I love it when they explore the boys' weird and dysfunctional childhood. It had been hinted at before that John had a drinking problem, but the throwaway line in the pilot "he probably has Jack, Johnny and Jose with him" could well have been a smoke screen to hide from Jess what the real problem was. But this episode confirmed it when young Sam says: "My dad has a temper too. You wouldn't want to see him when he's been drinking." Colin Ford is so great as Sam it's always a joy to have him back. I really loved the scene when he and young Amy are sharing their troubles with their parents, and always being the new kid, and different from everyone else. The emotional continuity in this was perfect. Sam has been an inveterate hunter for so long I had almost forgotten the earlier Sam who hated hunting and longed to be normal above all else.
It is the story of Sam's life that his effort to be normal instead lands him smackdab in the supernatural bull's eye. Sam is forced to research kitsunes for his father, but his interest lies with a more normal 15-year-old pursuit: the cute blonde at the other table. After a touching moment when he asks Dean how to talk to girls, Sam gathers his courage to approach Amy--who is of course the daughter of the very kitsune his father and brother are hunting. This sets up a conflict that will come back to haunt him many years later when he's a much different person--who in the end makes exactly the same choice: to let her go.