Remake the Supernatural Finale in a Way That is Worthy of the Cast, Characters, and Fans.
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Open Letter to the CW Network
Click here to access a Google Doc of the letter, for easier reading.
Also, please note that all sources, external references, and personal fan perspectives have been linked in red x's in brackets, which look like this: (x)
November 20, 2020
The CW Television Network,
Writers and Producers of Supernatural
To whomever it may concern,
As of November 21st, 2020, it is no secret that the final episode of the CW’s Supernatural, titled ‘Carry On’, was less than well-received. Fans all over the world tuned in on Thursday in anticipation of the series finale of a 15-year-long show that has been beloved by millions. After the two-hour episode had aired, fans were outraged, upset, and confused as they took their griefs to social media platforms like Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter, where the Supernatural tag was trending within mere minutes. Within the mixture of emotions and grievances, the one common theme that stood out was: no one deserved that ending. This is an open letter to the CW Network, and the writers and producers of the show, Supernatural, addressing the faults within the show’s finale while calling for a remake of the episode.
Family Don’t End with Blood
To be completely clear, this letter and petition is about more than just fans not liking the ending of the show. It’s about the writing and production butchering and going against everything the show has ever stood for and inspired in the past 15 years. The cast, the characters, and the fans all deserve better. (x) This letter in no way intends to shame or demean the actors and crew who worked so hard to tell this story right. This letter stands as a wake-up call for all those who were behind the many failures of the last three episodes of the show, particularly, the finale. Many other posts and letters address this issue far more eloquently, but I will attempt to phrase this in a way that could get the point across to the powers behind the finale. (x) (x)
The biggest and perhaps the most pressing concern amongst fans regarding the finale was the complete disregard for the themes the show has been building upon for the last 15 years. (x) “Family don’t end with blood” has been a consistent theme driving the show forward since season 3. Time and time again, the show has driven this theme deep into its episodes, and the show’s main characters, Sam and Dean Winchester, who began the show as a duo, have found and chosen a family because of this theme. This family has made them stronger, inspired hope, and added depth to the characters and the story. In the series finale, though, Sam and Dean completely ignore their found family, and are once again, alone. They only mention other vital characters in passing, as if that is supposed to suffice for characters that have been an integral part of their story for over a decade. The show was supposed to embody the idea that family does not end with blood, yet in the finale, it ended with blood. It was completely out of character for both the characters, and a disregard for the theme the show fought so hard to maintain over the past 15 years.
Many beloved characters who had become family to Sam and Dean were meaninglessly killed off, all season long. Before the penultimate episode, the only characters left were: Sam, Dean, Jack, Castiel, and Eileen. By the end of the finale, it was only Sam and Dean- just the way it started, throwing 15 years’ worth of development right out the window. As you read this letter, it’ll become increasingly evident how the show’s many themes were completely disregarded. Jack leaving after finding family with the Winchesters was a disregard of “Family Don’t End with Blood.” Castiel’s death was a disregard of the theme, as well as blatant homophobia. Dean’s death was also unnecessary and homophobic. Eileen’s death and the subsequent ignorance of her character was a disregard of this theme, as well as a disservice to the deaf community who saw themselves represented in her character.
The complete abandonment of the show’s biggest theme was just the first of many blunders in the final episode of the show, and if that is any indication of how the rest of the factors come into play, it’s not a stretch to say that fans are rightfully angry and upset.
A few minutes into the episode, the two brothers end up on a monster hunt by themselves, where the hunt goes wrong, and Dean dies from being impaled. Sam is left alone, with nobody to fall back on, and is shown to move on from Dean’s untimely death, when in the past, he has never been able to simply accept Dean’s death as his final death. Not only was this out of character for Sam, who had many options to save Dean at his disposal, but it was a disservice to Dean’s character and his arc. (x)
Over the past 15 seasons, Dean Winchester has been shown to have suicidal tendencies and deals with feelings of worthlessness and self-hate. Dean has learned to accept himself and overcome his personal struggles and begin to heal this past season. The writers and producers also made the conscious decision to include a job application (x) on Dean’s desk in the final episode, alluding to the fact that Dean wanted to move on from the hunting business and begin to live a normal life. After such a long history of self-hate and worthlessness, Dean just wanted to live. Despite this, his character was killed off in a very underwhelming and unnecessary manner. Between the job application and Dean’s history of suicide, his death sent a very disturbing message. (x)
Fans of the show have constantly expressed how much Dean’s struggles with suicide, worthlessness, depression, and self-hate were relatable and how his perseverance and willingness to always keep fighting inspired hope and an appreciation for life in them. Fans’ lives have been changed and even saved because of this character, as is evident in many of the Supernatural books written by psychologist Lynn Zubernis. (x) (x) This information can also be attested to by the cast, namely Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins, to whom countless fans have confided in about these subjects. Ever since the finale aired on Thursday, fans have taken to social media platforms, distressed and feeling hopeless because a character that taught them to keep fighting for their lives, ended up dying despite all his efforts to keep living. (x)
Dean’s character was also a huge symbol of bisexuality in the LGBTQ+ community, since the beginning of the show in 2005, when characters like Dean were not allowed to be open about their sexualities. But it has always been very clear that Dean represented a lot in terms of sexuality (x) for the fans- the cast, crew, and even the writers and producers have made nods to Dean’s sexuality, but never actually expressed it. Killing Dean’s character off so early in the episode in a way that disregards his character arc and development was disrespectful to the character as well as the actor who spent 15 years building Dean from the ground up. It also reads as homophobic. (x) Dean has been with many women over the course of the show, and has had small, somewhat romantic arcs with characters like Jo and Amara, people he’d only known for a few years. Castiel, on the other hand, had immeasurable chemistry with Dean, and they had known each other for 12 years. After the show’s 18th episode, it seemed that Dean and Castiel would end up together no matter what, because the episode was framed in a way that left a romantic endgame for Dean and Castiel as the only viable option. But, Castiel remained dead, and then Dean was killed off, too, which is simply bisexual erasure. For the past 15 seasons, Dean had constantly been flustered around men he found handsome, and is visibly flustered when men flirt with him. These scenes were not subtext, but they were clear and out in the open, yet not acknowledged. The only time Dean’s feelings were ever acknowledged were when he had feelings towards women. Again, this is bisexual erasure.
Dean was a character who always believed he would die a gruesome death, as he was raised a hunter by an abusive father, and taught that he had to behave a certain way to fit a “manly” quota. Over the last 15 years, Dean has grown as a character, and learned to veer away from the toxic idea of masculinity. He has become more tender, loving, and honest with himself and with others. This has in no way diminished his character or his “manliness”, rather it has accentuated his character, and he has come to represent many positive traits that male characters on TV have not represented accurately. Once the confession scene between Dean and Castiel in episode 18 premiered, maybe it was the writer and producers’ internalized homophobia that led them to the decision of killing Dean in the finale. Many people do not see a man who is caring, loving, tender, and to top it all off, bisexual, as a character that fans would relate to or even care about. It is, in fact, the exact opposite.
Dean was almost a first of his kind on TV to have survived so long and become the character he has over the last 15 years. Dean was also abused since childhood, by his father, John Winchester. It was explicitly obvious from the way Dean acted around John in the show, and even in the comics written by Andrew Dabb, where John has been shown to hit his children many times. (x) Dean has grown to understand what he went through and to steer clear of any type of behaviour that mirrored John’s. He has learned free will (x) and to make his own decisions, free of his father’s shadow.
Dean has also been taking care of Sam like a father since he was a child, so Dean never got to experience his own childhood. He never got to attend college, settle down, or create a family- he never believed it was possible given his circumstances. Many fans have sympathized with Dean for this, and even related to it. (x) They saw that Dean was slowly beginning to live his own life, but the finale destroyed all that character development. (x) Dean was building his own destiny, free of God and his father- he wanted to quit hunting, to get a normal job, and to take charge of his own life. The finale made it very clear that Dean wanted this. To kill Dean off while being well aware of his depressive past, his abuse, trauma, and his sexuality, is a horrible message. (x) The finale symbolized that despite all that Dean went through, and despite his efforts to overcome his past and finally be hopeful for the future, his only true happiness lied in death, and fans are rightfully angry at this sort of treatment of Dean. (x)
This show and its cast have always advocated for mental health awareness. Campaigns such as “Always Keep Fighting” and “You are Not Alone” created by the cast aim to help fans dealing with depression, suicide, and worthlessness. The cast and fans have also created countless other campaigns, charities, hotlines, and fundraisers over the last 15 years to advocate for and address mental health issues. These acts help millions of people all over the world, and stem from the show’s core themes of found family, free will, and to always keep fighting. (x) After spreading so much honesty and positivity for 15 years, inspiring fans to keep living and fighting, killing a character that embodied those themes sends a horrible message. To build on the idea that fighting for your life is worth it, only to have a character who did exactly that, die, is saying that one will end up exactly where they would have if they just did not fight at all. For a show with such a huge reach and fanbase, this is very damaging and dangerous. Fans have been checking in on each other since the finale aired, especially on fans of Dean, out of concern and fear that this episode created. There is no happy ending with death, there is no peace in death for someone dealing with the types of issues Dean Winchester was dealing with, and death is not the answer to someone’s struggles. This issue alone, should be cause for alarm that there was something fundamentally wrong with the way this episode was written.
LGBTQ+, Destiel, and Homophobia
The next issue, which is just as pressing, is the treatment of the show’s LGBTQ+ characters. The show had been lacking LGBTQ+ representation for a while, and when said representation was introduced, it was mostly guest stars or side characters who were either killed or written off. (x) The show did not have an explicitly queer lead character until the 18th episode of season 15. In that episode, a fan favourite, Castiel, reveals his romantic feelings for another one of the show’s leads, Dean. It was also confirmed by Misha Collins that the confession was definitely romantic, and a “homosexual declaration of love”. (x) Ever since Castiel’s character was introduced in the first episode of season 4, he was an instant fan favourite. His chemistry with Dean’s character was more than palpable, and a community of people who paired the two together emerged, and named the pairing of Dean and Castiel, Destiel. Over the 12 years that Dean and Cas’ characters have known each other, they have built a very deep and intimate relationship, which many fans read as romantic.
