I'm honestly shocked at how vitriolic the reaction to this episode has been. Sincerely.
I was expecting a few people to be disappointed, because I could see so many fans convincing themselves that Misha literally telling us that 18 was his last episode was part of some kind of elaborate cover up. So there was always going to be a hard comedown on that front.
But despite a few small things (most of which I'd guess were covid changes) this was pretty much a perfect ending to me. I had a handful of dream endings. This was damn close to one of them.

I'll explain why in this thread. It'll probably be about ten points long, we'll see.
1. After Cas died for Dean, Dean made the conscious decision to try to live for Cas, and to live in gratitude. To embrace good things. To live with love & honesty.

We saw the beginning of this last week when he told Chuck that actually, "the ultimate killer" isn't who he is.
Processing his grief in a healthy way was part of that same conscious decision. Keeping the dog, going to the pie festival? They were part of it, too.

"That pain's not gonna go away," Dean told Sam. He was acknowledging his grief but actively not letting it drown him.
He was choosing not to go down the same destructive path he's gone down every other time he lost someone he loves. He letting himself feel the hurt, & still moving forward.

And this was all a direct result of what Cas told him.
Because of what Cas saw in him, he finally saw the possibility of being the best version of himself. This is the actualization of Dean Winchester that we've all been asking for FOREVER.
(and yes, it would've been nice if that actualization had been able to extend far enough for him to explicitly come out as bi, no argument from me there. but frankly, that's already implicit canon that y'all can pry from my queer little hands, so i can live without it.)
2. People have been saying that Dean dying on a hunt was just reinforcing Chuck's narrative, which is... honestly just wrong. Sorry. But it's wrong.

Chuck's narrative was an endless loop of codependency. Fratricide and suicide and last-ditch sacrifice and resurrection.
To me, Dean dying on a hunt after successfully saving some kids makes perfect sense.

Because he was never going to retire. He cares too much about the world. He cares too much about people.

As long as there were monsters, he was going to keep trying to save people from them.
And it's so important to note here that Dean didn't just give up.

This wasn't like the S13 grief spiral that had him killing himself on a random ghost hunt because he was so depressed that he didn't care if he lived or died.
(And it's not because he cares about this loss any less.

Seeing people suggest as much has me seeing red. I can't even verbalize this point well because it's making me so furious to see people brush off this character development and say "Wow, I guess Dean doesn't care.")
He could feel the rebar impaling him clean through, and he knew that this was it. He accepted it. He asked Sam to let him go, because this is a part of the new Dean, too. Trusting Sam to look after himself.

Years and years of desperate, destructive codependency, finally broken.
3. Sam's acceptance of Dean's request to let him go was just as important as Dean being able to ask in the first place. This was a huge moment for both of them in terms of years of character growth.
Because while one of Dean's biggest issues has always been his fear of abandonment, one of Sam's has been his own guilt over the times when he *has* abandoned Dean, even (or perhaps especially) when that wasn't his intention.
4. Heaven on this show has always been deeply horrific to me. Even the idea of soulmates has always been horrific.

A cold matrix of memories, everyone alone forever unless they happened to have been a part of some creepy cosmic breeding program.

So I've always factored "fix the heaven problem" into my must-haves for the end. Because the idea that these characters would just get shunted into an endless rehash of their precious few happy memories after everything they've been through was genuinely vile for me to consider.
Knowing now that not only did Heaven get restructured, but that this change was started by Jack--the son they raised, who modeled himself on Cas, who loved the whole world because of Dean, whose love for his family & friends & care for the world is what makes him who he is--
and that Cas himself helped Jack to do it? That Cas is not only free of the Empty, but that he is also somewhere in this New Free Heaven that he helped to build?

This is a lot. A lot.
"It's a big new world out there. You'll see."

Heaven is a whole world now. They can have peace AND freedom. These are not mutually exclusive concepts anymore.
Because Heaven is now a whole world. A world without monsters. Without pain or hunger or want or suffering.

This is the paradise that Jack made, that Cas saw in him, and it's because of all of them that it was created.
(Sorry for the long intermission in the thread, guys. I suddenly realized that it was like 1:45am and I still hadn't done the dinner dishes I'd volunteered to take care of 😅 getting back to it in a few minutes)
5. Over the years, every single Big Bad has either been directly or indirectly the result of Chuck's meddling. The fact that they dealt with Chuck before the finale means that the world at large is no longer in danger. There are only regular monsters left to contend with.
This made it possible for the final episode to really focus on the end of the personal journeys of Sam and Dean, and the culmination of their years-long arcs.
6. Sam has had several major arcs over the years. His struggles with power and with trusting himself were resolved some time ago, with an occasional slip here and there because growth is never linear.
His most end-game relevant arc, however, has been about finding balance between two seemingly diametrically opposed states of being: hunting and civilian life. He’s never been fully happy doing just one or the other.
When he's given up hunting, he's restless & guilty.
When he's given up civilian life, he yearns for it.

"You don't ever think about something? Not marriage or whatever. But . . . Something? You know, with a hunter? Somebody who understands the life?"
Based on literally everything, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the woman he ended up with here was supposed to be Eileen.

While I’m assuming that they couldn’t get Shoshannah for covid reasons, I am disappointed that they didn’t do more to make it clear that it was her.
Regardless, the point is this: it’s clear that Sam and Eileen lived in a regular house, and tried to make sure that their son was raised with a sense of normalcy. But the presence of an anti-possession tattoo on his arm makes it pretty clear that they found a balance there.
7. Dean has also had several* major issues to overcome throughout his complete arc.

