(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)
Season 2, Episode 17: Heart
Image and episode summary from Wikipedia:
The brothers investigate a series of werewolf attacks in San Francisco, California, and meet Madison (Emmanuelle Vaugier), the secretary of the latest victim. After speaking to her, they suspect her violent ex-boyfriend Kurt is the werewolf. Dean searches for him while Sam protects Madison. There is an attraction between the two, but Sam does not respond to her flirtation. That night, Madison transforms into a werewolf and sneaks out; she attempts to kill Kurt, but Dean arrives to find Kurt dead and chases Madison away. The next day, the brothers deduce that she had been infected during an apparent mugging the previous month. According to werewolf lore in John Winchester's journal, a werewolf will return to normal if his or her "sire" dies. Dean is able to kill the werewolf, who is revealed to be Madison’s neighbor. When she does not change the next night, they believe the curse has been lifted. A happy Sam and Madison have sex the following night, but she later transforms once again and flees. Not wanting to live as a monster and with no known cure, Madison convinces a distraught Sam to kill her.
I remember really liking this episode the first time I saw it. I know I’ve seen it at least a couple of times, but I don’t really remember the details.
Ok we open at a bar full of young people having fancy looking drinks, including a girl named Maddie. Some lame guy comes up and tries to hit on Maddie. Ooh but then some creeper is there staring at her and it seems to freak her out. Then he’s gone! She says she has to leave. Strange.
Of course she’s walking alone, in the dark, through a giant parking lot. No good will come of this! She gets in her car, phew. But then the creepy staring guy is there in the parking lot watching her!
Cut to next morning, at the office. Maddie’s getting some water but notices that there’s blood smeared on a door. She goes in to the office and finds the lame guy who was trying to hit on her the previous night (who, it turns out, works in her office) totally mauled on his desk. Cue scream!
Sam is at the morgue checking out the lame guy’s dead body. The guy was bitten by something – the medical examiner thinks it could have been a wolf, off the record, but she’s going with pitbull. And the guy’s heart was missing! Yikes!
Back at the motel, Sam fills Dean in. They talk about the lunar cycle – seems that there’s a full moon is coming up this week. Dean seems pretty excited about the possibility of this being a werewolf. They haven’t seen one since they were kids! You need a silver bullet to take a werewolf down.
The brothers go to interview Maddie. Her neighbour, Len, is there but leaves when they arrive. I think he’s in love with Maddie.
The brothers interview her about the dead guy, Nate. She was his assistant.
Maddie tells them that her ex, Kurt, has kind of been stalking her and thought that she was cheating on him with Nate, so he came to their office once and the guys got into it. Also, it turns out he was the creeper watching her the night Nate died. That’s mighty suspicious.
Sam thinks the stalker ex could be the werewolf and they go to check out Kurt. While they’re off, we see Maddie in her apartment, looking out the window. Kurt is down on the sidewalk staring up at her. She looks again and he’s gone. Creepy!
Sam and Dean let themselves into Kurt’s place and start looking around. Someone is in there watching them! Haha Sam telling Dean to look in the freezer in case there are human hearts behind the Haagen Daas (and Dean going to do it, before he hears a noise outside). Dean goes out onto the balcony and sees what look like claw marks on the exterior of the building. He and Sam take a look.
Down on the street, a police officer hears a commotion down an alley and goes to check it out. He’s attacked by something and the bros hear his gun go off. They run down to check and find his dead body. The police officer has also been mauled with his heart ripped out! Things are escalating!
Sam volunteers to call 911 and Dean gets closer to the body to check it out. He thinks Kurt is the likely suspect and Sam says they’d better check on Madison.
Glen opens his door when he hears the boys knocking on Maddie’s door. Sam and Dean go inside to talk to Maddie. She tells them Kurt was outside her place the night before. Dean says one of them should stay here with Maddie for the night, in case Kurt comes by. They argue over who gets to stay behind with Maddie while the other goes to check out the auto shop where Kurt works. They rock paper scissors for it and Sam wins. Sam stays behind with Maddie while Dean goes out.
There’s a little bit of tension between Maddie and Sam. Precious season two Sam! He gets all nervous while Maddie folds her laundry (undies!) in front of him haha.