Once the idea of Destiel reached the cast, crew, and network, and they were able to understand just how big the following of Destiel was, they began to play into the idea. Fans have been teased over the idea of Dean and Castiel becoming canon- an explicitly clear relationship. The writers have consistently made conscious efforts to tease the possibility of Destiel, to the point where they wrote explicit cues for their characters in the show’s scripts. But it has always been just that- teasing. The cast, on the other hand, has thoroughly seemed to enjoy the idea of Destiel, namely Misha Collins. Misha has openly voiced support for the LGBTQ+ community and for the possibility of Destiel. Jensen Ackles has also openly supported LGBTQ+ charities and voiced his support to the community. When it was revealed to Jensen and Misha that there would be a confession scene between Dean and Castiel in season 15, both actors made deliberate changes to their characters’ actions in order to incorporate their romantic feelings for each other. Alas, when Castiel confessed to Dean in episode 18, he immediately died. As happy as fans were that Castiel was now canonically LGBTQ+, his death overshadowed the confession, as it played into the “bury your gays” trope that the film industry loves to indulge in. (x)“Bury your gays” refers to revealing a character is LGBTQ+, then killing them. This trope is inherently homophobic, as it treats LGBTQ+ characters as expendable and useless. It caters to the ideal that LGBTQ+ people are less worthy of life and characterization than heterosexual, cisgender characters. Many LGBTQ+ fans who saw themselves in Castiel’s character were disappointed and rightfully angry. (x)
Castiel’s character has long been thought to be LGBTQ+, and the scenes between him and Dean being so obviously non-straight, allowed many fans to find comfort and peace in this character who was an angel of God. The religious trauma many LGBTQ+ fans experience leaves them feeling alienated from God or whatever it is they believe in, but when Castiel, an Angel of God and so obviously queer, even before his confession to Dean, was revealed to be queer the whole 12 years fans have known him, that provided an insurmountable amount of comfort and acceptance to fans. Not only that, but the confession and coming out of Castiel brought back hundreds of thousands of fans who hadn’t watched the show in years. Fans who were casual watchers were intrigued, and even people who have never watched the show before, but knew about Destiel, were interested and excited about the possibility of a genre TV show having a canonically queer lead character. The confession scene created so much buzz, it was trending higher than the US Presidential elections, which were probably the most important elections in US history. The cultural relevance of Destiel, the importance of LGBTQ+ representation, and the canonization of a pairing that people have been vying for since 2008 increased the show’s ratings and views monumentally.
Leading up to the 19th episode, fans created theories upon theories of how Castiel would return or how Dean would save him and perhaps come out as bisexual, himself, and that kept Supernatural trending for almost an entire week on various social media platforms. Fans were so convinced that Castiel would not remain dead, because the writers and producers had been teasing their romance for the good part of 12 years. From deciphering behind the scenes pictures, to more explicit hints such as the official song of the finale being ‘The Night We Met’,(x) which has long been acknowledged as the Destiel theme song, fans left no stone unturned. After the confession scene, the cast was also finally able to freely talk about Destiel and how everybody had always been hoping for the two characters to end up together, and it created an atmosphere so positive and hopeful within the fandom- one that is rarely seen when it comes to LGBTQ+ characters.
This show had the power and ability to do something so meaningful and monumental, all they had to do was bring Castiel back from the dead and have Dean address his feelings, as well. TV, especially a genre meta show like Supernatural, has never seen a LGBTQ+ relationship between two lead characters who have been shipped for over a decade. What is more pressing is how television shows that premiere on cable, rather than on streaming services, are not popular, anymore. So, Supernatural is quite literally one of the last TV shows of its kind, and no cable show has ever seen anything the likes of Destiel. The audience of cable shows that still run, today, are not accustomed to seeing many LGBTQ+ representations, but if Destiel had been explicitly talked about or shown, it could have created a wonderful memento for the quickly fading service. Canonizing Destiel would have put Supernatural down in history. Yet, that never happened. Fans were astounded when Dean only mentioned Castiel once in the penultimate episode. Then again, when Jack, a family member of Dean’s became God and had the ability to bring Castiel back, is completely ignored by Dean and not even asked about Castiel. The penultimate episode ended with Sam and Dean, brothers by blood, alone, celebrating. This, again, was very out of character, as both brothers have always fought to keep their found family together. Every time that Castiel has died in previous seasons, Dean has mourned him in ways that one only mourns a lover, and he tried everything in his power to bring Castiel back. Yet, his death after he was revealed to be LGBTQ+, he was completely ignored. This was a clear case of homophobia on the writers’ and producers’ part. It is also important to bring up the fact that, while Castiel’s character has said “I love you” to multiple characters previously, and once romantically to Dean, nobody on the show had ever said the same to Castiel, which also reads as homophobic, particularly after the confession scene.
This show may have begun as two brothers fighting monsters in what was supposed to be a horror meta-TV show, but it turned into so much more. Many, if not most fans, watch this show for its messages- for the story and what it promotes. What may seem like small things, such as nobody telling Castiel they loved him, are huge negative messages relayed by the show toward fans who have seen themselves in Castiel for over 12 years.
