Supernatural Review: Eat Your Heart Out

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Supernatural fans, eat your heart out.

This essentially one-off episode about organ transplants, Mayan gods and bloody beating hearts was not only directed by Jensen Ackles, Mr. Dean Winchester himself, but it even starred his father, Alan Ackles.

There was an obvious resemblance and it was clear pretty quick that Papa Ackles can hold his own against Dean. Talk about entertaining Acktion.

Dean and Dad

It's actually pretty impressive that Ackles was in so much of this episode considering that he was directing. When he first did "Weekend at Bobby's," Ackles popped in here and there, but the brunt of his presence was behind the camera. The same could certainly be said for last season's "The Girl Next Door," allowing for much of the focus to be on Sam and his past love.

Yet "Heartache" featured a lot of Dean screen time and I could tell that being the one in control allowed Ackles to do exactly what he wanted, from giving subtle facial expressions, like his eyebrow raise when Sam was raving about his favorite football player; or starting the episode off with a nice creepy tone via shots of the runners on the foggy path.

And they say that jogging is good for you. Right.

The case itself was interesting and had a pretty classic feel to it. I had no idea what was going on with the killers besides thinking maybe it was a shifter, but I liked bringing in a Mayan god ritual through the organ donors while putting some spin on a 1000-year old sports superstar.

It was even enjoyable getting the throwback about the professor helping them with the amazons now assisting them with the unknown language. That was the episode where Dean's one night stand had gone awry, remember?

I was a little disappointed in the final fight, especially in that the two organ donors seemed to have forgotten about Sam after hitting him once. Clearly at his size, Sam doesn't do a classic TV knockout.

Yet, what some fans might be groaning at, which I rather enjoyed delving into, was the continuing look at Sam and Dean's changes after one year.

Young Men in Suits

It's obvious that Dean has come back with a focused warrior mind, knowing what he has to do in order to save the world. At the same time, Sam's had a very long time to experience something he never got the chance to have when Dean showed up on his doorstep eight years ago in the pilot: a real life.

In a way, it's a lot like the brothers are retaking up their roles with which they first started the show.

So, it makes sense that Sam is the one to embrace normal life more so than when Dean did in Supernatural Season 6. Dean, as much as perhaps he thought he wanted it, was never cut out for it.

It's interesting that Sam is applying to colleges and that he openly tells Dean that he is okay with quitting after Kevin and the Demon tablet. Will he actually do it? I hope not because I'd like to see a few more seasons of Supernatural!

And while I am able to understand and acknowledge where Sam and Dean come from in their respective thought processes, the flashback that was supposed to really show Sam happy and comfortable with that life fell a little flat for me.

For whatever reason, maybe it was the heavenly glow or the line about never seeing a birthday cake before, I kept waiting for Sam to turn to the camera and start talking about some drug or medication we should take, much like he did in the episode "Changing Channels."

Maybe it seemed too happy and tonally was vastly different from the dark episode or more specifically the dark Impala in which Sam was pondering, but I couldn't help but want to laugh. It just felt a little cheesy.

I guess I'd just really like Sam's flashbacks to be as engrossing as Dean's, even if one is about fighting in Purgatory and the other supposed to be something of a sweet love story. But I do like that it wasn't overused to try and backup what Sam was thinking because his conversations and attitude conveyed it in the episode.

Although I wouldn't say it was my favorite Supernatural investigation, the hunt for the heart killers worked fine and Jensen Ackles delivered on the director's front. Now I just wonder if Jared Padalecki will be following in the director's footsteps any time soon.

What did you think of the episode and Jensen Ackles' third time in the director's chair? As always, sound off below!


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (124 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


omfg iconoclast you are on the wrong episode review sweetie also man tone down the negativity. If you don't like flashbacks, you aren't going to be enjoying much of the first half of season 8 at least. suck it up and get used to it. the supernatural writers are doing a fuckin great job this season and the flashbacks are really working well, and tbh they're my favourite things about this season so far.


This is BY FAR the worst episode of Supernatural in its entire history. It was just one cliche after another, filled with HORRIBLE ACTING, and almost entirely one big flash back. There has been way too much flash back type footage this season in general, but this episode was one ridiculous big one! The "reality" footage sucked and took over the whole show and there was hardly any Sam and Dean! So much of the story itself just wasn't even believable. For instance, the part where the boyfriend comes back from killing someone and eating their heart and his friend's response is to manhandle him and get in his face!!? He's really going to pick a fight with his killer friend who he saw rip a door out of the frame and pick up the girl friend with one hand? Were any of us surprised when the boyfriend hit him and he flew across the room? And yet the friend simultaneously wants to be one of those monsters? The whole episode was filled with nonsense like this. I am still in shock at how bad this episode was. YUCK! To the few people have demanded that people stop bitching and instead, stop watching, you have serious issues when you can't allow people to express their opinion about the show and the episode. You are entitled to your comments and we are entitled to ours. Just because I have personally loved every previous season of Supernatural and I've never been disappointed in an episode before this current season, doesn't mean I have to fake loving or even liking the current season or episode. This is the worst Ep ever, and I've been disappointed with this season so far, but I'll keep watching and hoping it gets better.


I didn't feel this episode. Anyways nice to know Jensen's father can throw down some just like his son. Hope for a one with Crowley next week.


I did not find the episode boring, it just wasn't as interesting as it could have been. I liked that the fact that the monster would come back as different athletes throughout the course of time, and I also liked that they used Mayan mythology. I thought Jensen did a great job directing, and it was unfortunate that the scene where the guy cuts his eye out had to removed because it was actually shown and it was supposedly "too gory for TV". It's Supernatural, people, it's supposed to be gory! Loved the cameo from Papa Ackles, it's scary really how many similarities their are between Jensen and his dad. I felt that Sam's memory was not very powerful, and I am not feeling the admiration between Sam and Amelia. It's going to take me some time to start liking her.


aside from ackles directing the episode, it was the usual supernatural fill up episode except of course for a shocking end. The beginning and middle part was extremely boring though.


Damm you Alice *shakes fist


I must agree with your assessment, especially about the cheesy flashbacks. The glow...the lighting...just something about it did not fit. I understand there was SUPPOSED to be a strong contrast from present and past but it was just too much and did not seem to fit. Felt really awkward...I know J can do a lot better so I look fwd to the next one.


i did'nt care for the story-line. Ackles is a good director but had a boring story to work with. Lets hope things improve


I really hope they're gonna wrap this "I want a normal life" stuff up quickly. It's like season 1 all over again minus the fun.
I really like the monster, though. And the story surrounding it made sense (Supernatural wise), with the distributed organs and all.
That last scene looked like a dream sequence to me, like Dean had one about Lisa. And it looked like Sam was like "Birthday? Oh, yeah..." He's a little ( and by that I mean a lot) off the rails as it seems. So I'm really looking forwar to how he became that Zombie-like. I get the feeling that he is not really there with his mind. If that's the intention, then kudos to Jared.
I just hope they are going to be like real brothers again, heading in the same direction.


A classic Supernatural episode, but it just didn't do it for me. I found it a bit boring. The monster of the week didn't really interest me, not many laughing moments and I agree, the Sam-flashback was cheesy. Wasn't there a similar scene with Lisa? I feel like Sam and Dean have switched roles, now Sam wants the 'apple pie life'. I enjoyed seeing papa Ackles though, although I was so focused on his face and searching for similarities with Jensen that I didn't get a word of what he said :P

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