How much you want to bet that was a network thing, not to show drug use?
I suppose it is Tell not Show. Dean did get to complain about the motel clerk offering him Dope.
I must disagree with you on Michael respecting Mary's free will while the brothers didn't.
In a way, the whole episode was a contrast in contradiction. Michael and Lucifer are telling Dean and Sam the consequences of their choices will be some showdown in Detroit. And nothing that they are doing has changed that.
And Mary must know (she asked Sam and Dean if a Demon was after her) that there will be a consequence to bringing John back other than the lie of omission that the Demon told her. The Yellow Eyed Demon will have his due. If she doesn't die in the nursery that night...Sam still gets his Demon blood and it still goes on. And women don't do well on this show. ;-) And what would Dean do without Sam? If Mary doesn't have him? And Mary is like Dean, she is convinced that she can have what she wants and change things if she just tries hard enough. ETA: Didn't Dean warn Mary about the nursery In the Beginning? But she remembers Dean in this episode and not his warning.
Everybody in this episode seemed to know the consequences of their actions in some way. But nothing changed. This was a strange time to come back to. I don't think anyone, other than Michael, really had any maneuvering room in the Change the Past game. And Michael, as you say, didn't want to change anything.
Btw, I was wondering which Michael showed up. You make a good argument for PresentMichael. All this time travel---urgh---now I have four Deans to keep track of: Dean09, Dean10, Dean14, and Dean to Be. Help!
And I am one viewer who thinks that Sam and Dean will say "No" in Detroit. It would be amusing to see them throw everything out of whack in the big Angel showdown. Humans are God's Wild Card in the scheme of things.
Now I venture forth to shovel the three foot drift that the snow plough left in the front of my driveway.
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Songs in the Key of Supernatural