Misha Collins even expressed his concern over Castiel’s death immediately after his coming out, and how it played into many negative tropes. The cast’s concerns made fans believe that the cast probably fought to fix this, and that Castiel would definitely come back in the finale. The fact that Misha had not said goodbye to his character on any social media platform, when other actors had said goodbye, already, gave fans more hope to believe that Castiel would be coming back. The CW’s efforts to conceal Misha’s location during the filming of the final two episodes was also reason to believe Castiel would be coming back. As it turns out, Castiel’s character never came back, and was only mentioned twice in two throwaway lines which seemed to be in the script just for the sake of it, and not for any actual merit or regard for his character. Needless to say, Castiel’s confession in the 18th episode was definitely homophobic and an example of “bury your gays”.
The confession also reeled in thousands of fans and interested viewers, right before the final two episodes. Keeping that in mind, and also the fact that the CW probably did not allow Misha to say goodbye to his character on purpose, leads fans to the conclusion that Castiel’s coming out was for clout- for attention. There was no plausible reason to include a homosexual love confession scene three episodes before the show’s finale if the confession was never going to be acknowledged after that, other than the fact that said confession was for clout. It is obvious now that the confession and past 12 years of Dean and Cas’ relationship was used as queerbait- queer subtext and hints at a LGBTQ+ relationship from the writers, to gain views and attention, but never actually going through with the relationship. Destiel was used as a plot device- as a way for the show to gain a couple hundred thousand extra views before it ended. This obviously has caused a lot of upset in the fans, especially those who have seen themselves in Dean and Castiel’s relationship. People who had stopped watching the show years ago, came back because of Destiel. People who have never watched a single episode of Supernatural, watched the last three episodes because of Destiel. People who had never watched the show knew about Destiel and its fanbase, because this show is just that enormous, and its fanbase, bigger. The homophobic ending was not just a disservice to the fans, but to all LGBTQ+ people, the cast, and anyone and everyone who ever hoped to see a canon queer relationship on their television screens. It’s not even about a random pairing, but about a pairing that has been hoped for since 2008- a pairing that has been sneakily written into the scripts, a pairing that has been accepted by its actors, a pairing that was more than subtext, a pairing that was so obviously queer before it was even made explicit.
So far, the show’s 15-year-long themes were disregarded, a depressed character was given a “glorified” death, and a lead queer character was killed right after coming out. Because this is a letter, I cannot possibly contain 15 years’ worth of character development in it, so the previous points, as long as they may be, were very condensed, and only fans and those who worked on the show know the true depth of the arguments made.
One of the other leads, Sam Winchester, was also given a weak ending, considering his character arc and development. If Sam Winchester did not join Dean as a hunter in the show’s very first episode, he would probably have gotten married, had a kid, and lived a life without his brother or found family. In the show’s final episode, Sam Winchester got married, had a kid, and lived a life without his brother or found family. The only difference here is that in the finale, his wife was a random, blurred out woman in the background of a single scene. His character’s 15-year-long development was tossed out the window, and Sam ended up exactly where he would have if he didn’t fight for everything he did for 15 years. As of November 22, it has also been confirmed that Jared Padalecki believed that Sam could have used he/they pronouns, confirming what many fans had theorized for many years. He told fans that Sam’s gender and sexuality is not set in stone, and it is open to the interpretation of fans. (x) The possibility that Sam could have been a non-binary character speaks volumes to the writers’ ignorance toward acknowledging and developing characters’ gender identities, unless it is for clout. All of these points, all of these character arcs destroyed are a huge injustice to the fans, the actors, and the crew, everybody who worked so hard to build this story up to what it became in 15 years.
It is also worth mentioning the treatment of the character of Eileen. She was the show’s only deaf character, and had a small arc to play in the grand scheme of the show. Eileen and Sam’s relationship had been built for a couple of seasons, and the inclusion of a deaf character in this show was very important and monumental. Killing Eileen, then mentioning she was alive in a single throwaway line in the finale was disrespectful to her character, the actor, as well as to the deaf community who finally saw themselves represented in a character on this show. Instead of Eileen and Sam ending up with each other, the montage toward the end of the episode showed Sam married to a blurred-out woman. It was very rushed, lazy, and disrespectful. (x)
When you look at it from a big picture perspective, the only two main romantic couples the show should have ended with were: a gay angel and a bisexual man, and a deaf woman and Sam. These pairings were not the conventional pairings that are seen in everyday television, but if they had been canonized, it would have been a huge feat for the show in terms of representation.
This show will now be remembered for homophobia and misogyny. Its legacy is dead. All the queerbaiting, the negative tropes, and the misuse of the fans’ trust, especially in the final episode, has destroyed the entire show’s legacy. The show’s finale is the lowest rated episode of the season on IMDB as of November 21st, (x) and is on track to becoming the lowest rated episode of the entire show. (x) It is also being regarded as worse than the finales of Game of Thrones and How I Met Your Mother. (x) Both those shows, their networks, writers, and producers, have publicly suffered many losses due to their weak finales, (x) (x) and Supernatural is set on the same path of failure, unless action is taken to correct its finale, immediately.
