I'm ready to get started on this!
"Good Love Gone Bad" by Jamie Dunlap & Scott Nickoley (MasterSource)(playing from inside the strip club as Randa kills a man in the alley)
We start the episode with a guy jogging late at night and being passed by a fat guy, who is waiting down the road to rip out his heart.
Then, it's Dean and Sam at a farmer's market.
This is a very interesting scene to me. First of all I love watching Sam eat an apple. But Dean is oblivious even to where he is, which makes me think that maybe Sam took over the driving for a while and dropped by a farmer's market while Dean was intent on finding a case. Dean finds what seems to be a case but of course Sam thinks they should be concentrating on Kevin and the Tablet and Dean tells him that they are not getting anywhere on their mission so they might as well be saving people while they look. This is a very typical situation for Sam and Dean. they've done this to each other countless times when they hit a rut. This situation is more like Season 1 because Sam is not feeling happy in this hunting situation and is only in it for closing the gates - in other words, fulfilling obligations and getting revenge.
He makes a rather sullen face when Dean asks who is going to be saving people while Sam goes to his farmers markets and normal things like that. I’m guessing Sam in his heart is thinking, other hunters, like he told Dean before. He doesn’t think he is any good at hunting and thinks any hunter could easily replace him.
But he can’t say anything and they go to Minneapolis and find… Jensen’s dad is the detective!
SAM:So what makes you think he's clean?
DETECTIVE:Well, so far, no reason not to. I mean, he said he briefly saw the victim, he ran out ahead, that was it.
DEAN:What, you mean he didn't fall to his knees and confess to gutting the guy?
DETECTIVE:No. I mean we did a thorough check on the guy, not so much as a parking ticket came up. I mean, look at him. I mean, sure, he can run a little bit, but Thor he ain't. You think he's gonna grab Freddy fitness here and throw him down and rip out his heart? I don't think so. Forgive me if I didn't take him out back and shoot him.
I love him getting all defensive and Sam and Dean looking at him like - another one of those detectives LOL They go talk with the fat guy because he was the guy that last saw the victim and fat guy is all health conscious and there’s another funny scene between Sam and Dean:
PAUL HAYES:Mm, oh. It's disgusting. It tastes like crap, but it keeps you young.
DEAN:(coming back from the washroom)Thanks, uh – uh... too much fiber.
PAUL HAYES:No such thing.
SAM:Thank you. [to DEAN] See?
Sam loves that someone else thinks the way he does and looks triumphantly at Dean. Dean looks with disgust at the shake and can’t believe the guy is drinking it when he doesn’t even like it. Dean is so enjoying the little pleasures - especially of food - since he got back. We see him constantly ordering and eating burgers.
They can’t find anything on the health nut but decide to go check out a similar case in Ames, Iowa. A police officer, who ripped out a person’s heart and felt so bad about what he had become that he gouges out his eye just to get rid of it later. I wonder if he did get rid of it after he took out the eye? We never see him regain consciousness but he isn’t dead. Either way, he got rid of it as soon as Dean “killed” the heart.
The police officer is mumbling a chant over and over again while Sam and Dean are interrogating him. Unable to get anything from him except the fact that he wasn't possessed by a demon, they go back to their motel to research.
Dean has bought a language ap so he checks out what the guy was mumbling, but it is not any known language. They now know that this was all happening after these people all got transplants a year ago.
We have a moment between Sam and Dean here - sort of like in ep, where Sam decides he might as well help Dean on this case and has done some research while Dean was gone. Dean looks at him like, so you're on board then? The fact that Sam was participating maybe made Dean think that Sam was getting into the groove, as we see in the next car scene.
While that is happening though, the girl with the heart transplant, Randa, is ripping out her victim’s heart.
Then our insightful conversation in the car between Sam and Dean:
DEAN:All right, case is coming together. Things are coming together, man. You and me. It is all good.
DEAN:What are you thinking about, organic tomatoes?
SAM:Uh, I'm not thinking about anything.
This part of the conversation almost seems insignificant but I feel it both shows Dean feeling like maybe he and Sam are on the same page again after the rough start - Sam cooperating with the case and all, and Sam on the other hand, obviously an unwilling participant with regard to hunting in general.
