Thursday, March 22, 2007


Madison, this week's damsel in distress, is hanging out in a bar with her friends after work when her boss comes on to her. She handles it smoothly, then freaks and leaves when she catches sight of another man across the bar. The next morning at work, she finds her boss mutilated on his desk.

"Detective" Sam Winchester views the body in the morgue and questions the doctor, who says the man looks like he was attacked by a wolf. Also, his heart was missing. Apparently there's a pattern of mutilated bodies with their hearts removed, the deaths occurring just before the full moon. Dean is stoked--he thinks werewolves are cool and is looking forward to facing off against one. They go to have a chat with Madison. Madison mentions that her ex-boyfriend Kurt recently attacked her boss--Kurt being the man she saw in the bar.

Detectives Landis and Dante (John and Joe, the directors of An American Werewolf in London and The Howling, respectively), head out to investigate Kurt and look in his freezer for human hearts behind the Haagen Dazs. In the street below, a cop is attacked by something growly. Sam and Dean find the cop mutilated.

Feeling Madison needs protection, Sam and Dean duke it out with rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to stay with the "hot chick." Sam wins. Dean's scissors obsession cracks me up. Sparks fly between Sam and Madison, and before it's all over we get one of the hottest sex scenes I've ever seen on network TV. And that includes last season's smokin' hot bit between Dean and Cassie in "Route 666."

As the story plays out, the parallels between Sam and Madison are obvious but not hammered home--it all just hangs there in the subtext waiting until we feel safe and then it all comes out and eviscerates us. And Sam, who has his heart ripped out every bit as thoroughly as the werewolves' victims. (Yes, this is a pretty on-the-nose metaphor, but for some reason it worked, unlike the on-the-nose metaphors in "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things"). Like Sam, Madison has a monster inside her, but with her it's explicit, and no one can cure it. Like Sam, Madison is willing to die to keep from being this monster. And like Dean, Sam must face the necessity of having to kill someone he cares about to save her from herself. Dean offers to take on Sam's burden, but Sam refuses. Faced with the unthinkable, he cowboys up and does what he has to do. If and when the time comes, can Dean do anything less?

I really didn't see anything not to love in this episode. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles both knocked it out of the park, but Padalecki got another spotlight this week and he did it proud. This performance, while not quite as showy, was every bit as good as his turn in "Born Under a Bad Sign." Emmanuelle Vaugier was very good as Madison, and Sera Gamble gave us yet another heart-wrenching roller coaster ride. Kudos all around.

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Supernatural - Supernatural, Season 2