It was good. I'm not as squeeful as everyone else, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an awesome episode. I'm a Deangirl and it was perfect for him. I was a little disappointed at the lack of Sam, and I would have loved for them to both have gone back in time, but I understand it wouldn't have fit the plot. Also, I heard that JP wasn't around much anyway? So if that is how they had to write around him, it was a decent way to do it.
I'm not sure exactly what is going on with me or why I am having difficulty truly enjoying the show this year. I'm very tense about it, which is ridiclous because I honestly have loved every episode we've seen so far. Maybe it's all my real life stress bleeding into my fandoms. Then again, I've always been very twitchy and concerned about the Sam plot, so much so that it's part of the reason I walked from the show in S2. It concerns me more than it should and hinders some of my enjoyment. But if they end up doing some kind of Luke Skywalker plot, or if Sam is redeemed and the brothers end up working together in the end, I'll be okay.
Some highlights I enjoyed:
Mary was a hunter and so was her family. I didn't see that coming. I have been waiting for a Mary episode for a long time, since when I saw "Home" I was always curious as to her reaction to Sam.
Samuel being hard like John, and then when the Colt makes an appearance, he praises Dean. Dean's not stupid enough to give people the Colt.
The going to Hell again line.
John getting the Impala.
The Back to the Future references. Given I've JUST written a time travel story for SPN fandom, this amused me greatly.
Dean looking YED directly in the eyes and telling him he's the one to kill him; YED looking slightly unnerved by it, but ultimately ignores it due to his arrogance. I want to go back and watch the YED/Dean scenes from the past seasons to see if/how they connect.
Hell flashbacks. More please? And I hope Dean gets them stronger, harder, and when he's awake when Sam is around eventually. Because I am mean like that.
I've always seen Sam a lot like John, but this episode showed also how much he's like Mary. Dean, to me, seems the least like them, though he has some obvious traits. I find he's a bit more like his maternal grandparents.
The whole episode was awesome and I have no real complaints with it. Though, I think maybe I've got some psychic link going on with the writers. Or I'm predictible. How I envisioned the opening of "Lazarus Rising" was fairly accurate. I just wrote a long plotty time travel fic so some of the references and events in this episode made me raise my eyebrows. And I've just found out that the next SPN fic I was going to write is the exact premise of an upcoming episode. I mean EXACT. To the point where I can't write it. *crosses off the list*
All three episodes so far have been solid. If the rest of the season is this good, I would argue S4 will be there best/most consistently good season yet.
Hopefully, I will get out of my funk soon so I can enjoy the episodes in a less detached way.
ETA: I also am starting to think Ruby is one of YED's. Or at least furthering YED's plans. I was hoping she would stay an ambiguous figure, but who knows. There could be a twist. Like maybe the good guys are actually the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys. I doubt that, though, and I wouldn't like that. My preference is that both Sam and Dean figure out their just pawns used by both sides and say, the hell with it, and strike out on their own. One can dream ;)
ETA2: I'm starting to think I know part of the reason why the Sam storyarc of evilness bugs me. I feel stupid for not realizing this before. I think it's because we almost never see Sam struggle with it. I'm seriously invested in everything Dean goes through, good and bad, because the actor gets really meaty stuff to work with. Sam has moments of insight where we can see what's happening, but most of the time we only see little hints and glimpses. This is a great way to build suspense and mystery, but if you want people to really connect with the character, you do need to really dig deep into him. I think it's a catch-22 for Sam. His personality is way more closed off than Dean so you have to keep him in character. Then, if you give away too much, you have no story. Don't give enough, and the audience can get frustrated. I think if we knew more about what is going on with Sam, it would be easier to follow his arc. Like how at the end of LR he thinks he's really helping people. I just feel like we need more Sam depth to go with the Dean depth and maybe then I wouldn't be so nervous about his storyline. Just my two cents.