OMG They’re Talking! Supernatural ‘Love Hurts’

11.13 boys

I watched last week’s new Supernatural in one of my favorite ways – in a hotel room with a bunch of other Supernatural fangirls. At an academic conference where we had all just finished attending a panel during which we watched ‘The French Mistake’ while eating chocolate pudding. Best academic panel EVER! There’s nothing like watching that particular episode with a room full of fans, because it only gets funnier the more often you’ve seen it. The instant the ‘bad acting’ scene began, the entire room erupted in guffaws. That will NEVER get old.

See? Lots of panels right up my alley.

Southwest Popular Culture Association 2016
Southwest Popular Culture Association 2016

Then some of us gathered in one of our hotel rooms to watch the new episode, so this is a bit of an off the cuff review consisting mostly of my scribbled commentary as we watched.

Nice choice of song in the opening, perfect for Valentine’s Day coming up. But wait, why is the husband making out with the baby sitter when his wife is about a million times nicer, and hotter too?? What’s he thinking? Everyone in the room shook their heads incredulously.

The next scene is classic horror film. Young nubile babysitter watching television alone. Someone comes up behind her, we hold our breaths – oh wait, it’s okay, it’s just the – oh no! Splat!

Supernatural does it so well.

Then we got the first scene that put smiles on everyone’s faces. Domestic Winchesters in the bunker, Dean staggering in all bowlegged with one dragging sock and Sam’s bemused expression at the (probably familiar for decades) sight. Dean teasing that Sam spent his Valentine’s night curled up in a snuggie…

Everyone in the room: Awwwww

Dean: ….watching 50 Shades…

And Sam’s deadpan: Yeah. No.

We get Sam’s half annoyed half amused face asking Dean if he has a hickey, and we all get to imagine how it got there and ship to our heart’s content.

We now know that the spitting out of the spoiled rice wasn’t scripted, but it was a highlight, so kudos to Ackles for knowing Dean better than anyone else ever could. Sam’s nose-crinkling suggestion that Dean go take a shower was also priceless.

Dean: But first, I need bacon.

Sam: No, first you need a shower.

Of course Dean would shove his nose into his armpit to check.

Dean: You’re not wrong.

Oh boys. Also, the way Dean says ‘ironic werewolf’ really shouldn’t be that adorable.

I live for these family moments, seriously. Then we’re onto the case investigation, which means boys in nicely fitted fed suits, and Sam using words like “hinky”. I read an article the other day about why Supernatural is such an enduringly popular show, and it mentioned the memorable dialogue. I’ll probably be saying “hinky” for days.

11.13 sam suits

So now they’re on a case, which unfortunately means one thing:

Sam: Let’s split up.

All of us: NO!

The Winchesters didn’t listen, but nothing bad happened for once. Sam goes to the morgue and Dean goes to interrogate the husband, which means we get another classic phrase – “schtupping the sitter.” I might not use that one, but I appreciated it coming out of Dean Winchester’s mouth anyway. The husband confesses to the affair but claims that’s not him on the tape, despite how it looks.

Dean: Relax, I believe you.

Cheating hubby: (incredulous) You do??

Back in the aptly named Too Tired Motel, Sam is sprawled out on the couch, all long long legs and fitted white shirt and wow, can we turn the thermostat down in here a bit? More drinks, please!

11.13 sam

I love the bunker, but it’s classic SPN to have the boys in a motel, in which Jerry Wanek and his team have worked their magic. It makes me nostalgic for the early seasons, and I wonder if it has that effect on Sam and Dean too.

And we also got to hear Dean say “Yahtzee!” It’s been too long.

Predictably, the not-babysitter kills the husband, which means the boys confront the wife. We get some smart boys action with the silver pen – and nope, it’s not what they thought. I love when the Winchesters are portrayed as the capable hunters they are, but with their goofiness (especially with each other) still intact. That’s the combination that makes them so appealing, after all.

11.13 too tired

Once again, the boys ignore all of us and split up, Dean going out to ‘get lucky’ and Sam staying in with the lore. Is Dean trying to convince himself that he’s not thinking about Amara with a lot of one night stands? Seems like it.

Sam: But you go be you.

Meanwhile, the wife is flushing stuff down the drain.

Everyone in the room: Uh oh, cat skull. This can’t be good.

And it wasn’t. There was more classic horror when the wife is home alone and DUM DUM DUM there’s a knock at the door.

Everyone in the room: DON’T ANSWER IT!

Instead of running like hell, she dares a look out the peep hole, and what do you know? It’s the scary af dead husband! A few people might have screamed. I might have been one of them.

