In his glossy flashbacks during his year away from Dean, Sam and Amelia are moving in to an actual house. Sam seems happy, even when he finds Amelia's wedding album to Don (her husband who died in combat) lovingly packed away with other books. Sam nervously meets Amelia's father, who like no father in the history of the world, takes offensive to the super-tall, Stanford-educated dreamboat who’s dating his daughter. It takes him a few seconds to realize that Sam is more of a mess than his daughter, but he sees that Sam and Amelia want to "messes together," so he tries even though he think they're just clinging to each other rather than facing reality and the grief.
The actors offer as much as they can with scenes feel clichéd at times. However, if you're a long time fan, it's so bitter and so sweet to see Sam wearing normal clothes, washing the dishes, and nursing a glass of wine instead of diving face-first into the bottle. He looks good and yet he doesn't quite fit in the house, in the sweater, in that world. But he's trying. Whether he loves Amelia or loves the idea of her, God help him, he's going to do this. And then the phone rings and Don's miraculously alive, and I don't even need to see the image of the love-filled heart breaking into pieces and crumbling into dust because you can feel it. This development feels like a complete 180 from the season premiere that showed Sam sneaking out of their bedroom with Amelia in it, but time will tell how these two incongruous scenes fit together or if it was the writers curbing an unfavorable plotline. Despite my barely warm feelings towards Amelia, I still wonder what she’s doing now and who exactly was lurking outside of their home when Sam left. Was it Don? Was it Benny?
Back at the bank, Fred finally takes control and forces the bad doctor to shoot himself in the face with his own gun. That's all folks! He also agrees to an angelic lobotomy, which essentially replaced his powers with classical music.
After another clandestine visit to heaven’s administrative offices, and Naomi, Castiel learned that he was cut off from Heaven after the devastation he’d caused in season 6. It appears that Castiel was doing the avoidance dance too by trying to be a hunter. When Dean asked him how he was adjusting to life after…the afterlife, Cas admitted that if he saw “what he’d made of [Heaven], I might kill himself.” It was a quiet and heavy scene that was thankfully buoyed by the silliness of the case-of-the-week. I sometimes struggle with the role he plays in the brothers’ lives, but I never do with anything Misha Collins does in front of a camera. He brings so many layers to Castiel, and this profound pain is a beautifully dark one. Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Collins definitely showed their chops with the dizzying highs and lows of this episode. Padalecki, Ackles and "Supernatural" more than earned their People's Choice Award nominations!
I did wish that Castiel could have taken Fred to Heaven, but in the end, it seemed that Fred brought Heaven to him. He was at peace in his mind, and Castiel shared it as he sat with him, opting to leave the hunting to the hunters. What he’ll do, we’re not sure. Until we see him again, I’ll imagine him crawling around the nursing home, trying to break that cat.
Grade: From A to F, “Jus In Bello” to “Bugs,” this episode was an animated A-.
What’d you think of this episode? Did you find Amelia’s father as insufferable as I did? Do you wish that Don comes back possessed by a demon? How much do you want to attend a slumber party with Dean, Castiel and Sam’s hair? Were you happy that Dean was back to bringing snarky back? Sound off in the comments section!
Next week, it's the mid-season finale, and it looks like a bloody good time!