Valentine’s Day is upon us, and the Winchester brothers had a suitably romantic case to solve this week when a bad babysitter had her heart ripped out of her body. Luckily for our intrepid hunters, the killing was captured on ‘nanny cam’, as was a lingering kiss between the victim and her boss, Dan. While it appeared that he was the perp, Sam and Dean noticed an anomaly on the footage, and this combined with the fact that the alleged murderer had a solid alibi, lead them to believe they were dealing with a shapeshifter.
When cheating Dan also turned up dead (seemingly at the hands of the murdered girl), it transpired that his jilted wife knew about the affair her husband was conducting with their child-minder, and had employed the services of a witch to win back his heart. And when dead Dan came for his widow, the Winchesters realized the spell was actually a curse and could be passed on by kissing. Dean, being the galant that he is, took the curse upon himself and was visited by an apparition of Amara. Sam realized that they were actually dealing with a qareen – a kind of djinn which manifests as your deepest desire before killing you, and that the qareen was being controlled by the witch. He had to find the monster’s heart and stab it to stop the curse coming after his brother, which he did just in time to save Dean.
This was a pretty standard and unremarkable monster of the week episode with a few twists and turns, except for the last scene, in which Dean confessed to Sam that he couldn’t control his attraction to The Darkness. Sam, it turned out, had already figured it out, and assured his brother he would do what he had to do when the time came, if Dean felt that he couldn’t go through with destroying Amara. Sam told Dean that his feelings didn’t make him weak, complicit, or evil, and this is probably the first time ever that one of the brothers has come clean and not faced any kind of fallout for doing so. Dean was honest (finally) and Sam was utterly supportive. AM I WATCHING THE RIGHT SHOW??
I liked the idea of a transmittable curse. It reminded me of the movie, It Follows, in the way that it used the supernatural to embody anxiety around fidelity and sexual contact. The episode also used a song title, tying it back to a previous Valentine’s episode by the same writers (season 6’s “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning”) in which Sam and Dean had a similar ‘green cooler’ moment post Sam’s re-souling. In that episode, Dean left Lisa and Ben and returned to Sam, effectively recognising that his calling and his relationship with Sam meant a ‘normal’ life was out of the question for him. Five years and numerous cataclysms later, it’s good to see the boys on the same page and able to discuss their issues like adults. Jared Padalecki has often said that the show is about finding something or someone to share your life with. It may not be a conventional romance, but the Winchesters still have one of the most compelling partnerships in television.
Final Grade: C
+ Dean beat Sam in rock, paper, scissors for the first time ever (not counting alternate universes!)
+ Smug Dean with a hickey was priceless, as was ‘judgy’ Sam.
– Final scene aside, this was a fairly forgettable procedural episode.
– I’m still finding the idea of Amara more interesting that the character herself…
– The idea of a monster embodying your secret desire was explored previously with the incubus, Nick, in “Sex and Violence” when Nick effectively took on Sam’s role to get close to Dean, at a time when the brothers’ relationship was rocky. Only in Supernatural could Dean’s fascination with Amara be considered relatively healthy!
Did this episode leave you lovestruck, or rip your heart out? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!