*this may be the understatement of the century
His fear of abandonment, his lack of self worth, his tendency to make everything his responsibility while simultaneously lashing out at those he loves as a form of self defence when deep down he blames himself, his inability to let go, his fear of vulnerability & loss of control.
Most of these were unresolved until this season, likely because they're all so deeply connected. His lack of self worth, and his inability to let go have been the most relevant to the final run of episodes, though, so those are what I'll focus on here.
I already mentioned the self worth thing (in oblique terms) earlier while talking about the effect of Cas' words on Dean, but to be more specific--he's not diminishing himself anymore.
He doesn't need to tear himself to shreds with guilt over Cas' sacrifice, because he has accepted that he was worthy of the love that Cas felt for him. He feels the pain of the loss, and knows he'll carry it with him forever, but he accepts it. Self worth. Letting go.
Also, while it seems on the surface that Sam was the one who had to let go of Dean in allowing him to die, this was ultimately Dean's moment as well. Because he's been Sam's parent for most of his life, and he's never been able to willingly surrender that responsibility before.
But now, his newfound self worth is helping him yet again to realize that he didn't screw this up. He raised Sam well, and Sam is going to be okay without him. He is free to let go of the lifelong responsibility of Keeping Sam Safe.
And I think I touched on this briefly before, but asking Sam not to try to bring him back, asking him to just stay with him at the end, is not Dean giving up. It's not Dean wanting to die. He just knows that it is unavoidable.
(And considering that Jack is God 2.0, even though they don't know yet what has become of the afterlife, I think it's fairly safe to assume that neither he nor Sam were concerned about ending up somewhere bad when they died)
8. Given that Bobby was waiting outside the Roadhouse, I think it's safe to say that this scene was definitely a covid casualty. That said, the fact that Bobby was the one there to greet Dean when he arrived in New Heaven, and that Dean was the one to greet Sam, makes me really--
--content. Bobby was a father figure to Dean. Dean was a father figure to Sam. So the fact that they were both welcomed to the afterlife by the person who raised them, who helped them both become the people they are, is just deeply satisfying to me.
Just... I really like how this was a further moment just sticking it to all the deadbeat dads in the show. (Even Chuck, the ultimate deadbeat dad, was replaced by Jack, who rejected his own deadbeat dad Lucifer in favor of three better ones. Good stuff.)
Also, related to this scene--I'd be willing to bet that the original pre-covid script had a big reunion at the Roadhouse. Presumably this is where we would've seen John (ugh) and Mary (yay!) and a bunch of other people. Sigh.
9. Confirmation that Cas is free of the Empty. Honestly, I didn't even care how this was resolved, as long as it was resolved. Just knowing that he's out, and he's free, and he's in Heaven was enough to make me breathe out in relief.
Knowing that, on top of that, he helped to create the Heaven that Dean deserves?

That's the kind of fanfic free for all ending I'd hoped for. I expect 10000 fics on my desk by Monday.

(And y'all know I'm writing my own)
Obviously I wish that we could've seen (or even heard) him in Heaven, rather than just learning he was there via Bobby.

But honestly... that would have required a reaction from Dean, and my gut feeling on that is that they didn't get the clearance to let Dean out of the closet.
YMMV, but for me personally I'm far happier with explicit text on one side and implicit text on the other with the door left wide open, than any of the alternatives.

Cas showing up, & Dean saying nothing? Bad.
Cas showing up, & Dean saying "hey bro"? Bad.
10. Like I said, this was close to a perfect ending for me.

There are obviously things that I wish had happened differently, and things that I think deserved slightly more weight and things that deserved slightly less.
Some of the execution wasn't 100% what I'd hoped for, but honestly... given that this was the first show to return to shooting post covid? I'm less concerned about that. Because overall, the outcome was one that I wanted.
Like I said, I'm shocked by people saying that this ending was bad or not earned, because I felt like it made perfect sense & tied up most threads in a satisfying way. Anyway. Somehow it's 5:30am lol. I need to sleep. But I hope that this thread was at least slightly interesting.

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More from @violetmatter

21 Nov
Just sorting out my thoughts. Feel free to ignore!

I think the main reason why I'm more or less satisfied with the ending is because the bones were what I wanted them to be, even if the flesh was thin.

And because I can see it, I'm focused on the skeleton.
On my first watch I sobbed the whole way through & only retained a few things: namely, that the toxic codependency cycle was finally broken, that Cas was out of the Empty, that Heaven was no longer the Matrix, & that they'd all have freedom in the world that Cas and Jack built.
So even though I noticed the rough patches--things that were missing, or unclear, or executed poorly--the fact that so many major things I'd always wanted had happened was my main focus.
Read 11 tweets
20 Nov
I see a bunch of people are unhappy but... this was pretty much exactly what I'd wanted & expected. For the brothers to break the endless cycle of costly resurrections, for the Heaven matrix to be dismantled and replaced with an actual reward 💜

Knowing that Cas is free from the Empty and helped Jack to create a better Heaven has really got me like 😭💜 I wish we'd been able to see them again, though.

I'm also kinda inclined to think that Sam's wife was meant to be Eileen but COVID changes meant using a local actor as a stand in for the out-of-focus porch shot... yes, no, maybe? I really hope they can share the original script and changes that had to be made...

Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
I've been trying to find words to express what this show means to me for an hour. Except... that's not quite right.

I've been trying to find the words since March 22 2019, when I woke the morning after my wedding & saw the news that S15 would be the last.

Since then, I've been actively repressing the feelings of loss and grief. I've forced myself to focus on being thankful that we ever got to have these characters at all.

But now, time is running out, and suddenly I can't repress it anymore.

The number of measurable, real-world, life-changing effects that this show has had on my life is frankly absurd.

But it's true.

Read 13 tweets

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