Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.
After 15 years, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester have taken on every supernatural threat imaginable, from vampires and ghosts to mythological gods and demons, and even the biggest villain of all, Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino). But this time the brothers find themselves up against the most powerful being in the universe, God/Chuck (Rob Benedict). And Chuck is not happy with them after Sam shot him with the gun they were given to shoot Jack (Alexander Calvert). He is so angry with them that he admits that he hasn’t been a hands-off type of deity like they thought, but in fact he’s been pulling their strings all along. Sam and Dean are his favorite toys that he’s been having fun with and making up storylines their entire lives. All the adversity they have had to overcome, all the monsters they’ve vanquished, everything they’ve ever done is because that’s how Chuck wanted the story to go.
Along with the shocking revelation, he has decided that he’s tired of playing with his ungrateful toys and it’s time for their storyline to end. He opens the gates of Hell to allow the evil masses contained inside to spill out and destroy the planet and everyone on it. Trapped in a mausoleum with Castiel (Misha Collins) and an army of undead outside, they are rescued by the demon Belphegor, who has taken control of Jack’s corpse. With this new ally’s help, they manage to trap all the evil spirits in a magical cage surrounding a small town. Unfortunately, the cage will only hold for so long and in order to return them all to Hell, they need an ultimate sacrifice from Rowena (Ruth Connell) and the magic from The Book Of The Damned.
Having survived the all-out assault and losing more allies in the battle, Sam discovers that the gun he used to wound Chuck has linked them somehow as he begins having strange visions. On the reverse side, Chuck has found himself weakened and partially mortal. Not only do the Winchesters realize his vulnerability, but Death/Billie (Lisa Berry) has been waiting for this moment. With the help of The Empty, the former reaper brings Jack’s soul, giving him several tasks that will turn hm into a mystical bomb that will destroy both himself and Chuck forever.
While gathering the necessary items for Billie’s plan to work. Chuck continues to mess with them at every opportunity. He is trying to get the brothers to kill one another, but when they refuse, he takes it out on their friends. One by one, he takes them all out, pushing for one final confrontation to end it all.
Normally, when I put together my review I try and single out a couple of the best episodes that really rose above the others. Usually, it is tough to decide, which ones were better, but obviously with this being the final season, it is the final two episodes that stand out. There are other quality episodes that wrap up several storylines and character arcs that could be discussed but these episodes, which are really two separate conclusions, will end up being the defining moments to cap off the shows amazing 15-year run.
“Inherit the Earth”- As discussed in the features, this episode is to resolve the mythology. What started off as a monster-of-the-week show turned into something bigger by pushing the envelope on the ancient Biblical versions of angels, devils, Satan, and God. Back when it was an eye for an eye and entire cities were decimated by plagues and there was an actual war going on between Heaven and Hell.
With that in mind all the heavy hitters come out for the episode, Michael, Lucifer, Chuck, Jack, and the Winchester brothers. The confrontation that has been culminating not only since the beginning of the season but since the very first episode finally comes to fruition.
Giving up on Sam and Dean bending to his will, Chuck has finally eliminated every parallel Earth from existence and has left Jack and the brothers as the only three living creatures on the one remaining. Eventually, that will become too boring for Chuck who ultimately chooses to eliminate them with his own hands. But that will happen after both Lucifer and Michael return claiming to lend a hand that ultimately ends with several plot twists and betrayals.
“Carry On”- Is the final, final episode that is a special tribute to the fans by giving them the conclusion that they need to see regarding the two brothers. Everyone has returned and they have been victorious with their battle with Chuck. The world is back to where it should be, and they have returned to their lives and hunting monsters. But things are slow, and they are plodding along for several weeks until they stumble upon a kidnapping of two kids whose parents have been drained of blood. So back into action they jump and encounter a nest of vampires being led by a girl they first met in Season One. They are quickly dispatching the vampires and rescuing the kids when something life altering happens to them. (I will not spoil it now, but if you read to the end, I’m really going to spoil it). They spend the rest of the episode dealing with the results.
The four-disc Blu-ray set contains all 20 episodes from Season 15 along with six special features.
“Supernatural: The End of The Road” is a previously unaired feature about the process of how the show would end, how they planned to wrap everything up and the ultimate decision that occurred to end the show when they did.
“Supernatural: Family Don’t End With Blood”- Another brand new feature with cast and crew discussing the different families in the show, from blood family, those they chose to be family, and even the family that comes from the actual fan base.
“The Winchester Mythology: Midwestern Heroes”- A discussion on how creator Eric Kripke used influences from his own background to create the show based on Midwestern values. Brotherhood, the lone gunslinger character, hard work, and Route 66 mixed with The X-files is how it was fashioned.
“Supernatural: The Long Road Home”- This episode aired with the finale giving an overall summary of the show from Day One. There is lots of older footage and discussions with cast and crew.
