Supernatural: Carry On

"It's okay. You can go now."

A series finale is a difficult thing, especially with streaming these days. Screw it up, and fans will avoid rewatches. New viewers will hear about the ending and not try the series at all.

So I went into this wondering if they would blow it. I don't think they did.

They could have gone big and bloody, or brought back a bunch of favorite characters, but they didn't. They went for simple, intimate and emotional. They were saying that it has always been about Dean and Sam Winchester. The brothers are the show. This is their story, and this is how it ends.

After some pie to make us smile, Dean died just as we thought he would, saving people and hunting things. He died on his feet and stayed conscious long enough to say a tremendously moving goodbye to Sam. It was a beautiful death scene, and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki acted the hell out of it. The second time through, I noticed that most of Dean's last words weren't about himself – they were about Sam. For Dean, it's always been about Sam. Sam telling Dean that he could go now made me sob.



And there was genuine peace and happiness in the end for Dean, because Jack fixed Heaven. Bobby was waiting with a beer in front of Harvelle's, and we're talking real Bobby, our Bobby, not Apocalypse Bobby. Rufus has a place down the road, and John and Mary are living across the way; I'm sure Ellen, Jo and Ash were right inside the bar. Dean can take a drive with Baby and do anything he wants, forever, an endless road trip with the radio blasting old rock hits. Burgers and pie for every meal. An unending subscription to Busty Asian Beauties. Partying with the people he loves, and no hangovers afterward.

I always felt that Sam should have had the chance to retire from hunting and get a life, and he did. A wife that we saw at the distance that, hey, could have been Eileen. A son named Dean, for his beloved brother. A real home while he watched his son grow up. The opportunity to enjoy life, to grow old.

I loved that ending on the bridge in Heaven. Sam grieved hard for Dean, but because of heavenly time twisting, Dean didn't even have a chance to miss Sam. Their Heaven now includes each other, and it always will. I'll admit that I was pretty much hoping the boys would end up in Heaven together at the end of the series. It felt right. Especially now that Heaven is the real deal. What more could I have asked for?

Last night, I thought about the choices that the showrunner and writers just made. They chose to go back to the beginning. It was a full circle thing. There were several callbacks to the pilot: Dad's journal and one of his old cases, the Woman in White, Dean talking about going back to Sam's dorm. Even Baby in Heaven had her original license plates.

There have been resurrections going all the way back to season one's "Faith;" the Winchesters have cheated death so, so many times. This time, Sam said he'd find a way, and Dean said no. Dean chose not to come back. That's almost certainly why this episode was about Dean and Sam, and didn't include Jack or Castiel. If they'd been around, I'm sure they wouldn't have been able to resist healing Dean.

Yes, I felt a bit cheated of a feel-good party in Heaven with John and Mary, Ellen and Jo, other characters we've loved – especially Castiel. But you know, I'm fine with this ending. I cried through it twice, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that this almost interminable series that I fell in love with fifteen years ago got a moving, appropriate farewell.

Bits:

— Sam hitting Dean with that piece of pie was adorable. I especially liked the way Dean carefully scraped the filling off his face with his plastic fork and ate it, anyway.

— How lovely that Dean adopted Miracle the dog. And that Sam kept him afterward. I was surprised at how choked up I got when Sam and the dog took one last look around and shut down the bunker.

— Christine Chatelain, who played Jenny, was in season one's "Dead Man's Blood." She was also Dr. Piccolo in "Changing Channels."

— They did some de-aging on Bobby. Looked a tad odd. I was going, are those really Jim Beaver's eyebrows?

— I loved that we got a moment of Sam with his shirt off. And that we finally saw Dean's other, other phone instead of just hearing someone leave a message on it. We haven't seen it before, have we?

— This week: Heaven; Akron and Canton, Ohio, and the 43rd Annual Akron Pie Fest; a mention of Austin, Texas, where Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki now live. Sam and Dean were FBI agents Singer and Kripke and later, Sam was Agent Bon Jovi again.

— I was a bit sorry we didn't get the usual "Carry On" teaser, but of course, it was perfect for the montage at the end, with Dean driving around country roads in Heaven as Sam lived out his life on earth. It was beautiful.

