Supernatural is a juggernaut for The CW. A show that was originally only supposed to be 5 seasons has run all the way to season 12, with no clear end in sight. When it comes to discussing Supernatural’s continued existence the constant refrain is that as long as Jensen and Jared are willing the show will keep going.
The sentiment was repeated recently as Collider caught with Eric Kripke, Supernatural’s creator and first showrunner. While promoting his new show Timeless, Kripke shared he never imagined that Supernatural would run so long but he can see it going for thousands of episodes. While Jensen and Jared’s interest is the party line perhaps it is time for the long-running show to at least consider a hard end date.
Better than Before?
Most TV shows barely last a season. Statistically if a TV show does actually make it to air it will likely be cancelled after its first season. Most TV shows fail. So it is remarkable that Supernatural not only got in its initially planned 5 season run but it has kept going and going. Supernatural is certainly helped that it is on The CW. The CW is a network with historically low ratings and is also a network that doesn’t care about ratings in general. Still Supernatural’s long life is an accomplishment that the show (and by extension fans) should be proud and happy about. Still it’s hard to argue that Supernatural’s best years weren’t in that initial 5 season arc that opened the series.
This is not to say that Supernatural is now unwatchable as it hits double digits. Season 11, while not perfect, was consistently entertaining and full of some high emotional and dramatic stakes. The show might have a lot more valleys that it did in the first 5 seasons but there are still some pretty high peaks to balance things out.
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However, in many ways Supernatural has been repeating itself. Supernatural is not necessarily coasting but certainly drawing on the strengths of the first 5 seasons. Part of the reason why season 11 was so much fun was that Supernatural took a lot of elements from seasons 4 and 5 and re purposed them for a new story. Chuck/God was back, Lucifer was out of the cage and running around with his scrunchy face acting, albeit in a new body.
Even the season arc was very similar to the story of the first 5 seasons. A being of extraordinary power tries to destroy the world because of their problems with their family. That same villain is also ultimately stopped because of the love between two siblings. Even if Supernatural is entertaining and Jensen and Jared are still interested in doing the show, it’s better to end things rather than just remix the show’s greatest hits.
Planned Endings are Better than Abrupt Ones
There is also the matter that Supernatural will eventually end. The showrunners and producers might be sincere in saying that show can continue as long as Jared and Jensen are interested, but eventually The CW will want to move onto newer pastures. The CW might not care as much about ratings as other networks but they have limited air time, only having two hours a day in prime time. Arrow and The Flash almost always perform at the same level as Supernatural and are much newer and fresher shows. Since The CW is increasing putting their eggs in the superhero basket, Supernatural might be in its final years for purely business reasons.
It is for this reason that a firm date would be imperative for Supernatural. It’s very easy to argue that the reason the first 5 seasons of Supernatural are so strong is because Eric Kripke and crew had a clear finale in mind. The events of the season 5 finale were planned years in advance and that is what made them feel so earned and powerful. The true series finale of Supernatural deserves at least some of the same manner of preparation.
Even though Supernatural has run longer than many would have predicted, it still deserves the chance to wrap up the story with creative freedom. It shouldn’t just end on the whims of its main actors. An end date wouldn’t just make sure Supernatural keeps from repeating itself. It can give fans proper closure and the creative team time to craft an ending worthy of its very long run. Supernatural doesn’t need to end in the upcoming season 12 or even season 13, but the show should at least start thinking about the possibility of firmly ending in the next few years. Anything later than season 15 would feel very ridiculous.
Speaking of season 12 there are no behind-the-scene hints that the show is preparing to end soon. They are behind-the-scenes proof that the season is underway and we know at least one major “character” will be joining Sam and Dean. Jensen Ackles posted a picture on his Instagram (embedded) which confirmed that season 12 will see Baby back at work transporting the Winchesters.
Baby’s back to work for season 12.
It’s important to remember when it comes to the end of Supernatural that it’s not just Sam and Dean’s story anymore. The world is much bigger and other characters matter just as much as Sam and Dean. Those characters include Baby even if “she” is inanimate car. At least we can rest safely knowing season 12 will include Baby and she won’t be absent like she was in previous seasons.
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But what do you think? Do you think an end date is good idea for Supernatural? When do you want to see the series’ end? Do you ever want it to end? Do you think Supernatural is repeating itself?
(Images courtesy of The CW and Instagram)