I Give the Supernatural Finale a B

Before I explain myself, or rather, this article's title, I want to first validate the feelings and frustrations of the many fans of Supernatural who, to put it mildly, were disappointed by the finale. In discussing how I view it, I am only providing my own perspective; I am in no way attempting to say that someone else's reaction is invalid by doing so.

I want to start that way, because I think it's important for people to hear. If you liked or even loved the finale, that's fantastic! If you were disappointed, hurt, let down, or even felt betrayed by it, that reaction is, in my opinion, quite understandable. There are a lot of reasons to have a negative reaction to it, depending upon how you invest in media.

Which brings me back to, well, me. I myself don't tend to invest in characters as heavily as many other people do. Rather, I'm much more of a worldbuilding geek. Characters do matter to me, relationships do matter to me, but the world also does in a very fundamental way.

I should also add that I tend to want to give people the benefit of the doubt, and as a content creator myself, it's easy for me to find reasons why something might not go the way a creator hoped it would—the finale we got is not the one I would've expected from Andrew Dabb.

Oh, and before I get any further, I should add that there will be spoilers for Supernatural in general and the finale in particular.

So let's back up to first explain what my relationship with Supernatural is. I'd call myself a more casual fan, but my sister is very into not just the show but also the fandom. I enjoy talking about both with her. I have seen all of the show, from beginning to end, though that first started from my sister's DVD and Blu-ray collection, until we caught up with the show at season 9.

A final bit of context before I get to discussing the episode itself. To me, the most interesting thing Supernatural does is ask the question, "What if God wasn't good?" Chuck is fundamentally self-absorbed. He is a selfish, bored creator who has little respect for his creation. As such, he made a world that is fundamentally broken, with his "heaven" being the epitome of this. What sort of paradise is being trapped in a Matrix of your best memories?

With that context laid, let's discuss the finale.

I myself don't have an issue with Dean's death, nor with how he died. In fact, I like the banality of it—nothing special, just a group of vampires and bad luck. I like this, because to me it shows how Jack is being hands-off. Said another way, with Chuck in charge, I don't think Dean would have died this way, because Dean was one of Chuck's main characters. No simple death would do, and that means that Dean had plot armor. But with Chuck usurped by Jack, that plot armor is gone. Sam and Dean have gone from being the main characters of the universe to just another couple of hunters, and the circumstances of Dean's death reflect that.

I also think the "rusty nail," as I've heard it being called, is a reasonable solution to some challenging constraints. If Dean is going to die on this hunt but also have the time to share a fairly lengthy discussion with Sam in a way that is at all reasonable (and thus doesn't undercut the seriousness of the moment by dragging on comically longer than should be at all reasonably possible), then you have to find some way to deal Dean a mortal wound that for sure spells his death (no Emergency Room visit can save him), but not so debilitating that he would be unable to actually talk or interact. This sort of death, that literally pins Dean to the wall, accomplishes that very tricky balance—he can't leave the spot he's in, but he does have long enough to talk with Sam. It also has the benefit of simplifying things for whoever would make props, because they don't have to make something that affixes to Jensen Ackles to represent, say, a machete sticking out of him.

I then want to discuss the way Jack and Castiel fixed heaven. To me, this is the most significant thing we learn in this episode, because Chuck's version of heaven is a mockery of the idea. This is because Chuck envisioned a heaven that can never be better than earth. Jack and Castiel's heaven very much so can be. Indeed, being able to be truly and properly reunited with loved ones (even if COVID-19 robbed us of seeing that happen in a more expansive way) means that it is better. They have created a proper version of heaven.

As I said, worldbuilding is a huge deal to me. Seeing that heaven has been made right is therefore extremely meaningful. It singlehandedly boosts the ending considerably for me.

I then want to touch on the montages—I'm given to understand that there is not one montage, but multiple back-to-back montages, but we're talking semantics at this point. I personally was extremely emotionally affected by them—I do not cry easily, and they had me in tears. However, I do think that's more the work of the fixed heaven and the emotional power that the show has managed to instill in "Carry On Wayward Son" than with the specific imagery, with the song being the most impactful part.

I do have disappointments, however. Like many, I am saddened that COVID-19 prevented what would likely have been numerous cameos. Castiel should have shown up, and while I'm not as personally invested in Sam and Eileen's relationship as many, it would have been nice if the show had done anything to indicate that Sam had married her.

However, my greatest disappointment is that Jack brought monsters back.

To be clear, I am content with the ending we got. I think it could've been a lot better, I think the people behind the show could do more to clear up how things went down, but I am personally satisfied with how it ended.

Nevertheless, I wish we had gotten a different ending. I wish there had no longer been any monsters to hunt, that there had been no vampires to kill Dean. That Castiel returned, maybe "Enoch-ed" Dean away (Biblical reference to Enoch just...disappearing with God as found in Genesis 5:21-24), maybe just lived a normal life with him, that Sam had gotten married to Eileen, and that all of the hunters could've lived a normal life.

So, let's take a moment to back up to Episode 18. In that episode, Chuck begins systematically erasing every living creature aside from Jack, Sam, Dean, and a hidden Michael. Oh, and he misses a dog, probably so he can taunt the boys when he erases it in Episode 19.

It thus stands to reason that Chuck also vanished all monsters. All vampires, werewolves, djinn, ghosts, ghouls, and whatever other monsters that might've still been lurking about on earth—gone.

So that raises the question: When Jack brings back all of the creatures, why does he also bring back the monsters? Like, I get returning monsters made from humans (like werewolves or vampires, for instance) cured of their monstrous nature and given a fresh start. I could also see bringing back monsters that are benign or helpful. But why bring back things that prey on people?

This makes no sense to me and is my greatest disappointment with the finale. Sure, Jack and Castiel fixed heaven, and that makes up for a lot. I just wish they'd fixed earth, too, while they were at it.

Oh, and I also wish that they'd found ways to include at least voice cameos from a broader cast. I do know that at-home recording can be challenging, though, so I can understand not being able to do that when the cameos would end up being very short.

So, those are my overall thoughts. I wish we'd gotten something vastly different, but I am also content with what we did get. At the same time, I understand and empathize with those who feel vastly differently than I do.

Thank you for reading.


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