Last night’s season finale went meta, took a good hard swerve, and laid the groundwork for the series’ next (and last!) season. In a show about two men stopping the end of the world with almost yearly regularity, it’s always had to grapple with how to effectively up the ante. How many apocalyptic scenarios can one show handle? (Answer: every damn one of ‘em) But with an actual end in sight, it doesn’t have to grapple any longer. Instead, it went all in on one more, definitive Apocalypse.
A — dare I say it — GODpocalypse.
But first: The requisite recap reprisal of “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas, because it ain’t the end of the season without it! And frankly, I’d be delighted if every episode next season ran this track at the front, because if it’s going to be the finale of seasons then want to get my fill. Did I include this song in my wedding playlist just so my one friend and I could look at each other across the dance floor and yell “FINALE!” during the reception? Duh, yes. I’m THAT b*tch. But perhaps what’s most impressive is that this song, for once, wasn’t the most on-the-nose plot-appropriate classic rock track in the episode. That comes at the end.
The episode picks up with a direct continuation of the previous ep, as a furious red-eyed Jack emerges from the rubble of the box-splosion. One accusatory “YOU LIED TO ME!” exclamation later and he’s bouncing the eff outta there, leaving the Winchesters and their favorite angel to figure out what’s next. Predictably Dean is back on his KILL HIM beat because “he’s just another monster” and that’s, like, what they do. That’s their purpose. They’re hunters, and they have an impressive track record of killing all the things, always. And Sam? He’s … unconvinced.
Of course, Dean ultimately can’t do the ugly thing because he’s a big ‘ol softie. But we’ll get to that. First, the boys try to find a way to track down Jack by, uh, infiltrating a facial-recognition software startup(?!), while Cas goes to find a demon that’ll agree to take him to Hell to look at cages for … reasons. And Jack? He’s wandering the streets, eavesdropping on people and noticing that, gee, everyone is lying to each other. Which is a sore subject for him at the mo, so he goes ahead and yells “STOP LYING” — and it works. Everyone, everywhere, is suddenly unable to lie.
And chaos ensues.
Granted, it’s a mostly fun sort of chaos, as Dean tries to pull his ol’ FBI trick at the front desk of the software company, only to find himself telling the truth: “I’m Dean Winchester, and I’m looking for the Devil’s son.” To confirm his suspicions, he asks Sam who is favorite singer is, and since Sam would never ordinarily admit that it’s Céline Dion, they both realize SOMETHING IS UP. Only Jack could do this! Meanwhile, turns out telling the truth causes riots over, like, parking spaces and stolen yogurts, and one clever news report reveals that the President showed up at a speech only to disclose his ties to Russia and reveal that he made a demon deal “with someone named Crowley.”
Cas, getting nowhere in his Demon-negotiations, is confronted by a surprise (yet totally anticipated) visitor: Chuck, a.k.a. literally God. Turns out Chuck heard Cas’s call all those episodes ago, but also — frankly, Chuck was paying attention anyway. The Winchesters are basically his favorite show (SAMESIES). Soon enough Chuck has snapped his way back to the bunker with the Winchesters in tow, and they have a little chat about the current situation. “I’m the Deus from the Machina, and you have questions,” Chuck says — and that’s barely scratching the surface of the episode’s self-awareness. Chuck gets in a few digs about previous Big Bads (he’s not a fan of the Leviathan or the British Men of Letters), but really he’s there to give the Winchesters a very special weapon: a new gun, echoing the famed Colt revolver from the early seasons, that can kill anything. Only instead of bullets, this gun fires multidimensional nonsense that binds the shooter to the target. Because existence is all about balance, and any damage dealt with this weapon will rebound on the wielder. Translation: If Dean wants to kill Jack, he’ll have to die as well. But, as Chuck insists, this is the only way.
