Supernatural: A Tale of Two Finales

It took an entire season of aimless wandering, but Supernatural finally had its devil baby and of course there was a labor scene and Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith) said to Dumb Kelly Kline (Courtney Ford), "Your contractions are five minutes apart. It's almost time." And then I started mean-laughing because no.

Other than the hilariously-unrealistic-but-woefully-standard presentation of a TV labor and delivery, Supernatural's double whammy of a finale also gave us...well...it's hard to describe. Everyone died, but that's par for the course for a Supernatural finale to the point that even Castiel's (Misha Collins) SHOCKING death at the hands of Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) wasn't particularly shocking, but hey at least we have an entire summer of sad-Dean-pining-for-the-angel-peen fanfic to fill the void.

Castiel is fine, you guys. He's fiiiiiine.

Also "fine" this week: Dumb Kelly, Rowena (Ruth Connell), a bunch of nameless hunters, Lady Toni Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore), Ketch (David Haydn-Jones), a bunch of B-MOL lackeys, and Crowley (Mark Sheppard). If we really want to talk about shocking deaths, let's take a look at Crowley's random act of self-sacrifice while Dean (Jensen Ackles) fruitlessly reenacted scenes from Scarface with an angel-killing gun and a reluctant Lucifer who, it turned out, was immune to this week's wonder weapon because, idk, it was convenient to the plot. And no, I'm not willing to accept the "archangel" argument. Gabriel was an archangel and a plain old angel sword did him in way back in Season 5. Therefore, it stands to reason that the big boomstick that fires bullets made from angel swords would have no problem taking an angel of Gabriel or Lucifer's caliber down. Of course, we spent half the series leading up to the first apocalypse counting on the Colt to "kill anything" and then Lucifer was immune to that too. Go figure.

Is Supernatural just rehashing its classic fifth season?

Supernatural's two-hour finale managed to land firmly in the realm of one of my biggest television pet peeves: the two-hour "special" that isn't special at all. It was two very different and separate episodes aired back to back and as a result, the "2-hour finale" felt disjointed and a lot like we were supposed to be sitting there with a checklist, making sure all of the plot points for Season 12 were conveniently wrapped up and that all the comfort food aspects of a Supernatural finale were featured.

Defeat the evil B-MOL? CHECK.

De-program Mary? CHECK.

Kill someone important? CHECK. CHECK. AND CHECK.

"Carry on My Wayward Son?" CHECK.

Bro-hugs? Bitch/Jerk? CHECK AND CHECK.

"Who We Are" saw Sam (Jared Padalecki) lead a victorious assault on the British Men of Letters' stateside base, clearing the way for the follow-up episode, "All Along the Watchtower," to address Kelly Kline, Lucifer, and their unholy bun in the oven. As far as Supernatural finales go, "All Along the Watchtower" will not go down in history as one of the series' best. That pesky checklist vibe carried over from "Who We Are" and all of the finale notes were hit with mechanical precision -- which is the problem, of course. It's fine to joke about the Supernatural finale formula. It's born out of the sort of love that keeps a goofy little CW show on the air for over a decade and becomes its own sort of contribution to the love fest. Who is going to die this season? Who is going to make a "shocking" return? Will there be a single manly tear of man angst running down Jensen Ackles' face? How far into the episode will bitch/jerk be substituted for an actual emotional conversation? Or will we get an actual emotional conversation before someone's big damn hero routine? How long will it take for the Winchesters' latest victory to come with a bitch of a downside?

"All Along the Watchtower" hit those points, but with that same sort of bored detachment that plagued Season 12 as a whole. Apparently Supernatural has a multiverse now, with baby Lucifier Jr. tearing a door between this world and one in which Sam and Dean were never born and humanity was perpetually locked in a battle between Heaven and Hell even though we know Azazel had other special children stashed across the country and, theoretically, if Sam had never been born, one of those children would have been Lucifer's one true meatsuit, therefore setting off the events that started us down this long road so many seasons ago. It's possible that such a fate has already come to pass in the colorless wasteland on the other side of the tear -- I wouldn't mind Supernatural exploring that world when the series returns in the fall, and given Mary's unfortunate captivity on the other side of reality, it's safe to assume that Sam and Dean are hardly going to let a little thing like the birth of a reality-altering monster-baby and death of a BAFF (Best Angel Friend Forever) keep them from rescuing their mama.