Meanwhile, back at the motel…

Dean to Sam on returning: Any luck?

Sam: No. You?

Dean: Nah. (deadpans) What’s a dad bod?


Seriously writers, can you see?

The terrified wife runs to the Winchesters, which is exactly what I would do if my dead husband was chasing me and trying to rip my heart out. Smart boys figure out that it’s passed along with a kiss, and when the not-husband breaks through the glass doors and goes for the wife, Dean steps in and kisses her, thereby making himself the target instead.

Everyone in the room: Stop being a damn martyr!

Sam is similarly not amused. I love that he calls Dean on it, trying to push him into caring more about his own wellbeing.

Sam: What the hell did you do?

Everyone in the room: Pulled a Dean Winchester and ran straight towards the fire.

Oh, Dean. But I guess that’s one of the things we love about you.

Sam (echoing all of fandom): You think it’s a good idea to give yourself a fatal curse? You don’t have to do this, be the martyr. You don’t have to carry the weight yourself.

Not that Dean is listening – to us or his brother.

Meanwhile, the wife is getting a clue, as she gets a glimpse of the Impala’s trunk.

Wife: What kind of FBI are you?

Dean: The fake kind.

Everyone in the room: Hehehe

The boys head out to find the witch, who works at an establishment awesomely called ‘The Art of Dyeing’. Dean gives the wife a knife, reminding her to do what she has to do, ending his speech with “Drop a freakin’ house on her if you have to!”

Afterwards, he turns to Sam and shrugs, an expression which Sam returns. I love that they’re doing that again – constantly seeking out the other, unspoken communication in nods and smiles and shrugs and monosyllables. It really shows how much they’re back to being brothers, and being a team.

The wife stays in the car, and in go the Winchesters. And then, because it’s dark inside, Serge gets a chance to show his stuff, because we get gorgeous shots of Winchesters by flashlight.

11.13 boys lite

Nobody does it better than Serge, and for a few minutes we were all just struck silent by the beauty of what was on our screens – both the boys and the background.

The boys split up (AGAIN!), this time rock paper scissoring it to decide who goes upstairs. They throw two ties, both of them looking gobsmacked about it, and then, wonder of wonders, Dean wins! Ackles looks about 5 years old as he breaks into a huge grin, and Dean is so distracted he doesn’t even claim his win.

Sam: Whatever, I’m going upstairs!

Dean exits victoriously anyway.

11.13 rock pap

They’ve figured out that the Qareen will appear as Dean’s ‘deepest, darkest desire’ – which sounds like the synopsis of more fanfics than I can count – but Dean jokes that he’s looking forward to finally getting some face time with Daisy Duke, whether Bach or Simpson. (Pretty sure that was nobody’s favorite fanfic…)

We, of course, expect him to meet Amara – and that’s exactly what happens. Once again, she confuses me (and Dean) by pointing out that the love he feels is cloaked in shame.

Well, duh. Though I’m having a hard time viewing it as love.

Also? Again with the cleavage. I’ve said before I have nothing against boobs, they’re awesome. But Show insists on sexualizing Amara’s interactions with Dean even though that doesn’t really seem to be what he’s feeling for her.

Not-Amara: When it comes to these, you just can’t help yourself.

Really? Dean is helpless in the face of cleavage?

11.13 amara

11.13 boobs

She also calls it love, but it doesn’t seem like love. Then again, that wasn’t actually Amara, so maybe it’s just how the Qareen rolls.

(The whole what-does-Dean-feel-for-Amara issue was once again a question for Jensen at his meet and greet at Houston – stay tuned for more clarification from Mr. Ackles himself)

Not-Amara attempts to rip Dean’s heart out, which gives Emily Swallow a chance to be a badass, and Dean attempts to stay alive and looks really really good doing it.

11.13 dean dark serge

Meanwhile, Sam is tied up by the witch until the wife appears with her knife and distracts her long enough for Sam to shoot her. He stabs the Qareen’s heart just as she’s about to punch out Dean’s.

Sam: Dean? I got it. You good?

Dean: (lying through his teeth) Mm hmm. Yeah.

Sam looks around the wrecked room, and isn’t an idiot. In fact, he looks as incredulous as we all do. Later, back at the motel room amidst the shattered glass, we get the scene that made this episode amazing. We get Sam and Dean talking. For real. Opening up, being honest with each other.

Dean: It was Amara.

Everyone in the room: OMG HE’S TELLING HIM!!!!

Sam: Does that surprise you?

Dean: You think the sister of God is my deepest, darkest desire?

Sam: She isn’t?

11.13 dean end 2

Dean starts to struggle visibly, forcing himself to go on.

