I’ll admit it, when I first heard rumblings that Sam and Dean were going to meet their long lost brother, I was not amused. I know, I should be much more trusting than that with the Supernatural writers. But even after assuring myself that there would be more to the story, I still came into the episode sure that I didn’t like the new Winchester before I even met him. And then two surprising things happened.
First, I actually did like Adam. As he convinced Sam and Dean that he was the real deal, and then as they argued over what to do about him, he quickly grew on me. I started thinking that this could maybe work as an occasional recurring character. Of course, that all went out the window with surprise number two, the fantastic double reveal as Sam and Dean both found out just what was going on at the same time.
Ghouls! I was right with Sam that it wasn’t really Kate, but when Adam turned to say, “I know,” it totally caught me by surprise. The following torture scene was pretty grisly, and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I kept thinking, “You don’t want to make Sam angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.” Kate’s little comment about his blood tasting different opened the door for dark Sam to make an appearance. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but the big showdown, complete with a ghoul head being blown completely off, was outstanding.
There wasn’t a lot of bigger picture to the story. At least not where Castiel, the seals, and the coming apocalypse are concerned. But they did continue down the long slow trail of the changing Sam and Dean. It was interesting that both of them saw Sam in Adam, but had wildly differing reactions. Dean’s felt like a logical extension of how he once felt about Sam, tempered with all that has happened since he returned. And Sam’s felt like the ratcheting up of the tensions that are pushing him in what is becoming a more and more destructive direction.