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Supernatural 8.03 Heartache REVIEW

TV REVIEW Lacks heart

Supernatural (opens in new tab)Season 8 Episode 3 “Heartache” TV REVIEW

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Episode 8.03
Writers: Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming
Director: Jensen Ackles

THE ONE WHERE The brother’s investigate the curious case of the missing hearts.

VERDICT Jensen Ackles returns to the director’s chair for only the third time in Supernatural history to call the shots on this disappointingly mediocre demon hunt. It’s an odd choice. Whereas his past two episodes have dealt with a quirky subject matter (“Weekend At Bobby’s”) and a story with a genuine emotional sting (“The Girl Next Door”) there’s absolutely nothing remarkable about “Heartache”.

Despite the shortcomings of the script, he directs with flair. The episode is liberally sprinkled with sweeping tracking shots, unusual angles, elegant compositions and gorgeous depth of field. A couple of crucial effects moments fall short, but otherwise the visuals are the standout this week.

A monster that rips hearts out like Mola Ram in Temple Of Doom is a great idea, but Randa Moreno doesn’t really do anything except pull a few random’s vital organs out and chow down. The backstory is dull and a little confusing. So a Mayan athlete made a deal with god to live forever, but when he died all his organs went into eight other people? Does it really need to be that complicated when the only reaction the revelation moment elicits is a resounding “meh”?

It’s got some great moments, such as Arthur Swenson’s creepy chant and subsequent eye gouging, or further evidence Sam’s wavering commitment to life as a hunter. And it is a passingly enjoyable experience, albeit one not enough people seemed to have their hearts in when they were making it.

DEAN WISECRACKING "So this is what we’re looking for, a… thousand year old culture’s god of corn?"

SAM’S HANGDOG EXPRESSION OF THE WEEK

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LOST IN TRANSLATIONS What the hell is a cricket mallet? Oh, you mean a cricket bat…

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The strip club is called “The Bunny Hole” Ewwwwwww…

WHAT’S IN A NAME 2 Sam’s dog is called “Riot”. Great name.

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY Jensen Ackles’ dad Alan Ackles plays Detective Pike, the detective the brothers speak to near the beginning of the episode.

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REFERENCE "Agent Sambora" is a reference to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora.

BEST LINES

Sam: “I mean, maybe at you're 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 this stuff about.”

Jordan Farley ( twitter.com/JordanFarley (opens in new tab))

Read all our Supernatural Season Eight reviews here. (opens in new tab)

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I'm the News Editor at Total Film magazine, running the opening pages of every issue where you can read exclusive interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the Community Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and interviews covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge. Outside of my day job, I'm a FromSoft fanatic (proudest achievement: beating Malenia solo) and a TV connoisseur (translation: I'll watch anything).