Dean: She can’t be.

Sam: Why not?

Dean: Because that means I’m…

Oh god, I love Sam in this scene. He interrupts before Dean can say it. All the things he fears he is, all the shame wrapped around those words for him.

Sam: What? Complicit? Weak? Evil?

Dean: (looking very broken) For starters, yeah.

Sam: Dean, do you think you ever had a choice? She picked you and that sucks. But if you think I’m gonna blame you or judge you, I’m not.

It’s that validation – that absolute refusal to shame his brother or lay blame on him for something he didn’t want and can’t control – that allows Dean to keep talking. He tells Sam the truth, tells him how bad it is.

Dean: When I’m near her, something happens, and I can’t explain it. But to call it desire, or love…it’s not that.

He looks to Sam, desperate to have his brother understand.

Dean: I’m screwed, man. We need to kill The Darkness, and I don’t think I can. I’m sorry to do that to you, you know? But when it comes down to it…

He trails off, looking so distressed, so guilt-stricken, and once again, Sam jumps in.

Sam: I got it, Dean.

11.13 dean end

Cap, TVFanatic
Cap, TVFanatic

Oh how I loved Sam Winchester at that moment. I mean, I’ve always loved him, but this season? I can barely see through the warmth in my heart at that moment. We pull back to see the broken window and then hear the car engine, as the Winchesters pick up the pieces and pull themselves together. Together being the operative word. As long as it’s the two of them, on the same page, Baby carrying them down the highway, I know things will (eventually) be all right.

I spoke to both Jared and Jensen about that scene at their meet and greets. About how much I loved what Sam said to his brother, about how desperately Dean needed to hear that. He’s been carrying around so much guilt and shame for feelings he cannot help, that are not his fault. It struck me as an apt parallel for the sort of emotional challenges that the AKF and YANA campaigns are all about. Too often, people who are struggling feel it IS their fault. They may be judged and blamed for what is outside their control. Sam’s words are what everyone needs to hear when we’re in that place, when shame and self blame make everything so much harder. I love when the Show parallels the fandom and the characters parallel the actors and it’s all just one big reciprocal message of hope.

I’m sure tomorrow’s new episode will have me screaming and gnashing my teeth once again, but for now, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy thanks to Sam and Dean and a little bit of conversation. Love does hurt sometimes – but it feels good too. Remember that, boys.

Stay tuned for much more from Houscon, and lots of exclusive behind the scenes interviews!

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13 thoughts on “OMG They’re Talking! Supernatural ‘Love Hurts’

  • It was a good episode for sure. By the way, anyone notice our favourite star clock on the wall of the motel? I always look for that now.
    This season has been so much better than some others, having the boys close, understanding other and FINALLY talking! Love those moments. Great review, as usual.

  • So much love for your recap/reviews as always. \0/
    I can answer your question about Dear Hubby and the Baby Sitter – You did it for you in the next paragraph – “young and nubile”. (pft- men. eye roll) Also, Am I the only person who though she looked just like young Cordelia Chase/Charisma Carpenter ‘cuz wow – that blew my mind.
    For me the music was killer – I went and bought the song but I was dying to hear Nazareth, I’m literal that way. I wanted the sound to kick out and that song to play over someones heart getting ripped out so bad it physically hurt to have it not happen.
    THE DAD BOD JOKE! I knew it was supposed to be funny. I laughed, I just wasn’t sure WHY. I’m married to Dad Bod, Uh, Dean’s ain’t it. So was he implying he was supposed to have it and didn’t (clearly) or implying someone said he did. (WHAT?) So Yeah, I’m as confused as anyone else.
    Thanks ladies for being your usual awesome.

    • I laughed at the Dad Bod thing, too. And while it is so not true, it worked. Maybe it’s because I’m the same age as Jensen, but there is something about the whole oh, “11 years later I guess I do look different” thing. It’s something I’ve especially noticed with my guy friends who have not had children. My guess is that if you don’t have those milestones to check off the passage/ravages of time (got married, had kid 1, had kid 2, etc.) you don’t necessarily think about how you’ve aged. I guess it’s just not the same when your milestones are first time I died, first time my brother died, when I turned into a demon, etc.

  • Great recap, as always, Lynn. What a pleasure it was to spend some time with you last week. It’s so hard to go back to the ‘real world’ after living a week in Academic-Supernatural Land! That final scene left me too feeling warm brotherly love feelings.

    You nailed it so beautifully when you mention the parallel between Show world and real world with the #AKF and #YANA promotions. Sometimes speaking what’s been buried, getting the truth out of one’s head/heart and into the world is the beginning of overcoming. Now that Sam knows what Dean is fighting, he will better be able to take on the burden he must.

