WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS
This isn’t the first time Supernatural has done a Valentine-themed episode, but out of all the times, ‘Love Hurts’ was probably the dullest one. At least it served to make a statement on all the Dean/Amara talk.
This time, the case of the week and its characters took most of the spotlight of the episode. In fact, we didn’t get to see some relevant Sam or Dean moments until the second half of the episode with fake!Amara’s appearance. The premise of ‘Love Hurts’ felt uninspired and pretty simple, but it was still entertaining in some moments. Besides, I really enjoy shapeshifters, even if that wasn’t exactly the case this time. The addition of witchcraft was a nice twist, but it was executed poorly as the pacing went from 100 to 0 after Melissa started talking about Sonja. The inconsistent direction didn’t help much either.
As per the brothers, this episode was more focused on Dean and his relationship with Amara. From the beginning, we saw Dean kind of going back to his old unhealthy habits (how many times have we gone back and forth with this?). It’s clear that Amara is affecting him negatively and that the whole Darkness problem feels much more personal to him. When affected by the kiss of death (which he took voluntarily), the person that appears to him is non other than Amara. Was anyone really surprised? However, Dean didn’t act like an embarrassed, flustered person in front of their crush. He was more freaked out than anything. In fact, when he later talks to Sam (YES, HE WAS HONEST WITH SAM ABOUT IT), he tells him that it’s not “love” or a romantic desire. And I’m glad they clarified that. Dean and Amara’s connection has always felt more spiritual than anything, like a direct consequence of Dean’s past actions. Amara has been toying with him since the beginning and if Dean has ever showed any kind of weakness around her, it’s probably non-consensual, a reaction that he can’t quite control.
Dean/Amara was off since the beginning and I never thought romantic love would be part of the equation in beating the Darkness. As forgettable as ‘Love Hurts’ was, at least I’m glad it clarified this aspect.