Wow, what an episode! This is why I love the “first half episodic, second half story”-type of series: they may take a while longer to get to their point, but whenever they get to it they can really do some amazing stuff. This episode was chock full of character development, which got even better due to the build-up that the first half of this season brought in.
This was an excellent case of taking a cliche and pulling it off so well that it doesn’t matter that it’s been done before: there definitely was no lack of creativity in this episode here. John really made a conscious, and a very well grounded one. It’s the same decision that many others in this series have made as well; it totally fits into place. His repentance at the end, after all of the time that Sam and Dean spent yelling at him was excellent. Unfortunately, this also means that my favourite character of this show is gone now…
On top of that, Dean’s out of body experience and him going against the grim reaper was awesome too. Especially considering how it wasn’t some sort of simple-minded monster or silly parody of it. That reaper made it very clear that unless something would be done, Dean would have died. It wasn’t the most eventful episode, but the wait to see what would end up causing Dean to get out of his coma was more than enough to build up an amazing tension.
Rating: ** (Excellent)