Ranking Every Supernatural Finale (Updated)

By Diana McCallum

They said it couldn’t be done, that it couldn’t possibly ever happen, but alas, Supernatural has come to a true and final end after fifteen seasons of monster-hunting, self-sacrifice and too many resurrections to count. To celebrate the end of this incredible journey we looked at all of Supernatural’s endings to rank every finale from worst to best, including the series finale.

So let’s take a look at the entire journey of Sam and Dean.

15. The Man Who Knew Too Much (Season 6)

Season Cliffhanger: Cas orders the boys to bow to their new god or be destroyed.

Season 6 was Supernatural’s first outing beyond creator Eric Kripke’s five year plan, and let’s say the show didn’t exactly thrive without him. This finale had everything no one was looking for, including Castiel going evil completely of his own free will, as he did things like tear down the wall in Sam’s mind that kept him sane, worked with Crowley to eat the souls in Purgatory, and topped it all off by killing Balthazar in cold blood, the angel responsible for “The French Mistake” episode, arguably the greatest Supernatural event of all time. Dude deserved better.

The story of Sam fighting himself in his own mind is actually pretty good, but not good enough to overcome the lackluster storyline about Cas’s fight with Raphael which has no tension, sees Castiel being almost irredeemably evil for no reason, and ends with a suped up Cas threatening to destroy Sam, Dean and Bobby.

It can’t be emphasized enough, no one wanted any of this.

14. Carry On (Season 15)

Where to even begin with this finale.

While it was a nice idea to have the final episode be about a routine monster hunt, having Dean die via an oopsie onto a big nail mid-vampire fight was not what this character deserved, especially as he doesn’t even die saving Sam or an innocent. He just kinda falls and dies a few weeks after finally gaining the freedom to live his life he fought so hard for.

The remainder of the episode involves saying good-bye to Supernatural with only Sam and Dean (and a brief scene with Bobby). It’s come out that Covid kept them from filming any large group scenes like a crowded funeral for Dean or any reunions in heaven, and that explains what happened sure, but doesn’t make watching an episode devoid of those things enjoyable. Castiel, who died for Dean two episodes earlier, isn’t in the episode at all and only mentioned twice in passing. Sam’s future wife is never even named, though again the writers have told us the shadowy figure in the background is meant to be Eileen. It just doesn’t feel like it’s really the end of the show we’ve been watching for fifteen years.

But hey, not complaining that the boys made it into heaven and kudos to Jared and Jensen who, as always, knocked it out of the park performance-wise.

13. Brother’s Keeper (Season 10)

Season Cliffhanger: The Darkness is released.

Similar to the season 6 finale, season 10 gave us one of the boys going slightly evil and doing slightly evil things, but at least in this case we knew what was causing it: the Mark of Cain. Highlights of this finale include the final appearance of the original Death in all his junk food loving glory, and a genuinely interesting moral discussion about whether it’s evil and selfish for Sam and Dean to keep sacrificing themselves to save each other instead of just letting go.

On the other end of the spectrum though this episode includes Dean trying to kill Sam for the greater good out of nowhere, Rowena murdering an innocent man to help Dean, which Cas not only allows but facilitates, and ends with Dean killing Death in a very rude turn of events considering he had invited Death there to help him like an hour ago.

Overall this finale was pretty low on stakes, reason or emotional depth, the three necessities of a great Supernatural ending.

12. Let The Good Times Roll (Season 13)

Season Cliffhanger: A terrible freeze frame zoom on Dean in a newsies hat now possessed by Michael.

This is the rare finale that manages to be chock full of epic stuff happening, but it’s all so rushed that none of it feels particularly important or as game-changing as it should.

The biggest problem with this finale is that it seems to negate everything done in season 5 where it was grilled into us that Dean absolutely could not say yes to Michael because the Michael/Lucifer showdown would destroy humanity, yet here in Season 13 Dean begs a fully evil Michael to use him as a vessel to fight Lucifer without hesitation or any attempt at another plan. And it turns out a fight between Michael and Lucifer consists of a couple of energy balls, some bad wire work, and a quick stabbing that kills Lucifer quickly and easily, no harm no foul. Hard to believe Sam tossed himself into hell just to avoid this from happening eight seasons earlier.

