Supernatural‘s series finale is yet to come, but the penultimate episode resolved all of season 15’s major plot threads – here’s what happened when Sam and Dean Winchester faced Chuck one final time. Even by Supernatural‘s standards, season 15 has been quite a journey. The beginning of the final season established God as Supernatural‘s last big villain, and put a plan in motion involving Billie (known to her friends as Death), and Jack, the nephilim son of Lucifer.
Since Supernatural returned from an enforced pandemic break, however, that narrative roller coaster has kicked into overdrive. Castiel was enraged to discover Billie’s plan required Jack’s death, then God proudly revealed the plot was just another phase in his grand design, meaning Jack’s sacrifice would be futile. The nephilim explosion happened, Jack survived anyway, and the Winchesters went to war against Billie, who was secretly hoping to steal God’s throne. After so many distractions and diversions, “Inherit The Earth” strips Supernatural‘s ending to its bare components – Sam and Dean against Chuck.
Sadly, the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on Supernatural‘s final battle is clear. Some fans are disappointed by the episode, others would argue that the Supernatural team did their best given the current situation. Either way, it’s impossible to wonder what Supernatural‘s original finale plan looked like, and whether this second-to-last chapter would’ve been better served waiting until restrictions were lifted to film. For better or worse, “Inherit The Earth” brings the battle against God to a close. Here’s how the Winchesters did it, and what the episode means for the future of the Supernatural world.
It would be an understatement to say that Sam and Dean‘s path to victory was a little convoluted. Jack and Billie were once key to God’s defeat, but their importance diminished when the Empty absorbed Jack’s explosion. Strangely, “Inherit The Earth” reverts back to the original plan, making Jack (directly) and Death (indirectly) responsible for beating God. The end begins when Jack senses another presence on Earth, and leads the Winchesters to Michael, who has finally decided to offer his angelic services. After Billie was defeated by the Empty in last week’s episode, Sam and Dean have seemingly taken possession of her God book, which details how Chuck’s story is destined to end. Unfortunately, neither the Winchesters, nor Michael, can open Death’s tome.
Cue the arrival of another surprise archangel guest, Lucifer. Claiming to have been sent by the Empty to help the Winchesters, Lucifer kills a random reaper called Betty, making her the universe’s new Death. Supernatural has previously established that when one Death dies, the next reaper to be killed will take over the top job. Clearly not sharing Billie’s sense of megalomania, Betty agrees to help the Winchesters and opens God’s Death book, at which point Lucifer reveals his true intentions. Having recognized the locked volume as a threat, God sent Lucifer to retrieve the book from the Winchesters. The Devil fails, but Sam and Dean learn something vital in this moment – Michael may still be loyal to his father.
This is where “Inherit The Earth” gets a little more complicated. At some point off-screen, the Winchesters notice Jack is subconsciously absorbing energy – first hinted at in last week’s episode when the nephilim wilted a small plant by hovering his hand over it. The moment of realization isn’t shown, but Sam and Dean might’ve figured something was amiss when the supposedly-powerless Jack was able to sense Michael. Alternatively, Jack could’ve realized what was happening while harvesting the energy from Lucifer and Michael’s battle. Whenever it happened, the Winchesters attribute Jack’s state to the side-effects of becoming a bomb, meaning Billie’s plan actually did save the Earth – just not in the manner she intended.
Having ascertained that Jack was soaking up power like a celestial sponge, the Winchesters clocked how sensitively Michael reacted when Lucifer mentioned his father, and assumed the archangel would betray them. So when Sam Winchester claims to have found a spell from Death’s book that can beat God, this is merely a lie that the Winchesters rightly predict Michael will feed back to God. The deception is foreshadowed when Dean tells Michael that Sam is translating “some kind of Enochian.” Since Enochian is the language of angels, it makes no sense for Sam to be translating the book instead of Michael – an actual angel. Death’s volume is actually impossible to read for anyone not holding the infamous scythe, making the book useless.
Using their fake “spell,” God is lured into beating up the Winchesters, where he expends more of his power for Jack to secretly feed upon. After amassing enough energy, Jack overwhelms his grandfather and takes the power of the Almighty for himself.
Whether due to last-minute COVID changes or not, Supernatural‘s final battle raises more than a few questions. Essentially, the Winchesters’ victory is entirely down to good fortune. Sam and Dean had no idea that the process of making Jack a bomb would ultimately transform him into a black hole for divine energy, and if this miracle hadn’t happened, God would’ve gotten away with killing the Winchesters and destroying Earth (if it wasn’t for that meddling kid). Supernatural also doesn’t provide an explanation for why Billie’s training process allowed Jack to become God. The twist is, at best, a convenient turn of events, but some might call it Deus ex machina, made worse because the audience never see how or when the Winchesters actually discover Jack is their ticket to victory over Chuck.
