“I can see it now… Supernatural: The End. And the cover is just a grave stone that says ‘Winchester’. Fans are gonna love it. Welcome to the end”
The brothers made an emotional announcement during the airing of the previous season that the 15th year would be the final season of the show. It’s hard to believe that we’ll soon know a television landscape without the Winchester brothers. It’s the last show that goes back to the original WB Network that eventually lead to the current CW Network that has become more and more the home of the Warner Brothers-owned DC Comics television universe. But in the middle of speedsters, archers, aliens, and time travelers, there was always room for the Winchesters. It’ll be a bit of a culture shock to have them gone. Hard to imagine, but if you were a young 15-year-old kid when you started to watch the show, you’re now 30, likely with kids of your own. You live in an entirely different world than you did when you first came aboard. How will you feel without it? We’ll always have over 300 hours and 15 seasons to watch whenever we want thanks to these wonderful releases on Blu-ray from Warner Home Entertainment. So let’s give the boys one hell of a sendoff. If you have no idea who these guys are, you are in for one sweet treat, I can tell you that much. But you can’t start here. You’ll never understand what’s going on, and it will taint your experience. You have a lot of watching to do to be ready for this release. Check out our long list of reviews here and start binge-watching fast. Once you’re caught up, continue on. Caught up? Excellent. On to the final season.
“I hate missing my favorite show.”
After the announcement the 15th season began to take shape. The cast and crew were going to have 20 episodes to say goodbye. For 15 years the brothers defeated all comers. Vampires and demons couldn’t take them out. Witches didn’t stand a chance. Ghosts? Don’t be ridiculous. Satan himself went up against the boys a few times and the boys remain undefeated. Now they’re taking on God himself and it’s no match. But just as they were about to take that victory lap. It was the 19th episode out of a planned 20 and the boys finally met up with a villain that might take them down. The world went into lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Like every other show Supernatural got shut down. Many shows decided to call it a season and some like Hawaii Five-O stuck to their plans to end their runs. Stories were left on the table and it looked like the entire entertainment world was about to call it a day. Credit the folks at Warner Brothers for giving the show a commitment that against all odds they didn’t break. The cast, crew and fans were promised a finale and they finally got it. Supernatural became one of the first productions to get back to work and with a strong commitment from cast and crew to avoid behavior that might jeopardize their chance. There were zero positive tests during the entire return to production. Not one cast or crew member got sick and they all worked through to the end. Supernatural talks a lot about it being a family. Every show talks like that. From what I’ve seen here this one was one hell of a family. I guess that makes sense when you have Lucifer on the call sheet. So how did the show finally end it all. SPOILER ALERT! I’m not going to tell you. So there. But here’s what I can tell you about the final season of Supernatural available now on Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.
“With The Winchesters it’s always an emergency. Look up emergency in the dictionary and it says: ‘see Winchesters’.”
The season begins almost exactly when season 14 ended. God/Chuck (Benedict) has broken down the barrier to Hell and everyone’s breaking out. That means all of the bad things the Brothers have put down over the last 14 years is back out. Fortunately, they are able to get the town isolated before too many souls could get very far. With the help of Rowena (Connell) it all gets closed up. She makes the ultimate sacrifice but don’t cry for our gal just yet. She ends up taking over Hell and just like her little boy, Cowley (Sheppard) she’s ruling over Hell. In just a few episodes it looks like the bad guys are all defeated and the boys can relax a bit. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a season if that were true. After going after so many creatures and demons how can the show top it all for the final season. I mean they’ve beaten Lucifer himself more than once. The big bad can only be one being… God.
It turns out that God/Chuck is getting bored with it all. He’s even getting tired of Sam and Dean and it’s time to end it all. It’s bad news for the world and poses some real philosophical issues for Sam and Dean. Have they just been doing what God wrote for them. Are they really heroes or just the product of someone’s very vivid imagination. The subjects of free will and good and evil are all going to collide and Sam and Dean have to come up with a way to beat God before he ends everything. They are running out of time as he’s already destroyed every universe but the main one. So who you gonna call?
“What would Mr. Rogers Do?”
The answer to that is Jack (Calvert). And if you know Jack you know he might be the super weapon that is needed for the job. He’s the son of Lucifer and so a Nephilim and Billy/Death (Berry) has agreed to help. Of course, she has her own game plan and she’s souped Jack up to be a God-killing bomb. But he has to lay low while he charges up so God doesn’t get advance warning about what’s going on. It means Jack gets to spend most of the season on the team and it’s really the biggest growth of the character. Actor Alexander Calvert hits it out of the park. He’s trying to do what’s right and he knows that killing Mom means Sam and Dean won’t completely accept him but he is looking for that kind of family. It creates a wonderfully emotional and complicated relationship. Throw in Castiel (Collins) and you have some incredibly nuanced stuff going on here. That isn’t to say there isn’t plenty of hunting and wonderful standalone moments in the season.
