Supernatural: How Does That Finale Affect Movie or Spinoff Plans?

Earlier this fall, Supernatural star Jensen Ackles joked (?) that given the current entertainment climate, the series -- which ended its 15-season run tonight -- could be resurrected for a miniseries on HBO Max in a few years. After fifteen years as Dean Winchester, Ackles has said that he's open to returning to the character at some point. Jared Padalecki, who played Dean's brother Sam for the show's fifteen-season run, has similarly said in the past that he would "absolutely" return for Supernatural movie. But given the way the series ended last night, how plausible is it it go make one of those things happen?

This is going to be a tough one to break down without getting into the meat of what actually happened last night. And it was a surprising episode, so...

Spoilers ahead for "Carry On," the series finale of Supernatural.

In the episode last night, Sam and Dean went on a hunting trip. After encountering a gang of vampires, the pair ended up in a brutal brawl and, in the closing moments of the fight, Dean found himself stabbed in the back and partially impaled on a piece of rebar. He had a touching final scene with Sam, and passed away peacefully.

As people have long pointed out, the idea of Sam and Dean being dead doesn't actually prevent producers from bringing them back to do another story. The two of them (and almost every other character on the show) have died enough times to make that pretty plain.

What might make it a little trickier is what happened to Sam. In the second half of the episode, we saw Dean acclimating to life in Heaven -- a different and more idyllic Heaven than we have seen before -- while Sam lived out the rest of his days, married, had a son who also became a hunter, and eventually passed away as an old man, joining Dean in Heaven and heading up the hill to see their parents.

Implicit in Sam's ending seems to be that he never sees Dean again, which is a bit heartbreaking but also makes it harder to just pop Dean into a story three years down the road without "breaking" the timeline of the finale.

Obviously, they could cheat that in a few ways, including just sending the two back to Earth with instructions to steer clear of Sam's other self, sending them to the "future" and using Sam's son as the third part of the team, a la Castiel or Jack, or any number of similar contrivances a half-decent writer would come up with.

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But doing that might weaken the impact of the finale a bit, and any decision that doesn't include touching base with Sam's wife and child would feel a bit odd, considering Supernatural was always a show about family.

What do you think? Did the way they closed out Sam and Dean's story make it harder, or easier, to spin out into some kind of future story featuring the Winchester brothers? Let us know in the comments below.