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SPN 8.03 - another good one from Jensen

SPN 8.03 Heartache caused me plenty of mixed feelings.  Some of them had nothing to do with anything other than I hated Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and once the heart removal business started I couldn't get it out of my head.  Thank goodness they only had Sam eat an apple.  The episode was written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming.  They also did Route 666, Shut Up, Dr. Phil, The Slice Girls, and Of Grave Importance.  There were a couple of similar things with this episode and The Slice Girls.  Warrior women and cannibalism of a sort.  Dean ended up sprawled out under said women for them to use his body for their own purposes with sexual overtones, if not outright sex.  On the up side, there was a lot of back and forth between the guys and the case was pretty good.  

This was the third SPN episode directed by Jensen Ackles.  Like the other two, he did a good job with this one.  He talked at some of the Cons about how this one was more difficult because Dean was in a lot of the scenes.  I think he pulled it off.  He did some more with interesting camera shots.  He had a lot of different sets and locations he had to work with.  I don't know how many locations on average are in a SPN episode but there were quite a few in this one.  Maybe it was because the plot took them to several cities plus a flashback for Sam. 

I was pretty excited to see that the first part of this was set in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I live about 20 minutes outside the city on the edge of the suburban sprawl.  The Mississippi River starts further north in Minnesota and runs right between the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul.  It looks to me like they used a skyline shot of Minneapolis in the opening sequence when the jogger is about to get his heart ripped out.  I liked a lot of the camera shots and the lighting used in this part.  Jensen filmed the jogger from overhead and then from the feet of the monster.

Red stripes on the monster shoe like Randa puts on her face.

Great light around the corner.

Still spooky.

Tearing the heart out of your fellow jogger is not "Minnesota nice."  

The crime scenes or where Cacao is trying to kill someone are red and blue.  I really like how this shot of the monster looking at the heart segues into Sam choosing and eating an apple.

There are flowers all over this episode like in the tablecloth above, but I don't think they go with peril, they just look good in the scene.  If you can find a connection, let me know.  The guy with the booth behind them....he is the egg man.

Dean is so engrossed in his new smart phone hunting, he doesn't know where they are.  There are a few more flowers but I think they just look nice.  Same with the green trees.

They end up heading off to the police station where Dean and the Minneapolis detective snark back and forth at each other and Jensen's Dad got one of the better lines in the episode.   I just like the look of the shot below.

Dean with his green tie.  I don't think that's happened too often.

Jensen's Mom was in the scene as an extra in the waiting room.

Then off to heart-stealing, fitness-nut guy's house and I got freaked out about what might be in the blender.  Ok, yuck anyhow.  He favors red shirts.  Not good.

The guy's a fan of Mr. Schwarzenegger.  He was governor of that other state, we only elect pro wrestlers.  (Jesse "the Body" Ventura was governor of Minnesota for a while and you can imagine the jokes.)

He's also growing turf in his kitchen....I like how the camera is placed here.

Sam looking good.

This is from the part of the Twin Cities settled by displaced Canadians who mistakenly thought it might be warmer down south.  The bar blackboard says Stanley's Park Bar and Grill and they serve Whistler Beer.  The face of the bar counter is awesome.  

If you venture outside of Little Vancouver, you end up eating Hot Dish or Lutefisk instead of salmon.  We do have pie and lotsa coffee though.  I love the pie on the window floating in the air by Dean.

Then they have to head to Iowa.  Oh, well...  The police stations in this ep have an institutional green paint as does the hospital later.

There are a couple of shots of the guys with whoever they are talking to in between them.  Kind of like how hunting is separating them.  There was one above of fitness guy.  Betsy and then Randa each do it later.

Then they go and visit the poor cop.  The actor did a good job with the part.

I guess they filmed the actual eye removal but it didn't make it past the network.  Jensen's cheese scene got edited last time for similar reasons.  Instead we got a cool shot of a hall with angel lights.  The walls, floor and lights have the red and blue from the murders.  This is taking the whole "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out" thing pretty literally.  

Back to the motel with flowered bedspeads and gorgeous men in white shirts.  

Dean got an app and we got hands.

Then Dean goes to the hospital where he's framed nicely by the door.  Back to green instead of red and blue so the cop must have successfully removed Cacao.

At this point, I have to clear something up that really bugged me about this episode.  I know it's fiction so I should let it go but when they do a transplant with an eye, they don't replace the whole eye.  Once the optic nerve is severed, that's it for vision.  There is hope in the future that the retina will be able to be transplanted but for now, eye transplants involve only the cornea, the clear piece that just covers the pupil and a little of the iris.  It doesn't change the appearance or color of the eye and is a blessing for anyone with cornea damage.  It's pretty common eye surgery.  My grandma, aunt, and mom have had the surgery and someday I probably will have to also.  The folks that donated their eyes made an enormous difference for my family with their generosity, so thank you.  And now back to your regularly scheduled programming where Sam has his boots on the bed.  Did Amelia put up with that?  I'm thinking not.  When you get your own bed, Sam, fine but until then, take your boots off.  Other than maybe his apartment with Jess, has Sam ever even owned his own bed?

