Supernatural S08, E03

Heartache

Sam:  What part of Minneapolis?
Dean:  The Iowa part.

Ok, this is probably disproportionately funny to me because I grew up 30 miles from Ames.  But still, BWHA!

"Heartache" gets 4 starsI might have given “Heartache” 3½ stars, but 1) I don’t have a half-star, and 2) having Alan Ackles as a guest star bumps it up at least a half star.

Alan and Jensen Ackles in a scene from "Heartache"

Father and son Alan and Jensen Ackles in a scene from “Heartache.” Jensen directed.

Everyone in Supernatural fandom knows that Jensen Ackles,’ father is a professional actor.  When I saw Alan Ackles’ name in the credits, I wondered if this episode was directed by Jensen.  It was.  The elder Ackles played an unnamed Minneapolis police lieutenant (or captain), who answered  Dean’s snark with equal snark, ending in an awesome bitch-face standoff.  Sadly, Papa’s scenes were over before the credits ended.

“Heartache” highlighted the brothers’ different views of the hunting life. It’s reminiscent of the first season, and somehow feels familiar and comfortable.

Dean, having honed his considerable skills to the max in purgatory, lives for the hunt.  But not just hunting, hunting with his brother.  His need for family first surfaced in “Shadow,” and has been prominent ever since.  He tried the normal life after Sam sacrificed himself, but possibly did so only at Sam’s request.  He loves hunting, it’s possibly the only thing he thinks he’s good at, and he especially loves having Sam by his side.

Sam, on the other hand, never wanted to hunt until he learned specifically who the enemy was (e.g., Azazel, Lilith, Leviathans).   Only then did his inner rage surface, and  he became obsessed with revenge.  The apocalypse was averted, he lived without his soul, was tormented by Lucifer, and lost Dean one too many times.  Getting a taste of normalcy has only heightened his original desire.

Or has it?  Sam’s memory of his birthday in the park was ab it too brightly lit, and had a soft focus, giving it an ethereal quality.  Was it real, or is his wonderful life all in his head?  Only time and Jeremy Carver will tell.

I loved the tiny half-smile he gave upon the memory.  In fact, throughout the episode, Jared gave us little nuances in his performance that I’d like to think Jensen pulled out of him as the director. But that’s probably just the fangirl in me talking.

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