Then again: Adam Milligan, anyone? Anyone? I mean, if we're making checklists of unresolved plot points, can we please, someday, maybe address that one?

Supernatural will do an animated Scooby Doo episode next season.

It's hard to look at this finale and acknowledge how disappointing it was at times. Supernatural, historically, does finales well and there's something commendable in following the checklist and hitting the marks, except this time around, the formula is too obviously there, the checklist too heavily relied upon. It felt stifled, restrained by the idea of what a Supernatural finale should include. Even the bromantic moments before certain death felt forced because at no point did it actually feel like Dean and Sam (or Cas or Mary) were in actual mortal peril. The most panic I felt was when Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) appeared on Robo-Mary's hitlist, and that was mostly due to Supernatural suddenly deciding the resurrect its habit of unceremoniously killing off its women for plot advancement and yes I'm still mad about Alicia (Kara Royster) and Eileen (Shoshanna Stern) and now, surprisingly, freaking Lady Toni. I MEAN REALLY.

Supernatural returns next fall on The CW.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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May 22, 2017
Hm. I stopped watching the show halfway through this season because of time constraints, but I thought I'd check out this review to see if I should catch up. However, after reading all of that, the show sounds like it's gone completely downhill. I guess it's time to say goodbye to the Winchester boys. I hope everyone who sticks with the show enjoys the next ten seasons though!
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May 21, 2017
Can we talk about the "other Dimension" where Dean and Sam never were born? I know that Supernatural hasn't the biggest budget, but this was cheap... like High-Scholl-Drama-Club cheap... Thos spikey-things, the big Sandbox, dead people everywhere... REALLY? Come on... you can do better than that!!
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May 21, 2017
i'd say wait till next season. There wasn't much time given to it and so it wasn't really explored. It did have a kind of purgatory feel to it though.
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May 21, 2017
First off, no way in hell would Crowley sacrifice himself, it is completely out of character.
Killing Rowena off screen? Seriously?
I'm sure that Lucy's spawn will rewrite history and bring them all back, or some other cop-out.
The funny thing is I was so excited when Crowley said he would seal off hell, that would mean an end to the demon story lines, and hopefully the angel ones as well. Maybe we could have returned to the classic Supernatural when they actually fought more supernatural creatures rather than saving the universe all the time.
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May 20, 2017
"I'm very good at following orders" may be the funniest thing Castiel has ever said.
I'd been waiting for Bobby to show up all season. He's had an appearance in one episode every season since the seventh, whether in Hell, Sam's mind, Heaven or flashback but now it's been two years since he was presumably evicted by the angels and I'm really curious where his soul ended up. My bet's on the nowhere Billie was threatening to stash the Winchesters. Still good to see him in any reality.
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May 21, 2017
He said, "I'm very good at following instructions." He was referring to the Ikea instructions, but of curse we could associate that with all the orders he had received.
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May 20, 2017
FOR THE LOVE OF CHUCK, KEEP EVERYONE WHO DIED DEAD.
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May 20, 2017
Well that was 30 minutes turned into 120, but if the show has cleared the decks by stripping it all back to Sam , Dean and (fingers crossed) a multiverse hopping Bobby, I won't begrudge the extra 90.
Trouble is that is a bout as likely as me finding a stinky little pile of rockinghorse shit in the kids' bedroom.
Every possible angle on Castiel, Crowley, Crowley's mum, Sheriff Jody, the execrable Mary and all the rest, so there is no point in any of them carrying over into next season, but they will - all of em. Maybe not Rowena, but all the rest will turn up like the bad pennies they are, if only because the show's makers are deficient in the goolie department .
This season would have been tolerable if it had been outright war,Sam& Dean Vs Mother Mary, but for reasons known only to the show runners, the issue about 'mom' lying to and abandoning her kids could have been great if it had pinned season 12 together, but it was played out as a tacked on afterthought, raised as a way to advance the unintelligible plot.
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May 20, 2017
I liked the first hour a lot but got disgusted with the deaths in the second one. Bring back Cass and Crowley right now!
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May 20, 2017
First episode was awesome, emotional like old good SPN. Second episode was a little slow but unexpected. It gives so much oportunities to the show. There is no more secondary actors. There is no more boring lines for them. It's fresh new start for the show.
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May 20, 2017
Episode 22 was great - episode 23 - not so much

