Supernatural Has Ended and I Have Feelings About It, and The Fate of Dean Winchester

Friday, November 20, 2020

 So Supernatural has come to end after 15 years. And I have thoughts. This is about to get super long.

I'm having issues with the finale and the final season. I'm gonna start with my idea about what the final season should have been and then get into what I thought about the final episode. And again, yeah, it's long.

I hated the way they decided to depict Chuck. I loved the idea of God being the final big bad. It made sense. He's been absent pretty much this whole time, and when he was there he was posing as someone else. By making the "writing the perfect ending" thing, it just got derivative and. I know he started out on the show hiding as a prophet and wrote the Supernatural books, but his endgame just being focused on writing the perfect endgame for the brothers was too on the nose and too self-congratulatory/scapegoat-y by the writers for how to end the show.  

And I didn't like that Jack became God. It felt weird, especially cause he's still a child and I was never as fully invested in Jack as the writers were trying so hard to make me. 

As is my wont in life, I sometimes have a running daydream of how I would fix television shows that I love. Kind of like fan fiction, but I'm not a fiction writer, so it all stays in my head, especially because even in my daydream I'm not good with thinking of the mythology, so if you find specifics in that lacking, that's why. Here's my vision for the final season.

The first episode back would've been an all out action episode dealing with the direct fallout of the season 14 finale when Chuck brought back every monster and demon they ever killed. No time to have big conversations, just fighting to get out, Sam still dealing with his bullet wound, but no visions from Chuck, and he, Dean and Cas are raw from their recent losses. They would have to go through some iconic monster characters, which would give them the opportunity to bring back some familiar faces for little cameos. I would've loved Sterling K. Brown to come back as Gordon for quick back and forth with Dean and then get beheaded. Fan service that makes sense. 

The second episode would be the emotional fallout. Sam and Cas are thinking of ways to bring Jack back. Dean is against this. Jack killed his mom, and he had to mourn her again, and it gets him thinking of the lesson he learned after John sold his soul for him, and ignored that lesson when Sam died. What's dead should stay dead. I don't want Dean and Cas mad at each other for the first 9 episodes of the season. Whatever problem they have will be worked out here on the same terms, with Dean still mourning Mary and Cas trying to make sense of what Jack did without his soul and the new information about Chuck.

The next few episodes are monster of the week with bits of talking about how to take down Chuck. I liked Rowena dying early in the season and the reveal that she took over as Queen of Hell, so have her help out on a case and she dies heroically, then we see her on the throne like the badass she is.

Since the next few episodes are typical monster of the weeks with a few pop ins at how Chuck is breaking the world, we'll get a whole lot of character, and here's the paths I see them going down. Sam, to me, has always wanted to be the one to personally saved the world, and he's always the first to say that they did. His self-righteousness should be coming out guns blazing and trying to find out a way to take out Chuck for good. I see Cas teaming up with him, at first, in the researching and planning.

Dean, on the other hand, is a walking frayed nerve. He's had to mourn his mother again, who was killed by someone who he saw as part of the family who lost his soul. I want to see his depression come full force and advancing in each new episode, this should come to a head in the midseason finale, episode nine. We've seen him try to kill himself working a case and bargains for his life in exchange for Sam's ("Red Meat") or to release trapped spirits ("Advanced Thanatology"), but what if we see him kill himself without that? At the end of the episode, he's by himself in the bunker and he either goes to shoot himself but stops himself or follows through on it. Then Chuck pops in and brings him back. He doesn't want his favorite to die. He wants him to keep living and suffering. Episode ends with Dean destroyed.

Because this God is cruel. He's been absent from Earth for ages, but He always managed to control the Winchester's lives. This is why people fear God. The moment you do something to go against Him and His teachings, he punishes you. I have a lot of family that are God-fearing Catholics, and that is no God that should be in charge, and no God you should put your faith in. I mean, He locked His own sister away because she dared to question Him.

