SPOILER ALERT, OBVIOUSLY. DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SHOW, ESPECIALLY THE FINAL FEW EPISODES.
Two and a half years ago, I finally decided to start watching the show Supernatural. Aside from the fact that I had many friends who loved it and couldn’t believe that I hadn’t watched it, I really felt as though I were missing out on an essential bit of nerd culture. Still, I was intimidated by the fact that the show spanned what would become fifteen seasons with 327 episodes. That’s just a lot of tv to watch!
Well, I took a few breaks from the show at times but, today, my Supernatural journey came to an end. A lot of the show’s fans started watching while new seasons were still being produced and they developed a deep love for it. I can understand that and, while I found the show enjoyable and I’m happy that I watched it, I’m honestly also pretty relieved to be done. There are a lot of new shows that I put off watching during those two and a half years because I felt “obligated” to finish watching Supernatural before I began something new, so I’m pretty excited to dive into those now.
Still, the show had a depth to it that a casual viewer might not understand or expect. Beyond the monsters and the ghosts, Supernatural explored Christianity, the occult, friendship and, most importantly, family.
From the very first episode, when Dean (Jenson Ackles) implores Sam (Jared Padalecki) to join him in tracking down their dad (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who has gone missing, it’s clear that family is everything to the Winchesters. This is one theme that stays incredibly consistent throughout all fifteen seasons of the show. Repeatedly, we see Sam and Dean going to nearly any extreme to protect one another. This is almost to the show’s detriment at times as their repeated choices to hide things from each other to “protect” the other consistently leads to arguments between the brothers when the truth inevitably comes out.
And yet, despite the brothers’ inherent differences, they manage to come together to save people and, at times, the entire world again and again. I enjoyed when, in season fifteen episode 10 (“The Hero’s Road”), Sam and Dean made the discovery that their luck, that extra little bit of something that has made them capable of pulling off the impossible time and again, has run out. I felt as though it were the show calling itself out and acknowledging that, although human, Sam and Dean had something that made them a little extra special.
Which was why it was a little ironic perhaps that, in one of the final episodes, Dean’s death comes about almost accidentally. To have faced off against so many mind-boggling beings, including God himself, and then to die by happenstance during a routine (for them) clearing out of a vampire den reminded me almost immediately of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s death by stingray. Perhaps it was fitting, though, that Dean should go out doing the thing that he did best – hunting.
I don’t envy any writing team that has to wrap up the sort of long-running, iconic show that Supernatural has become. It’s impossible to make every fan happy. In a way, however, I do feel that Sam and Dean’s endings were fitting for both characters. Dean was never the sort to grow old. And, although watching Sam having to continue on without Dean felt wrong and heart-wrenching, I think it was clear from the beginning that the character wanted a family, especially given that main recurring theme throughout the show of the importance of family.
It’s difficult to sum of fifteen seasons of a show as wide-reaching as Supernatural in just one blog post. Bare with me for a few more thoughts, however.
I will say that I actually really loved the path that the character Chuck (Rob Benedict) went on. From just some random writer, to being a prophet of the Lord, to being God Himself. I’m pretty confident that that was not the original plan for Chuck; however, I thought it was sort of ingenious that he ended up where he did. Furthermore, the character Jack (Alexander Calvert) perplexed me throughout nearly his entire time on the show. There were multiple times when he seemed capable of ending any and all foes that the Winchesters were facing, only to be nerfed time and again at the most crucial moment. I found it sort of satisfying when he seemed to finally reach his full potential and become the new “God”, even if the road there felt a little rushed at the end.
Another realization I had as I watched the show was that no one ever seemed to really die. As a fan, I loved this. There were so many truly outstanding characters on the show that were killed off, so it was always really gratifying when the writers found a way to bring them back. Season thirteen was actually one of my favorite seasons because so many of my favorite, beloved characters were brought back during that season.
As a writer, however, I found this a little tiresome as it implied that death meant literally nothing on the show. If every character can be brought back, it takes away from the jeopardy of deadly situations. It removes the danger factor in a show that is all about dangerous situations.
There was one character, however, that wasn’t brought back, and it felt glaringly omissive to me - Crowley. Portrayed by Mark Sheppard, Crowley was meant to be the ultimate bad guy demon, but instead became almost an anti-hero. Although never truly trustworthy, the King of Hell found himself aligning with Sam and Dean more often than not, and his demon to Castiel’s angel was iconic. After he was killed (rather heroically) in season twelve, I kept looking for him to reappear. It’s a shame that it seems the actor had some sort of falling out with the showrunners and we never got that final Crowley/Castiel/Winchester moment that we should have.
As for Castiel (Misha Collins), my only complaint is that he wasn’t on the show more. Although I know it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense because the show’s focus was on Sam and Dean, I always wanted Cas to be there, too. I feel as though his initial appearance on the show made a lot of the later storylines possible because, prior to that, the Winchesters were convinced that angels and God didn’t exist. Clearly, that changed, and Cas was the catalyst for that.
There’s a lot more that could and should be said about Supernatural than what I’ve written here. It explored a lot of subjects and used humor, family, and love to tell a lasting and meaningful tale. For a show that so often dealt with demons and darkness, it’s ultimately a story of humanity and finding peace. And anyone who doesn’t like it is clearly an idjit.
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.