I also didn’t think Kate’s fate showed any progression on Dean’s part from the Amy storyline last year. Letting Kate go was consistent with letting Amy’s son go. Neither had killed yet, therefore by Dean’s code he has no sanction to kill them and he didn’t want to kill them. Come to that, he didn’t want to kill Amy. He just accepted the need. Again, Dean is not Dexter. What is surprising about the Kate situation is that Dean and Sam are so easily on the same page. If Thompson goes to the trouble of setting up a decision like this, to fit with the current arc, Sam and Dean should have had different perspectives they had trouble communicating to the other one. Otherwise, why bother setting it up?
Obviously, the episode was a bust for me. I felt I wasted an hour where I learned nothing new about Sam and Dean, was not entertained by the case and not interested in the new lead characters. I think putting this episode in at this stage of the season was a big mistake. Supernatural has a great deal of momentum built from the intriguing Purgatory set up in last year’s finale and the added energy of the new night with a hit lead-in. Last night’s episode is not going to hook potential new viewers into the Winchesters’ story. And that’s a shame.