— The cast and crew on the bridge at the end was lovely. Plus, bridge symbolism.

Quotes:

(At the Pie Fest)
Sam: "Are you sure you're ready for this?"
Dean: "Oh, I don't have a choice. This is my destiny. It's just so beautiful!"
Sam: "Are you crying?"
Dean: "What? No. You're crying. I'm... I'm gonna go get some, uh..."
Sam: "Pie."
Dean: "I'm gonna get some damn pie."

Dean: "You know what this is? Mimes. Evil mimes."
Sam: "Yeah. Or vampires."
Dean: "Vamp-mimes. Son of a bitch."
A fun callback to vampirates. And maybe a little bit of a nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Dean: "You knew it was always going to end like this for me. It's supposed to end like this, right?"

Sam: "I can't do this alone."
Dean: "Yes, you can."
Sam: "Well, I don't want to."
That was my pull quote from my review of the pilot episode. Wow.

Dean: "I need you to tell me that it's okay."
Sam: "Dean, it's okay. You can go now."

Bobby: "It ain't just Heaven, Dean. It's the Heaven you deserve."
Dean: "So Jack did all that."
Bobby: "Well, Cas helped."
I'm glad that we don't have to leave the series imagining Castiel trapped forever in the Empty.

Dean: "It's almost perfect."
Bobby: "He'll be along."

Young Dean: "Dad, it's okay. You can go now."
Was it me, or did Sam's house look like Bobby's?

It's over. And after writing fifteen seasons of reviews, I'm finally done.

Four out of four bridges in Heaven,

Billie
---
Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

37 comments:

TheShadowKnows said...

It was a pretty good ending. What more is left to say after all these years?

Thanks for all the great reviews, Billie!

sunbunny said...

CONGRATULATIONS BILLIE! 15 SEASONS!

Anonymous said...

Well, it wasn't bad. It wasn't good. It was a bit Losty, in the way that they went with "let's just make people feel and forget about it". At least they closed all the threads (I think).

Dean's death was a bit cheap. He HAD to day, but to some amateur vampires after so many years hunting?. The moment I saw the spike I knew what was going to happen. It would have been better if he had sacrificed himself against Chuck, and then Jack didn't want to bring him back because that's what he wanted. Or he could have brought him back for 5 minutes to have that chat, whatever.

Cheap also was them not showing Eileen. Blurred wife in the background?. Give me a break. The relationship was sold already. I fear this was cheap in the literal sense.

The "new" Heaven was not bad. Still, I like more what The Good Place guys did with it.

So, it was a difficult episode, and I'll let it pass because we got not only Carry On, but Brothers in Arms. Best use of the song since The West Wing.

Still, not having time (and the lack of Eileen) cheapened Sam's ultra quick life for me. And, out of all the people we could have seen return, on Heaven or on Earth, we only get effing Jenny?. What a joke.

(yeah, and Bobby, of course)

Thanks for reviewing this for us, Billie. FIFTEEN years. What an incredible journey. And no spin-off to fill the hole.

Damn.

Anonymous said...

*day > die

Damn, twitter and blogspot, no way to edit your typos. Is it really that hard?

(answer: no)

HHHAYWARD said...

I think this was the worst episode, poorly planned out and seemed like a sentimental crappy hallmark movie. I hated it and even Jensen didn’t like it when he read the script. It’s like the writers just gave up. The whole episode was so out of charterer for the show. Soooo disappointed! I knew I would never like the ending episode because I didn’t want the show to end, but this episode was like all my worst visions for the final came true. NOT impressed supernatural writers! I true fan of supernatural would not be ok with this ending!!!!

Billie Doux said...

Thanks so much -- TheShadowKnows, Sunbunny, Anonymous, HHHayward. It's been a long ride.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, and I don't think any finale is going to satisfy everyone. I really didn't like the Lost finale, and I said so. I was fine with this one.

Anonymous said...

Good review. Both Jared and Jensen live in Autin, BTW. I hated watching Dean die. HATED IT. But i knew it had to happen. I feel like I have a pretty big hole in my heart.

Mara Fabella said...

