Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
So a jogger, an ex-cop and a stripper walk into a bar.
While out and about in a farmers market (you read that right!) Dean reads in the local paper that a young jogger had his heart ripped clean out of his chest and was left on the trail. Though Sam is reluctant to take the job since they haven't found Kevin yet, Dean is tired of chasing his own tail for the last week and would rather do some good in the mean time. After speaking with the local police in Minneapolis, the Winchester brothers don't have any leads, just an ex-cop who started speaking a dead language after receiving an eye transplant. Later on when another victim's heart is ripped out by a stripper in Boulder, Colorado the boys rush to get there. Sam uncovers the connection between the victims is that they are all recipients of the same donor, a famous football player named Brick Holmes. After digging into Brick's past, the boys discover that Brick was a Mayan in his first life that made a pact with Cacao, an ancient god that demanded a sacrifice twice a year in return for eternal youth. Now that Brick has finally passed away, his pact lives on in his donors and the boys need cut it off at the source before more innocents became deranged, heart hungry killers.
After two solid episodes, Supernatural has its first dud of the season. Marred by an unusually slow pace, Heartache's plot was stretched thin as events only began to pick up after thirty minutes. Up until that point, Sam and Dean was reminiscent of a procedural crime drama but without any of the actual drama or mystery since we were well aware who each of the killers was from the beginning. Had the story taken the direction of having each character unaware of their actions and being controlled by Cacao it would have been a better spin. Instead, each person just seemed to enjoy their newfound youth except for Arthur, the ex-cop who gave the story its own plot hole. Why were the others so taken while he resisted and gauged out his eye?
Though Supernatural will occasionally have great guest stars, Heartache definitely gave us a mixed bag. Played by Patty McCormack, Eleanor Holmes/Betsy was a good character but never given more time to add dimension. McCormack gave the character as much as it was given. On the other hand, Randa (played by Kyra Zagorsky) was just a weak character unwilling to give up her new power. I was unsure why the writers gave her the back story of a nerd with a bum ticker as it didn't add perspective or make us care more than we had to. Heroes are only as good as their villains and although I don't expect Crowley quality every episode, they can be a lot better than this.
The best part of the episode came at the end when Sam and Dean had their usual car chat. For the first time in years, Dean is happy to be off to the next job, sitting next to his brother with the wind at his back whereas Sam doesn't feel the same. While there have always been stark differences between the two brothers, they could not be more opposite than now. Sam has always wanted a normal life and when everything is done with Kevin he wants to go back but where does that leave Dean? It's been an exciting ride but could it truly end? (Probably not)
Lastly, Sam's memory as he was riding in the car with Dean poorly executed. With the out of focus blur and oversaturated colours, it resembled a dream sequence more a memory and the level of cheesiness was overdone. The memory felt out of place considering the conversation he was having with Dean at the time. If Sam had a trinket that belonged to Amelia that reminded him of her and then the transition followed to the toned down version of his memory, it could serve as a constant reminder of what he left behind and been a more subtle hint of what he was thinking of.
Heartache missed the mark in so many ways that it's best to move onto the next town and the next episode. Maybe werewolves and the found footage genre will bring the excitement with next week's Bitten.