DEAN:I don't know about you, but this last year has given me a new perspective.
SAM:I hear you. Believe me.
Sam seems to be saying two things here - one that he has noticed how Dean has changed in Purgatory, basically the (to Sam) obsession with hunting, and two, that Sam’s perspective has also changed the last year and not in the same way.
DEAN:I know where I'm at my best, and that is right here, driving down crazy street next to you.
DEAN:Yes, it does.
SAM:Or... maybe you don't need me. I mean, maybe you're at your best hacking and slicing your way through all the world's crap alone, not having to explain yourself to anybody.
DEAN:Yeah, that makes sense, seeing as I have so many other brothers I can talk to about this stuff.
I love Dean’s lines here, as I mentioned before. I do love Dean talking about being a warrior, and how this ties in with how he felt in Purgatory, and I also love how this scene parallels the scene back in Season 1 - at the end of that Monster Truck ep. I just know that when Dean smiled at Sam at the end there, that this is what he was thinking.
Sam sounds like he is somehow upset with Dean for lack of communication or the way Purgatory has affected him, but from how Season 8 goes, I’d suggest that this is again due to Sam’s lack of confidence in his own abilities. He can see that Dean is in his element but he feels that all he does is let Dean down so, Dean is better off on his own. He ignores the part of Dean’s line of how Dean loves being with Sam, and focuses on how Dean loves to hunt because he is so intent on thinking that Dean is better off on his own.
SAM:Look, I'm not saying I'm bailing on you. I'm just saying make room for the possibility that we want different things. I mean, I want my time to count for something.
DEAN:So, what we do doesn't count?
This “I want my time to count for something” sounds outrageous to Dean and possibly to us because it is like he’s saying that hunting doesn’t count, but Sam is actually saying that HE is not making a difference - that he’s not good enough so he might as well do something else.
At this important point where we would have loved to hear Sam’s answer, Dean’s phone rings. It’s the doctor Dean was flirting with at the hospital. She tells him that all the organ parts are from Brick Holmes, a famous athlete, whom they both seem to admire and know a lot about. None of the organs has been donated to anyone in his hometown of Boulder, but Dean decides they should start there.
(I liked these effects - I combined two screencaps here)
Meanwhile Randa is doing some sort of ritual in which she is chanting just as the police officer was, and then eating the heart. She glows, and we know that the heart gave her some special power.
They go talk to “the mother” Eleanor -
DEAN:Did you notice any changes in Brick before he died – you know, anyone, anything new in his life?
MRS HOLMES:No, no. I don't think so.
DEAN:So, no new interests? Fly fishing, stamp collecting, the occult?
(LOL! Real smooth Dean)
And they find that she is super hiding something. They decide to go sneak into her house while she is gone at an event.
After they leave the house, we also see Randa come out and threaten Eleanor into keeping the whole thing a secret. Randa isn’t from Boulder but she moved there to be “close to Brick” which is kind of weird and unnecessary… If Randa hadn’t told Eleanor anything, the boys would have had a hell of a time finding her.
While they are at their motel researching, Sam gets a reply from Prof Morrison and finds out that the language is ancient Mayan and the meaning is, “The divine god Cacao is born." Which is kind of weird because Brick wasn’t the god, just a person who made a deal with one, but I guess the god is somehow reborn every time he gets a heart sacrifice?
And while they are talking about the case (Dean finding another victim elsewhere on the net) Dean also finds an email reply to Sam’s request for info on an application to College. Dean is surprised and maybe hurt to find that Sam is considering leaving him after this quest. Sam blows it off as just looking into various possibilities.
Coming back to the house to look around, Sam and Dean first find out that the mother seems to be sleeping in the same bedroom that had the athlete’s closet. They can’t figure out why or how. Then Dean finds a hidden door in the closet and all the stuff the athlete has collected over the years, including letters from a mysterious “Betsy.”
