"The best episode of the season so far..."
To start off, I'd like to say that I feel like this season of Supernatural has had it's ups and downs. To be honest, it hasn't been my favorite season, and I've been a little disappointed that 1. They only had four episodes where Dean was a demon (I wanted a whole lot more of "Deanmon's" escapades, especially because he was reckless like season 1 Dean) and 2. that no matter what's going on, they keep pushing Cas away and make him go off on his own. That being said, I think last night's mid-season finale was EXCELLENT.
I was definitely not expecting a reunion between Castiel and Jimmy Novak's daughter, Claire. Last we saw her in season 4, she was just a little girl, and now in season 10, she's all grown up and turned into quite the rebel. Apparently, after Jimmy agreed once again to be Castiel's vessel, Claire's mom "left to find herself" and in turn Claire was moved from foster home to foster home (unless she could successfully run away for a few days or months). All the while, Claire grew frustrated and angry at Castiel for ripping her family apart and began to steal for her new make-shift family, a fellow foster-care boy and a man whose origin I've already forgotten.
This was a great direction to put Castiel in, and I'm glad Hannah put the idea in his head that their meatsuits didn't deserve the fate they got just because an angel needed a host body. I feel like it also raises sympathetic feelings for every person taken over by a demon that Sam and Dean stab when they could've probably saved their lives. But I digress...
The bittersweet reunion between Cas and Claire wasn't the only great thing about this episode: the reunion between Cas and Dean (and Sam too) was much appreciated by the fans that love to see the boys just hanging out, drinking, and catching up. Or at least trying to (not like you can get a lot out of Dean, who's hellbent on hiding his feelings). It's times like these when I miss post-Purgatory Dean, back when he didn't mind sharing how he felt, having come out of a place "so pure." Season 10 Dean has a long way to go, as proven by the way this episode ended (with flashbacks to the beginning of the episode bringing it full-circle): Dean being taken over by the power of the Mark of Cain and leaving him confused and barely conscious of the murders he was committing (though those guys totally had it coming...).
I'm really wondering how they're going to get rid of the Mark and how Dean will survive. If we know anything about Supernatural, it's that this will not be an easy fix (then again, the Deanmon was an easy out...), I'm guessing something as arduous as closing the gates of hell was for Sam in season 8. Either way, I'll be waiting not-so-patiently for the show to return (whenever that is...).
Overall, this episode was probably the best episode of the season so far. This entire episode was about family (even with mentions of John Winchester) and the bonds between Cas and the Winchester Bros. seemed to be as strong as ever. I think I like where this season is going now and I can't wait to see how the characters survive the rest of the season.