I am fresh off watching the episode, and all I can say is: THAT IS SO NOT OKAY.
I have a lot of thoughts surrounding the episode and many of them have to do with the final scene of Sam and Dean in the Bunker. While the episode had many wonderful moments, I think the ending really covered it all and it stood out to me. But before we go there, a few other notes: I loved loved loved the opening with the jerky. It was a purely self-indulgent moment for Sam, giving him a reason to relax and have a little fun tormenting his brother. The same can be said for their arrival at the sheriff's station. Pulling out those old ID's was a pure moment and it reminded me of how far we've come as a fandom and of how far the story has come in its maturity. I really loved the throwback that Yockey provided with that little moment.
Honestly the main plot of the episode kind of bored me. Not to say that I wasn't in it, but I just didn't find it that interesting. I did find the reveal of Lillith to be interesting, but I kind of felt like it happened too early in the season. I wished they could have held off a little bit and waited to bring Lillith in, maybe using this hunt as another set up for what Chuck wants to see, like Sam's visions. I enjoy the history that the show is bringing back, but this one didn't feel right to me. Maybe because it didn't feel purposeful. I can't suss out what I didn't like about the Lillith plot, but I didn't love it. Kudos, though, to the actress who played Lillith. She nailed it.
I also appreciated the throwbacks that were in place through Sam's visions. The Lucifer flashback was amazing, not only because of Jared's effortless performance as Lucifer but also because of the throwback to "The End," with the always ending up here. I thought it was a fascinating little romp through the past, while also keeping it locked in the present. It didn't feel forced and I really appreciated the acting that Jared did in that scene. He nailed it as Lucifer and as many actors as we've seen play Lucifer, I think Jared is still the best, even if he hasn't done it as many times as someone like Pellegrino. I think he plays Lucifer just right. I also think a lot of the amazing performance was in the writing. After Season 7, maybe, when we saw Lucifer as a hallucination, I think he became a bit of a joke, and not the terrifying archangel we got to know early on. As the more recent seasons progressed, we saw that play out in the fact that most of us didn't want to see Lucifer or Nick in any episode. He wasn't scary anymore, and more than that, he wasn't an interesting character anymore. But, with Jared in the role, I suddenly want to see more of Lucifer, because I am utterly fascinated by him.
The second vision with Demon!Dean was interesting because they really tried to play it out as they did in Season 10. Dean as a Demon, finding Sam in the Bunker, and beating him to death. It didn't end that way in Season 10 because of Cas's intervention, but I think that this situation is what could have happened if not for that intervention. I really loved the fight choreography in this sequence too, so kudos to Rob Hayter and the stunt team. I also loved that there was barely any dialogue here. The scene was a purely visual moment and the only thing that was said were Sam's pleas of, "No." It was an amazing story choice, and I think Rich nailed the direction. It could have gone cheesy if not handled correctly, and Rich handled it with expert hands.
Now, the final scene. I kind of love the fact that Sam is the one to be checking in on Cas. I get why Dean's not doing it, but we don't often see Sam and his relationship to Cas. I think it is important to put that on-screen because it provides another person for Cas to turn to, who isn't Dean. I get that Cas and Dean are close, but I think it's important to show that Sam and Cas are close too. I thought that Dean bringing Sam the drink was also amazing because this is the way that Dean shows he cares. He's not one for "chick flick" moments, but he is always one to provide Sam with a drink when he needs it, and after this hunt, they both needed it. One thing I'm LOVING about this season is the constant callbacks to free will and what it actually means to have free will. Sam and Dean have spent most of their lives deciding their own fate. They've prided themselves on not bowing to anyone's plans, not even Chuck. But, since Chuck revealed himself, we've seen both brothers, but Dean more specifically, struggling with this revelation. I find this interesting because we've often seen Sam as the one constantly searching for a way out and constantly wanting to do things his own way. But here, he seems strangely accepting of Chuck's villainy, but knowing that they can and will beat him. Sam has always had faith, and for a time, that faith was in Chuck. Now that he knows the truth, it's interesting to see him move that faith into himself and Dean. I think it's always been there, but there hasn't really been a reason for Sam to put much stock in it. Now, there is.
The revelation of Sam's visions being him seeing all the ways Chuck could want their story to end was interesting because it provides a situation where Sam and Dean might be able to be one step ahead of Chuck, without Chuck noticing it. I also love the fact that we're seeing Dean be so chill about the visions. In the past, we've seen Dean be lots of things when it comes to Sam and his weird powers. Chill isn't one of them. But it's a nice change because I think he knows that these visions aren't coming from Sam originally. The same could be said about the Lucifer visions in Season 11, but that was a different time for Dean. I really love seeing how he still has immense care for Sam, but he's not freaking out about these visions as he did in the past.
Another thing I'm really enjoying about this season is the fact that the monster of the week episodes are all tying into the main story. We've seen it done a few times more recently, but I think this is taking it to a whole other level. Last week and this week were both MOTW episodes, but they both tied into the plot of the season seamlessly. Thank you, writers and showrunners for giving us this gift. It's really awesome.
So, there are my thoughts on Episode 5. 15 more to go. Wow. As always, comments are welcomed, as well as interactions on social media.