If you haven’t heard or guessed, Supernatural is finally coming to an end. Don’t panic just yet. Supernatural isn’t quite finished. The decision to finally end the show after the 15th season airs next year was a long time coming. That’s right; Supernatural has been around since Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch and George W. Bush said, “I’m the decider.” It was a memorably surreal year all around. Still, all great things come to an end, and next year that means Supernatural will air the final episode.
After all the times the creator claimed the show would air as long as the fans and actors wanted it around, it’s just hard to imagine we have to let go. At least we have some time to prepare for the end. It feels like we should be reading a eulogy. Rumor has it there is even a significant character death coming in the final season, so we’ll save that for another time. For now, there’s so much to praise about Supernatural. It wouldn’t be hard to list a hundred things we’re going to miss, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 20.
1. John Winchester (Played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
The now-he-living-now-he’s-dead hardcore patriarch of the Winchester family is the root of the story in so many ways. Though his own father Henry was a member of the secretive and elite Men of Letters who chronicle and observe “mysteries not easily explainable or known to men” it was John who taught his sons to hunt. After the death of his beloved wife Mary (mother of Sam and Dean), he went on a personal vendetta against a prince of hell. His goal for so long was only to kill Azazel as revenge for his wife. John was not a regular father, and it was ultimately his actions that shaped everything Sam and Dean became. Without his driving hatred of Azazel, there would be no Supernatural as we know it. He literally went to hell for his family and saved his son from the underworld. The story may belong to his sons, but the dark gritty, evil filled world they live in comes from the choices of the father.
2. Men of Letters
The multigenerational history and somewhat innocent roots of the story brings a unique naive beauty and symmetry to Supernatural. The idea that generations of the family who came before were calmly observing and creating the secret histories that record the world is a supremely interesting point of origin to build on. Throughout the seasons the corruption of that innocence and showing how they turned their power to destroy the Grand Coven and hide away their artifacts was dynamic. No great story can move forward without a backstory that holds it up from behind and underneath. The elitist disapproval of the hunters despite the way they use their own knowledge to hunt more cruelly is a considerable part of the realism that comes into this fantastic tale.
3. Sam and Dean
It’s so obvious that we will all miss the brothers. After all these years, we know their story as well as they do. Fans know the saga of the Winchester family as well as the writers do. From the first season when they introduce us to their personal tragedy and the loss of their mother, the dark, compelling world they and sometimes die in we’ve been in love. For more than a decade we have shipped them into our lives in a thousand small ways. Letting them go will be hard, and there is no way to gloss that over.
4. Apocalypse World
Who doesn’t love a grand trope? The alternate reality of Apocalypse world is one of the best representations of a classic trope in the last two decades of TV. A world where Mary never saved her husband is a very different story. The opportunity to glance into the way things could have been, not for a moment, but as a part of the series becoming a more complete universe is a real treat. The writers could have brought this in sooner, and we’d have loved it all the more. The desolate, ruined world is compelling and terrifying.
5. Practical Problems
One of the things that ruins the suspension of disbelief is giving the lead characters complete plot immunity. When they never get caught doing wrong, and they pull off every stunt perfectly it detracts from the story. Not so Supernatural. The Winchester boys did what had to be done, but they didn’t always get away scot-free. The consequences were a part of the reality of the massively compelling world. When you make a living by hustling and cheating so you can continue to save the world, it is not ever a comfortable life.
6. Baby the Car
A 1967 Chevrolet Impala is a beautiful machine. Lots of people love their cars and anthropomorphize them. Cars with names are always special, and Deans’ Baby is no different. As much as any character on the show, Baby brought her own presence to the screen. You know an object is extraordinary when it gets a spinoff comic mini-series. In Supernatural: Origins the Impala gets her own backstory that is worthy of any living creature on the show.
7. Azazel and his Daughter
The Winchesters weren’t the only dysfunctional family in the world. Azazel was such a huge part of the formation of the story of the Winchester’s lives. Bringing in his own evil child as a sort of direct opposite from the brothers was a stroke of genius. Meg was a fun character to suspect and hate, and her own parental influence was a twisted mirror of the John-Dean-Sam dynamic. Azazel would have been completely one dimensional without the addition of family.
It’s hard not to love the strangest angel. He seems more willing to think outside the box than most of his brethren. Captain Sexy, the transgendered or non-gendered beautiful creature even drew the attention of demons. For his/her many quirks and oddities, the angel brings a singular element in every episode where he appears. The highs and lows of Castiel falling and rising again is engrossing. We like that he wasn’t as obsessed as Michael. Beyond that, we’d forgive him almost anything for his role in saving Dean from hell. Moreover, we love the depths and twists of his personal thought. His team-up with Crowley and subsequent betrayal was glorious. We could stand to see a whole lot more Castiel.
9. Bela Talbot
Sure, she got a mixed bag when it came to fan reactions that eventually led to her removal from the cast, but we liked her. Her dark and abused history may ultimately have been too human for fans of the show. We understand why she made a deal with the crossroad demon, and it wasn’t the worst choice despite where it led her. The thief and artifact seller encountered the Winchester brothers when she predictably stole from them. More accurately she stole a not-so-lucky rabbit’s foot that belonged to John Winchester. Even though she hasn’t been around for a while, we’ll miss her antics, even more, when the show is gone. With all the ins and outs and resurrections, we’ve been holding out for another visit from Bela that probably isn’t coming.
