So, apologies for getting to this late, I've been very pregnant. But this was an amazing episode so I'm extremely excited to finally review it.
"Book of the Damned" was written by Robbie Thompson, who is perhaps my favorite writer on Supernatural, if not on all of television right now. Robbie gave us the Fan-tastic 200th episode "Fan Fiction," the meta media commentary what was "Meta Fiction" and just one of my favorite episodes ever, "Goodbye Stranger." Thompson has always shows a keen awareness of the fandom and his episodes are layered with Easter eggs, meta commentary and clever allusions that reward further exploration and discovery. But even more than that, Robbie gets these characters and what it is about them that we love. this Episode was no different.
"Book of the Damned" involved two parallel book related quests, one for Castiel and one for Sam, Dean, and Charlie. They all had the same end goal - help Dean, though Cas was doing this indirectly by restoring his stolen grace. It was great to see Charlie back, getting worked more into the mythology, even if it meant she was bringing the titular and very "eekish" Book of the Damned with her. Like Castiel's helper for his quest - Metatron, former scribe of god - the book was bad news from the start and use of it only would lead to badness and carnage. This wasn't a determent to Sam however who is now willing to do anything to save his brother from the Mark of Cain, consequences be damned. Literally. (At this point I was very much yelling at the screen because ignoring consequences was how these boys started the apocalypse before.)
In an episode full of awesome scenes ( such as any time Metatron, played so delightfully by Curits Armstrong was on screen) two of the stand outs were the character driven confrontations between Sam and his loved ones. First we see Sam holding firm about using the book, which calls on Dean to confront his bro about all he said last year about not wanting to save Dean. Later we see Sam unburden himself to Charlie about having accepted his life as a hunter but not being willing to do it alone. Both scenes were wonderful showcases for Jared Padalecki and gave me, and I assume everyone else, all the feels.
The episode also had some great twists and surprises. Cas actually got his grace back, solving a riddle from Metatron with information provided by Meatron (ironic ;). I loved seeing Cas with his wings again, even if they're looking a bit worse for wear. And Sam, despite Dean's urging and even the bad guys assurances the Book of the Damned is nothing but bad, not destroying it, lying about that and then taking it to...Rowena! I admit I am so so excited to see what Sam and Rowena get up to, though.
The episode ended on a meeting we've all been hoping for - Charlie finally meeting Cas. It was predictably wonderful and segued into a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking (like everything on this show) montage of the Winchesters and their extended family laughing over Pizza and beers. A promise of things to come or a last super...methinks it will be the later...Also. Dean was the Pizzaman and that made me WAY happier than it needed to. Especially in an episode where Cas was playing babysitter. Like I said, Robbie Thompson is awesome.