15.20 Carry On

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SPN-1520.jpg
Title Carry On
Episode # Season 15, Episode20
First aired November 19, 2020
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Andrew Dabb
On IMDB Carry On
Outline Sam and Dean take their final ride.
Monster Jenny
Vampires
Timeline
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Akron, Ohio
Canton, Ohio
Heaven
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Synopsis

In the Bunker, Sam and Dean go through their daily morning routine. Dean wakes up and is immediately greeted by Miracle. Sam goes for a run, pausing on the way to look at the world. Sam makes breakfast, warning Dean the toast is hot. Then Sam walks into his room shirtless, fresh from the shower. We see him neatly make his bed, while Dean messily makes his. Dean cleans weapons while Sam does laundry in an old washer. In the library, Dean is on his laptop along with Miracle, when Sam joins them. Looking for hunts, Sam tells Dean he's found nothing, but Dean has.

They roll up to a small town. Sam asking if Dean is ready; Dean assures that he is, as they step out of the Impala and enter a Pie Fest. While Dean goes to buy pie, Sam looks forlornly at a passing family. When Dean returns, Dean asks about Sam’s sadness. Sam tells him he misses Castiel and Jack. Dean says he misses them too, but that they will honor their sacrifices by living. As Dean begins to dig into his tray of pies, Sam picks one up and shoves it in Dean's face, laughing as he tells Dean he has wanted to do that for a long time.

The family from earlier is attacked by masked intruders and the kids are taken. Sam and Dean show up as FBI agents Singer and Kripke. They learn that the two children were taken, and that the mother survived, but had her tongue ripped out. The local sheriff show's Sam and Dean a drawing of the attacker, which is just a skull. Looking through John's Journal, they find an old case of a string of kidnappings he never solved, and figure out it’s vampires that prey on rural families with kids. And wonder who fits the description nearby.

A van drives up to a house, the masked vampires get out. Only for one to be beheaded by Dean, and the other shot by Sam. Sam and Dean interrogate the captured vampire, who says they kidnap and raise the kids as a food source, after threat of a slow and agonizing decapitation, the vampire tells them where the children are.

Sam and Dean pull up to a creepy barn and get their weapons ready. Inside, they save the boys, only to be confronted by the masked vampires. A fight ensues. At one point, Sam is knocked out. And Dean is captured. Jenny, the woman who was turned into a vampire on Sam and Dean's first vampire hunt appears to a surprised Dean, who uses the time to banter, letting Sam recover. When she goes to bite him, Sam beheads her. The fight continues, while Sam kills the vamps, Dean is impaled on a rebar hook by one, who Sam also decapitates. Sam thinks they’ve won. But Dean tells him something is wrong with him, and soon realizes he’s dying the way he knew he should, saving people, hunting things. Sam doesn’t want to believe, offering to get help. But Dean begs him to stay. Wanting him to come closer as he tells him things he needs to say. He tells him how proud he is of him and everything he admires. He admits to being so scared that Sam wouldn’t have wanted to see him when he came and got him from school. Because he didn’t know what he would do without Sam. It was always them. Just them. Sam begs him not to leave. Dean says he will be with him everyday in Sam’s heart. And he wants Sam to not bring him back. He tells him to always keep fighting. Dean tells Sam he loves him so much. Dean tells Sam he needs him to tell him it’s okay, that he can go. After sometime, Sam is finally able to. They touch foreheads, say goodbye, then Dean breathes his last breathe, collapsing into Sam’s trembling from wracking sobs arms.

Sam and Miracle give Dean a hunter’s funeral. Afterwards, Sam morosely goes about the Bunker. Miracle not leaving his side. He looks at the names on the table. Later, he sits in Dean’s untouched room, crying, and petting a sad Miracle. Then, a phone rings from the desk drawer. It’s Dean’s "other other cell phone." An officer from Austin, looking for an Agent Bon Jovi, has bodies with missing hearts. Donna Hanscum told him that he’s the one to call. After a pause, Sam says he’s on his way. Sam, packs up and walks through the Bunker library and Crow’s Nest one last time. He turns to look around once more before leaving and shutting down all of the Bunker lights a final time.