I'm probably six or seven seasons behind at this point and am super out of the loop. I hope I get the urge to revisit the show again soon so I can enjoy a super crazy megathon all the way until the end.

But for now, congratulations, Billie! Diligently reviewing an epic 15-season show like this is a pretty amazing feat. Looking forward to reading each one of your reviews when I get back to the show again.

- Jane - said...

15 years, that's almost half of my life... I can't believe how long those guys have been a part of my life.
It started like any other day, breakfast and stuff. Then came the action. After the first decapitation I thought that what if the boys killed a real human being. I wasn't sure if there were any monsters left in the world. Anyway, I saw the spike, I knew that somebody would die because of that thing. I still jumped and let out a tiny scream when it was Dean.
I liked that Dean got his pie festival before he died. When Sam left the bunker with the dog, I thought how could they even get a dog. There's no way they could leave the dog alone in the bunker. What if they never came back. Who's gonna feed the dog?
I didn't cry, not until Sam died and that female version of "Carry on Wayward Song" started. I'm glad that Sam and Dean are together again.
I don't know, I think last week's episode would've been a better finale. More room for imagination, you know. Maybe Dean would've found a perfect wife and lived a happy life. I don't know. Still, this one wasn't bad either.
I'm definitely going to miss those guys.

Billy said...

Will you be reviewing the Walker reboot with Jared? I hope this one is better than the Chuck Norris version. Beside, Norris wasn't a real Texan, he's from Oklahoma.I heard that Jensen was joining the cast of a show called the Boys.

Paul Kelly said...

@HHHAYWARD

>>I true fan of supernatural would not be ok with this ending!!!!

I don't know, man. This feels like a no true Scotsman comment, and I know plenty of true fans (whatever those are) that were okay with the episode. I liked it. Apparently Billie liked it. Other fans liked it. Maybe only a true fan would be okay with this episode?

>>I hated it and even Jensen didn’t like it when he read the script.

Yet he talked it over with Eric Kripke, who helped him identify the issues he was having and why it was a great ending. From that point on, Jensen was on board.

>>It’s like the writers just gave up. The whole episode was so out of charterer for the show.

Out of charterer (sic) is what sense? It felt like a meld of the typical humorous episode (the pie scenes), the stand-alone (the vampires), and the traditional season arc to me. I cried. I thought it was great. For me, Supernatural has been one of the most consistent shows across 15 seasons I've ever watched. It's never been unwatchable (with the possible exception of the backdoor pilot back in season nine), it's meta episodes are some of the funniest, most self-aware TV I've seen, and the finale one of the most satisfying series endings ever.

Of course, only a true fan would agree with me ;)

Congrats, Billie, on fifteen seasons of quality commentary.

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, I fixed that mention of Austin -- thanks. I actually used to live in Austin, too, years ago when I went to the University of Texas.

Mara, that's so sweet. :) Just in case, I won't hold you to it.

- Jane - I was thinking about how they couldn't leave the dog alone in the bunker, too. What if they died out there and never came back?

Billy, no, I probably won't be reviewing Walker, mostly because it isn't fantasy or science fiction. I've already committed to the new Star Trek series called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, plus I'm still reviewing Outlander and The Handmaid's Tale. I'm going to watch Walker, though. Have to have Padalecki in my life. (I'm already watching The Boys.)

Paul Kelly, hello! So good to hear from you. And of course, I agree with everything you said. Only a true fan would. :)

Leah said...

Wonderful final review, Billie. I agree, it was a lovely and appropriate series finale.

Congratulations and thank you for all of the reviews!

Patrick said...

I think it was probably the right ending for the show, but I think the execution was lacking. This felt like a coda that got stretched into a full episode. I think it probably would've been paced better if the last episode and this one had been combined into one 90-minute episode. I would've been fun if we'd gotten to see more than just Bobby waiting to great Dean in Heaven, but unless they were going to get the WHOLE gang, they only needed one person for the final exposition dump.

Juliette said...

I liked it a lot, not least because for once in my life I actually predicted it accurately! I called it when Cas died in 'Despair' - Dean would die and go to Heaven (where Cas is, as well as everyone else) and Sam would marry Eileen and have a family life.

