|Episode #||Season 8, Episode 3|
|First aired||October 17, 2012|
|Directed by||Jensen Ackles|
|Written by|| Brad Buckner|
|Outline||Sam and Dean investigate a string of unusual murders where the suspects all received organs from the same donor.|
|Timeline||One week since 8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?|
|Location(s)|| Minneapolis, Minnesota|
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While Sam shops for produce at a farmer's market, Dean reads news stories on his cell phone. Two people in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have had their hearts ripped out six months apart, and Dean thinks it must be a ritual. He wants to investigate, but Sam thinks they need to focus on finding Kevin. Dean says that because they've gotten nowhere in the last week, they should take this case now.
In Minneapolis, the police tell them that their only lead in the most recent murder came from the security cameras in the park, which showed the murder victim jogging and another jogger, Paul Hayes, passing him. They investigated Paul, but didn't believe he was guilty of anything. Sam and Dean go to question Paul themselves, and Paul reiterates that he didn't speak to or know the man he ran past. Dean asks him how he managed to outrun the younger, more athletic victim, and Paul tells them that he had a health scare a year ago and has since starting exercising and taking better care of his body.
Later, as they go over their notes in a cafe, Dean finds a news story online. Two days after the jogger's murder in Minneapolis, while Paul was being questioned by the police, a pizza delivery man's heart was ripped out in Ames, Iowa. The suspect is a police officer named Arthur Swenson. When Dean checks the news from six months ago, he finds another victim in Ames, two days after the first Minneapolis murder. Dean seems surprised that Sam missed the connection.
At the Story County Police Department in Ames, Sam and Dean learn that Arthur was found covered in blood and crying by his victim's heartless body. Also, although a likely suspect, he could not have committed the murder in Minneapolis because he was testifying in court. They try to question Arthur, but he is unresponsive and just repeats a phrase over and over in a strange, sibilant language. Dean notes that Arthur's eyes are mismatched, one blue and one brown, and then tests him for demonic possession by pouring holy water on his arm. He doesn't react.
Back at their motel room, Dean remembers that he has a translation app on his cell phone and asks Sam to play back the recording he made of Arthur's mumbling. It returns the result "language unknown." Then Sam gets a phone call about Arthur, who ripped off a piece of his bed frame and used it to gouge out one of his eyes. Dean goes to question his doctor, who tells him that the eye he removed was one he got from an organ donor a year ago. Dean asks the doctor to trace the donated eye back to its donor.
The next morning, Sam tells Dean that he looked into Paul's medical history. Like Arthur, Paul received a transplant a year ago: his kidney. Sam also emailed an audio file of Arthur's mumbling to Professor Morrison because he thinks he might have been speaking in a dead language. Dean is happy that Sam is getting more involved in the case, and tells him that they need to head to Boulder, Colorado, the next place that someone's heart was ripped out six months ago.
On the road to Boulder, Dean tells Sam that the last year has given him a new perspective and that he knows where he belongs: driving down crazy street with Sam next him. Sam says that maybe Dean would be better off alone, not having to explain himself to anyone, and Dean gets annoyed by the brushoff. Sam tells Dean to consider that they may want different things and that he wants his time to count for something. Dean doesn't understand why hunting doesn't count. Their argument is interrupted by a phone call from the doctor in Ames, who confirms for Dean that Arthur's eye and Paul's kidney both came from the same person. In fact, the donor was all-pro quarterback Brick Holmes, who died in a car crash. His organs went to six other people, none of whom live in Boulder, but Dean still thinks they should head there because Brick lived near the city.
Meanwhile in Boulder, a woman named Randa exits the backdoor of a strip club. A man is in the alley, and he compliments her on her performance. She lures him around a corner and then rips out his heart. Later, she performs a ritual in which she repeats a phrase in a strange language and then bites into the heart. A dark power rises up around her, and her own heart glows red in her chest. When she opens her eyes, they also glow with a red light.
Sam and Dean go to question Brick's mother, Eleanor Holmes, but she is unhelpful and seems reluctant to talk to them. They're leaving when Dean sees on his phone that, like he predicted, someone's heart was just ripped out in Boulder. Once they're gone, Eleanor is surprised by Randa, who came in the back door to avoid them. Randa reminds Eleanor to be careful what she says so that she can protect Brick. Brick's heart gave Randa new life and inspired her to move to Boulder, where she can watch over Eleanor like Brick did.
Sam hears back from Professor Morrison and reports to Dean that the language Arthur was speaking was ancient Mayan. He was repeating the phrase "The divine god Cacao is born." Cacao was the most powerful Mayan god, the god of maize. Dean is on the computer, and he tells Sam that according to the timeline, someone in Phoenix will be the next victim. The organ recipient who lives in Phoenix, Jimmy Tang, has been missing for days. He also notices an email to Sam from a university, answering questions about admissions. He asks Sam if he's serious about quitting hunting, and Sam answers that he's just looking at his options before changing the subject.
