There was more than one way for Sam and Dean Winchester to find their happily ever after, and Supernatural Season 15 Episode 20 offered a little of everything.
In classic Supernatural form, it was funny, filled with love, and downright devastating.
Initially, we returned to the boys in the aftermath of saving the world. It was downright odd seeing Sam running in the sun and stopping for a beautiful view by the water. They were washing laundry, cleaning, just normal people stuff.
In fact, "Ordinary Life" played over the opening scenes.
And in another surprise, Dean DID adopt the dog from Supernatural Season 15 Episode 19! That made my heart sing. They did, after all, inherit the earth.
Heck, when was the last time Dean got to enjoy something as amazing as a pie fest without just trying to burn time?
But living that life was never going to be enough for them, and before they knew it, it was business as usual. Bu this time, they were without Cass and Jack and all of the others who had helped along the way.
This time, they were entirely human.
Dean: You know what this is? Mimes. Evil mimes.
Sam: Yeah, or vampires.
Dean: Vampmimes! Son of a bitch.
Who knew the vampmimes would be the end of Dean Winchester, and more importantly, the end of Sam and Dean as we knew them?
But if they were ever going to die, doing it together and while doing what they love best makes so much sense. I admit that it came out of nowhere for me because of the camera angles. I thought Dean had gotten the vampmime on the rebar. I was wrong.
If the death scene Cass had with Dean got you, then you were absolutely gobsmacked by the way Dean said goodbye to his beloved baby brother.
Dean: I'm fadin' pretty, I'm fadin' pretty quick, so there's a few things that I need you to hear. Come here. Let me look at you. Yeah, there he is. I'm so proud of you, Sam. You know that? I've always looked up to you. You know when we were kids, I always looked up to you. You were so damn smart. You never took any of dad's crap. I never knew how you did that. And you're stronger than me. You always have been. Hey, did I ever tell you that night when I came for you when you were at school, you know when dad hadn't come back from his hunting trip.
Sam: Yeah. The woman in white.
Dean: The woman in white. That's right. I must have stood outside your door 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 have done if I didn't have you 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 [sobbing]: Don't leave me. I can't do this alone.
Dean: Yes, you can.
Sam: Well, I don't want to.
Dean: Hey, I'm not leavin' you. I'm gonna be with you, right here, every day. Every day you're out there, and you're livin', and you're fighting -- because you always keep fighting, you hear me? I'll be there, every step. I love you so much, my baby brother. Oh, man. I did not think this would be the day, but it is. It is, and that's OK. I need you to promise me. [sobbing] I need you to tell me that it's OK. I need you to tell me it's OK. Look at me. Look at me! I need you to tell me that it's OK. You tell me it's OK.
Sam: Dean, it's OK. You can go now.
Dean: Bye Sam
Their trip with us came full circle as they recalled that fateful day when Dean showed up on Sam's college doorstep, the beginning of our journey with them. The woman in white. Just a run-of-the-mill case.
Dean did always look up to his baby brother, and Sam was always the stronger of the two. Dean relied on his brother for so much, always hiding his deepest feelings with his snark and goofy goodness.
The times that Dean seemed to sneer at Sam for his softness were still a ruse because Dean wished he could be as free with his love as Sam. But oh, boy, did he give his little brother one hell of a goodbye.
The finale even got a little meta, getting called to Austin, turning off the lights in the bunker never to return. We never saw how Sam got baby Dean, but we know that his son was the second love of his life behind his brother.
Dean: Well, at least I made it to heaven.
Dean: What memory is this?
Bobby: It ain't, ya ijit.
As soon as Sam said goodbye to the bunker, Dean said hello to heaven. That phrase reminds me Say Hello to Heaven by Temple of the Dog, which would have been a newer song that would have fit right into the finale.
We never saw Jack and Cass, but their deft tough was felt upon Dean's arrival in heaven. The first person he saw was, of course, Bobby, who shared the good news of Jack's productive turn with the well-known afterlife destination.
Dean: Yeah, it is. Because the last I heard, you were in heaven's lockup.
Bobby: Was. Now I'm not. That kid of yours before he went wherever made some changes here. Busted my ass out and then he, well, he set some things right. Tore down all the walls up here. Heaven just ain't relivin' your golden oldies anymore. It's what it always should have been -- everyone happy, everyone together. Rufus lives about five miles that way with Aretha. I thought she'd have better taste. And your mom and dad? They got a place over yonder. It ain't just heaven, Dean, it's the heaven you deserve, and we been waitin' for ya.
Dean: So, Jack did all that.
Bobby: Well, Cass helped. It' s a big new world out there. You'll see.
My very favorite series finale of all time was from Six Feet Under, when Claire Fisher took off in her modified hearse to a new life while Sia's "Breath Me" played and the entirety of Claire's life and those she loved finished to the bitter end.
Similarly, Dean took a ride in Heaven's Baby, and the time that Bobby spoke of briefly, flying much differently in the afterlife, occurred in its entirety while Sam lived his full life on earth to the tune of "Carry On My Wayward Son."
Would you have expected anything else?
Sam loved his son, and his house was filled with family photos so that Dean, his parents, and everyone else they ever loved were never far from sight and mind.
At the end of Dean's literal ride came the end of Sam's life, and they met once again, together until the end.
This finale was the wrapping on the series. We saw the end to the little things, which were big in context, on "Inherit the Earth." The most important items on their to-do list got checked off, and they said goodbye to some beloved friends.
And, hey, they saved the friggin' world.
But here, it was about life and love. Those are the real big things, no context needed. Supernatural was always about family, whether blood or found, and it ended with that love and family.
Revisiting the many cast members during the retrospective helped give the scripted finale an air of inclusion even if they were only there in spirit. Sam and Dean were the draw for Supernatural. They were its beating heart. They were its soul.
Stepping back to the beginning when it was just them was the perfect finale. Allowing them the peace they searched for again and again after getting ripped away so many times before was the very best way to say goodbye to the Winchesters.
Just like Sam and Dean will live forever in heaven, it's pretty likely that Supernatural will live a long, long time in the hearts and minds of viewers, including those who were here from the beginning and those who will only find it for the first time in the future.
I've been covering Supernatural in some capacity since I first started writing here in 2010, so saying goodbye to a show that meant to much to so many of us here at TV Fanatic? Well, I want to share it with you.
What did you think of this beautiful finale?
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This one last time, you can also watch Supernatural online via TV Fanatic.
Thank you all so much for sharing such a long ride with us!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.