Dean looked extraordinarily pretty during the hour. Sam too, handsome that is. But saying that is like stating the sky is blue. The sad part is despite looking delectable on screen, Jensen Ackles was relegated to a background supporting role here. His character only had as much to do as Bobby in this episode.
(Spoiler alert: highlight to read) I'm glad they didn't restore Cas at the end. In my opinion Cas's existence dulls Winchester Brothers' struggle. After all, there isn't real danger for the boys if Dean's angel can swoop in and whisker them away from whatever tight spot they found themselves in. I was mildly amused by the fact that Misha Collins is the only actor on the show to date that when they get rid of his character, TPTB find another character for him to play so that he will stay on the show.
The episode promised a prominent Sam storyline with galore of hurt. Unfortunately for me, I am as uninterested in hurt!Sam as ever. I've always been a sucker for powerful and protective Sam. But as the story leads, that seems would be a long way to come if not ever. As an unabashed Dean!girl, I freely admit I'm bothered by the glaring lack of a Dean storyline. Earlier in the month, I caught up a little with what came out of ComicCon this summer. The consistent theme from every interview I read seems to be there's not much happening with Dean except he's worried about his brother, et cetera, et cetera. This episode does not ease my fear that the current showrunner Sara Gamble is uninterested in developing a story arc for Dean except relegating the once fabulously nuanced character to drive around, shoot some gun, and look pretty.
In a nutshell, as premier goes, this episode failed to pump up my enthusiasm for the new season. I give it a D- in my ranking of Supernatural episodes.