The best friends are never truly gone.
Though the Winchesters have been searching for a case, it's been pretty quiet and Chuck has yet to show up on the radar. While out on a run to clear his head, Sam sees something strange begin to materialize – none other than their former friend and hunter, Eileen Leahy. Eileen managed to escape from hell during the rupture and was hoping the Winchesters would able to put in a good word for her to get into heaven. Dean is brief and tells her that heaven won't accept souls that have been to hell. Unwilling to let his friend slowly unfold into madness, Sam thinks they may be able to trap her inside one of Rowena's crystals that trapped spirts. It's not much but it's better than the alternative. Elsewhere, Castiel is investigating a case of his own after a boy's body washed up on shore, completely drained of blood. The local sheriff fills him in the details but he knows a monster is preying on the people of the town. Feeling like his brother has everything well in hand, he tells Sam to take this one alone and while he continues to warm the bench at the bunker. After Sam arrives at Rowena's, he sees that she kept meticulous journals and to his shock, he may have found something better. Rowena has a spell that can bring someone back from the dead without a body. It was originally going to be used on Mary Winchester but Sam may have found a way to give Eileen a second lease on life.
Taking a break from dull return of Lilith, Golden Time brought back Eileen Leahy in a well-crafted, heartwarming story that happened to have Castiel and witches in it. After Eileen made her return, I was leery that Supernatural was going to repeat the same motions they did with Kevin Tran – a sad farewell where he had little impact on the story. Unlike Raising Hell, the plot in Golden Time was about Eileen and saving her, not saving a town using a magic dome that happened to feature Kevin Tran. That switch gave Golden Time the chance to tell a much better story where we experienced the joy that an old friend returned, the sadness that she couldn't be saved, the acceptance to her fate and finally, the surprise and relief that she could be saved. A lot of episodes feel like a loss even though they aren't supposed to but Golden Time felt like a win when the Winchesters needed it. WE have seen many episodes this season bring back old characters but Golden Time was probably the first one where it felt organic and true to the story rather than a fan service.
While it wasn't the focus, Castiel's side story brought us up to speed on everyone's favourite angel. Castiel is an angel without a home and since he falling out with Dean, without a friend. He's usually following the lead of the Winchesters as he takes on a case but now that he's running solo, he's doing the best he can. At the end, he managed to save the lot boy and kill the djinn but it wasn't without a cost. As Castiel mentioned to Dean, his powers seem to be fading for some reason but he still had enough to kill the monster and save the boy. Whatever direction his character takes, Castiel is like a super hero that thought his power would last forever. It's an exciting opportunity to see where his journey ends.
Overall, Golden Time was the episode that Supernatural needed. Were the witches great, not really. They served to deliver a complication and some action but they were paper thin characters that were all killed off in a matter of minutes. Golden Time was still win for the Winchesters and a moment of hope; something there hasn't been a lot of since their new enemy became God. Sam is ready to take this on but will Dean step up to meet his brother half way? We'll see if Dean Winchester can get back into the game when Supernatural returns on December 5th with Last Call.