Despite there being an actual bomb, the Supernatural finale did not end with a bang, but with a whisper. And maybe that was the wisest choice.
There comes a time in long supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi series when it becomes harder and harder to keep coming up with bigger threads for the main characters to fight, especially in season finales. Doctor Who is no stranger to this problem, but neither is Supernatural, a show that has struggled to feel “epic” ever since its main characters avoided the Apocalypse six seasons ago. Season 11 introduced the biggest threat the Winchesters have had to fight since by introducing God and his evil sister, Amara, akka ‘the Darkness’. And, while ‘Alpha & Omega’ did not feel as epic and emotional as ‘Swan Song‘ did (in fact, it felt sort of lackluster), it still was the best option the show could have taken.
This time, it was simply too much for them. The show even had to power God down in order to still create some kind of tension. The problem is that there was no tension. The whole episode was filled with a dreadful, hopeless atmosphere in which Sam was the only one who didn’t give up. Any potential final fight against Amara was most likely bound to fail and even sending Dean as a bomb did not work because we knew that he was going to come back eventually, and hence the whole scene in the cemetery didn’t feel as emotional as it should have. If anything, what I got from this scene is that Sam was ready to let go, which brings the brothers closer to the end of the codependecy. Regardless of that, I liked the concept of a soul bomb because it allowed for everyone (except for the angels) to contribute to the cause and it was also a nice way to bring Billie back (does she have a history with Crowley or…?). Things would have certainly turned out quite differently if this was the season finale, but given that the show has been renewed for a twelfth season, ‘Alpha and Omega’ felt more like a clean slate for a new beginning.
Perhaps the most important thing that the finale did was introducing Lady Antonia Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore), a member of the British Men of Letters. Even if it makes total sense that there would be other hunters around the world, it was still surprising to learn that MOL is actually a global organization. While the promise of Sam and Dean having to negotiate or even fight against humans is a refreshing change of scenario, Antonia’s anger towards Sam resulting in a gunshot (she probably just shot him in the shoulder, but still) felt a bit too sudden and overdramatic (you know, just because it was the season finale and they needed to shock the viewers). I understand that other hunters, especially if they’re unaware of the actual developments, would be somewhat angry at Sam and Dean for all their disasters, but what exactly were they doing in the meantime? Hopefully next season will give us their point of view.
When you think about it, given Supernatural‘s family theme, it’s not that crazy that the show would go with an ending in which God and Amara talk it out and make amends. It’s understandable that many viewers were disappointed (apparently I’m not the one who felt like they were watching Naruto‘s Talk no Jutsu), but it’s really the wisest option the show could have made. Killing just one of them was not possible and having them both dead would have presented some problems, from shutting the door to future possibilities to even making controversial religious statements. The only problem I saw with it was the execution: Amara was too easy to convince, causing her whole personality to be quickly washed away as if she had never been a threat to being with.
So what scenario does ‘Alpha and Omega’ leave us for next season? Well, aside from getting new MOL factions, Amara’s last gift to Dean was bringing Mary back and that is something I’m sure no one was expecting. We still don’t know what role she’ll have in the story or even if she will just be guest-starring, but it will probably depend on Samantha Smith‘s availability. Mary was a hunter, so even if she’ll be unhappy with how John raised Sam and Dean, she could still fit within the story… somehow.