Supernatural Sequence Finale Spoilers, Ending Defined
It’s been 15 years since Supernatural first premiered on The WB (remember that?) and finally, after what feels like an eternity (the series is officially the longest-running genre series to air on network television), the adventures of monster-hunting brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) has finally come to an end. But where exactly is that?
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the series finale of Supernatural, “Carry On.”]
Everything built to the big battle that transpired in last week’s episode, titled “Inherit the Earth.” After Chuck (Rob Benedict) went on his tour of destruction, ending every world he created with a snap of his Thanos-like fingers, Jack (Alexander Calvert) ended up absorbing all his God power, thanks to that scuffle between Michael (Jake Abel) and Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino). With Jack stepping into the role of God, the world went back to normal — which is something, considering how far from normal we all are in 2020 — and each and every person Chuck erased came back to their old selves.
But hoo golly has Season 15 done a good job of tying up loose ends! Chuck became the thing he despised most: a mere mortal; Rowena (Ruth Connell) sacrificed herself over the rift in hell only to become the Queen down there; Castiel (Misha Collins) professed his tearful love to Dean before sacrificing himself into The Empty; Jack vanished majestically into every last piece of existence around them.
In the final minutes of the penultimate episode, we watched Sam and Dean ride off into the sunset in Baby, their iconic ’67 Impala, which was followed by a montage of the show’s best moments. But some big questions remained: Without Chuck writing their story, where exactly would the brothers go now? Is it possible that after all this time, Sam and Dean could retire and finally settle down to have families of their own? Or, could the Winchesters continue the family business of saving people and hunting things until going out in a blaze of glory? Let’s break down where the journey has taken us and how things come to an end for our heroes.
Image via The CW
What Was Their Last Case?
Leave it to a pie contest to set the right kind of tone for Sam and Dean’s final ride. After the heavy-ness of the season, watching the brothers have some light-hearted fun, with Dean getting some pie to the face, was a welcome change. However, after a home invasion featuring a gang of mask-wearing killers left the husband dead, the wife drained with her tongue ripped out, and the two young boys taken, Sam and Dean went right back to doing what they do best — fighting evil.
Turns out, the Winchesters were in for a classic vampire fight, as the group who pulled off this kidnapping ended up being a nest of vamps looking to take a harvest — perhaps the same beasts their dad hunted back in 1986, which felt like a cool old-school detail to give us. As Sam and Dean tracked part of the group down, they were able to interrogate one of them and got to the nitty-gritty of what was going on here. These vamps have been kidnapping kids for decades only to hold onto them, raise them in captivity, and feed them well with the end goal of juicing them. As the dude put it, these vamps “don’t do fast food.”
As with most battles like these, Sam and Dean ended up facing off against this gaggle of masked murderers in a spooky barn. They were able to rescue the boys before a knife fight commenced. There was even a brief cameo from Season 1’s Jenny (Christine Chatelain), the girl who became a vampire in the episode “Dead Man’s Blood,” but that didn’t last long. She was beheaded, along with the rest of the killers, but this Winchester victory came at an unexpected cost.
Image via The CW
What Happened to Dean?
It happened quickly, but it definitely happened. As Dean grappled with a big burly vampire, he was thrown up against a wooden beam before Sam came in to save him. Unfortunately, though, he was a few seconds too late. The vamp was dead but Dean was unable to move. Literally.
Impaled on some protruding rebar, Dean pleaded with Sam to stay with him. Time and time again, Dean has been brought back from the dead throughout the show’s 15 seasons. But this time, he asked Sam to let him go. An upsetting choice from the writers, for sure, but you’ve got to at least acknowledge that Dean, not Chuck, chose this moment. This was how he wanted to write his ending.
And thus began the emotional goodbye we suspected could possibly come, but we never actually thought it would get here. The Winchesters shared a final tear-filled goodbye with Dean confiding in Sam that it’s always been about him this entire time, confirming once and for all that the younger Winchester brother is the heart of the show. But for Dean to die, Sam had to tell him it was okay, which was his way of giving Dean permission not just to let go, but to finally have Sam step into his own solitary power.
