Every season has its fillers, and with J2 having put in seven long years and have, y’know, lives outside of Supernatural (gasp), I’d say that they lightened load will become more obvious even outside the negotiated “give the boys a day off” episodes. Going into this one knowing it was what it was made it more palatable.
Yes, it was cliched and predictable (I mean, come on, who didn’t know the poor geek the hot guy felt pity for wanted the girl all along and who didn’t know he’d be the catalyst), and the shaky cam technique is something I would prefer die in a roaring fire, but the episode plugged along pretty well. The guest story was competently played, at least.
I do appreciate that in the end, the girl in the bizarre love triangle walked away. I also get the point of the episode was to highlight the changes in Sam and Dean. The Dean of last year would not have let her walk off so easily; the monster he has discovered in himself has a lot to do with that decision. Sam wants normal, which is his status quo and has been except for a brief soulless stint and a few other blips, so him agreeing not to hunt her unless she hurt someone (like the professor who kept himself contained for years and years) was no surprise.
So, it was an enjoyable fluff episode with cliches aplenty and pretty standard gender roles. Also as Supernatural white as can be.