Dean calls Sam from Kurt’s shop and apparently Kurt hasn’t been to work all week, but Dean has an idea of where he might be. He teases Sam about being awkward around Maddie.
Maddie moves to the couch to sit beside Sam and turns on the TV. They start talking when Sam makes a face at what she’s watching. Cute. Once it’s over, Sam seems like he’s into the show too, haha. It seems like an icebreaker between the two of them.
Sam asks her why a smart, independent girl like her would be with Kurt. She says she stayed with him because she was too insecure to leave and eventually her life changed – she got mugged, and it made her realize she could take control of her life – and she became more confident and secure. The first move was getting rid of Kurt.
There’s some cute flirting between Maddie and Sam. He definitely likes her. But then Dean calls, interrupting their moment. Dean has found Kurt at a stripclub. He doesn’t seem to mind hanging around there to keep an eye on Kurt!
Back at Maddie’s, she says goodnight to Sam and he tells her to call if she hears anything. Sam stays up watching TV on the couch. Maddie’s bedroom door in the background is ajar.
Out on the street, Dean waits in an alley behind what I assume is Kurt’s place, loading his gun. He hears a window break and runs up to the apartment, busting inside and finds a bloody Kurt on the floor, with Maddie kneeling over him! She looks not herself. Maddie attacks Dean, who slices her with a silver blade before she runs off, out the window.
Back at Maddie’s, the sun is coming up. Sam’s phone rings – it’s Dean calling from Kurt’s. He tells Sam Maddie is the werewolf. Sam goes to her room and finds her sleeping in bed. He tells Dean he’s been there the whole time but Dean says he knicked her right arm with a silver knife and to check.
Maddie wakes up, naked under the covers. Sam seems to realize what this means. He locks her door and tells her she’s not going anywhere. Oh boy.
Sam seems to have now filled Maddie in on the hunting thing – she doesn’t believe in monsters and seems scared of him (he is standing there with a gun); he’s not pleased with her for lying about who she is/where she was. She has the cut on her right arm…
Maddie tearfully tells Sam she’s not what he thinks she is. Dean shows up and comes in to see Maddie. The boys both have a gun and Maddie is tied to a chair. This is not good. No wonder she’s scared.
Sam tells Dean that Maddie doesn’t seem to have any idea that she’s a werewolf. Dean doesn’t buy it but Sam thinks it’s possible that she’s not conscious of what she’s doing as a wolf. Dean says that’s why she’s dangerous.
Dean says she’s a monster – and what, does Sam feel sorry for her? Sam says maybe he understands her. Maybe there’s a way to help her, a way to stop her that doesn’t involve having to kill her. Obviously Sam is thinking about his abilities and whatever he’s supposed to become, and their father’s warning to Dean earlier in the season. I would say someone turning into a werewolf and killing people is pretty dangerous, especially if the person can’t control it and doesn’t even seem to be aware of it, but I agree with Sam that they should look for ways to help without going lethal right away. Madison is a nice person and sometimes the monster inside a person is totally separate from who the person is.
Apparently, John Winchester had a theory: if you kill the werewolf that bit you, severing the bloodline, it might cure lycanthropy. Dean emphasises the ‘might’. Sam wants to try it. He thinks he knows when Madison was bitten. He asks her when she was mugged. She tells them it was about a month ago. She never saw the guy. Sam asks if the mugger bit her and she confirms that he did, on the back of her neck. Sam puts his gun down and goes to check. It looks like an intense bite but Dean says it could have been worse. He asks where she was, and she tells them she was walking home from a friend’s, not too far from a site of earlier werewolf attacks that Sam and Dean discussed in the beginning of the episode.
Sam thinks they should try this cure. He tells Dean he’ll stay with Madison while Dean goes out to look for the wolf that bit her and says he’ll shoot Maddie if she gets loose (the full moon is coming up). Madison begs Sam to let her go. Sam goes to sit with her and says that he’s trying to help her. He knows she’s scared but if this goes the way he prays it does, he’ll untie her and walk out the door and never come back. She’ll live the rest of her life and he’ll just be a bad memory.
