At its core, “Supernatural” is about two brothers, a badass car, and the crazy, colorful creatures they encounter and people they save on their road-tripping adventures. It simultaneously excels and breaks our hearts when anything threatens the delicate balance of off-the-wall humor, fraternal bonding and compelling action. The seventh season finale capped off a season of supreme highs and devilish lows by bidding farewell to a fan favorite, resurrecting another, and boldly going where no Winchester had gone before. Before I delve into commentary, I must rock out to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas—an honored tradition for finales.
“Survival Of The Fittest” opened exactly where last week’s episode closed: Dick Roman devil-trapping Crowley (Mark Sheppard) in the slick SucraCorp offices. The brave prophet from Advanced Placement, Kevin Tran, did not alter the translation of God’s rock as I had guessed, giving Dick (James Patrick Stuart) the same information he gave the Winchesters; that they needed the three bloods of the fallen, which included Crowley’s.
So they worked like old-school businessmen, hammering out a last-minute deal over whiskey and insults. Dick offered Crowley “free-range grazing for all demonkind” in the great country of Canada (a nice shout-out to the country the show is filmed). “America’s ours. Your sales team stays out. We need America; you’re so fat!” I’d be offended if I didn’t just return from stuffing my piehole with pork tacos and churros. All Dick wanted is for Crowley to give Sam and Dean “the blood of one sadly unimpressive demon in New Jersey” instead of his own, thus ruining their attempt to kill him. Insert your favorite “Jersey Shore” joke here.
If we know anything about Crowley, it’s that he loves a good double-cross, especially when his after-life’s work is at stake. So he makes a grand show of squabbling over details, complete with taking a red marker to a 13-foot long “standard rider.” What, no kiss?
If there’s anything I love about “Supernatural,” it’s when Sam and Dean go all black-ops, and scale fences like too-tall ninjas like in “Provenance” or bypass security systems like in “Folsom Prison Blues.” They’re on their way to steal the bone of a “righteous man” (or woman) so I’m just giddy to see them werk in cat suits and a 6’5’’ Sammy scale the side of a building. But there was none of that. They strolled into a nunnery crypt to find the most righteous one: Sister Mary Constant who lived “83 years of quiet, humble nun-like goodness,” according to Sam. “Let’s bone this nun,” Dean quipped. Sam bitchfaced. Done.
Back at Rufus’ cabin, Meg (Rachel Miner) arrived, begging Dean to take Castiel off her hands. “He was your boyfriend first,” Meg grumbled. HA! Dean can barely stomach the sight of him listening to Don McLean’s “Starry Starry Night” and waxing crazy about the plight of monkeys. I haven’t been a fan of Castiel’s since he broke Sam, but it’s awesome to see his sparkly disposition shred Dean Winchester’s nerves. Inside, Castiel inspected the purloined nun’s bones, complimenting their choice, and explained why he came back. His garrison had been wiped out by Leviathan. “They’re the piranha that eat the whole aquarium,” he explained grimly.
When Crowley arrived, I remembered that last season, Castiel betrayed him by cheating him out of all those delicious souls in purgatory, and he’d believed that Castiel was dead. I’m not sure who looked more scared, Castiel or Meg (who also screwed Crowley over). Castiel bumbled, “There are no insects up there. But there are trillions down here, making honey and silk…miracles really,” and offered Crowley a bag of raw honey. It took him less than a second to figure out that Castiel was beyond batty. “Did you come here to donkey-punch your old grudges or to help us end Dick? Pick a battle,” Dean barked. “Text me when Sparkles retrieves his marbles,” Crowley groaned, because what’s the fun in flaying someone who won’t even scream?
Crowley offered up his own blood and a few threats, because while he’s not a good demon—there’s no such thing—he always wants to take out anyone who threatens his livelihood.
Last week, Bobby’s ghost had gotten so enraged that he hijacked the body of a maid at Sam and Dean’s hotel. He was still wearing her now, using her meat suit to purchase an intimidating but useless knife. As Bobby attempted to steal some wheels, he gripped a bar made of pure iron in the back of a truck and was blasted out of her body. The maid pleaded for him to leave her alone, and it seemed for a second Bobby would until he saw Dick’s picture in a discarded newspaper and slammed back inside of her. Even though he was a hunter, Bobby can’t fight nature, even that of the paranormal. He’s going to get that poor woman killed.
