It just hit me.
The older brother dies on a hunt like any other, believing he did not deserved to be saved. The younger brother burns him on a pyre and tries to live his life, going through the motions without finding any fulfillment in it. He dies too. The angel is back, serving in Heaven. The nephilim is out of the picture. This is exactly how Chuck would've written the ending—right back to where they started
The Chuck won truthing is hitting hard.
The thing is. He was dying. Since season 1 he's been dying. Since he was four years old he's been dying. Why? Because a capricious god said so. So the only true resolution to his story would be for him to live, to find joy and peace in defiance of god. Is the thing.
any continuation hinges on whether they're taking the "cas helped" at face value as "he's out of the empty and alive". the winchesters not showing cas with bobby and jack was pretty glaring and imo the right choice as it left room for chuck won theories to prevail and suggest that cas really ISN'T in heaven. plus jack dressed in a chuck-coded white blazer and acting a little off gives me hope that they'll lean into the chuck won theory or at the very least that the "god-power" is messing with jack and slowly corrupting him. like a lot of people always bring up "how will they undo the finale? they're dead. sam grew old and lived his whole life, if they bust out of heaven and go back to earth so many yrs will have passed" and well, first of all, this is supernatural. crazy shit happens. they could bust out of heaven and then time-travel, who knows! but, the simplest solution imo is, fake-heaven isn't real. it's a container for chuck!jack to keep his toys so they don't go messing with anything anymore (except, well, that didn't work out so well, dean already busted out once to save the multiverse. likely will happen again). and then sam on earth? another illusion. a pocket universe or a djinn dream-like state. not much time has passed at all, that's why sam looks young when he meets dean in heaven. like, sam presumably cuts ties with everyone he ever knew. marries some blurry wife. his whole life passes in montage, it would be so easy to say none of that was real. just something to keep sam occupied and placated so he doesn't go poking into things and realizing Something's Not Right.
The Chuck Won analysis: a visual representation.
HERE’S THE THESIS:
The ending feels tragic because it IS. The villain wins in the story. And the writers wrote it as purposeful commentary on a situation of real-world censorship that couldn’t allow the ending the characters deserved.
Don’t take my word for it; the show told us everything we need to know.
This piece explores why this matters, in story and out of it.
You do not need ANY prior knowledge of “Chuck won” as an angle of analysis–or prior familiarity with Supernatural meta–to read this. My goal was to make understanding the totality of this concept as accessible as possible.
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(I don’t make any profit and will never see your info)
while i firmly believe that choosing to view the writers’ continuity issues as chuck-fuckery is just a way to dissuade them from being bad at their jobs , i do think it still lends pretty well to the overall trapped-in-narrative horror that spn was gunning for. like, how many times has Cas been randomly weakened below his actual capabilities to allow for some plot necessity? how many times have sam and dean conveniently forgotten different spells or weapons that would make their current crisis an easy fix, or just seemingly not processed what someone else has told them?
how often has jack become randomly unstable or unable to do certain things (cough resurrect Mary). or even how each of the guys will randomly disappear from an episode when they aren’t needed? what about every side character that fucked off after a plot was done, that would be lucky enough for an offscreen mention to acknowledge their existence?
yeah yeah it’s poor seasonally rotted writer’s faults, but let’s pretend spn is a good solid show for a minute and think. Chuck can literally make them weak and helpless or uncontrollably powerful on a fucking whim. He can erase things from their memories, erase parts of their lives even, and straight up remove people entirely if he feels like it. it’s like the plot armor episode but worse, because this isn’t just about their plot armor. it’s their memory, their lives, their own free will being fucked with. Chuck can do whatever the fuck he wants and as much as it’s a blatant excuse for the show’s flaws, it also works really well for the meta / autonomous horror.
Hi. I tend to forget that tumblr exists and just shout all my thoughts about The Winchesters on Twitter @CharCubed, which is a problem, but for once in my life I'm posting something here!
Here are some broad Thoughts on where I've landed of what this season 1 finale of The Winchesters offered–
• I very much want season 2 of this show SO badly. I want to see how they all continue to build their lives now that we know tragedy need not be their end! THIS IS THE HEALING SHOW. That whole cast gets to write their own story... "the only thing that's worse than how it starts for a hunter is how it ends" is no longer the case, as Carlos already said... and Dean helped to free them? That fucks.
• In regards to those possibilities: now that Dean would no longer be framing the prequel as a story he's telling, it frees the prequel up to no longer be doubling as Dean's story through revealing mirroring–which is very much what it's been doing for 12 episodes. Now the monster plots and the storylines for those characters in The Winchesters can also be diversified, so every episode no longer has to include, for example... [checks notes] a situation where a character is literally and/or metaphorically trapped and has to confront their trauma, break cycles of violence, and speak truths to be freed. It's been very Loud and very much Like This Constantly because it's Dean's story, but now it won't have to be anymore, which is an interesting thing to contemplate! (To be clear, for those unaware of my history of yelling about this show: I love that it was Like This. This show is fucking genius.)
• Initially, this finale had some alarm bells pinging in my brain but then I parsed the Reasons for those things. Mary told John she had "Something to say," right? And then she never says it. That's a Chekhov's gun that's never fired and it's of course paralleling how Dean has "something to say" to Cas too. Them not speaking that truth is a problem. In addition, we also got a montage eerily akin to the 15x19 one. But these callbacks / parallels to s15 all loudly indicate something very specific: The Winchesters is an unfinished story, and this finale (like the rest of this show) is mirroring and revealing truths about the prime narrative of SPN. For one thing, with the prequel they originally expected to have 22 or so episodes and ended up having 13 to work with. For another... this is the START of their story, not the end. So along those lines, what can we deduce about the end of season 15? (Hint: that finale is not an ending either.)
• Speaking of which: We learn that everything Dean was just doing takes place in the ~heavenly~ time period before Sam “dies." This all functionally happened right after Dean died as he drove down that road. He is restless, unmoored, grieving, and–this is key–considers his "ending" to be an unhappy happy one. He's fucking around and finding out, looking for and unpacking (through his narration) what he needs and wants for HIS happy ending to look like. He found out about the Akrida being a failsafe from Chuck and couldn't resist meddling to save everyone. It's also worth noting that Dean says to Jack something like, "If you have to kick me out of Heaven then that's fine." Between the lines is the thought of "please kick me out of Heaven, I'm causing problems because I'm grieving and I'm not done, I don't want this 'peace' but would rather have freedom." That in itself is a massive subversion of the SPN finale, to say nothing of the previous 12 episodes we've received.
Anyway. So in terms of Dean's story, we now know that this all takes place smack in the middle of 15x20 timeline-wise. This checks out because Bobby's presence connects to him being the only one we saw in 15x20. And... what I personally consider to be Jack's incredibly fucked up or ~potentially taken over by Chuck~ vibes are, in that sense, consistent with 15x19 as well. (I'm so sorry but please let me drop this cursed "Alex Calvert playing Chuck" joke by Jensen from August 2022 which haunts me.)
So: nothing about the concept that @chuckwon at the end of season 15 has been confirmed or denied in canon at this point. The idea that Chuck LOST, as Dean says here, is simply what Dean may still be thinking (which makes sense). But nothing has fundamentally changed about the state of how season 15 left things in the prime narrative yet... largely because that's not what this story is / was about.
In terms of what this finale presented to us, I think "Chuck won" potential was all deliberately left open. And I continue to Call Bullshit on the finale accordingly. A Chuck won plot line COULD be used in a future sequel to great affect, or it could NOT be used in a future sequel. That will be totally up to the future authors / team behind that potential sequel to see what story they choose to tell, and where it all may or may not go. But until then (on that front) right now it's the same shit, different show, and deliberately literally nothing about that potential has changed.
• I LOVE all of the above now that I've parsed it all in my brain. It makes perfect sense. Much like we were never going see the gay angel pop up in this show and kiss Dean (with apologies to anyone who somehow thought otherwise?)... leaving other things open like this is fantastic and the objectively correct call. Dean's story is HIS story to be furthered elsewhere, whereas this show belonged and continues to belong to its cast of characters who must take center stage. But through this story within a story narrated by Dean himself, we learned a hell of a lot about his state of mind as it actively stands in 15x20. Or more accurately: the entire show reinforces and reiterates comprehensively and repeatedly that the SPN finale was wrong and bad and not the end of the story at all, and now canonically and openly and in no uncertain terms that that's how Dean feels too.
• AND THUS: season 1 of The Winchesters works as deeply clever and layered commentary on Supernatural's ending and presents the stepping stone for a sequel continuation for Dean and his family. It's also the beginning of a new chapter with endless potential for The Winchesters' cast of characters who are not tied to fate or main timeline.
I fucking love it here.
Truly, madly, deeply: ALL HAIL ROBBIE THOMPSON.
And seriously, I really hope we get a season 2 because I adore all of the prequel's characters on their own merit and I want to see what their story can become :')