Well That was rather curious...
This episode felt kind of weird to me. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it but there were some moments that really had me scratching my head - mostly the little 4th wall breakages. Seeing Negan's (aka papa Winchester) barb-wired covered baseball bat was both hilarious and strange. I loved the shoutout and TWD crossover but it took me completely out of the moment and I wondered if we were in for one of the comedy eps. Then there was the Queen referenced in one scene (a shout out to Misha's Queen obsession during his GISHWHE week) and the comment "girl of the week". The show referenced it's own format and that threw me off too.
All in all I think the rhythm was slightly off. I can't really put my finger on it.
Sam and Dean's banter was funny and cute (and really Sam? You keep track of Dean's underwear?? DO TELL!!). They had an easy familiarity between them which is always lovely to watch.
I found the opening really interesting. It had all the hallmarks of a typical SPN opening (killing by the monster of the week), but, unusually, it took its time to establish the characters. It seemed weird, but by the end it made some sense. The girl's story (eek, can't remember her name off the top of my head) became an important part of Sam's story later on.
I found the performance of the actress playing said girl to be quite weak and I couldn't tell if she was deliberating playing someone in shock or just giving us nothing.
I also found it weird that Sam and Dean would visit her only to tell her she was mistaken in what she saw (to help her sleep at night?!). We haven't seen them do that since S2 (Ronald from NightShifter). And then they drive away and then, um, come back (seemingly...what? having a "feeling" she was in trouble?) to save the day.
Meanwhile, we have Cas and Crowley interludes. It was good to see what Cas was actually up to rather than just being told he's looking for Kelly. I liked seeing Cas wanting to be accepted back into heaven (but why does he have such dry lips?! It's always so distracting...).
I think one of my favourite moments in this episode was the twist with Crowley. Finally! Smart!Crowley. Though I couldn't believe how dumb those two other demons were (like DUH! guys. It's Lucifer!!!). I thought Crowley was going to get taken down again, but yay! He outsmarted Lucifer AND made sense of why he kept the vessel for so long. THANK YOU SHOW!
Other little oddities - what really was the point of Crowley being there with Dean? He told them about the hellhound being loose but that he couldn't control it. So, um, why was he needed? (my own answer - so he could "bond" more with Sam and Dean for something in the future). The girl thanking him and then Sam thanking him was strange considering he didn't actually do anything (other than turn up). I suspect we are leading to Crowley being more "helpful" in the future.
At first I was puzzled why on earth Dean would tell Sam to look after Baby when he was about to drive her - as if a) Sam doesn't know how much she means to Dean and b) Dean doesn't know how much Baby means to Sam - but we later find out that the dialogue was about what happened to her in the end. So yeah - just a "joke". But kinda lame when we know the history of Baby and the boys.
Dean, once again, didn't get the chance to kill the hellhound. It didn't bother me initially but then I saw some discontent about this on Twitter and I could see their point. It probably would have been satisfying to see Dean get his revenge. But, then again, Sam has some history with them too and he'd equally want to kill one.
Another one of my favourite bits was the parallel between the girl (I really should look up her name) and her would-be-boyfriend. Sam connected her lack of honesty to his own and it brought about him telling Dean about the BMoL. Firstly - yay! - we don't have weeks of Sam keeping a secret and secondly *phew* it didn't create disconnect between them. Though I suspect when they discover the true nature of the BMoL Sam will feel guilty for getting Dean involved. Or something. The big reveal about what they've done is yet to come, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
So yeah. Mixed bag. Some pacing issues, some canon issues but it was mixed with cute banter and some satisfying moments.