‘Supernatural’ Series Finale ‘Carry On’ Recap: One Hell Of A Ride
BY Stephanie Larson
Published 2 years ago
For one last time, we say those two words. For almost 15 years, a lot of us fans have wondered how Supernatural would all end. It seemed like it never would. Even faced with the finale “Carry On” today, it still seems surreal. A part of me is still wishing to hear an announcement or plans for the next season. But the end is truly here. And now, we know.
Before I start bawling and succumbing to the torrent of emotion this finale is causing, let’s go over what happened in Supernatural one last time.
WARNING: From here on out, this article will be filled with major spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.
With Chuck gone and the world back in order, the boys go back to their normal life. And by normal, we do mean as humanely normal as possible. Sam (Jared Padalecki) goes for a jog, prepares breakfast, does the laundry, and fixes up his bed. Dean (Jensen Ackles), on the other hand, wakes up, cuddles his new pup Miracle, gets breakfast, makes his messy bed a little less messy, and cleans his weapons. He also finds them a “case.”
This case, in particular, is dangerous for Dean as it holds his second greatest weakness: Pie. Now that they have more time to just live, the boys drive up to a pie festival. And Dean doesn’t waste a second before grabbing six pies for himself and his brother. Sam is a little more somber though.
As Dean settles down, Sam mentions how nice it would have been to have Cas (Misha Collins) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) there with them enjoying the sun, eating pies, and just enjoying their time together. Dean admits he misses them too but reminds his brother that if they don’t keep living on, all their sacrifices would have been for nothing. Finally, Sam takes up Dean’s pie offer but shoves it into Dean’s face instead.
“I have wanted to do that for a very long time,” Sam says but we think that’s mostly Jared speaking. If you look back on this part, you could actually see an old man in the background end up laughing at Dean too.
As Andrew Dabb told EW though, “Carry On” would be more of an old-school Supernatural episode so we can’t have a case missing. This time, the case starts with four guys wearing masks attacking a family of four. They kill the father and drain his blood, they cut out the mother’s tongue, and they take the two kids.
When Sam and Dean get there and see the drawing of the mask the mother drew, Dean immediately recognizes it from an entry in their father’s journal. Whatever they are worked a pattern. And Dean’s best guess? Vampire mimes.
Together, the boys get ahead of the vamp mimes and attack them before they could attack another family. They kill one and leave the other alive for information. After threatening to cut his head off with a spoon, the vamp gives them the location of their nest, an old barn.
Sam and Dean free the kids before they’re trapped by five vamps. The leader? Jenny, the girl turned vampire by Luther’s nest in the first vampire episode of Supernatural “Dead Man’s Blood.” She doesn’t last five minutes though as Sam swiftly decapitates her.
At that point, they could’ve won. It was two for two. It was a clear win. But at the last moment, the vampire fighting Dean shoves him against a post, lodging a huge nail into Dean’s back. After that, it was instantly over for the vampire as Sam beheads him as well. But it was for Dean too.
Pinned and unable to move like a helpless doll, Dean realizes this is it for him. Sam, realizing how bad Dean’s condition is, tries to get help or to get anything really. But Dean begs him to stay with him.
“You knew it was always going to end like this for me. It was supposed to end like this, right?” Dean tells Sam. “I mean look at us, saving people, hunting things, it’s what we do.” Even as his brother tells him it’s okay, Sam refuses to believe the inevitable. It’s when Dean says “We had one hell of a ride man” with a smile on his face that it seems to sink into Sam that Dean has surrendered.
Sam’s first instinct is to vow to find another way but his brother forbids him. Instead, he chooses to spend his time letting Sam know how much he loves him. “I’m so proud of you, Sam. I’ve always looked up to you. When we were kids, you were so damn smart. You never took any of dad’s crap. I never knew how you did that.”
Dean also recalls the pilot episode, the night he came to Sam’s dorm after their dad didn’t return from a hunting trip. He tells Sam that he stood outside his dorm for hours because he wasn’t sure if Sam would tell him to get lost or get dead.
“I didn’t know what I would’ve done if I didn’t have you,” Dean continues. “‘Cause I was so scared. I was scared because when it all came down to it, it was always you and me. It’s always been you and me.”
Sam begs his brother not to leave him. He knows he can do it alone but he doesn’t want to. But Dean assures him that he’ll always be there, confident that Sam will keep fighting as he always does. One last time, Deal tells Sam, “I love you so much.”
His one last request is for Sam to tell him, no, promise him that it’s okay. Placing his hand over his brother’s hand, Sam tells his big brother, “It’s okay, you can go now.” With one last tear and one last “bye Sam,” Dean passes.
Heaven As It Should Be
The next day, Sam honors his brother with a proper hunter’s funeral with only him and Miracle. Sam continues caring for Miracle but nothing’s the same. One day, he wanders into Dean’s messy room when suddenly, one of Dean’s phones starts ringing. Choked up, Sam still picks up. Afterward, he leaves the bunker for a hunt.