As Dick Roman welcomed his delegates from all walks of life, Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) was still being held hostage. He hadn’t been turned into a stoned lemming yet because he’s a vegan and refused to eat any food they gave him. Unlike Polly, a tiny blonde teenager, they put in the room with him. She sat when told and robotically munched on Twizzlers, shrugging when Kevin asked her anything more than her name. Desperate, Kevin dug through the clothes left for Polly and took one of her bedazzled flowered hair pins. It would look nicer in his gorgeous hair anyway. But he used it to pick the lock instead. Good call!
I'm wickedly amused by Dick Roman, a blood-sucking beast, playing the part of a businessman. It’s a brilliant, timely metaphor that “Supernatural” has used masterfully all season. Thus, I loved the scene where all of Dick's Leviathans sat at a long conference room table like a corporate board meeting. It reminded me of a similar, but bleaker gathering of all leaders of the country’s wealth in HBO’s “Too Big To Fail,” in its ominous ambiance. In both, the fate of a country lied in the decision of a handful of beings. However, Dick’s wasn't there to talk about the flailing economy, but the roll-out of Additive 3.0 and poor, skinny Polly was his zonked guinea pig. “We want to engineer the perfect beast. Additive 3.0 targets only the characteristics they want bred out.” That included humans who are vertically challenged, hemophiliacs, with an IQ lower than 150, and those “zippy little hummingbirds” like Polly with a low body mass. You know the type—the co-worker or friend you secretly hate because they can eat entire cheesecakes without gaining an ounce and you jump two dress sizes watching a Snickers ad. The first round of Additive 3.0 was going out to L.A. disguised as multi-vitamins and non-dairy creamer. Dick might be evil incarnate, but he’s a genius.
Back at the cabin, Sam and Dean prepared the weapon. Unlike the breaking of the God rock or most spells, there was no lightning or thunder, no gust of wind or flare of fire when the three bloods met righteous bone. Sam and Dean waited for it in a way I found far too funny—I like it when the characters show growth—and they’re not sure if they had all of the right components or if Crowley screwed them. At least, Castiel came back with angel-made “solidarity” sandwiches. Full on their hammy solidarity, Sam and Dean arrived at SucraCorp, and prepare to get Dick. Thanks to Charlie, Sam hacked into the company’s grid of security cameras. After a minute, they discovered Dick's contingency plan: he kept a piece of the real Dick Roman on ice and cloned himself. There could be hundreds of Dicks inside, and Sam and Dean have no way of knowing who is the boss.
To make matters worse, Bobby arrived ready to slash and burn. Sam jumped to rescue both the woman and Bobby before the security cameras spotted them. I relished watching the tiny maid toss Sam around like a rag doll as he tried to reason with a vengeful spirit. Bobby hauled him against the side of the van (and out of side of the cameras) and strangled him senseless. He caught a glimpse of himself throttling the man he loved like his own, and flew out of the woman, dispersing in the night air. Sam manfully scooped up the maid like she weighed 14 pounds and fled.
The brothers returned to the cabin to re-group. Dean asked Castiel why Crowley seemed so positive that Castiel could help them kill Dick. Castiel shrugged it off, finally admitting, “I destroyed everything. I will destroy everything again.” That’s the root of Castiel’s problem. He might see the universe’s masterplan in the flight of honeybees, but he’s too scared that he’ll fail again. The last time he did, he broke the world (When Sam broke the world, he fixed it. Just sayin’). Dean finally took off the kid gloves and shouted, “You let these friggin’ things in. Nobody cares that you’re broken. Clean up your mess.” Preach it, Winchester! Instead, Castiel flitted off to play Twister. Yes, it’s both funny and sad.
Meg pointed out that Castiel carried the Leviathan inside of him, and he could identify the real Dick.
Just when the episode desperately needed a chick-flick moment, Bobby popped up. “I damn near killed you, and that woman,” Bobby grumbled guiltily to Sam. Going vengeful is “an itch you can’t scratch out.” Jim Beaver decided to liken the feeling to an addict jonesin’ for another hit, scratching his skin and huffing like he climbed Mount Everest. “Look, I’m done. Go get Dick, and do it because it’s the job. And when it’s your time, go.” There were no back-slappy ghost-on-man hugs, no tearfully exchanged “I love yous” even though there has never been a more fitting time. Bobby smiled grimly, asked his boys to live a little longer, and Dean tossed his flask into the salted fire. I’m beyond grateful they didn’t show Bobby engulfed in flames, screaming and writhing to the great beyond as most ghosts do, because I may have died myself. Instead they picked the far more eloquent option: a soft flare of light that illuminated the grief that twisted Sam and Dean’s faces and then utter, deafening quiet. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up. Sam and Dean truly have no family left. But the bastards at “Supernatural” had to plunge the knife even deeper by slowly revealing an invisible Castiel watching from the stairway.
