Alright! I'm home again!
Let's put this behind a cut for those in foreign lands (and who had to work)
Ok, I'm not going to remember the whole episode...but here goes:
I liked the different style of recap at the beginning. It was nice. I really liked the song choice for the Domestic!Dean montage - the Beautiful Loser lyric was awesome.
Dudes! Dean and I have totally drank at the same bar!! For those of you in Vancouver (or interested in locations), Dean was drinking at The Blarney Stone in Gastown (the Jonesy Bar and Grill was a set sign). I was just there on Sunday to see some friends perform at a charity event. The pool tables were also set-decoration, and where Dean was sitting is usually the dance floor.
My sister thought that if he had really been drinking with that guy for a whole year, this topic of conversation would have come up before...but I think people who are skilled at not talking about themselves can get away with it for a very long time. I had a friend who used humour to deflect all personal questions whenever he was having a hard time of it...I could always tell when things were bad because he'd get to the point where he wouldn't even admit to having a mother (and he really loves his mother)...and no one would really notice that he wasn't sharing ANYTHING about himself. They just saw the humour and thought he was a great guy and that was all they needed to know about him.
So, what happens next...oh yeah...the whole walk-through-a-construction site. That was crazy. I loved Dean pretending to be cop on the phone and then lying to Lisa about it. Lisa's no dummy. Also, was anyone else kind of weirded out that Dean looked a lot like Jensen? I mean, the hair....I never realized the difference a hairstyle makes.
And when I saw the preview I KNEW that yellow-eyes was a dream...that was cool, and I wasn't surprised when it was confirmed. I WAS surprised that Sam gave Dean a shot of some weird milky liquid (oh man...must not think dirty thoughts, I'm not even THAT kind of fan). Which made the reunion something else! I liked the way they did it, with you seeing Sam all blurry and sideways and then righting the perspective along with Dean.
I loved the subtle difference with Sam. Jared played it so well, I thought. Like, he was still sort of Sam...still happy to see Dean (though, obviously he had seen him before)...but the really matter of fact way he's like "I'll save you the trouble" and cuts himself and drinks salty holy-water...and then is like "ugh, that's nasty."
Then we finally get our "Sammy?" and a hug. And the hug looked much better than in BOTH promos, because Dean was hugging the daylights out of Sam, and Sam was like "I've been secretly checking up on you all year, but it's nice to touch you, and I'm happy that you are happy to see me. I miss you."...or at least, that's how *I* read that expression.
The reveal on how long Sam has been back is nice too. Almost a whole year. For timeline purposes...which I suppose I should start a tentative S6 timeline now (dudes, I am so behind in everything, I don't even have my final S5 timeline done yet)...anyway, for timeline purposes, if Sam falling into the pit was a year ago, then this episode takes place in May 2011. Let's see how long the props/art department remembers they're a half a year ahead than when they are filming.
Dean was suitably enraged though. I liked the exchange of Sam telling him that having a family was what Dean wanted, and Dean saying "I wanted my BROTHER" and talking about how he drank and had nightmares...
Ok, I'm saying this now: I don't like the Campbells. It's too...A Team or...something. It's too TEAMY. And I didn't trust them even before that bit at the end where they kidnapped that Djinn without Sam or Dean knowing.
That being said, I liked that 3rd cousin's line about Dean having delicate features for a Hunter. Awww...
Ok, what else....I thought it was sort of telling that when Dean ran into the house, he called for Lisa once and Ben twice...I think Dean and Lisa make it work, but I think Dean really loves Ben.
Bobby's line talking about how if Dean is there, then something bad is happening was good. I kind of feel a bit cheated out of a Bobby-Sam reunion though. I would have liked to have seen that. But then I guess it would have been too much of a copy of Lazarus Rising...plus, maybe they'll do it in a flashback as some sort of reveal.
The conversation between Dean and Lisa was really nice too...because they totally talk very matter-of-factly about how their relationship was/is a wreck most of the time....but that Dean was good for Ben and that made Lisa happy enough. That being said, I think Lisa was kind of foolish to even hope that Dean staying with them was a permanent thing. If I were her, I would have definitely taken him in and enjoyed him while I could (all of him) but I wouldn't have set myself for an emotional fall like that - I would have let him in on the understanding that it was a temporary thing.
Them making fun of Dean was not cool. Though, I like how it ends up being ironic, when Sam uses the golf clubs as a weapon.
And we definitely get the set-up for Dean being the more emotional lead-by-the-heart brother when he goes off to try to rescue his friend even though it's already too late. I was a bit confused after this about how Sam saved him in time....but we get a nice view into Dean's psyche when in his dream Lisa plays the part of a mother (how very freudian of you Dean) and Ben plays the part of Sam. It's kind of a bit heartbreaking though, if you think about it - Dean's worst nightmare is his actual life (or at least his past).
What else...Sam turning down the Impala was a burn to Dean, I think. It's basically Sam saying "I don't need you, or anything you have to offer me." I did like the fact that Dean said "she should be hunting" - like he's forced the Impala into retirement against her will - like she was born a Hunter just like he and Sam were.
ETA: Ok, I just read the review on the A.V. Club, and they said that the car thing was showing how for the first time ever the brothers have separate identities that are independent of each other. Hmm...interesting...I think I like this interpretation better, because it's less "ooo, BURN!" and it's more "Are they no longer unhealthily co-dependent?!? WHAT HAPPENS NOW?!?!"
What else...the goodbye was awkward...Sam is just so emotionally vacant. It's really well done on Jared's part, but I think I mentioned that. It should be an interesting season....
Ok, odds and ends:
1. No Cas, but I did like Sam's line of "I've been calling, but he hasn't answered my prayers" - Haha, oh man, I wish I had a friend that I could PRAY to have them show up. That's such a funny way of communicating. "Castiel, please hear my prayers....is Tuesday okay for beers, or did you want to do it on Wednesday? Please send me a sign..."
2. Man, Bobby keeping Sam's return from Dean for almost a year...how often do you think Dean called Bobby? I mean, he was doing research on how to get Sam back right? He must have called Bobby at SOME point.
3. I really don't trust the Campbells...what the heck is going on there?
4. I wish there had been more Ben in the episode - I like that kid, and it would have been cool to see Dean interact with him more than just making him eggs.
5. Umm...I guess that's it...if there's anything you want to discuss that I've forgotten, let me know in the comments!
So far I'm interested to see where this all leads...