by Bob Teoh
Season seven of “Supernatural” ended this week with the finale, “Survival of the Fittest.” Writing a review for the finale is always difficult, since the show’s format puts a lot of pressure on the writers to tie up all loose ends, find a way to eliminate the season’s main villain, and also set the stage for a new enemy. Nevertheless, “Supernatural” has never given a disappointing finale, including this one.
The finale kicked off with a traditional seasonal retrospective segment with Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” playing in the background. After the highlight reel, the episode begins where the previous one left off. Dick has Crowley in a trap and negotiates a deal to spare the demons only if he gives the Winchesters a vile of fake blood so their Leviathan weapon would not be complete. The demon has other plans in mind, however, and tells the brothers of Dick’s plan when they summon him. Crowley assures them that he wants Dick dead, and they have no choice but to believe him.
The Winchesters forge the weapon with the final piece, a bone from a deceased nun, and prepare to kill off Dick, but realize that he has created replicas of himself. The hunters try to enlist Castiel, who is the only one who can differentiate between Leviathans, but he refuses to battle. Though the insane Castiel has become more of a comical character, Misha Collins brings out the angel’s pain during a conversation with Dean. He does not want to fight because he simply does not know what is right any more.
Meanwhile, a vengeful Bobby possesses a maid and tries to take down Dick Roman by himself. Sam tries to stop him, but his former mentor loses control and nearly kills both him and the maid. Bobby manages to regain sanity for a brief moment before disappearing. He reappears before the brothers later on and instructs them to burn his flask and exorcise him. He tells them to go after Dick not out of vengeance, but because it’s their “job”. As the flask burns, the tearful brothers watch Bobby, who promises to see them “on the other side.”
The show constantly reminds us that Death is a monster that can never be killed. Because the brothers are heroes, they carry a burden that other people cannot understand. Part of this is waking yourself up everyday to complete the “job” even after you have buried your comrade the previous day. This obligation translates to a pain that continues to plague the brothers. Bobby has always been a favorite of both fans and critics, and it is comforting to know that even at his final moments, he is there for the brothers.
After witnessing Bobby’s exorcism, Castiel agrees to help the brothers. The trio sneaks into Dick’s headquarters and split up. Sam goes to rescue Kevin the Prophet while the others search for the real Dick. Dean and Castiel manage to find the real Dick and stab him through the neck, which causes a giant explosion. When Sam arrives, all three have disappeared and Crowley shows up, revealing that he is double-crossing the hunters. With the Leviathans gone, he can now reclaim his throne. Dean wakes up in a forest, and Castiel tells him that they are in Purgatory where monsters prey on other monsters. As the creatures gradually surround him, he turns around to find that the angel has disappeared.
Critics have commented on the general lack of focus of this season, with too many stand-alone episodes and an underdeveloped story arc. This finale could have gone very wrong, but the writers pulled through again. There were certainly undesirable moments. The minor storyline about Dick’s plan to kill off skinny people was rather unnecessary and distracting. The final fight scene was poorly choreographed and Dick seemed too eager to die. Nevertheless, the show relied on what it knows best– the brother’s bond–to tug on our heartstrings. The episode swiftly concludes the Leviathan arc and sets up a cliffhanger for next season’s premiere. Once again, “Supernatural” pulls off a thrilling finish to an enjoyable season.
Bob Teoh is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.