I totally agree with you on all above.
The episode was enjoyable, but by no means stellar.
Some of my favorite parts were the communication between the brothers when apart. We learn a lot about their dynamic and “security system” in this one and that was FUN.
LOVE cocky Dean!! Damn that boyish smile and devil-may-care demeanor. Makes me want to smack him upside the head AND kiss him. HA! Sorry.
Didn’t really care for Linda Blair either, but I am sure it was a thrill for them all to get her as guest star. My favorite scenes with her were the ones with Sam at the hotel.
What strikes me this time around watching the series as a whole is that I never really noticed how many episodes the “monster” is actually not the evil doer….how often the “monster” is a plain old human asshole.
I thought the make up and special effects on the death omen / victim were really well done and appropriately gory.
Sam was definitely the focal point in this one and I thought Jared did a fine job making us see Sam’s resourcefulness and capability to solve a case more or less on his own.
I thought Dean told the truth partially because he knew no one would believe him and that might buy Sam some extra time to figure it out?