I was impressed while watching this episode that the writers can find ways of keeping it fresh, considering it is in its seventh season. I was surprised several times, like when the ghost kills the medium instead of the man, when it turns out the second sister is the one doing the killing, and when it turns out the actual murderer is the pawn shop owner. This was not a stock-in-trade vengeful spirit, this was in fact a psychic ghost giving people visions to warn them and a bitter and envious live psychic who put a spell on a dead psychic to do his dirty work. And kept her bones in his bed! So a sick and bitter and envious live psychic. This put Sam in the position of having to kill a human, which they don't normally do, and he hesitated for a long time before pulling the trigger. These are fresh elements, and the psychic aspect really put a new spin on the ghosts.
One of the great things about Supernatural is that it never runs out of urban legends and myths and creepy historical facts. (And this is where I think Grimm will run into trouble: restricting themselves to fairy tales is very limiting and predictable.) In this episode, they explore Lily Dale, a real-life spiritualist community. Books have even been written about it, like Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead and a fictional series set in Lily Dale by Wendy Corsi Staub. It is said that spirits roam there freely, and a veritable paranormal industry has evolved around it over generations. It has the highest concentration of mediums and spiritualists. Just as we see in the episode, most residents have hung up a shingle in front of their house advertising their psychic services, and thousands come to Lily Dale from all over to consult them.
Not only was Lily Dale a new supernatural legend the show had never explored before, but it was the perfect setting to delve into the fact there are real and fake psychics. We know there are bona fide psychics like Missouri and Pam in the Supernatural world, but there are also charlatans. Or as Dean so eloquently puts it: "There's fake wuwu crap and there's real wuwu crap." And the conflict between the two is what provides the motive for multiple murders. Also, it turned things upside down in a new and interesting way, because normally Sam and Dean believe in the paranormal and the civilians are the skeptics, but in this case Sam and Dean are the Scullys and the townspeople are the Mulders, because all Lily Dalians believe in psychics, whereas the Winchesters know most of them are con artists. It was also fun to figure who had real power and who was faking it. It was interesting that one of the "charlatans," Melanie, was actually a very sympathetic character, and that out of the blue it turns out the museum guide really does have the gift when he delivers a message to Dean from Ellen to talk to your brother or I will kick you in the ass.
This psychic intervention was the catalyst that made the boys air their feelings and resolve their differences. I personally was very happy with the way things were worked out. I wouldn't have wanted them to stay separated, nor keep fighting (we have seen enough of that.) Especially as, once Sam got over his initial hurt, it was only natural that he would be able to see that Dean was only doing what he thought was right, to protect other humans from a kitsune, and to protect his brother from a heartbreaking duty. While I understood why Sam was upset at first, I really would not have liked it had he remained blind to Dean's reasons, nor if Dean had remained mum on those reasons. Plus it was a great scene; they wrapped it up perfectly.