“I need a wingman,” Dean announced, promising they were just running an errand. He literally winged them over to where the Impala had been stored. Castiel worried that if Sam and Dean died, he’d be resurrected again as “punishment” and he’d be alone. “I’m not good luck, Dean.” “Nut up. We’re all cursed,” Dean said. Castiel, sensing Dean’s forgiveness, decided to fight.
Dean’s plan was to “announce ourselves big.” Cue The Impala gobbling up the road in all her black-and-chrome majesty to the head-bangy “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf. She’s back. She’s tricked out. She’s beautiful. However, it was downright sacrilegious that Dean’s baby, after being absent for 17 agonizing episodes, was on-screen for less than a minute before crashing through the giant SucraCorp sign and driven by Meg, a demon who’d been torturing Sam and Dean for years. The entire interior will have to be scrubbed down with holy water but good. Meg hopped out, Borax in one hand, machete in another, and stalked toward the entrance as chompers opened fire. She took the bullets like a T-1000 as she hurled Borax and chomping off heads. When she made her mark, she was snatched by Crowley’s goons and dragged back to hell.
Sam and Dean, meanwhile, snuck inside quietly. Dean teamed up with Castiel to identify the real Dick while Sam left to rescue a bound and gagged Kevin Tran. It was weird neither of them were armed with weapons or Borax. “We have to blow up the lab, Sam,” Kevin explained as soon as he’s freed. Please blow up the lab, Sam!
In the lab, Dick gloated over his creamer cups, calling them “the slickest little genocide” when Dean and Cas arrived. As soon as he realized that Castiel could pick him out of a line-up, Dick attacked. Castiel stepped in to take the hit, so Dean could run him through with the bone. Nothing happened. “Did you really think you could trump me?” Dick boasted. Castiel snatched his hair back and Dean whipped out another bone and rammed it through Dick’s neck just as Sam and Kevin entered. The monster spewed black goo, and released an invisible pulse of energy that intensified like a heartbeat until Dick exploded, sending a too close Dean and a distant Sam ducking from the shower of black slime. Dick is dead, y’all, and not a minute too soon!
As soon as the goo cleared, I knew something was wrong, because Sam and the lab weren't covered Leviathan blood. There was a hearty sprinkling of black goo, but not nearly enough. And there was no Dean or Castiel. It was almost as if, the explosion was actually an implosion. Sam looked properly gobsmacked.
Crowley arrived to gloat. “Cut off the head and the body will flounder, after all.” The leviathans have no king, so they’re just monsters now. His goons disappeared with Kevin. But Crowley stayed to grind rock salt in the only wound that could really hurt. “It looks like you are well and truly on your own.” The “God weapon” packed a such a powerful wallop, it sucked Dean and Castiel into purgatory with Dick, and Crowley knew it would. He killed three birds—Dick, Castiel, and The Winchesters—with one bone. Sam stood there, terrified, panicked and the only Winchester on earth. Gulp.
The season ends in the black, sinister woods of purgatory with creatures with red eyes looming. Castiel warned Dean about the nastiness of the creatures who essentially kill and re-kill each other for eternity, and then left! See why I don’t like him? Dean stood there, terrified, panicked and the only Winchester in purgatory. Double Gulp.
I admit that this finale didn’t feel as big as I hoped it would. It was missing some meaty scenes for Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles to really attack, and needed a bit more action. But it still managed to get in some painful “donkey-punches” to the heart—Bobby’s gone; Dean’s trapped in purgatory; Sam’s alone on earth and the Impala's tainted with demon cooties. It’s the worst place for a season to end as I stare down the barrel of four “Supernatural”-less months.
Overall, season seven has been a more than decent one—boasting such wonderful characters as Dick Roman, Mr. Fizzles, and Charlie the hacker. It also offered wonderful brotherly moments when Sam and Dean had everything taken from them. I had a blast recapping this season, and hope to see you on “Supernatural’s” new night, Wednesdays, this fall! Thanks for reading!
What did you think of the finale? How will Dean survive purgatory? Will Sam get him out? What were your favorite episodes this season? Hit up the comments section below!