I remembered how sad this one seemed on first watch. It is still very sad. Adam is never alive. Just a monster using his shape and memories that he got after feeding on his corpse. I wonder when Adam was killed? We see his mom die at the start of this episode (with the linger shot of John’s photo on her nightstand – she must have always carried a torch for him; there were a lot of photos of him around the house!), but I don’t know if Adam died before her or after? He was in a casket; so enough time to have a funeral before Sam and Dean showed up.
Anyway, Jake Abel is such a great actor and he was truly one of the highlights of S15 when he came back.
On rewatch, I found it interesting how they kind of flipped the brothers in a way. At the start, Dean is just burning up with anger that some random guy got to have HIS dad as more of a kindhearted, fun dad when he did not. He couldn’t be more of a dick to Adam at the start, but that blatant anger fits and I really felt for him. At first, Sam is very much “don’t shut him out, it’s not his fault” – seeming to be the brother who will welcome him in…and he does, but Dean ends up being the one that wants to fight for Adam’s independence and the chance to NOT get involved in hunting. Of course, yes, as Sam says, Adam’s already in it now with the way his mom was killed. But SAM turns into the one who’s a bit of a jerk in how forceful he is with Adam…wanting to teach him thing but seemingly not caring how that affects his psyche.
Bizarrely, NONE of it matters because Adam isn’t really Adam! What matters is what it reveals about Sam and Dean…how dedicated to killing Lilith Sam still is at all costs and how Dean’s still trying to save people from the worst consequences.
Even in such a dark episode, Jensen still managed some comedy when he’s stuck in the crypt alone – talking to himself.
I can’t remember how, when Adam is later “brought back” as option #2 for Zachariah’s plan, does he know anything about this whole ghoul thing? He was dead then. He shouldn’t know unless the angels implant that in his head when they bring him back. Anyway, I’ll find out soon enough as we’re heading in to Season 5. I can’t quite remember how they explain that.
But a weird and sad and pretty great episode.