This finale may not have affected many people if this show had only run for 3 or 4 years and had a small fanbase. But this show’s outreach is so vast and deep that even those who have not watched the show, laugh at it, today. Fans who have been ridiculed for finding comfort in a genre meta show, or for believing in the canonization of a 12-year-long love between two men, are being laughed at and mocked. This show has provided so much comfort and meaning to so many millions of fans, but will now fail to hold that same power, because the writing and production of just one episode has laid down its legacy as homophobic and misogynistic.
Jensen, Jared, and Misha
This is not just a big deal for the characters, story, and the fans, but for the beloved actors who have dedicated the past 15 years to these characters so fiercely. It is no secret that the leads of this show, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins, have turned down roles in other shows and films. (x) The one that stands out the most is Jensen Ackles, and how he turned down so many prestigious film offers out of loyalty to Supernatural- films that could have easily gotten him Oscar nominations and made him a household name. But he stuck around, and so did the rest of the cast, because this is the SPNfamily, and the themes of the show have consistently carried over into peoples’ day to day lives. Loyalty to a television show like this is very rare in the industry, but the persistence of the cast attests to their love to the story and their willingness to do it justice. This cast has so much love for their characters, they stuck around purposely for 15 years, and for the show to treat their characters and the story with such incompetence, is utterly disrespectful to them. (x)
This cast has also gained a lot from their dedication to the show. The lead cast has dealt with many personal struggles, which this show and fandom have helped them navigate over the past 15 years. This cast has created lifelong friendships and relationships due to the consistency of the story. The cast has created personal businesses with names that play as an ode to the show and everything it has done for them. The cast has gained many professional skills from the show, as well, including directorial debuts and many returns to direct such a beloved show. This cast has given their everything to play their characters convincingly, including acting with a type of professionalism and vivacity that is not seen on a TV show that has never gained much attention from award academies. The cast was dedicated to this story and were proud of it, until the finale basically threw away 15 years’ worth of their efforts.
Fans have put together from cast interviews that the lead cast did not initially enjoy the script of the finale. Certain actors had to be convinced into liking the poorly written finale- they had to be manipulated into believing they were “too close” to the characters, which obviously makes no logical sense. Jensen Ackles was pitched the finale, and he did not like it. (x) He attempted to understand the script and talk to the writers. At a convention, Jensen explained what happened and said that he was just told to “take it or leave it.” (x) He was given no choice. (x) If an actor who has been playing a character for 15 years finds the character’s ending unsettling, it means they understand the character better than anyone, and their opinion should be taken into account, not dismissed and argued against. For Jensen to have to settle for a terrible finale, while pouring his heart and soul into acting that episode, and see fans react with such outrage and upset, it has to break his heart. Other cast members, including actors who have not been on the show in a couple of seasons, have shown apathy toward the series finale. Actor Sebastian Roché took to Twitter and ridiculed the way Dean was killed. (x) (x) The cast will not be able to look back at this show and be proud of it- they are ultimately going to remember that their own character’s story ended horribly, fans did not like it, and their show’s legacy practically died.
The complete disregard for Misha Collins and his character is also worth mentioning. (x) Castiel was confirmed as LGBTQ+, immediately killed, used as queerbait for clout, and was not even in the show’s finale. It seems that Misha was not allowed to post anything saying goodbye to his character or the show until after the finale. He was not included in the video posted on the show’s Instagram (x) of the cast saying thank you, and neither was Jensen Ackles, both who have openly shown distaste toward the finale and treatment of the story and characters. This vigorous PR campaign benefitted from the confession scene and the anticipation and excitement from the fans, who were given false hope, and whose emotions were toyed with and disregarded in the end. It has also managed to ignore two of the lead actors and their characters’ legacies, just because these actors were not satisfied with a homophobic and misogynistic ending.
Some sources claim that Misha was absent from the show’s finale because of Covid-19 restrictions, but as was evident in the final shot of the finale, there were quite a few people on set. So, not including Misha or his character was a deliberate action, and can be read as homophobic. It is being read as homophobic, because the only available option upon the return on Castiel would be having Dean confront him, and the two of them hashing out their romantic feelings. There is no other plausible reason for the exclusion of Castiel and Misha. Some sources at the CW have attempted to refute the rumors around Misha and Covid-19, by saying that many other actors were not able to shoot the final episode due to the pandemic. They claimed that the network contacted fan favourite actors from the earlier seasons to make an appearance in the finale, but many of those actors have recently come out and refuted those claims. Samantha Ferris, who played Ellen in the earlier seasons, took to Twitter on November 22nd, and said that the CW did not contact her or many other previous Supernatural actors to make an appearance in the finale. (x) (x) (x) (x) Obviously, the network made a false claim to probably attempt to cover up their reasoning as to why Misha and Castiel were not in the finale.
