‘Supernatural’ Season 8 Finale Review: Heaven’s Fallen

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 17th, 2013 at 9:45 am,

supernatural season 8 finale sam Supernatural Season 8 Finale Review: Heavens Fallen

In the Supernatural season 8 finale, “Sacrifice”, written by showrunner Jeremy Carver, an intense tale of Heavenly vengeance seamlessly evolves the series’ mythology, as well as its character, proving that the show has, officially, returned to its former glory.

In order to get Crowley to stop killing their past rescues, Sam and Dean make a deal to hand over the demon tablet. When trickery comes in to play, Sam attempts to use the King of Hell to finish his Trials. Meanwhile, Castiel and Marv continue with their own Trials; that is, until Naomi catches Marv. With the gates to Heaven and Hell almost closed, revelations of vengeance force everyone to make new plans before it’s too late.

“Sacrifice” is not as much an action-packed thrill ride as it is a deeply rich and engaging exploration of the series mythology. The finale, which does continue to progress this season’s story, never really places its characters in a position where the obvious resolution to what’s occurring seems logical (or wanted). Instead, each character – from Sam to Naomi – are allowed to shine in their own moments, with dialogue, not action, used as the driving force.

supernatural season 8 finale marv Supernatural Season 8 Finale Review: Heavens Fallen

As the episode begins to unfold, the true ramifications of anyone completing their intended quest begin to reveal themselves. Crowley, as a human, is an intriguing concept that should never occur – and it doesn’t. Though much of Sam’s back and forth with an emotive Crowley is, essentially, a pantomime of what will never be, it provided a wonderful foundation for Jared Padalecki, as well as Sam, to step out of the shadow of Dean (and Jensen Ackles) and show that this character is much more than the “aw shucks” guy.

Castiel, too, receives a twist to his intended Trials, thanks to Marv’s (Curtis Armstrong) intent on destroying those who ousted him, and both characters evolve in an interesting way because of it. Such twists, as with any finale tale, are expected; however, in this instance, viewers’ expectations can get the best of them.

In a sense, what transpires in the Supenatural season 8 finale (up until the end) isn’t as important – or as relevant – as the journey that each and every character goes on throughout. But because this show is as old as it is, with a fanbase as knowledgeable as they are, any attempt by the viewer to figure out what’s going to happen next can result in a nervous frustration which easily overshadows everything that this episode accomplishes with its characters.

supernatural season 8 finale sam dean Supernatural Season 8 Finale Review: Heavens Fallen

The most important part of is finale is the ending, when the angels of Heaven fall to Earth. Not only is this one of the most beautifully crafted scenes the series has ever seen, but it’s made much more so by all of the wonderful exposition that came before it. In the many years that the series has been on the air, religions and monsters have been combined into an impressive, singular and surprising logical tale, and Lucifer and (maybe) God have, at times, appeared. Still, the inclusions of these two larger-than-life characters were nowhere near as impactful as the final moments of the Supernatural season 8 finale.

Those looking to find flaws in this season finale, it won’t be difficult. At times, the story at hand isn’t as important as its results. And yes, at times, twists are overused and feel a bit forced. But after everything that Supernatural has been through in previous years, and all the work it took it to bring it back to its former glory, there’s no doubt that a bit of heavy-handed, forceful storytelling was required. For those who are able to look past such things and at the characters’ journey – to hear the words crafted for them to say – the thought of Supernatural reaching season 10 with such earnest intentions is everything a fan of the series could hope for.

What happens in Supernatural season 9 is anyone’s guess. But because of what occurred in the finale, the series now has new elements to help it reach its (likely) end. With the lines of good and evil once again blurred, new relationships will have to be created, and help will be required from the most unlikely of people. And because, now, all of the angels have been cast out of Heaven, perhaps there’s an opening to receive some behind-the-scenes help from a familiar idjit who still happens to be there.


Supernatural season 9 premieres September/October on CW.

Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
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  1. I though this past episode was nothing short of…great. It brought me back to seasons 1-5 when Supernatural was amazing. And with Hell still open and the angels out of heaven doing evil things (by assumption) maybe the brothers will call upon someone else’s help…maybe Lucifer?

    • I agree with you 100 percent. This season of Supernatural has been the best in a long time. I think I will have a Supernatural party this weekend and start watching season 1 again. I miss my guys!