Up in heaven, Dean finds Bobby waiting for him at Harvelle’s. Unlike the previous heaven, this one has no walls, no rooms, and it’s not just one memory going on repeat. Bobby tells Dean that Jack tore down all those walls and in this new heaven, they can make new memories.
Rufus is just down the road while John and Mary are just a little ways further.
Amazed, Dean asks if Jack did all that. Bobby amazes him even more saying “Cas helped.” They then share a few beers. As fantastic as it is, Dean notes that it’s “almost perfect.” With a kindly look, Bobby tells him that Sam will be along soon. Time moves differently in heaven and as it seems, separations can only last in the blink of an eye.
Now that he has the absolute freedom that he has always wanted, Dean chooses to hop back into baby and go for a drive. As he turns the keys, “Carry On My Wayward Son” starts playing and continues on as Dean cruises along their slice of heaven.
“It’s Always Been You and Me”
Back on earth, Sam gets to live out a life that always seemed out of reach for them. He gets married and he has a son he names, Dean. We watch as they play catch and do homework. And we watch as they grow old, one into adulthood, the other into old age. Once, when he was probably in his 60s with particularly bad hair, Sam uncovers the old Impala and gets into the driver’s seat. His hands tremble as they grasp the steering wheel and his eyes well up as he glances to the passenger seat.
After a full and happy life, Sam is on his death bed. Dean, his son who seems to be continuing the family business as evidenced by an anti-possession tattoo on his forearm, sits by his bedside. Like what Sam did for his brother so many years ago, the young man tells his father that it’s okay for him to go. And with one last smile, Sam passes.
In heaven, Dean seems to know. He parks the Impala by a bridge overlooking a beautiful and serene view. After a moment more waiting, he senses someone then he smiles and says “hey Sammy” one last time. Turning around, there’s Sam looking as young as when Dean left him but clothed in the same clothes he wore when they first drove away together in the pilot.
The brothers hug tightly and without a word, they take a moment to enjoy that reunion, that moment, and all the good that awaits them ahead, finally in true peace.
A short moment later, Jensen and Jared thanks the fans with a short clip on that same bridge. As the camera pans out, the rest of the crew appears alongside them waving goodbye. And for one last time, Bob Singer calls out “cut.”
‘Supernatural’ Series Finale Overall Verdict
As Chuck said, “Endings are hard.”
Ending a massive series like this that has lasted 15 years and has weaved such a remarkable story is almost impossible. And with all the boys had gone through, with all the big baddies they defeated, and with the countless times they blazed with glory, ending Supernatural seemed impossible. How could you top defeating god?
And yet, it seems right.
I get why a lot of fans are outraged saying Sam and Dean deserved more. A part of me still wants to see them riding out to hunt monsters. I want to see them at each other’s weddings. I want to see Uncle Dean and Uncle Sam and even their grandpa versions with better hair, I hope. I also wish Cas and Jack would be with them. And maybe in other endings, they are (thank you in advance to all the upcoming fanfictions!). In other worlds, they would’ve continued to hunt and went out in a blaze of glory.
The other part of me, on the other hand, embraces this ending. As Dean said, it was always going to end up that way for him. Even if they continued hunting until they grew old, Dean would have still gone out swinging. And in heaven, he was still him, stubborn, caring, pie-loving but he was completely and utterly free and at peace.
Sam, on the other hand, got to live out a life he was so afraid to even dream about before. His hunting life and the life he wanted always tore him apart but this time, it wasn’t a this or that decision. He kept hunting and saving people, continuing the family business while building his own family.
I also loved the part that it was Bobby (Jim Beaver) who greeted Dean in heaven. If it weren’t for the pandemic, we would’ve seen John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Mary (Samantha Smith), Kevin (Osric Chau), Gabriel (Richard Speight Jr.), and everyone else. Maybe even Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) would have made an appearance.
Supernatural’s finale, I think, ultimately reminds us that Sam and Dean are human. They achieved feats that no ordinary human would but one way or another, they were going to die. And at its core, the show is about hope. I can let go of them knowing that they’re at peace in a heaven where they can create new memories.
Supernatural: An Unchanged and Lasting Legacy
Ultimately, no matter what everyone’s take is on the ending, Supernatural‘s legacy and all the good it did and will continue doing does not change. It will always be the show that created one of the warmest sets in the industry. It will always be the bold show that will try anything and everything it can. And it will always be the show that tells us to keep getting up and to keep hope close in our hearts.
Jensen, Jared, and Misha will always be the people who made us laugh and cry both on their time on-screen and off cam. They will always be the guys who cared so deeply about each other and their fans. They will always be the people who used their influence and platform for good and fought for what was right. And they will always be the guys who inspire us to do better for others and for ourselves.
Lastly, the Supernatural fandom will always be what it is, a family.
The show has ended but Supernatural still lives on.
Knowing that this is what it leaves me and many other fans now and in the future, I can truly carry on.