10. The Hunters
The counterpoint to the Men of Letters is the Hunters. Obviously, it’s the Hunters who are central to Supernatural because of the Winchesters. The concept itself is excellent. While humans who hunt monsters isn’t a new idea, in the past these characters have typically been endowed with their own supernatural powers (Buffy). Sam and Dean, like all the Hunters in their world, are just regular humans who believe in and hunt monsters.
Her on-screen dynamics with the Winchester brothers is different from most demons. The self-hating demon hunts her own kind and eventually earns the trust of Sam. She works to teach him how to kill her species more effectively. The bizarre and somewhat unhealthy relationship is never the less a good watch. Though the character was played by both Katie Cassidy and Genevieve Cortese, we have to love Genevieve more. In real life, the actress is married to Jared Padalecki, and the couple has three children.
12. Ruby’s Blade
Part of what makes the demon-killing demon interesting is her choice of weapon. The beautiful blade capable of actually taking out a denizen of the underworld is one of the few TV props we seriously want a replica of for our mantle. The Kurdish knife was the first of it’s kind that we saw in the Supernatural universe. While it’s not quite as vivid and memorable as Baby, we still love it.
13. The First Blade
Made from the jawbone of a donkey and powered by the Mark of Cain, the First Blade is another of our favorite weapons in the series. A weapon so powerful it can kill anything is no small thing. The storylines around this mythic blade are part of our favorite arc in the whole series. Though the blade only works for those with the Mark of Cain, it is still one of the most powerful artifacts in the entire Supernatural series.
14. The Colt
So long as we’re talking about the marvelous weapons created for Supernatural, no list is complete without the most incredible gun there is. Only known as “The Colt,” this 1836 Colt Paterson revolver was made by Samuel Colt, a fellow hunter. The first 13 bullets for the gun are rumored to be able to kill anything, even those creatures who are supposed to be indestructible.
15. Billie the Reaper
Before being promoted to the full job of Death, we loved Billie. We liked her as a regular reaper assisting Death even before Castiel stabbed her in the back. The moment when she informs Sam and Dean that the previous incarnation of Death found it funny to let them return to life was one of the more subtle yet profound revelations in the series. When she told them that they would not go to heaven, hell or purgatory but rather be sent to the Empty so there was no return was a terrible moment for the brothers.
Billie was singular, but as a whole, the Reapers have been one of the most commonly recurring characters in the series. The creepy soul takers are part of the overall eerie experience cultivated by the story of Supernatural. They bring a little terror with them every time they show up despite being neutral. Though they may not get quite as much recognition as they deserve (Other than Billie) the collective ‘species’ of Reapers is one of the many details that help bring the mythology to life.
Love him or love to hate him, there is something about Crowley that makes him a real standout in the series. We think it’s a bit sad that he never got his own spinoff. The charismatic hellion was once the right hand of Lillith. He did time as the ruler of hell after Lucifer was imprisoned the second time, and he certainly causes the Winchesters no end of trouble. Still, there’s just something likeable about him.
18. Benny Lafitte
Also known as Benny the Vampire, he is another quintessential favorite. It would be hard not to love the former-pirate vampire even if he hadn’t gone to purgatory to save Dean from Purgatory. Try as he might, love didn’t work for Benny. His multiple lives and deaths leave the Vamp a bit jaded, but in the right ways to bring vampire style angst without being annoying, whiny or heaven forbid sparkly. As TV vampires go, Benny is our top pick.
Home of dead monsters. The Supernatural version of Purgatory bears little resemblance to the classic interpretation. Somehow it manages to work, and the Purgatory of the Supernatural-verse is as different from its literary namesake as possible. Rather than completely dull, it is filled with horrors and so much… life is the wrong word, but it comes close to describing how active this realm has become. What happens to monsters who are killed in Purgatory is one of the most bizarre and intriguing questions created in all of the series. Fan theories are rampant, but no one really knows.
20. The Dichotomy of Good and Evil
Though it is not a character or an artifact, the way the Supernatural universe revolves around the most basic dichotomy in human storytelling is beautiful. No TV series has successfully portrayed the battle between heaven and hell so long or so well. Even those fans who are not from a Judeo-Christian background can still enjoy and relate to the plot. There are no clear lines in the sand, only lines that seem clearer from a distance, and yet there are acts of pure good and evil.
The role of pop culture icons cannot be overestimated. An entire generation of children has been raised on Sam and Dean Winchester. No other show in the Sci-fi and Fantasy genre has run so long. To be honest, we thought it would be on forever, or at least until one or both of the stars died in real life decades from now. It hasn’t really hit with the full impact just yet that the show is really going to stop filming. The word epic is too often used, but in this case, it applies. This epic adventure will be missed and often revisited.
After the full fifteen years of amazing adventures, at least we’ll have enough episodes to do an insane binge-watching marathon. In fact, by the time the final episode airs it will take just about two full weeks to see every episode back to back without breaks. More if you watch the spinoffs as well. While we can’t think of anything more fun than reliving one of the best shows of all time, it’s going to take some convincing to get the boss to give us enough vacation days to see it through.