To start, because I am such a details geek, I noticed they used some of the background music from season 3. In the beginning when Cas announces that he'd like to be a hunter with Sam and Dean, they were playing that bit of music from Dream A Little Dream of Me - the scene where Dean is driving and is all caffeinated so he doesn't fall asleep (where he's talking on the phone to Bobby who tells him Bela has nothing to help him). Then one of the parts where they were investigating, I think it was the one at the rest home when the old lady's cake exploded? Not sure if it was that one, but it was the same music that was played in Mystery Spot during Dean's death by desk falling out the window. I know, I'm so sad that I geek out over stuff like this. ;)
Speaking of the little old lady, wasn't she the same one as the one in Bedtime Stories, who lived in the woods and charmed that young couple into her house with pie and tried to kill them (like Hansel and Gretal)? I loved Dean's grin when she kept thinking Cas was her son.
Anyway, I thought the Warner Brothers/Cartoon stuff was kinda cute/cheesy... not to be taken seriously of course but good for a laugh. I cracked up when Dean tried to shoot Mahoney and the little "Bang!" sign came out of the gun, especially at Dean's reaction.
This episode was basically a standalone episode with some story arcs weaved into it. Cas wants to join the boys to hunt and the whole feel of it seems almost reminiscent of Free to Be You and Me. When the boys were dressed as feds and showed their IDs, I almost expected Cas to show one, maybe upside down like it was in FTBYAM... or not. *g* He seems almost like the season 5 Cas again. He wants to avoid Heaven and I thought it was because of what Naomi said at the end of the last ep, about reporting to her about the boys.. that he doesn't want to do that. Maybe that's it, but he tells Dean that he'd hate to see what Heaven became after what he did. Then he decides he has to stop running and tells Naomi he wants to fix what happened in Heaven. She won't allow him to come unless she calls him. Hmmm... have to wonder what's going on up there....
I got a chuckle when Dean suggested they have a slumber party and braid Sam's hair... hee..
And we got Sammy flashbacks to him and Amelia moving in together. Is it me or does he look like an older version of Dean in Gilmore Girls? The sweater he was wearing looked like something he used to wear on that show. Though I think he's worn it in SPN before... maybe in Heart? His hair looked pretty in the flashbacks, and in most of the ep, though towards the end it started looking a little greasy and flat. :/ *shakes fist at SPN hairstylists* Where was I? Oh yeah... He spills a little about Dean, that he lost his brother and he just ran. So... does that mean he just decided to run because if he thought about it too much it would break him? Amelia's dad tells him he looks like he was through a lot. I gotta admit though, the part where he's telling stories about her as a kid and they're all laughing, it was sooooo cheesy!
Oh yeah, and when she got that phone call, I almost thought it was a doctor saying she was pregnant, seriously. But it turns out her husband is alive. So this leads me to speculate what happens to them next. Did she 1) decide to go back to her husband and Sam let her go; or 2) Did she feel that things were different now and that she's happy with Sam? I'm guessing it's #2 since they were still together when Sam just up and left in 8x01 (but what made him leave? I guess we will find out at some point?). It's almost like her situation is mirroring his, in a way. She thinks her husband is dead, finds out that he's not, and will probably have to decide whether to go back with him or not. Sam thinks Dean is dead/gone/whatever, finds out he's not, and will have to decide whether to keep hunting with him or say goodbye and stay with Amelia.
I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I can see all the tension mounting up already. So far we've only seen Amelia in flashbacks; will we see her again in real-time? Will Sam actually stop hunting and go back to her? Guess we will see...
Anyway... Wow, I remember Mike Farrell from M.A.S.H. I feel kind of old now (despite the fact I was about 5 when it went off the air, lol... but I did watch it in its final season with my parents). John seems to have quite a few old hunter contacts who ended up in rest homes/institutions, doesn't he? And good to see Amanda Tapping again, if just for another short scene. Will she continue to have scene with just Cas, or with the boys as well?
As for next week's promo... uh I'm not even gonna say anything, lol. We'll see how it is.
That's about all I can manage after the first viewing.... Getting a headache so I'll stop now. :)