I can't believe we're already 5 episodes into the season. It's going so fast!
There were so many things to love about this episode. I have to admit I was expecting something really dreadful after seeing my twitter feed (lot's of discontent about it), so maybe because I was expecting that it ended up being not nearly as bad as I thought it might be.
There was only one thing (Dean's willingness to die to save the ghosts) that truly puzzled me, but I have since reconciled that (I'll get to that in a bit...).
The stuff I loved:
Genuinely scary opening scene!
The two brothers hunting together (*happy sigh* just like the good ole days).
Billie! The wonderful actress (Lisa Berry) just gobbles up the screen and is a gorgeous and powerful presence. I actually liked the explanation for how she became Death. It was a good get-out for the situation they had created (seriously, it must be SO difficult creating a tv WIP).
Sam being the BEST LITTLE BROTHER EVER! There were some of complaints about Sam being sidelined in this episode, but just his desire to lift Dean out of his depression and hopelessness gave him a powerful role in this episode. I know fans don't like either of their faves being the "caretakers", but there are times when they both play that role. Dean has done it MANY times for Sam. I don't think it hurts us seeing Sam being equally caring when Dean is in need.
The lovely banter between the brothers. More reveals about their relationship. They just know each other SO well (I loved that exchange about Dean knowing what Sam doesn't like etc).
Dean eating bacon. PERFECT! (That's me when I'm hung-over too *g*).
Dean post strip club. :)
Dean desperately wanting a win. This was so reminiscent of S2 when Sam needed a win to prove he wasn't evil. Sure, these themes are old ones in the series, but watching the boys struggle with their job in classic SPN. Either Sam is struggling (with Dean keeping the faith) or Dean is losing hope (with Sam keeping it for both of them). They BALANCE each other perfectly and I think this episode really explored that theme beautifully.
I loved - once again, that the boys were allowed to talk it our rather than what Dean saw being left unsaid (I thought for a minute that was going to happen and would have been majorly pissed off if that had happened).
Now for that kinda strange moment when Dean decided that killing himself was the best way to save the ghosts. I literally yelled "what the fuck?!" to the TV screen when he did that. It really came left of field and seemed completely over the top as a course of action. I then just thought "this is clearly a story devise to deliver some new information". And it was. It was created to re-introduce Billie as Death and help us understand the depths of Dean's disconnect and despair with his job. I also just felt that he, like us, knew he really wasn't going to die. It was a really strange moment. As much as I felt like, yes, Dean was ready to die if it was his time (he is just THAT tired and over it all), he wasn't actually suicidal. If that makes sense. He was just ready to make that ultimate sacrifice if it was called of him. I didn't like that Dean chose
to die (seriously? He carries those syringes around with him??) in order to help ghosts - I would rather that he somehow died and met Billie that way, but *shrugs* that was the direction the writer decided to go.
It was also a little weird (but also heroic) that when asked for whatever he wanted, he chose to save total strangers and not asked for his loved ones to be returned to him. It just felt that if Dean was that cut up about his losses THAT is what he would have wanted fixed - instead he thought beyond himself. Or maybe it was for himself? In that he wanted to still feel like he saved innocent people.
Death is a really difficult thing to deal with on the show and each time the boys choose it over life it creates interesting dilemmas. I figure we, as fans, examine it much more than the writers probably do.
Anyway. I enjoyed the episode. The acting was solid and it was well paced. Some good scares also. I wanted to see more of the drill ghost tho! He was interesting and scary....