I am NOT great with farewells to my favourite shows – you guys will remember my “I need to take grief leave because Game of Thrones is ending” stint in 2019 – and yet, here I am , in 20WTF, about to kiss my favourite Winchester Brothers, and their EPIC AF 15 year run on Supernatural, goodbye.
As Jim Beaver’s awesome character Bobby Singer once said:
Supernatural, which debuted on the WB in 2005 (now on CW) and stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as brothers Sam and Dean Winchester who hunt everything from vampires to God Himself, has a fandom as passionate as the Game of Thrones one and as loyal as the Potterheads but we all take it one step further – we’re family.
Inspired by Bobby’s “Family don’t end with blood” quote, ours is a fandom so strong, we’ve snuffed out two potential spin-offs of the show, have brought back beloved characters time and time again and birthed so many memes, we really can’t keep up with them all.
For me, Supernatural really is about family: my family, because watching this show and drooling over the Winchesters every October to March/April is how my kid sister Sameehah and I have truly bonded in our young adult years.
What initially started as me catching an episode (Bloody Mary, Season 1 Episode 5 comes to mind here) every now and again on the hotel TV set while I was travelling, soon turned into season-long weekend binge-watching sessions with my sister whenever I went back home after moving out on my own in 2008. Fast-forward to the national lockdown in 2020 and we either have socially distant viewing parties for two on Sunday afternoons or watch it separately and have post-viewing Whatsapp debriefings.
I think one of the reasons I have formed such an emotional connection with Supernatural is because Dean’s unwavering love for Sam and his desire to protect his little brother at all costs resonates with how I feel about my Sammy. Yes, she is probably doing a Dean-worthy eye-roll at this statement but it’s true, Sussie 😉
Tell me you don’t feel the love when Dean does this:
Jensen and Jared have carried that brotherly love into their real life bond and seeing it IRL is one of the reasons I REALLY want to go to the San Diego Comic Con when the pandemic is over!
Most fans will tell you that while they are always Team Free Will (Sam, Dean and all of their loved ones against God), everyone has a favourite brother. Sameehah has been a HUGE fan of Jensen since his Days of Lives stint in the 90s and has quite often told me which violent acts I should do to myself if the world ever ends and Jensen and I are the only two people left to repopulate the Earth. She’s SO mean!
Which, of course, left Jared. I vaguely remembered him from Gilmore Girls (in which, coincidentally, he plays a character named Dean) and I didn’t love his turns in Cheaper by the Dozen or the House of Wax remake. For the first couple of episodes of Supernatural, I was all about the older Winchesters: Dean and Daddy John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). My mind set was pretty much this:
Then, in Season 1 Episode 17,this scene happened:
I’ve been Mrs Sam Winchester ever since and loved him through ALL of his many hairstyles and weird beard looks!
This little horror-show-that-could has given us fans all kinds of incredible gifts over the past decade and a half, including:
- The best EVER Lucifer by casting Mark Pellegrino : the man gave me the creeps as Rita Morgan’s abusive ex in Dexter and was brilliant as Aidan’s sire Bishop in Being Human (US) but as the dorky yet super scary Dark Lord on Supernatural, he steals the scene EVERY TIME!
- Reviving a rock song that has become the show and the fandom’s anthem: in 1975, Kansas, the rock band named for the state and which our favourite fictional brothers are from too, recorded their hit single “Carry On My Wayward Son”. Initially played during the penultimate episode of Supernatural Season 1, it has since become the recap song for every season finale and brings tears to our eyes every.single.time. In a recent Zoom interview with the band, Kansas said they only realised how much of a revival the song had received when younger and younger fans starting showing up to their concerts. How cool is that?!
- Putting the meta in going meta: by producing creative episodes like Changing Channels in Season 5 where the Trickster (Richard Speight, Jr who also plays the archangel Gabriel) traps Sam and Dean in spoofs of various popular TV shows (including Dr Sexy, a rip off of Grey’s Anatomy which Daddy Winchester starred in as Izzie’s ill-fated love Denny! *Spoiler alert* Derek Shepherd has Denny to thank for the “seeing my dead husband/boyfriend when I am sick” storyline revival) and being sucked into an animated episode of Scooby Doo ( Dean hitting on Daphne will NEVER get old!). And don’t even get me started on this:
- Making God both a relatable guy and biggest douchebag in the multiverse: Rob Benedict debuted on the show as Chuck Shurley, a prophet who used his visions to write a meta Supernatural book series about Sam and Dean’s adventures in Season 4. Since then, he’s been revealed to be the God who is an absentee dad (totally explains why Lucifer, Gabriel and Michael (Jake Abel) are such assholes; a very hands-off Creator and an Almighty Jerk who creates and destroys worlds as He pleases while making Sam and Dean do His bidding because “they’re his favourite show”. God is THE worst, am I right?!
- Giving us the most kickass women on a TV screen ever: From Momma Mary Winchester, played by the incredible Samantha Smith, who will forever live on in fans’minds as that gloriously terrifying corpse on fire on the ceiling at the end of the pilot episode to Billie, Death herself, Jody, Donna, Claire, Kaia, Amara, Kelly, Eileen , Charlie and my absolute favourite, Rowena, the Queen of Hell, Supernatural has always been a show about the strongest women.
With so many great storylines ( NOT Season 7 and the Chuckdamned Leviathans, though!) and unlikely friendships over the seasons, it’s hard to pick one but I will. I know everyone is raving about Destiel (Dean and Castiel) but let’s give it up for Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Castiel (Misha Collins)! The comedic timing of Crowley’s sarcasm and Castiel’s deadpan line delivery was just all kinds of awe-inspiring!
A reminder of what that looked like:
There are too many episodes to pick my favourite from too, but I can’t write this farewell without giving a shout out to the writers for reuniting the four Winchesters for the first time since the pilot in the Season 14 episode “Lebanon”. I cry every time I watch this family centric, wish fulfillment episode (and I am on my gazillionth rewatch!)
It’s impossible to sum up the magnitude of the impact this show has had on my life and my relationship with my sister or how much I will miss watching Sam and Dean fight what goes bump in the night each week. Thank you to Jared, Jensen, series creator Eric Kripe, the rest of the cast and crew for giving us so much joy these past 15 years.
I’ll be sobbing as the credits open on Carry On My Wayward Son when I watch the final episode with Sameehah tomorrow evening ( the rest of the world is watching it on 19 November) and I know you will too.
Since this is a fan tribute, let me close out with that epic scene from another of my favourite episodes, “Fan Fiction”: