Television: Hungry Heart Gets a New Meaning – Commentary on Supernatural S5.14 My Bloody Valentine



Breaking News: The CW has announced today (2.16.10) that the hit series Supernatural starring Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins has been given an early renewal for a a 6th season. However the good news for fans and viewers of the show has been tempered by information coming out that series creator Eric Kripke is stepping down from his duties as show-runner on a day-to-day basis in season 6. Those duties will be turned over to executive producer Sera Gamble. Gamble has been with Supernatural since season 1, coming on board first as a writer than taking on executive producer duties as the seasons progressed. Kripke along with Robert Singer will both continue on with the series in their roles of Executive Producers and will still have a hand in the direction of the series. Word also has it that Kripke will also be using his time to work on a new project for Warner Brothers.

“Cupid, draw back you bow and let your arrow go straight to my lover’s heart for me.”

That’s a line from a very popular Valentine’s Day themed love song, but in Supernatural S.14 My Bloody Valentine (written by Ben Edlund and directed by Mike Rohl), it seems to have a very sinister and deadly consequence. Or does it? That’s what Sam (Jared Padalecki –who is getting married in two weeks to the lovely Genevieve Cortese aka Ruby 2.0) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester are at first led to believe by the Angel Castiel (Misha Collins) who is convince a Cupid (Lex Medlin, whom I have to say is one confident man) has gone rogue and is killing the lovers it first unites. Castiel tells them that a cupid is actually a lower level cherub and not incontinent. Nor, as we find out are they “little dudes with wings and a diaper”. The one in is this episode is a full grown, robust looking man with the gentle playfulness of an over eager puppy. It becomes apparent to both Winchesters and to Castiel that the whimsical cupid is not the one setting lovers up for the kill and they also quickly discover that it isn’t just hungry hearts that are dying, other people with other hungers are falling victim as well.


In rides a horseman, Famine (James Otis who turned in a awesomely creepy performance) on his black steed in the personification of withered old man in black wheelchair whose cataract covered eyes and pasty, corpse white skin speaks of death and corruption of the flesh. His malicious infection of rabid hungers is so powerful it begins to affect almost everyone in the town, including Castiel whose vessel has a strong craving for red meat and Sam who finds himself inexorably drawn to the blood of the demons that Famine has with him. Only Dean Winchester seems to be unaffected by Famine’s insidious powers. Famine has hungers of his own; he hungers to devour the souls of the humans who succumb to death by over consumption of whatever their craving it alcohol, food or sex.

As Sam says, the threat is that ‘the town is going eat, drink and screw itself to death” if they don’t find a way to stop the horseman known as Famine.

Supernatural S5.14 My Bloody Valentine was a unique mix of the series’ earlier days of ‘monster of the week’ episodes and an advancement of the current mytharc story of Lucifer unleashed and the rush towards the impending apocalypse that the Winchester brothers are trying desperately to stop from happening. The opening sequence of two young people who go from being an innocent couple on their romantic first date to ravenous flesh eaters devouring each other sets the tone for the episode as it goes from a simple hunt to a deadly fight for survival against another of Lucifer’s weapons of mass destruction aka The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The opening sequence in which we see the two lovers suddenly ripping the flesh off of each other with their bare teeth was almost too intense for this viewer to watch and I’m an avid horror movie buff. Yet, at the same time I appreciated the allegorical reference it made to Supernatural itself. The series and the brothers Winchester started out going on a straightforward quest to find their lost father while vanquishing monsters along the way. Sam and Dean’s tentative process of reconnecting with each other, which now seems so filled with innocence when you look back on it, has suddenly moved into the realm of two brothers being torn apart by a dark all devouring thing both of them had an unwitting hand in unleashing.


