TV REVIEW: Supernatural, Season 8 – Episodes 3 & 4 – ‘Heartache & ‘Bitten’

The Winchesters are here again with another double episode to continue the latest season of Supernatural.  We take a break from the overall arc for two stand alone episodes.

 

“Heartache”

We open with a young man jogging in the park only to be over taken by an older, fatter man.  When the young man eventually catches up, he’s rewarded by having his heart ripped out.  I always said jogging wasn’t good for you…

Back to the boys and they are at a farmers market.  Sam has enjoyed the “good things in life” while Dean was away and seeks to carry that on whilst Dean is anxious to take up a case.  Dean wins the argument and the brothers pursue the case of the dead jogger.  They make no progress there but find another case of a detective that committed the same murder and is incarcerated.  The boys attempt to interrogate him but all he does repeated some apparent nonsense.

After the detective tears his own eye out and we see yet another murder – this time by a stripper, the boys manage to figure out the link between the murders is all the suspects had a transplant and they all came from the same man.  The man was an all star athlete of which Sam was a fan.  The brothers visit the mother of man but glean no answers, however we see the stripper from before knows the mother.  She has the heart of athlete.

The gibberish the detective was speaking is translated as referring to “bounty and sacrifice”.  The boys break into the mothers house and make some discoveries – letters to a woman named “Betsy” and a room full of sports memorabilia that bears the same face of the athlete.   The boys question the mother and learn she is not the mother but “Betsy”, the athlete’s lover.  The athlete was a 900 year old  Mayan who became immortal through regular sacrifice.  However he grew tired of life as his love grew old and killed himself.  However the organs carried the spell into the jogger and stripper, giving them the same abilities and need to to sacrifice.

The boys confront the stripper and are taken down by the other transplant receivers and with Sam about to sacrificed, Dean makes the kill on the stripper – taking out the art and killing the rest.

While Dean reveals he is happiest hunting and being with his brother, Sam states what once Kevin is found the gates of Hell are shut he is quitting the life for good to have a normal life – while Dean was in Purgatory, Sam had found it.

This was a good episode, not very remarkable or special but solid.  However the episode was directed by Jensen Ackles who cast his real life father in a role – which was very entertaining to watch.  While there was some good lines and a decent story, I was missing the likes of Crowley and Castiel.

“Bitten”

We open with a typical bloody scene as Sam & Dean burst in.  They find music playing with a laptop and a note saying “Play me”.  This is a ‘found footage’ episode.

The premise is two students who are making a film – although they don’t know what about.  After filming a girl in a  cafe, it turns out she is into cameras and the three become friends – Michael, Bryan and Kate.  Kate and Michael become a couple with Bryan clearly wishing it was him Kate was into.  After a run in with the campus dick, the group come across a sealed area as a student has been murdered.  Sam and Dean are on the scene investigating.

Michael and Bryan go filming at night and come across the campus dick being blown out by a girl, the ‘Dick’ gives chase and the pair split up.  Michael is attacked by an unseen creature.  Going back to the house the friends share, Michael finds his wounds have healed.  He quickly gains super strength and an appetite for meat.  Bryan figures out the story for his film – Michael and the origins of what he has become.  However Bryan wants to be in on the story and asks for Michael to bite him in the hope he will gain the same abilities but Michael says no.  We see Dean and Sam again as they visit the friends, investigating the murder from before.  They jokingly suggest it may be another Mayan god.

Michael films himself and it is revealed he has become a werewolf.  The scene then moves to the ‘Dick’ from before and his friends “on the hunt” for the creature responsible for the earlier attack.  They come across Michael, who kills and eats the heart of the ‘Dick’.  Kate and Bryan find Michael’s film of him changing so know he is a werewolf.  Bryan and Michael clash with Bryan wanting to get the police involved but Kate dissuades him.  Kate decides to investigate herself , spying on Sam and Dean with Bryan’s help. They learnt here is a “pureblood” in the area – a werewolf that control when they change (not ruled by the lunar cycle) which attacked near the area 10 years ago.

Bryan decides to go through the video of Michael’s attack and sets off on his own to find clues.  He finds a pin where Michael was attacked, a pin that matches that of their professor.  He goes to confront the professor (after setting up hidden cameras in his office) and forces the professor to bite him.  The professor reveals he had been “clean” for years until an opportunity arose and he killed  student (the victim Sam and Dean were investigating).  He then deliberately attacked Michael to set him up.  Bryan leaves – now a werewolf.

We see Sam and Dean through footage killing the professor (shown by Bryan).  Bryan clashes with Michael after revealing he is now a werewolf – wanting Kate and to be out of Michael’s shadow.  Bryan kills Michael and bites Kate, who locks herself away.  Despite Bryan’s claim of love, Kate attacks Bryan and kills him.  She finishes the film, stating they weren’t always monsters and she is leaving.  She states she won’t attack humans and will live off animal hearts.  We come back to Sam and Dean and normal viewing.  Sam and Dean agree to give her a shot and not hunt her.

This was a really good episode that made a nice change from the usual.  Interspersing Sam and Dean within the story means they weren’t missed too much.  The students were believable and the ‘found footage’ worked well.  The only thing was that considering Dean’s past attitude and his time in Purgatory turning him into an ultra hunter, it seemed strange and a bit out of character to have Dean suggest they give Kate a shot.  However as she hadn’t killed any humans, it can be rationalised.

“Heartache”

Best lines“I do a lot of cardio”, “Thor he ain’t”, “I bought an App”, “our kind daddy monster is a stripper”.

Rating: 3/5

“Bitten”

Best lines: “Starsky and Hutch”, “workplace romance between those two”, “Are you an X-File”, “I am a Golden God!”

Rating: 4/5

GS Reviewer: Steven Stone

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