Supernatural: Heart
June 21, 2021 4:06 AM - Season 2, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean investigate a brutal death in which the victim's heart was ripped out, and discover that the killer is a lycanthrope, or as it's more commonly called, a werewolf. 


Madison: [to Sam, who is sitting at her kitchen table] Do you want to sit on the couch?
Sam: No. No, no, I'm okay.
Madison: It's more comfortable.
Sam: I'm fine.
Madison: [empties a laundry basket full of her underwear onto the table and begins folding a pair of lacy undies]
Sam: You know what? I think I will sit on that couch.


Sam and Dean use the aliases "Detective Dante" and "Detective Landis". Joe Dante directed The Howling (1981) and John Landis directed An American Werewolf in London (1981).

First episode to feature the boys doing rock, paper, scissors to determine something.

Jared Padalecki has said that during the filming of the final scene in this episode where he has to kill Madison, in order to find the emotion (since it was still early days and the actors say they weren't as tuned into their characters as they later became), Jared thought about the traumatic experience of having to euthanize two of his beloved dogs, Sadie and Harley. As a result he got extremely emotional, and those are very real tears. For his part, Jensen Ackles has said his own emotions on screen welled up because he knew how much it would hurt Jared personally to have to call up those emotions and suffer through them in order to have Sam be visibly upset on screen. Jensen's tears came as a result of watching his close friend go through such painful emotions.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total)
It amuses me that Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles seem to be total marshmallows in real life.

When Sam and Dean find the cop's body, Sam says, "I'll call 9111." Oops.

Emmanuelle Vaugier, who played Madison, is a really appealing actress. That wicked grin she gives when she gets Sam to move to the couch by starting to fold her undies in front of him! I checked out her IMDb page, but although she has a long list of credits, she hasn't been in anything else I would be interested in seeing. I've previously commented that in the early years of Supernatural there were a lot of "young, Maxim cover model-level attractive young women running around in the episodes whom the Winchester brothers would save/help, then proceed to bang or otherwise have a moment with". Emmanuelle Vaugier actually was a Maxim cover model, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the other actresses were too.

The two of them playing "rock, scissors, paper" to decide which of them gets to stay with the woman they both thought was hot was funny but at the same time an eye roller. Why didn't they let her decide?

This episode marks the first time Sam has gotten any action since Jessica's death -- that we've seen, anyway (and it's a undeniably hot scene). And then it turns out that the first woman he bangs after Jessica is another woman he not only can't save but has to shoot through the heart himself.

Sam's shooting of Madison reminded me so much of the ending of Old Yeller.  

Nate's death was so sad. He was just some dorky guy in love with his neighbour and who had no idea what he'd become.
posted by orange swan at 4:30 AM on June 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

This episode pulled on the heartstrings a lot harder than most episodes typically do. And I agree that the actress did a good job with her part. This was a really solid effort by everybody involved.
posted by sardonyx at 9:03 AM on June 21, 2021

Pretending-to-be-college-kids notwithstanding, this episode reminds me that Sam and Dean are in their early 20's. Just pups, really.

Sam is a little sheltered having gone to fancy college on a full ride (no student loans?), and while Dean's a little older, his life experiences are constrained by the hunter lifestyle.
posted by porpoise at 2:33 PM on June 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've had to euthanize dogs and I cried a bunch about it, I know jackshit about acting, I am not judging that at all or saying this purely to be an jerk but. watching that scene knowing that JP is psyching up to shoot his werewolf one night stand by thinking about putting down his dogs feels like psychic damage that truly only this show could give me.

(The look he gives Dean before he makes himself go back in, like MAYBE his hero brother who loves and protects him could somehow still get them out of this, aw bud.)

The actors all do a good job with it, but it never totally gelled for me how ready Madison was to just...calmly die then and there, without even really seeming curious about other options or more time or anything. (Maybe text Bobby for any ideas? Anything?) If her deal as a person is that she's really that ready to let go, alone with and at the hands of a person she likes but really just met, I'd want to see it before that moment. Otherwise it's all about wrapping up the episode and Sam's pain and Dean's pain and I dunno, it never felt like it did right by her.

Werewolves on this show as originally presented always seemed exceptionally traumatic for, obviously, the werewolves, but even for the hunters. This situation was awful enough, but it's so much safer to hunt a human than a raging wolfmonster that most of the time they're probably dealing with otherwise totally normal people who have no idea anything's wrong and cannot understand why they're being murdered, much less consent to it on the spot. (To be clear, I absolutely would not have enjoyed this episode more if they had to chase Madison down and execute her while she begs to be spared, but surely that must happen.)
posted by jameaterblues at 6:19 PM on June 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

it never felt like it did right by her

I agree. Even Nate, who was a much more minor character, got a moment where it was about him, where he was dying, confused and in pain, on the street. Madison should have been given the chance to show her grief over what she was losing.
posted by orange swan at 5:21 AM on June 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

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