The writers, producers, and network were all fully aware of just how beloved the character of Castiel was. His character was originally supposed to be on the show for just three episodes, but now has a legacy worth 12 seasons. A lot of what the show has come to be, is due to Castiel. Many fans can vouch for this fact, and so can the network, as the show almost got cancelled after Castiel was killed in season 7. They were also aware that after the writing became weak in the later seasons, Castiel was the sole reason many fans stuck around and continued watching the show. It is also acknowledged that the show’s LGBTQ+ fans were largely responsible for the show remaining on air for as long as it did, fans who mostly watched the show for Castiel and his relationship with Dean, as well. The importance of Castiel’s character can never be overstated- he carried the show for many seasons, and everyone was aware of this. Everyone knew that there would be outrage if Castiel was not in the finale. So, revealing he was LGBTQ+ and killing him permanently was a clear homophonic decision, and utterly inconsiderate to the LGBTQ+ fans who kept the show running for so long.
The killing of Dean is also being read as homophobic, as the only possible happy ending for Dean’s character would have been a romantic ending with Castiel. If the confession scene was not included in episode 18, maybe the finale could have made some sort of sense, but the inclusion of the confession narrowed the possibility of the endings of Castiel and Dean to be only with each other. As of November 22, it has also been confirmed that Supernatural intended on reviving the character of Jimmy Novak, who is Castiel’s human vessel. (x) It is important to note that Jimmy Novak is straight. If Covid-19 had not caused any problems, it seems that the writers would have rather baited fans into believing Castiel was coming back, but it would actually just be his heterosexual vessel. This decision proves that the show would rather have had “Castiel” come back to the show as a heterosexual man, than as himself now that he was out of the closet, in order to avoid confrontation of Dean’s feelings towards Castiel. Because, as stated before, if Dean and Castiel had talked about the confession, the only plausible next step would have been to canonize their relationship. If Sam could get a montage of a happy life with a wife and kids, then why couldn’t Dean and Castiel? They worked just as hard, they fought just as much for a good life, and they deserved it as much as anyone else. Therefore, the confession was queerbaiting, homophobic, and so were the deaths of Dean and Castiel. Plain and simple.
There also seems to be a lot of covering up of information on behalf of the CW. Fans have dissected news sources, behind the scenes pictures, interviews and whatnot, to gather information that is misleading about the finale. (x) Firstly, it appears that many scenes were cut from the final episode, according to the shooting schedule. (x) (x) As was evident in the episode itself, many scenes were edited awkwardly and others were very drawn out, as if compensating for cuts. These factors were also evident in episode 18, particularly in the confession scene between Dean and Castiel. The 18th episode was also originally titled “The Truth” but was later changed to “Despair”, probably to compensate for the scenes that were cut. (x) As previously stated, the CW tried very hard to conceal Misha’s location while filming during Covid-19. Originally, it was thought that Misha was not actually in Vancouver, and that concealing his location was to create suspense for Castiel’s return. Then, once the finale aired and Castiel did not return, it was obvious that Misha’s location secrecy was used for clout and queerbaiting. As it turns out, Misha seemed to have been quarantined in Vancouver during August, while the final two episodes were filming. (x) If he filmed those episodes or not, is still a mystery, but either way, the decision to leave Castiel out of the final two episodes reads as homophobic. Then again, Misha has confirmed that he never got to read the scripts of the final two episodes, despite his voice being used in episode 19. (x) If Misha was filming the final two episodes, but was deliberately cut out of the final product, what was he cut for? Currently, it seems his probable scenes with Dean were the reason he may have been cut out. If Misha did not film the final two episodes, that means the CW purposely hid his location for the sole purpose of clout. Both Jensen and Misha have also been very quiet on social media since the finale aired, which is rather peculiar as they have both always been active when new episodes have aired in the past. This may have to do with their dissatisfaction with the finale and how both their characters were treated. Another huge piece of missing information has to do with the fact that Robert Wisdom, who played Uriel in the early seasons of the show, was seen on set, and was even in a picture with Misha Collins on the last few days on set at the start of this year. (x) Again, this leads fans to believing many more scenes were cut than has been let on. Fans have been reading this information and are upset and angry at the CW network for the mistreatment of the show, the characters, and the actors. There is definitely something bigger at play here which ties all this information together, but fans have yet to figure that out.
This fandom is huge, there is no denying or hiding that. A 15-year relationship between the fans and the cast has blurred the line between actors and fans. Supernatural is one of the only shows ever to not have a parasocial relationship with its fans. This relationship has always worked both ways, the show affecting both fans and cast, equally. The cast is so dedicated to their stories and the importance of it to the fans, they spend 9 months of every year, away from their families, filming and working hard, sometimes even at the cost of their health. Supernatural has had more conventions every year than Star Trek, which was undoubtedly a phenomenon. That sort of dedication has to stand for something, and cannot possibly end on such an upsetting note.
There is a reason this fandom calls itself family. The fandom has been through much together, created so much good together, and stuck together throughout everything. The show has been through network switches and mergers, multiple timeslot changes, and has been put into timeslots where shows are put when there is no hope left for the show. Yet, the show continued. It persisted and remained on air. This did not happen on its own. The fans are to thank for such a feat, but to create a finale that left those exact fans hopeless and upset is a really stupid move to make, and shows no respect or gratitude for the very people who are responsible for 15 years of a story that was almost dropped multiple times. This is so much more than a TV show. The characters on this show have fought and inspired so much hope and life into fans, they have fought to change their lives for the better, and it has only brought the fans closer to each other. This fandom’s power and outreach exceeds that of any fandom before it, and there may never be anything like the Supernatural fandom, ever again. For context, this show has been running longer than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jensen and Jared have been playing Sam and Dean longer than Robert Downey Jr. has been playing Iron Man, and everybody knows how iconic that character was. Now, with an ending as unsatisfying and as draining as the one aired on November 19th, fans are losing hope. They are angry. This show was supposed to stand for wanting to fight, to live, and to love, just like Sam, Dean, and Castiel have been doing. But all three characters got the exact opposite of all those things they have been fighting for.
