I'm just going to go ahead and put this out there: This might be my favorite episode of the entire series.
When Supernatural does comedy, it's usually done well. The actors assume the perfect straight man/quip man roles, the writing is solid with lots of cute little "in" jokes, and the addition of Castiel only increased the comedic chemistry. "Hunteri Heroici" had all of these qualities in spades. Not to mention special guest star Mike Farrell, who played B.J. Hunnicutt in one of my very favorite sitcoms - M.A.S.H.
Aside from all the obvious winks at cartoons past (holes in the wall, you don't fall until you look down, and the ever so classic external heartbeat) there were great references to two of the most renowned Looney Tunes directors - Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones. The dialogue was hilarious and Misha Collins's performance was a perfect foil. I stand by my earlier statement that the show is at its goriest this season, but to wildly, darkly humorous effect in this particular episode. Let's just say a one ton anvil fell from a ceiling to subdue a bank guard and a cake exploded, taking at least one elderly birthday girl with it. Well, OK, reading back that might not sound so funny but you've just got to trust me on this one.
More importantly, however, the communication is continuing. Gone are the days of manly pissiness when one character doesn't understand another's action. Last night Dean - Dean Winchester - actually said the phrase "talk to me, Cas." I'm still mildly annoyed at Sam's flashbacks, even with a somewhat shocking development this episode. Those flashbacks have already established that Sam's departure was a move that could potentially destroy Amelia, but the twist only served to amplify that, not develop it. But that's really my only issue, and it's not even really a complaint. I remain optimistic that it will play to further the themes of the season.
As is typical with the show's more humorous episodes, this one ended on an inversely dark note. We are left wondering if Castiel will become a hunter with the brothers after all as well as how many appearances he might make this season. It's all set up for next week's mid-season finale, which promises to be a nail biter.