On Valentine’s Day, things can still go bump in the night. If getting a paper cut from opening up a handmade Valentine too quickly could ruin the day, just imagine if a love spell went wrong in all the worst ways. For the “single and ready to mingle” crowd out there, the following episodes might make you thankful to be unattached. After all, monsters don’t take the day off, and it might be too late before a Slayer can arrive to save the day. For the ones who just want to ignore the sappiness of the holiday altogether, this might be the perfect antidote. The world is a big place, and while paper Valentines can come in many shapes and sizes, so can monsters.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – “Lupercalia”
On the mortal side of Greendale, Valentine’s Day is full of candy hearts and asking a crush to the high school dance. Roz (Jaz Sinclair) and Harvey (Ross Lynch) take the chance to slowly grow closer romantically, with plans to attend their school’s dance. Meanwhile, for the witches of Greendale, their celebrations are much more sexual and ancient, with roots going back to Rome. The arrival of a werewolf may not be so out-of-place but it most definitely threatens the blossoming romance between Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) and Nicolas (Gavin Leatherwood).
A part of season two, Halloween and Christmas got their witchy versions on the show. It’s only right on a show centered in the love and heartbreak of a teenage witch, Valentine’s Day gets its turn. Playing over the school dance is “Maneater” by Hall & Oates, fitting in well with the lusty activities and the lingering hairy beast. The song choice is also a not-so-subtle – but fun – way to express the divide in Greendale. While the mortals stick closely to the puritanical idea of romance, the witches aim is for sexual liberation, with an animalistic mating ritual. Even Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) gets in on the fun – or at least, she tries to.
Grimm – “Blind Love”
Nick and his friends attend a weekend getaway at a scenic hotel. Unknown to them, there’s a spurned hotel worker who plans to target them with Amor de Infierno, a sinister love spell. Not only does it make the victim fall passionately in love, it causes those targeted to fight to the death.
Coming up in its sixth and final season, “Blind Love” brings the whole gang together and offers glimpses of the past. The friendship of Nick (David Giuntoli) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is seen with an early interaction from the first season. But this episode isn’t a clip show. Once the nefariously named Amor de Infierno starts up, Nick’s partner, Hank (Russell Hornsby) gets the best result of this love potion. While every one of his friends fight one another, he’s far too busy. The instant he sees himself in a mirror, he’s head over heels for himself, serenading himself with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”
Fringe – “Midnight”
The Fringe Division is brought in to solve a series of murders leaving bodies around Boston in disturbing ways. The wife of a scientist has been infected with an STD, making her crave spinal fluid in order to survive. Which, for the men she picks up at clubs, doesn’t mean anything good.
Coming up at the end of its first season, FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), helping consultant Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), and his father Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) have seen enough weird cases to not really be fazed by a super STD that could make Dracula look like an easy adversary. Previous cases involved a computer virus which melts your brain and a $2 bill coated with a chemical substance that seals up all the orifices on the body with extra flesh. Here, an extinct strain of syphilis has been altered to inflict its host with high fevers and the intense urge to rip out a spine to drain the fluid.
Charmed – “Animal Pragmatism”
The search for love can make people turn to irrational methods. Three college students that Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) befriends in class attempt to use a spell to create the best man for each of them. Phoebe kindly offers some advice, which proves to be not a wise decision on her part. The college students, eager for love, successfully work the spell. Animals are turned into men, with dangerous instincts of survival still very much intact.
Phoebe is always the sister that can be counted on to help, even if maybe she really shouldn’t be. Picking up a store-bought spell book for love, like the college women do, wouldn’t have been dangerous on its own. But when they learn how to use it correctly, without any magic background, that’s when their problem becomes the Halliwell sisters’ problem. The crux of this series, not just this Season 2 episode, is about romance. Phoebe, Piper (Holly Marie Combs), and Prue (Shannen Doherty) may try to live normal lives, but they aren’t normal sisters. And that’s the best part in revisiting Charmed.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”
In high school, a hierarchy usually puts enormous space between a popular girl and a nerd. When Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) succumbs to peer pressure and breaks up with Xander (Nicholas Brendon), he struggles with how to handle it. He gets help in performing a love spell, but it soon goes haywire. Cordelia is not affected but everyone from Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) to others fall for him. It isn’t long before “heartbreak” takes on a literal meaning. Not even being a Slayer helps Buffy in this Season 2 episode.
Supernatural – “Love Hurts”
On Valentine’s Day, a young woman has her heart literally ripped out. At first glance, Sam and Dean believe they’re tracking down a werewolf with a bad attitude towards Valentine’s Day. But going deeper into their investigation, the brothers cross off that particular creature, sensing this goes back to the original victim and is much more personal.
After fifteen years on TV, Supernatural always knew how to have fun. Coming up in its eleventh season, this episode includes a hair salon with the name, The Art of Dyeing, perfect for the Supernatural universe.
The Vampire Diaries – “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
A dance, the Bitter Ball, is held for those with broken hearts. With music and balloons decorating the space, the themed party mementos are the best part: dead corsages and a shredding station to eat up photos of exes and old love notes. In squeezing out the romance, there’s no better time than Damon (Ian Somerhalder) to revert to a darker, more vicious side in his vampire nature.
Katherine (Nina Dobrev), taking over Elena’s body, plans to truly live life to its fullest, with several friends unaware of the possession. The two are ancestral doppelgängers, centuries apart. Introduced in this episode is Liv Parker (Penelope Mitchell), an inexperienced witch who becomes entangled with Bonnie (Kat Graham). And although Liv’s motive seems innocent enough, there was a different agenda at play. As hard as the Bitter Ball tries to push its loveless agenda, like the show, the characters can’t help but be persuaded in the opposite direction. As gothic as the show was, it would always find its way back to an integral part of the gothic genre: that of romance.
The X-Files – “The Rain King”
There’s no place like Kroner, Kansas, where a hailstorm can send heart-shaped ice thundering to the ground. It’s not the only strange meteorological event to take place in this town and it won’t be the last. A self-proclaimed rainmaker might not be the scam Scully (Gillian Anderson) thinks he is, as she and Mulder (David Duchovny) investigate. But the actual solution to this particular phenomena is entrenched in a small town love triangle.
There is no Fluke Man or mention of aliens. This is very much a stand-alone episode the show was famous for. Daryl Mootz (Clayton Rohner) is a desperate, greedy man who hates green jellybeans and loves someone when they can offer him something. Even his license plate (“RAINKNG”) is a plea for recognition. He is no Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel, that’s for sure. Keep an eye out for the mountains that loom over parts of this Kansas town, a landform that simply doesn’t exist in the leveled landscape of the state. But with this being The X-Files, stranger things do exist.
Supernatural – “My Bloody Valentine”
A first date goes south very quickly when a pair of young lovers eat each other alive due to their intense passion. Sam and Dean believe Cupid might be behind the act of cannibalism. The death count only rises, with each one different in its motivations. The brothers come to find it all connects to something demonic rather than a bubbly cherub.
Airing in its fifth season, the episode’s title is a major callback in keeping up with the show’s various nods to its influence from the horror genre. My Bloody Valentine was an early ’80s slasher film with a miner and his pickaxe eager to hit the soft spots of a victim’s body. In using the film’s title for an episode, the series gave a sly wink to the fans. While My Bloody Valentine became a cult classic, in 2009 it got a remake starring none other than Jensen Ackles, taking a small break away from Dean. Jared Padalecki who played Sam, wasn’t left behind, he went on to star in the Friday the 13th remake. Unfortunately, Jason Voorhees was never given the opportunity to be hunted down by the Winchester brothers in a crossover episode.
WandaVision: “Previously On”
Westview, New Jersey is in for a rude awakening. The true identity of Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) has been revealed. The witch, who’s favorite color scheme is purple, forces Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) into revisiting her painful past. In the show’s darkest and most revealing episode before the finale, it’s here fans find out just how much Wanda has self-destructed.
Just who was the Beekeeper that stepped out of the sewer? Why were residents freaking out at various times early on in the show? A surreal strangeness was prevalent in WandaVision from the beginning, akin to something filmmaker David Lynch might have made if he went mainstream and joined the MCU. In this penultimate episode, the curtain is pulled back. The darkness featured wasn’t dread but the realization of how overbearing grief can be. In a flashback scene, Vision (Paul Bettany) tries to comprehend the connection between injury and humor in Malcolm in the Middle. But sitting next to Wanda, the android offers his best advice on the grieving process. Wanda was so desperate to revive Vision to keep her grounded, everyone was hurt in the process. The “happy” residents of Westview are trapped in their bodies. And despite the earlier sentimental moments with Vision, Wanda seemed to have a sense it was all too good to be true. Grief ended up being the catalyst for the whole show.