Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Misha Collins (Castiel) and Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) in the 12th season finale of "Supernatural"
Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Misha Collins (Castiel) and Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) in the 12th season finale of "Supernatural" The CW

“Supernatural” season 12 episode 23 crushed the fandom’s hearts. The season ender “All Along the Watchtower” killed a lot of fan favourites, including half of the main characters.

Spoilers are ahead for ‘Supernatural’ season ender. The episode aired Thursday in the US, right after the 22nd episode, and will air on Monday in Australia on Eleven.

Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) was free and he was after his son. Meanwhile, Kelly (Courtney Ford) and Castiel (Misha Collins) were hiding somewhere in the country, waiting for Lucifer’s nephilim to be born. Castiel saw a rip in the fabric of space and time, a doorway to another world, which appeared because the nephilim was about to come out.

He, of course, entered it. The other world was an alternate reality in which Mary Campbell did not marry John Winchester because he died decades ago. Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) were never born, and the world was in shatters, with demons and angels and a few humans left were at war against each other. The mysterious figure he saw in the trailer was Bobby (Jim Beaver).

In the bunker, Sam, Dean and Mary were trying to figure out how to defeat Lucifer. When they called Rowena, it was the devil himself who answered. He was holding a lock of red hair, standing over a burnt body. He killed Rowena (Ruth Connell) offscreen, which was offensive to fans.

After learning where the angel was hiding, the Winchesters travelled to Cas and Kelly’s little cottage. Kelly was about to give birth, so Mary stayed by her side. Sam, Dean and Cas then entered the portal, with the angel explaining how it got there. They met with Bobby, who never got to know the Winchesters because in that world, they were never born.

Crowley (Mark Sheppard) was unsurprisingly alive after Lucifer stabbed him. He entered a rat’s body just before Lucifer was about to kill him, and then entered his body again after the demons had buried it. The King of Hell offered his services to Sam and Dean, explaining that when the world is about to end, it’s just a smart move to side with them. He said that in exchange, he would close the gates of hell so no demon would be able to walk on earth again.

Escaping the bunker, Crowley again offered his help to the brothers. And so when Lucifer was able to catch up with them, he devised a plan to trap him in the other world permanently. Lucifer followed Sam and Dean to the portal, with Dean acting as his punching bag while Sam and Crowley prepared a spell to hold the devil for good.

There’s just one “minor” ingredient they needed for it to work, though. Crowley said they needed to sacrifice a life. The smartest living character in the show then confronted Lucifer, admitting that whatever the outcome was, he would still lose. Heroically, Crowley then stabbed himself with an angel blade.

While Sam and Dean were still in shock, Castiel entered the portal and attacked Lucifer. The brothers made it out of there immediately, leaving the seraph and his archangel brother in the other world. Castiel tried to kill Lucifer, but instead the reverse happened. Sam and Dean were relieved to see Castiel exit the portal unharmed, but their relief was short-lived because Lucifer also exited the portal and stabbed Cas with an angel blade.

The brothers were devastated. Mary then appeared to protect her sons. Both Lucifer and Mary were thrust into the portal just as it closed, leaving them trapped in the other world.

Although still in shock with how the events unfolded, Sam hurried into the house just as he saw energy coming from where Kelly was. Dean, however, was too shattered to move from Castiel’s vessel.

Meanwhile, Kelly died while giving birth to the nephilim. Instead of a baby, though, Lucifer’s son was a fully grown man.

‘All Along the Watchtower’ review

Season 12 probably has the most heartbreaking finale since the fourth one. Crowley’s death, while many fans already expected it, was still a blow to the core. Even from the start, Sheppard’s character was fantastically cunning. He was regarded mostly as an antihero than a villain because he was just too lovable to be hated. But there were many clues that he could be killed in the final season, one of which was Sheppard’s own tweet thanking the cast and crew of the show. (Read article link below.)

And while Castiel’s death is just as devastating (even more for some fans), Crowley’s appears to be more permanent. In the show, no one stays dead forever. Sam and Dean died hundreds of times but they are still alive today. Castiel also died several times already, and again, he had been revived just as many times. But this is Crowley’s first and probably last death. Demons also don’t get revived; they stay dead. So there’s a slim chance Castiel wouldn’t be revived in season 13. He is just too precious to stay dead. There’s also this unfinished business about “cosmic consequences,” so Cas’ story isn’t likely ended yet.

Crowley, on the other hand, is most likely really dead. That’s why his death is more crushing than Castiel’s.

But at least their deaths were shown on screen. Poor Rowena wasn’t even warranted a few seconds this episode. She was killed offscreen, which was infuriating. The witch, who helped the Winchesters save the world, deserved a lot more than that.

Mary getting trapped in the other world with Lucifer makes for a great cliffhanger. Luci was incensed, but Mary, while she also didn’t look happy, appeared calm. The scenario could open a lot of possibilities for next season. Mary probably could team up with Bobby and the other hunters, which could allow Beaver to return.

Season 13 couldn’t come any sooner. “Supernatural” wouldn’t be back on air until October.

Read more:
‘Supernatural’ season 12 episode 22 recap: ‘Who We Are’ shows a strong Sam and a vulnerable Dean
Fans fear ‘Supernatural’ will kill off Crowley in season 12 finale