Season 8 Episode 3
Two mythology episodes down and we’re back to “Monster-of-the-Week“. I don’t mind the occasional sidestep, but it’s the mythology I prefer. For a “Monster of the Week” to work it needs a strong story, good performances from the guest cast, stellar writing, and a director with their head screwed on right. This week Supernatural was batting .500.
I like it when Supernatural takes a walk through “American Gods” territory, playing with mythological deities and giving them the watered down Neil Gaiman treatment. Unfortunately the excellent premise for “Heartache”, a Mayan athlete hellbent on appeasing a Mayan god in exchange for immortality, was hindered by weak casting and predominately lackluster dialogue.
Ackles continues to impress as a director, he just didn’t have much to work with here.
“Our King Daddy Monster is a stripper?”
— Dean Winchester
As for the bits that knitted this episode into the season’s story arc, concentrating on Sam’s desire for a normal life away from hunting, it just seems like “been there, done that“. The younger Winchester’s been reset to Sam circa Season 1, seemingly ignoring the character development of the past seven seasons. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Sammy yearning for something beyond the hunt, just that it could have been handled in a different way.
“Heartache” felt like a step backward,unfortunately, but I still have high hopes for the season as a whole. Case in point — the promo for next week’s “found footage” episode — “Bitten” — has got my attention and appears on the surface to be more of what I’m looking for in a “Monster of the Week” outing.