‘Supernatural’ Review: “Hunteri Heroici”
‘Supernatural’ season 8 scares up its eighth episode of the season “Hunteri Heroici,” as Sam and Dean enlist Castiel (Misha Collins)'s help in investigating a series of bizarre deaths that appear to be the product of cartoon physics, as Sam remembers a shocking turn during his time with Amelia.
Last time’s ‘Supernatural’ episode “A Little Slice of Kevin” saw Sam and Dean finding a restored Castiel, while Crowley got his hands on the prophet Kevin Tran and the boys attempted a daring rescue to prevent him from deciphering the tablet. 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 yet?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 8 episode 8, “Hunteri Heroici!”
In Oklahoma, a married man named Gary meets with his lover Olivia, only to find that his heart begins pounding steadily. Ripping open his shirt, they discover his heart to pound out of his chest, cartoon style, before finally exploding all over his mistress!
Meanwhile, the Winchesters and Castiel regroup at a local gas station, as Castiel explains that he no longer wishes to be attuned to the will of Heaven, and instead will become a hunter like Sam and Dean. As such, he presents the Oklahoma man’s case, and the three arrive at the scene to find a baffled detective. Castiel sniffs the corpse for clues, but Sam and Dean’s experience leads them to deduce the married man’s affair, and the likelihood that witches and hex bags could be involved in the man's death.
While Sam reflects on a memory of meeting Amy’s father, and failing to impress him with his chosen profession of hotel mechanic, back in the present Castiel fails miserably at interrogating murder victim Gary’s wife. Learning that he and his wife had an open marriage, with knowledge of Gary’s affair, no vengeance seems to have been involved.
Elsewhere, a man prepares to throw himself off a building. Taking a step, he gleefully finds himself standing in mid-air, before looking down causes him to plummet to his death. Sam, Dean and Castiel investigate the new fatality, putting together that both cases are indicative of cartoon physics, something Castiel takes on himself to study later.
After regrouping at the motel, the trio’s next case takes them to a recently-robbed bank, wherein a security guard was killed by a falling anvil. The anvil coincides with a string of robberies that appear to involve the perpetrator signing his work with black spots on the walls, but Dean reasons that the spots are the work of more cartoon magic, where holes drawn become portals through any barriers.
Back at the motel, Dean’s inquiry into Castiel’s mental state causes the angel to outright refuse to return to heaven, too wracked with guilt to face the devastation he caused there during his time imbued with the Leviathans’ power. Sam interrupts the talk, revealing that all of the deaths have in common proximity to nearby robberies, the subjects of which all tie to a nearby nursing home.
The trio visit the Sunset Fields nursing home, finding little of value from questioning the forgetful residents, including Castiel’s interrogation of a (supposedly) talking cat. After Sam flashes back through another memory of Amelia’s father trying to steer him away from his daughter, the boys discover one of the home’s residents to be a former friend of their father's, dangerous psychokinetic Fred Jones.
The boys find Fred, who seems catatonic apart from the cartoons playing on his TV, but Dean confirms the cartoon physics are indeed present. The home’s attendant Dr. Mahoney throws the trio out for their strange behavior, but Dean orders Castiel to keep watch.
Following another cartoon incident of a resident’s birthday cake exploding, Sam and Dean find that Fred has been taken from the home, and a nurse’s stolen bracelet leads them to the home of an orderly, whom they find to be bleeding from a gunshot wound. Once Castiel heals him, the orderly reveals that he and Dr. Mahoney were behind the incidents, wheeling Fred Jones to various locations to stage the cartoon robberies, before Mahoney shot his associate and fled.
After Sam experiences yet another memory of slowly coming to bond with Amelia’s father, the trio arrives at the scene of the next robbery in progress, Dean breaking to head off Mahoney while Castiel and Sam find Fred in a nearby van. Castiel brings them inside the catatonic Fred’s mind in order to finally talk to him, as Sam pleads with the man to return from his enclosed dreamworld. Having been accused of the same thing with Amanda, Sam understands what it is to hold on to something safe and comfortable while running from reality, a sentiment Castiel too comes to identify with.
Back in the real world Dean confronts Mahoney in the vault, and both men take advantage of the cartoon physics to attempt to outwit one another, utilizing everything from anvils to frying pans. Finally, Mahoney finds that he can’t escape through one of the holes, as a revived Fred stands before the doctor, and forces him to shoot himself in the head. The threat abated, Fred realizes it will only be a matter of time before his mind slips into cartoon catatonia once again, though Castiel proposes a dangerous procedure could set him free, at the cost of his intellect.
Some time later, a diminished Fred seems finally content, if withdrawn, as Castiel begins to tell the brothers he plans to return to Heaven. Before he can finish the thought, he finds himself transported to the mysterious Naomi (Amanda Tapping)’s office once again, as she explains that he’s still under their orders to stay away. Returning to the home, Castiel instead tells the Winchesters he plans to stay and watch over Fred for the moment, before deciding what to do with himself.
Meanwhile, Sam has one last flashback of a pleasant dinner with Amelia and her father, Sam admitting that he lost his brother some months back, when Amelia receives a phone call that her husband Don is alive after all.
Easily one of the funniest, and most classic Castiel episodes we've seen in years, 'Supernatural's' eighth season still needs to find relevance for Sam's flashbacks with Amelia, or at least a more organic way of dealing with the character. "Hunteri Heroici" provides a welcome return to stand-alone 'Supernatural,' without going over the edge of hokey-ness, though the season still feels a bit clumsy. It doesn't help that the boys' seemingly all-powerful acquaintance has come out of nowhere as well, but we'll keep soldiering on until next week.
Did you get your fill of spooky ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next time for an all-new episode recap of ‘Supernatural’ thriller “Citizen Fang” on The CW!