    • I love supernatural its the only show on tv that brings me great happiness im very sick so I need that happiness I would get very sad even if I did not have the reruns which I have wacth the pilet in season one now 8 times on tnt I will keep on watching them as long as I can I thank cw and tnt for the great joy they bring me yes my grand kids bring more joy but they in school doring the day I wished I could afford the dvd seires from and 10 so I can wacth them even when I m dieig in the hospitial I thank I still I have time bit my live is failing and so is my kindeys but my doctor isn’t doing any thing for me. im only 50 years old a grand mother of 6 grand son and 2 two grand daughter and 5 daughters that’s it that my family I thank god for all of them my two year old grand son was out side yesterday even he knows im sick he thur his ball on the porch he said to me grandma give me my ball but don’t hurt yourself hes one of my two years grandson I have the youngest their a month a part well the question was will I wacth season 9, 10 the and is always you make me happy.

  2. i will defintly be watching season 9 i cant wait

  3. Season 8, Mr. Carver, and the Supernatural family did not let us down … without a doubt they have their mojo back …. the season finale, breathtaking, kudos to the special effects crew, it was amazing … the only problem … sitting through the summer waiting for season 9 to premiere. It is interesting that it was Sam who gave his blood to a demon(to cure him) when it was Sam who received a demons blood as a baby (to infect him), a full circle.

  4. I always have to remind myself that this is a show and not get wrapped up in the flaws. I really like Supernatural. They pull a lot of “wtf was that?!” story lines and side tracks, but I go along with it because I want to see where this goes. I also like critical analysis of the fiction I enjoy.

    What I see as the good possibilities/moments and the gripes are tangled up for the season:

    –I really hated how they would go off on decent tangents that could have been pertinent story lines, only to completely kill them off. It made my head spin with all the “coulda-woulda-shoulda” story possibilities. I feel like they let the ball drop. The fan fic writers are going to have a field day with all the open ended and confused side plots.

    –Amanda Tapping is glorious and cutting her down before you get the full picture of the conspiracy in heaven felt a little premature. I really felt like there was more story there and I wanted to see where her character went. I do love the gentleman who plays Metatron, so I hope he helps carry this portion of the storyline.

    –I love the boys and I know if one of them bit it for good, the show would be over; but lets be real: How could they undergo these trials set forth by GOD, and not think that one of them would have to die. Hello. You would think after Angel ass hats were coming out of the wood work to jack up their lives, they might have peeked into the Bible to get a better picture of what they were dealing with all the way around. The Big GOD really likes the big sacrifices. It felt a little lazy and cheap not to go all the way. I am interested in the turn that Crowley’s character takes. I could handle that the whole “closing hell” thing was constructed to give Crowley an interesting story line, but I’m still sad about how they handled the trials.

    –I’m still mad about the whole Adam thing. There, I said it. It was very un-Winchester to not attempt a save. It makes no sense to the Sam and Dean we know and love. Knowing they have family out there suffering and they do nothing about it? Yeah, not buying it. I really thought the whole “rescue an innocent soul from hell” thing was to finally get Adam out. Having it be Bobby felt a little ridiculous and cheapened his original exit.
    —I love Bobby, but it’s way past time to let him go.

    –I really just want Castiel and Kevin Tran to stop getting their asses kicked. I found myself feeling bad for them when I was supposed to be enjoying other aspects of the show.

    All in all, they’ve definitely got my attention. I just hope they can keep it in the next season.

    • I get what you mean about the Adam situation and yeah, I want the writers to address it too. But he’s locked in the Devil’s cage and the only one who is able to bust in without setting free Lucifer and Michael is Death. Angels can’t even get in so people can’t expect Sam or Dean to do it without Death’s help – and summoning him again is literally asking to die.

    • I agree with the whole Adam situation especially since that should have been resolved season 6. I know they have trouble getting the actor, it’s Supernatural they could recast him and come up with a disfigurement or some other continuity reason. They caused him to get in the cage. Bobby just doesn’t make sense. Crowley can just all of a sudden force good souls into Hell. Major plot hole, and now we are expecting him back in season 9(I thought Death’s Door should have been his last episode). And yes extremely selfish of the Winchesters not to close the gates of hell considering how many people got sacrificed on this quest.

  5. The more I think about this…the more it upsets me that Sam didn’t close the gates to Hell. The angels falling is the Winchesters fault. Metatron was minding his own business in a native American tribe reading stories when the Winchesters approached him to help them complete their task of sealing the gates to Hell. If they never found him, Metatron would have kept to himself. Instead, the Winchesters lure him out and he begins his ultimate plan to cast the angels out of Heaven. Their reasoning? We’re going to shut the gates to hell and be able to retire. But NOooo. Dean decides that he’s a pansy and can’t live without Sam. He cries and convinces Sam not to do the thing he’d been working on doing for the entire second half of the season.

