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'Supernatural' Finale Review: We probably carried on one episode too long

Well, Supernatural has always been accused of not knowing when to quit.

The Winchester brothers chat over pie.
(Image: © The CW)

Our Verdict

Just go back and watch "Inherit the Earth" again.


  • 🧛🏻Dean gets his happy ending.
  • 🧛🏻There are some fun moments in the beginning.
  • 🧛🏻Miracle the dog is ok.


  • 🧛🏻Lackluster ending to an otherwise incredible ride.
  • 🧛🏻What is happening with Sam's entire old man getup when he sits in the Impala? Who let him out of makeup with that hair? That costume? Who let this happen?

This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural finale.
Check out our
last review here.

The Supernatural finale is a slow starter. Things happen in the first twenty minutes, but the majority of it’s pretty anecdotal. In those anecdotes are a couple of cute moments, including Sam (Jared Padalecki) finally getting to smash some pie into Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) face, but the majority of it is set up for the battle that will take place in a vamp nest in Canton.

Much to Dean’s chagrin, these vamps aren’t vamp mimes. Just plain old, run of the mill vampires that Sammy won’t let him use his ninja stars against. It sounds like the average Supernatural monster of the week because that’s exactly what it is. The only thing special about this particular group is the fact that they’re led by the long-gone Jenny (Christine Chatelain). So, you can imagine the surprise when it becomes clear that this average vampire den is where Dean Winchester meets the end of his life. 

He finally has the opportunity to tell his own story for the first time in his existence and it’s promptly met with death. And a mediocre (and telegraphed) one at that. Surely there’s some metaphor here for death and war and soldiers not knowing what to do after them, but it wasn’t told well by any means. An emotional scene between Sam and Dean unfolds, one that smacks different from their other goodbyes. It will absolutely make you cry, but those tears feel cheap rather than what a final death for one who has cheated it so often should.

With Sammy’s permission, Dean dies. Broken and alone, Sam carries on. He has a son named Dean. Someone in costumes puts him in an old man get-up that makes him look like a bad Saturday Night Live skit. Miracle, Dean’s dog, is presumably with him during all of this. 

Meanwhile, Dean steps foot into heaven where he’s immediately met by Bobby (Jim Beavers) who explains a few things to his son. First and foremost, Jack (Alex Calvert) has made some renovations to the ol’ Upstairs. Gone is the old heaven that simply played your greatest hits over and over again for eternity. Instead, it’s what heaven should be. A place where you can live on in constant happiness with the ones that you love. Dean’s folks are down the road, Bobby’s got his place, and Cas is… around? It’s all very sweet. And somehow still so utterly empty.

The question here becomes whether or not this was always the writers’ intention, or if they had to retcon their original plans because they were unable to get as many cast members as they wanted up to Vancouver during the pandemic. There are some that will argue that it began with Sam and Dean so it should have always ended with Sam and Dean, but that concept ignores the fact that these boys are different than they were fifteen years ago. They have the family and connections now, and their absence is sorely felt in this final ride. The emptiness isn’t because we don’t know what to do with a happy ending in this series, the emptiness is because that happiness is alone. Name dropping the family doesn’t fill the void, it just reminds you of their existence. 

Supernatural has always been accused of not knowing when to quit. I’ve always argued against that, especially considering that many of the series’ best episodes happened in the latter half of its run. But “Carry On” is a perfect example of that argument. Last week I said that if the finale was lackluster, we could always look on “Inherit the Earth” as the ending. Turns out that’s exactly what some are going to have to do. “Carry On” isn’t ostensibly a bad episode, it’s just chronically fine. For a finale, I almost find that to be worse.

All the same, Kim Rhodes said it best in the interview portion of the finale, “I hope that people know that the show ending doesn’t mean that what it created will disappear.”

Our boys are done. We ain’t. Keep doing good out there, folks. “Here’s to somehow.”

Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.