Supernatural premiered in 2005 as a suspenseful mystery show following two brothers as they hunt down supernatural creatures. It grew into an amazing show that focused on family and has since then acquired a dedicated fan-base. So after fifteen seasons of the “the family business,” Supernatural came to a heart-wrenching conclusion albeit somewhat messy on November 19th.
Due to the massive amount of content there was to draw from, the season felt jumbled. There were many different story lines to follow although it did center around battling Chuck/God (portrayed by Robert Benedict), who has grown tired of Sam and Dean Winchester’s defiance (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles respectively). The conflict takes Team Free Will back through Hell, Purgatory, the Empty and even some alternate universes. Every episode carries a strong sense of nostalgia that was balanced well with moments of humor and quick-witted dialogue. The show writers made sure to tie up loose ends and assembled a colorful array of beloved characters from all seasons for the final ride.
Castiel’s death scene is arguably the embodiment of the season due to the powerful mix of emotions that it elicited. It was simultaneously satisfying and yet disappointing. In episode eighteen titled “Despair,” the angel (played by Misha Collins) sacrifices his life to save Dean. The death came moments after he finally confessed his romantic love. Since the character was first introduced in season four, many fans have speculated about a romantic chemistry between Dean and Castiel. Destiel, the ship, became a ten-year long queerbait that swooped even lower when it unfolded into the “bury your gays” trope.
The love confession is problematic because the writers had eleven seasons to explore the subplot and yet they chose to half-heartedly make Destiel canon in the final hours of the final season. Despite the clear “I love you”, the confession was still vague enough to leave some fans confused as to the nature of Castiel’s emotions. The reluctance to irrefutably confirm Castiel (or Dean) as queer allowed for the show writers to maintain the interest of a queer audience, while also appeasing the majority heteronormative viewers that may be uncomfortable with queer representation. Some fans continued to argue that the love was purely platonic until Collins clarified at a DarkLight Online Convention on November 8th calling it a “homosexual declaration of love.” In the scene, Dean hardly even responds to the confession or fights to protect the angel despite Castiel being his best friend. That being said, Collins’s performance was beautiful and devastating. It was a moment of bittersweet jubilation for fans that believed in Destiel and the death carried a sense of finality. I am sure it touched every fan no matter their opinions on the ship.
The final battle between the Winchesters and Chuck also contained some odd choices. Throughout the majority of the season, Chuck steadily demoralized the Winchesters, but the boys suddenly gain the upper hand in Episode 19 “Inherit the Earth.” Their plan was difficult to follow even after Sam conveniently explained the thought process. It was, however, nice to see the brothers refuse to give up even in the face of such daunting odds, one last time. The battle was reminiscent of season five’s “Swan Song,” when Lucifer beat Dean to a bloody pulp and still he refused to abandon Sam. Jack, (played by Alexander Calvert) the nephilim and the Winchester’s surrogate son, finally steps in and overpowers Chuck by draining him of his powers and essentially becoming the new God; condemning Chuck to a life of insignificance. In the aftermath, Jack decides to leave Sam and Dean in order to assume his new role. Sadly, the scene lacked heart since Jack had become an all-powerful omniscient being and seemingly lost the sweetness that had characterized his person.
The writers decision to make the finale episode, titled “Carry On,” a low-stake hunt was particularly off-putting. After a battle with God himself, the normal vampire hunt felt extremely anticlimactic. The episode was meant to demonstrate that the Winchesters were finally in complete control of their own lives. But Sam and Dean had survived so many intense ordeals, like the Yellow-eyed Demon, the Apocalypse, and the mark of Cain. Thus, it was frustrating to see Dean Winchester, the greatest hunter in the world, die when he was impaled by a metal rod during the battle. Just as Dean had predicted, his death turned out to be an average one within the hunter’s life-style. Still, the metal rod was almost like a death right out of season three episode eleven, “Mystery Spot,” when Dean died over 100 times in random and hysterical manners. Although it would have been easy to fight the death, in the chaotic Supernatural-manner we had grown accustomed to, Dean’s death demonstrates important character development. Unlike in past seasons, the brothers accepted the inevitability of death, and Sam moved forward with his life.
The goodbye scene between Sam and Dean was by far the most heartbreaking moment in the season. The conversation echoed straight out of the pilot episode when Dean first asked his brother to help him look for their missing father. That conversation initiated fifteen years of a thrilling ride filled with love, heartbreak and a whole lot of flannel. The fate of the Winchester’s, Castiel, and Jack was not exactly what most fans had hoped for. Still, the final season contains many memorable moments. It was clear that a lot of thought and love went into it. The ending was especially tearful since many fans felt particularly attached to the show after fifteen seasons, some having grown up with the show. Although it was time to say goodbye, it was still incredibly painful, and Supernatural will undoubtedly continue to hold a special place in the hearts of many.
How did you feel about the series finale? Who’s death hurt the most? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!