Then we're off to Boulder, Colorado, because that's where Brick Holmes was from.  He didn't need to worry about the big bad wolf.  The guys go off to talk to the grieving "Mom".  The home is partially Brick anyhow.  This is a gorgeous house with flowers outside.

I like the symmetry of this shot.  It's another one with the hunt between the boys.  The picture of Brick is blues and orange/red.

I wonder if dog art will be something we'll see a bit more of this year.

The boys are looking good.  For homeless guys who live out of a car, they have a lot of ties.

The section with Betsy and Randa looked good with all the oranges and warm browns from the wood.  It's pretty easy to see who has the upper hand here from their positions on the stairs.

Then we go back to Bob's Bighorn Lodge where the boys are dressed to match the colors of the room, more green with some blue.  I think the coat hooks on the far left wall are sheep feet.  Ugh, but the divider is really cool.  There's a lot of greenery outside the windows and a great stone fireplace with a bighorn's head.

Now for a little B & E.  More symmetry of action if not exactly the shot plus flowers and the red and blue with Brick.

Shots through or from within a space are something Jensen has done before.

Orange/red and blue.

Jensen takes shots close up also.

Pretty confident of these guys to sit down and read letters at the scene of the crime.

My favorite piece of filming was the cutting back and forth and overlapping of the boys reading the letters.

They aren't always separated by hunting and they worked pretty well together to solve the case.

Then they're off to get to the heart of the problem.  Angel Fire is a curious name for a stripper on this show.  No comment on the rest of it.

I don't know what to make of Dean's face here.

I like how they take turns taking lead.

They walk in under a red and yellow beer sign warning of danger in case the red lamps didn't give it away.

The club is red and blue and Randa's got red feathers.

She's in between the guys.

Ouch for whoever got to do that stunt.

I like how the heel she just planted on Dean is picking up reflected red.  Why didn't Dean kick her feet out from under her while she was monologuing?  The guys only had his arms.  John is rolling over wherever he is.  I wish they would have showed more specifically what happened to Sam that it took him a minute or two to pull the guy off Dean.

Here's the blue from her murder earlier.

Afterward, they went to see Betsy.  They were pretty nice to her considering how many murders she stood by for if Brick had to do this twice a year.  I like the blue and orange glass in the cupboard echoing Brick's colors.  Flowers but the danger is over.

Then we got to see Sam have another flashback which was troublesome for a lot of people.  I think the important part of the scene had less to do with the woman and the picnic and more with Sam looking for her at the beginning.  When Sam was running across the bridge, he seemed pretty panicked about where Amelia had gone.  "This isn't funny."  He's lost everyone who has ever meant anything to him.  Now she's missing too.

There is a pulled-back shot of Sam all alone on the bridge surrounded by all that greenery after the dog had run off.  

Unlike everyone else recently, Amelia turns up safe with a pleasant surprise for Sam.  Not something that frequently happens to him.  There she is with Riot.  (What kind of a name is that?  How are you going to call the dog in a public place without causing alarm or disturbing the peace?  Might as well name the dog Fire and go for broke.)

So a normal life and the dream of each Winchester comes down to a woman on a blanket with food.  I know they are doing a call back to Dean's dream of Lisa but it makes me feel like they have an overly romantic view of what normal life is like.  I'm hoping they'll show Sam having some experiences based in reality that show some reasons why he'd want to give up hunting.  I could come up with plenty but I think for the show, they have to demonstrate it like they did with the recap of Dean's year with Lisa.  The grass is certainly greener in these memories.  They've got Amelia in pink which is super bad with Sam's track record with women.  We'll come back to the colors and light in a minute.

Lisa in Dean's dream in Dream a Little Dream of Me.  

Sam's flashback was filmed with really bright colors and sunshine.  There is a dreamy glow around everything.  The previous flashbacks of the vet's office were similar.  I'm worried for Sam because the colors and light are so far off for real life on SPN and not sepia enough for memory.  The colors are more like dreamscapes or alternate realities.  Here's Dean in the dream given by the djinn in What Is and What Should Never Be.

Then there's the Winchester's life in the sitcom in Changing Channels.

The one below is from where Sam got stuck in Bobby's dream in Dream a Little Dream of Me.  The colors and lighting are pretty close.

The main thing we know at this point is that Sam went from the brilliant color and light to leaving Amelia and Riot behind in darkness and shadow.  Somewhere between the two extremes is his last year and it will be interesting to see how he got from one to the other and why he left.  