I would have liked to have at least seen Cas waiting for Dean in Heaven, as well as Bobby - Misha Collins is such a huge part of this show it doesn't feel right to leave him out. And I would have liked to have seen Eileen as Sam's wife, I can't think why they didn't, unless the actress wasn't available. But overall I liked it. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some people stop their re-watches an episode early!

Juliette said...

Oh yeah and also, congratulations on reviewing 15 seasons Billie! That's an amazing achievement :)

Ginny said...

This is one of the rare times I'm not disappointed with a show's ending. The only other series' finales I liked recently were The Good Place one and Schitt's Creek one. Just like those two, I think this finale was emotional, simple and true to the story and the characters. Unlike other final seasons (looking at you Game of Thrones, The 100 and even Veronica Mars), I'm not left with a feeling of regret for what could have been, anger at the character assassinations or bitterness for all the hours wasted on a series which ended up ruining its legacy, and that's a big accomplishment, especially after 15 years!

If I could, I would have changed just a couple of small things: 1) I would have wished Deans's death to happen a little more into the future, like a few years after the big showdown with Chuck, so he could have enjoyed life a little more (and maybe if he had been older it would a been easier to accept his death at the hands of one unknown ordinary vampire); 2) I wish we had seen Castiel at the end, even just a small scene, after all, he was a big part of Supernatural for many years.

Still, this goes on my list of favorite shows and I'll probably rewatch many of the episodes in the future.

Finally, I would like to thank you Billie for introducing me to this gem of a show. I started watching Supernatural when it was airing its fourth season after seeing your reviews, I quickly caught up, and have been a fan ever since. Congratulations on 15 years of brilliant reviews!

William Russell said...

"I'm not crying,you're crying."

Yup. That about sums it up.

Thanks Billie.

jenallday said...

There's always so much anxiety going into a finale and about halfway though this one I had in a pit in my stomach thinking they were going to wreck it all. I wasn't ready to see Dean die, I never would have been. But they defeated Chuck, the boys weren't God's favorite show any more and they lost their literal plot armor. It makes sense. And we always knew how Dean would die, and that it would take that for Sam to have the chance at a normal life, because he never would have left his brother. So while I hated seeing it, it was what was right.

I wanted to see more characters waiting for the boys in heaven, to have confirmation that Sam married Eileen, but I think if those were the plan they were probably ruined by COVID. Jim Beaver said on Twitter (before harassment from fans made him deactivate his account) that they did intend to have more loved ones waiting in heaven. I can picture that and be happy.

The boys defeated Chuck, they raised a good man/angel/God in Jack, they're responsible for Heaven and Earth being on a better course, I'm sure Rowena will keep Hell in line as well. They couldn't ask for a better legacy and I'm so glad they get to enjoy the best version of heaven now and that Cas is no longer in the Empty.

Thank you for all your wonderful reviews Billie. They really did make watching the show more enjoyable!

Josie Kafka said...

Billie, congratulations on finishing such a long-running show!

I really enjoyed this episode, but my expectations were...not low. I guess they were mild. Last week wrapped up the big arc, so I expected this week to provide some emotional closure and give us a sense of where the boys would go from here.

Dean's death was incredibly sad, but I think it's the right choice for him. He doesn't know how to relax in the world, but in Heaven it's no longer his job to go around saving people and hunting things.

Sam living without Dean was sad, but life is never perfect. He got the wife and child he'd always wanted, and reunited with his brother in Heaven eventually. It's not perfect happiness, but would we be convinced if it were? (On this show, perfect happiness would make me suspect a sneaky spell by Rowena or yet another Lucifer fakeout.)

For me, the thing that sealed it was a quick moment at the Pie Fest. Dean just wanted pie, and he got pie! But there was a moment when Sam looked longingly at a family with kids. Dean's death was tragic but he still got his happy ending. Sam's life was more complicated but also more full, and that's okay, too.

I thought Miracle the Dog was a fabulous last-minute regular. I did wonder if he was supposed to be a meta acknowledgement of the idea of a shaggy dog story. But maybe he was just there so Sam didn't feel entirely alone.

Jay702 said...

