Did 'Supernatural' Really Just Kill Off [Spoiler]? (RECAP)

Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18 Despair Sam Dean Castiel
Spoiler Alert
Colin Bentley/The CW

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 15, Episode 18 of Supernatural, "Despair."]

Despair is definitely the right word for how we're feeling after the antepenultimate episode of Supernatural. But there has to be more than meets the eye ... right?

With Jack (Alexander Calvert) about to explode after turning himself into a bomb to take out God (Rob Benedict) — which failed — Billie (Lisa Berry) shows up and sends him to the Empty, which could potentially absorb the blast. (It does.) She then brings Jack back to the bunker, but when she keeps him with her, Dean (Jensen Ackles) attacks her with her own scythe, wounding her and causing her to flee.

So, when people from the apocalypse world begin to disappear — beginning with Charlie's (Felicia Day) girlfriend and a hunter Bobby (Jim Beaver) is on a case with — the Winchesters and Castiel (Misha Collins) assume it's Billie, doing exactly what the Empty revealed in "Unity" she planned to: sending everyone back where they belong. They come up with a tentative plan to gather everyone together possibly in danger under the strongest warding they can to protect them, but that's only after Sam (Jared Padalecki) loses Eileen. (How heartbreaking was it to see those three dots disappear from their text chain?)

But that doesn't work, and Sam and Jack can only watch as everyone with them, including Charlie, Bobby, and even Donna (Briana Buckmaster), who wasn't on Death's list, disappears. So what exactly is going on?

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'Supernatural's Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles & Misha Collins Say Goodbye

There's still a bit of work left to do but Thursday was the final day of filming on the long-running CW series.

Dean and Castiel get the answer when they head to Billie's library (at the same time the others are gathering with Sam and Jack), planning to kill her. "I didn't hurt your friends," she claims as Dean holds the scythe to her throat. "You're in the wrong place." That wound was actually fatal, she reveals. "You killed me, Dean, so yeah, no, I don't care about your friends. I don't care about your family. But seeing you here has reminded me of something. There is one thing I'd like, one wish before I go: I'd like to see you dead."

And so Billie stalks him back into the bunker. "It's you, Dean. It's always been you," she says. "Death-defying, rule-breaking, you are everything I lived to set right, to put down, to tame. You are human disorder incarnate." Castiel brings him down to the dungeon (and wards the door, granting Dean a reprieve from her grip around his heart), even as Billie tells him that he can't escape her: "Don't you think it's finally time, time for the sweet release of death?"

Jensen Ackles Jared Padalecki Sam Dean Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18

(Bettina Strauss/The CW)

Even with the wound (slowly) killing her, Dean knew they couldn't wait her out and they'd lose. "I just led us into another trap," the hunter realizes, all because he needed to hurt someone when he couldn't kill God like he wanted. "I needed something to kill," he continues. "That's all I know how to do." He knows now it was God responsible for their friends dying. "Everyone's going to die. I can't stop it."

Facing Billie breaking through the warding and the door and killing both of them, Castiel remembers there's one thing Death is afraid of and that can stop her. That's when he tells Dean about the deal he made with the Empty to save Jack: his life, when he experienced a moment of true happiness. And that's what they need, to summon the Empty there. Before you think that can't possibly happen when they're facing certain death, the angel explains.

He'd wondered what that true happiness could look like, and he never knew because "the one thing I want is something I know I can't have," Castiel says. "But I think I know now: Happiness isn't in the having, it's in just being."

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Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Alexander Calvert, and the EPs discussed saying goodbye at PaleyFest NY.

He knows that Dean sees himself just as their enemies do, as "destructive, angry, broken," as driven by "hate and anger." But Castiel knows better, "and everyone who knows you sees it. Everything you have ever done, the good and the bad, you have done for love," he continues. "You raise your little brother for love. You fought for this whole world for love. That is who you are. You're the most caring man on Earth. You are the most selfless, loving human being I will ever know."

And yes, this is as emotional a goodbye speech as it gets, with both tearing up and Castiel recalling how it all began: "Ever since we met, ever since I pulled you out of hell, knowing you has changed me because you cared, I cared. I cared about you, I cared about Sam, I cared about Jack, but I cared about the whole world because of you. You changed me, Dean."

Misha Collins Supernatural Season 15 Episode 18 Despair Castiel

(Katie Yu/The CW)

With an "I love you" and a goodbye, he pushes Dean aside and lets the Empty take him — and Billie. It's the ultimate sacrifice. As Dean is left to grapple with what just happened, it looks like he, Sam, and Jack are the only ones left...

Because of that, does this mean that Castiel is really gone? There are, after all, two episodes left to change things. People have come back from the dead before, and who's to say how the Empty will react now that it has him.

Plus, what do you think about Billie's "interesting" after reading the new ending to God's book? And Jack seeming killing a plant by just holding his hand over it?

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Get an exclusive sneak peek at the finale episode, 'Carry On'!

If the antepenultimate episode is this tragic, imagine how the final two episodes will be...

Supernatural, Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW