Sam is very, very low!
owzers and I were dissecting the episode tonight and there's this blip, at the point where Sam and Dean are about to be overwhelmed and probably killed by the breaking of the last seal. Sam looks over his shoulder to where Lucifer is rising:
Blip. (I stared till I was crosseyed but I didn't see any hidden 3D picture.) There's a break in reality.
Then they're on the, um, "soul plane". As in dead? Limbo? Between lives? And the Devil says to [Yosemite] Sam, "I could use a guy like you."
And then the rest of the story unfolds. Well, owzers had a fascinating theory about it, and I think I concur: this whole ep is Sam's guilt-wracked hallucination as he is being taken over by Lucifer.
But more screencaps of symbolism.
Sam goes where he wasn't supposed to go. Witness the Do Not Enter sign:
He descends, past a very Ruby2-looking woman, towards a level twice as low as "Ruby".
In the very sleazy motel, he is lower than Dean. This motif recurs throughout the ep.
When Dean comes down to his level, he gives this very Sam-like gesture, and look! There are two Sams--real and reflected.
And a bit later, when Bobby arrives in the Impala (with new plates), there's this shot:
which has nothing to do with anything except guh.