I really enjoyed this episode, for the most part. The beginning was suitably creepy and kinda hair raising...then came the jokes and pranks that were pretty hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud frequently. But beyond the humor, it was just so good to see the boys acting like brothers again. It was fun to see them relating in a manner we recognize. It's been SO long and I had missed it.
Yes, some of the humor was juvenile, but it was such a nice tension reliever. I loved Sam's reaction when Dean stuck the buzzer to his chest. I know it really peeved Sam, but it reminded me of Route 666 when Sam wasn't 100% sure that having Dean park on hollowed ground would save him from the killer truck. And then Dean's incredulous reaction after he found out Sam was just playing a "hunch." LOL!
I'll admit here and now that I had to ask my hubby about the hairy palm. I had heard the going blind thing, and I knew enough to figure out the implications, but I didn't know that little boys are told they'll get a hairy palm if they engage in certain activities. *rolls eyes* Oh, Dean. Also, I really loved Misha's straight-faced delivery of, "It wasn't me" after he sat on Dean's whoopy cushion. He's so good at playing Cas and I look forward to seeing him in every episode. This reminded me of his straight-faced proclamation that God wasn't on any flatbread. Too. Funny. LOL, then Dean's, "Who put that there?"
Speaking of Cas, I clearly disagree with anyone who says he seemed unnecessary in this episode--that it felt like an attempt to just find some place to smush Cas into the storyline. And, yes, smush is a technical term. My own personal opinion is that, generally speaking, most of the fans to find him in any way like Bela, and just forced in, probably already have issues with Castiel in the first place.
I felt Cas was integral to introducing the moral dilemma of whether the boy should live or die. He provided the information on who the kid was and why he was dangerous. Of course Castiel would be afraid of this kid. I mean, looking at it from the larger scheme, I can see why he would be afraid of trusting some kid to make right, tough choices adults would struggle with--especially a kid with this kind of power, someone the demons would be all over like flies on pigs. Like he said, Sam didn't make the right choices, and he's an adult. So, to expect a child to be able to do better--it is a good point. And, wow, Sam was nowhere near THIS powerful. Very scary, indeed.
On the other side of the coin, I also see the argument of not punishing someone for something they haven't done yet--especially a kid. That everyone should be given the chance to prove themselves. I'm glad the boys didn't want to kill the boy--mostly because he was just a boy. While it is extremely dangerous to allow Jesse to live knowing he could wipe out the host of angels with a thought--I still couldn't bear to see the boys kill a kid. But, I knew the boys wouldn't want to kill the kid...it's not in their character to kill children who are, by all right's, innocent. So, Castiel was needed to introduce the tension.
Jesse was a cute kid, nice choice with the big ol' trusting eyes. The little actor did a good job. I loved that Jesse didn't like seeing the boys getting beat up by the demon and that he manhandled the thing right out of his mother. That was cool. Also, I loved the scenes between him and Dean. I don't know what ethereal thing Jensen has that works so well with kids, but Dean and kids equals WIN every single time. Dean is such a natural with them and it always succeeds in making my heart burst.
Okay, so I admit it. I'm in the minority, and that was expected, but the Bible line did bother me a little. My issue is not whether or not they are following the Bible's theology on how things are or not--the show is fiction, after all. It's fine that they are finding their own way to tell the story and are drawing on multiple sources...but to have an angel out and out state that the Bible gets more wrong than right--that's pushing the envelope into very uncomfortable territory for me.
For one, it wasn't necessary. They can play with the story all they want without stating that the Christian Bible is more fiction than truth. It was one of those unnecessary risk taking things that people think is so cool simply because it is risky and offensive to people like me.
From my standpoint, the Bible is the divine word of God and you just don't go around proclaiming it wrong for the sake of a TV show. Jeez, how easy would it have been to just leave it out? It was in no way important to back up Castiel's explanation, he could have explained the Antichrist without mentioning the Bible at all. I think that this was one of those purposefully risky moves taken in the name of being 'progressive.' But why risk alienating people when its not necessary? And if others don't agree, that's their right, but I really don't care to hear about it.
Back to the storyline. I think we will be seeing Jesse again and I'm nervous about what that means. The moral dilemma he presents is one that is not easily answered...and maybe has no real clear right or wrong answer. Though, if I had my way, Jesse would find some way to keep his powers under control and only use them for good. Because killing a kid--just so wrong on basic levels. But, the boys also have to save the world, so...
I enjoyed Sam's confession to Jesse that he wants to see him make the right choices because he didn't--that if he didn't do the right thing, make the right choices, it would haunt him the rest of his life. To me, that was the most honest and most compelling reason he could give Jesse, one the kid (and viewers) can sympathize with the most. The look that passed between Jesse and Sam--so poignant.
Plus, this dialogue made me feel like perhaps Sam has finally embraced the idea that the fact he has demon blood does not mean he can't make the right choices. That, not only does he accept his fault in all his choices last year, but maybe he finally has hope that he CAN make the right ones and deny the demon blood inside.
I also liked that Sam included Dean in on the "we're freaks ourselves" thing. This is reminiscent of season one when Dean tried to make Sam feel better about his powers by proclaiming them both freaks. It also felt unifying, which is a very good thing at this point, however small it seems.
And, while some are already complaining that Dean didn't stand up for Sam (like he really had an explicit opportunity anyway?) when Cas got in his face, I actually think it was a good thing. Sam has asked to be treated like an adult and not a little brother. To do that, Dean must allow him to fight his own battles and not be jumping in to protect him at every turn. If people believe in Sam's request to be treated like a man, than it only stands to reason that this is a part of that request.
Plus, Sam handled himself just fine. He gave as good as he got and this gave him an opportunity to say, "things change," which says a lot more on deeper terms than the actual words alone--which require a lot of thinky thoughts I'll spare you all of, hee. I actually enjoyed the interplay between Cas and Sam--and anyway, Dean did intercede, ever the compromiser and peacemaker (this time, between Cas/Sam rather than Sam/John). Eventually, I want Cas and Sam to be friends...but I can totally see why Cas said what he said--it was a harsh truth, and I felt bad for Sam, but it is a good argument on Castiel's behalf for not trusting humans--especially a child--to always make the best choices.
Anyway. I really liked the actress who played Jesse's mother, Julia. I've seen her before in other things, and there's just something about her that I like. I also liked that Dean once again confirmed that he and Cas are buddies. After a summer of people adamantly arguing that Dean felt nothing for Cas, I get a little selfish and, yeah, petty, thrill every time he says it. Sorry. I'm only human, lol!
Then the ep wraps up with Dean seeking a little a little comfort from Sam about messing up Jesse's life and both the boys admitting they wished their dad had lied to them. Oh boys. :(