Hi Billie congratulations on 15 years of incredible reviews. I started this show when everyone was on season 8. I caught up just after the finale & have been reading your reviews after every episode. I've never commented before, I just wanted to say thank you for being part of my Supernatural journey.

Jay702 said...

And I loved the finale. It was funny, it was painful, it was ugly crying sad, but ultimately satisfying. The only change I would've made is the same as everyone else. Have Sam & Dean on the bridge, & then turn to see Cas. Other than that I thought it was beautiful.

kev said...

I’ve been a fan since thee beginning and have done many rewatches over the years, which stopped with the teen seasons! I rewatched everything to catch up for the finale these past couple months and read every single SupNat review on this site! Thank you for them. Obviously, I’ve stuck around through the lows, but your reviews made me appreciate the show even more. I often was too excited to wait to read an episode review before it ended! I’m sorry I didn’t comment along. Next rewatch for sure.

I was also pleased with the finale. What more character development could fans want, or need?? 15 seasons worth of character development. We also have a definitive ending for our boys, in which they will be happy for eternity, and if not, they’ll hunt the crap out of whomever or whatever disrupts heaven. I may have an advantage with the story being so fresh, but still! Anyway, great review, Billie. I agree with you and have for almost 327 episodes.

ChrisB said...

i haven't watched this in years, but I am sure I will do so at some point. Loved the early seasons.

I just wanted to add my voice to all the congratulations, Billie. Fifteen years is an amazing accomplishment. Very well done.

An Honest Fangirl said...

First off, congrats to Billie for this amazing accomplishment! I've been reading your SPN reviews for years and they never fail to make my viewing experience better! :)

So, I liked the dog. I liked the pie in the face. J2 made me sob during the death scene.

But I absolutely hated this finale. It made me both angry and heartbroken that this is what we ultimately got. We've always been about "Team Free Will" and "Family Don't End With Blood" and then got an ending where everyone filled out their preassigned destinies and we only had the brothers. And yes, Sam and Dean are the core of the show and always have been. But the show has expanded. At the very VERY least, Castiel needed to make an appearance. Both of the boys were really just happy with leaving him in the Empty without even trying to get him back? Really?

Dean Winchester really died to some stupid rusty spike from some nameless vampire goon? Scared and crying and begging Sam to tell him that it would all be okay? This is someone who has fought for his entire life and finally won the ability to have true free will and tell his own story and he's immediately killed in a way that's so random and sudden. That's really the worst part for me: that Dean didn't get to experience any reward for everything that he's done. He finally stated last episode that he was more than just a killer, and all of that was kinda for nothing. If you really want to kill him off during a casual hunt, then fine. I don't hate the idea. But do it 5, 10 years down the road!

I also didn't like how Sam just completely abandoned the Bunker and theoretically the entire hunting community that he had been a part of and a leader in. Not to mention that he just married a faceless, nameless blob. I understand Covid restrictions but would it really be that hard to have a picture of Eileen and Sam on the mantle? Or him calling or texting her? Just something to confirm that they actually got together and had some kind of happiness even though Sam was still obviously traumatized and never recovered from losing his brother. And then brought him son into hunting, the life that he supposedly wanted to escape so badly, continuing the cycle of violence and trauma and young, bloody deaths?

This is literally Chuck's ending. The writers explicitly stated in show that an ending with just the two brothers and no Castiel was a horrible ending. And then that's exactly what they gave us. Seriously, what was the point of this entire season? Why go Death of the Author and the ability to tell their own stories if they just ended up with the same fates that they would have had in Season 1?

I'm glad that so many people here enjoy the finale. I really am. But this just felt so incredibly disrespectful to me.

Natalie said...

Let me be another one to add my thanks to Billie on your brilliant reviews over all these years I’ve enjoyed reading them after every episode and also when I’ve been doing rewatches!

I’ve thought about the finale quite a lot since I saw it yesterday and my initial reaction was that I didn’t like the ending at all but I have to say I’ve come around to thinking the overall ending of Dean and Sam being together in heaven at the end works but I have to say no one will convince me that the way they killed off Dean both in the time they did it and how they did it was the right way to go. Why couldn’t he have been able to have a few more years living his life as he wanted (not being written by Chuck) and why have some faceless random vampire impale him on some rebar!!! Don’t get me wrong I blubbed like a baby at his death scene and Sams reaction in the bunker afterwards but I’d have just preferred more of a time jump first.

