Whatever you’re feeling now, you’re not alone.
That was the prompt for what I’m sitting down to write, and I’m struck by how true that is, and how deceptively simple it makes all this seem. How am I feeling? All kinds of ways.
I feel incredibly lucky that I loved both the season finale and the series finale. I liked that they wrapped up the season the episode before, with Castiel’s heartfelt admission and his goodbye, and then we had Chuck’s demotion to a mere human, and Jack’s ascension to something close to our idea of a more benevolent God. I loved that the very last episode wrapped up Sam and Dean’s fifteen year story and did it justice.
I sobbed my way through the second half of the episode and it was excruciatingly painful, but it wasn’t unexpected. If someone had asked me how I wanted Supernatural to end, it wouldn’t have been with Dean dying relatively young and Sam living on without him. And yet, the barn scene felt right – it felt like Supernatural. This show has always been dark – in the early years, we would all constantly rail at Eric Kripke for breaking our hearts again and again. It was never Pollyanna; it was never happily ever after. It has always been a show that made me FEEL. That scene was no exception – in fact, it made me feel more than any other scene in the entire show. I can’t ask for more than that, that a fictional story about fictional characters moved me so much – that it made me love these characters so much that I was truly devastated when they died.
I think if the finale had been missing its final scene, it might have been so dark that I would have felt traumatized for a long time, so I’m grateful for that final scene in Heaven. It felt like the ending to a beloved story that, while I hate that I’ve reached the end of the book, I’m smiling through my tears knowing that things are as they should be. I feel lucky that Jared and Jensen and the entire cast and crew cared enough to give it their all in that episode. I feel lucky that Sam and Dean, after all the trauma and pain and loss they’ve been through, got their happy ending – and will have it forever. I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched the bridge scene, with either “Carry On” or the fan edit with “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” to see Sam and Dean – and Jared and Jensen – smile and nod and look so damn proud of what they’ve done and so damn happy with where they are. I don’t even know if it’s the fictional characters who make me so happy when I watch that, or knowing that the two real people who put their hearts and souls into this for fifteen years are this satisfied and proud of what they’ve accomplished.
If I could just stay right there, my feelings wouldn’t be so mixed. If I’d stayed in my little bubble, I’d be incredibly sad that the show is over but still on a high from its ending and how its cast felt about that ending. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their feelings, but it felt terrible to see people lashing out about the finale and hating it – giving it horrible ratings on IMDB, boycotting the network, tweeting at the actors, throwing around accusations of conspiracies. All the good feelings I’d had from the show itself got tangled up with all the hate in the fandom. I kept wondering how that felt to Jared and Jensen and Misha, who had worked so hard on those last three episodes – and who seem to really care about this show and their characters and each other. I kept thinking about how proud and excited they were, how they kept saying we can’t wait for fans to see these episodes… and then they got so much hate. It still upsets me to think about it.
The other mixed feelings are just plain old loss. I loved this show. It was a big part of my life. I’m heartbroken that it’s ended and that we may never get to see these characters again. Their story may really be over. I don’t think it’s entirely sunk in yet; there’s still a little denial going on when I try to face the reality of that loss. Hopefully, eventually, we’ll all work through whatever feelings we’re having, and come out on the other side. Maybe by the time we get a reboot?