"Heart"
--Robin's Ramblings by Robin Vogel
 
Get out your box of Kleenex, folks, this is the ep where Sam cries buckets and Dean lets one man-tear slide down his face that had me up all night and crying intermittently at work the day after the first time I saw this show.
 
San Francisco. Sam and Dean are on a werewolf hunt, fully prepared with silver bullets. Dean is especially excited since they haven't seen one of these beasts since they were kids. Sam teases "Sparky," as he calls Dean, that after they kill it, they can go to Disneyland. 
 
Which brings us to pretty Madison, a young legal secretary we meet having drinks with her friends. Her drunk boss tries to get her to come back to the office to "work," but he clearly means sex, while her creepy ex-boyfriend, Kurt, is watching and seemingly stalking her. She fends off the drunk boss easily and expertly; it's obvious they have danced this dance before. Next morning, however, when Madison is making coffee at work, she finds her boss lying across his desk, ripped to shreds, blood everywhere. The coffee pot she's holding falls in slow motion to the floor and breaks. Madison screams.
 
Sam goes to the Coroner's office, where she shows him the body. Off the record, she tells him the bites appear to have been made by a wolf or pitbull. Sam guesses the heart was missing. Surprised, she says he's right. Sam reports back to Dean that hookers have been disappearing in a certain area, apparently the victim of the werewolf. All of them had missing hearts.
 
Dean (aka Landis) and Sam (aka Dante) go to Madison's apartment to question her. They meet Maddie's across-the-hall neighbor, Glen, who sent over a casserole for her. She tells them about Nate, her dead boss, a nice guy who could be a real lech and his on anything that moves when he got enough scotches in him. Sam knows a guy like that (as does Dean, until he realizes his brother is referring to HIM). She tells them that her ex, Kurt, was stalking Nate, and threw a punch at him. She was lucky she kept her job. Kurt scares me, admits Madison, serving them coffee. 
 
The brothers go to check out Kurt's apartment, but find nothing to suggest he's the werewolf. We realize a creature is watching them as we see them through its eyes. Sam suggests Dean check in the freezer—maybe there are some hearts behind the Haagen Daz. Going out onto Kurt's balcony, Dean and Sam find claw marks going down the wall—and a short time later, a mauled, dead cop. Sam calls 911. They race to check on Madison; behind them, Glen opens his door. Madison pours them coffee and reveals that Kurt visited her, she saw him looking up at her apartment. Dean tries to play the "I'm older" card so he can stay with Madison, but they play rock/paper/scissors instead, and because Dean apparently always throws out scissors and Sam knows it, he wins. "Bundle up, it's cold," advises Sam. 
 
Madison, attracted to Sam (you go, girl!) tries to get him to sit on the sofa, but he remains in one of the kitchen chairs. So she dumps her panties and other intimate underwear almost on top of his head and starts sorting it. When he moves to the sofa, she smiles. Dean calls Sam from the Impala and asks if he's just sitting like a stiff right now. "What's she wearing?" asks Dean. Sam hangs up on him. "Ah, Sammy," sighs Dean, smiling. Maddie makes Sam sit through a taping of ALL MY CHILDREN, and he calls Kendall a bitch. "You're hooked," she teases. He asks how a smart woman like you ended up with a guy like Kurt, who apparently was possessive, controlling and hit Maddie. I was too insecure to leave, she says, but explains that, when she got mugged a month ago, she took control of her life and broke it off with Kurt. Sam calls her unusual. Unusual-crazy? Madison wants to know. No, unusual-impressive, says Sam. It's obvious they have formed a connection. 
 
Sam calls to find out if he's tailing Curt. He sure is—to a strip club, where Dean is staring directly up some stripper's wazoo, handing her a dollar bill. It's the night of the full moon, so if Kurt is the werewolf, he will turn tonight.
 
Madison, disappointed she's going alone, heads off to bed. Sam watches TV. Dean, watching Kurt's apartment from below, hears a commotion up there and races upstairs. He finds werewolf-Madison hovering over Kurt's dead body. Before she knocks him unconscious, Dean cuts her arm with a silver knife.
 
