I was enjoying this episode right up until the last 5 WTF minutes. \o?
The Apocatown was kind of creepy. Loved the ominous camera angles on the church! The phone call to Castiel felt contrived (in that S2 "Let's call the Roadhouse every episode, like we can't function without them" kind of way), but it was worth it for Castiel's voicemail message and his later appearance.
It was kind of neat to see Sam and Dean fighting as part of a group, especially given how alone they've felt these last three seasons. It was also good to hear Dean admit out loud that John was not a great father. He's been denying that for years, but it only left him with the option of blaming himself, and it's nice to see him finally get that in perspective. Last week we had the clear implication that John either had a serious drinking problem, or a problem coping with the holidays. That feels much more like the S1 John we knew than the more recent episodes with young!John, which seem revisionist and false. No-one came back from Vietnam with the innocence and light-hearted demeanor of episode 5.13 young!John. The actor is handsome as all get-out, but the character doesn't seem anything like he should.
Castiel was funny this episode, and one of the things I DO like about his disillusion is that we can see how he could become the stoned-out Love Master of the future. It actually seems possible. Plus, who doesn't love the awkwardness of a line like, "And Sam, of course, is an abomination." If ever there was a "Standing right here!" moment, that was it. Poor Sam.
The ending, though... I was okay with everything until Dean drove off on a wild hair to see Lisa. THAT part I didn't believe for a moment. You can't, as a show, just say "And now _this_ happens" and assume that it works. This was abrupt and OOC. Dean seriously ditched Sam and drove hours and hours to just show up on Lisa's doorstep and make this pronouncement before driving off again? Who DOES that except in movies?
If you're going to pull something like that off, you have to lay a firmer foundation for it. Flashing a brief reference to their past during the Previouslies doesn't cut it.
And if THIS episode was the motivation for Dean going "Michael stupid" (as Sam so perfectly put it), I can't buy that either. All Dean and Sam have to do is both say No. And considering that neither of them wants what will happen if they say Yes, they'd need to be beyond the point of sanity to change their minds.
All the anvils in the world won't make that true if you don't write it that way. :(
In other viewing, I realized late last night that I'd totally spaced out watching V, and tonight I discovered I'd forgotten flashForward was back. *kicks brain*
We DID finally see last week's Fringe, though, which was the episode I've been waiting for ever since the implications of the S1 finale. Great makeup job on John Noble, who looked and sounded genuinely youngish (he kind of reminded me of Sam!) And was it just me, or did his earlier assistant look an awful lot like the blond version of Astrid? Great storyline for this one, and very moving. *sniffle* Can't wait to catch up on this week's show too.