I know Sam is considering his options and I think he's figuring Dean can get along without him based on this exchange.

Dean: I know when I am at my best. And that is right here, driving down crazy street, next to you.
Sam: Makes sense.
Dean: Yes it does.
Sam: Or maybe you don't need me. Maybe you're at your best hacking and slicing your way through all the world's crap alone. Not having to explain yourself to anybody.
Dean: Yeah, that makes sense. Seeing as I have so many other brothers I can talk to about this stuff.

From Dean, he might as well have said "I love you and need you around."  I'm worried for what happens when Benny shows up and Sam figures Dean doesn't need him and Benny can take his place.  You know that's a recipe for disaster right there.  That Dean recognizes that he needs Sam and tries to tell him is a big deal.  Now he needs to understand where Sam's head is at.  At least they're talking...

All caps from homeofthenutty


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 21st, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
As a former Minneapolitan, I also appreciated the start of this ep. :) And LOL at your "Little Vancouver"!

I also noticed that Sam's flashbacks aren't just brighter, they're super hazy, and your caps here make that even more clear. I hope that all will be revealed in time, but for right now it's kind of annoying to have the past being presented to us in such a visually odd way with no explanation as to why.
Oct. 21st, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
Your icon! 8-)

The haze is like the memories from the Girl Next Door but I'm having a hard time believing that they are at all reliable. I was really surprised at the one of Sam in Dream. I completely forgot about it until I went looking for Lisa and it smacked me in the face.
Oct. 22nd, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
I can imagine how much fun it would be to have an episode set in your city. We were all excited over here when Castiel mentioned Perth last season!

Red stripes on the monster shoe like Randa puts on her face.

If this level of detail is deliberate, it makes me a little disappointed they don't put the same care into the writing, and into things like the newspaper articles we see on screen. The one about the missing man Jimmy Tang had appropriate text in the first column, but totally unrelated, repeated text in the next two. If they're going to zoom in on something, they should make it stand up to scrutiny!

I enjoyed reading about "Minnesota nice"!

Thanks for the cap from Dream a Little Dream of Me. I knew the scenes were similar, but hadn't gone back to check just how very similar — right down to the placement of the food.

From Dean, he might as well have said "I love you and need you around."

I totally agree. "Next to you" = "I love and need you!" That immediately became one of my favourite lines ever in the show.

Oct. 22nd, 2012 08:34 am (UTC)
I don't know if the stripes were deliberate but it looked cool anyhow. I looked at the news articles but they were so bad this time it wasn't worth commenting on. This was the first ep they shot for the season so they probably had a lot going on. They're usually better than that. They had all the old letters to do, love, Me. Then there was all the photoshopping for the sports covers with Brick. I wondered whose face they used for those. I thought they were pretty funny with the Beatles hair car driver and the Gabriel porn mustache.
Oct. 22nd, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
You found interesting paralells. I like that in the flashback, Sam's shirt matches Lisa's blanket. I think the color and brightness is definately communicating that something is wrong.
Oct. 22nd, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
That's a nice observation about the shirt and the blanket. I think the bright filming means something more than just to contrast Purgatory. I'm looking forward to where they go with this.
Oct. 22nd, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
Those red striped shoes and their connection to Randa's face-painting was a good catch!

The guy with the booth behind them....he is the egg man.

I LOl'ed when I saw the sign. The phone convo Dean had with Frank in S7 was hilarious with all the faces Dean made.

The DNA results that we saw very briefly make me wonder what they might be referencing. It could be a quick nod to Jensen's dad. Or I did have the meta-ish idea that the case folder dropping on top of the DNA results might signify yet another of those times where the case puts the boys' relationship issues on hold.

Also, YAY for floaty pie. \o/

EDIT: Totally forgot to say thank for pulling up the caps for all the dream sequences! Looking at those, it's obvious that Sam's flashback was the brightest and haziest. It could be partly because of his longing to get back there, but it's just too bright and saturated to be 100% real.

Edited at 2012-10-22 09:55 pm (UTC)
Oct. 22nd, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
The other scenes that had that hazy look to them were when Dean was visited at the lake in his Dean by Cas and Adam meeting Zachariah in his. The colors weren't overly bright but the haze is similar. I'm worried for Sam.
Oct. 29th, 2012 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for another great recap. I don't always comment but I read! Your recaps are esp helpful since I don't always get what's going on, watching the show without subtitles, so reading your posts often made me go Ahh :)

And thanks for pointing out that the lady sitting on the chair was Donna Ackles!

Oct. 29th, 2012 09:30 am (UTC)
Glad they help. I have to go back and read transcripts sometimes to understand what gets said. Sometimes it happens so fast.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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