Another aspect of this episode that was cleverly done by the writer Ben Edlund and an interesting bit of character advancement was to give Castiel a hunger that was influenced by his human host body. Misha Collins did excellent work as a being that had for centuries been above the understanding of human frailties and now found himself succumbing to those frailties. I thought it was an interesting way of showing the audience the changes that Castiel has undergone and how he is being influenced by them but not so much from Dean and Sam but from inside of Jimmy Novak and his humanity. I think this better than Dean dragging Castiel to a whorehouse to change him. I like that it’s from Jimmy that Castiel might be finding his emotional resonance to better understand things and to help him form an emotional bond with his human brothers and sisters. I have to admit I haven’t been near as fond of Castiel this season as I was when he was introduced back in season 4, but S5.14 My Bloody Valentine reconnected this viewer back to liking Castiel again. I have to say that kudos go to both Ben Edlund and Misha Collins for that.

However if you will pardon the pun, the heart of this episode was very much the brothers Winchester and it was a pleasure to see both of them being given equal storyline and play within the episode. For the first time in a long time we got to see what was going on with Sam Winchester and how things were affecting him instead of just seeing the end point of the build up. Jared Padalecki was allowed to give us a Sam that was being tortured by the temptation of his hunger for the demon blood and his eventually fall to that temptation and the power it brings with it was something that had been so sorely missing in season 4.


Padalecki is a powerhouse of an actor and to see him be allowed to unleash that power in a storyline was one of the things that made this episode stand out for me. Supernatural S5.14 My Bloody Valentine gives the viewers and the fans a very chilling glimpse into why it is so important that Sam Winchester continue to remain strong enough to say no to becoming Lucifer’s vessel. That the burden that Sam is carrying is equally as heavy as the one Dean is carrying.

Speaking of Dean, writer Ben Edlund didn’t shirk away from delving into the darkest depths of the older Winchester brother’s fate either. My Bloody Valentine had the Horseman Famine taunting Dean with something that he fears most: that quite possibly something fundamental inside of him had died in hell and hadn’t been brought back to life when Castiel pulled him out. That this was why Famine’s presence had the opposite affect on Dean who lost all of his hungers, all of his needs. However it gave Dean the courage he needed to face the fact he can’t do this on his own, it gave him the humbleness to ask for help.


Jensen Ackles too is a powerhouse of an actor and never more so then when he is called on to show us Dean Winchester with his walls down and his emotions laid bare. Ackles has the power to move an audience to tears so that when Dean cries, we cry with him.

Overall Supernatural S5.14 My Bloody Valentine was filled with allegorical moments and character advancements of the kind that make this show worth watching. We learned more about the history of John and Mary Winchester and how far back the machinations that have brought Sam and Dean to where they are go in terms of how the chessboard has been set up. We feel their frustrations at being pawns in this game when Dean attempts to punch out cupid and when Sam admits he can’t go into the fight against Famine with Dean because the need to go back to the demon blood addiction is overpowering Sam.

Supernatural has gone on first run hiatus after the airing of S5.14 My Bloody Valentine and will return to first run on March 25th to finish out season five including the airing of the milestone 100th episode.


  1. Good review! I really like the perspective you have given to the events, rather than just providing a play-by-play. This episode was certainly a surprise in that what seemed like it might be a filler Monster of the Week kept twisting and turning into unexpected ways. It started off horror-movie gory giving a shout-out to its title namesake, took a humorous turn with a naked Cupid (who happened to be a chubby middle-age man), then proceeded to rip our hearts out in dealing with the emotional challenges of the brothers Winchester.

    So much of what Sam was going thru was handled off-screen in season 4, that it’s good to see the series getting their focus back on the brothers this season. And kudos to writer Edlund! I never associated him before with any of the emotional punches, but lately he has really been outdoing himself. I only wish the newer writers on the team had such a great grasp on the characterizations of our beloved established characters.

    It will be hard to not have new episodes for so long, but well worth it when it returns. And the recent renewal for Season Six was the best news ever!

  2. This was such a great episode, i loved cupid! Except the gory lovers biting eachother. Ew.
    would love to post up my blog about Supernatural, if anyone cares to read and follow or just comment on it.. 🙂

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