I really liked this episode. While Sam's behavior concerns me, I am absolutely confident that we still have a LOT to learn about what actually happened to him after the moment season 7 ended, and when we learn the whole, we'll realize that what was going on wasn't remotely a man being callous, selfish, or shallow. I will wait to see what happens.
I'll go into a lot more detail later, when I manage my episode write-up, but here's one quick piece for thought.
That figure watching the Texas house as Sam left Amelia and the dog? I'm convinced that was Dean, scouting his brother with all the wary caution of an Army ranger doing recon of a village in enemy territory, trying to figure out whether it's a trap or legit. I don't believe for a second that he actually smelled the dog in the car (no matter how acute his senses became in Purgatory!) or just guessed there was a girl: I'm positive he knew of both because he was there and saw them, and was probing to find out whether Sam would tell him the truth or not. I think Dean tracked Sam down to Texas, watched him, and followed him when he left. And once Sam crossed the state line into Montana, it would have been obvious that Rufus's cabin was his destination, so it would have been child's play for Dean to beat him there and be waiting to ambush him for testing when Sam opened the door.
And about Sam's departure from Amelia's place: the nature of it gave me the sense that this - stealing away in the night - was something he had done multiple times before. The way Amelia woke but remained silent and still, just watching him leave without making any comment or calling him back, made me think this was a pattern to which she'd grown sadly accustomed. Rufus's cabin being reasonably clean and with a fridge stocked full of beer implied to me that Sam visited there on a regular basis. Sam may have abandoned hunting, but I think he hadn't abandoned this last place still linked to his family. It felt to me almost like a pilgrimage - like a monthly trip to a grave site to clean the marker and spend a little time in contemplation. I think Dean turning up there alive was a total shock to Sam's system - and yet, given their weird history, something that seemed simultaneously almost inevitable after all the previous times death or disappearance had lost their hold on him.
I loved war vet Dean, jumping out of his skin from the constant overstimulation of his combat reflexes by perfectly ordinary sounds and sights that have been made alien to him after a year in constant combat. I'm intrigued by Benny and want to see how his connection with Dean developed and led to their escape from Purgatory. And I'm dying to learn the fate of Castiel and to see where the whole quest for the Word goes.
Bring it, season 8!