--Okay, so basically the entire fandom called this development with Sam. I'll be intrigued to know how it works, since it's honestly something we've never seen on this show before. *curious*
--Sam's been keeping it quiet from everyone, even Papa Campbell? That's what last week suggested, which intrigues me. Do we know that Samuel came back whole? Should this also be investigated, Dean?
--Overall, I really liked the visual style of the episode. Directed by Jan Eliasberg has done a lot of TV, but not a lot of horror, and it's his (ETA: pardon me, HER!) first SPN ep. Nice job! Also, where'd they find that amazing house to shoot the final acts in? Wow.
--Jensen rocked this episode. Jared did very well, also, with a much more difficult and thankless part.
--Toughest moment for me to watch was the phone call with Lisa. But I was afraid it was going to be over-the-top awful, like some of the other truth-tellings. Instead, it was blunt and a bit harsh, but there was nothing Dean couldn't have guessed, nothing his reciprocal truth-telling couldn't have blunted. It was harsh, but there was no cruelty in it. This proves to me that, unlike most of the characters in the episode and even given all that Dean has held back from Lisa, their relationship is at its root a truthful and honest one. They love each other, not false images of each other. And that is...very special.
I still hope to see them get back together this season.
--Does anyone have insight into that very last bit? I'm usually okay with beat-downs, as long as I understand the character's motivations. Here, it didn't feel to me like Dean was simply angry, like Cas in "Point of No Return." In fact, what it reminded me of instead was Lucifer beating the crap out of Dean in "Swan Song." A sense of deliberately releasing frustration and rage on a helpless target. Dean, now *you're* scaring me.
ETA: Am I crazy, or are we on track with an obvious pattern?
Season One: find Dad.
Season Two: save (or stop) Sam
Season Three: find a way to break Dean's deal
Season Four: save (or stop) Sam
Season Five: find a way to stop the apocalypse
Season Six: ...save Sam?