Supernatural season 8 continues with the Jensen Ackles-directed episode 3, "Heartache." It begins with a heavier man running past an athletic man on a Minnesota jogging path. When the latter catches up to the former, the heavier man rips out his heart.
In a farmers market, Dean reads about the death; the same thing happened six months prior. Though Sam's right that they have to find Kevin and the tablet, they can't ignore innocent people dying. It's what they do, even though Sam took a year off. Detective Pike tells them the victim wasn't robbed and had no local connections. Park surveillance picked up Paul running past him, but nothing else, and Paul checked out. Pike also pointed out he's not exactly in good enough shape to rip out someone's heart.
So they talk to Paul, who says he just ran past him and never saw him again. When Sam points out Paul's not exactly as athletic as the victim and still ran past him, Paul explains he had a health scare and started taking care of himself. Dean didn't find anything poking around his apartment, but when researching later, he finds another murder in IowaÂ—the same pattern from six months ago. An officer was arrested for the murder and was found covered in blood and crying. However, Arthur's not saying anything that makes sense, but Sam records it. Dean tests him for possession, but that's not it. Later that night, alone in his cell, Arthur stabs himself in his eye with a metal piece from his cot.
In the motel room, Sam plays back Arthur's chanting, and Dean suggests using a translation app on his phone, but it comes back as an unknown language. Dean checks out what happened with Arthur, and the doctor tells him the one he cut out was a transplanted one from nearly a year ago. He asks if it's possible to trace the donor, then returns to the motel, where Sam found out Paul also had a transplant. He thinks the language could be a dead one and emailed an audio file to Professor Morrison. Meanwhile, they're heading to Boulder, based on the cycle from six months ago. Outside a club, Chick compliments Randa's performance for the night. She leads him down the alley and rips out his heart.
Dean's in a good mood with the case coming together and them on the road together. He has a new perspective after the last year: he's at his best, driving next to his brother. However, Sam suggests he doesn't need him and Dean may be better not having to explain himself to anyone. Dean comments he doesn't exactly have another brother to talk to, but Sam says they may want different things; he wants his time to count for something. The doctor calls Dean; Brick Holmes, a pro-quarterback who died in a car crash, was donor to both Arthur and Paul, among others. He lived outside of Boulder. Randa performs some sort of ritual and takes a bite out of the heart. Something enters her body, and her eyes glow red.
Sam and Dean talk to Brick's mother, Eleanor, who says the accident was just thatÂ—an accidentÂ—and he was married to the game. There were no changes before he died. However, once they're gone, Randa stops Eleanor on the stairs; she likes being "close to the mothership." She says they're both protecting Brick, whose heart beats in her. She can feel him. They need each other, and Brick needs them. Morrison reports that Arthur was babbling in ancient Mayan about the god of corn. While Dean has found out their next victim would be in Phoenix, he also found an email about Sam checking out university admissions. Sam just says he's looking at options.
They sneak into Eleanor's house and find women's clothing in Brick's bedroom, leading Dean to suggest Eleanor moved in after he died...or the disturbing alternative about the mother-son relationship. There's a hidden room with sports memorabilia and a box of letters to Betsy, referencing different memorable sports moments in history, all signed "Me." In a recent one, he wrote he was "tired of it all." Sam does research and figures out four guys going back 70 years all looking about the same age are the same guy. He must've pulled it off with a deal with the Mayan god. The Mayans were all about sports; they killed victims, pulled out hearts, and ate them to be super-powered over their opponents. The spell could've infected those who received his organs.
Sam finds a photo of Brick and his wife, Betsy, from years ago. Eleanor is Betsy. She thought the murders would end when Brick died; he was a proud young Mayan athlete who lived for sport and arranged a bargain with the god through a high priest. She found out when he didn't age, but they were so in love. She's tired of it and thinks Brick was too; that's why he drove off the bridge. She thinks that by stopping his beating heart, it will be over. And so they go after Randa, who knew Eleanor would break. Two organ transplants knock Sam away and hold Dean down for Randa to take his heart. Fortunately Sam takes out one of the men, giving Dean the chance to kill Randa. Sam and Dean deliver the news to Eleanor, who would have been at peace even if they failed and Randa came after her.
Back on the road, Dean admits he gets how Randa talked about feeling like a warrior, but Sam doesn't think he ever felt that way. When they finish with Kevin and the tablet, he's done. He had a normal life. He wants that. Dean thinks that's just how he feels right now. A flashback shows Amelia with a picnic set up for Sam's birthday, complete with a cake.
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Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Â© Meredith Jacobs 2012