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I have a love-hate relationship with this episode.
I love that so much happens, that the pace is pretty furious, that we learn a lot of new plot points. Love the mood and look of the episode (that last crane shot is insanely gorgeous and effective). LOVE LOVE LOVE the acting – mostly from Jensen and Jared, but also from the variety of the other psychics!
I enjoy the quick succession of tragic events as story telling goes. It leaves the audience just as puzzled and breathless as the characters. Dean’s desperation all through it really palpable, “losing” Sam, losing the roadhouse and thinking Ellen and Ash are both lost, trying to find Sam, just to lose Sam for real! WOW…and all that in 42 minutes??? That is a LOT of plot to absorb.
Then we also find out all of the new things about the psychic children. I really like the mix of characters there – high strung Ava is just as annoying as she needs to be; sweet Andy is just as clueless and harmless as before; the tragic lesbian is just as angry and rebellious as one could expect; Jake is just lethal and stoic enough to make him intimidating. For me the mix works for tension and I also appreciate Sam stepping into the leader role and trying to keep order.
And I very much appreciate – however ill fated – that Sam didn’t kill Jake but keeps the hope alive that they can work together on a solution.
But, of course, I HATE the episode for all of the awful things happening to Dean and Sam! The back and forth between hope and despair is such emotional rollercoaster I get goosebumps every time I watch it.
The last scene still has me on the edge of my seat every time I watch it. Even knowing all that is to follow, it still feels real and raw and so so painful to see Dean go through that.