Episode 4 every season is when they start easing away from the season's mytharc and doing stand-alone episodes, which makes most casual fans and even some obsessed ones really happy.
Seeing the preview, I didn't expect to like this episode as much. And in a ranking sense, this is 4 of 4. But despite a little heavy-handedness with the metaphor, it was still an excellent episode.
I wish Sam would stop saying he has demon blood in him. He DOESN'T. When you ingest something, your digestive system breaks it down and the PARTS go into your bloodstream. They don't last forever. The Barney Rubble vitamin you took when you were four is not still surging through your arteries. But the effects of the demon blood are obviously still in him, which is the point. So I guess I should shut up about semantics.
A lot of people think Sam's going to be, or is, addicted to the power. But his situation is not nearly so trite or straightforward. (Not that addiction is trite, of course. But storylines involving addiction often are.) The writers are keeping this as complex as possible. Sam's argument about the people he is saving with his power wasn't one Dean could easily counter. Dean mentioned the knife, Sam pointed out that the knife kills the person possessed, and that twists everything all up. Dean's way becomes the wrong way because it means killing innocents, while we can't see the downside to Sam's way. At least, not yet.
I think what I like best is that even as the brothers are changing, they are still consistent. Sam still thinks people can be saved, Dean still thinks evil needs to be stopped, even if it means destroying the good that coexists with it. Their personal argument hasn't changed that.
Since the brothers have been apart for four months and are at such odds, and in such pain because of it, it would be easy for one or the other to walk away. Yet it seems the bond is still strong enough that neither one is even considering it.
I was at IMDb trying to figure out when Castiel will be back and saw one-line writeups for the next four episodes. I don't like being spoiled, but I also want to know a little something about the future, and all of these made me squee instead of frown in disappointment. I can't wait.
Is it me, or is this season so far the goriest one yet? They're getting away with a lot. Almost enough to make me stop letting Number One watch, though her wrath would be mighty if I did.
Oh, one last thing. When Sam exorcised that demon from the guy at the beginning? The look Ruby gave him? Even more, the look he gave Ruby?
They are totally having sex.