Finally they put two and two together and figure out that 1) the athlete had practically lived forever, and that Betsy was actually Eleanor. I really like how this scene was shot with the closeups of the boys’ eyes and mouths etc. as they read the letters :D<3
They come back in the morning and confront Eleanor. Eleanor obviously did not like Randa threatening her, especially because her husband killed himself to stop the killing, and she willingly tells them everything. She tells them how, because she was in love with him, she didn’t really care that he was killing people to stay alive and that Sam and Dean must think she is a monster. Dean replies,
MRS HOLMES: You must think I'm a monster.
DEAN: No. No, just that you married one.
But again, this guy wasn’t a monster. He was a human who made a monstrous deal with a god. That’s like saying that the people who make deals with demons are monsters.
[Spoiler for Season 9 and 10(click to open)]
It kind of reminds me of how Dean made a stupid mistake in by taking on the MoC and becoming a monster, just as this athlete did here, and how Sam and Cas forgive MoC Dean for his rampages in Season 10 because they love him.
So after hearing about Randa and the heart from Eleanor, they go to destroy the athlete’s heart and stop the killing. We have a hot moment that is often used out of context
….along with a speech by Randa that Dean relates to:
RANDA:You can't imagine who I was before. This shy, awkward little thing from Georgia with a heart condition. Then I had the surgery. I became freaking Xena, Warrior Princess. I couldn't dissect a frog in high school. But sacrificing to Cacao? Better than sex. So, if I go real slow and take my time and enjoy this, I can actually show you your own beating heart before you die.
Then Sam saves Dean by taking the attackers’ attention away from Dean, and Dean has enough strength to get the knife and plunge it into that heart that was causing all the problems. So it’s pretty obvious here to us that Dean can’t do this on his own even with the warrior spirit - he needs Sam (or at least a partner).
They go tell Eleanor that she doesn’t have to fear the girl coming after her, and that everything is finished. Then, as they drive away, Dean talks about how happy he is hunting with Sam, hoping to hear that Sam is feeling better about it too -
DEAN:Wow. Back in business. Got the win. Admit it – feels good, huh? You know, I was thinking about what Randa said about, uh, you know, what it feels like to be a warrior. I get it, man, I do.
SAM:I know. I know you do. I don't. Not anymore. Hell, maybe I never did.
DEAN:Come on, Sam, don't ruin my buzz, would you?
SAM:Dean, listen, when this is over – when we close up shop on Kevin and the tablet – I'm done. I mean that.
And this pretty much ruins everyone’s buzz, but we then have a memory of Sam and Amelia on his birthday.
AMELIA: Happy birthday!
SAM:What is this?
AMELIA:You've never seen a birthday cake before? Sit. Eat.
I think many people resent that Amelia’s statement here suggests Sam never got a birthday cake or birthday party (from Dean), but I don’t think there is evidence of that here at all. The reason why she says this is that Sam looks and acts so surprised to see her there. She wouldn't actually be saying this if she thought Sam had never had a birthday cake - that would be hurtful and rude. SPN sometimes uses these ignorant statements to tell the truth, but in this case - we know that it is not because he has never experienced a birthday cake that Sam looks so surprised to see her. From the panic he is in as he looks for her, we know that he is worried that something may have happened to her. Sam is used to a life with monsters and the constant fear of losing his loved ones and surprises are never good news. When Amelia disappears, Sam panics and fears the worst. Then he finds out that it is just a surprise party for him. Thus his reaction. Now, if we think back to Sam ending up there in the first place - grief on losing his brother - and connect it to Sam's reason for wanting to quit hunting, I guess this experience makes him think that here is a life where he doesn’t have to worry about losing the person he loves.
How different is that, though, from Dean's experience in Season 6, aye? Amelia never comes to any danger as opposed to what happens to Lisa and Ben. Not only is that really lucky, but it gives Sam a false sense of security in that dream of a normal life. Dean's little trick later makes Sam realize that he can't take care of her and concentrate on their work at the same time, so in that sense it is similar and maybe Dean did him a favor. But we'll talk about that again later.
This ep doesn’t have much substance with regard to story, but it sure grabs me with the raw feeling Dean expresses and pains me with the feelings Sam represses.