From Dean’s funeral pyre, we see Dean rise and go to Heaven. Happy that he ended up in Heaven, Dean is surprised to see Bobby Singer waiting for him. Thinking he's in a memory, Bobby tells him he isn't and that Jack released him from lock up and changed Heaven, with Castiel’s help. It’s no longer endlessly remembering your greatest memories. It’s living all together with the people you love, happily, revealing that John and Mary, Rufus are all nearby, telling Dean that it's not just Heaven, but it's the Heaven Dean deserves. They share a beer that tastes likes Dean’s first with his father. When Dean says it’s almost perfect, Bobby assures him “He’ll be along,” knowing who Dean needs to make Heaven perfect, also mentioning that time works different in Heaven. When Bobby asks what Dean wants to do, Dean sees Baby with the original license plates. He decides to go for a drive.

As he turns over the engine, “Carry On Wayward Son” plays from the radio. He declares he loves that song and drives. While he’s driving we see Sam raising a son, appropriately named Dean. An aged Sam uncovers a still mint condition Baby, and sits behind the wheel, looks forlornly at the passenger seat he occupied for so long, grips the wheel where his brother Dean used to grip, and cries. The music changes as we see a dying elderly Sam lay in medical bed at home beneath pictures of his beloved long gone family. Dean, his son, is an adult now with an anti-possession tattoo on his forearm comes in to hold Sam’s hand. As Sam struggles to breath, Dean tells him, “It’s okay. You can go now.” And we see Sam tearfully breathe his last breath, like Dean did all those years ago.

In Heaven, Dean stops at a bridge and gets out of Baby. He walks to the railing to enjoy the view, when suddenly his demeanor changes. He smiles and without turning calls, “Hey, Sammy.” As he turns, we see Sam in the clothes he wore when they hunted the Woman in White, he smiles as replies with, “Dean.” They look at each other, smiling, then hug a joyous hug. Dean leads Sam to enjoy the view, his arm around his shoulder. They’re free to enjoy the perfect Heaven together, forever. Finally at peace.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Ordinary Life" by Van Morrison
(playing over Sam and Dean starting their day)
  • "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits
(playing over Dean's funeral pyre and Sam's mourning)
(plays on the Impala's radio as Dean takes the Impala for a ride in Heaven and Sam lives his life on Earth with his son; also played in 1.21 Salvation, 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two, 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked, 4.22 Lucifer Rising, 5.22 Swan Song, 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much, 7.23 Survival of the Fittest, 8.23 Sacrifice, 9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?, 10.23 Brother's Keeper, 11.23 Alpha and Omega, 12.23 All Along the Watchtower, 13.23 Let the Good Times Roll, and 14.20 Moriah)
  • "Carry On Wayward Son" by Neoni
(playing as Sam passes away from old age and reunites with Dean in Heaven)

Quotes

Dean: No, come on. I know that face. That's, uh... That Sad Sam face.

Sam: I'm not Sad Sam. I'm just... I'm thinking about Cas, you know? Jack. If they could be here.

Dean: Yeah, no. I think about 'em, too. You know what? That pain's not gonna go away. Right? But if we don't keep living, then all that sacrifice is gonna be for nothing.
Dean: You know what this is? Mimes. Evil mimes.

Sam: Yeah, or vampires.

Dean: Vamp-mimes. Son of a bitch.
Vampire: What'd you hit me with?
Dean: Oh, it speaks. Not a mime. Still evil, though.
Dean: Okay. P-Please. I'm fading pretty quick, so...there's a few things that I need you to hear. Come here. Let me look at you. Yeah, there he is. I'm so proud of you, Sam. You know that? I've always looked up to you. Man, when we were kids, you were so damn smart. You never... You never took any of dad's crap. I never knew how you did that. And you're stronger than me. You always have been. Hey, did I ever tell you... Did I ever tell you that night that, that I came for you when you were at school? You know, when dad hadn't come back from his hunting trip?

Sam: Yeah, the Woman in White.

Dean: The Woman in White. That's right. I must have stood outside your dorm for hours...because I didn't... I didn't know what... What you would say. I thought you'd tell me to... to get lost or get dead. And I don't know what I would've done... if I didn't have you. 'Cause I was so scared. I was scared, 'cause when it all came down to it, it was always you and me. It's always been you... and me.
Dean: Hey. I'm not leaving you. I'm gonna be with you... right here... every day. Every day you're out there and you're li... and you're living and you're fighting, 'cause you... you always keep fighting. You hear me? I'll be there every step. I love you so much. My baby brother. Oh, man. Well, I did not think this would be the day. But it is. It is, and that's... Man... that's okay. I need you to... I need you to promise me. I need you to... to... to tell me... that it's okay. I need you to tell me that it's okay.
Dean: Well, at least I made it to Heaven.

