Remember in season 10, how FRUSTRATING it was that we would watch episode after episode where Sam and Cas talked all desolately on the phone, like, “Dean’s getting worse,” or “The Mark is really affecting him now,” but we never got to see tangible evidence of Dean breaking down?
All they needed was ONE episode like “Red Meat” to really hammer it in. That’s all it would have taken. One episode with real, actual tension that made me legitimately afraid for the characters and that readily demonstrated their complex mental states. One episode that defied their standard plot formula, didn’t rely on tired action sequences, and presented me with a real, gritty, snapshot of who Sam and Dean are as people at this moment in their lives. All I needed was a SNAPSHOT of that desperation.
“Red Meat” was a fucking textbook lesson in the effectiveness of show vs. tell. I don’t know if someone gave the writing team remedial composition lessons between season 10 and 11 or what, but whatever they’re doing, it’s fucking working. I hope they keep it up.