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Supernatural 15×20: What Worked and What Didn’t Work

Supernatural 15x20 - source: The CW

WARNING: This post will heavily spoil season 15 of Supernatural, particularly the finale. Do not read this post if you have not seen the final episode of the show.

After fifteen years, Supernatural has finally finished its run on the fifteenth season. Many fans were wondering how this show would end its run, and with the long runtime there was a lot of pressure for this to be satisfactory. The first reviews from the show, particularly from fans on Twitter and Tumblr, were not positive, with some fans saying this was an ending as bad as Game of Thrones last year.

I would certainly not go that far, as for the most part I loved how Supernatural ended this episode. However, I do acknowledge that there are a few issues with this finale, and I also accept that every fan is allowed their opinion. It can be hard to see these characters go, and especially in a way that is not completely satisfying. I want to use this post to break down the main issues people had with this finale, and what my thoughts were – as well as a few extra details that either worked or didn’t work for me.

Supernatural 15 - source: The CW

The Absence of Castiel

Out of every issue that people are pointing out with the finale of Supernatural, this is the one that I do agree with to a certain extent. We may have had our closing moments with Castiel back in 15×18, but it does hurt that the show writers did not even drop a line in this final episode, letting us know what happened to Castiel after the end of Chuck. For many fans, Castiel is there favourite character. Not only is Misha Collins such a wonderful actor and person, but he brings something to Castiel that any fans could relate to, and see themselves in.

It does hurt to know that Castiel’s final moments are spent pouring his heart to Dean, only for him to get completely ignored in the final season. I could tell what the showrunners were going for with this episode: a close to the story of Dean and Sam Winchester. A close to the start of their story, a hunt for their father and focusing on their blood relationships. However, one of the most famous quotes in the show is “Family don’t end in blood”, and I think that aspect was missing with this final episode.

I also do not buy the COVID-19 reason that is floating around, because 15×18 was also filmed with the restrictions in place, meaning Misha Collins already had to comply with social distancing rules and guidelines when on set. This was not a dealbreaker for me with this finale, because the main reason I fell in love with Supernatural was the brotherly relationship between Dean and Sam. However, for many people who had Castiel as their favourite character, I can understand why they would be upset watching this episode and not even recognising a character that was so important to the story – and the fans.

Supernatural 15x20 - source: The CW

The Death of Dean Winchester

After fifteen seasons of defeating some of the mightiest people to exist, including Lucifer, Michael, Crowley, and even God himself, it was a question of what would be strong enough to kill the Winchester brothers. In this finale, we finally got that answer: a nail. Yes, it sounds completely ridiculous, and yes people have made the comparison to the death of Cersei in Game of Thrones. However, here is why I found the sequence to work for me.

Season 15 had two finales: 15×19 finished up the season storyline, whilst 15×20 finished up the show. Season 15 had the plotline of killing God himself, Chuck, to stop the end of all the worlds as we know it. Dean and Sam’s luck, which helped them escape death on so many occasions, was running thin in this final season, and the show made sure to let the audience know that. From mundane things such as their credit card being declined to more serious issues, such as being a lot weaker than usual, they were becoming more human – and with Chuck gone after 15×19, their destiny no longer required them to be the strong hunters that they once were.

Without this build-up in the final season, then I would also agree that having Dean Winchester die because of a long rusted nail would feel pathetic. However, I never got that from this moment. Seeing them be vulnerable to things like this showed that they had fulfilled everything they needed to. Their jobs as hunters was over, they no longer had to have luck on their side. Watching the show over the fifteen seasons and seeing the journey both Sam and Dean went on, it became clear to me that Dean would have to die on the hunt. Everything important to him, aside from Sam, was already gone from the world. Whilst Sam could have a family and normal life away from hunting, Dean would have never been completely happy doing the same.

Supernatural 15x20 - source: The CW

No Happy Ever After?

After fifteen years, fans were disappointed that the characters did not get their happily ever afters. For some people, they felt like the characters left the exact way they started: Dean willing to die young in the middle of a hunt, whilst Sam stopped hunting and instead focused on a family. That was the case, but I feel that is more commentary on destiny and what was always meant to be.

Although, I actually disagree that the characters did not get a happy ending. I question if Dean would ever be able to settle down and have a family anyway, so it almost feels like a happier ending to see him go to heaven and spend time with the people that he loved (yes, him going for a drive in his Chevrolet Impala instead of spending time with Bobby Singer or his family is a bit ridiculous, but I wouldn’t call it a sad ending for Dean).

What I liked about Sam’s ending was how it focused on him. It wasn’t about the fact he found a girl and had a child. It wasn’t about how he moved on from hunting. It was about how Dean was always still with him, both with the scene of him sitting in the Impala and how he called his child Dean. When Sam passes away from old age, it was incredibly emotional to see Sam and Dean finally meet up again in heaven. It ended in a way that was emotional, but also a haven for both Dean and Sam to finally be at peace.

Final Mentions

There are a few other aspects in the final episode of the show that I want to point out.

1. Dean and Sam are wearing the same clothes in the final heaven sequence that they wore in the pilot episode of the show. This is such a nice little touch, and makes a clear connection between the start and end of this story and what it comes back to.

2. There is one major thing that bugs me about this episode, and it is the legal document that is in Dean’s room. We are never told what it is, or why it is in his room. Was it something that shows that Dean was willing to move on from the hunting business? Because it is was, then the ending hurts even more.

3. The show plays with the idea that perhaps all supernatural beings had been eradicated when Jack took over the role as God. When Sam and Dean first take on the case in the episode, there is the idea that it could have simply been humans, and that they were no longer needed to track down these cases. I really liked this concept, as it led the audience down a path just for the showrunners to take a big twist and shift our perception of the world.

At the end of the day, I am not here to tell people to like this finale of Supernatural. Many people will be disappointed, and I can see why it didn’t work for me. However, I left the show crying because of the emotional impact the ending gave me, and where Sam and Dean ended this story. I want to thank the entire crew for the run of the show, and for giving me a show I have watched for the past eight years.

I will ask one thing though. Even if you did not like this show’s finale, do not direct hate to the cast or crew. Many of them were just doing a job and they have given us many years of entertainment. The last thing any of the crew, particularly Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles deserve, is for us to give them hate right now. Thank you, to everyone in the crew, for the work you did and giving us this show. I will never forget it.

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