Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural episode “Love Hurts.” If you haven’t watched it yet, hop into the Impala and drive away.
Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and Supernatural went the themed route to mark the holiday. They’ve tackled the day of love before, and they always find a wonderfully grotesque way to handle it. Who needs mushy sentiments when you can literally tear out beating hearts? “Love Hurts” had a side of romance, sure, but mostly it was about the monster and deepest, darkest desires.
The Winchesters left the bunker to investigate a case in Ohio. It initially looked like they had shapeshifter problems, but they soon learned the deaths were being caused by something different and more complex. The monster punched through people like they were made of drywall in order to get their hearts. The effect dazzled with force and shock rather than with tons of spraying blood, and that was a cool switch from the type of gore we usually see. Anyway, the brothers learned the creature was a Qareen.
Sam and Dean didn’t solve the mystery until they were most of the way through the episode, which helped keep things more interesting. Another factor that served the episode well: The transmittable curse concept, which I don’t recall ever seeing it used in the series. The Qareen presented itself as its victim’s deepest desire.
While the mythology was creative, nothing else about the story popped. The episode introduced only flat, “insert victim here” sort of characters in Dan and Melissa Harper. And although the withc at the center of the story was driven to punish women who forgave cheaters as much as she was driven to punish the cheaters themselves—a surprising turn—the plot was sleepy. Eh.
The redeeming twist of the episode came when it was revealed Amara was Dean’s secret desire—Sam wasn’t especially surprised to learn the Qareen took her form for Dean. Thankfully, Dean was honest with Sam. If he continued to keep his seemingly involuntary Amara obsession secret for much longer, it would start driving a wedge between the brothers—the kind of wedge all Supernatural fans know well. I’m relieved there was an honest discussion. That talk was capped off by Dean admitting he can’t handle Amara. Dean is all about pride and strength; it took a lot for him to openly say he doesn’t think he’s able to take the Darkness down. The confession was a big step for him.
The episode was entertaining enough, but aside from the conversation between Dean and Sam, it was a lot of fluff. It was a thrill to see Dean confronting his weird dynamic with Amara. I’m glad they tied the monster of the week to the bigger arc, but overall, most of the episode was flimsy—not bad, but not stellar.
- You could see Dean recognized Dan was lying when he and Sam first talked to him. It was subtle, but Jensen Ackles conveyed it with just his eyes.
- How many times do you think a Winchesters have said, “Try me,” in response to someone claiming they have a story the brothers won’t believe?
- Those Post-it notes on the witch’s journal with all the right information were awfully convenient.
- The way Dean reacted to winning the round of Rock Paper Scissors was so very Dean. Who knew a person could have so much swagger over roshambo?
What did you think about the episode? Was the mythology/creature fresh enough for you? Sound off in the comments.
IMAGES: The CW