I don't particularly consider myself a connoisseur of motels, but this shot just evokes so much of every motel I can remember being in. It's by the trolley tracks in Chula Vista; it's the central California desert; it's Oceanside, it's the Motel 6 at Seatac, it's Blue Lake, it's Nevada. The paneling on the walls, the stupid little light bulbs, the gritty driveway, that L-shape, the hot air and the coming night breeze. There's light pollution in the sky and it's like you can hear the tick of the Impala's engine, the swoop of highway traffic coming in bands of ambient sound. It's the quintessential motel in the purest sense of the word.
And inside you have Sam comfortable with, and open about his year with Amelia, as he should be; you have Dean sitting on the ground, hearing all the small noises he can hear, hyperalert by Purgatory's default, but also for the fact that this motel, any motel and all motels, any and all highways, any metro area with its presence lit up in the sky with the hazy orange of smog and a thousand street lights, is so right; so right and so different from the dark of a forest in a land of the monster dead. (Which was clean and pure, but was never this--never home. It was never home like this is. Of course, sometimes home has its own grotesques to play out.)
On a hilarious note, in this motel room, Sam's like, hey, how was Purgatory, bro? And Dean's like, eh, you wouldn't believe me. AND THEN GOES ON TO DESCRIBE PURGATORY EXACTLY AS SAM PROBABLY EXPECTED IT WAS.
It was bloody and full of monsters, Sam! Spoilers, there were so many monsters, Sam! I know that's not what he meant when he said that, and his staid Purgatory newsbyte was a deflection more than anything else, but... lawls. XP
Oh, and a bonus favorite moment goes to the part where Sam and Dean reunite in Rufus's cabin and Sam's just like, "Dude, you're friggin' alive!" This line has joined the ranks of my all-time favorite SPN lines. Others include Sam's "AS YOU KNOW, DEAN, WE WERE RAISED LIKE WARRIORS" speech in the Pilot, and Sam's "salt being a spirit deterrent" infodump line in 1x07. Sam gets all the best lines, man. It's just not fair.