Supernatural ran from 2005 to 2020 on the CW and developed a massive fan base. The paranormal drama TV series contains 15 seasons and 327 episodes. After so many seasons and ridiculous plot lines, many people felt that the series went on for too long.
Since the series gained a reputation for jumping the shark and overstaying its welcome, many critics have taken to roasting the entire show, overlooking the fact that Supernatural became so popular for a reason. While there are many story arcs that didn’t land, there are just as many that hit a home run.
Sam Is Azazel’s Puppet
Azazel, the yellow-eyed demon that killed Sam and Dean’s mother is a massive part of the Supernatural universe. He’s the reason the Winchesters became hunters. Without him, the show wouldn’t exist. Season 2 reveals that Sam’s connection to Azazel runs much deeper than anyone thought.
Before John Winchester dies, he tells Dean he may have to kill Sam if Azazel’s plans for him are put into motion. This launches an entire arc of Sam battling against his fate to become Azazel’s instrument, but slowly losing the fight. Ultimately, this brings Sam and Dean closer together, but also develops their toxic codependency.
Sam’s Demon Blood Addiction
Sam’s demon blood addiction was a continuation of his connection to Azazel. After feeding Sam his blood as a baby, Sam developed the ability to see visions of the future. Sam realized that if he consumed more demon blood, he could amplify his psychic abilities, which he used for hunting.
Believing that he could use the demonic power to gain the upper hand, Sam decided to keep performing the unspeakable act. This would give him the help he needed to kill Lilith and prevent the rise of Lucifer. The concept of Sam making connections with demons and using demon powers to fight them was a cool concept with a solid story to back it up. Fans almost found themselves rooting for Sam, had it not been for the fact that he was tricked into starting the Apocalypse.
Dean’s Crossroads Deal
At the end of Season 2, Sam is killed by Jack Talley, another of Azazel’s special children. Dean is unable to cope with his little brother’s death. This leads Dean to make a deal with a Crossroads demon. Sam’s brought back to life, but Dean’s soul will be claimed by the demon after one year.
Season 3 focuses on Sam trying to find a way to save his brother from the deal he made, but at the end of Season 3, Dean’s soul is dragged to Hell. This arc helped solidify that Supernatural is a story about sacrifice, family, and two brothers that are so codependent on one another, they will give up everything else to save each other.
Introducing Castiel & The Angels
Castiel and the angels were introduced in Season 4. The angels were responsible for many story arcs, and they helped expand the supernatural forces of the show. They added in a solid understanding of Heaven and powerful beings that surpass most other creatures.
While the angels opened up many new areas of exploration, Castiel was definitely the standout. Fans loved him so much that he became a series regular and, eventually, he was upgraded to a main character. While some of the later arcs with Cas were questionable, most agree that Castiel made Supernatural better.
Loki Is Gabriel
The archangel Gabriel is introduced before any other angel in Supernatural. He shows up in Season 2, but he’s taken on the persona of Loki, the Norse Trickster God. When Sam and Dean first meet Gabriel, they believe they managed to kill him because they followed the ritual for killing the Pagan God Loki.
Eventually, audiences are just as shocked as Sam and Dean to find out that Gabriel went into hiding as Loki to distance himself from Heaven. Gabriel is a cleverly hidden plot point for the Michael vs Lucifer saga as well as the reveal of the angels and Heaven. Gabriel’s connection to the actual Loki is also really cool, right up until Gabriel kills Loki and his children.
In truth, the soulless Sam arc is a controversial plot line that many fans didn’t enjoy. That said, Supernatural tried to play with the idea that one of the main characters became a monster multiple times, and it usually didn’t last. Dean became a demon for a couple of episodes. Bobby became a ghost that inevitably turned into a vengeful spirit.
Soulless Sam was the one time the show stuck with an idea of turning a main character into something questionable and actually did the groundwork to make the arc make sense. After being trapped in the pit with Lucifer, only so much of Sam could be saved, so he existed without a soul. This arc explored what it meant to have a soul at all and committed to Sam doing some genuinely horrible things for the greater good because he only used logic and reason when making decisions.
When Crowley was first introduced, he held the title of King of the Crossroads, but after Lucifer’s downfall, he graduated to King of Hell. Crowley becoming King of Hell felt like a much better fit than Lucifer. Unlike Lucifer, who was an archangel, Crowley was actually a demon who slowly made his way up the ranks.
In a way, Crowley earned the position of King, rather than having some previous claims to it. Crowley’s schemes and plots always had a lot more substance and reason to them than any of Lucifer’s. Crowley felt like a threat that actually had the brains to pull it off, while Lucifer felt like little work was put into his character. Crowley also developed a soft spot for the Winchesters and Castiel over the years, which delighted fans.
Michael & Lucifer’s Vessels
As the end of the world approaches, the archangel Michael prepares to face his brother Lucifer. During this it comes out that Sam and Dean play a much bigger part in the war between Heaven and Hell than was anticipated. As two brothers who love one another, but are often at odds with each other, Sam and Dean reflect Lucifer and Michael’s dynamic.
Sam is Lucifer’s perfect vessel. Likewise, Dean is Michael’s. As archangels, Lucifer and Michael need to be more picky about the vessels they take. Their raw power will destroy vessels that are incapable of housing them. In order for Lucifer and Michael to fulfill their prophecies, they must convince Sam and Dean to agree to be their vessels.
Sam & Dean Were Wanted By The Police
In the early seasons of Supernatural, Sam and Dean were investigated by the police numerous times. At one point, they were even hunted down by special agents, and spent a night in prison. This plot line actually makes so much sense considering the questionable things the brothers do for their job.
Not only are they digging up graves and burning bodies on the regular, they often come face-to-face with monsters that look human. In fact, a shape-shifter literally took Dean’s form and framed him for a string of murders it committed. Not to mention, they do commit loads of crimes from credit card scams to carrying illegal weaponry. It’s a shame that this plot point eventually fell apart, because it makes so much sense.
Castiel Becomes God
After the introduction of the angels, it becomes a focal point for the entire species that they serve God, their father, who hasn’t been seen since the creation of the angels. They’re programmed to be loyal to God, but many begin to question why they serve someone who doesn’t even answer their calls when they need him.
In light of this, Castiel decides to take over the title of God in Season 6. He can’t prove that God exists and if he does, he’s a horrible God. As God, Castiel spends his time punishing evildoers. He tries to correct humanity’s views on God by condemning those who use their faith as a way to excuse their bigotry. For the short time that Cas was God, he was actually a pretty good one.