The Winchester brothers seem to have a habit of never being able to die. That’s why weeks after the 15-season hit series “Supernatural” concluded, they keep trending.
“Supernatural” began its life in 2005 as a small, moody drama on the WB. It had an episodic structure, focusing on a specific “monster of the week.” It followed brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, as they crisscrossed the nation looking for their father and the demon that killed their mother. Its original storyline ended after five seasons, but the show kept on airing.
Phrases like “Saving people, hunting things,” became popular shorthands for the theme of the show as a whole. Of course, like all 15-year-olds, it has since evolved into a completely different beast.
“Supernatural” has lasted through four showrunners, three presidents, two economic crises and a network change. The conflicts have escalated from slaying vampires and killing ghosts to dethroning and replacing God.
The show aired its final send-off to its fans on Nov. 19, with the episode “Carry On.” With its coy nods to show staples like pie, classic cars and classic rock, the finale promised, just like in the Kansas song that serves as its theme, that there would be peace when it was done.
Or so they thought. While some fans thought the finale was a fitting send-off to the long-running show, others were upset at what seemed like a hasty resolution that ignored the character development and romantic potential of both its leads. Dean, the older brother, died violently on a hunt gone wrong, while Sam, the younger brother, grew old and rejoined his family in heaven after a long, happy life.
Sam Winchester’s epilogue has received criticism from some corners of “Supernatural’s” massive fandom. He names his son after Dean, but his wife is left deliberately blurry in the few shots she is present in. His ongoing romance with fellow hunter Eileen Leahy, played by Shoshannah Stern, was neither confirmed nor denied, which some felt was a blow to the disabled community. Some fans began donating to the National Association of the Deaf in her name in response to the finale.
That uproar pales in comparison to fans’ reactions to the treatment of Castiel, the fan-favorite angel who died just before the finale. The angel, played by Misha Collins, was introduced in season four, and has remained a staple of the show since then. In his last appearance on the show, Castiel pronounced his romantic love for Dean Winchester, and died immediately after. Fans were initially ecstatic about the confession, but that excitement waned when he did not appear on the show again.
After the finale aired, a dedicated group of fans got #TheySilencedYou to trend on Twitter. When it got shut down, they switched to #TheySilencedThem. Fans managed to crash Tumblr when the show’s Latin American dub included Dean reciprocating Castiel’s confession. The Spanish audio layered the line “te amo” over the English video of the scene, explicitly confirming romantic intent. Executives at the CW claimed the reciprocation was the action of a lone rogue dubber, and did not mean anything in the world of the show. One Italian fan even did create their own dub, splicing together clips from other shows to create a confession that was even more romantic. Fans are caught in a whirlwind of drama about a show that has been over for weeks.
“Supernatural” would have ended in May, but the ongoing pandemic paused production. “Supernatural” was supposed to end after five seasons. It is not at all unexpected that “Supernatural,” a show about refusing to follow the path of destiny, continues on despite seeming to have finally reached a conclusion.