When a show has been on as long as Supernatural has, it’s inevitable that some seasons and their finales are better than others. I gotta say, the hardest part for me when compiling this list was trying not to think of what each finale would launch the next season, and try to not dwell so much on what had happened before. It’s not easy, especially with twelve years of hunting, dying, and co-dependency to remember.
So here is my ranking of Supernatural finales, worst to best:
12.) Survival of the Fittest (Season Seven)
It’s no secret that Season 7 is widely considered to be the worst of Supernatural’s long run, but oddly enough some of my favorite episodes (Death’s Door, Born Again Identity) are this season. The finale is not one of those episodes. Cas and Meg help Dean and Sam kill Dick, defeating the Leviathan, effectively ending this big bad storyline. Other than giving us Crazy Cas, this season’s greatest gift to fans was that it ended..
11.) Devil’s Trap (Season One)
The finale episode of the first season had a great cliffhanger and storyline, with the boys being plowed into by a demon-driven semi after saving their father, capturing and exorcising Meg, all while still holding onto the Colt. This honestly mostly just suffers from being the first finale.
10.) Brother’s Keeper (Season Ten)
Maybe it’s just because I know the clusterfuck that follows, but I just plain didn’t like this finale. Dean, desperate to save the world and the people he loves from himself, goes to Death (The Big D) asking to be flung into deep space, where he’ll float for eternity. Big D says “Sure, but first you gotta kill your persistent AF bro.” Dean agrees but at the last-minute, kills Death instead, releasing The Darkness. Meanwhile RowRow and Crowley fight, and Cas is put under an attack dog spell. Look, Dean sacrificing himself is nothing new, nor is it out of character. His willingness to kill his baby bro (and he was down til the last minute) is, Mark of Cain or not.
9.) All Along The Watchtower (Season 12)
Basically, everyone dies. Again. The episode opened up alternate universes, which could prove interesting (we’re still in the 13th season), and the son of the devil was born (and is an actual cupcake), but the “death” of Castiel completely overshadowed Crowley’s sacrifice. Also: Lucifer is still the only archangel that can’t be killed by literally anything, so ya know… he’s still around.
8) All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2 (Season Two)
Sammy dies, Dean sells his soul to bring him back, but proves a remarkably lousy negotiator as the crossroad demon he bargains with gives Dean only one year to live instead of the usual Demon Deal ten. This is so completely contrary to who Dean is that I can’t put it any higher up. All through the season, we have seen Dean struggling with the guilt he feels over his father’s sacrifice to save him, which is just hammered home some more in “Crossroad Blues” when he goes in on the poor husband who sold his soul to save his wife. So after the whole season of this theme of the guilt and pain of those left behind, Dean decides to foist that pain onto his little brother, because Dean can’t handle it himself. Honestly though, I lose it every time Dean tells Bobby what he did and begs him not to tell Sammy. Dean knows how much he fucked up, and it really is heartbreaking, though stupid as fuck of him.
7.) Lucifer Rising (Season Four)
Sam and Dean aren’t speaking, which always means great things are gonna happen, but this time, Sam is a demon blood junkie who literally drains a nurse because he doesn’t have enough faith in Dean to stop the apocalypse. If there was one theme in this whole season I fucking could not stand, it was the idea that Sam took everything into his own hands, thinking Dean was too weak while failing to see his own messed up issues. He trusts a demon over his brother because she puffed up his ego while Dean was in literal Hell. Now, there were some fantastic moments in this episode, honestly it’s one I really truly like: Castiel chooses Dean and Sam over heaven for the first official time, helping Dean escape and help Sam. Also, Ruby’s master plan is revealed and she’s promptly stabbed, setting us up for what is arguably the best season of Supernatural.
6.) Do You Believe in Miracles (Season Nine)
The Mark of Cain takes one helluva toll on Dean, ultimately leading to his death and resurrection as a demon. YES. I can’t stand Metatron, if I’m being honest, which may not be fair, but, hey, them’s the breaks. Metatron starts his campaign to become the new God, to chilling effect. Once again the boys don’t communicate well with each other, and it costs them dearly. Gadreel is redeemed, as is Castiel. I really love the twist of Dean becoming a demon after he’s killed, and the moment Dean tells Sam he’s proud of them breaks my damned heart.
5.) Alpha and Omega (Season 11)
You may be wondering why this episode made it into my Top Five (trust me, so was I). Here’s the thing: This is the only season that didn’t end in a giant apocalypse looming, or everyone dying, or even a big fight. Dean is reconciled to die in order to stop Amara and save Chuck, but as it turns out he doesn’t have to. There is an actual resolution. I mean, how can you really get bigger than God and The Darkness, amirite? There was a lot of frustration for me with Season 11, but the finale wasn’t it. The added shock of Mary Winchester returning to the land of the living was a surprising bonus, too.
4.) The Man Who Knew Too Much (Season Six)
Castiel has betrayed the Winchesters, because he has clearly learned his communication skills from them. Sam’s wall is crumbling and he’s in a coma, though the episode plays out like he’s lost his memory and is helping a woman named Robin. Crowley flips on Cas because, Crowley, and teams up with Raphael, but Cas outwits them, opening the door to Purgatory. It’s the culmination of Cas’s fall, who all the while has thought he was just doing to right thing to save the angels of Heaven, as well as the Winchesters. The episode is chock-full of betrayals and mistakes and, as a Cas fan, heartbreak as we watch Dean and Sam’s most powerful ally go dark side.
3.) No Rest For The Wicked (Season Three)
Maybe it was because of the shortened season due to the Writer’s Strike, but I have to admit that the end of season three truly surprised and crushed me. I sat there waiting for them to figure out how to save Dean up until the moment of his horrific death by Hellhounds. There are so many little moments that make this episode great. The bittersweetness of Dean and Sam singing “Wanted Dead or Alive” in particular. It’s also when we hear the phrase “Family Don’t End With Blood,” which has become so intrinsic to the show and fandom.
2.) Sacrifice (Season Eight)
Sam has nearly completed the trials in order to close the gates of Hell and is prepared to die to complete the spell, Crowley is nearly human, Metatron gets his revenge and the angels fall. Oh, and Cas becomes human. Honestly, a lot happens in this episode, but the anchor of it all has to be Crowley and Sam. Crowley’s exclamation that he deserves to be loved, and Sam’s heartbreakingly bitter confession to Dean about his greatest sin being that he lets Dean down, causing him to turn to others for support, but that is an entirely different article in itself. Needless to say, Dean stops Sam, but no one is able to stop Metatron who, after killing Naomi, completes the real spell he tricked Castiel into helping with: casting the angels from Heaven. The episode ends with probably my favorite shot of the whole damned show.
1.) Swan Song (Season Five)
You had to know this was number one. The ending of the “Kripke Era” is truly a fantastic hour of television. Starting with the homage to Baby, and going on to show Sam jumping into the pit to save the world, all with Chuck narrating, this episode is pretty much perfect. There’s no short, simple way to summarize this episode. Somehow the sheer love between Dean and Sam, which spreads to their entire found family, is able to avert all-out chaos and rebuke the idea of Destiny and Fate, all while ending on an unsettling note of Sam, who should be in The Cage, watching Dean and Lisa from afar.
Well, that’s it for my list. I’ll be doing the premieres ranked, too, but for some reason finales seemed fitting first. I know many may disagree with me for my ranks (my best friend was horrified at some placements), so tell me, how do you rank the finales??