So we pick up in the 10th episode with Dean. He's still recovering and he gets a phone call from the therapist from 13x04, whose new home/office she thinks is being haunted and asks him for help, so he bids farewell quickly without much information about where he's heading. And we have a simple haunted house plus, what a lot of people wanted to see, Dean actually trying in therapy. The episode is pretty much a two-hand play, with Dean processing his life, how his childhood was stolen from him, how much pain he's been in and how long, how resigned he is to his life and missed chances to be out (brings up Lisa and Ben for the first time in years), and what it would take for him to be happy, with no answer for that last part. But on his way out she says that if he wants to talk again, she does appointments on video call, and he considers it.

Now it's time to build to the final battle with Chuck. Sam and Cas finally find the beginnings of a plan, and Dean doesn't like it because he doesn't see a way to win, but is going along. They seek out Rowena for help and start searching for spells that could neutralize Him but not take the world out of balance. 

Sam starts to get more and more zealous about this with each passing episode, and the final plan involves him going to back to the demon blood and utilizing his powers again. This is where Cas draws the line and goes back to Dean and tells him what Sam is planning. This leads to another brother brawl about the demon blood, "remember what happened last time" sort of thing. But Sam argues that he knows what he's doing and knows he can take out Chuck. 

This is where Amara comes back. She confronts Dean about Sam's plan and Dean says he hates it too. Then Dean, using what he realized about himself in the therapy session, asks Amara why she brought Mary back from the dead. I didn't like the reason the show gave. I always thought it was simply, "you always wanted life with your mother again, so I gave her to you". But Dean counters that he wanted her to have never have died, to be four again and be able to grow up with his mother, a non-abusive father, and not raising Sam when he was a child himself. Amara apologizes for the pain she caused him and seeing the havoc Chuck is wreaking on the world, wants to help Dean, also emphasizing their connection and kindred spirit. They decide to trap him like he did her and work on their plan over the next few episodes. A bit later, Billie decides to join team Dean because Chuck is messing with the order she likes. And through this plan, Dean is starting to feel at least a little bit of hope. 

Episode 19 is where shit starts to go down. Sam is finally ready to enact his plan and Dean and Cas try to stop him. Before he goes, Sam gives Dean the speech that he gave in episode 17 about how Dean always protected him and it's the only thing he knows to be true, but he has to do this. Near the middle is where Cas sacrifices himself to save Dean. Sam is off the reservation and sticks demons on Dean and Cas so they can't stop him. Cas, knowing his deal with the Empty is in his back pocket, gives his speech about how Dean changed him, and how Dean cares more than anyone about this planet, so pretty much the speech Cas gave for real. Dean is distraught but Amara and Billie come to get him because Sam is making his stand and they need to stop him if they want to enact their own plan. In the battle, Sam manages to injure Chuck, but not enough to kill him and Chuck kills Sam Himself. Dean finds them, runs to Sam, and Amara zaps them all back to the bunker out of danger and so Sam can die. He says he's sorry and that he wanted it to be over and he wanted to finish it, Dean says he knows and that it's okay, and Sam is gone. 

Finale. Dean is distraught after losing the last two people in his life. Amara and Billie are there with him. Rowena pops in when she hears about Sam. Dean pulls himself together enough to go forward with the plan, especially since Chuck is still healing and it would be easier to trap Him. He makes an offhand comment about just wanting to take His power from Him and for him to feel like the humans he abandoned. They meet in a picturesque location with a beautiful body of water and a mountain vista. Chuck is raving about how they can't stop Him. Amara starts to build the trap with Billie, Rowena, and Dean assisting. But Amara notices something about Chuck, she looks back at Dean, and then there's a wave of power that knocks everyone else back. Chuck is standing screaming what did you do sister and moves to attack, Dean grabs Billie's scythe and reaps God himself and says a cool line before Chuck dissolves into salt. Dean asks what happened. Amara says that whatever Sam did left cracks in Chuck where she was able to absorb his power and not Him. 

