I confess to thoroughly spoiling myself before watching this episode. I didn't want to feel the anger I did after the last episode, so I went in prepared!
I think it helped a bit actually. I didn't feel anger or annoyance. In fact, I didn't really feel anything. I'm not sure if that's worse actually. Feeling anger at least means I still care. After this episode I just felt numb and I'm worried that if I stop caring it will mean the end of this obsession (which might be a good thing? *g*).
It's true to form for me though. All through S11 I have been thrilled with the MoTW stand alone episodes and mostly non-plussed with the myth arc ones. In fact, I usually feel that with most seasons, so I'm not too worried about feeling it now.
There are elements in the myth arc I'm liking (Dean's strange connection to Amara has been intriguing and I'm holding on to some hope that it will all mean something significant by the end of it all), but the rest of it has mostly left me scratching my head. I think if I was prepared to look into it all more deeply (perhaps see the heaven and hell stories as parallels for Sam and Dean's story etc), I might be more enthralled but at the moment I just can't do that because I don't thing they're doing it. So much seems ad hoc, or rather "how about we do this and see what happens". I dunno. Perhaps I'm just a little tired with it all.
The positive take aways:
Jensen's performance (and therefore Thomas Wright's direction) was excellent. There's no doubt this was a Dean heavy episode and Jensen really committed himself to it. His anger, disappointment, wariness and confusion were all in play and it was pretty much the highlight of the episode for me. His response to God was believable. It's how I expected Dean to react.
Resolving Kevin's storyline was satisfying (even though it made little sense. So he was in the veil all this time? Where is his mom? Did he go to heaven without his mom? etc).
Resolving Metatron's storyline was also satisfying (even though I don't doubt he'll pop up again some time in the future. There seriously is no such thing as dead in this Show). Also, I applaud Curtis' performance as Metatron. He was thoroughly despicable (until they decided to redeem his character) and I put that down to his performance. I'm not sorry to see him gone though.
Even though I really dislike the idea of God being "real", it was handled better than I thought it might have been. It makes little sense to me, but at least they didn't even attempt to make it make sense. God was arrogant enough for me to accept that he wouldn't go and alleviate the world's suffering. All heaven and hell beings are pretty much dicks, so at least there is consistency here. And Rob was thoroughly loving being on set - there was delight in his performance and if I wasn't still so annoyed at them making Chuck God I am sure I would have liked it even more.
No mention of the amulet. Not surprising. It's either being hidden until the finale or just hidden.
The negative take aways:
I'm not one to complain about Sam light episodes as such. I believe you can have an episode where one of the actors has less to do than the other, but that character can still be important. The problem with this episode is that Sam was rendered insignificant. He was written over (as in, cut off and not present) and I can't work out why. I accept that it was a Dean focussed episode (and an important one for Dean), but I'm not sure why Sam had to be whitewashed in the process. Especially when his faith in God has been very much a part of his character. Him fanboying God was weird. I know it's very Sam (he did the same to Cas when they first met), but surely Sam has moved on since then. That said, it did prove how utterly forgiving Sam is. He can look at God, know he let him suffer in the cage, leave his prayers unanswered, blame him for letting out Lucifer and STILL look at him with the utmost respect and wonderment. Go Sam. One day I hope someone will be as forgiving of you.
Sam's "maybe my prays got lost in the spam" was heartbreaking. It would have been lovely to have a follow up scene about this.
I liked the new prophet, but I'm tired of them introducing things like that just to get out of a problem they've written themselves into.
I can't work out what's going on (though I admit to not reeeeally trying). I'm going to wait until the end of the season and hopefully look back and see what that was all about. My only hope is that both Sam AND Dean are involved in the resolution - and it's not one of them having to sacrifice themselves or dying. But I think I better not hold my breath on that one (and there's just so much to resolve - Amara (wanting to destroy the world? Or just get with Dean?), Lucifer (getting him out of Cas and then using him to stop Amara and then putting him back in the cage. Or maybe he'll be redeemed also?), and God abandoning the world (which wouldn't be any different to how things have been anyway). Let alone the suggestion that a "chosen one" has to use a Hand of God to banish Amara. That episode suggested that both Sam and Dean are chosen ones? Or just Dean? And what about Crowley and Rowena? I suspect it ALL won't be tied up by the end of the season.
I know the next two episodes are all myth arc so I confess to not being that excited about them. But knowing that Beren's is writing the next ep and Dabb the finale does give me hope. I do trust Beren's ability to solidly tie things together.
News of Carver leaving.
I've had a hard time with Carver's tenure. I will always be sad that there was so much nastiness and distrust created between Sam and Dean for the sake of drama during S8-S10. S11 went a long way in fixing that and I hope with Carver leaving we will see a new era of the boys working together and not doing horrible things to each other. I'm certainly not mourning his departure. I have no idea what Dabb will be like. As I tweeted - as long as S12 doesn't start with Sam not looking/saving/rescuing Dean it will already be off to a better start than Carver's first season (and yep, I am speculating that Dean will need saving/finding. I hope I'm wrong, but we'll see!).