I'm sorry I doubted Supernatural at the beginning of the season. Everything has come together and it looks like we're in for a great season.
"Family Matters" finally answers some of the questions we've been wondering all season long and sets the table for the rest of the season. There's something wonderful about the giddy subversion going on the episode, and while the episode didn't really have a central plot, the tension runs extremely high throughout the episode.
By the end, we learn some key facts. Crowley pulled Samuel from Heaven and Sam from Hell, in exchange for Samuel gathering up Alphas to find the location of Purgatory, because creatures end up in Purgatory after dying. Crowley's leverage is Sam's soul, forcing the Campbells, Sam, and Dean to play ball. What choice do they have?
One thing that doesn't quite sit right with me is the physical answer to Sam's problems. An internal problem, as a matter of complexity, would serve better than another item to find. Taking all responsibility away from Sam, all that's missing is his soul which is chilling with Lucifer. It's no longer Sam's problem to figure out what's going on inside his head, but simply getting his physical soul back. But in some ways, Sam still has to figure what to do in the meantime, staying on the right path, despite knowing he has no soul.