Ah well off I go to start yet another rewatch, only 327 episodes to watch again 😄

Chatter said...

I liked and a cried so it was worthi it the 15 seasons

snchills said...

I am fine with how they chose to end it. Maybe someday down the road, we will find out what the real ending was supposed to be. I believe Covid forced them to make so many changes and what we got was what they could give us due to the constraints. I'm guessing the Vampires wore the weird masks to hide the masks the stunt men were forced to wear and that was how they got around it. I also believe there were probably suppose to be more people greeting Dean in heaven, but because Canada has restrictions and the actors would have had to quarantine 2 wks before shooting, it may have made it impossible to do so. Remember Misha shot his last scene all the way back in the beginning of March. How he was able to keep this a secret all this time is amazing in my book. And yes I have questions like everyone else. Perhaps the answers to our questions will be on the season 15 release of the DVD's. Until then it is what it is. "Endings are hard....."

snchills said...

When I say real ending I mean the original one before Covid forced them to make adjustments.

Unknown said...

During Dean’s death scene did anybody else expect Brian Doyle Murray to appear and yell “Cut! That’s a wrap!” in a French Mistake callback?

Unknown said...

Chuck snapping the dog last episode was a SERIOUS dick move, so I was glad to see him (her?) back. Chuck is such an assbutt.

Matthew said...

After rewatching the episode I legit think this was the best way to end the series Sam got to live the life he wanted since episode one and dean got to rip it in heaven with his car

SmilesP said...

Well I was just bawling for 80% of the finale. It was beautiful, yet heartbreaking at the same time. When Dean was dying I was sobbing. Then it changed to happy tears when dean met up with his bobby in fixed heaven. My god I’m so happy they took the time to respect the characters and fans with this finale. My only nitpick is I wish we got to see Jo, Ellen, Charlie, John, Mary, and all the family the boys had lost along the way. This was as close to my wishes for the finale as I could hope to get. When I think of how many shows that have ended horribly for me in the last year, so much so that shows have been soured forever. (cough cough Veronica Mars and The 100, to name a couple) I’m so glad supernatural didn’t let me down and I can continue to rewatch and love this show for years to come. Thanks Billie for 15 years of reviews.

Mikey Heinrich said...

First, I'd like to give my personal thanks to the show for giving us one last scene of Sam in a towel. Honestly, he's verifiably been that ripped since season six, and yet they allow us to gaze upon him so rarely. It's criminal.

Second, and I'm just throwing this out there to those for whom this was a problem with the episode, there's nothing to say they DIDN'T skip over a few years of happy hunting in that breakfast montage. Sam saw the family that was about to get killed at the pie celebration, but between getting rid of Chuck and that could have been three to five years, easily. The guys don't really age and the dog could have lived that long without an issue.

Unknown said...

I think it was a fitting end ..just the 2 of them like the begining ,other charectors (no matter how loved ) would have taken away the matter of the brothers which was the corner stone of the show .Only Deans death would allow Sam a chance of normal ,again harping back to the begining of the show .So it was a full circle for the brothers ,and a happy ending with both in hevean .I know not every one is happy with it ,but I`m gald it was just Sam & Dean as it srarted so should it be in the end.

Heather1 said...

Thank you. for the 15 years, Billie... magnificent job. In terms of the finale... if ever there was a show that deserved our acceptance of what they wanted to do with the finale... it's Supernatural. This show created a world, the Winchesters, a mythology... so fantastic and so aware and with such respect for the fans... whatever they did would have been OK with me. They created something truly... as Dean would say... awesome! However they wanted to go out was fine by me.

Billie Doux said...

Thank you all, so much. I've been reading and enjoying every comment, and I appreciate it all, very much.

I just remembered which photo I chose for the bottom of the Supernatural show page several years ago. It's from "The Dark Side of the Moon." Pretty much perfect.

https://www.douxreviews.com/2000/01/supernatural.html#cast