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Love Conquers All in Supernatural’s Season 11 Finale

May 28, 2016

11.23 dean sun dying apoc

Sibling Love to be exact. This is Supernatural, after all.

Somehow I’m never really prepared for those first notes of Carry On to play in the season finale. It’s not that I don’t know it will happen, but I never remember right at that moment and then BOOM, I’m hit with a wave of love for this Show that is like an emotional hurricane. Add to that the recap of this truly epic Season 11, and I was already a bit wibbly going in. This turned out to be an unusual season finale, especially coming after some episodes that were real nail biters. ‘Alpha and Omega’ was comparatively quiet, slower paced than most finale episodes. There were some things that, at first viewing, didn’t work that well for me – and some things that I wished were in the episode but weren’t – so I waited until after I had time for a second viewing today before I wrote this. And I’m really glad I did, because I liked it much better the second time around. Maybe it’s because my adrenaline level wasn’t set to maximum with anticipation like it was on Wednesday night, so that it didn’t match the slower pace of the episode. After I calmed down and watched more thoughtfully, the quieter scenes and the more subtle emotional notes came through more clearly.

We picked up where we left off, which I was glad about. Sam helps Dean up, then poor Chuck, who unfortunately really is dying. (Only on Supernatural…)

11.23 chuck hurt

Dean goes to Casifer, only to find out that it’s actually Cas, and they share a little reunion moment as Dean helps him up and lets Sam know “Cas is back.” Hence the misunderstanding of metaphors.

11.23 cas

11.23 cas 2

The boys pull their guns when someone comes in, and it turns out Rowena has survived too.

Rowena: So that really was a gun in your pocket…

So we all know where you were looking, Rowena. (I love this character and the actress who plays her, what can I say?)

Crowley’s alive too, but our little band of unlikely allies soon realizes that the end of the world is coming (as it often does on Supernatural) – this time because the sun is dying, and with it, everyone and everything.

It’s interesting, because while I loved Season 11, I never felt as much sense of threat from the Darkness as I think I should have. She smote people here and there, but it was never a world-ending kind of thing, as much as people kept saying that it would be. Finally, in the finale, we get that sort of threat. And yet, this episode didn’t have the sense of urgency that you would expect from such an apocalyptic event seemingly imminent. Maybe it’s because they’ve tried so much already and failed, so the Winchesters – and the viewers – are perhaps a little weary. In fact, Dean wants to give up and get drunk. (I will always love the Margiekugel beer, named after Jerry Wanek’s mom, if I’m not mistaken).

11.23 drink

Dean and Cas take a beer run ride in the Impala, and it’s clear Dean doesn’t hold out much hope, because he decides to tell Cas the kind of things you tell people when you think you won’t have another chance. Cas, whose good intentions unfortunately often go very awry, says that he was stupid letting Lucifer possess him. I’m a bit surprised that Dean disagrees, but perhaps that’s water under the bridge and Dean just wants to clear the air between them. He tells Cas he appreciates that he stepped up, even if it didn’t work.

Side note: That whole arc ended up futile, which is a bit of a let down. I enjoyed Misha’s portrayal of Casifer a lot, and I loved seeing Mark Pellegrino again, but it really did end up accomplishing nothing and wreaking a whole lot of havoc.

Anyway, Dean tries to express his appreciation for Cas, telling him that he’s the best friend they’ve ever had.

Dean: You’re our brother, Cas.

11.23 dean cas car bro

That’s the highest compliment Dean Winchester has to give. To call someone family—brother – means a helluva lot in Dean’s book. I’m not sure the recent events of Season 11 organically led to that sort of disclosure, but then again, the end of the world will do that to you – make you take stock of who you care about and want to let them know. And I think Cas gets it, what it means when Dean says that to him.

Meanwhile, a British woman who we’re clearly supposed to like because she has a child she has to be away from peruses her Wall of Weird and oh, it’s full of Winchesters and Campbells. And it doesn’t look like my refrigerator at all (which is also plastered with Winchesters), because this lady is clearly Not. A. Fan. I don’t like her already.

11.23 mol wall

Also meanwhile, Rowena and Chuck are bonding – swapping stories of their respective ‘children’. I confess I love hearing Rowena talk about Fergus, especially when every now and then she lets slip something fond. He was bright. He hated pants. Okay, that last part was probably meant to embarrass Crowley, but still. Rowena also insists on calling him Charles and clinging to his arm, which is kinda cute. Crowley tries to warn Chuck about his opportunistic mother, but Chuck is living in the moment, seeing as he doesn’t have much longer to live at all.

11.23 crowley chuck conv

Then there’s Sam. Sam Winchester has NOT given up. That’s one of the things I love about Sam – Sam Fucking Winchester just does not give up. We saw that over and over again in ‘Red Meat’, one of my favorite episodes of the season. And once again, he’s the only one who is still refusing to give in to hopelessness. If they can’t cage Amara, well then they’ll have to kill her. That will restore the cosmic balance of light and dark, so Chuck reluctantly agrees. Rob Benedict did a fabulous job of portraying Chuck once again – you can see how much he’s hurting, and you can also see how much he still loves his sister and doesn’t want to see her killed. It sort of broke my heart a little.

Rowena, who always turns out to be helpful despite her selfish motivations, says she can build a bomb to destroy Amara with light – if they can find enough souls to trap. So Crowley heads to hell and Cas heads to heaven and the Winchesters head to the nearest haunted sanitorium to trap some ghost souls. That was one of my favorite bits of the episode, some old school Winchester ghostbusting. It was scary, the special effects were awesome, and the setting was hauntingly beautiful, the Winchesters in silhouette, light streaming through the old windows. We get Dean sliding across the floor (apparently actually Jensen) and Sam getting choked by a ghost, and his strangled “Dean, hurry!” and it’s just like old times. A reminder of who the brothers are, what they do. Saving people, hunting things. The family business. Really that’s what this episode is all about.

Sam and Dean walk out, shoulder to shoulder, job well done, and it made me choke up a little bit, just seeing that simple scene, the two of them together. I already had a very bad feeling about all this, so it seemed especially poignant.

11.23 ghosts win 2

We even got a little bit of humor, since Dean is skeptical about the whole soul catching crystal thing working.

