[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the series finale of Supernatural. Read at your own risk!]
I’m just going to come right out and say it: the Supernatural series finale read like the epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You know, the one that was entirely unnecessary and had an “unfortunately trite fanfiction” vibe? On one hand, I want to wallow in the inherent bitterness that comes with being a highly opinionated Supernatural fan who has not gotten her way. On the other hand, my significant other walked in as the credits rolled and asked how my “religious experience” went and when I shrugged and went “Ehhhh?” he took it upon himself to defend the show’s honor with, “They gave you 15 seasons. What else do you want?”
And that’s fair.
That’s fair because this cast and crew gave us 15 seasons. And that is insane. Furthermore, there is so much within those 15 seasons that is fantastic and innovative and that the retrospective that aired prior to the actual finale deservedly celebrated. This show has so much to be proud of, and I’m not even going to go as far as to say that “Carry On” is not one of those things. It had its moments.
It’s just not my cuppa.
Dean Winchester’s (Jensen Ackles) final death scene was one of the greatest death scenes in a series that has turned death scenes into an art form. I loved that it was a stupid accident that happened on a random, largely forgettable hunt. I loved that there were foreheads touching and “I love yous” and man-tears and promises not to bring anyone back from the dead because that always goes wrong. Finally, someone said it! But his is the point of the episode at which the klaxxon started going off in my head as I realized we still had about 30 minutes left and…oh no. Don’t do it, Supernatural…They did it.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge what an odd episode “Carry On” is in that it goes against so much of the show’s own messaging. Way back in 2005, in those heady days before iPhones, Snapchat and, frankly, before some of Supernatural‘s current audience may have even been born, we were introduced to Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) who had run away from his freaky hunter family to have a normal life. It’s implied that this was a traumatic event for his family, and well into Supernatural‘s run, “Sam runs away to college” is still bandied about as the Ultimate Betrayal in Winchester mythology. Dean showed up at Sam’s door and dragged him back into that life, setting everyone down the road to literal Hell, but 15 seasons later, we see that the brothers have adapted and seem to finally be content. They have a dog. They go to silly festivals. They’re at peace and they actually didn’t even have to die this time to get it.
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Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Supernatural
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