I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. I mean, it wasn't earth shattering but I'm actually ok with that. In fact, I'm wondering what the hell is going on. Everything just seems a bit too, idk, easy? The boys are being nice to each other - some friendly brotherly banter and gestures of love - and the levels of angst aren't off the charts. Maybe the calm before the storm?
I really loved Everybody Hates Hitler so I was pleased to see the Aaron and the Thule society re-visited. And if it meant that Dean got to actually kill Hitler? Well, good for him!
I liked the references to the past - namely Sam being used to release Lucifer. These new writers (this time Meredith Glynn) are doing their homework and it's nice to see them going back to basics for their episodes.
It's weird though. I read a review (TV week or somewhere) and the reviewer was expressing great disappointment with it - stating it's the worse this season etc. I was struggling to really understand that because I didn't think it was that bad. But reading into the review a bit further I worked out what it was. She went into the episode with a certain expectation. She knew what the episode was going to be about and who was going to appear in it (Aaron) and had probably imagined all sorts of scenarios. The one that was presented didn't match those so the ep was a loss for her.
I knew little about this one (except it was revisiting the Thule) and had zero expectations of it. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it?
I suspect this is also the reason why so many didn't like the reunion ep (12.02). The expectations for a hug etc. were massive. It didn't deliver on that and so the disappointment was great.
I'm not sure how to reduce expectations (other than stay off line and read nothing) because I suppose we all hope an episode is going to deliver something close to what we want. Maybe my expectations are much lower these days. I'm honestly happy with a run of the mill Saving People Hunting Things episodes. I'm not bothered by small holes (like why didn't that antique shop have an alarm system?), as long as there's some character consistency and an entertaining MoTW. Which, for me, this ep delivered on.
Though I gotta say, it's hard to get excited about stuff just at the moment. I'm not sure about anyone else but I'm still feeling numb and flat after the disastrous US election. Even escapist TV is struggling to cut through that.