Oh, I like indeed.
Really, really liked. In fact for season openers only In MY Time of Dying was better (but that was so focused, God I love that episode).
Really the only thing I didn't care for were the shadowed wings (just thought the effect was weak), and the new Ruby in the diner scene with Sam. THought she was really weak.
Character wise, the episode was spot on with what I had hoped for. With proper changes in both Bobby and Sam, that I enjoyed. I also loved that they both assumed he made a deal, and I like that Sam actually said he tried (if he didn't I would never have believed it). I love them lying to each other (the boys have done that since early first season when it comes to deeply personal things, so very in character).
Love, Love that the show is finally looking at the elephant in the room. THe show has made no real secret about God being a being that has power (from the Phantom Traveller, which I think was the first time religious weapons were used the power of the word of god) to the open talk in Sin City of Lucifer and being a fallen angel. And lets face it he show is about two brothers on the road confronting urban legends (even if they are more historic then modern) and there is no larger one then god.
Loved the Sam does have abilities and that he is actively trying to use them, and we certainly see the first real look at the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
And I assume that the season is leading to two things. 1. I assume that with Lilith not being a direct threat to Sam, that they will up the ante and that would play into the main big bad of all time, Lucifer. And I expect a looming brother vrs brother, arc.
I seem to recall when Born Under a Bad Sign came out how Degra felt a little cheated by Sam not really being evil, and it being a false conflict between the two. I stated something to the effect that on a 5 year plan having that aspect happen in teh 2nd season was way way to early. That it would be something most likely used in the 4th season something to end on a cliff hanger to the 5th year. God I hope I am right.
I love the fact that Dean the non believer is the chosen instrument of God. I also like that Dean went to hell first. As many who do the bidding of the lord pay a very heavy price. 4 months +a desert trip and being strung up to die....
Dialogue, for the most part was spot on, even the banter was sedate and keeping with the general feeling of the episode (something the show doesn't always achieve).
Kim Manners did some nice camera moves, always nice to see them use a crane to open the show up a little.
Nice to see the contrasting cinematography a thing of the past. I hated that for the most part in season 3.
God, I am watching it again on off the broadcast and I love this episode, almost wish it was two hours.