Tonight's episode of Supernatural marks what co-showrunner Andrew Dabb has called the final "lore" episode with a more traditional stand-alone episode coming up for the series finale. It's not much of a surprise, then, that the bulk of Sam and Dean Winchester's showdown with Chuck/God took place in this episode. It was a long road to get there, with some unexpected guests along the way, but in the end it was Sam, Dean, and Chuck in a surprisingly brutal battle. There are a lot of questions still hanging in the air following the events of "Inherit the Earth," and most of them won't be answered until next week's series finale, "Carry On," airs.
But the nature of the final season is that fans on the West Coast -- or old fans who haven't checked in with the show in a long time -- have a lot of interest in how the last few episodes are playing out. In advance of the series finale next week, here's how the big fireworks show played out.
Spoilers ahead for "Inherit the Earth," tonight's penultimate episode of Supernatural.
The episode, of course, began with everyone on Earth dead, except for Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Jack (Alexander Calvert). Soon after, they discovered that Michael (Jake Abel) was still alive, and recruited him to help brainstorm ways to kill his Father (Rob Benedict). Death's book on God was key to any plan they might have, but nobody -- including Michael -- could get it open to read it, since it was designed to be opened only by Death.
In a surprising twist, Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) showed up, with a Reaper in tow, and in the absence of Billie, was able to transform that Reaper into Death. She opened the book, and after a scuffle that saw Lucifer betray Michael and the Winchesters, Sam took it into the back of the Men of Letters Bunker and came back with a plan. They needed to conduct a spell at a specific time and place, and when they arrived, their spell was halted -- by Chuck.
This is where the fight began. Using his God powers, he destroyed Michael and tossed Jack aside like a bug. Then he set about killing the Winchesters, electing to do it with his bare hands to heighten the drama. The pair took a beating and kept getting back up as many times as they could bear it, until finally Jack reappeared.
Jack, it turns out, has been acting as a kind of power vacuum, sucking up all manner of life forces and cosmic powers, including the ones expended during the Lucifer/Michael battle, the deaths of Lucifer and Michael, and the protracted beatdown Chuck gave the Winchesters. With all that power, he's able to withstand being snapped out of existence by Chuck, and even steal Chuck's powers, leaving him helpless and mortal.
Chuck, seeing the great story potential here, says that he's more or less okay with this because he finally can't see what's coming, and anyway to be killed by one of the Winchesters would be a kind of honor. They pass, though, leaving him alone to grow old, die, and be forgotten.
The Supernatural series finale airs next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following a special look back at the life of the series, which will air at 8 p.m.