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Supernatural Fans Are Deeply Divided Over The Best Season Finale

No one expected The CW cult phenomenon "Supernatural" to go on as long as it did. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creator Eric Kripke explained his pitch took cues from shows like "The X-Files," plotting mythology episodes opposite the iconic monster-of-the-week stories. "The X-Files" changed television, but was the same to be said of Kripke's show about two monster-hunting brothers? Kripke decided to step away after Season 5, and somehow, the series took on a life of its own (via Entertainment Weekly). "Supernatural" would go on to grab viewers for another decade, finally concluding in 2020 (per IMDb).

With so many seasons, there are many episodes that "Supernatural" fans consider the best. But the height of compliment is derived from each season finale, with each increasing the stakes. As Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) continue to die for each other, resurrect each other, and generally stop the Apocalypse from bringing the world to an end, it is hard to pick a favorite. And fans would agree with that statement. Even after long deliberation, die-hard watchers of the series cannot decide which finale they prefer.

Swan Song is still the highest rated episode of all time

If the episode's title is any indication, the Season 5 finale, "Swan Song," should have been the end. When it comes to a satisfying conclusion of the Winchesters' journey, this is the episode to beat. In a poll of 211 votes on a Reddit thread, "Swan Song" had a significant lead of 84, with runners-up trailing behind in the 40s.

There is a reason why the episode cruises above the rest. After seasons of torment, Dean is finally given the ending he deserves. Though possessed by Lucifer, Sam breaks through long enough to save Dean (and the world) by throwing himself into the pit of hell. This is the ultimate sacrifice that Sam can make, redeeming himself for all the mistakes he has made in the past. This allows Dean to move on and finally get what he always wanted but could never admit to wanting: a normal life. He is free of his father's abuse and servitude to a life he never asked for. The story of the brothers showcased in the episode was technically how creator Eric Kripke initially intended to finish the series.

"In my last episode, 'Swan Song,' I [...] spent maybe like 80 percent of how I wanted that show to end," Kripke told Entertainment Weekly. To this day, "Swan Song" remains the highest-rated episode of the series on IMDb with an impressive 9.7 stars.

Some prefer the divisive series finale

"Swan Song" is the clear winner, but the episode with the second most votes may surprise some. The series finale "Carry On" was the runner-up, despite taking place in what fans all agree is the worst season of "Supernatural." After over a decade of monster hunting, Dean leaves this mortal coil when he is impaled with a rusty nail. Fan-favorite characters such as Cas (Misha Collins) are glaringly absent when Dean makes it to the afterlife. Though these omissions were blatant, showrunner Andrew Dabb stated they were out of anyone's control.

"[F]or the finale, we had a big, super extravagant thing planned for that episode, and it wasn't feasible," Dabb admitted to TVLine. COVID-19 precautions were one reason the production had to be scaled down, causing outlets such as Vanity Fair to deem the episode underwhelming. The ending had "Supernatural" fans so divided that even those who voted for the episode admitted they were surprised it got as many votes as it did.

"I am surprised that 'Carry On' is [in] second place. I thought fewer people would vote for it. I voted for it, just in case," noted u/KriszGamer00. Other Redditors agreed that they voted for it, despite its critical failure. With so many seasons, getting a consensus on the perfect finale may be challenging. Love for the series runs deep, and some acknowledge that they cannot pick their favorite finale.