    Looking forward to more explication from J2 about that scene and the struggle the boys are facing. This show and these guys just never get old for me, and there is no lack of ideas to explore. Looking forward to tonight’s episode.

  • Spot on Lynn. Loved every minute of this episode. And the fact that it was set in my near-backyard left me squeeing all over the place!! Even if it’s only pretend, imagining the Boys near my hometown made me smile!

  • Glad you had a great time on “the road so far” Lynn…and a great review as well. The monster-of-the-week plot I found run of the mill but the humor, acting, editing and overall execution was flawless which ultimately made it yet another reason why everyone in the world should be watching this show. Why was the husband making out with the baby sitter? From a man’s perspective all I can offer is…because he’s a man. Family moments are among the very best aren’t they? The boys “at home” have some of their finest scenes when they’re quietly in between saving the world and/or saving themselves. A new way to steal someone’s heart Hallmark has not put out there…yet. The heartfelt violence helped spice up the story. I bet a lot of wives would run to the Winchesters without dead or living husbands chasing them but I digress. I don’t get Amara at all. We wonder why the husband goes for the baby sitter? I wonder why Dean’s heart only pines for Amara. He’s only been with about 750 more desirable women in my mind. The Show is so full of light however I am able to block out all that “Darkness.” Need to plug two of your books here with Kathy…Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls and Fan Phenomena Supernatural should both be a part of every SPN fan’s collection. Just got done reading them. Awesome. Adds so much depth and understanding to the Show and the fan base alike. Must-reads.

  • Have to comment and run before work, and then tonight’s new episode. 🙂

    I agree it wasn’t really Amara, it was a monster in Amara’s form, so we can throw out all of her behavior. It would be like holding Dean accountable for the shapeshifter’s actions back in the day. I don’t think that the strong pull/desire between Dean and Amara has to be sexual in nature. This particular curse was romantically linked, so that could’ve been a factor. In general, I think Amara’s pull on Dean should be more of a supernatural linking/bonding/magical-sorry-you-got-dragged-into-this-Dean thing. Chances are it’s such an unnatural bond there’s no human emotional equivalent, so it gets shorthanded to desire. Or at least that’s what I hope for. Unfortunately, since shipping runs (ruins?) everything I bet this goes all weird in the Dean/Amara sexytimes way. Now, that said, there could be some sort of Mother Goddess parallel and if she needs, um, seed, I could see that making sense. (Also, excellent choice for seed.)

    At the risk of sounding heartless, as much as I like that show sometimes parallels the AKF movement, I don’t want that to ever be a driver. Love it for the actors, but I like a nice self-contained universe for my Show. I love hearing about it online from Jared and Jensen, I don’t want to hear about it from Sam and Dean.

  • This was one of my top episodes because the MOW kept me guessing and the brother moments were natural and true to character.

  • Great review! I’ve been thinking about the Amara connection and my take on it is that Amara thinks it is love or is confusing sexual attraction with love. Since she’s been locked away for a millennia, she’s desperate for love but can’t really love in same context that we think of. For Dean it seems obvious to me that it is not love. I think Dean is confused because he can’t control the attraction but he has always said it is not love or desire. But Dean being Dean feels guilty at not being able to control himself. I think this storyline is interesting and the encounters between Dean and Amara are written subtly and very well. Can’t wait to see where it goes. Loved this episode great humor and nice to have the guys on the same page and communicating!

  • Before S11 began and I’d only read about the Amara angle, I was hoping we’d see some sexual involvement, because I felt it would be a callback to Dean’s disgust that Sam got involved with Ruby and would give Sam a shot at calling his brother on it. Then came the premiere, and the scene between Amara and Dean was so hot I “knew” I was right. Instead, Show went in an entirely different direction. I like that Dean is totally confused by whatever the attraction is, because his appetite has always been very straightforward. This is wholly ambiguous, and he has absolutely no clue what he’s feeling or what might happen. I think Show is walking a very fine line here, and so far they’re doing it well. Amara, too, is confused. She was going to take in his soul, then kissed him instead. She’s a *power,* not a mortal, and clearly has no idea what Dean means to her. They’re bound, but do not know how or why. Regardless, as you noted in your review, Sam and Dean TALKED. I was so pleased by that scene, by the range of emotions on both sides, and especially Sam’s unconditional love for and trust in his brother. And Yahtzee, and Rock/Paper/Scissors, banter, etc. This season they have been reassembling the massive jigsaw puzzle that lost a few pieces along the way over the past few years, and I am thrilled by the result.

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