There's nothing like the Old West to bring out the Supernatural charm and this week's "Frontierland" hit on all the bases.
Dean stole the show by exhibiting his inner child with his fascination for all things Western and Clint Eastwood. From the goofy get-ups to the name drops of Marshal Eastwood and Walker, Texas Ranger, Dean delivered his one-liners with an enthusiastic grin that you couldn't help but laugh.
If he learned anything, it was that the saloon girls weren't that pretty, the whiskey tasted like gasoline, and the town was sparse and dry. Did I mention Dean loves posse?
Of course, the trip wasn't all fun and games (although it sure did look fun), as the brothers hunted for the phoenix ashes. Despite the Mother of All's imminent threat, she seems to have been relatively absent so far. Does that mean she'll stick around for next season? At least Sam and Dean have been proactive in their endeavors instead of sitting back and waiting for the end to come.
Sam took his trip a little more seriously and searched for Samuel Colt's help. The name should ring a bell because it was his gun that was featured prominently in the early seasons to kill Yellow Eyes.
I was even pleased that a pair of demons showed up. For one, Samuel Colt proved that even in old age, he's still got it. Plus, there's something fantastically creepy when those eyes flick to black. Ah, nostalgia.
After a drawn out conversation between Samuel and Sam about retiring from hunting, Colt finally gave up his famous gun. As cool as it was to see this legendary hero, I didn't mind that Colt wasn't the actual person to kill the phoenix. After all, viewers wouldn't have gotten the great showdown scene.
On top of all of the great Western moments, Castiel played a critical part in this episode. Sure, he was the time travel conductor, but he also had to deal with some angel animosity. His own battle with the angel, Rachel, was fantastic. Two fights in one episode? Nice.
Yet, what is Castiel's dirty little secret? Each time, viewers get a small crumb of what's going on up in Heaven, but there's still plenty of mystery surrounding him. What are these decisions that Castiel is making? Will Sam and Dean like them? Will viewers?
Additionally, the idea of the soul as pure energy is an interesting concept, especially if angels can harness their power. But is that a good thing?
I'm still undecided on the ending of the episode. I liked that Dean was unable to gather the ashes before he was pulled back as it added a sense of "now what?" True, it was clever that the boys were able to receive a package from Samuel Colt that did end up containing the ashes. For some reason though, it all just felt a little too neatly wrapped up for an ending.
That debate aside, this episode was chalk full of greatness. Angels, demons, Western showdowns, a brand new monster, and continuity throwbacks, what was not to like? If only there were more Western episodes...
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.