In a very nice move on the part of the writers, this episode begins with the fallout from “Hunted”, focusing squarely on Sam’s reaction to Ava’s apparent murder of her fiancé. In fact, like so many episodes of this series, the scenario is designed to facilitate the exploration of Sam’s grief and guilt. The supporting story (in essence, a classic haunted house variation) manages to chart a parallel course.
The theme this week is self-sacrifice. In the first half of the season, Sam’s motivation has been slowly developing and evolving. Initially, it was simply a desire to take down the demon that killed his mother and Jessica. There were other influences and motivations at work, but they were at the forefront. By the end of the first season, it was clear that the situation had changed. Sam wanted to be a hunter, despite the chance to walk away. Now it’s becoming very clear: Sam is willing to sacrifice his happiness and freedom to prevent others like himself from destroying innocent lives.
With Ava’s apparent turn towards evil, Sam is no longer certain that his intentions will be enough to prevent his own slip into the dark side.