After regaining consciousness, Dean races to Madison's apartment. He tells Dean Madison is the werewolf. Impossible, says Sam, she's in bed asleep! Madison finds herself naked in bed; where are her pajamas? Seeing the wound Dean left on her arm, Sam locks them in together. No longer the shy cop he was pretending to be, he says, "I'm not going anywhere—and neither are you!" He ties Madison to a chair and holds his gun on her. Off-camera, he tells her he believes her to be a werewolf, because after the commercial, she tearfully tells him monsters and werewolves don't exist, he isn't a cop and he needs help! Dean bangs at the door, sarcastically tells Madison, "My head feels great, thanks." Dean and Sam speak alone. Sam doesn't think Madison knows what's happening to her; subconsciously, she saw both Kurt and Nate as threats and had no control in the werewolf state. Sam can't just kill her if she doesn't realize what she's doing; he understands well what she's going through. In John's journal, there's a possible cure—kill the werewolf who sired her. 
 
Returning to Madison, Sam puts down his gun and gently questions her about her mugging, which happened a month ago. "Did he bite you?" asks Sam. Madison, surprised, says yes. Sam checks a very apparent bite mark on the back of her neck. Her mugging happened not far from Hunter's Point, where the hookers were attacked--that's the werewolf's hunting ground.  Madison will turn soon. Sam assures Dean he'll shoot her if she does, and sends Dean to try to find and kill the werewolf who sired Madison—they can save her! 
 
Madison, crying, begs Sam to untie her and let her go. Sam realizes she's scared and won't believe what they're telling her is true. If this goes the way he hopes, he'll untie her and go away, remaining only a bad memory. 
 
At Hunter's Point, a hooker walks, hears a dog howling, looks around nervously.
 
Madison turns werewolf, escapes her bonds easily, and scratches Sam's face. Sam manages to lock her in a closet, where she tears at the walls and door, snarling angrily. 
 
The hooker is only inches from being dragged away and killed by the werewolf when Dean shoots it. She runs off. "Don't mention it!" shouts Dean. He looks at the dying werewolf—Glen--who turns human and pitifully asks, "What happened? Help me." Glen dies.
 
Sam opens the closet. Madison gets a look at the damage she inflicted on the inside of the closet and Sam's face. "You'll never see me again," promises Sam, and is gone.
 
Sam and Dean wait in the Impala to make sure killing Glen ensured Madison was definitely cured. Dean sadly tells Sam that Glen had no idea he was a werewolf, and suggests he turned Madison because he was interested in hot breeding action. Madison taps at the window, suggesting their car is rather conspicuous for a stake-out, and invites them in to await sun-up with her. Madison realizes now that Sam was helping her; she really did do all those terrible things. "Poker, anyone?" suggests Dean, who keeps his gun very close by. 
 
When the sun rises, all three of them are staring out the window at it.  Madison hugs and thanks Sam. Dean announces he's returning to their hotel room for some Pay-Per-View and pumps his arm triumphantly up in the air. "Smooth," says Maddie, "he thinks you're gonna get laid." Even as both of them are murmuring they can't possibly make love after she's scratched his face and he's tied her to a chair, they're kissing and pulling off each other's clothes. It's a hot, lovely love scene with shots of Sam's bulging muscles, biting kisses, a shot of a fireplace and one beautiful last picture of the two of them sleeping, Sam's arms protectively around Madison. There's an air of triumph, because if they were able to save Madison, there's hope for saving Sam, too.
 
Unfortunately, Sam awakens to the sound of growling, Madison crouched on the bed transformed into the werewolf. She leaps out the window before he can stop her. Sam races to the Dean's hotel and pounds on the door. "She turned," is all he needs to tell his brother. They realize Madison must have to go to sleep in order to turn. Dean has been in touch with Bobby, who assures them there is no cure; they're going to have to kill Madison. Sam refuses to accept this. PART of Madison is evil, and Dean wants to just blow her away? He can't do that to Sam, but he can do it to this young woman? Madison calls; she has no idea where she is. They ask for signs in the vicinity and promise to pick her up. Back in her apartment, Madison stares at the gun left on the table. She can't remember, but she's sure she must have killed someone last night. What are the alternatives? Locking her up every night is an option, but she would probably escape, killing more innocent people. Dean says he's sorry, there is no cure, and Sam can't even bring himself to look at her. Tearfully, Madison gives Sam the gun. "I don't want to hurt anyone—I don't want to hurt YOU! I can't do it myself. I'm a monster, I want you to save me, you help me, you do it." Sam can't do it. "I don't want to die," says Madison, "but I can't live like this—save me." Dean volunteers to kill Madison and takes the gun. Sam insists Madison is right, "I have to do it—please." Dean hands the gun to his brother. "Wait here," says Sam, his face covered with tears. He squares his shoulders and resolutely joins Madison in the living room. 
 