Dean: Let’s give the magic word a shot – because we’re SIX!

And we get to hear him imitate Rowena’s Scottish accent! Funny story – a few months ago at a con, I was chatting with Jensen when Ruth Connell came over to say goodbye to him. He did a Scottish accent and she complimented him on it, and I felt lucky to have been standing there to hear it. (Ruth complimented him again in a tweet during the finale and it reminded me). There’s something about a guy with an accent (it’s an accent to me, at least…)

I also loved Sam’s perplexed and fondly amused look when Dean launched into it. Hehe.

The Winchesters’ ghost wrangling gets the attention of the reaper Billie, who makes the sort of spectacular entrance that Lisa Berry always seems to pull off so beautifully. Another unlikely ally, as she snags all the souls from the veil (kudos VFX magicians!). She also seems to flirt with Crowley. Hmmm. What’s that about, do you think?

11.23 reaper billie

11.23 reaper billie vfx

So now Rowena has her soul bomb.

11.23 rowena soul bomb

All this time, Amara has been wandering around a beautiful garden (constructed by the super talented SPN crew), chatting with an old woman who’s feeding the pigeons while Amara feels increasingly bad about her penchant for destruction. The woman is talking about family, and the parallels are not lost on Amara (or us).

You always love family, even when you hate them.

Hoo boy, is that ever a Supernatural theme. We’ve heard that said in a lot of different ways, and the Winchesters have lived it over and over. Now Amara is starting to realize the truth in it too.

11.23 amara pigeons

Up until this point in the episode, I confess that I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat. There wasn’t a great sense of urgency – it wasn’t the stressful nail biting episode that Red Meat was. I wasn’t overly emotional either – it wasn’t the emotional episode that All In The Family or Don’t Call Me Shurley were. That was a bit of a disappointment, since I tend to expect season finales to be roller coasters.

Then the episode took a turn. On first viewing, the emotional impact of what came next didn’t hit me as hard as it might have. This was an understated episode for a finale, with a relatively slow pace and emotional revelations that were quiet instead of dramatic. I was a bit annoyed at that on Wednesday night, which muted the emotional impact. On rewatch, the episode hit a lot harder. It took me a while to match the quietness and the slower pace so I didn’t miss the subtle emotional reactions that were very much there, just not broadcast loudly. On rewatch, Jared and Jensen’s brilliant acting blew me away. They did so much with so little. SO MUCH.

I also appreciated the directing more the second time around, especially as these last scenes play out. Things seem to almost happen in slow motion, like time itself has slowed down with the gravity of what’s happening.

Rowena has the bomb, so what now?

They need someone to get close to Amara – someone with a personal connection.

All heads turn to Dean. It’s clear that, despite what we all expected, it has to be him.

But he’s not going to be carrying the bomb; he IS the bomb.

Oh. OH.

The realization sinks in gradually, for me and for Sam and Dean. Onscreen, the familiar notes of the brothers’ theme starts playing as the Winchesters realize what this means. I can’t hear that music without getting choked up, and now it’s playing because one of the Winchesters is going to die and leave the other behind. And that? That is so not okay.

Dean looks up, fighting to stay calm, tears in his eyes. And he nods, big damn hero that he is.

11.23 soul bomb dean real determ

Okay

Okay

Dean: Okay.

Sam can’t say a word, but he doesn’t have to. Jared puts all the pain and horror and grief and protest into Sam’s eyes, into the devastated expression on his face. The writers don’t give him any lines, and only a few seconds of screen time, but he does so fucking much with it. My heart is aching for Sam already.

11.23 sam

The brothers say goodbye to their mother, a heart to heart over her grave. (I had unfortunately been a little bit spoiled for Mary being a part of this, so that interfered with the impact – I should know better than to get on twitter when I’m watching with the west coast!) On second viewing, though, this scene made me tear up even more.

Sam: Dean, you don’t have to do this.

Dean: Course I do. I just have to get close. I can do that. I can do that.

11.23 xx mary grave

You can hear Sam’s desperation; he knows that Dean in fact does have to do this, that there’s no other way, but he’s still in shock and denial, can’t wrap his head around it. He wants to cling to some illogical hope that there’s another way, even as he knows damn right well there isn’t.

And Dean. All season, Dean was terrified that he wasn’t enough. That he didn’t have it in him to kill Amara; that when the time came, he wouldn’t be able to step up. As afraid as he is to die, and as much as it kills him knowing what this will do to Sam, I think he’s proud that when push came to shove, he was able to do this. It’s who he is; who he needs to be.

Sam: If this works, if that bomb goes off…

Dean: I know.

Sam puts his hand on Mary’s grave as they leave, plants a kiss there.

11.23 xx sam mary grave kiss

And then there are goodbyes. The second time I watched, I was already crying, the slow pace working for me this time. Cas throws his arms around Dean and hugs him tight.

Cas: I could go with you…

Dean: No. I have to do this alone.

As always, Dean is thinking about Sam.

Dean: If this…when this works, Sam’s gonna be a mess. Look out for him.

11.23 xx dean cas hug

11.23 xx dean cas hug 2

Cas promises, while I sob some more. The brothers’ theme starts to play again, and Dean tries for smartass one more time, planning his own funeral.

Sam: (choked up) Done.

Dean gets serious then, as he looks around, his mother’s gravestone in the background.

Dean: My ashes…I like it here.

And then he gets out his keys.

11.23 hug keys

And I get out a whole handful of tissues, because that just brought back all those other times that Dean was faced with dying. That’s how you know Dean Winchester is really gone – he gives away his Baby. Once again, it’s a quiet scene, just a small action, but it carries so much meaning. So much pain.

Dean walks toward Sam, and here’s where once again Jared is absolutely brilliant. Sam can’t even look at him. He’s standing stiffly, not saying anything, but he’s shaking his head. It’s subtle, I missed the importance of it the first time, but he’s saying nononononono as though if he protests it enough, it won’t happen. It’s like the personification of denial, and it rings so true, it feels so real – it gets me right in the heart, guts me. I can FEEL Sam’s grief, his agony, the way he’s just barely holding it together.

11.23 hug 2

11.23 hug 3

Dean can feel it too.

Dean: Come on, you know the drill. No chick flick moments.

Ohgod. The purposeful call back to Season 1, as they were just getting to be brothers again, split me open. I can’t do it either, I’m in denial just like Sam. I can’t see them separated, can’t see them lose each other. Not again!

Sam struggles, visibly. And then, because he’s a Big. Damn. Hero. Because he’s Sam Fucking Winchester, he pulls it together. He gives his brother what he needs – Sam standing up and looking strong.

Sam: You love chick flicks.

It breaks the barrier between them, lets them connect the way they need to in order to say goodbye.

Dean: Yeah I do. Come here.

11.23 hug 4

11.23 hug 6

11.23 hug 8

He pulls Sam into a hug that I would usually call an epic brother hug, but in this case I’m so distraught that I just sort of cling to watching it the same way they’re clinging to each other. Sam buries his face in his big brother’s shoulder, and suddenly even though he’s 6’4” he’s so much the little brother again. It hits me, violently and horribly, that he won’t be okay – that he needs his big brother, now and always. Petals are falling around them and it’s strangely beautiful, and I remember that in real life Jared was picking them out of Jensen’s hair. But onscreen, it’s a moment of heartbreak.

Dean goes. The soul bomb inside him, he goes off to save the world.

On first watch, I was gobsmacked that Sam didn’t either try to stop him or insist on going with him. That’s what I wanted to happen, and that’s what I think Sam would desperately want to do. But on second viewing, I guess it had to be that way. Cas asked the question about coming along, and Dean categorically answered no, saying he had to do this alone. If it was to be the ruse of Dean offering to become one with Amara, clearly no one could be with him. And I think they both knew there was no other way – it was like in ‘Swan Song’, when Dean had to let Sam do what he needed to do in order to save the world.

And this time was just as devastating.

That was my favorite scene, and what happened after sort of paled in emotional impact. Dean confronts Amara in the garden and she’s wise to him, but Dean demonstrates the sort of smarts that he has that people don’t always recognize. He senses her ambivalence, and knows that Chuck still loves his sister and didn’t want to harm her.

He knows because these are siblings we’re talking about, and Dean knows a thing or two about that. He tells Amara how it is with him and Sam – that they’ve had more than their fair share of fights, but they always work it out. Because they’re family.

Dean: I need him. He needs me. When everything goes to crap, that’s all you’ve got.

The real beauty of this episode didn’t come clear to me until my second watching, when we got to this point. This is Supernatural he’s talking about. This is what the Show is about, has always been about, will always be about.

Dean: You simply need your brother. You don’t want to be alone.

Once again, that’s the Show I love talking.

Dean gets through to Amara (Emily Swallow did a fabulous job of conveying her sadness and hurt as she begins to realize how much she loves and misses her brother). She zaps Chuck up to the garden, and they air their differences and confess that they still love each other.

11.23 xx chuck amara hold hands

Amara: I hated you for needing something else, something that wasn’t me.

[Still the Show. Benny….Amelia…Stanford….Ruby… all the things that have come between the brothers.]

Amara: I wish that we could just be family again.

It’s another call back to lines in the early seasons, when I was just falling in love with these brothers and this show. When that was the driving force for Sam and Dean, and the reason this Show pulled me down the rabbit hole and has never let me go. It’s what Sam and Dean have said to each other, more than once, throughout the eleven seasons of the Show.

I almost missed it on first viewing, but this episode is all about Supernatural. Amara and Chuck, Sam and Dean, they’re the same. We’ve known that the Winchesters’ journey is reflected in God and the Darkness since the parallel was established early in the season, but it all comes full circle in the season finale.

Amara heals Chuck; Chuck heals Dean. And Show finds a way not to kill God, but to take him off the playing board once again and put the responsibility for ‘saving people, hunting things’ right back on the Winchesters.

Dean: What about us? What about Earth?

Chuck: It will be fine. It’s got you. And Sam.

11.23 xx end world has d s

Yep. That’s my Show all right.

Hand in hand, Chuck and Amara smoke out, and I couldn’t help seeing the tendrils of black and white smoke as entwined souls – much like soulmates, right? (Also great VFX once again).

11.23 xx soul bond

Before Amara goes off for their family meeting, she thanks Dean and tells him she wants to give him what he most wants too.

The scene I disliked the most was the one occurring simultaneously in the bar where Sam, Cas, Chuck, Crowley and Rowena go, after Dean has headed out to bomb Amara. I can interpret it that Sam is in shock, I suppose, or in denial since they don’t know yet if the soul bomb will actually work, but everything seems too ‘normal’. Dean is facing his death, and Sam is getting Chuck a glass of water? It didn’t sit right; I wish we’d seen more of him being distraught, or just being shut down, or something. When the sun came out, he did seem to react for the first time.

Rowena: He bloody did it.

Cas: And Dean?

Sam looks devastated then, for the first time. Perhaps it was denial, right up to the very second he saw the sun begin to shine again. Then the reality hit him.

11.23 sam 5

The last two scenes set up the cliffhanger for Season 12. The British lady that I don’t like confronts Sam in the bunker, zapping Cas out of there and demeaning the Winchesters before announcing that she’s taking him in. I get the feeling that Sam didn’t even care – the way he answered her question about Dean gave me chills, it was so frozen.

Toni: Where’s Dean?

Sam: Dead.

11.23 xx sam end not care

Me: Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.

I’m not sure Sam really cared that she shot him. His brother was gone, and I think part of Sam wanted to follow. But I cared – I screamed out loud in fact. Didn’t entirely see that one coming. And no, I don’t like this woman one bit. Not sure I’m a fan of the story line and where it’s going either – are we starting out S12 with the brothers separated again?? After I loved S11 for keeping them together?? Argh.

Being semi-spoiled messed with the impact the very last scene should have had, as Dean stumbles upon Mary Winchester (still in the white nightgown that she died in). I’m mad at myself for getting spoiled, because I would have loved to experience that moment. Damn you twitter!

Dean: Mom?

11.23 xx mom

Mom?

Mom?

Fade to black.

I’ve been upset and worried for the past few weeks about where the Show is going and how it will recover from so many major losses. Robbie Thompson, Jenny Klein, Nicole Baer. Three of my very favorite people on the Show. Two writers who really ‘get it’. Robbie has written many of my favorite episodes in the past few seasons, and losing him feels like a punch in the stomach. All those stories I thought I’d get from him, now I won’t. On top of the sadness, I wondered if there were enough people left who do ‘get it’. Would the new writers? The new showrunner?

I feel a little better after the second viewing of the finale. I see what you did there, Andrew Dabb. And I like it. The love of two siblings once again has saved the world. I love the symmetry, the quiet truth of it, the unexpected peacefulness of the resolution.

So now we wait. We’ve survived eleven Hellatus summers, I guess we can survive one more. We’ll do our part here – stay tuned for lots of interviews and con coverage, including JiBcon coming up!

Pretty caps by the talented @kayb625!

–Lynn
And for some Hellatus reading, check out our
books Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls and Fan
Phenomena Supernatural on amazon! Links on
The home page here.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 28, 2016 4:47 am

    I actually liked the switch up from the usual violent, heartwrenching, will so and so survive finales to this one. We aren’t sure Sam was actually shot, she may have winged him, would be pointless to attempt to kill him as her orders were to bring him in. I think it was more of a warning shot. I noticed you may have missed a clue about Tuni, her gun, rewatch it and notice how similar it is to Dean’s. I think they may be delving more into Campbell history with the return for however long of Mary.

    Tuni’s lines were interesting, how the MOL is conservative, sits back etc. which is what Magnus hated about them. The low opinion of hunters as well. I think Tuni is going to turn out to be a character with which we learn a lot more about the MOL and the family history of the Campbells. I think that was always an unexplored topic, even though Samuel was in a lot of season 6. The Campbell’s had tricks up their sleeve that even Bobby didn’t know about, like the cure for vampirism, which could mean they have MOL heritage.

    I think this was a natural progression for how the Boys were getting over their differences over the last season and Sam’s insistence that they try to find other ways of doing things. Dean could have very easily chosen to just detonate the soul bomb, but he channeled Sam a bit by tapping into the emotional side of things and talking it out and Sam tapped a bit into Dean’s never say die attitude. The Boys have matured, their isn’t the big brother-little brother dynamic like there was in the earlier seasons. They are on the same footing now.

    I think Dabb has some seriously sneaky tricks up his sleeve for Season 12 and we may finally see the end of the angel, demon overarching story and pivot to something entirely new. I have seen nothing but compliments about Dabb from all the writers, current and retired, he’s been with the show a long time and written some amazing eps. Jared and Jensen have gone out of their way to try to calm the fans in the last few cons, reassuring them that the showrunner change and loss of writers will not diminish the final product.

    Remember that in the era before social media, when people weren’t aware that writers were coming and going that we didn’t get so attached to them as we do now, unless you really paid attention to the industry. Writers have come and gone since the inception of the show and the overall quality has not diminished. I think we are in good hands but may be in for a helluva a ride.

    • K-Girl permalink
      May 28, 2016 1:25 pm

      I am glad I wasn’t the only one to notice the gun similarity!

    • May 29, 2016 2:23 pm

      Just one thing. The Campbells were all hunters. The Winchesters were the MOL legacies…Henry had told the boys that he was supposed to teach his son as his father taught him and his father’s father taught him. The Winchesters and the Campbells, John and Mary, were united by Heaven. Sam and Dean had to be born. MoL and Hunters were united as one with John and Mary. Samuel had told Sam or Dean or both that the Campbells have been around since the pilgrims. I’m not sure which of the family history the boys might learn about….Campbells, Winchesters or hopefully both?????

      I’m not sure what to make of Lady B yet….her goodbye to her son was very reminiscent of Henry’s goodbye to John. I know she had pictures on her wall, but they weren’t just of Sam and Dean….they were of all the Campbells/Winchesters? So I really started to wonder if her wall is more MOL related or more of a personal interest in this family.

      When she got the call to either bring in or kill the Winchesters, I forgot what it was….her reaction was a bit questionable. She seemed bothered really. She said….with what’s going on right now, are you sure you want to waste our resources? or something like that…and it made me think…what resources? does she really care about the jet fuel for the trip to America and back and two bullets? or was she in fact referring to our boys as resources. Plus the orders to kill the boys when they were doing everything they could to stop what was about to happen? Did these MOL want it stopped? Are all MOL good? Are there more out there like Cuthbert Sinclair who have allowed this great power to go their heads and declare themselves the be all, know all, and self appointed king who decides the fate of the world?

      I do think Sam provoked her to shoot. Sam knows better than to approach a person with a gun in such a manner. Sam believing his brother dead, this was him wanting out. Twice Dean tried to kill himself when he thought Sam died or was dying….I have no doubt that Sam would do the same.

      I don’t think she killed Sam. I’m not even sure if she winged him. I definitely and I could be wrong, but I definitely don’t think, whether she really shot him or just winged him, that she is capable of getting a 6 ft 4 man of about 200 plus lbs of muscle up the bunker stairs, into a car, and up the airplane stairs. She was alone. And that’s another thing….this woman flies all the way from England, alone, and thinks she’s going to be able to bring back the Winchesters? She does have their picture on the wall…she knows how big they are…

      then maybe it was a kill mission. still, none of it feels right to me. I don’t think the boys will be separated though….if anything…I can see Lady B wanting to warn Sam and the story picking up from there…..

  2. May 28, 2016 5:33 am

    This is one of my favorites season endings in a long time. Yes, the brothers are separated and poor Sam doesn’t yet know that Dean survived, but they’re both alive and on earth (I think Dean is at the cemetery or in Kansas near where Mary died). Neither brother is sick or marked or infected or soulless . . . . they’re just . . . brothers.
    I have to confess that poor Sam is in the sweetspot for vicarious hurt comfort –WE know that Dean is OK, but Sammy doesn’t. If he can just mange to not get himself killed until Dean gets cell service again . . . .

    I can’t help it — ultimately I didn’t like the Amara (God’s Sister) & God’s storyline. But its over and I’m looking forward to S12.

    I already don’t like the new character – and not in a good love to hate kinda way. She reminds me too much of Bella already. hope the Winchesters tell the British MOL to eff off. If the Winchesters offend the MOL’s sensibilities while they do it, so much the better.

    I’m already – like ‘Where you guys been? YOU failed to put down the Frankensteins.’ I already hate them and hope the WINchesters send Lady Toni packing.

  3. May 28, 2016 5:38 am

    I didn’t fully appreciated the episode my first watch either. I was expecting death and destruction but what we got was very different. Rewatching it and really savoring each scene made me appreciate the episode much more.

  4. anafraserlallybroch permalink
    May 28, 2016 6:01 am

    Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.

  5. May 28, 2016 8:27 am

    There are so many fanfic writers out there that can bring out the voices from Dean and Sam in their storys so amazingly well… So, I am positive that the new writers on the show can pull the same.

    It was a quiet finale. But it had a big emotional impact. AND we got an epic brother hug after 3? seasons. Now we have to wait.

    But, the shoot at the end. Chuck said the world has Dean and Sam in it. Yeah, but for how long. I dont know how I would react if Sam would look at a bullet wound in his stomach and would be ok as if nothing had happened. So we would see what Chuck meant. He made them immortal or harder to kill. Then again, this would be a little “boring” after a while for the viewers.

    And now we wait…

    • editorburns permalink
      June 1, 2016 3:29 am

      As a friend and fellow fanfic writer said to me as we discussed this episode, “Holy shit! Dean and Sam are JESUS, now!”

      Well…yes, I guess so. Sorta kinda. Holy…um…yeah.

      You know, I always wished someone had followed up on Cas’ quiet, reverent comment, as he looked at the Supernatural books during the episode where we first meet Chuck: “Someday, these will be known as the Winchester Gospels.” But the thread was never continued.

      Until maybe now.

      Sam and Dean are THE “saviors”, sent to save the world a second/third…however many more times. Chuck didn’t exactly make the Winchesters immortal or harder to kill, he made them his *sons*. Like…Jesus. In a way. No, they won’t be the messengers of grace and love, and they will never call Chuck “Father” (though I imagine Dean might have other, not very nice names for him. Oy.) But, they’re certainly able to resurrect (as we’ve seen) and definitely able to save the world numerous times. I think you, SPN Vienna, and my fan-fic friend may be right. Holy…wow!

      Pretty damn awesome.

  6. Susan permalink
    May 28, 2016 2:08 pm

    Nice recap, as always, Lynn. I love the parallels this show is so good at bringing us throughout these eleven seasons. I admit to thinking about Buffy and the Watchers Council the moment we notice that the very British Toni has the MoL symbol on a door and a wall with the brothers’ history on it. I mentioned the Watchers Council on FB and a friend said, “Oh, yes, can Giles be a part of this?” I thought wow, that would be the most epic crossover ever!

    With all that has gone down, we see that the MoL is not actually extinct but have been watching the Winchesters for a long time, and the old guard doesn’t seem to share Chuck’s confidence that the world is a better place with our boys in it.

    When Chuck said that Earth would be fine because it had Dean and Sam, I harkened back to Henry’s words as he lay dying, “I’m sorry I judged you two so harshly for being hunters. I should have known better….You’re also Winchesters. As long as we’re alive, there’s always hope.”

    I felt that Sam’s “We both know you’re not going to shoot” remark was more in character with something Dean might’ve said, and I wondered if Sam said that thinking that he might still be under Chuck’s protection or as my friend Mandy says, thinking Dean gone, he decided to channel his brother a bit, or as you say, Lynn, maybe he did not care anymore because he thinks Dean is dead.

    All in all, season eleven is one for the books.

    As usual, it is going to be a long summer filled with suspense and speculation

  7. KatieH permalink
    May 28, 2016 2:22 pm

    I agree with most of what you said and I’m seemingly in the minority of those who did like Amara. I liked how she grew and learned over the season. You could see her conflict so clearly and her hurt and sense of betrayal so need for revenge. I loved how she was finally able to convey her confusion to Dean who helped her find family and live again.
    I liked the slow pace for most of it. The acceptance by Dean and Sam of what they must do-Jared was superb in showing without words his pain. I was spoiled weeks ago for the Mary twist by someone who had seen her filming and ‘shared’ it. Disappointing so very anti-climactic. Not sure where they can go with that or if it will work.
    I DONT like the English woman. Too stereotypical of an uptight Brit not getting what the Winchesters have done (a la Buffy). Not really very English either. I hope it’s dealt with quickly and she goes back to her son. Cold fish that she was to him.
    Yes it’s good to have tension that Sam doesn’t know Dean is ok and they need to be reunited but not that way.
    I remain optimistic. Some great writers have gone but the show runners know the series well and this season has for the most part taken a turn for the better.
    I did see one tweet asking season 12 be all MotW-wouldn’t that be fun!

  8. Kathy permalink
    May 28, 2016 4:28 pm

    Your review brought tears to my eyes, especially when you wrote about your favorite sceneb (mine too! The music ugh.) And everyone’s thoughts after, especially the first one about the writers and social media, were excellent.
    What I found amazing, Lynn, is you didn’t see the parallels eariler. But then again, that is some of the problem. It’s been 11 seasons, that’s 11 years people. While we a fans get to watch the show over and over again, maybe, we have forgotten that the boys have grown up. What was cute and adorable when they were in their twenties, is kind of rediculous as a thirty-plus year-old. (Although Jared and Jensen have matured beautifully.) Sam has learned some hard lessons and had grown up while Dean still has his battle with never having a childhood. I had thought Dean was “broken” all season and Sam was there allowing Dean to heal. Dean finally coming to realize that Sam can be trusted again (and still loves him despite his flaws.) So the relationship between Dean and Amara (the Darkness) became perfectly clear to me when Chuck said she was his older sibling. (I think a lightbulb popped up above my head.)
    So in Amara’s final dialog, all I heard was Dean. I think I even copied the words down in my Facebook group and added a few Dean-isms or Winchester phases to clarify. So with Dean talking it out with Amara, he has now come to terms about his our place within the family dymantics. Oh he will always be there to protect Sammy, but the apron string has gotten a lot longer. (Smile)
    So going into the finale, I had the biblical Rapture in my head and it sort of played out. I new Dean was going be sacrificed and Sam was going to be left behind. And I was really hoping we would see the end of the angels and demons battles. I agree about the Casifer story arc, but then again it was said Lucifier was never ment to be the bad guy.(Plus he has his own show now so we better let that go since he films across the lot from Supernatural.) I also liked the slower pace because all the other shows have action first, dialog second — let’s build a storyline around a great fight scene. Yes, Supernatural was once a kill-monsters show, but it was the relationship and dialog that created the action.
    As for the cliff-hangers, I did not see any spoilers about Mary but I did about Toni. That being said, when Amara held up the photo of Dean and Mary in the prior episode, I knew Mary would come back into play some how so Mary reappearing was not as big of a shock as it could have been. I think Dean and Mary are in ‘The Empty’ and will work to get out of it — hence the cute foreplay between Crowley and Billie (who I think is Death) an Dean not getting cellphone service. Mary was missing from Heaven back in the day and she did make a deal with Yellow-eyed Demon so if our current show runner is the SPN historian everyone says he is, then I am going to be a very happy fan. (Dabb has written some pretty good back stories in comic book form, just a FYI).
    My theory for Toni, I knew when the actress was introduced that the MOL would come back to play so none of that is a surprise. I do think she shot Sam, and I think Sam wanted her to do so. And as uptight as she appears, Sam is going to work with her and change her mind about the Winchester legacy. The MOL opens a whole bunch of MOW possibilties. Plus Dean will get to talk with Mary and come to terms about his greatest wish that his mom never died. Plus we might get that glimps into the Campbell side of the family. Sure the brothers might be apart a little bit at the beginning of season 12, but a little drama makes for a good story.
    Wow, didn’t realize I wrote a novel. Thanks for letting me play in your sandbox.

  9. Ankita Anjali permalink
    May 28, 2016 5:48 pm

    First I want to thank you for sharing this article with us. It’s very nice.
    I want to share some of my views on this episode. I love this episode. One of the reason is that the world was saved by the main theme of the show, ie love and is amily. This episode taught that love can conquer anything. Nothing is impossible for love. Love has four letters so has hate, but it is much more powerful than hate.
    Than the next theme is family. Family is everything. From their first moments of life, children depend on parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs. We may show sometimes anger towards family but it is family which is always there for us.
    There are many moments in the show which touch my heart. Like one the moment between brothers when they are saying goodbye. They are not seeing in each other eyes because they know the moment they saw into each other eyes they would have break, they wouldn’t been able to do that. And when they had tears in their eyes I was literally crying. It was like I was feeling their pain.
    I want to hats off to Jared and Jensen for giving life to our beautiful boys Sam and Dean.

  10. SherriLynn permalink
    May 28, 2016 8:11 pm

    I love reading your reviews, it always opens my eyes to maybe something, some small detail I missed. I’ve already watched this one multiple times (like every episode made) and it still is tearing my heart out. The scene where Dean realizes he has to be the bomb and when he and Sam are saying goodbye in the cemetery. I was clutching my Sam/Dean pillow with one hand and tissue in the other. When that woman pulled the trigger, I was completely ticked and saddened at the same time. Think after all these years I would be used to this…yeah right. I had been somewhat spoiled too about Mary making an appearance, but was not expecting how they did it. It does leave the door open in several ways when things pick up again.

    Obviously hellatus is going to drag,as always, til Season 12 appears.

  11. May 28, 2016 10:22 pm

    Really enjoyed the review! Yes, it was interesting that the finale carried a different sort of suspense and didn’t feel as “urgent” to me as others, though the stakes were high with a totalpocalpse.

    Part of the issue is that world-ending stakes don’t work as well with a continuing series that has been on this long. Real world, we know that the show continues and they’re not going to set season 12 on Asgard, and Dean isn’t going to die (again, that is) so for viewers with a Doylist perspective… (this is my problem, that I can’t come at the story from in-universe, I guess. I don’t know how much of the general audience thinks that way.) So I’m happy to see MoL antagonists next year instead of otherworldly ones.

    I appreciate that Andrew Dabb chose not to kill characters off in the finale, because to me that has become such a cheap way to prompt an emotional response; even Lucifer is probably not dead (maybe?) and has experienced a measure of growth over the last few episodes that means he could actually become some sort of an ally in case of desperate circumstances (but Castiel is NOT going to open himself up to that torment again, so he’d better envessel himself differently). Likewise, I liked that the Veil souls were FINALLY wrapped up because that’s been nagging at me for two years! Kevin got his upgrade and though the souls used in the “bomb” bothered me — why did the trapped souls have to be sacrificed? …though I suppose that if creation had ended there wouldn’t be a heaven left anyway. In the Geeks of Doom review, they suggest that this “peaceful finale” might have been because they weren’t sure of renewal. I don’t think that’s the case, but it’s the end of Carver’s influence, I suppose, so ends were wrapped up.

    I liked that Dean acknowledged Cas’ sacrifice. No, it wasn’t a good move, but I appreciated the parallel of Cas bearing a bomb inside for most of the season as a last resort too; it wasn’t his fault that Lucifer didn’t work as a weapon (as Dean’s wasn’t going to either, since Amara sensed what he was up to, and all of the Hands of God had failed, and…God had failed.) Talking/understanding > weapons, was interesting.)

    One thing that bothered me is the way she lured him with peace/”nothingness,” while Dean’s life hasn’t been quite enough of a shambles lately (except for fighting the Darkness, so thanks, Darkness) for him to welcome any more nothingness than an occasional night of getting wasted. Maybe if Sam had been more badly injured in Red Meat, and Dean had thought Cas was doomed for certain, the call of Amara’s void would have had more weight than “I just can’t kill her for some reason; it’s the Mark!”

    (I could do without Sam being sick or suffering ala the trials aftermath though — It’s been done.) If he starts doing more smart, MoL and maaaaybe, spell-stuff though…I’d totally be into that next season. And please, show, please stop throwing Sam, and other people, into walls.

    Cas, in this episode, refers to “the angels” and it has a note of “those guys,” not “my guys.” They’re really not his brothers and sisters any more…the Winchesters are the side he’s now picked for good. And frankly, with Metatron’s death, the angels should be off the chessboard for a while, doing their thing. The demons have proven themselves to be mostly worthless to Crowley as well, and god knows the Winchesters “interesting lives” provide more of a diversion for him than his own (sorta) kind, as they do for Castiel.

    The cliffhanger appeals to me; it’s back to human scale, with the team all on the same side once they’re able to determine what’s up. What does Mary remember? (I am utterly baffled by the Mary thing.) What will Dean find when he gets back to the Bunker? We know Sam won’t die because Red Meat proves he can handle a bullet, heh, and we’ve got a whole season coming up, but did the bullet even hit? Was Castiel banished to the MoL chapter’s captivity…because he’s clearly on the side of the most wanted Winchesters? We’ll see.

    Sorry, I wrote a book in here.

  12. Heather Loughney permalink
    May 29, 2016 1:28 am

    Oh Lynn. Oh Dean. Oh Sam. Oh God. The finale was so different from what I was expecting and that’s due to some amazing acting. Jensen and Jared took a script that could have come off as sappy and gave it real emotions and moments that were deep felt.

    We always expect the finale to be full of twists and to wrench our hearts all over and I applaud Dabb for taking the reins in a great way. We’ll done Andrew.

    I’ve conjectured a lot over the final moments of the ep, and I find myself wondering if Dean is in a separate reality with Mary? And did Sam really get shot or did she only shoot to frighten? And where will God disappear to this time?? We have all summer to ponder and think and relive the feels of the ep. After only two viewings I can tell there are more viewings to come. Season 12 is full of questions and I for one can’t wait to see where Show takes us next!

  13. May 29, 2016 3:02 am

    KaitieH said: “I already don’t like the new character – and not in a good love to hate kinda way. She reminds me too much of Bella already. hope the Winchesters tell the British MOL to eff off. If the Winchesters offend the MOL’s sensibilities while they do it, so much the better.
    I’m already – like ‘Where you guys been? YOU failed to put down the Frankensteins.’ I already hate them and hope the WINchesters send Lady Toni packing.”

    I completely agree with this. Heck, I was annoyed with the first scene she was in. All I could think was that she was stealing precious time away from the “real” plot of the show. Really, where have the MOL been with all the crap that’s been happening? And where were these European MOL guys/gals been when Abbadon took down Henry’s chapter. Yeah, she definitely struck me as Bella 2.0, with even less charm. I don’t care that she’s got a little boy, yawn.

    Loved the review, it very much put to words many of my thoughts. Even more so when I re-watched. I also spotted even more details the second time around.

  14. May 29, 2016 3:09 am

    To me, this episode had a vibe of S4 finale. Slow paced, like waiting for some undefined threat looming in the air to materialize. Works for me. Dean’s plans to drink through the apocalypse also brought me back, to S7 premiere, when he says he’s gonna act like the world is gonna explode, because it is. So, I really didnt find the finale unfit or anticlimatic at all. I’ve said it before, too, I found Amara to be a very worthy big bad. She was powerful and she carried such rage inside that made her dangerous. Its not about how much harm she did, but actually of what she was capable of. Someone who can swat Lucifer like a fly, torture him and leave God himself in an agonizing state is someone to be afraid of. In the end, she turned out to be nothing more than a lonely, misunderstood creature, seeking for love. Like Crowley… now I come to think of it. Anyhow, Dean watching Dr. Phil paid off once again cause he managed to see right through her and defuse the whole thing, instead of blowing away with her. So sibling love gets to save the day -once again- and that makes me happy. Heartbreaking scenes went right to my heart. Jared was incredible conveying Sam’s desolation, his pain and denial and impotence, all that you could see without him saying a word. Of course, in the middle of all that emotionally intense moments, God dying, the sun fading away, Supernatural finds the place and the time for Rowena to call God “Charles” and share stories about their kids, for Billie the reaper to flirt with Crowley, for Dean to admit he likes chick flicks and mock Rowena’s accent! Top moment, that epic brother hug. I cant put into words what those hugs do to me, and now I read a post of someone saying it looks like Sam whispered something in Dean’s shoulder and it totally seems that way, so now I wanna know what was that Sam said to his brother… and to wrap this up cause I already spoke too much, I’ll say I should have seen that Toni girl was bad news from the pictures in her wall, but I innocently thought she was coming to help. I dont think Sam is dead, but he will be gone when Dean comes back, with Mary, but Cas will resurface soon enough and fill Dean in that something went wrong so they can go find him. I dont know if they are planning for Mary to stay for long but if she’s not, I hope they find a way for her to leave peacefully and happily. Losing her all over again, bloody, would be so cruel to the boys, worse than never having had her back. I wanna know what happened to Lucifer. After all, he came to terms with God and helped fight Amara. It would be kind of unfair for him to be caged again -I kind of like Supernatural’s version of him-. I think maybe he’s back running hell so that would mean Crowley is out of the job. He could hang on to his remaining humanity and become an ally too, couldnt he? Anyhow, I loved the finale, right until Sam got shot. October feels like too long a way to go…

  15. Satish permalink
    May 29, 2016 1:03 pm

    I liked this season a lot more than I liked Seasons 8, 9 and 10. But still, this finale left me very much underwhelmed and disappointed.

    At the beginning of the last episode, God was dying, the Sun was dying, the plan to take down Amara had failed and she was going to destroy all creation…the viewers were wondering how were the Winchesters going to get out of this one…But suddenly all these cliffhangers got resolved simply because she just had a change of heart at the end?? What was the point of it all?

    What was the point of having to sit through Amara’s resurrection from a little baby to a small girl to a teenager to the adult woman that she became (which she was in the first episode anyway)? Why couldn’t she have just been an adult woman all along? What was the point of her transformation if it did not lead to anything?

    What was the point of bringing in God? I mean, the episode with God and Metatron was very enjoyable and all, but God didn’t really play much of a role in this season. He had one job…to lock Amara away and he manages to screw that up…Except for a couple of Deus Ex Machina moments where he saves the Winchesters, he does not do much here…

    What was the point of bringing in Lucifer? Again, I loved the episode just before the mid season hiatus where they raise Lucifer…but he really does not do much as far as fighting Amara is concerned. He uses the Hand of God on her and fails. Later, in the penultimate episode, he stabs a weakened Amara with a spear…was Lucifer really required for this? Any run of the mill angel / demon could have done the same…

    I also didn’t like how Lucifer was portrayed as a sullen teenager (just for laughs) in the penultimate episode. I mean, Lucifer is someone that Sam is terrified of. When they raise Lucifer in the cage, Sam is trembling…he is unwilling to look Lucifer in the eye…he has tears falling from his eyes when he gets trapped in the cage with Lucifer. Lucifer is really, really bad news. But, in the penultimate episode, Sam was interacting with Lucifer as if it was an episode of Charles in Charge.

    What was the point of Dean’s supposed closeness with Amara that they kept harping on every episode? It was all simply so that Amara would let Dean get close enough to her to explode the soul bomb? There was no need for this forced intimacy between Dean and Amara…I’m sure the Winchesters would have found some other way to get close to Amara…And he doesn’t get to explode the soul bomb anyway…Talk about a lot of build up for very little payoff…

    What happened to the people and prophet that Amara deliberately killed for no reason? Is God just turning a blind eye to that?

    Also Mary Winchester, really? I mean, this cliffhanger would have had some emotional resonance in Season 1 or 2. But now, after all that had happened, the Winchesters (and the audience) were long over Mary Winchester’s death. No one was asking for Mary Winchester to be back. It looked as if the writers were just throwing in this cliffhanger for the sake of showing something for shock value…Also, since Death was no longer ‘alive’, shouldn’t it have been impossible for Mary Winchester to come back to life?

    Another cliffhanger where Sam is shot…I’m sorry, didn’t we have one of those this season already? Why are they repeating storylines…

    Sorry for the longish rant, but as enjoyable as this season was, I don’t think the finale was well thought out…To me, it felt as if the writers had painted themselves into a corner and resolved the tangled situation by just going for the most convenient, simplest solution possible…But I seem to be in a minority…everyone else seems to have loved this episode…

  16. June 1, 2016 5:05 am

    I’m late to the party here, but I wanted to get in a second viewing before writing anything. And then I wrote a poorly structured book as a response. Oops.

    While this didn’t end with the epic showdown of previous season finales, it didn’t go out with the whimper I feared after the last two episodes. And as silly as this is, “Carry On Wayward Son” starting of with Sully getting punched in the face helped me fall in place for capping this season. There were a few missteps, but not many, and I honestly think that 11 (11?!) seasons in and this was one of the most spectacular seasons, despite not really knowing what to do with the Big Bad. And I have a quiet appreciation for this episode despite feeling that the Amara-Chuck resolution was a bit too quick. Yes, it paralleled the Winchesters nicely, but there was something just too dismissive in the way the show handled Amara. She’s supposed to be one half of the duality – the destruction to the creation – and yet some flowers die and she loses her essential nature. There was some self-preservation in there as she would also blink out of the existence, but maybe I’m just not as enlightened as an all-consuming fog, but if someone locked me away for a few millennia, I’d probably be relatively unlikely to make a twisty smoke monster with them and head off together. As the saying goes, hide me inside the core of a planet once shame on you, hide me inside the core of a planet twice shame on me.

    One of the things I liked is one of the things that Lynn points out as not being satisfactory. (That’s what I love about this blog – we can civilly discuss this). I liked that Cas accepting Lucifer didn’t really go anywhere to solve the problem at hand. Granted, most of us don’t have such extreme examples in our lives, but that sort of brash decision making – the Hail Mary pass, wait, that just seems to be the wrong term entirely in this situation; the Hail Satan pass? – often seems like the only thing we can possibly do at the time. A lot of the time, that doesn’t work out, and we end up digging a bigger hole only to have to crawl out of it later.

    Speaking of Lucifer, where is he? He was expelled from Castiel, but we aren’t sure where he is now and that strikes me as a loose end that’s going to need tying up. He had his heart to heart with Chuck, but Chuck has abandoned us again. Lucifer’s true nature was revealed as not tarnished by the Mark, but rather augmented by it. Lucifer, unless Amara forced him into the cage, is going to be on the prowl and ready pounce.

    Everyone handled the impending end of times in ways that rang true to the characters. Dean reaching for a beer was sad but authentic, but it wasn’t until he started expressing real emotions that we knew how hopeless this is supposed to be. Although, telling someone that they are a Winchester Brother is more or less dooming them. They already have a brother, he may or may not still be in Hell. So, welcome aboard Cas. Make what you will of that.

    Meanwhile, the sun is extinguishing. Obviously, this is bad, as life ends in under ten minutes when sun goes cold, but how are we supposed to get that? This was the brightest lit episode in years. Sam and Dean didn’t have this much sunshine while wearing sunglasses at the lake. If you want to make the sun going out a key point, maybe don’t pick a show that’s been shot primarily at night and in the Canadian fog for a decade.

    The good byes by Mary’s grave were of course awful in the best way, and seeing Dean acknowledge that Sam’s going to be a mess was a tearjerker. Cas following up on it was even better, right up until he was banished by that English lady. I will admit I didn’t think we’d see (or hear) Mary again like that until the very last episode (which of course, will never happen…😉 ) and despite the foreshadowing in the graveyard, her popping up did take me by surprise. I especially find it interesting that Amara gave Dean “what he needs” there – and it wasn’t Sam, it was his mom. Or possibly some vision/hallucination of his mom to get that needed closure. Although if they are in the afterlife and Sam just got shot, I guess an incredibly sad family reunion is entirely possible. And yes, I know that Dean is technically not dead, but if he’s in the afterlife or possibly the Empty, how alive can he really be? He’s Shrodinger’s Winchester.

    It’s great that this season acknowledged that Europe had hunters and Men of Letters, although the logic that WWII forced many collections to be sent to America does make sense. I’m curious how the Men of Letters plot is going to unfold next season. Chuck made two allusions this season to Dean and Sam being important to the Earth is some larger scheme. The Men of Letters clearly don’t know that, know that and either are rightly or wrongly interpreting that as “Off the Winchesters,” or know that and are coming up with their own agenda. While supposedly neutral observers and recorders, we have seen a member go off the rails before. I’m looking at you Cuthbert. Another interesting point here is that English Lady was told to bring the Winchesters in – she doesn’t necessarily know this full agenda. It’s possible that she’ll turn into an ally relatively quickly if she discovers some nefarious Cuthbert-like plot or even some power-hungry throwback to Thuul wanting to use Sam (since Dean in indisposed) and corrupt his greater purpose in Chuck’s plan.

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