By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated October 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
Liane Hentscher/The CW

I love and hate what’s going on with Supernatural this season. Love — because I’m more into the show than I have been in a while. And hate because I don’t like what this year’s storytelling method is doing to my emotional state. But who am I kidding? My emotional state was subpar at best to begin with. So bring it on, show!

I say that now, of course, but next week, I’ll be back in a ball on my couch feeling my heart slowly break during Purgatory flashbacks. But I’m not alone in that, right? These are meant to stress us out? Well, if they are, mission accomplished. And this week was even more emotionally draining than last week’s premiere, which I didn’t think was possible.

Let me explain:

The episode began with Dean’s Burger Time (now a proper noun) being ruined by Kevin’s insistence that they take a long drive to go check on his mom, who he hadn’t seen in a year. Dean was hesitant at first, but I think Sam’s “please” eyes really sealed the deal. (Kev should thank him.)

Once they arrived, their worst fears were confirmed: Mom’s house was flanked by demons in civies, so they staged a breakout. The problem? Mom didn’t want to be put in a safe house; she wanted to come along on the journey to track down the tablet so she could keep Kevin safe. Everyone thought it was a terrible idea, but as Kevin said, there was no negotiations to be had. Plus, we soon discovered that the tattoo-loving tiger mommy was kind of a badass. And they ended up needing every bit of her badassery in the fight to get their tablet back after learning that it went missing from the not-so-secure spot Kevin had stored it. Never send a Tran to do a Winchester’s job.

Their search for the missing tablet led Sam and Dean to the police station, where the guy responsible for the storage locker break-ins was being held. And this was by far the coolest interrogation the show has had in a while (and possibly ever) because the scenes of the brothers grilling the guy were intercut with some more Purgatory flashbacks.

Jensen Ackles has been saying that Dean would resemble a soldier returning from war this season, and this scene felt reminiscent of exactly that. Dean was physically in the moment but mentally in a completely different place, on a completely different journey. In this case, his flashback journey was about the search for Cas, who had gone missing almost immediately after the pair were popped into Purgatory. With Benny’s help, Dean was hot on the trail, but, as you might guess, things got violent while he was interrogating a monster/Purgatory dweller who had info on Cas’s whereabouts. (Great directing in these scenes, by the way!)

Unfortunately, the same thing happened back on Earth. Frustrated with their subject’s lack of cooperation, Dean removed his tie, swiftly wrapped it around the man’s neck, and placed his knife against his throat. Sam was alarmed, but, surprisingly, didn’t make a move to stop him. (I have to admit, though, Sam’s “warning voice” has always dripped with manliness. So I love when he can make use of it.) Afterward, Sam didn’t really mention the incident, but Moose is not the type to forget these small, significant moments. Dean’s going to hear it from him later — be sure of that.

But first there were more pressing matters, specifically the damn tablet, which ended up being put up for auction. (The “currency” at this auction, by the way? Fantastic!) Suffice the say the boys couldn’t pay up for it, but Kevin’s mom did. She sold her soul to get the tablet and Kevin, who was added to the auction.

She ended up not having to pay, though. Crowley, who was also bidding, ended up getting away with the tablet in his sneaky way, leaving the boys in a state of frustration and Kevin very concerned about his traumatized mom. In fact, he was so concerned that he packed up his catatonic mom and bolted, leaving Sam and Dean with zero pieces of their hell-closing puzzle.

With one final flashback, we learned that Dean had better luck finding Cas than he did finding the tablet. But upon tracking him down, he found out that Cas had fled because he believed he was a liability to Dean. Leviathan had been tracking Cas and by staying away from Dean, he was keeping him safe. (Awww!!) Of course, Dean put an immediate end to that, telling him that they killed the Leviathan once and they’d do it again — together. (“I’m not leaving here without you,” he told him.) Beautiful. That is, until the very end of the episode, when we saw Cas frantically reaching for Dean’s hand in a not-entirely-clear scenario. WHAT IN THE PURGATORY HAPPENED OUT THERE?!? My guess? The hatch was not, as Benny said, “angel friendly.”

So, gang, let’s chat. How are you feeling about this season? Anyone else LOVING the Purgatory monsters? SO creepy. And did you think Dean had kebabbed the man in the interrogation room? I did — briefly. Do we like the nickname “Hot Wings” for Cas? I do. Does anyone else think it is weird to read the word “tablet” and know it has nothing to do with Apple? Are you excited to peek into Sam’s normal life next week? (I’m still insanely obsessed with the fact that Sam got a dog again. Too cute.) And are you enjoying these flashbacks as a storytelling device as much as I am?


Mom: Kevin, average Blue Book on a 2010 Ferrari F430 Spider?

Kevin: $217,000.

Mom: And the 5 percent Wyoming tax?

Sam: $10,850.

(Sam, your big brain, it’s sexy.)

“Thank you, Mr. Peanut!” — Dean

“Say it and I will kill you, your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren.” — Dean to Sam after he came close to suggesting that they put his car up as a bid

“Listen to Moose, squirrel.” — Crowley to Dean

“That’s Plutus? What is he God of the candy aisle?” — Dean

“I think too much heart was always Castiel’s problem.” — angel Alfie

Dean: Nice peach fuzz.

Cas: Thank you.