Review: keep calm and carry on…Wayward Son

(Time to carry on without Sam and Dean)

Please note, this contains major spoilers for the Supernatural series finale. On November 19, 2020, the CW aired the final episode of Supernatural after 15 years and 320 episodes. According to Deadline, the 8 p.m. penultimate episode (0.3, 1.20M) led into the 9 p.m. finale (0.3, 1.39M) of the longest-running fantasy series in TV history.

The demo numbers were steady with the final batch of episodes of the Winchester brothers’ saga, with the finale seeing its best audience number of the run.

The series finale entitled “Carry On” was everything I could ask for and more. Over the past 15 years, we the viewers and fans have witnessed Sam and Dean die and come back to life well over 100 times. Sam has died (around) eight times while Dean died approximately 112.

About 106 of Dean’s deaths were in a time loop courtesy of Gabriel the trickster in Jared Padalecki’s (Sam Winchester) least favorite and my 4th favorite episode of all time, “Mystery Spot.” It is reported that Jared hated filming the episode because reacting to Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) deaths over and over again was emotionally taxing for him. My greatest wish for the series finale was that the Winchesters die, stay dead, and “live” out eternity in heaven.

“Carry On” picks up right after the previous episode. Castiel and Jack are gone and the Winchester brothers go back to their “normal” life in the bunker. We are treated to a montage illustrating their “odd couple” behaviors where Sam is neat and tidy and Dean is slightly cleaner than a pig. Actually, the victory is for the pig. The fans are entertained by seeing Sam and Dean going to a pie festival where Dean buys a slice of each pie available.

The two brothers discover a case that coincides with a case that their father had worked on previously, noted in his journal. Upon arriving to the scene of the murder and kidnapping, the brothers identify themselves as “Agents Singer and Kripke” – a reference to Executive Producer Robert Singer and creator Eric Kripke.

The two discover a nest of vampires who kidnapped children for food and the leader of these vampires was none other than Jenny from Season One, Episode 20 “Dead Man’s Blood” where the Winchesters are joined by their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to investigate the death of his old friend and retrieve the Colt.

The very last episode went full circle back to the very first vampire episode with that super fast reprisal of Christine Chatelain’s role as Jenny before Sam abruptly cuts off her head. Unfortunately, during the big fight scene between the aging Winchesters vs the vampire nest, Dean gets impaled and knows his minutes are numbered.

Dean asks Sam to stay with him as he performs his own “swan song” while he says his “goodbyes” to Sam and ultimately asks Sam to tell him that it’s ok and he can go. Jared Padalecki has to delve deep and emotionally process Dean’s death for the 113th and final time.

Sam returns to the bunker and attempts to mourn Dean’s death, but before he could even relax, one of the phones rings for “Agent Bon Jovi” and he’s back to work.

Meanwhile Dean is pleased to discover that he made it to heaven and is greeted by the character Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) sitting on his front porch, drinking a beer. Dean is a little confused, but Bobby calls him an “idjit” and explains that Jack and Castiel have made some changes to heaven by removing all walls and doors and creating the heaven it was always intended to be.

Bobby tells him where his friends are as well as his parents and explains that time moves differently there and Sam will join them soon enough. Dean then spends his time driving his beloved Baby on endless back roads while Sam is living a long and fulfilled life. Sam apparently found a spouse and sired a son whom he named Dean.

The entire montage is serenaded by Kansas’s song “Carry on Wayward Son” and then flows seamlessly into a female vocals cover version of the song as we watch Sam grow old, reminiscent of my second favorite episode “Fan Fiction” where students from an all girl’s high school sing it in the second act of their play.

ALSO READ: Our top ten episodes of ‘Supernatural’

The brothers miss each other terribly, you can feel their heartache throughout the second half of the episode until and old, white haired, white bearded Sam is laying in a hospital bed in his home, as his son, Dean, sporting an anti-possession tattoo, tells Sam that it’s ok and he can go. In that moment he cries one perfect tear, takes his last breath and then is on a bridge with Dean as if no time has passed and the brothers embrace, they look out to the horizon together, and the series is over.

Jensen and Jared take a few minutes to thank the fans for the last 15 years and the entire cast and crew joins them in the shot.

I have watched this episode three times and each time I feel more emotional than the last. I wanted the brothers to finally get a break from hunting monsters and I was a little disappointed that in Jack’s new universe, monsters still exist.

But it was fitting after fighting God, Lucifer, God’s sister The Darkness and more, that aging Dean would fall victim to a meaningless case in the Supernatural universe.

Some will also criticized the blurring of Sam’s wife. However, it was never about Sam. The show was never about Sam and Dean’s love interests. It was only about their “bromance.”

I was pleasantly surprised that Jack and Castiel changed up Heaven. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed or appreciated a series finale more than this one. The second half of the episode, with the “Carry on Wayward Son” soundtrack is tear jerking and satisfying. I for one, feel a sincere sense of closure. 

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We will now carry on with Supernatural in re-runs.


Joia DaVida is a Jersey girl and mermaid at heart taking in all things Geek in California.