Dean is out checking out the area where Maddie was mugged. The brothers think it’s a werewolf hunting ground. As the full moon comes out, Maddie changes and gets loose. She attacks Sam and he pulls his gun. He traps her in a room in her apartment. Meanwhile someone is attacked but Dean shows up in time and shoots the attacker with silver bullets. The werewolf was Glen, Maddie’s neighbour! Dean goes over to him, and as he dies, he turns back to a human, and doesn’t seem to know where he is or what’s happened. He asks Dean for help. Then he dies. That’s rough.
Back at Maddie’s, she wakes up the next morning, human again. Sam tells her it should be over now and she’ll never see him again. Maddie surveys the damage she caused to the room in her wolf form – there are scratches everywhere – and when she turns around again, Sam’s gone.
In the Impala, parked outside, Dean tells Sam that it was sad, with Glen having no clue what was going on. They wonder why Glenn turned Maddie instead of killing her when he attacked her.
Dean asks Sam about Sam and Maddie – and then she shows up, knocking on the passenger side window. Dean tells her they’re lurking because they’re pretty sure she isn’t going to turn tonight, but they aren’t certain. Madison invites them up to her place to wait it out.
She tells Sam that he was telling the truth about everything, and what he did was to help her. They seem to share a moment, with Dean looking on knowingly.
They have a few hours to kill until the sun goes down, and eventually we see the full moon in the sky. Dean is ready with his gun. Maddie and Sam sit on the couch, nervously. The three of them later watch the sun rise and they tell Maddie that it worked. She hugs Sam, thanking him, and thanks Dean too (after he clears his throat haha). Dean excuses himself, saying he’s heading back to their hotel.
Sam stays behind and he and Madison talk about the two of them – if they could go back to before he tied her to a chair and she scratched him up, but there’s no way they can. But then they aggressively start making out and things escalate! Is this the first girl that Sam sleeps with since Jess? I think it is.
Now the full moon is out again and Sam wakes in Madison’s bed to find her at the window, a werewolf again! It didn’t work after all! She leaves out the window and Sam heads back to the motel to tell Dean what happened. Sam called Bobby, who apparently knew severing the bloodline wouldn’t work and that there is no way to undo lycanthropy.
Sam is determined to find a way, but Dean says that there’s no choice. Part of her is evil but Sam says what’s the difference between Madison and himself?
Madison calls Sam later from a payphone and tells him where she is. The boys go to find her.
Back at her place, she tells them that she doesn’t remember anything. She probably killed someone last night, she says, but Dean says there’s no way to know. She asks if there’s anything else they can try. Sam tries to be positive, but Dean tells her there’s no cure. She asks Sam if he’s right, and Sam doesn’t answer.
Dean says they could lock her up at night, but some night she will get out and someone else will die. Dean says he’s sorry. He and Sam both seem to have tears in their eyes.
Madison says that’s all there is to it then. Sam gets upset but she says she doesn’t want to hurt anyone else, or Sam. She picks up the gun and gives it to him, saying she can’t do it herself and needs him to help her. To kill her! Sam won’t do it. Madison tells him she’s a monster. Sam tearfully says they’ll find a way and he’ll save her. Madison says she knows he tried, and this is all there is left. She wants Sam to be the one to do it. She doesn’t want to die but she can’t live like this. This is the way Sam can save her.
They’re both crying! Dean takes the gun from Sam, who walks away. Dean follows him. Sam is crying and Dean says he’s sorry. Sam says no, Madison is right. Dean says he’s got this one, he’ll do it, but Sam says Madison asked him to. Dean tells Sam he doesn’t have to, but Sam says he does. He asks Dean for the gun, and asks Dean to wait there.
Sam has tears streaming down his face and as he walks away, and Dean cries as well. The camera stays on Dean as Sam exits the room, and even though I knew it was coming, it was jarring to hear the gunshot. And then that’s it – end of episode.
I really like this one. It’s so good. We see again the idea that they can’t save everyone, but they try. And again we see the way that Dean still argues that monsters are monsters and need to be put down, no matter how nice a girl Madison is, but Sam wants to try and save her. And clearly Sam is drawing parallels between Madison and himself. This was actually an episode that I recall stayed with me – that last scene where Sam kills Madison off-camera was so well done and in later seasons, when they go all out to try and help/save people, I often thought back to this episode, a really sad example of them not being able to save someone.
-Werewolf: apparently people don’t remember turning and killing people in werewolf form; turn at the full moon; maul people and eat the heart; can be killed with silver bullets. No cure.