Bobby: Yep.
Dean: What memory is this?
Bobby: It ain't ya idjit.
Dean: Yeah it is, 'cause the last I heard you... you were in Heaven's lockup.
Bobby: Was. Now I'm not. That kid of yours before he went... wherever, made some changes here. Busted my ass out. And then he -- Well, he set some things right. Tore down all the walls up here. Heaven ain't just reliving your golden oldies anymore. It's what it always should've been. Everyone happy. Everyone together. Rufus lives about five miles that way -- with Aretha. Thought she'd have better taste. And your mom and dad... they got a place over yonder. It ain't just Heaven, Dean. It's the Heaven you deserve. And we've been waiting for you.
Dean: So, Jack did all that?

Bobby: Well... Cas helped. It's a big new world out there. You'll see.
Dean: It's almost perfect.

Bobby: He'll be along. Time up here, it's... it's different. You got everything you could ever want... or need or... dream. So, I guess the question is... what are you gonna do now, Dean?
Dean: I think I'll go for a drive.

Bobby: Have fun.
Dean: Hey, Baby. Ah! I love this song. Whoo!
Dean II: Dad. It's okay. You can go now.
Dean: Hey, Sammy.
Sam: Dean.

Trivia & References

The title "Carry On" is a reference to the refrain from the show's unofficial theme, "Carry On Wayward Son". Andrew Dabb revealed that the idea to use "Carry On" as the finale title came from post-production coordinator Casey Hammons.
Supernatural's final episode was number 327. Coincidentally, the standard engine in a 1967 Chevy Impala is a 327 cubic-inch V8.
Dean: So quit being a friggin' Eeyore, huh?
Eeyore is a depressed and gloomy stuffed donkey character from the Winnie The Pooh stories by A.A. Milne.
Sam and Dean use the aliases "Agents Singer and Kripke" for Robert Singer and Eric Kripke.
The fact that the final case Sam and Dean investigate together are in Ohio, is a nod to creator Eric Kripke who is from Toledo, Ohio.
Sam: This the place?

Dean: Dark, creepy, something out of Wes Craven's erotic fantasy? Yeah. It's 100% the place.

Wes Craven was a horror filmmaker best known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises.
When Sam answers one of Dean's many cell phones, the man on the other end asks for an "Agent Bon Jovi." It's also "Dean's Other Other Cell Phone" which is often heard in the show on voicemail whenever someone calls him.
Bobby: Rufus lives about five miles that way -- with Aretha. Thought she'd have better taste.
"Aretha" is possibly a reference to R&B and soul singer Aretha Franklin.

Minutiae

On 27th August, filming began on the last ever episode of Supernatural, and we all got emotional. Jared posted the photo above with the message:
"As I head out to the first day on my LAST season finale, I can’t help but be incredibly grateful for all that #Supernatural and the #SPNFamily mean to me. It’s been an incredible journey, to say the least. I, for one, am hoping that #SupernaturalNeverDies."

Jensen responded:

"Here we go, brother. This one’s for all the marbles."
Jensen posted a video saying:
"So last night we completed 326 of Supernatural. And at the very end of every one of those scripts are three words: To Be Continued. Today we start episode 327, and at the very bottom, of the very last page of this script are only two words: (He holds up the script showing the words The End) Happy Friday everybody."

On the post Jared commented:

"Let's bring it home brother"

Misha posted:

