With fifteen seasons of television and over 300 episodes, “Supernatural” had a lot of ground to cover. In 2005, Erik Kripke created a show about monster hunting brothers that became one of the WB’s and ultimately the CW’s biggest hits. Through cons and internet presence, it is impossible to tell how much of an impact the show truly had. The stakes were high for “Supernatural.” When the finale aired on November 19th, the internet exploded. Countless memes came out of the finale of the show, and we also got an interview where Jensen Ackles tried explaining the difficulties of it.
In a television show as long as this one, it is impossible to please everyone. Dean and Sam Winchester have died, gone to hell and back, and fought angels. Their story is so mythic that it’s fair to say there is no ending that would have been satisfactory. Fans demanded an ending that was befitting of the characters they loved for so long. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily what they got. There were some things that were missing from the finale.
Dean dying with dignity
The finale of “Supernatural” is largely agreed to be two episodes, the 19th and the 20th. The 19th episode concludes the story at large while the 20th resolves the character’s relationships. But even with so much story in the works, Dean’s death is ordinary and completely glossed over. Almost immediately into the final episode while taking down a nest of vampires, Dean is killed.
While fighting the nest of vampires, Dean is pushed onto a sharp piece of pipe. Dean fades quickly and even though there is a tearful goodbye, his death is ultimately lacking any emotional resonance. Dean has lasted fifteen years of hunting and is taken out quickly and without preamble. Dean’s death should have been massive like the Winchesters have been dying for years. This death was not respectful nor dignified, and it was not to save the world nor in defense of someone they loved. This was a rusty piece of pipe.
The return of Cas
Castiel has the most iconic entrance of any character on “Supernatural.” After Dean returns from Hell in Season 4 Episode 1, Cas tells him, “I am the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.” From then on, fans clamored for Cas. Cas also happened to be one half of the most popular ‘ship on television. Viewers have insisted on the relationship between Dean and Cas to become canon.
In a way, it was. In Season 15, Wpisode 18, Cas finally confessed his love for Dean. The jury is still out on whether this was romantic or platonic, but once Cas reached his happiest moment, he was dragged to The Empty in front of Dean’s eyes. If this isn’t a dramatic romance moment, then who knows what is. The most devastating part is that is the last time Cas appears on camera. The final episode aired with no sign of Cas and no acknowledgement of his love confession. The lack of Cas is inexcusable. While not everyone may ship Destiel, Cas has been integral to the show almost as long as the Winchester brothers themselves. This is a flagrant disregard for character development and incredibly dismissive of Misha Collins, one of the best actors on the show.
Justice for Adam
Adam Milligan has been one of the most disrespected characters on “Supernatural.” Far be it for the finale to mess with that method, but it is heartbreaking to see Sam and Dean completely forget about their half brother. Adam’s true claim to fame was letting Michael use his body as a vessel in the fight against Lucifer. In the battle of Season 5, Sam jumps into The Pit, taking Adam’s body with him. When Sam is taken out of Hell in Season 6, Adam is left behind.
This seems to be Adam’s lot in life. For the rest of the show, he shares a body with Michael. In the last season, he was completely obliterated. Adam is often forgotten about by everyone around him. While Jack is able to resurrect everyone, Adam is once again sidelined. The Winchesters never seemed to care about their half-brother and he was never given a chance.
Reunion in Heaven
Barring the exclusion of Cas in Dean’s Heaven, there are also many other oversights. Dean goes to Heaven, where Bobby is waiting for him. They hang out together, which is a nice sentiment, but it is odd that this is the only person in Dean’s Heaven. Dean decides to drive around and wait for Sam to arrive, but “Supernatural” has previously established that it is possible to see other people’s versions of Heaven.
One of the most tragic deaths on “Supernatural” was Ellen and Jo’s death in Season 5. They sacrificed themselves so the rest of the party could escape. They are rarely mentioned and Dean literally owes them his life. It is difficult to believe that Dean wouldn’t want to find his hunter friends and commiserate with them in the afterlife. Dean’s character is distilled to only caring about Sam. While Sam is one of the most important people in Dean’s life, he is not the only one. Dean has other human connections and it feels wrong to disregard that.
Jody Mills taking over
Jody Mills has many important moments. Her character almost had a spin-off show, “The Wayward Sisters,” that tragically was not picked up by the network. She is one of the only surviving women on “Supernatural.” Jody has been a mainstay on the show since Season 5. She is smart, capable, and often overlooked as many women on the series are. From Season 1, Episode 1, “Supernatural” was built on a culture of killing off its female characters, but there is a very simple reason.
Respecting Jody as a character would have been the best way to combat this. A friend of the family and ultimately a hunter, there are not many characters like Jody on the show. Because Dean and Sam were on their way out of the hunting business, it would have been gratifying to see Jody take up the mantle. With her history and almost having a show of her own, this would have been the perfect choice.
The ending should have been Swan Song
What makes the series finale of “Supernatural” so disappointing is that the show already had the perfect finale. Season 5 Episode 22 was literally titled “Swan Song” and should have ended the entire series. After two seasons of battling angels and demons, the showdown between Michael and Lucifer finally arrives. Lucifer is using Sam as a vessel while Michael has Adam. After five seasons of struggling with good and evil, Sam finally overpowers Lucifer enough to throw him and Michael in The Pit.
Sam sacrifices himself to save not just the world, but Dean. This is the only ending that “Supernatural” ever should have had. Sam uses the memories of his upbringing with Dean to overpower Lucifer and it is the most heartbreaking moment of the series. The ending of the episode covers the entirety of the show and how meaningful it was. Dean understands that his brother’s sacrifice saved the world. Season 15 Episode 20 never could have competed with that perfect ending, and it shouldn’t have even tried.