Spoilers for the Supernatural series finale ahead
After 15 years, Supernatural is over. And while the fandom is unsurprisingly divided on the ending, ultimately the show ended imperfectly perfect, with more hope than Supernatural has seen in some time.
However, the finale certainly didn’t begin that way! Early in the episode, Dean meets his end on a vampire hunt. Death by impalement. It felt like a waste. Dean Winchester felled by rebar? Dean survived hell! He killed Death. TWICE, technically. And he dies from an act that could’ve happened to anyone? Regardless, Dean accepts it. He tells Sam to “always keep fighting,” and asks Sam to tell him it’s okay to go. And against all odds, Sam does just that.
Sam lives the rest of his life. He moves out of the bunker. He marries and has a kid (who he names Dean). The show doesn’t reveal who Sam marries, but based on the dark-haired woman we see in the background of a shot, I’m officially saying it’s Eileen. Don’t @ me. And in a great moment of symmetry, it’s Dean (even though it’s his son, not our Dean) that tells old Sam he can finally rest after our Dean told Sam to keep fighting.
Sam getting his “apple pie life” is nice, but it’s heaven where things get really beautiful. Our Dean is first met by Bobby, who explains Jack returned everyone to heaven who belongs there, and that (with the help of Castiel) Jack revamped heaven to be an actual plane of real, perfect existence. Loved ones are present, so it’s not a place to spend eternity reliving favorite memories. It’s about making new ones. Bobby lets us know Mary and John live close by. Bobby’s old buddy Rufus lives nearby with his wife. The Impala is even there. And as we pan out, we see the entire conversation happened on the porch of Harvelle’s Roadhouse.
Of course, we don’t actually see anyone else around. We can only assume in addition to Mary, John, Rufus, and his wife, all of Sam and Dean’s dead friends and family are there (or returned there if they got sent to hell or The Empty like Kevin and Cas). Because alive or dead, demon, human, or angel, we don’t get a last, on-screen goodbye with any other favorite characters. In reality, that is because with COVID-19 and closed borders, they couldn’t get everyone to the set. Rachel Miner, the actress who plays Meg, confirmed that on Twitter.
1/This is true, I can attest that the producers were planning to fly many of us out to be there for the final episode, and that this family had all the intention of being there to support each other...but then it was no longer safe. I missed this, I was unable to have a funeral..— Rachel Miner (@RachelMiner1) November 20, 2020
But narratively, it still worked because Supernatural ended where it began: family.
The penultimate episode “Inherit the Earth” wrapped up the plot. The finale, “Carry On,” was for the Supernatural Family. In the finale, the boys die, but for the first time, they don’t fight death. Because in this case, they die because of their own choices—not a self-important deity’s story. They both fought until their respective ends, not Chuck’s.
In heaven, Bobby reassures Dean that Sam would “be along” soon because time “works different” in heaven. And in doing so, the show reassured us our favorite characters would be okay and together again. Because in the time it took Dean to take one joyride, Sam lived the rest of his life on earth and was finally reunited with his brother.
So even though we don’t see everyone together and happy in a big reunion shot, we know everyone has found a place in heaven. Or they’ll be along soon enough if they have more life to live. We leave Sam and Dean with an eternity to spend forever with family and friends. At the beginning of the episode, Sam mentions life feels a bit empty without their family around. And indeed, the episode did feel quite empty. But both the episode and our journey with the Winchesters ends with the promise that their lives just got a whole lot fuller, and it would only get better and fuller from there.
After everything, we get to walk away from the finale knowing Sam and Dean are more than okay—they’re amazing. And like Dean told Sam in his final moments, the Winchesters, Castiel, all of the beloved characters from Supernatural will always be with us. So let’s carry on, Supernatural Family.
Featured Image: The CW