Personally, I understand both. I actually like the episode for it's love scene (girl action, finally!) and action scenes, but when I start looking for something else - like all the meaningful conversations we see in other episodes, I can not find very much of it. And yes, the chemistry could maybe have been better.
However, I found out something profound (to me) when I was trying to make the banner for these comments. It was Sam's expressions that I was drawn to, not Dean's. And I began to realize that here was a little bit of the meaningful that I had felt was lacking. Those of you who were turned off by Dean's love scene etc. might go "huh?!" at this but I will try to explain as I go.
The James Gang - Walk Away (service station, when Cassie first calls Dean)
Bad Company - She Brings Me Love (love scene between Dean and Cassie)
Blind Faith - Can't Find My Way Home (the end of the episode)
So, to recap, Dean has just been saved by Sam (again) and after our emotional moment with Layla, they are on their way again. We don't know why they are going to Pennsylvania but Dean gets a call from an old girlfriend and they change route. It was interesting to me how upset Sam seemed when he heard the Dean had told Cassie about what they do. Their rule number one - "We do what we do and we shut up about it." And while rebelious Sam had actually kept to this rule while he was at college, Dean (who always did what his father said) had not. At first, I thought it must have been really hard for Sam not to tell Jessica and that he sounded angry because Dean breaking the rule just reminded him of this. But a very good friend suggested below that Sam did not have any trouble keeping the truth from his college buddies because he wanted to be thought of as normal. And that made a whole lot more sense. So I had to include it here as well. I remembered Sam in Afterschool Special and how he had tried so hard to pretend he was like everyone else. As you might see in my comment below, it suddenly made much more sense to say that Sam was just shocked that Dean would tell someone - considering how Dean always did what he was told and because Sam just would not have considered it. But Dean telling Cassie had not turned out well, and I guess that had proven to Dean that the rule must be kept.
Sam is doubtful whether this is their sort of gig and believes that Dean just wants to see his old girlfriend again. From when they first meet Cassie to around the middle of the show, Sam's face is always teasing as he looks at Dean and Cassie. He cannot pass up the chance to tease Dean as Dean always teases him about his relationships. He also cannot believe that Dean ever actually went out with someone for more than one night. Dean has never had a lasting relationship as far as Sam can remember. We will see in future episodes that even as a young highschool student he had trouble with that. Maybe because of their nomadic lifestyle and his fear that those he loves will leave him.
Here are their expressions when they first meet.
It is interesting to see Sam constantly looking at Dean in this next scene.
I guess he is also checking Cassie out, because he makes his little "interesting observation" on the fact that Dean and Cassie are both checking eachother out while the other looks away as they change into their insurance getups.
"It's just a...just an interesting observation in a....you know...observationally interesting way."
As Sam finds out how seriously Dean had felt about Cassie - that he actually had been in love with her - and the fact that they still had feelings for eachother, he starts trying to help Dean settle his "serious unfinished business."
"Blink or something."
He makes Dean go talk to Cassie alone on purpose, I am sure, and Dean and Cassie finally get a chance to get their feelings of hurt and betrayal out in the open.
I love this shot of them.
Just as Dean tried to help Sam get over Jessica, Here, Sam is actually helping Dean deal with his "girl issues."
I think it is this wish for Dean to be happy with a girl reminds him of his life at college and the normal life he had so wanted with Jessica. He wishes it for both of them.
"I miss conversations that don't start with the words, this killer truck."
Before I go on to the ending, I've got to say that that whole scene from pulling the truck up from the lake up to the ghost truck discintigrating on hallowed ground was awesome - probably the best part of the show for me - so I had to see if I could express it here somehow.
And the last scene - Sam waiting in the car as Dean says his goodbyes to Cassie. I think we have pretty much gathered from the episode that this relationship would be one that they would have to really work at if they wanted it to continue. As Dean said, "We'll be working things out when we're 90." With Dean off saving people and hunting things, it is not likely they will be able to keep it going. Sam gazes at them and I imagine him thinking, "If we did not do what we did, Dean could make this relationship work. Was it really worth it to be going after demons for revenge when we could have this kind of life?"
As they drive off, Sam asks Dean this very question. And here we have a great set of expressions from Dean.
I imagine him thinking, "Don't you get it? If I had to choose between a girl and driving down crazy street with you, I'd chose the latter any day. No contest man."
What do you think?
Location - Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Clothes in episode(Link): Season 1 by hells_half_acre