Last night's SPN was finally pure squee for me.
Dean finally found out what Sam was up to, and as we expected... was not pleased. Ensuing showdown-- about time! The best part of this was Sam spelling out what he'd been living with (which Dean had no idea about), including the way he felt Dean regarded him. That was a lot to carry around, so it was nice to hear him say it.
I do question why Ruby needed to come along with Sam every time he was doing his thing-- backup, I suppose, since he hadn't let Dean in on it. But it tended to seem like an excuse to drag Ruby 2.0 out of the box again and again, and I really find the actress' line delivery godawful, so less is more!
Dean and Castiel's objections aside, it's hard for me to see what's objectively bad about what Sam's doing. Previously, the boys could exorcise demons (which freed only the host-- the demon was still loose) or use Ruby's demon-killing knife (which killed the host along with the demon). Sam's ability to extract the demon and send it back to Hell seems VERY useful to me, and in no way bad. Hanging out with Ruby might be cause for alarm, but as things stand now I don't see a problem. Perhaps Castiel is as knee-jerk suspicious as Dean, or knows more about the extent of Sam's capabilities and how they might someday be used if Sam chose to learn.
It was great to find another hunter in the SPN universe, especially one who seemed happy to see the boys. In the end, though, he showed that he could handle the problem fine on his own (broken arm or not), up until Montgomery got him. Which, in a twist of irony, happened in part because by capturing the wife and leaving too much talking time, Travis created the exact thing in the proto-Ruguru that Sam and Dean wanted to avoid. He made that "inevitable" moment inevitable purely out of his own actions.
I liked how much of this episode was the proto-Ruguru and his wife, partly because it helped personalize someone who was not yet a monster and was struggling to understand what was happening to him. Also, we got the humor of his outsider-POV on the boys when they showed up and tried to educate him. Funny how that kind of talk never goes well, though I agreed with Sam's insistence that they try anyway. It was the honorable thing to do, and the humane thing, and that's Sam all over. I've really missed seeing that part of Sam so clearly on the show.
I could have done without the term "long pig" being used over and over. It tended to downplay the horror of what everyone was talking about, making it seem almost comical. Kind of set the wrong tone.
Funny how S2-S4 have all started off a little rocky for me. For S3, it was mostly the bad writing early on, as if the scripts were from a stable of new writers who had never watched the show. But for all three seasons, there's been a fundamental "disconnection" between the brothers which for me tends to impair the dynamic of the show (and also the main reason I watch the show). Last night's was really the first episode this season that felt like Sam&Dean. Even though they fought for half of it, it was an overdue fight that they needed to bring them back in alignment. So from that standpoint, very satisfactory altogether.
Next week: Humor episode, obviously, and I have no opinion on it except for the Glee! over the creepy-creepy music. \o/