Supernatural Round Table: "Heartache"

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Supernatural Round Table!

This week, panelists Sean McKenna, Carissa Pavlica and Carla Day of TV Fanatic are joined by Alice Jester of The Winchester Family Business to breakdown "Heartache," an episode that featured Jensen Ackles as director and the actor's father as a guest star. Read on and jump in now!


What did you think of Jensen Ackles' third time directing?
Carissa: I enjoyed the episode so that must be good, right? I'm the worst judge of those things. Especially when I already love the show. I'm sorry, Jensen, for not noting your outstanding work.

Carla: I'm not one to really judge on directing unless I notice something particularly outstanding or more likely that went horribly wrong. I saw neither, which is a sign of a good job.

Alice: Amazing! This guy has only directed three times? He's so gifted. This was a very complex script this time. There were a lot of different settings, a lot of scenes, a lot to work in one hour. He pulled it off brilliantly like a veteran director would. The scene with his dad was perfect!

Sean: He did a good job especially for how much of the episode he was in. I always think it's a cool perspective when the actor also gets to have the imput behind the camera. Job well done.

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Did you enjoy the case of the week?
Carissa: It was nice to get away from the mythology for a bit. And they came to Boulder. They didn't bother to tell me ahead of time or I surely would have helped them with the case, but it's nice to know they were so close by. I made me miss the old days, and I hope we see case-of-the-week episodes interspersed more often.

Carla: Yes. I love the step back away from the larger arc here. It was fun to watch the true nature of the beast be revealed. In particular, it worked because it required real investigation and it was a foe that they had never faced before nor even considered.

Alice: I enjoyed its originality. Mayan culture is something new to this show, even eight seasons in. I thought the execution was a bit sloppy, but the idea was good.

Sean: It was fine for what it was and had that classic Supernatural feel. I was expecting a little more towards the end, but the lead up had me intrigued.

What did you think of Sam's flashback?
Carissa: The idea that he had never had a birthday cake broke my heart. Surely Dean got him a Hostess cupcake and a candle at least once, right? He did go out of his way to make Christmases seem festive for the little guy.

Carla: Aww... It was like a dream that Sam probably never imagined he would live. Why wouldn't he want to give up the life threatening, stressful, and lonely life hunting for a happy one with love, sunshine, a dog and birthday cakes?

Alice: It got me teary. A birthday celebration? Aww, Sammy's never had that before (that we know of). Then he smiled! No wonder he doesn't want to hunt anymore.

Sean: I totally got what the point was but I just couldn't get myself to not feel like the moment was cheesy. I know Sam wants that normal life and in a way I wish he could have it, but the flashback (or was it a dream sequence?) didn't pack quite the emotional punch I was looking for.

What do you think will convince Sam to stay hunting and not quit?
Carissa: I hope I'm very wrong, but the only thing I can imagine is that his girl gets killed. She's not dead already, right? He just left? If someone kills her to keep him in the game, he'll go ballistic and very dark Sam again.

Carla: If he he loses Amelia, he won't have anyone to go back to. She could give up on him or something could happen to her. I really hope she remains safe though. It would be tragic to have Sam lose her because of this horrible world he is involved in. Or, who knows, maybe she will find out about his hunter life and decide to join him. That would be a intriguing twist.

Alice: Unfortunately, it'll likely involve something tragic, just like Jess dying in season one or John dying in season two. I can't imagine what else would break that year long taste of the normal life that he's craved his whole life. He clearly misses it.

Sean: I have no idea. I kind of think that maybe Amelia's death but that might seem too similar to Jess and if Amelia decides to join, the concept could run the risk of three being a crowd. Maybe Sam will realize that he can have both? I'm really interested into how his story will play out.

What's one thing you really want to see happen in Supernatural Season 8?
Carissa: I'd like for Sam to get his dog, if my above prediction occurs. Or, if it's already happened, then that the dog makes his way to the boys. They need a dog. Okay, I want them to have a kick-ass dog, and I guess there is a difference.

Carla: I'd like to see Sam help Dean overcome his new darker nature that he gained in Purgatory. Sam overcame his demon blood thing, and Dean can overcome his Purgatory affliction.

Alice: Better characterization of Sam and Dean, both individually and as brothers. The brotherly relationship needs to go back to being the main focus. That was lost in the last two seasons, and it still isn't quite there yet. 

Sean: I'd really like the show to continue allowing Crowley to become darker and less of just the bad guy with great quips. And certainly allowing the brothers to overcome the time they spent apart. These two work so well together that I really want to see them goofing off again. Have they moved on from starting a prank war perhaps?


I agree with Dan and Jake. I felt the flash back with Sam and Amelia was showing us the strain these men live under. Constantly on the move, homeless, often wanted by the law and never safe. Sam was clearly in fear that something had happened to Amelia because something always happens to the women in his life. The way that whole scene was lit reminded me of how Sam saw Bobby's house in Dream A Little Dream Of Me. It was a beautiful bright day where no thought of evil lived.


Jensen is just getting better and better at directing every time he does it and I like how he was able to act more this time around.The case of the week aspect was really nice to get back into and reminded me of the earlier seasons, and hopefully Carver will do more episodes like this!I think the reason why Sam was emotional about the birthday cake was that no one other than Dean has cared about him that much in a long time and he missed it. For Sam to stay in the hunting life, I think it would be too hard for him if Amelia was killed, because he's lost so many people already. Maybe there can be a comprimise where he can have both? :)As for the rest of the season, it looks really interesting and I can't wait for more episodes and seasons!


Nikki you made me yawn..the birthday cake does not mean he has never seen a birthday cake, it kind of meant that its been YEARS since the last time he was happy. If you dont like, dont watch!


I'm tired of the repetitive setup of one brother going away -- usually to somewhere bad -- and the other brother getting a idyllic, "not-hunter" life, only to be disrupted by the return of the first brother. There was a little variation in the first season -- Sam, who got the perfect life, was the one who went away -- but the whole scenario is just boring now. I also don't feel any investment in the "I'm-tortured,-I-went-to-hell-or-purgatory-or-wherever" scenario. They always escape, and they always have the psychological scars to overcome or whatnot, and it's just gotten boring, boring, boring. In this particular episode, the final scene was blurred-and-sepia-toned to the point of ridiculousness. And, though I can buy that Sam never had a birthday party with Dean and Dad, I do not buy that Jessica and his friends never had a party for him in the four years they were in school together. She probably would have even made him a cake; she baked him cookies in the very first ep. The only thing that's going to even remotely save Sam for me this season is if we find out that he's had some sort of psychotic break as a result of the same patterns I was talking about earlier, the girl with the dog we saw in the opening episode was a one-night stand, and he's built up this whole imaginary scenario of a relationship as a coping mechanism.


If Sam has to stay at the hunting life, I would like him just to leave Amelia, like Dean did with Lisa. I would-be devastated if she dies. Seeing Sam go dark again would be a bad move by Carver, doing that storyline all over again...NO. He should focus more on Dean, Sam should be the mature one, and Dean the one screwing up....for a DAMN change. I hated dark Sam's storyline, I didn't like season 4.

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