This episode also suffers from the previous episode being incredible as Gabriel completed his character arc and sacrificed himself for the team, which all felt like a much bigger and better ending and probably should have just been the finale of the season.

11. Do You Believe In Miracles (Season 9)

Season Cliffhanger: Crowley resurrects Dean and he wakes up with demon eyes.

This finale admittedly ends strong but it takes a long time before it packs any punch worth mentioning. The story revolves around Metatron trying to get humans to worship him, but his plan is so vague and Metatron is such a lackluster villain that stopping him never feels very urgent. It definitely doesn’t feel like Dean should be risking his soul with the Mark of Cain to kill Metatron and it ABSOLUTELY doesn’t feel like Dean should lose that fight and legitimately die at the hands of freaking Metatron!

Despite the bad plotting, the episode is partially saved with a triple combo of great moments in the last minutes which include Dean’s dying declaration to Sam that he’s proud of all they’ve done, Castiel getting a rare win when he tricks Metatron into revealing his true nature to heaven, and the fantastic final monologue by Crowley who refuses to make a deal with Sam and instead goes for the “unexpected” by bringing Dean back as a demon, a moment that is genuinely haunting.

10. Sacrifice (Season 8)

Season Cliffhanger: The gates of heaven are closed and the angels fall to Earth.

The final episode of Season 8 consists of two parallels storylines with Sam going through the trials to close Hell permanently, and Castiel simultaneously trying to close the gates of Heaven. The big difference however is that Sam has been going through the trials all season, gradually getting weaker and sacrificing more to protect the earth from hell, and Castiel started his trials earlier that day at Metatron’s urging (and quickly messes it up). Leaving aside the fact that it’s unclear why we would even want to close the gates of heaven, Cas’s storyline is so abrupt that it has no impact at all, and also involves an incredibly long sequence of Cas and Dean being obtusely heteronormative as they spend an entire day without once considering the possibility that Cupid could make two men fall in love instead of a man and woman. We expect this shit from Dean, but recent events tell us that Castiel at least should have known better.

That being said, Sam’s half of the episode is pretty great as he almost turns Crowley human in a spectacular performance by Mark Sheppard and then ends up giving up the trials at Dean’s pleading for him to live.

And we again see a final shot that is both shocking and haunting due to that pesky Metatron.

9. No Rest For The Wicked (Season 3)

Season Cliffhanger: Dean hanging from chains in hell yelling for help.

Here we are at the 9th best finale and we’re already getting into the good stuff! Season 3 was all about killing Lilith to save Dean from going to hell when his contract expires. This episode works on a lot of levels and has the rare distinction of getting better over time as we can go back to see the brilliance of Lilith’s plan unfold now that we know both Ruby and Lilith were playing Sam from the very start. On first viewing one of this episode’s best moments is Lilith running away scared when it seems Sam is able to negate her powers, and it’s just as good a moment years later when we know she’s just pretending.

This finale also has an excellent ticking clock keeping the action moving forward as Dean literally runs out of time and gets killed by hellhounds in a shocking and gory turn. And let’s not forget the creepiness that is child-Lilith in a truly memorable performance of evil.

8. Alpha and Omega (Season 11)

Season Cliffhanger: Sam is shot by the Men of Letters; Dean finds their mom alive after being resurrected by Amara.

Just hold on because this finale is better than people give it credit for.

After shotgunning 14 Supernatural finales in a row I actually found myself breathing a sigh of relief watching this one as it’s a little bit different in some great ways. Alpha and Omega is the culmination of the season arc involving God’s sister, Amara (aka The Darkness) and yes, that’s a silly premise, but the execution delivered an episode with great emotional resonance as Team Free Will says good-bye to Dean before he goes to sacrifice himself, and also has a surprising amount of fun and lightheartedness as Chuck, Crowley and Rowena banter throughout the episode. It ends with a lovely resolution more akin to Doctor Who than Supernatural as there is no violence and the characters end up just talking and finally forgiving each other to become a family again. Honestly, it was just nice to see someone other than the Winchester family be treated with empathy and compassion instead of violence and I personally liked it.

Until the Men of Letters showed up anyway.

7. All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 2) (Season 2)