"Don't make me cry. Again."
On the last day of filming, most of the Supernatural cast and crew, past and present, had fond farewells to say on Twitter, many of which were documented by Entertainment Weekly, including tweets by Misha Collins, Eric Kripke, Ruth Connell, and Jim Beaver.
In a Variety article, director Robert Singer talks about COVID-19 restrictions, quarantine, and which cast members were on set for the series finale. Some fans were upset by the news that Misha wasn't included. Jensen also confirmed that there had been changes to the script due to COVID. Both Misha and Jared later went into detail about these changes to the ending, specifically saying that there was supposed to be a large scene in Heaven of all of Dean's friends, family, and loved ones from earlier episodes, but that it wasn't possible because the 14-day quarantine would've been inconvenient to cast members. However, Kat Ramdeen said on Twitter that she was already available in Vancouver and was not contacted, and Samantha Ferris said on Twitter that she and Chad Lindberg weren't approached about being in Season 15 at all (despite many other Season 15 Callbacks prior to COVID restrictions being enacted), and were surprised to see Harvelle's Roadhouse in this episode.
Eric Kripke revealed in an interview with EW, that after learning of the show's planned ending, he had attempted to think of a different ones to pitch back to Andrew Dabb and Bob Singer, but ultimately came to the conclusion that their planned ending was the right one. Saying of his proposed alternate ending:
"There's only one scene that I haven't done that I would've done for the end of the show and I'm certainly not going to give it away, maybe one day I will. But I can assure the fans that my ending was so much darker than the ending they're going with, so anyone who's like, 'Kripke should've ended it,' I'm like, 'You would've hated my ending!' Because it was a horror movie and it was going to have a horror movie ending, so I can promise you the ending [they went with] you'll love much more than if you had let me end the show."
Christine Chatelain, who plays Jenny in this episode, previously played Dr. Ellen Piccolo in 5.08 Changing Channels.
Unlike the prior 13 seasons, the final episode of the season did not open with "Carry On Wayward Son" playing over the "Road So Far" montage. Instead the song played towards the end of the episode, over a montage of Dean driving around Heaven waiting for Sam and Sam living his life to old age. Unlike previous times, the music is diegetic and playing from the Impala's radio as shown with Dean commenting on how much he loves the song.
Dean is revealed to have adopted Miracle, the dog that he found in 15.19 Inherit the Earth.
The truck at the Pie Fest is called "Dabb's Pies" after showrunenr Andrew Dabb.
When Sam shoves the pie in Dean's face, the extra in the background who appears shocked is director/producer Robert Singer. Jared revealed at a Creations StageIt event that this scene was scripted, and that he got to enjoy hitting Jensen with the pie multiple times as needed for filming.
Like 1.18 Something Wicked, 11.16 Safe House, and 15.16 Drag Me Away (From You), the Winchesters investigate and solve an unclosed case from the past. In this case, it was one of their father's from 1986.
Sam and Dean once again use John's Journal as a primary source on a case as they often did in the earlier seasons, particularly the first season.
Dean: Come on, one time.

Sam: No.

Dean wants to use a shuriken (star knife) as a weapon. This has been seen in their weapons cache throughout the series, but never used.
Dean: Jenny. Son of a bitch.

Jenny: Hey, Dean.
Dean: Well, look at you. You know, we tried to kill each other back in the day. Yeah. This is so weird.

A reference to the events of 1.20 Dead Man's Blood where Jenny and Kate were the only vampires to escape the Winchesters on their very first vampire hunt.
Dean's death also mirrors Sam's first death from 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One. Both are stabbed in the back, with the other brother seeing blood on their hands from the wound. Dean similarly asks Sam, "Come here. Let me look at you" during both death scenes.
Sam: I can't do this alone.

Dean: Yes you can.
Sam: Yeah, well, I don't want to.