The role of Lucifer also has to be brought into question. Surprisingly good at social distancing for the Devil, Satan’s return offers a welcome final cameo for Mark Pellegrino, but Lucifer is promptly killed again… and easily. Given how difficult the Winchesters found the Devil before, this lackluster stabbing is a sorry way to go for such an important character. Michael’s appearance in the episode makes more sense, playing off the archangel’s internal struggle between virtue and parental loyalty. However, it’s strange that he doesn’t become suspicious or offer to help when Dean lies about translating Enochian from Death’s book. Surely he’d offer to read the text instead.
Perhaps the biggest potential plot hole in Supernatural‘s final battle is how God doesn’t see the plan coming. Several episodes ago, Chuck revealed the plot to make Jack a bomb was his own design. He expected Billie to make a play, knew Dean would betray the Darkness, and hoped the tension would finally make the Winchesters kill each other. But if he knew all about Billie’s plan, why doesn’t God (who, lest we forget, is omniscient) foresee Jack’s new ability? Or feel Jack behind him gradually getting stronger? Sam and Dean’s winning plan was cobbled together within a matter of hours – deceive Michael, bait God into fighting, and sit back while Jack goes Super-Saiyan. There’s no part of this simple scheme that God couldn’t have predicted.
When it became clear that Chuck was defeated, he more or less begged for Sam and Dean to kill him, but this was no feeble plea for mercy. Since his very first episode, Chuck has been motivated by writing a “good story,” fancying himself as a novelist. His lifelong goal to make the Winchesters kill each other, triggering the apocalypse, masquerading as a human – every single one of Chuck’s actions traces back to his writing obsession, and his desire for death is no different. After being drained of his power by Jack, Chuck faces two options – death at the hands of his mortal enemies or… nothing. Since the former is the most dramatic, novel-worthy finale, Chuck wants the Winchesters to kill him – even more so because it’s the one ending he didn’t see coming. Being left alive as a human isn’t just an annoyance for Chuck, who is so used to wielding absolute power, it’s the worst possible ending – arguably not even an ending at all, as the story simply continues without him. For Chuck, this is truly a fate worse than death.
After nearly wiping out the entire universe, no one would’ve blamed Sam and Dean for killing the powerless Chuck on the spot, but they chose to walk away instead. Dean claims this is to disprove Chuck’s opinion of him – that he’s not a ruthless killing machine. However, Sam and Dean’s reasoning goes far beyond making a point. The moment Chuck loses his power, the Winchesters become entirely different people, whose lives are no longer being dictated by an erratic, angry deity. Since Chuck wants the Winchesters to take his life, their refusal is the symbolic end of their enslavement… and their first act as free men.
However he manages it, Jack steals God’s abilities and takes Chuck’s place at the summit of the universe. Supernatural offers no in-depth exploration as to the extent of Jack’s abilities, and the word “God” is heavily inferred, but never spoken out loud. However, it’s safe to assume, considering how easily Jack revives the entire world, that he now possesses the same limitless omnipotence that Chuck held at his peak. As Jack himself confirms, he also took Amara into his body, which means the dark God-less future Sam Winchester foresaw earlier in Supernatural season 15 is prevented. Earth won’t be overrun by monsters, and the Winchesters won’t become vampires, because the balance between dark and light is maintained. Instead of killing God and Amara, Team Free Will find a new God and keep the Darkness alive.
Dean Winchester hopes that Jack’s new status won’t stop him drinking beers in the bunker and hunting monsters with the gang, but Jack has other ideas. The nephilim’s reasoning for this isn’t entirely clear. Apparently, becoming God makes a person talk in riddles and avoid direct answers. But the decision surely harks back to the future of Heaven. One of Supernatural‘s longest running plot threads has been the desperate lack of angels in Heaven following God’s departure and the deaths of the archangels. Now Jack is the boss, that problem is solved, and it seems Lucifer‘s son understands the responsibilities of his new career role. Jack also confirms that he’ll be a “hands-off” God, which makes him morally irrefutable for future tragedies that befall the Earth, preempting fans asking why Jack doesn’t revive the Winchesters’ allies, or put an end to cancer, or create world peace.
As for what happens to the Winchesters, their fate is now unwritten for the very first time, and Supernatural‘s upcoming finale will conclude their personal story after wrapping up their final battle and assuring the future of the universe. That is, unless this conclusion was Chuck’s true final chapter all along.