet that the two shared a bed, as well as uncovering a number of letters to a “Betsy.” The letters discuss sports of all kinds, dating farther back than Brick could have possibly been alive.
Investigating back at the motel, Sam and Dean discovered that Brick has been a sports star in numerous sports over the years, each with a different appearance. Dean learns that among other things, the Mayans valued sport, and theorize that Brick may have made a deal with the god to live forever by sacrificing hearts. The boys reason that the recipients of the organ donations might have carried on the deal, as they uncover an old picture of Holmes’ mother that reveals she was actually his wife!
Paying another visit to the woman, the boys learn that “Brick” has in fact been alive for thousands of years, but that the two fell so deeply in love, he couldn’t bear the thought of life without her as she continued to age. Not realizing that his organs would be divided, the man drove himself off a bridge, leaving 8 killers to be stopped instead. However, “Betsy” realizes that they might slay them all if they stop the heart, Randa.
Sam and Dean break into the Bunny Hole to confront Randa, but find her already in wait, with Paul and another man ready to tie them down. Restraining Dean, Randa explains how powerful Cacao and the heart made her feel, and prepares to sacrifice Dean, when Sam’s timely intervention allows Dean to stab her through the heart, killing all three attackers.
After letting Eleanor know it's over, out on the road Sam again tries to press to his brother that he wants out of the hunting life once they’ve found Kevin and the tablet, though Dean doesn’t take him seriously. Sam remembers a day in the park where Amelia surprised him with a picnic for his birthday, before snapping back in depressing awareness.
Several episodes into the season, the main crawl has slowed as 'Supernatural' begins delving into cases of the week with "Heartache." Perhaps the previous episodes held such high momentum that "Heartache" can't help but feel disheartening, but Sam's tired variation on wanting to get out of the hunting life feels as stale as ever. Worse than that, his memories of Amelia prove far less interesting than Dean's path in the intervening year, so hopefully we'll get some kind of real momentum to the Amelia situation sooner rather than later.
Did you get your fill of spooky ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Supernatural’ thriller “Bitten” on The CW!