Image via The CW
What Did This Mean For Sam?
As the elder Winchester said at the very beginning of the episode, the sacrifices Jack and Castiel made would mean nothing if the boys didn’t keep on living. And, of course, having Dean choose to die soon after does feel like a vindictive twist of the narrative knife. But it also acted as a catalyst for Sam to move forward with his life and try to find the happiness he had always dreamed of.
It was tough for Sam to move on — especially early on, still living in the Men of Letters bunker answering the call to fight evil as FBI Agent Bon Jovi — but we were able to watch as Sam finally got that domestic life that always seemed out of reach.
In typical Supernatural fashion, a heartfelt musical montage set to Kansas’ hit “Carry On My Wayward Son” played as we watched Sam be a father to his young son Dean. She was barely seen in the background, but as Sam played catch with his boy, we fully believe the woman watching from the back porch was Eileen (Shoshannah Stern).
This is the perfect detail, considering Sam’s romantic connection to her and the ongoing journey to being back with her. It also feels like the final punctuation mark in both of their stories, considering the fact that Sam brought her back from the dead a few episodes back, only to have Chuck take her and the rest of the world out of the equation. It’s good to see some good come from all this darkness, ya know?
Image via The CW
So Did Dean Go To Heaven?
Absolutely, he did. And thanks to the intervention of Jack and Castiel, the place, which was once mired in corporate politics, had been transformed into the ideal vacation home. Now, according to Bobby (Jim Beaver) heaven is just a place where everyone can be happy together. Upon his arrival, Dean was able to share a beer with everyone’s favorite curmudgeonly father figure and badass bearded hunter on the porch of Harvelle’s Roadhouse — a clear shout-out to the hunter/barkeep Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris), Bobby’s alternate timeline wife.
The one thing missing from Dean’s full happiness here, aside from the fact that his mom and dad were living just down the street, was his baby brother. But as Bobby explained, time works differently in heaven. And as Dean decided to take Baby for a delightful drive through heaven’s beautiful landscape with Kansas playing through the speakers, the years passed by on Earth for Sam.
Visuals of the younger Winchester raising his son, offset by a tearful moment a gray-haired Sam had inside the Impala, led to a much-elderly Sam on his deathbed with his son by his side. As Dean did for his brother all those years ago, Sam’s son Dean now gave his father the okay to let go and pass on. And of course, the good cry you thought was over, continued once more as the Winchesters reunited with a joyful embrace, in the afterlife.
Image via The CW
Does This Mean the Family Business Has Closed Up Shop for Good?
After 15 years, it’s definitely a challenge to say goodbye to the Supernatural family for good. Especially when you consider that time and time again, these heroes have died and come back to life. But given that this final season was about free will and the battle for the boys to break-out from God’s control in order to write their own story, the simplistic nature in which the series came to a close feels pretty much perfect. A quintessential Supernatural ending filled with humor, meta-references, and loads of heart.
But with Sam and Dean gone, will the family business live on? We think so. It was just a glimpse, but as Sam lay in hospice, with photos of his loved ones surrounding him, we saw that hunter tattoo on his son’s arm. You know, if this show was about anything — aside from saving people and hunting things — it was about family and legacy. So it seems only fitting that his son Dean is out there continuing that fight.
Maybe in another few years, the brothers will come back down from heaven to assist in another battle against a world-ending threat. But until then, we’re pretty satisfied with where the Supernatural journey has carried us, and of course, our favorite wayward sons.
The Supernatural series finale aired on November 19, 2020, and after 15 seasons, the beloved show is finally at rest. If you find yourself with a sudden urge to catch up from the beginning, you can stream it on Netflix. Also, check out our ranking of the 23 scariest Supernatural episodes ever.
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