“Supernatural: 2019 Comic-Con Panel”- This final panel was once again moderated by cast members Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict. There is a lot of discussion on the panel regarding their feelings of ending the show and how much they appreciate one another and in particular, their fans. It was much more emotional, heart touching, and enjoyable than their previous panels.
“Winning Baby: A Supernatural Giveaway”- During the Comic-Con panel, they gave away an exact replica of Baby, the 1967 Impala, the brothers drove in the show and had become its own character and part of the Winchester mythology.
And of course, it would not be complete without their annual humorous “Gag Reel” and various “Deleted Scenes”.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The quality of both aspects continues to be as good as on previous releases. Many scenes in the show are shot in the dark and the quality is very crisp and clear and makes it easy to see all the action no matter what time of day the footage is being shot. The audio is of high quality and has good immersive surround sound that adds to the feeling of being in the setting. And of course, with one of the most amazing songs, “Carry On My Wayward Son,” as the theme song for the show I just had to crank up the volume to the maximum and hear if the sound would crack or distort, but the sound was flawless.
So, with this being the final time I will ever get to review one of my all-time favorite television shows of all time, I figure I need to add a little more commentary than usual. If you have been watching the show, then you know how good the show is or you would not have made it to Season 15. One of the main reasons the show is so good is because it focuses on the characters. The brothers are the linchpins throughout. It really is about family. And because of that, not only is the audience watching a TV show, but they are becoming part of the family. You watch the characters grow up, evolve, and become heroes.
This final season is as good as any other season and the stakes are higher than they have ever been. There is plenty of action, emotion, excitement, and twists to keep you involved until the very end. Throughout the Blu-ray, they constantly thank the fans even at the end of the last episode, which is wonderful to see. The only failure comes from the fact that there are two endings for the show.
“Inherit the Earth”was the perfect ending. The confrontation with Chuck has been resolved. The world has been returned to normal. God is now the right and just, non-interfering, but caring deity they need. At the end of the episode, they literally say, “Finally free, we get to write our own stories”. It ends with a wonderful montage of clips from the entire series and has them driving down the highway in Baby. The End. Perfect ending. Stop there.
“Carry On” is a terrible ending. Even when I watched it as it aired on live television, I had no idea why there was another episode. What did they have to add? It already ended, wrapped up every storyline, and there was nothing left to resolve. While the creators thought this was an ending for the fans, I am a fan and this sure as hell wasn’t the ending I wanted. And from the results of a lot of fans online, it wasn’t theirs either. In the previous episode, there was potential; the boys could go off and do whatever they wanted. Maybe some day in the future they could do a movie or maybe even a spinoff based in this universe. It was open ended. But after watching the second ending, they destroyed every possibility of that happening.
How they did that was the same way many shows have ruined their finales. They took it to the final conclusion of the characters’ lives. In a death scene, that made Captain Kirk’s death by falling off a scaffolding in Star Trek: Generations look heroic, (and I’m still not over how bad that was) Dean meets his end a few weeks after defeating Chuck when a vampire shoves him against a nail in a barn. What? Are you kidding me? After 15 years of fighting badass monsters, he’s going to die by a stupid nail? Sure, it gives you a big tear-jerking cry fest between the two brothers, but could his death be any lamer? Maybe an infected hangnail? How about choking to death on a hamburger? That would have been more interesting. And then to top it off, we have watched 15 years where at least one of the brothers dies off every other season, and the surviving brother literally fights Heaven and Hell to bring the other back. But this time Sam is just going to say, “Okay, screw it. This time I am not going to bring you back.”
That awesome death occurs right at the beginning of the episode. Of course, we see Dean in Heaven. And because of Covid and limited ability to film and get actors on set, the only one we see is Bobby (Jim Beaver). It is even mentioned that they rewrote this episode because of the logistics of getting the actors there. After a seven-month break between March and October, the best idea was to make a finale episode without the characters needed to finish it the way you wanted? Could it have waited a little longer to conclude? Or how about just scrapping the episode since you already had one? So, because there is nobody else up there Dean gets in the Impala and takes it for a cruise.
Meanwhile back on Earth, Sam goes on with his life. He obviously stops hunting even though there are still monsters about. I guess he just gave up on helping people and decided to live his own life. Once again, something completely out of character for him, but who cares? It is the finale, and anything can happen for any reason at all. After that we get another montage as we watch Sam get married to a woman we don’t really see, have a kid he names after his brother, grows really old using terrible looking makeup, and dies peacefully at home from old age. The best thing I can say about all of that is it looks like for the Blu-ray release they touched up the aging makeup because it looked a lot better than when it originally aired. And the ending is how it all began with the two brothers, but this time up in Heaven.
Even with my major issues with the finale episode, fans will enjoy the Blu-ray. The quality is good, the features are entertaining, and if you have made it this far in the Winchester story, nothing should stop you from enjoying this last release. Just do not watch episode 20. Stop at episode 19 with the story and its endless opportunities. Sam and Dean deserve to carry on.