Warning: Spoilers ahead
The 15-season epic saga about two brothers who fought evil living by the motto, “Saving people, hunting things, the family business” ended in disappointment that did not live up to the rest of the series.
“Supernatural,” featured Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) fighting ghosts, angels, demons and just about every other creature in folklore, while cruising across the country in Dean’s “Baby” (a ‘67 Chevy Impala).
Members of the “Supernatural” Fandom attempted to prepare themselves to say, “Goodbye.” The brothers collectively died more than 100 times throughout the series, often resurrected by angels, witches, demons or God himself; so why was it so hard for fans to see the Winchesters die one more time?
The penultimate episode nicely wrapped the plotlines. Sam and Dean gain control of their lives back from an angry God, who loses his powers to Jack the nephilim (Alexander Calvert). Jack then takes on the role of “God,” the world is restored and Jack disappears, leaving the brothers without their angelic-being friends for the first time in a while.
In the final episode, fans get a glimpse of a quiet, content life for the brothers. The Winchesters even attend a pie festival, one of Dean’s favorite foods, where they truly seem happy.
The writers then return the Winchesters to their “monster of the week” format, with a case involving vampires. This format is the heart of the show and was loved by fans. The boys track and take down the nest, beheading the vamps (the way to effectively kill them). However, this is the last hunt for one Winchester. During a fight at the vampire nest, Dean is thrown up against a post and impaled through the chest with what looks to be a rusty nail.
He realizes he does not have much time and shares an emotional moment with Sam, delivering a long speech before dying. No epic battle, just a tetanus-filled piece of metal thrust through his chest. In all of the ways fans predicted Dean to die, this was not it. Dean arrives in heaven to a familiar face, but fan-favorite angel Castiel (Misha Collins) is nowhere to be found on-camera. Castiel is only referred to, leaving fans disappointed, as the characters were close with one another. Dean’s beloved Impala also makes it to heaven, and Dean just drives around for the remainder of the episode.
Sam mopes around with Dean’s dog (that was introduced in the previous episode) before settling down and living a “hunter-free” life with what fans presume to be his wife and son named “Dean.” Sam lives to be an old man (shown by an ugly gray wig), before young Dean tells him it is OK to die while Sam lies on his deathbed. This moment parallels the one fans just saw with the brothers. Sam dies and arrives in heaven with Dean, and the camera pans out to show a beautiful landscape, ending the series.
Fans took to social media to voice their criticisms of the writers and anger toward the mediocre ending. After 15 seasons of facing death, God and even the apocalypse, fans expected more. Some called the ending worse than that of “Game of Thrones.”
The COVID-19 coronavirus impacted production dates, as the finale was originally slated to air in May 2020. Some of the actors alluded that the ending would have been slightly different were there no restrictions. But how could the writers have created a better ending, even with restrictions in place?
More fans would be happier if there was a time jump between the penultimate episode and Dean’s death. This would give the comfort that Dean lived a longer, more enjoyable life, but it also would leave room for a potential reboot or mini-series if the actors chose to return.
The finale felt rushed, wrong and did not make a lot of sense for many fans. The “Supernatural” cast and crew spent the past 15 years catering to its fanbase with meta-crossover episodes, hidden trivia eggs, inside jokes and more. But it felt as if the final episode was an afterthought — nothing more than an obligatory box to check off before “carrying on” to other projects.