We begin at the beginning with Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) giving returning Vietnam vet John Winchester a mysterious letter. But, we get some new information – Dean isn’t here alone, Bobby (Jim Beaver) is with him, and isn’t thrilled with Dean’s “meddling”.
Cut to the present where Samuel has found a lead on someone who might know their mystery man. Meanwhile, after learning what’s needed to power Ada’s crystal, Carlos says to save it as a last resort. Unfortunately, the contact Samuel, John, and Mary go to meet is none other than the Akrida Queen. She’s lured them out to take over the clubhouse (bad news for Lata who was still in there), but also gives them a gift, some information on herself, and her terms: Join her or die.
Obviously, not joining, but what to do? A plan is made, as is a failed rescue attempt that reveals an Akrida-possessed Lata who explains the Queen’s intentions – wipe humanity from this and every other world. Before “Lata” can kill herself, Ada plays the crystal card to save her. It works, and Lata’s inside information along with Carlos’ nutty idea comes together for a battle final. The good guys win, Dean Winchester explains all, and John and Mary ride off into the future together.
Back when this spinoff began, I had some reservations about the altering of our core lore with respect to John Winchester and Mary Campbell’s love story, but I can happily report that all deviations have explanations. Simply put: Our Dean Winchester died and went to Heaven, then decided to take a cosmic joyride in his beloved Chevy Impala, “Baby”, in hopes of finding a version of his family that got a happy ending. Along the way he learned of the Akrida – Chuck’s fail-safe in the event he lost the war against “Team Free Will”. Dean knew he couldn’t meddle, but he also realized the Akrida would eventually reach our world and Sam (meaning this series takes place after Dean died but before Sam died, which is a convenient way to explain why there’s no Jared Padalecki cameo), and he couldn’t have that. So, he gave the letter to John in hopes of putting together a kick-ass monster-hunting gang capable of defeating the Akrida. In conclusion: this was never our John and Mary, or Samuel for that matter – Bobby’s reaction to seeing Samuel with a full head of hair is pretty good. Canon is safe! Not too shabby.
As a season finale, the episode not only wraps up the larger, loyal fan questions but gives a promising conclusion to the team as well. Lata pulls double duty, finding her and Carlos new digs, and figuring out a way to save Ada’s injured soul. Samuel is on the road again with the pledge to check in, Millie will likely get back to her garage work, but most important are John and Mary.
Throughout the episode, the question of what killing the Akrida means for John and Mary’s relationship is brought up repeatedly. Both Samuel and Millie poke at their respective children for some insight, while John confronts Mary directly before and after the big fight. John is hopeful, while Mary isn’t sure but has more hope by the episode’s end. So much so that she invites John on her journey of self-discovery with the condition that he can still hunt at night.
Another thing that got my attention was how many Easter eggs loom large in this episode. Like the pilot, the finale calls back to many classic Supernatural moments including season 6 where Eve, the Mother of All Monsters, confronts our heroes in a bar much in the same way the Akrida Queen lures out John, Mary, and Samuel. “Baby” gets her due, not only making an appearance but saving the day! There’s the end where Mary, after reading “James Hetfield”’s journal brings back the trusty driving rule of “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts their cakehole”. Hell, we’ve even got Dean and his silly aliases, and my personal favorite thing I noticed for the first time ever – which might be kind of sad considering I wrote reviews for the final season of the mothership – but, Jack and Bobby!? Really!? Jack and motherfucking Bobby!?
But yeah, overall I really enjoyed this episode. That’s not to say there aren’t some issues with it. On the lighter side of complaints would be no Castiel (Misha Collins) cameo, however, Collins is lined up to appear in the Gotham Knights series which will be taking over The Winchesters’ slot next week.
On the larger side of complaints is that Joan Hopkins’ (Kelly Sullivan) master plan seems kind of stupid if you stand back and take it at its word: kill the people who need saving. Ok…but then the Akrida say they are being used to kill humanity, and…last I checked, Hunters are humans. Hunters, also need saving from time to time – many a storyline from Supernatural involved this exact setup – which means Joan would have to kill hunters too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always pro the eradication of the human race, but her logic here isn’t that she wants to save the planet it’s that she wants to stop hunters from having to hunt. Now, I will respect the very carefully added line that the “monster essence” which took over Joan drove her insane, because, not only is her plan cray-cray but she gives the Monster Hunters the silver bullet they need to stop her: Dean’s journal! The fuck!? I suppose she may not have realized Carlos would come up with the idea to reverse the polarity of the Ostium and use it to pull Dean (Baby, actually) from its origin world, but still. Though, it could have just been an olive branch in her mind.
Another interesting plot hole is that the Akrida were created by Chuck as a fail-safe to destroy all his other worlds in case he was ever defeated, but there’s two problems with this. One – in the mothership there’s a whole episode dedicated to Chuck’s very thorough decimation of his other worlds leaving ours for last. Two – assuming One didn’t happen for some reason…Dean finds out about the Akrida while he’s on joyride post death, which was several years after they defeated Chuck, so what were the Akrida waiting for? Also, also, if I’m poking holes in this finale, why didn’t Jack (Alexander Calvert) bother getting involved? Ah, actually, Jack half-assedly explains that one – he says his rule of “no interference” meant absolutely none. That’s great and grand and all, but this was a time bomb left by your predecessor designed to destroy what he left behind, you really thought it was a good idea to let it play out!? Blech…stupid, shitty Jack.
Anyway, plot holes aside, this episode had a kind of convoluted story so the performances were really important here. While Drake and Donnelly do their usual fantastic jobs, I was especially impressed with Khurshid! Man, she should have been evil this whole time! I believe her and find her having way more fun playing a villainous version of Lata than she’s ever shown playing good Lata. Fleites, aside from one truly amusing scene, is markedly subdued this episode, holding it back to let the story shine. Kajilich, and Welling play the part of concerned and meddling parents but not much else, while McKinney’s Ada, though an important player, doesn’t hold much gravitas unfortunately, but again, I think the story and cameos are hard to fight.
Speaking of cameos…My heart damn near stopped when I saw Jim Beaver as Bobby Singer again. Granted, the episode where he died came on the other day and it’s one of the most powerful hours of the mothership I think I’ve ever seen, which made seeing him again all the more fantastic. Jack, we all know how I feel about Jack. He’s the Lata of the mothership, I only really loved him when he was playing evil, otherwise, I could give two shits about him (which isn’t fair to Lata, I like her a lot more than him). Still, those two were bonuses compared to the main man we had been teased about all season: the executive producer himself, Jensen Ackles!
Here’s a fun thing to notice – when Dean first appears to John he has longer hair and a beard, I’m guessing because Ackles was still in Soldier Boy mode from The Boys, but by the end of the episode he’s got his usual look back. Keeping Dean till the finale was a bit of a gamble though I have to say it paid off. Having him tell his side of the story helped to clear up some of the questions that had been building all season to a satisfying end. Not to mention seeing just how much fun Ackles has inhabiting the role that ultimately made him a star.
Do I think we’re in for a second season? Only the TV gods can tell. The CW itself is up for grabs, which means all of its shows are too. If anything, I can see The Winchesters perhaps finding a home on HBO Max where Jeremy Carver’s Doom Patrol lives, or Amazon Prime to join Eric Kripke’s The Boys. Considering Carver has no direct involvement with The Winchesters, Amazon Prime might be the better bet. Whatever happens, this finale did the right thing and set itself perfectly as a series finale if need be – not a huge surprise when the series didn’t get a full-season pick-up, but again, CW problems, am I right?