Despite the loss of hope, fans have not given up. Fans of Supernatural have channeled their hurt and anger into good. They have started fundraisers supporting LGBTQ+ and mental health charities in the names of Sam, Dean, and Castiel. The Castiel Project supports the Trevor Project, aiming to provide support and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth, the Dean Winchester is Love fundraiser supports the national alliance on mental illness, and the Sam Winchester Project supports Together We Rise, which provides grocery, housing, and utility recourses to displaced college foster youth affected by Covid-19 closures. (x) Fans are hurt beyond measure, because these characters are not just pixels on a screen to them. Fans are mourning their loss like they were real-life loved ones. This fandom is so hurt, but it continues to fight, to keep the original message of the show alive.
If this fandom and show has taught me anything, it’s that when everything goes to hell, I will always keep fighting- for this show, the story, the characters, and this family. I refuse to sit around and watch my fellow fans in the SPNfamily lose hope and their will to keep going and fighting for themselves, because the series ended so horribly.
Since TV networks may not particularly care about storylines and emotional impact when there are millions of dollars to be made, I offer you this perspective: after the finale aired, and in the days following, I personally have talked to and heard from many hundreds of fans who now fail to find joy in this show. Fans who had been saving up money to purchase a box set of the complete series, now will not be doing so. Fans who had been saving money to buy Supernatural merchandise once the series ended, will not be doing so, now. Fans who were looking forward to attending conventions, will not be doing so, anymore. Even those people who intended on binge watching the show for the first time, after all the episodes aired, are now disinterested, knowing how it ended.
On November 25th, a video was posted to Tumblr of a live recording of episode 18, dubbed in Spanish. (x) In the video, Castiel tells Dean, “Te amo,” (I love you [romantically]), and Dean clearly reciprocates by saying, “Y yo a ti, Cas.” (And I you, Cas). Though the episode itself was edited from the original cut, as it was in other parts of the world, the Spanish dub was seemingly forgotten, and what seems to be the original script remained and was aired lived. Fans are not saying that there was an alternate ending filmed, but that it is very clear that many scenes, reactions, and important dialogues were deleted from the final cut that aired, as is evident from multiple pieces of evidence that have come to light in this past week. It was confirmed a while ago that the original script underwent heavy cuts, and the episode itself was heavily edited as well. Perhaps it was miscommunication on behalf of the network that led to those cuts not being applied to the dub. Nevertheless, Dean did reciprocate Castiel’s love and that, in turn, confirmed his sexuality. It has also been confirmed by many legitimate sources that when TV episodes are being dubbed, the voice actors are provided the original scripts of the show. So, if any changes or cuts were made, the actors would not be aware of them, which leads the fandom to make the well-informed decision that somewhere in the original script of the episode, Dean did reciprocate verbally. (x) The deletion of this scene from the world’s television, leave South America, reveals that the CW network attempted to censor the show’s main LGBTQ+ romance, and that Dean was, quite literally, silenced. As stated before, episode 18 was originally titled “The Truth” but was later renamed “Despair”. In South America, the episode aired with its original title, “The Truth.” (x) LBGTQ+ voices were silenced. These characters and everything they had come to represent up until that point, was silenced. LGBTQ+ people are people, and just as worthy of love and a voice as anyone else. Nobody deserves to be censored for love. Nobody deserves to be silenced for being who they are. Censorship as vigorous and as inhumane as this is glaringly homophobic and disgusting. Perhaps it was a high-up executive decision that led to this sort of censorship, but no matter the reason, the decision was made despite the reciprocated confession being written and filmed. The network was well aware of the size of its LGBTQ+ audience, and profited off their views and support. To treat their audience with such contempt is a misuse of their support and a mockery of their existences.
For a network that constantly airs advertisements claiming to be “open to all” it has quite a history of killing many of the LGBTQ+ characters they’re seemingly “open to.” In the case of Castiel, defending his death by claiming that he “saved the world” or that “he died expressing his true self” is a pretty weak argument, and seems like a coverup. Expressing one’s true self, then dying as a result of it, especially on a show and network that has a long-winded history of killing its LGBTQ+ characters, is NOT a good message to send. It does not matter that the character “ended up in heaven.” The character had to die, first. They had the chance to finally express their true selves, and were directly killed as a result of it. There is no good message there. It is also evident in the comments at the very bottom of this petition, which we ask you to read through thoroughly, as they highlight why people are signing this petition and just how much it has affected your audience. Fans are beyond angry, and if this letter and these comments are not a learning experience for the network, then it will never recover from this fallout.