i will scream if it turns out that Cas and Crowley will be resurrected - the worst part about it is i KNOW that at least Cas will come back :( ugh this show

It says a lot when the BMoL storyline was far more interesting than Lucifer and his kid - shame that the latter ended the season
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May 20, 2017
I kind of enjoyed it. The test with a fluctuating season is whether the end is satisfying enough and wraps things up sufficiently. It was and it did. Can't say I'm happy though about Rowena, Crowley and Castiel being killed off, they were strong supporting characters. I was half expecting Rowena to come back to life, as she does, until I saw the burnt corpse. Mary killing Ketch was predictable and Lady Bevill with a slit throat was a real treat! Hopefully they put the BMoL to bed now but their code does demand retribution so who knows they might be back.
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May 20, 2017
I am sure Rowena will be back. She had died before, I am sure she has a backup plan to be resurrected.
And if they don't bring Crowley back I will riot.
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May 28, 2017
Looks like Crowley isn't coming back. Happy rioting! :P
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May 28, 2017
Yes, I saw that! But I still don't believe it *denial*
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May 28, 2017
lol! :P I'm in the same place.
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May 20, 2017
I hope you're right!
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May 19, 2017
The text recap for "All Along the Watchtower" is up, at tv.com.
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May 19, 2017
The text recap for "Who We Are" is up, at tv.com
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May 19, 2017
Pretty sure Gabriel was killed by an archangel blade not a common angel blade
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May 19, 2017
Isn't it obvious? Baby Lucifer can bend space and time. Obviously he'll reverse time (something all angels can do on this show... but nevermind) and fix things.

And yes, episode was a boring and dumb. British men of letters doing their thing... Why again? Seriously, I don't get it. What were they after all this time? Their entire plot line made no sense. And these are people armed with "technology" yet no magic what so ever? These are people who had an artifact capable of trapping Lucifer but nothing against a bunch of random hunters with guns.

The Lucifer part was even dumber. Why exactly are Cas, Dean and Sam going to another reality? They know time is about to run out and that Lucifer will show up at any minute. Why are they going to another universe?

And why is there another universe? The multiverse thing makes 0 sense when the show has a religious base and a divine creator. It was basically a way to bring back Bobby but other than that it was pointless. And isn't shoving Lucifer there a REALLY evil thing to do?

P.S
So... the entire pitiful episode that told us that Sam and Dean said the dumbest line in this show's history - that spending some time in jail is worse than literally being in hell - and killing Billie telling us there would be "consequences" was indeed forgotten by the writers, huh?
More+
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May 20, 2017
"The Lucifer part was even dumber. Why exactly are Cas, Dean and Sam going to another reality? They know time is about to run out and that Lucifer will show up at any minute. Why are they going to another universe?"

The point was to trap Lucifer in the alternate reality. Sam and Dean were bait, Crowley provided the spell and sacrifice. If it had worked then Sam and Dean should have got back just before the time rip closed. They didn't and the rest you know.
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May 20, 2017
No, you misunderstand. I'm not talking about the end when they decided to trap him - which is in and of itself an insanely evil act of shoving the devil on someone else regardless - I'm talking about the first time they went there and met Bobby.

They had no reason to go on a trip for no good reason. It wasn't until Crowly showed up that the plan to trap him came along.
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May 20, 2017
Oh, well, curiosity I guess then.
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