That night, Dean and Sam break into the Holmes house and search the master bedroom. They find two closets: one with Brick's clothes and one with Eleanor's. Dean implies that they may have been sharing the bedroom, and Sam is disgusted. In Brick's closet, Dean finds hair dye and, behind some clothes, a door to a hidden room. Inside, they discover a treasure trove of old athletic equipment, ranging from football and baseball gear to kendo and archery equipment. Sam conjectures that Brick collected it because he respected all forms of athleticism. Then Dean finds a box of old letters, all addressed to Betsy and signed the same way, "Me." They seem to span an impossible amount of time and cover a wide range of subjects: the writer boxed Sugar Ray Robinson and played the Red Sox and raced Alain Prost. The newest looking letter starts, "So tired of it all."
Back at their motel room, Sam researches the names of four men whose sports trophies were in Brick's hidden room. He brings up their pictures, the oldest of which is a boxer named Kelly Duran from October 19, 1937, and finds a striking physical similarity between them. It seems that Brick was just the most recent incarnation of a man who has been alive and playing competitive sports for at least 70 years. Dean guesses that it goes back much farther than that: Mayans were big fans of sports, and 900 years ago their athletes would make sacrifices to their gods by killing a person, pulling out his heart, and eating it. Sam points out that those athletes didn't live forever, but Dean thinks that Brick must have made a deal with the Mayan god Cacao so that he could continue living and competing in sports as long as he continued to make sacrifices to him. If that's true, then Sam thinks that the spell may have lived on in Brick's body and affected the people who received his organs. It may even be compelling them to perform the ritual. He takes another look at some news stories about Kelly and notices something else: Kelly's wife Betsy Duran looks like a younger Eleanor Holmes.
Sam and Dean confront Eleanor. She admits that she is Betsy, and that Brick was a Mayan athlete from almost 1000 years ago. She found out because though she started to age, he did not. They were deeply in love, so she overlooked the sacrifices he made twice a year, and went into hiding with him every 10 years so that he could reemerge as someone else. But Brick also changed, and he couldn't continue living knowing that his wife was getting older and at the end of her days he would be alone once more, so he ended his life by driving off a bridge. Eleanor had no idea that Brick's organs were compelling people to kill, but she thinks now that if they can stop Brick's beating heart, the spell will end.
On Eleanor's information, they head to 'The Bunny Hole' to find Randa, who has Brick's heart. She's not alone, though, and Paul Hayes and Jimmy Tang use their super strength to knock Sam out and subdue Dean. Randa explains to Dean that she was a shy, weak person before her heart transplant, but now she's a warrior, and she loves sacrificing to Cacao. She leans over him and starts to pull out his heart slowly, but Sam wakes up and breaks a bottle over Paul's head. Dean uses the distraction to grab his knife and stab Randa in the heart, killing her. Her death echoes through Paul and Jimmy, killing them as well.
Sam and Dean inform Eleanor of Randa's death, who thought they would fail and Randa would kill her, but she would finally be at peace either way. As they drive away, Dean is on a high, but Sam quickly derails his good mood. He tells Dean that he's never gotten the same satisfaction as he has from hunting, and after they find Kevin and the tablet, he's done with the hunting life. He liked having a normal life, wanting that as soon as they close the gates of Hell. Dean dismisses him, and Sam sits next to him silently in the Impala, remembering a picnic in the park that Amelia surprised him with on his birthday.
- "Good Love Gone Bad" by Jamie Dunlap & Scott Nickoley (MasterSource)
- (playing from inside the strip club as Randa kills a man in the alley)
Sam: Farmer's market. Organic. What? I had a year off. I took the time to enjoy the good things.
Dean: I bought a translation app.
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: What do you got?
Sam: I don't know. Is this Eleanor's closet?
Dean: Why would his mother's closet be in here? Are you sure?
Sam: Check this out. This is what she was wearing today when we talked to her.
Dean: Maybe she moved into Brick's room after he died. Or...
[Dean looks at the bed]
Dean: No, you don't.
Sam: Dean, the year that I took off, I had something I've never had. A normal life. I mean, I got to see what that felt like. I want that. I had that.
Sam: What is this?
Trivia & References
- Xena was the eponymous star of the 1990s TV show Xena: Warrior Princess.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts
- Character and plot spoilers from Zap2it
- Tweets from the crew during filming at Storify
- Possible Title and plot spoiler by zap2it
- Character info by TVLine
- Casting spoiler by TVLine
- Photos from filming by Just Jared
- Photos from filming and episode title by YVR Shoots
- Promo pics
- Episode Sneak peek
- CW promo
- CHCH promo
- Winchester Radio's podcast with Liane Balaban
- Interview with Kyra Zagorsky who played Randa Moreno by Sequential Tart