Every season there has been a silly or lighter kind of episode. This season it’s Last Holiday. When the boys reboot the system at the bunker they discover there was a wood nymph there who helped out the Men Of Letters. She becomes a kind of den mother and we get a montage of holiday feasts and 50’s television moments as the boys love being taken care of by the “little old lady”. But there’s a dark side. You knew there had to be. It’s a great episode. This year they meet a really weird Sam and Dean from another universe where they escaped before it died. These guys are like yuppies. They dress in fancy cloths and are rich from charging for their hunter services in their own world. These kinds of love letters from the writers, cast and crew truly populate this last season. There are too many to list here but the season brings back a lot of faces from the years. Some are good. Others not so much but it’s all very rewarding for the fans. This is how a final season should play out.
The finale is actually played out over the final two episodes. The 19th episode ends the story and mythology of the show. I have to say this episode I found very unsatisfying. When it finally comes to the final confrontation instead of watching it play out we get one of those: “here’s what really happened” explanations. Very disappointing that the final take down was reduced to a simple explanation of what we didn’t see. That was a cheat guys and the show deserved better.
However the 20th episode was the true goodbye to it all. That episode checks off all the right boxes and gives fans the emotional closure they were hoping for. Without giving away too much I will say they took a page from the finale of Six Feet Under which was one of my favorite finales of all time. I promise you that these characters get the send off they deserve. It gives you complete closure while leaving the door open for the inevitable reunion, revival series or feature film. Me? I’m hoping for an eventual theatrical film. I’d love to see what these guys can do with the time and budget of a feature film. My bet is that it will happen 5 or 10 years down the road.
Each episode of Supernatural is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The 1080p image is brought to you through a AVC/MPEG-4 codec. As you might expect, this show is dark in more than just its nature. Much of the action occurs at night, so black levels need to be spot-on, or any detail can be quickly washed away like blood pools in a hurricane. Supernatural delivers with great shadow definition and deep levels of black. I’ve seen the broadcast HD versions, and these are even better. What is remarkable about the colors is that they manage to hold on to such fine definition even under intense low-light filming conditions. I’m happy about the retention of the old menu system (more on that below) but disappointed that they also returned to making this a three-disc release, thus cramming an extra episode on each disc. This series is a visually stunning series that deserves to be enjoyed without compression issues. I suspect the willingness to step the image quality back a bit is a symptom of the trend of streaming shows where compression issues are part of the delivery. But there’s a reason many of us still prefer to own the discs, and bit rates are a big part of that preference.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is pretty solid. The show just comes alive so much better in the uncompressed audio. Subs finally make themselves heard, and the rest of the show retains the quality we’ve had in previous releases. The classic rock tunes stand out in the mix, and it’s all pretty dynamic.
This is the only remaining Warner Home Entertainment title to retain the traditional menu setup and navigation. I have to say I am glad to see it survive somewhere. I’ve always liked this setup. It allows you to see what’s on all of the discs, and it gives you things like running times and descriptions so you can plan your viewing with far more information. All of the other releases have gone to a more traditional and less useful menu system. Enjoy this also while you can.
Gag Reel: (11:37)
Comic Con 2019: (33:44) It’s a tearful gathering and this was before the season even aired. COVID was still in the future and there’s a lot of emotional moments. Oh and they gave a way a Baby. If you don’t know what Baby is then you aren’t ready for this season. Just saying. And I’m not talking about our long-gone canine reviewer.
The Winchester Mythology – Midwestern Heroes: (21:36) This is a very stylized feature that looks at the show through the lens of Western tropes and the sheer Americana of the characters and places. The idea was always Route 66 meets The X-Files and you get a heavy dose of all of that here.
Supernatural – The End Of The Road: (30:10) The long journey to the finale is brought to us through behind the scenes footage and tearful anecdotes from the cast and crew. There are some truly emotional moments here.
Supernatural – Family Don’t End With Blood: (23:05) Cast and crew examine the themes of family throughout the run of the show. They are talking both on and off screen family themes.
Supernatural – The Long Way Home: (42:22) How do you look back on 15 years in 43 minutes? This is how.
I worry a little bit about how this season and the show will hold up to the powerful woke elements of our country. Films, shows and episodes are rapidly being taken away because someone is offended. It makes a great argument for buying the discs. Some crazy idiot might get it removed from streaming and future releases but they can’t edit the discs I already own. Well, this year they portray God as a really not nice guy and the point of the season is to take him out. I consider myself a Christian but I’m not at all offended by what happens here. It’s a show. It’s not presented as a religious theory or explanation. It’s entertainment and good entertainment at that. But I’m learning to be unsurprised by anything under attack anymore. It’s not enough to be offended and so avoid the material. Now no one should be allowed to watch what offends a particular group or person. I suspect the God I believe in has a sense of humor and is probably a huge fan of the show. If it touches a bad nerve with you, I get it. I respect it and won’t judge you for it. By all means do not watch the show. Just don’t try and take it away from the rest of us. Don’t make us have to run Sam and Dean on your behind. “You know that always ends badly”.