I watched it tonight, and loved it! It was very, very good, and not in the least bit spreading itself thin to tell a couple of stories, at least that was my feeling. Cas and Jack had a lovely few minutes, together and separately, that made my wizened little heart swell with "awwww."
Dean felt more like Dean, and Michael felt like Michael, if you get my drift. Nice little bit between him and Kaia. I think the character felt a little less like she was just tossed in the mix. She was actually interesting to me. Nice work on the actress's part.
I continue to love the beard, adore that Sam is getting respect, and hoping that Dean gets respect in the future. I was startled that Show would have Dean describe what being possessed was like to SAM. What he should have done is turn to him and say, "Sam, I am so fucking sorry for not ever really getting it, but now, I totally do." I'll tell you what, Sam can be incredibly forgiving.
I *LOVED* the Dean coming out when he released EvilKaia and gloated over the coming carnage. "Or not." Ha! So well done! Nice fight scene, but the ninja move with her in the doorway lit by a cosmic glow--stop doing that, Show. You kind of stink at it.
All in all, though--as per nearly every other year, I'm realizing--I loved ep three, not so much 1 and 2. It's a pattern. Maybe it's because by the end of hiatus, I'm in a fever pitch of expectation and nothing can live up to what I want. And then my brain kicks in and everything is copacetic again. Or the first two eps actually do kind of suck and they hit their stride by three. Whatever! I had a good time with this ep. Single layers, hot Dean-stare and folks calling Sam Chief...have I mentioned how much I like that? Like, ridiculous amounts of love....