I'm not sure how much longer I will post a reaction to episodes. I think it will mostly depend on how the episodes grab me. I am hesitant to be too negative (there's just too much to feel negative about in the real world at the moment) and I also feel writing any meta is challenging - I've lost the belief that things from one episode are connected to any other (in terms of character development etc), but I think some writers still do a great job within an episode.
Having said all that, I do have some things to say about 12.09. :)
I thought this was a solid, entertaining episode. I absolutely loved the boys - how fabulous (and refreshing) to see them being such competent hunters. I think my favourite thing this season has been seeing them work together so seamlessly. There's no antagonism between them - they just get on like best friends and brothers *happy sigh*. And damn, they looked amazing.
I loved Dean SO much in this episode. He was stoic and strong. He was a real leader and displayed confidence. Sam, at times, seemed unsure and I loved the way Dean's demeanour helped him stay strong. They were a great team - few words passed between them, but they had an inner understanding of each other.
I didn't think I was going to enjoy the Cas and Mary partnership as much as I did. I mostly loved that they called each other out on their mistakes - Cas leaving them behind and Mary not being around.
In fact, I really love what they're doing with Mary. She's not the prefect mother. She's flawed - just like Sam, Dean and John. It's what makes these characters so interesting and compelling. It makes sense to me that Mary is confused and unsure. The only thing she really knows how to do is hunt - not be a mother to her grown up sons. It's a fascinating study (and looks deeper as what it means to always feel like you're not good enough as a mother).
Even Cas was more interesting to me. I think, for the first time, I really did understand his connection to Sam and Dean. It's extremely personal and I like that we're getting to see that. Cas so often seems to do the "wrong" thing and I'd like to think we're getting a deeper look into that.
The BMoL are quite intriguing as the "big bad". They really are morally corrupt people and with the way the world seems to be going (oops, sorry to bring in politics) it's very topical. They are presented as people (white men no less) who feel they are above every one else and so what ever they do is for "the good". I would love to see this followed up as the season progresses.
I totally believed Mary was going to kill herself to save her boys (because I think this is probably how she'll be killed off when they do it) so it's only looking back that I can appreciate my relief that she didn't die overshadowed the fact that they killed Billie. I LOVED BILLIE! Though I actually think she'll be back - along with Death (as least I hope so).
My only *head scratches* were how easily Sam and Dean got away from the facility. I figure that no one ever gets out of the cells so the exterior isn't patrolled like a prison would be?
Also - they told the boys they would be left in the dark. That freaked me out when I heard that - but it turns out there was light. I thought total darkness would be a horrible torture. I totally felt that Dean would go crazy without that human contact though.
Overall a solid, well-balanced, entertaining episode. :)