My final quick reaction. I've drank a lot of wine, just to make it special (also, I just wanted another glass of wine).
So, I'll do my disclaimer, just to be extra sentimental: I've written this up after drinking a lot of wine and taking very crappy notes. Nothing is meant to be 100% accurate, but I do my best. Don't correct me unless I specifically ask you to. Also, I like to keep things as positive as possible here, so please don't comment unless you can balance your negatives with positives.
And with that, let's get into the reaction... though, I'll do a little spoiler here: I liked it.
But, let's actually go through in order!
We start our episode at 8am, with Dean waking up to a puppy. This is my one problem with this episode. One of the main things I love about Dean is that, like me, he is not a dog person. The fact that the show has decided to make him one in these final two episodes... I will chalk it up to extreme trauma induced dog-loving and forgive him for betraying me, I suppose. If being the last living thing on earth (besides his brother) caused Dean to get attached to a single dog, so be it. If losing his best friend to self-sacrifice after a confessiion of abiding devotion caused Dean to get attached to an extremely needy animal, then so be it. I will forgive him.
Sam is jogging at Deer Lake...uh, I mean, some lovely lake in Kansas (*shifty eyes*). He then takes his shirt off for us one last time (I realize, this is to remind us of the anti-possession tattoo perhaps). Anyway, thank you Sam, for your service ;)
Sam makes breakfast and Dean washes the dishes, then Sam does the laundry... and can I just geek out for a moment that they used a period-appropriate washer?! Listen, I grew up using a wringer washer every summer at my cottage, and I get ridiculously excited whenever I see antique washing machines now.
While Sam cleans the clothes, Dean cleans the guns. Then they look for cases - it's mostly quiet. Dean does, however, find a pie fest - which they go and enjoy. Though Sam misses Castiel and Jack. Dean reminds him that LIVING is what they can do to honour Castiel and Jack, and so that's what Sam does... by getting Dean in the face with a banana cream pie. :)
It's only this far into the episode that we then get the typical teaser-death that usually would come in the first five minutes. It's a home invasion, with the parents murdered (or otherwise "taken out") and the children kidnapped. It's pretty damn dark.
Sam and Dean investigate, using the aliases Singer and Kripke.
It's a case that matches one found in Dad's journal, in the same area. Dean thinks they're tracking evil Mimes! Sam points out that their vampires. VAMPIRE MIMES. The attack was in Akron OH, and they figure next to be hit, if the pattern holds, is Canton, OH (I believe this is Eric Krpike's hometown - so that's also a nice homage.)
Sam and Dean kill them. Me and my friend debate over the commercial whether they had significant proof that they were vampires and not just really messed up humans... but when we come back, the one that Sam shot in the head is still alive, so it's vampires and everything is okay!
They kept him a live in order to find the kids, and threaten him with torture unless he talks. He eventually does.
They go to a barn to get rid of the nest, and Dean wants to finally use his ninja stars, but Sam says no. My friend and I wonder why they're going after a vampire nest at NIGHT, but then I suppose there's the kids to worry about - perhaps time is of the essence.
They rescue the kids, but the vampires surround them and it turns into a fight. Sam gets knocked out and Dean gets pinned. It turns out there's a blast from the past there in the form of Jenny from S1. WOW! That's a call-back. She's there long enough to inform us why it's never a good idea to take the time to make an entrance and be dramatic, because Sam comes to and decapitates her.
Unfortunately, the victory is short-lived, because Dean gets rammed into a metal spike. And this becomes the story of the end of Dean and Sam's lives. Dean knows he's not walking away from this one. He knows he doesn't have long. He asks Sam to stay with him, and for once in his life, he actually does say a proper goodbye.
He's proud of Sam. He's always looked up to him, because he was so smart and never took any crap from Dad... and because Sam's always been stronger than him. He tells Sam about how back when he fetched him from school to find Dad, he stood outside for hours, worried that Sam would turn him away, but that it's always been "you and me". Sam tells him not to leave him. They reverse the lines from the pilot: "I can't do this alone" "Yes you can" "Well, I don't want to"... but Dean tells him to Always Keep Fighting, and that he loves him. Then he asks him to promise him - to tell him that it's okay. So Sam does - "It's okay, you can go now." And Dean does.
Sam holds a hunters funeral with Dean's dog, perhaps still named Miracle.
We then see Sam wake up alone in the aftermath at 8am. He doesn't jog, he just morns... until he goes to Dean's room, and hears the ringing of his phone. There's a guy in Austin who got "Agent Bon Jovi's" number from Donna Hanscum and he's got a weird case where the victim's hearts have been ripped out. Sam says that he's on his way. (It's a great shout-out to Walker being set in Austin too).
We see Sam leave the Bunker with the dog, turning off the lights as he goes, and taking a final look. Personally, I think that he probably never lived there again. As soon as he woke up there alone, I didn't want him there anymore - to live in a giant bunker all alone without his brother. I think it'd be better for him to lock it up again, use it as an elaborate storage facility at most, and get himself a life elsewhere.
(Also, can we just talk for a moment that unless that guy in Austin got Dean's number a week ago - Sam's done the classic Winchester thing of not informing their friends that Dean's kicked it... though, if he needs a couple of days, that's fair.)
Then we flashback to Dean's funeral and this time we follow the smoke, not Sam. Dean's in the afterlife. He's made it to Heaven. He sees Bobby, and it becomes apparent that Heaven has changed, because this isn't a memory that Dean remembers. Bobby confirms this. Jack made changes. Rufus lives five miles down the road with Aretha ("thought she'd have better taste" - and my friend and I laugh a lot, because we realize that Rufus has married Aretha Franklin, and we love it). Mary and John are "over yonder". There aren't walls in heaven anymore, no greatest hits... just people being together again. Dean marvels at the changes, and Bobby fixes part of last episode with me by including the line "Cas helped" when he talks about the changes Jack made - which means that Jack DID rescue his dad from the Empty. Yay!
Bobby tells Dean that time works differently in heaven, so Sam will be along in due time. Dean sees the Impala, and decides to go for drive.. and we see that they've been sitting outside Harvelle's Roadhouse while they had their talk.
It's NOW that we get Carry On My Wayward Son (and it's also now that I realize it didn't play over the "previously" like usual). It plays while we flash between Dean taking his drive, and Sam living... Sam has a kid, Sam raises his kid, who he names Dean, and we see his partner blurry in the background, but the kid has the same colouring as Eileen and that's good enough for me to make that canon in my head. We see Sam was able, at least in part, to balance his life - he has a nice house, a good kid, and his kid has an anti-possession tattoo for good measure.
We see Sam miss Dean his whole life, but he still lives it. And in the end, his son is able to say "It's okay, you can go now" and Sam does... peacefully with his loved one by his side, just the way Dean did.
And the thing is, I'm not even mad that Dean died young... yes, I know that at one point Dean did crave a normal life just as much as Sam... but Dean was also always mentally prepared to die young, and after things didn't work out with Lisa and Ben, I think, for better or for worse, he was more content to go out swinging instead. Whereas, I don't think Sam was ever prepared to die young, to die in a fight. I think Sam was happy to hunt as long as Dean was with him, but if Dean wasn't with him....or if Dean didn't die with him... I don't think Sam was prepared to die young. I mean, I know he technically DID once or twice, but I don't think he was quiet upset about it. Whereas I think Dean has long made peace with the idea (again, for better or for worse).
Dean stops at a bridge in his dream and gets out to look at the river. And he feels Sam arrive, before he turns to see him. Sam is dressed "young" like he's the kid that Dean picked up from school, only he's obviously the age he was when Dean last saw him. It's a nice marriage of two ages to make an "eternal" age.
And we end with a brother hug.
I wasn't prepared for the thank you to the fans at the very end, which we fade back into after the initial credits. The episode made my friend cry, and I probably would have too, if I weren't at my friend's house. Instead, I went into the kitchen to pour myself another glass of wine and ended up knocking the empty glass off the counter and breaking it and then nearly crying about that, because if there's one thing I love to do, it's displacing my emotions. Thankfully, it wasn't a beloved wine glass and it's the first one I've broken in the whole 9 years of me drinking at my friend's house, so it was all forgiven and quite okay. I got a new glass and enjoyed my third generous glass.
Anyway, as I said - I like the ending... it was a kind of reversal of the S5 ending, one that's sweet instead of bittersweet. Sam got to have the normal life this time, and Dean died young... and it didn't remain a tragedy for long, because thanks to Sam and Dean's adventures, they raised God and God made sure that they got to be reunited in Heaven, and not only that, but even if we couldn't see it, there was the implied eventual reunification with Cas.
I'm sure there are Destiel shippers who are mad that we didn't see that reunification, that we didn't see Dean ever address, or even make mention, of Cas' final words to him... and I'm sure there are people on the other side of that fence who are happy that they didn't, or possibly even annoyed that Dean didn't address it to shut-it-down. But personally, I like the fact that they kept Dean as ambiguous as he's always been... I like the fact that the "Is Dean Bi?" argument can continue to rage within fandom for all eternity. Yes, shows are too chicken-shit to take a "we thought he was straight" male character and show him falling in love with man... but also, personally, as someone in the queer community myself, I actually really enjoy when shows leave characters open for interpretation... and other queers can be mad at me for it until the cows come home, but I just gotta be honest here. I think fanfic authors do it 100% better anyway, so I prefer the lacuna and open interpretations left in the canon so that fanfic authors can take that ball and run with it in whatever direction they choose, and I can enjoy 100,000 possible stories instead of just one that's been set in stone.
I think that's what I liked about this ending. Yes, we saw the end of Sam and Dean... but did we? Sam and Dean are still souls in their universe... they're still "living" even if it's just living in heaven. And in the meantime, we get a happy ending where Sam can marry Eileen and have a good-looking kiddo. We have Dean reuniting with ALL of his loved ones, and getting to spend eternity with his brother, just like he always wanted. We get Cas back in his rightful place in Heaven too, rather than stuck in an abyss for all eternity just because he dared fall in love with humanity and one or two Winchesters along the way.
It's a good ending. After I knew I wasn't going to get MY ending, I at least wanted an ending that would make for great fanfiction, and I think this one does.
This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/592150.html.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, but if you didn't, please remember my positivity rule - I know I kind of broke it myself last week, but I'm back on the positivity train tonight.
Supernatural has meant a lot to me over the years. I met the friend that I spend tonight with at a Supernatural convention in 2010... and it was through her that I met half my friends in this city. Supernatural also reintroduced me to my love of writing, and I've written two first drafts of two novels since then... one of which is actually halfway decent, and also 160k words, and one of these days I may actually get it edited.
It's also given me immensely fun (for me) projects over the years. And while I know that I'm a whole year behind on my clothing catalogue, I plan to have the S15 Timeline up on the weekend if I can.
It's been fun.
I will see you back here for rewatches as I continue to make my way through S14. I won't be done with Supernatural for a bit yet. ;)
But, this is indeed, my final Quick Reaction for Supernatural. I hope you enjoyed it. :)