In Supernatural, God isn’t just a creator, he’s a writer — and as the boys learned last night, writer’s lie. Sam, not willing to sacrifice both Jack AND Dean to save the world, grills Chuck about why he won’t just fix this mess himself. Forget his nonsense excuses about just building the sandbox for his creations to play in — as Michael pointed out, Chuck’s built countless sandboxes and discarded them like failed drafts of a novel. Forget the crap about souls being too hard to fix. What it boils down to is that Chuck is enjoying this story that he’s written. The title of the finale, “Moriah,” references the biblical sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham, and that’s exactly the plot that Chuck is forcing onto his characters. Jack, Dean’s surrogate son, being put down by his “father” at God’s behest. But Jack, reflecting on his lack of emotion, is prepared for that sacrifice. He only ever wanted to do, and be, good — and he knows he’s hurting people as he is right now. So when Dean tracks him down, Jack pushes Castiel aside and kneels, accepting his fate. “I understand. I know what I’ve done. And you were right all along — I am a monster.”
He may be soulless, but Jack’s still a Winchester — and sacrifice, just like saving the world, is what they do.
And just like that, Dean realizes he can’t kill the kid because Jack isn’t evil at all. He’s lost. And in addition to self-sacrifice and killing monsters, the OTHER other thing the Winchesters always do is find a way. They beat the odds. But that’s not the way this story was supposed to end, so Chuck tries to bargain with Dean to pick that gun back up, offering to return Mary to the living once again — and Dean turns him down. Because while Chuck may have built himself a pair of perfect heroes, he’s also the one that made their lives hell from the start. All the monsters and apocalypses and lost loved ones, every shred of pain and danger in their lives — Chuck didn’t just let it happen, he made it happen.
A show about heaven and hell and destiny — a show that wrote God in as an actual character — has finally arrived at the inevitable: questioning that God. And then defying him. “This isn’t just a story — it’s our lives. So God or no God, you go to hell,” says Dean. FREE WILL, Y’ALL!
Then Chuck snaps his fingers and kills Jack himself because no — that gun wasn’t the only way. That was another lie. And speaking of that gun, Sam picks it up and shoots Chuck, but only clips him in the shoulder (and get hit in the shoulder in return). “Fine, that’s the way you want it?” Chuck says. “Welcome to the end.”
And just like that, all Hell breaks loose. Literally. Chuck’s revenge on his creations turning on him is to start his own apocalypse and release all the souls in Hell to rampage across the world. We see the return of spirits the Winchester’s defeated in bygone episodes, from Bloody Mary to John Wayne Gacy to Season One, Episode One’s Woman in White, all while Motörhead’s “God Was Never On Your Side” plays. In the end, it’s just Cas, Sam and Dean, facing off against a graveyard full of the risen dead.
So, uh, things don’t look great heading into Season 15. If the boys get out of that graveyard, they’ll be saving the world from a history’s worth of threats, including ones they’d battled singly, all at the same time. But all hope is not lost. Jack wakes up in the Empty to find Billie (nuDeath) standing over him, saying “We should talk.” And considering Chuck was complaining about her tendency to “stick her scythe where it doesn’t belong” earlier in the episode, I have a feeling she’s about to become a crucial ally in the… War against God.
So that’s it. We’re facing the victory lap of this crazy, lovely show. And while this season has some serious pacing issues, and a lot of wheel-spinning, I can’t fault where it all landed. This will be the last apocalypse, for all intents and purposes. And, in the end, God is the final Big Bad. It’s fitting, for a show that has always playfully acknowledged the nature of stories (from Scooby-Doo to the student play to Sam and Dean tripping through a variety of TV show formats and even going behind the scenes as actors name “Jensen” and “Jared”), to finally focus on the greatest story of all: creation. And the Winchesters, who have thumbed their nose at fate over and over again, now have to face down the author of their destiny. Luckily, Supernatural is still a story, and in this story the Winchesters always win somehow. So you know what? I don’t think Chuck stands a chance.
Header Image Source: The CW