A lone tear, representing the end of Sam's innocence, of Dean's inability to protect his brother from life's ugly truths, falls down Dean's face. At the sound of the gunshot, Dean jolts.
 
1.  I cried, not just at the end, but all during the night and at work the next day. This was such a horrible tragedy. Sam hadn't given himself to any woman since Jess, this was his first, and to have it end like this. . .too horrible. The use of Queensryche "Silent Lucidity", Screaming Trees' "Look At You" and The Stooges "Down on the Street" added immeasurably to the tragic mood in this episode. How did you like the use of music in this ep?
 
2.  They don't give us many love scenes on SUPERNATURAL, but this was a really nice one. I love me naked Winchester men (sue me, I'm superficial), and Jared looked very sexy here. I would have preferred them going a little lower down, but beggars can't be choosers!
 
3.  Granted, Sam fell for Madison kind of quickly, but that was OK with me. I think attraction can happen fast, and he liked her because she made the best of a bad situation. I believe Sam understood that very well and appreciated her for it. What did you think of the Sam-Madison pairing?
 
4.  Dean was such a hoot here. Pumping up that fist is one of my favorite motions of his. Of course, if he realized it meant his brother was going to be waking up with a werewolf, would he have been as pleased? I don't think so! How did you feel about Dean's black and white insistence on killing Madison?
 
5.  Is this the most tragic episode you have ever seen, or can you think of an even more tragic one? Dean dying? Sam dying? Which time? LOL!
 
6.  The first time you saw this, assuming you weren't spoiled (I was, accidentally, and so pissed off!), did you suspect Madison of being the werewolf, or were you thrown off by red herrings?
 

Comments  

biggsy
# biggsy 2010-03-01 14:28
It's absolutely one of the top 5 most heartbreaking episodes. Sam's tears were heartbreaking (what is it about Jared, that when he cries he absolutely falls apart?...he reminds me of my 5 year old in a melt-down) but what really got me was Dean. The tear, the jolt when the gun goes off (Jensen so rocks, it's really hard to maintain character when you're surprised like that, as I'm told he was), but even more, that brief scene with Glen. Dean's face when this "monster" he's just shot begs for his help, is such a study in confusion. When he mumbles "It's OK Glen" and seems to stay there..presumab ly until the guy dies...I realized that this ep was up to more than it seemed. I flashed back to when Bobby told them that the possessed were still live humans, and how shocked the boys had been. John never told them this did he?
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-03-01 15:13
Robin thanks for this. A really nice review of a truly heartbreaking eppie. I cry so much in the end, it's so sad and devastating. Jared cries so beautifully, you can see it's "real", and ripping him to shreds. Biggsy's right, he cries like a little, lost boy. *wibble*

And the last seconds with Dean with the lonely tear and then the gunshot and the music stops (yeah, the music really rocked in this one) at the same time and Dean flinches. So fucking sad. *gets teary just thinking about it*

A really good and mournfull episode with one of the most somber endings in the history of tv.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-03-01 16:20
Fine review, Robin, thanks! This is one of my top five, and the one I can't watch, as it reminds me of a personal love story that went south.
Whenever I do watch it, I'm a crying mess.

But not to diminish anything here - some of the best acting ever, heartbreaking (indeed), moving, funny, in short: simply beautiful. Go Kim Manners...

Love Jas
Randal
# Randal 2010-03-02 09:38
1. I never cried, not once. You chicks are all wimps.

2. Gasp! I can't believe you'd objectify anyone!

3. I liked the pairing (Madison was pretty cool) and I think the speed was very plausible. Certainly mutual attraction can happen quickly, and in such a emotionally-hea ted/physically- dangerous situation, such attraction can get amped up.

4. This is where our personal experience can color a situation. Yes, completely different show, but I couldn't help but immediately conjure up Buffy's Oz. Couldn't have such a remedy been utilized here? I must refer to biggsy's comment as well. I think Dean handles it in neo-black+white , a melange that's grey, albeit a very dark one. I think he simply fears Madison getting out (maybe he thought about a cage type thing and felt it wouldn't work) and wreaking more havoc. I'd hate to have been in their shoes.

5. The death/soul-sell ing of 2.21/2.22 is certainly up there, but picking the top one is splitting a crying hair.

6. I wasn't sure when she'd appear as one, but given that it's Supernatural, a show known for ripping your heart out, who else could have been a werewolf but her? :D