MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Episode 18 of Supernatural Season 15, aptly-titled "Despair."
Supernatural crossed the point of no return on more than one front in "Despair," ranging from God killing off just about everybody the Winchesters care about to The Empty ending Billie after Billie sent Jack to explode in The Empty. While those were considerable losses, the most devastating death of the episode was also arguably one of the most gutting of the entire series. Castiel died, and there are two big ways that Supernatural could handle the aftermath.
Before I dive into those ways that Supernatural should handle the aftermath, I need to emphasize why Castiel's death this time around was so devastating, even to me as somebody who has been predicting his death for weeks, and even though Castiel has died several times in the past. With "Despair," Cas wasn't suddenly and unceremoniously killed off, like when Lucifer snapped his fingers and exploded him, or even with he was stabbed with an angel blade.
Castiel got a long and emotional farewell that showcased Misha Collins, and it delivered a confession of love to Dean before The Empty came to Earth to collect on their deal and take out Billie in the process. The confession was arguably a long time coming, no matter how you view the Cas/Dean relationship, and Dean was even left with a bloody handprint on his shoulder to match the handprint he got from Cas when Cas raised him from Perdition. Castiel has died before, but never like this, and his loss eclipses all the rest of the episode.
So, with that said, let's look at the two big (and very different) ways that Supernatural should handle Castiel's death.
Supernatural Should Leave Castiel Dead
Castiel is obvious a fan-favorite character and has been the third lead of Supernatural for years, but I for one got pretty tired of Supernatural killing him off and bringing him back again. Supernatural has a habit of doing that to just about every character, and it has lowered the stakes of death in general.
After all, why should we be devastated by deaths if Supernatural tends to undo deaths in pretty short order? Mary's death sticking was a step in the right direction, as was Crowley's, but Season 15 brought back both Jack and Rowena. Cas is dead, and from a story standpoint, it might be best if he stays dead to up the ante for the series finale.
Plus, Cas got a pretty incredible death. He wasn't killed off for shock value, and he wasn't collateral damage in Billie's fight to get to Dean. He made a conscious choice to do the one thing that would make him happiest so that The Empty would come for him and Dean would live. Cas confessed his love to Dean, crying and smiling, saying that Dean changed his life and did everything out of care and love for those around him.
Whether or not you're a fan who has been rooting for a Destiel romance or see their relationship as strictly familial, his confession packed an emotional punch, and Misha Collins crushed the scene. Undoing this death could ruin the impact of what Cas sacrificed. And damn it, there was even narrative symmetry with Cas reminding Dean that he's good and then leaving a handprint on his shoulder! As far as Supernatural deaths go, Cas got a good and arguably necessary death leading into the series finale.
Supernatural Should Bring Castiel Back, And I Don't Care How
Look, Supernatural isn't the happiest show on television, and the Winchesters have more or less been losing on the defensive ever since God turned out to be the big bad. They have lost so much, and while the resurrections got pretty old for me, the guys still went through the wringer every time in-universe.
Besides, their story is ending after 15 seasons and 300 episodes, most of which involved hardship and suffering. I wouldn't be too upset if Supernatural found a way to bring Castiel back as part of the series finale package. In fact, I'm not even picky about how. And that's saying something, since my ideal ending for a long time was Sam and Dean going out Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-style! Supernatural has made and then broke its own rules many times over the years, and the end is nigh.
God is in play, and who even knows if Amara is gone for good? Death is dead again thanks to The Empty taking Billie, and a whole lot of people are seemingly dead after "Despair." I can't imagine that Supernatural is going to end with everybody dead except for Sam, Dean, Jack, and (according to the trailer for next week's penultimate episode) a dog. If Supernatural is going to bring people back as I fully expect, why not throw Cas in as part of the deal? I think fans who have been waiting through a pandemic and the other complications of 2020 deserve a happy ending rather than bittersweet.
While I do think that Cas got a great death and as fitting an end as possible if this really was his grand exit, I'm perfectly willing to suspend my disbelief about Cas coming back. Maybe The Empty will set him free, or God will make a deal, or Dean will sneak in with a magic key to The Empty and an invisibility cloak. I'm not picky! And I I've sat through enough bonkers twists over the years on Supernatural that I could live with another. This isn't exactly the most grounded show on television.
Be sure to vote in our poll below about whether or not Cas should come back! I do see it as best from a story perspective for Cas to stay dead, but for the characters from an emotional standpoint, I'd be fine with him coming back. See whether or not Castiel is gone for good with the final episodes of Supernatural, airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. The next new episode is called "Inherit the Earth," and it will see everything on the line for the battle against God, while a familiar face comes back to join the fight.
We can only speculate at this point about who that familiar face will be. I'm inclined to think it's a supernatural being over a human, since God seemingly killed off all the non-Winchester humans. My money is on Adam/Michael, although I'd love to see Amara split from her brother somehow. Find out on Thursday, November 12 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, check out our fall 2020 premiere schedule.