So Dean says it's over, in disbelief. Amara comes up to him and says yes. He asks "now what?". She responds with what kind of God She'll be. She won't leave, but won't mess with the world unless it needs a helping hand, and sort out the mess in Heaven. Then Dean asks again, for himself, now what for him. Seeing as they have their connection, and she's God and he's the Righteous Man who saved the world (something he'll never say, even to himself) she offers to bring back Sam. Then Dean asks Billie where Sam is. She says he's in heaven. Asks about Cas, and she say's he's asleep in the Empty with no danger of waking up. He turns down Her offer down, because he's accepted that while as much as he can't bear to outlive Sam or lose his best friend, what's dead should stay dead, and he'll have to move on. But Dean asks Amara and Billie to allow Cas to go to Heaven, because he understands what it is to be a human more than anyone else. They agree. It's time for Dean to part, and Amara gives him a new amulet, a simple silver chain with a pendant, and says that if he needs anything just ask her. She tells him he'll have peace and is free to live his life. She does a flick of the wrist and wipes his criminal history and official death so that he can live with his name, too. He bids farewell, and as he walks to Baby, Amara. Rowena. and Billie talk about the new world order. No cheating death, no deals, no meddling, only stepping in when necessary. (#girlpower without being hit over the head with it.)

Dean gets back to the bunker, passes Sam's room and Cas' room and he starts packing. He leaves a message for Jody that he's moving on and the bunker is free for her and Donna, and any other hunters they know to use as a base and not to let the place sit empty. Build a new legacy for the new world. And if they want to just hang and talk, he'll be in Lawrence. Dean is going home. He stops by the graveyard and goes to Mary's headstone, and sees that John and Sam's names were added, and a new stone for Castiel and it says "for the love of humanity" or something similar. Dean gets back in Baby and a montage of his life begins (I can't decide if it's to "Carry On Wayward Son" or Jensen Ackles' cover of "Simple Man"): he buys a house, becomes a mechanic, see him have video calls with the therapist, meets a woman, has his own family, what he's yearned for and almost had once before. He gets the life he has always wanted. The last shot is of Dean and his kids, happy.

The End.

That's my ending. My issue with the final season and the finale was the treatment of Dean. The treatment of his righteous anger as something that blinded him when it was something that always kept his head on straight was a disservice. The show may have started off as Sam's story, but it quickly became Dean's. He is the best character on the show, portrayed by the best actor on the show, and no matter how much nuance Jensen Ackles could muster into his every micro expression, it can't overcome how the writers handled it with regards to how everyone else treated him and his anger. Dean is the heart and emotional center of the show. He is the one you know will do the right thing. He may make misguided or bad decisions, but you always know the reason behind it and how he came to it. Having him die like that in the finale, not having known real peace on Earth felt wrong. He believed that he would die swinging, but that's why he shouldn't have died on a hunt, especially because of a metal pole. And I loved the scene where Dean gets Heaven and goes on a drive in Baby on his own, I really did. To see the look on his face of pure contentment, I don't think we've seen him like that before. I just wanted him to be able to actually live.

Also, his speech to Sam when he was dying. I liked everything except the part where he said he looked up to Sam, even when they were kids. He didn't look up to him, he raised him. He could be proud that Sam could stand up to their father and wish he could do the same, but he didn't look up to him. And there should've been a denial from Sam when Dean said he was stronger, because he's not, Dean is. Dean has always been the strongest of the brothers, even when he felt he couldn't go on. The rest of it was great, especially about the night he came to get Sam from Stanford and was agonizing for hours about what Sam's response would be and how scared he was. That's Dean. 

If isn't obvious by now, I'm a Dean girl. And I never really connected to Sam emotionally. (Part of it was that every time Jared Padalecki had to give an emotional talk in the first to seasons, he would this whisper, squint and head shake that didn't feel genuine at all. He got better, but he lost me well before then.) I almost immediately latched onto Dean and didn't look back. He's the one you wanted to watch, to get the win, explore every facet of his emotions, from acting like the biggest goofball to his darkest of days. 

I will always love Dean Winchester and everything he was. I just wished he got to have the full life he deserved.

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