Sam and Dean's exchange as Dean is dying is verbatim from 1.01 Pilot, when Dean asked for Sam's help in finding their father. When asked at a StageIt Creation event the weekend after this episode aired, Jared said,
"It was written that Sam says, 'I can't do this without you.' I thought it was neat to throw back to the pilot and say, 'I can't do this alone,' instead, like to reverse roles."
He also said he and Jensen were given license by writer Andrew Dabb and director Robert Singer to "just go with the flow" during Dean's death scene.
Dean tells Sam, "You always keep fighting." This is a reference to Jared's Always Keep Fighting campaigns.
After Dean's death, Sam starts wearing Dean's Watch and is seen wearing it up until his death. Jared revealed at a Creation StageIt event the weekend after this episode aired that this was an idea of his and Jensen's, that Sam would keep Dean's watch after Dean's death, and he was surprised fans noticed. Fans also noticed that Sam is wearing Dean's gray hoodie in the scene in the kitchen after Dean dies. This isn't the first time the boys have worn each other's clothes and yes, the fans ALWAYS notice. In 1.12 Faith, Dean wore Sam's gray hoodie, so Sam wearing Dean's hoodie now may be another example of circular storytelling on Jared's part.
Sam's first case after Dean's death is in Austin, which is home to both Jared and Jensen. Texas is also the location of Jared's next film project on the CW: Walker.
Bobby Singer is revealed to have been locked up in Heaven's prison for his actions in 10.17 Inside Man but was sprung by Jack. Until now, this had only been confirmed by Bob Singer during a con panel years ago.
Dean and Bobby meet in Heaven outside of Harvelle's Roadhouse where they share a beer. Before the Winchesters burned his flask in 7.23 Survival of the Fittest, Bobby expressed hope to see them again in Heaven after they die. In addition, in 7.19 Of Grave Importance, after learning that Bobby stuck around as a ghost, Dean commented that Bobby could be in Heaven drinking beer at Harvelle's instead. The carved monkey next to Bobby used to sit on the corner of the bar in the original Roadhouse.
Heaven was reshaped by Jack to be a more peaceful version of Earth where the souls are no longer separated from each other. In addition, Bobby reveals that Jack brought Castiel back from the Empty and he helped Jack with reshaping Heaven for the better.
The monkey figurine makes its final appearance outside Harvelle's. The figurine had been introduced in Season 2, and after the Roadhouse was burned down, the figurine made sporadic appearances throughout the series in the backgrounds of scenes as an Easter egg. Bob Singer has said that the monkey figurine would be the one item he would take with him when the show was finished.
The face of Sam's wife is not seen as she is only shown at a distance. In a private online meet and greet with Jared after a Creation StageIt event, a fan asked if this person is anyone specific. Jared answered that no, this person's identity was left open to fan interpretation. Many fans were disappointed that this person was not Eileen, and showed an outpouring of love and support for Shoshannah Stern on her twitter.
Many of the pictures seen in Sam's house are ones seen often over the course of the show. The biggest is an image of the entire Winchester family together from 14.13 Lebanon.
Despite Belphegor's statement in 15.02 Raising Hell that a soul cannot go to Heaven once it has been condemned to Hell, Dean still reaches Heaven when he dies despite his deal having previously condemned him to Hell, suggesting that Jack changed the rules of entry in addition to restructuring Heaven.
When Dean drives the Impala through Heaven, the car has the original KAZ 2Y5 license plates while on Earth Sam's Impala has the current CNK 80Q3 license plates.
Dean II: Dad. It's okay. You can go now.
As he described at the November StageIt panel, it was Jared's idea to mirror Dean's death with Sam's. The line "You can go now" was inspired by what director Bob Singer related he had said to his own father.
According to Dean's watch that Sam is wearing, Sam dies around 1:40pm (it looks like there is light outside the window).
Though Sam's son has an anti-possession tattoo on his arm, there are no other signs of hunting in Sam's life after he leaves the Bunker. Jared confirmed at the November StageIt panel that Sam has not been hunting "in honor of Dean" because Dean wouldn't have wanted him to, but that Sam did tell his son about hunting and about his Uncle Dean, and that the decision to get the tattoo was Dean II's.
The clothes Sam and Dean are wearing when they meet up in Heaven are similar to the outfits they wore in 1.01 Pilot. Significant scenes in the pilot also occurred on a bridge. Jared revealed at a StageIt Creation event after this episode that for Sam, the outfit was his idea, as he asked the wardrobe department to put him in the outfit from the pilot, and since they no longer had it, they matched it as much as possible.
Dean's death and Sam's life after it are an echo of what Dean told Sam in 8.14 Trial and Error (an episode also written by Andrew Dabb):
Dean: And you told me yourself that you see a way out. You see a light at the end of this ugly-ass tunnel. I don't. But I tell you what I do know – it's that I'm gonna die with a gun in my hand. 'Cause that's what I have waiting for me – that's all I have waiting for me. I want you to get out. I want you to have a life – become a Man of Letters, whatever. You, with a wife and kids and – and – and grandkids, living till you're fat and bald and chugging Viagra – that is my perfect ending, and it's the only one that I'm gonna get. So I'm gonna do these trials. I'm gonna do them alone – end of story. You're staying here. I'm going out there. If landshark comes knocking, you call me. If you try to follow me, I'm gonna put a bullet in your damn leg.
Dean: Hey, Sammy.

Sam: Dean.

Another reference to the first word spoken by Sam to Dean in 1.01 Pilot, adlibbed by Jared with the circular storytelling of returning to the pilot in mind.
At the end of the episode, Jared and Jensen appear on the same bridge as the final scene and still in costume:
Jensen: Thank you, the fans. Through blood, sweat, laughter, and tears, you've kept us on for 15 years.
Jared: There's no way we would have ever been here without you and your support and your love, so thank you. We will remain forever grateful for the opportunity and the honor to play these characters for so long, and we felt you guys here with us all the time. So thank you.
The shot pulls back to reveal all the crew also on the bridge alongside Jared and Jensen. As they wave goodbye, Bob Singer can be heard calling "And cut."
At a Stageit event by Creation the weekend after this episode aired, Jared revealed that he considers this finale his favorite episode of the show, followed by 8.23 Sacrifice and 6.15 The French Mistake.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion