*This review contains spoilers.
After 15 seemingly endless seasons, the longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series and cult favorite “Supernatural” has finally drawn to a close. With the resurgence of “Supernatural” in the pop culture sphere, it is pertinent to look over the series as a whole.
Beginning in 2005 as a decade-long passion project from writer Eric Kripke, “Supernatural” has been a Thursday-night staple for The CW for fifteen years. The first five seasons are in a class of their own compared with the rest of the series: They are well thought out, well written and hold an emotional weight the following 10 could never quite achieve.
It is clear why the show was and still is so popular; viewers and writers are still chasing the high of what should have been a cult classic in the making, on par with “Twin Peaks” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” If one was to watch only up to the last episode of the fifth season — which was meant to be the series finale until The CW renewed the show at the last minute — the viewer would have walked away satisfied with a more serious and thoughtfully written horror show.
In recent seasons, “Supernatural” has no real stakes, which is why the final season is so divisive and disrespectful to longtime fans. In these later seasons, the “Supernatural” producers, writers, cast and crew knew who their audience was, which became apparent to the viewership in episodes like “Fan Fiction” in season 10, in which the Winchester brothers discover high school students doing a musical of their lives, and “Scoobynatural” in season 13, in which the main trio are transported into a Scooby-Doo cartoon, bringing back familiar voice actors and animators.
“Supernatural” is no stranger to camp or fan service, which is why the vast majority of its most loyal viewers still watch it. By killing two of its three main characters in the series finale in a decidedly un-“Supernatural” fashion, however, with no mention of possible resurrections, the series’ writers chose a darker tone than the audience is used to.
“Supernatural” has always had a lot of problems. For one, the show is aggressively mired in whiteness; characters of color are almost nonexistent, with all 10 of the show’s main characters being white. The show also demonizes non-Christian religions, and almost every single important female character dies, usually brutally.
What writers did with main characters Castiel (Misha Collins) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) is a final spit in the face to fans. The homoerotic relationship between the angel Castiel and Dean has been apparent since Castiel was introduced in season four. The blatant queerbaiting in “Supernatural” is often discussed by fans, and has been a flashpoint for one of the most intense fandoms of the century thus far.
With Castiel professing his love for Dean in one of the very last episodes, many fans hoped they would finally get the one thing that they had been waiting for. After the episode aired, the hashtag #destielcanon trended on Twitter for two days.
But instead, the final episode featured two blink-and-you-miss-it references to Castiel and the lack of Sam is disappointing.
After finishing the final episode, many fans of the show felt the characters they love so much did not get the respect they deserved in the end. Hopefully, a diverse horror show can fill the absence “Supernatural” has left.