Why ‘Supernatural’ Fans Are Fuming Over the Series Finale
After 15 years, the Winchester boys’ final ride left fans in tears—but for many, it seems, they were tears of rage.
This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural series finale.
Supernatural was always going to face an uphill battle with its season finale; after all, how do you wrap up a show that’s run for 15 years? And when that show happens to be about two lovable demon-hunting brothers played by the supernaturally ageless Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki? Forget it!
Still, as the CW’s long-running drama came to a close, droves of fans began venting their disappointment—even going so far as to compare the closer to Game of Thrones’s widely-detested ending. As with any finale, some loved the episode and some hated it—but the ones who hated this ending really hated it.
Let’s start with the obvious: Dean Winchester, who has survived dying and literally going to hell, who took on God, who killed Death and also shot Hitler, got taken out by... being impaled on a nail?! Plenty of fans were ready, or at least braced, to see the eldest Winchester boy die, but that was just insulting. The scene was clearly designed to jerk tears from eyeballs—and yes, it was deeply emotional. But for some, those were tears of rage.
Dean told Sam how much he’d looked up to him over the years, despite being the older brother. “It was always you and me,” he said. “It’s always been you and me.”
“I’m not leaving you,” he added later. “I’m going to be with you right here, every day, every day you’re living and you’re fighting, because you always keep fighting… I love you so much, my baby brother.” As he died, Dean placed his hand over Sam’s, over his heart, as a tear slid down his cheek. (Buh!!!)
In fairness, Dean at least got to experience a very nice heaven; the Winchester boys’ father-figure (and fan favorite) Bobby was there to greet him, and to let him know that heaven is a little different now. It’s not just a house of memories, but instead a place where everyone can see their loved ones and be happy—thanks, in part, to Castiel.
Speaking of which: Cass’s absence from the finale was another colossal disappointment for many.
Weeks ago, Supernatural finally confirmed the show’s most treasured ship, Destiel—allowing the angel who pulled Dean from hell in Season 4 to finally confess his love for him. But the emotion was never reciprocated, and in a regrettable move that played straight into the “Bury Your Gays” textbook, the show killed Castiel off immediately afterward. (He sacrificed himself for Dean.) One would think that the CW would have learned its lesson after The 100 fans rallied against Lexa’s similarly homophobic death, but apparently not!
A saving grace of Dean’s demise could have been reuniting Castiel in the afterlife, perhaps even saying words he was too scared to say before. (Hey, a girl can dream!) And given that the finale claims Cas worked to break down the barriers between heaven, hell, and all that, one would think they could have hung out in the afterlife. It’s nice that Castiel helped bring about the heaven Dean “deserves.” Still, it was disappointing that the two never got to see one another on-screen. But hey, at least “Baby” the Impala got to go to heaven!
Sam, meanwhile, goes on to live a happy life without Dean. He does, indeed, carry on without his brother, and eventually we see after a time-jump that he’s married and had a baby—also named Dean, and who also grows up to keep the Winchester monster-hunting tradition alive. In other words, Sam lives out the life he always wanted.
In the end, Sam dies of old age—reuniting with Dean in New Heaven, where they share a warm embrace.
What can we say? There is something comforting about knowing that after all these characters have endured, they finally get to know true peace. Some fans will love it, and some will hate it. And some will always wonder what it would have been if COVID-19 hadn’t disrupted the original finale plans. (From the sounds of it, things wouldn’t have been that different; as co-showrunner Andrew Dabbs told EW, the pandemic “did not change... the story or the emotions, or anything else.”) You win some, you lose some.
But before we ride off into the sunset for one more Kansas sing-along, let’s all take a moment of silence to reflect on the real takeaway from this finale: The hilarious make-up and wig chosen for Old Man Sam.