Dear Show, more like this one please *g*.
The best thing about this season is seeing Sam and Dean as recognisable characters again - they are the Sam and Dean I remember falling in love with. I have missed these brothers (so much it hurts!). The ones who fall into easy banter, have each others backs, care for the victims, are vulnerable (but kick-ass) and trust each other.
I am absolutely loving having this Dean back. Man, I have missed him. I know there are issues still wide open (and may never be addressed), but at least I'm seeing the characteristics that endeared me to him in the first place - smart, smooth-talking, caring, vulnerable, strong. Him finally opening up to Sam about Amara was such a relief - not only because it removed that secret between them, but because Sam already knew and had been waiting for Dean to be ready to share it. Sam not judging or blaming him came as no surprise to me. That's the Sam I feel in love with too. <3
I'd say there was some character development for the characters here, but I won't. I actually don't believe that actually exists any more - and not in a negative way, just in a factual way. They will go where the story takes them and if that means that next week a new secret develops between then that's where they'll go. I won't like it, but it's just the way it is.
As I've said before (probably many times!) MoTW eps with a splash of myth arc are my fave kind of episodes. Add in some great bro moments (yay rock, paper, scissors *g*), some scary bits, remove the heavy angels and demons SL and I'm there!
I like the way this episode continued the mystery about Amara's hold over Dean, without making it an excuse to have the brothers hate on each other. The non-consensual element of this is intriguing and I would love to think this might be a vehicle to examine this whole issue in the show, but I'm not holding my breath on that.
I seem to be much more invested in Amara's hold over Dean than I was the MoC's. I know the MoC is still in play, but at least this isn't make Dean unrecognisable (and, ya know, a bit of a dick). I love his vulnerability and confusion about what's happening to him (rather than stoic ignorance we saw last season).
I'm not sure how I feel about Amara yet. At the moment she doesn't make much sense. Apparently she's the most scariest thing EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD, and yet we've not really seen that. Sure, she smited (smote??) some dick angels and perhaps killed a couple of innocents but so far she's no more threatening than anything else we have seen. Also - she's God's sister. That's kind of huge and yet seems rather meh so far. But I'm happy to wait and see where that goes.
I really enjoyed the mystery of the MotW - and how clever the boys were in solving it. Sure, there were a couple of annoying moments (like why didn't Sam stab that heart as soon as he found it and why did he put his gun down etc), but I can easily overlook those.
I know some of fandom were hoping Dean may, once again, ask Sam to be his Valentine (as he did in the last two Valentine episodes), but at the end of the episode Dean opened his heart to Sam and Sam gave his heart to Dean. That's seems very Valentines to me. :))