I confess that ep wasn't really my cup of tea. I'm not sure if it didn't grab me because I was feeling pretty grumpy going into the ep (having a blue with my daughter will do that to me), or if I was genuinely just annoyed with it.
I felt that it was a well structure episode with some great performance from the guest stars, but I really do struggle with anything angel related these days. I think what might have set me off on the wrong foot was Dean being so damn churlish and petulant with Cas. I get being angry with Cas's decision for the consequence-inviting death of Billie - but the silent treatment? Really? I actually feel for the destiel fans sometimes. They really do set these two up with romantic overtones - with full knowledge that Dean and Cas are never going to be a couple. Is it to appease (tease?) a section of fandom? I dunno - but it makes it difficult for me to watch. I really want to believe Dean and Cas (and Sam dammit!) are best friends, but I seldom really feel it. I also want to see them as three brothers - but there's always something just slightly off about that for me as well.
Maybe it was just lacking some humour or something (or maybe I was! *g*)
And perhaps it is just about what flavour of character I like to see. I love Dean like he was in last week's episode. Strong and stoic and badass - not pouty and moody like he was in this one. Just my personal preference. I also prefer a solid Cas - not constantly second guessing himself and making mistakes (which I know is part of his character arc, but still...).
Perhaps this is an episode I will look back on and see the layers they were playing with in it. Sam and Dean are still working closely together, which is always a bonus, and there were some nice little moments between them which I really enjoyed. And I liked Sam connecting with Lily (her performance was excellent) - it was nice to see a reference to Sam being soulless.
Meta Rec- if you haven't already seen frozen_delight's meta Do I look like Paris Hilton? Dean as SPN's Cinematic Female Other I recommend you take a look. It's an in-depth look on the way Dean is filmed in the show. I confess some of it is a little over my head (the term "female-other" is something I haven't come across before), but there's certainly lots of pretty and some great observations.
Curiously, I have never considered Dean feminised - or perhaps I'm thinking of "feminine" (?). I wonder if that differs for everyone. If I had to pick one brother over the other as more "feminine" it would be Sam - but I actually see them both as very masculine. I feel like the way Jensen is filmed as in recognition to his stunning good looks. The camera adores him and the show takes advantage of that. :)