This finale will cost the network. It will cost you your fans, their support, as well as their money. It already has, and will continue to cost you more in the coming days. Undoubtedly, Supernatural is the biggest, most successful show on the CW Network, and most of your following comes from this show. Many fans have also expressed disinterest in watching Walker, the upcoming CW show starring Jared Padalecki, or any other CW show, out of dissatisfaction for the network and its treatment of its stories, characters, and actors. If this finale remains the way it is, the network will lose fans and, I can guarantee, millions of dollars.
After all the lies, deceit, coverups, and misuse of trust, the fandom is still willing to give the network a chance to make it right. This hope is coming from a place rooted deep within the fandom from a story that this network has allowed us to experience for many years. Though the network ultimately failed its audience and story, the fandom is providing you a single chance. Please do not take this opportunity lightly.
Listening to the fans and the arguments presented in this letter will be worth it. Many companies and networks do not take their audience seriously, and then suffer the consequences. An example of this situation is when the Game of Thrones final season ended so horribly, and fans took to signing petitions which reached over 1 million signatures. The HBO network did see the petition, but ultimately ignored it and chose to do nothing to correct their failures. As is common knowledge, the production team and the directors of the show suffered many public losses. But, when networks and the executives responsible for the big decisions do listen, only good comes out of it. The best example of this is the Sonic the Hedgehog film. When the first trailer of the film was released, fans were quite upset with the animation of the main character, Sonic. Fans spoke out, contacted the producers and directors, and set up petitions. Their voices were heard. And, in the words of Jim Carry, “Jeff Fowler [the director], had no ego involved at all. He just went, 'These people grew up with it, and it's important to them that we get it right.' And I think it was just a much better movie because of it.” (x) When the powers that be listen to their audience, change happens, and it happens for the better. We implore you to listen to us, and take our anger and our hurt into account.
As the last 25 pages or so have repeatedly emphasized, this is about more than a bunch of people feeling upset about an episode of a show. This is about more than just a ship. This is about more than just random characters. Supernatural has always been more than just a show, and this fandom refuses to receive anything less than what is worthy of this story.
The fandom would also like to stress the importance of recognizing the dedication and hard work of the actors, specific writers, and the crew who tried their best given the circumstances they were placed in. The actors have tried their hardest to learn and to grow, and do not deserve to feel liable for the mistakes of the network. It is becoming increasingly evident that the actors have done their absolute best to understand fans and to give them what they could. But, with the vigorous corporate nightmare this past week must have presented the network, it seems that the network has been in contact with certain actors. It seems that the network has been telling actors to tone down on their social medias, which has led to video posts that contradict many important topics these actors have believed and talked about, previously. It seems to many fans that the network does not want to take responsibility and is using certain actors as scapegoats- making them take the fall for the network’s lies and failures. The fandom is aware that this is NOT the fault of the actors. The CW Network needs to take responsibility NOW. Do not make the actors apologize when it should be the network apologizing.
What can the network do? OWN its mistakes. Take responsibility, publicly. Learn from this letter and from every fan of this story about how you let them down, and CHANGE the finale. It is well within the network’s power to do so, and the fandom will not stop asking for justice until justice is done.
This is us not settling for a story that taught us to never settle for anything- to fight for what we believe in and to stick together. And that is exactly what we are doing.
What We Call For
Since there are too many plot holes to fix, we are not asking for a remake of the whole season, or even multiple episodes. All we ask, is for a remake of the finale, “Carry On”. We ask that the network involves writers that have done the story justice before, specifically Robert Berens. We ask that the network involves the lead cast, Jensen, Jared, and Misha in the process, and takes their opinions and perspectives into account. We are calling for a well-written, in-character finale for our favourite show. We are calling for a finale that is worthy of Sam, Dean, and Castiel, as well as of Jensen, Jared, and Misha. We are calling for a finale that this story deserves, a finale that this show has fought for since season 1. If the last 15 years are a testament to anything, it’s the fact that this fandom has an immense capability to initiate change. This is our initiative. This is us fighting for our family. We just hope you take part in it.
Changing the finale will NOT be a bad move. In fact, admitting your mistakes and moving progressively forward is going to show your dedication to this story, and inspire hope again, and create genuine change in this industry. Not to mention, it’ll help the legacy of this show last. Nobody wants to look back on a 15-year story and hate it. Happy endings are not stupid or overrated. Happy endings are what fiction is for. They are what TV is for. They are what stories like this are for. They are what art is for. It is an escape, a longing for the things many people can’t always seem to find in day-to-day life. Art is fundamentally about humanity- finding your own and helping people realize theirs. That is what we all set out to do when we work or create. That is what you, the CW network, the Supernatural writers and producers, set out to do, at the end of the day. We all find whatever it is that sets our souls on fire and pursue it relentlessly.
Creation has power, and used in the right way, it can really shape and change lives in ways people may not think possible. So, I implore you to do this for the truth of the story, to stay true to our humanity, to help anyone who has ever felt underrepresented, undeserving, or ingenuine, feel that they are worth it. It will matter. It will make a difference. The world needs creators- creators who do it right, and who can admit their mistakes and FIX them. I promise you, a remake of the finale is in everybody’s best interest.
We the fandom, are holding you reliable. The next step is yours to take.
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