Supernatural “Love Hurts” Review (Season 11, Episode 13)

SUPERNATURAL Love Hurts

This week’s Supernatural continued the tradition of destroying any warm fuzzies I may have had about the upcoming holiday. In this instance, Valentine’s Day. Oh, there were plenty of hearts involved, but they weren’t exactly the sweet candy kind of hearts. Literal heart-ripping aside, there were quite a few good things to come out of this episode.

It was another monster of the week, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the monster. It turns out that a witch was tricking scorned women into casting a curse on their cheating spouse by telling the wife it was a love spell. In a pretty twisted, um, twist, the spell also caused the Qareen the witch was controlling to kill the scorned wife. In all honesty, this witch’s motivation was pretty lame. There was no real reason for her killing off cheating husbands and their wives other than maybe she was just bored of hearing the same old stories at her salon. Either way, Dean ended up taking on the curse in an effort to save the victim of the week. It was no surprise that the Qareen appeared to Dean in the form of Amara since this episode was really about giving Dean another opportunity to come clean with Sam about his connection to Amara.

I’ve been saying for weeks now that Dean needed to tell Sam about his “thing” with Amara. Not only because the Boys promised to quit keeping secrets from each other, but also because it’s affecting Dean’s ability to do his job. Granted, Dean has been working himself up to it. Once he realized that there was indeed some connection, he tried to do what he always does which is deal with it himself. When he realized that probably wasn’t going to work, he did admit to Casifer that there’s some sort of connection between him and Amara that he doesn’t understand. But even when he was given a wide open door to tell Sam about it then, he didn’t. I must admit, I was fully prepared for Dean to continue to lie and try to convince Sam that it was indeed Daisy Duke who came after him. However, I was not prepared for Dean to finally be honest with Sam. Dean has never really cared what other people thought about him, unless that other person is Sam. Part of Dean’s reluctance to tell Sam what’s been going on with Amara, is that he doesn’t want to appear vulnerable in front of Sam. But apparently he got past it enough to admit the truth and, in not so many words, to admit that he’s afraid.

Dean’s fear exists on several levels. The first is pretty obvious. Amara is just as powerful as God, and for the moment, Sam and Dean have no idea how to stop her from doing whatever it is she decides she wants to do. So there’s that. Secondly, Dean is afraid of what his connection to Amara means for him as a person. Dean defines himself by his ability to protect those he loves while killing as many evil things as he can. His life’s work is saving people. That’s why Dean carries so much guilt and embarrassment about whatever he did as a demon and when the Mark was taking him over. It doesn’t matter how many times Sam tells Dean he’s been forgiven for all of that. Dean will never really forgive himself. So, for Dean to now have a connection with Amara that he can neither explain nor understand makes Dean fear that he’s evil, weak or worst of all complicit in whatever it is that Amara plans to do. None of that is true, but when has Dean Winchester’s guilt ever known logic? Finally, and probably most pressing for Dean is the fact that he sincerely doesn’t know what he would do if he were forced to choose between Sam and Amara in the heat of battle. Usually, that’s not even a question because whenever Dean is given a choice between Sam and anyone else, Dean always chooses Sam. This time around though, Dean isn’t sure and that terrifies him.

Additionally, Dean has a penchant for refusing to allow anyone to help him carry the load. There are so many reasons we can point to that could explain Dean’s reluctance to ask for help, but whatever the reasons, Dean just doesn’t ask for help. He tries to carry all of the weight alone despite knowing that it’s all too heavy to bear. Even in the BM scene in this episode, Dean apologized to Sam for being unable to bear this burden when, in fact, this is not a burden Dean needs to bear alone. That’s why I absolutely loved Sam’s response during their BM scene.

Let’s just start off by saying that this was the most mature, emotionally healthy conversation the Boys have had in forever. Dean admitted the truth to Sam fully expecting Sam to react negatively. We oftentimes judge other people by ourselves, and Dean no doubt remembers how he reacted when he found out about Sam and Ruby. Or pretty much any time Sam has kept secrets from him really. He was expecting Sam to react along those same lines, but what Dean got instead was a brother who reacted with love, understanding and support. If anyone can understand having no control in a situation, it’s Sam. Sure, Sam probably thought he was in control when he first started drinking demon blood. However, he eventually realized that once he took that first hit, he no longer had a choice in the matter. Dean’s situation doesn’t parallel exactly with Sam’s demon blood addiction, but it’s close enough that Sam can empathize with what Dean is going through. I loved that one of the first things Sam did was try and make Dean see that the compulsion he feels in no way makes him weak or evil. Sam knows his brother. Sometimes I think Dean forgets that Sam knows him just as well (if not better) as he knows Sam. Because of that, Sam knew that Dean had been beating himself up with that for however long he’s known about the connection. So the first step was to reassure Dean that being chosen by something evil doesn’t mean Dean is evil. The next thing Sam did was show unwavering faith in his brother. Dean was more vulnerable in those moments than he usually allows himself to be, and Sam didn’t even flinch. Dean finally asked for help and Sam freely and willingly stepped up to support his brother. That’s not to say that Sam isn’t scared. He is. But he’s also pulling a Dean Winchester and trying to keep a brave face on for Dean for a change. It was truly a wonderful moment between the two of them, and it’s moments like this that I’ve missed so much over the last few seasons. Kudos to both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki for totally nailing that scene. They both conveyed so much depth and emotion without saying a whole lot. Very nicely done.

This was a solid episode. There was a bit of parallel between the case of the week and Sam’s journey with Ruby. Melissa was so desperate to save her marriage that the witch was able to manipulate that desperation for her own nefarious purposes. Just like Ruby was able to weasel her way into Sam’s life because he was so desperate to save Dean. Basically, in both cases they trusted someone who claimed to “only be trying to help” when in fact she had other, nefarious motives. I don’t know whether Sam picked up on the similarities and that’s why he was very careful with how he responded to Dean’s admission or whether I’m the only one who noticed the similarities. Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder did a really good job with the brother moments in this script, and let’s face it, most of us live for those broments. It was so nice to see Sam and Dean get back to being Sam and Dean. Right down to Dean enjoying “Unattached Drifter Christmas” and Sam teasing him about it. And although it’s taken him about thirty years, Dean finally beat Sam at paper-rock-scissors. Sam’s face when Dean didn’t throw scissors was awesome, but Dean’s face and subsequent rock star pose when he actually won was just priceless. Next week we get to see what Casifer and Crowley have been up to while the Boys were chasing down witches. If the previews were any indication, this should be interesting. So what did y’all think of this week’s Supernatural?