I started watching Supernatural on CW completely on just a whim. Here was a new horror themed series that looked interesting but also looked like it could be full of empty and shallow charaters from the outside. But from that first episode I realized this was something much bigger than pretty faces and cool cars. I was hooked.
The show turned out to be about family and the bond between brothers. Over the course of the last 5 years the show has delivered some out of the park stand alone episodes but it was the overall arc that kept me coming back each week. For the last 2 years we’ve been building to a showdown between Heaven and Hell. Sam was to be the vessel for Lucifer and Dean the vessel for Michael. A battle for Earth, human souls, etc etc would be fought and the winner would take all. But Sam and Dean weren’t really willing to go along with that plan so for the last year we’ve watch as the brothers have tried to find a way to stop the apocalypse on their own.
(SPOILERS AHEAD) Last night the season 5 finale nicely wrapped up the entire series. In a last ditch effort Sam agreed to be Lucifer’s vessel with the plan that he might be strong enough to take Lucifer over and put him back in his cage. It didn’t quite work out that way unfortunately and it seemed the apocalypse was on schedule after all. But, Dean found out where the battle was going to go down between Lucifer and Michael. Castiel and Bobby show up just in time to help out and they manage to get rid of Michael long enough to let Dean try to talk to Sam. But Lucifer (occupying Sam’s Body) kills Castiel and Bobby. Lucifer begins beating down Dean but thanks to the Impala and memories contained within, Sam is able to take hold of Lucifer just as Michael returns. Sam opens the cage and pulls Michael into the it with him. Castiel comes back with full Angel privileges and powers. He resurrects Bobby and tells Dean that he’s going back to heaven and that God must have resurrected him.
Season 5 was meant to be the end of the series and series creator Eric Kripke has called it quits after last night’s finale. Chuck, the prophet in the series and likely God, narrates over the end of the episode, telling us that this is the end, but “Nothing ever really ends does it?”. Dean goes off to be with Lisa and her son, after promising Sam he would try to live a full and happy life. If the show ended here it would be a bittersweet and fitting ending for Dean, a man that has literally been to Hell and back. All through the series it seemed that all Dean really wanted was to have a normal life, do those mundane things that we all take for granted. But, this isn’t really the end as Chuck said and as we pan away from Dean sitting with Lisa and her son in their home we see Sam silently watching from outside. Is he Sam or Lucifer? Is he really alive or something else? This really felt like something tacked on just to let us know it wasn’t the end.
It will be interesting to see where Supernatural will go next season. Eric Kripke has basically wiped the slate clean here and the show could really go in any number of directions. Sera Gamble who has been responsible for some great episodes, will be taking over the reigns next season as show runner. It will be a challenge for her to keep this show from degrading into the land of the mediocre. For 5 years Supernatural has been scary, witty, touching, and smart. Its often gone in directions I wasn’t expecting but I’ve never been disappointed in it, frustrated perhaps, but never disappointed. I’m reminded of the once great X-Files that after Season 5 lost all momentum and just became a horrible convolution of bad episode full of mediocre conspiracies and stupid plot twists (Scully’s baby anyone?).
I’m hoping for the best with Supernatural. I don’t want to see it degenerate into a unhappy life for Sam and Dean where they kill of Lisa and her son at the start of season 6 just to get the boys back on the road and killing monsters. There’s been enough tragedy for these characters I think. These characters aren’t kids, they are men that have been though hell and really deserve a little happiness after all that. That said I don’t want to see the series become a mere shadow of its former self and become silly or campy. The stars of the show, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, both have 6 year contracts so something tells me season 6 will be the end of the series for sure but I really hope it doesn’t destroy all that it accomplished the previous 5 years.
On a side note I took some time to read comments from other viewers of this show and was surprised to find a lot of intelligent conversations happening and not just a bunch of fan blather. This tells me the audience for the show has grown up a bit as well along with the characters. I think there’s a perception that this show is just an empty soulless CW show like everything else on that channel but it’s really one of the best series of the last 10 years, and it’s good to know I’m not the only one who realizes it.