No Music. This gave it a creepy feel, an emptiness of emotional suggestion that amplified the mystery.
No Talking. Again, this amplified the creepy feel and the loneliness. It also added to my inital impression of this season: apocalyptic. That wandering Dean did about the beginning? Very post-apocalyptic scavenger-survival feel. (Note: Only that porn mags are necessary to survive, also. Porn mags and bottled water.)
Acting. Jensen can act. Bizzare surprise.
Cinematography. Cheers for the return of the blasted-out lighting: the intense whites and the ink blacks. And how about that grave shot from above, with the sun streaming down like a furnace on Dean and his grave, blasting both's shadows into some sort of twisted demonic parody? Also: adore the fact that Dean climbed zombie-like from his grave not amidst a cliche'd night, but during high noon.
I echo the fear that Kripke & Co. going into Godmongering.
But then again, I don't fear it at all. I am absolute in assurance that Cassiel/Kafziel is not what he seems. Because we all know, Kripke & Co. is not that straightforward.
REMINDER TO THOSE WHO ARE APPREHENSIVE: remember all the mid-season plot twists? Yeah. Don't worry.
There is such a thing as a fallen angel, people.
Black shadows for wings? Possessing people? Not very angel-like.
On another note: Actor who played Cassiel/Kafziel? FANTASTIC. The angel-like emotional detachment and calm befuddlement-assurance paradoxical divinity was extremely well-played.
The trenchcoat was too cliche for me.
The return of Season Two mystery theatre plot is a godsend.
Yes, that was an intentional pun-thingy.
Sammy's Return-To-Sender Powers
Simultaneously, I felt:
Badass! + Depressed + Sorrowful for the fall of Sam + Nostalgic for college-boy Sammy of Season One + Badass!
I'm glad he doesn't remember Hell. If he came back from Hell and remembered it, and then acted the way he did this episode (i.e., classic Dean) then I wouldn't have believed he was in Hell. I know Jensen would have modified his performance to reflect EXTREME AND ENDLESS SOULWRENCHING TORTUR
But Dean doesn't remember Hell, so I accept his usual classic Dean-ness.
Loved it. It felt like a significant episode.
*Marks the brother hug-count up to 3*
Theory and Thinky Thoughts
A: Dean's purpose/plot is God-driven. He is an instrument of God.
"Faith": Roy LeGrange says God spoke to him, to save Dean because Dean had an "important job to do, and it isn't finished yet."
B: Sam's purpose/plot is Hell-driven. He is an instrument of Hell.
A + B = Dean Must Kill Sam
Other: Initial Cassiel/Kafziel Research
Cassiel/ Kafziel is primarily a Kabbalistic (Jewish mystisism) figure. He is an archangel, and alternately one of the Powers, sometimes the ruler of the seventh kingdom of heaven or the Powers. He is also noted as presiding over the death of kings. *cough*BoyKing*cough*
Angel of Sorrow
Angel of Tears
Angel of Temperance
Angel of Solitude
Of especially interesting note: Cassiel/ Kafziel is noted as an angel who, unlike other angels, primarily WATCHES, NOT ACTS. Notably, other archangels are human-heaven messengers/connectors, who like interacting with mankind. Not so with Cassiel/ Kafziel.
*strokes nonexistent beard in contemplation*
Oh, and candy: