‘Supernatural’ Series Finale: For Sam & Dean, ‘It Was Always You and Me’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the series finale of Supernatural, “Carry On.”]
Carry on, my wayward son/There’ll be peace when you are done/Lay your weary head to rest/Don’t you cry no more
There’s no other way that Supernatural can end than with the Kansas song playing over the final scenes (instead of an opening “Road So Far,” like season finales), but before the series rips our hearts out, it…does exactly that, over and over.
First, we get a taste of what life is like for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) now that they’re “free” and Chuck (Rob Benedict) is no longer all-powerful. And that means enjoying having a dog for Dean, going for a jog for Sam, and doing regular ol’ chores like the dishes and laundry.
Oh, and of course there’s pie. In fact, there’s a whole pie fest. Dean’s pretty much in heaven, while his brother has “Sad Sam face” because he’s thinking about Castiel (Misha Collins) and Jack (Alexander Calvert). But as Dean puts it, “That pain is not going to go away, but if we don’t keep living, then all that sacrifice is going to be for nothing.” Sam cheers up when he pies his brother in the face.
And then it’s time for an old-school case.
It looks like it’s just going to be a regular monster-of-the-week case for the Winchesters: Masked intruders break into a family’s home, kill and drain the father of blood, cut out the mother’s tongue, and take the kids. Sam and Dean, as FBI Agents Singer and Kripke (for executive producer Robert Singer and creator Eric Kripke!), recognize the sketch of the assailant at the crime scene from their dad’s journal.
John, it turns out, worked kidnappings in the same area in 1986. Dean decides (hopes) they’re dealing with vamp-mimes, only for the one they capture after determining the next targets, to speak. After a few threats of torture (how would he prefer his decapitation, slowly with a tiny knife or quickly with a machete?), the vamp tells them where the kids are being kept.
Once at the nest, they free the kids, but killing the vamps is easier said than done. In fact, they even know one, Jenny, who called dibs. Sam beheads her, and the Winchesters take out all but one vamp…which is when it all goes terribly, terribly wrong.
“Tell Me It’s OK”
The remaining vamp impales Dean on rebar sticking out of a beam before Sam beheads the monster. Dean knows this is it for him. “Stay with me, please,” he begs Sam, who refuses to accept there’s nothing he can do.
“You knew it was always going to end like this for me. It’s supposed to end like this, right?” Dean says. “Look at us, saving people, hunting things, it’s what we do. … We had one hell of a ride.” And he doesn’t want his brother to bring him back because that never ends well. They cry, we cry, the dog waiting back at the bunker probably cries because he intuitively knows Dean’s not coming back.
Knowing he doesn’t have much time, Dean keeps Sam close. “I’m so proud of you, Sam. You know that? I’ve always looked up to you,” he says. “You’re stronger than me. You always have been.” And then he goes way back to “Dad’s on a hunting trip, and he hasn’t been home in a few days.”
“I must’ve stood outside your dorm for hours. Because I didn’t know what you would say. I thought you’d tell me to get lost, or get dead. And I didn’t know what I would’ve done,” Dean admits. “I was scared. Because when it came down to it, it was always you and me. It’s always been you and me.”
“Don’t leave me,” Sam begs. “I can’t do this alone. … I don’t want to.” But Dean’s not leaving him, his brother promises, because “I’m going to be with you, right here,” he says, his hand to his heart, further destroying every single person watching this episode. “I love you so much, my baby brother.”
But before Dean can go, he has an ask: “I need you to tell me it’s OK.” Sam does, putting his hand on his brother’s on his chest…and with a “Bye, Sam,” Dean dies and all his brother can do is cry and hold him.
— Supernatural (@cw_spn) November 20, 2020
After giving his brother a hunter’s funeral, Sam’s just going through the motions in the bunker, missing Dean, crying, mourning with the dog. Until Dean’s Other Other Phone rings in his desk drawer when he’s in his brother’s room and someone’s calling for help with bodies missing their hearts.
Then we pick up with Dean. He arrives in Heaven to find Bobby (Jim Beaver) waiting (outside Harvelle’s Roadhouse!) — and he’s not in a memory. Jack freed him from Heaven’s lockup and, with Castiel’s help, changed a few things, pulling down the walls and making sure everyone’s happy and together. Rufus is nearby. So are Mary and John. (So a Winchester reunion off-screen!) “It’s the heaven you deserve,” the boys’ father figure explains.
So what’s Dean going to do now with everything he could want, need, or dream before him? Go for a drive in Baby. And that’s when “Carry On Wayward Son” begins playing. “Love this song,” Dean says.
As he drives (time passes differently in Heaven, Bobby shares), we see Sam’s life play out. He has a son, Dean, whom he raises, and it’s when his hair is graying that he goes into the garage and uncovers Baby, sits in the driver’s seat, and puts his hands on the wheel, clearly still grieving and missing his brother. When he’s old, his son, with an anti-possession tattoo on his arm, tells him it’s OK for him to go. And he does.
In Heaven, Dean stops driving on a bridge and leans on the railing. Without turning around, he smiles, realizing, “Hey, Sammy.” The brothers hug and look out at the Heaven before them.
That’s the only way Supernatural could have ended, with the brothers together.
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