I just had a realization about Family Remains that didn't occur to me before, even though, in retrospect, it is quite obvious...
I'm used to the monster of the week reflecting something about the brothers, but for some reason in my slight dislike for this episode, I completely missed the implications of this Hunt.
They were human.
We're used to the occasional human monster...well, sort of, we had them in The Benders, and many saw this episode as The Benders Recycled. Sam plot-line - crazy incestuous backwards family killing people.
The fundamental difference though is Dean.
I mistook the long sad looks at the corpses at the end as Dean's usual sadness over having to kill something human...but that wasn't it at all. Those kids were made into what they were by being tortured and neglected their whole lives...basically, as Sam said, they had "been through hell" and Dean had barked back "like you know what hell is like!" and Sam had to backtrack and apologize...well, Sam had actually been right, and that's why Dean was all weird this episode.
Dean's been terrified about what he's become...about what he did in hell means for who he is as a person. In the end, the humans that had been twisted into monsters were both killed, both had to be put down as the only solution. Dean isn't the same as them, but I'm not sure he completely sees it that way.
It just occurred to me that it's ironic that Sam's constantly obsessing over whether or not Dean thinks he's a monster...I don't think he realizes that Dean worries that DEAN might be the monster.
Anyway, still not my favorite episode, but I can't BELIEVE I missed that the first time. Seriously, it's like hitting you over the head with it, and I was walking around humming to myself....
Ok, now that that's out of the way I have two more posts to do...