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Warning: GIGANTIC spoilers ahead for the Season 12 finale of Supernatural, called "All Along the Watchtower."
Supernatural is known for many things, ranging from how it seems destined keep going forever on The CW to Sam and Dean's rock star aliases. If it is notorious for one thing, however, it might be that deaths often don't stick on Supernatural. The Winchester boys have already died a handful of times each, and plenty of other characters have returned from the great beyond in some form or other as well. Unfortunately, two huge characters seemed to have died in "All Along the Watchtower," and all signs point toward neither of them coming back. Supernatural may have really, actually, totally 100% killed off some major players. R.I.P. Castiel and Crowley.
Crowley was the first of the two to die in "All Along the Watchtower," and it just so happened to be by his own hand. When he, Sam, and Dean lured Lucifer to the wasteland reality in which the Winchester boys were never born, they were working furiously to finish a spell that would close the tear in reality that allowed them all to pass through. Unfortunately, the spell required one last terrible ingredient: a life.
The next course of action for Crowley would generally have been for him to try and off Sam or Dean or a stray civilian who happened to be in the vicinity, but taking out Lucifer was very personal for Crowley, and he chose to kill himself via angel blade to complete the spell the would trap Lucifer in the terrible wasteland with no means of returning. Granted, Crowley has died before. Nevertheless, he was intending to die this time around, and he had the look of a demon that has just been killed by an angel blade. Also, the spell did actually work, and Crowley's body was left in the other reality when he died, so... it seems like he's really gone for good. Goodnight, sweet prince of Hell.
Alas, he was not the only Winchester ally to be stabbed to death via angel blade in "All Along the Watchtower." Castiel stormed into the wasteland to try and settle the score with Lucifer, and it seemed like he was left behind after the Winchesters fled to safety without him (and against Dean's better judgment). He did make it through, but neither we nor the Winchesters had long to celebrate that he wasn't going to be stuck with Lucifer in the wasteland. Lucifer popped out right behind Cas and ran him through with an angel blade. Castiel's eyes burned out in the same way that we've see a hundred times before with dying angels.
Admittedly, Cas has seemed pretty definitively dead before, only to pop back to life. This time, however, there wasn't a last minute save from God or even a disappearing body to leave the possibility open. His dead body was very much lying on the grass, and Dean at least was clearly convinced that his best angel pal was finished for good when he stared down at the corpse. All things considered, Cas just looked plain dead, and frankly, given that he was stabbed via angel blade by LUCIFER, I'm inclined to think that it might be best for the story to keep him dead. I've loved Castiel since he first turned up in Season 4; he still should not have survived death via vengeful Lucifer without God handy, and God was noticeably absent.
For the firsts time in a while, it truly seems that Supernatural has killed off two of its most prominent characters. If these deaths stick as much as they seem, "All Along the Watchtower" will go down as one of the most daring and unforgettable episodes of the series, and that's saying something for a show that just finished its twelfth season.
Crowley and Castiel dying weren't even the only tragedies of the episode! While the Winchester boys' plan to trap Lucifer in another reality was successful, they lost their mom (again) when she fell through the tear with Lucifer. Kelly died as well, which was always probably going to happen after she decided to go through with her pregnancy and give birth to the devil's spawn.
What wasn't quite so predictable was the reveal that the nephilim baby didn't stay a baby even moments after his birth. He was a very creepy-looking adult who was not looking too friendly to poor Sam. Throw in the fact that the British Men of Letters was annihilated, Rowena was murdered by Lucifer, and there are only a handful of hunters left in the U.S., and it's easy to see why Misha Collins told CinemaBlend that the series would be changed in some big ways for Season 13. I'm almost glad that this was the season finale, if only because I might need a few weeks to really process everything that happened.
Supernatural will return to The CW this fall. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well. Our TV season finale schedule can give you all you need to know about your shows ending.