They had promised us a more back to basics Supernatural, and in this episode I could feel all the classic Supernatural stuff I love!
One of the things I missed when the show got heavy and deep into its mythology was the relationship the boys developed with the civilians they helped and saved from the monster of the week. We even had a term for them, and it took me a minute to remember what it was: I'm pretty sure it was PiP, for people in peril.
Melanie was a great PiP--the perfect mix of vulnerability and innocence (she is after all a civilian) but underneath that enough steel to wield an iron poker. And I really liked that the boys actually had a chance to bond with her a little (in this case Dean.)
The ghost hunting is classic Supernatural of course, but setting it in a town full of fake psychics (with a few real dead and live psychics thrown in) gave it a fresh and interesting twist. I liked that there were two ghosts, two sisters, one trying to warn and the other trying to harm.
The deaths were also classic Supernatural, twisted and gory, and these just never got old for me because they never cease to come up with new and creative ways of killing people. In this case, fittingly enough, the fake psychics died by their fake swords: a crystal ball, a ouija board pointer, and bent cultery.
And ah! the brotherly moments! I just saw today a slide show someone had made of all the Winchester fights, and a pattern quickly emerged. When Dean is pissed off at Sam, he punches him (like he did just a few episodes ago, the hilarious motel room door punch in the Girl Next Door.) When Sam is pissed off at Dean, he storms off. Neither is a healthy way to resolve conflicts, but then this is the Winchesters, and they're not good at using their words, so Dean uses his fists and Sam uses his feet.
It took Ellen--awesome even from beyond the grave--to kick Dean into talking. And once he told Sam why he had done it, and why he had kept it from him, it made sense, and Sam saw that it made sense. I mean, I can understand why Sam was so upset--when you're emotionally attached to someone, it's hard to be objective, or to accept that your brother killed her. I'm sure if, say, Cassie turned out to be a supernatural creature who was trying hard to be good, and Sam killed her behind Dean's back, Dean would be pretty pissed too. (Except he'd punch Sam instead of walking away.) But Dean's reasons for doing what he did were sound, and classic Dean, and what I had suspected: he did it to protect Sam. He killed Amy because Sam was too close to her to do it, and he didn't tell Sam because he was afraid it would trigger Sam's precarious mental health.
I was happy that once they talked it out they cleared things up and reconciled. Which goes to show Sam wasn't wrong when he tried to use the counseling trick he had used on the Starks on Dean as well. But Dean has always been a tough nut to crack. But we are seeing the cracks. He actually admitted out loud for the first time that the loss of Cas is affecting him--that was already pretty obvious from the drinking and the nightmares and the defensive deflection whenever Bobby or Sam brought it up. Dean always bottles things up, and it takes a while before the pressure mounts to the point it is all poured out in a big roadside confession. So I think the loss of Cas will surface again. (And then Cas himself will surface again.)
Now if they only could've driven off in the Impala to the thump of classic rock, my happiness at this revival of classic Supernatural would be complete. (But I know the Impala is coming back, so I'm not worried.)