    • Basically, yeah. I feel like the worst part about the speech at the end is that it totally negates not just everything this season has done but a lot of the work that went in the season 5 finale. The relationship between Sam and Dean was already unhealthy enough back then, but Dean could still let Sam go for the greater good. Here they weren’t able to let go of each other. It was like a regression in their relationship. Not only that but Dean was turned into the villain of the situation for having other people in his life outside of Sam (one of whom, Benny, died, because this show can’t figure out what else to do with side characters if they’re not non-threatening lesbians or Cas whom they treat like s*** anyway) and Dean had to renounce any progress he made throughout the season for sake of taking care of Sam first, putting Sam first, giving up everything in his life so that he thinks Sam can be okay. It was so frustrating to watch.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I love the show. But you’re right, it has issues with the character choices in the finale negating the character choices throughout the season. And now Benny sacrificed himself for nothing. Unless Bobby being in heaven plays a role in the future against Metatron.

        • I look at it like this: Dean is a f’ed up, selfish guy who couldn’t let his “first love” die for a mission that lacked any real consequences if they failed. Closing the Gates was purely a personal goal – an opportunity to give a massive F.U to every demon on the planet. Dean heard that Sam had to make an ultimate sacrifice and maybe deep down he blocked out the possibility of Sam dying. But when he found out the reality of things, he said screw closing the gates because so what if they remain open? Nothing would change – it would be the same old situation where demons kill people and hunters kill/exorcise demons.

          The Apocalypse though? The world was going to be incinerated by Micheal and Lucifer’s battle. I don’t remember every detail about “Swan Song” but Dean decided to let Sam sacrifice himself to prevent millions from dying horribly. But in this season, closing the gates wouldn’t wipe out every evil supernatural creature and more people wouldn’t die more than usual, so why let Sam kill himself?

          • I have trouble blaming Dean in this situation because this made very little sense for the character at this point and it negated some of the stuff he went through this year, he was clearly just shoved into this role because the show can’t do anything else.

            And it wasn’t just a personal goal? It would literally be ridding the world of all demons and the destruction and pain they cause, and how can that not be a good thing? How would that NOT BE CHANGING ANYTHING? The stakes aren’t as high as before but it’s a long term problem that needed to be solved.

            One of the problems is that the show set it up as some kind of personal goal and the payoff for Sam’s repetitive storyline was supposed to be him getting ~revenge or whatever for what demons have done to his family which did not work at all, like it wasn’t present and felt do disconnected from everything else especially since Sam already did that once before.

            The real problem is Sam should not have been given this storyline at all. It’s terrible and lazy and worse yet, they set themselves for the ending sacrifice in this episode and then WORSE YET, the show pulled away from it, but it didn’t just abandon it like half the other stuff this year, it took the absolute WORST WAY out of it by regressing the relationship between and development of Sam and Dean.

            • I don’t know what you mean by Dean’s actions negating some of the things he went through earlier this season so I can’t comment on that. I know what it means but, I can’t recall any specific examples of that happening.

              I said earlier that closing the gates WAS a personal goal because demons dramatically altered their lives probably more so than anyone else(killing their mother, John, Jess, controlling Sam’s life.) Getting rid of demons is not going to get rid of any other evil supernatural creature roaming the planet. Oh, demons are gone? Time for the Leviathans, vampires, werewolves to go crazy and throw a fiesta, and eat people nonstop.

              Closing the gates meant more than just getting revenge. It also meant not letting his brother down. In the finale, Sam allowed the audience into his mind by telling Dean how he couldn’t stand disappointing him again. He disliked the fact that Dean had to turn to an angel and a vampire because of his past mistakes (Ruby, the demon blood, not looking for Dean). Letting Dean down was, according to Sam, his greatest sin, so completing the third trial was Sam’s way of finding redemption because obviously he was unable to forgive himself even though he defeated the devil and got his revenge for mom and dad and Jess years ago. More importantly, Sam believed that Dean sticks around to chaperone him because Dean always needs to keep Sam from screwing up.

              This moment needed to happen because Sam always had this inner doubt/darkness. Hearing Dean tell him that he is more important than anything else strengthened the bond between these two brothers and their relationship that has been the core of this show since the beginning. Supernatural has always been about Sam and his journey of darkness. We, the audience, is watching this journey from the eyes of Dean who struggles to keep his brother from going over the edge and to keep him human. I feel as though now their relationship is ready to evolve and therefore, the show will evolve too (hopefully) giving Dean something else to do beyond caring for Sam.

              So I do believe that there is progression in their relationship, though it may not be enough to satisfy many people hoping for something beyond these two men leaning on each other to battle evil.

              • You said that nothing would change if the gates were locked and my reply talked about how that’s actually not true, and that it actually is an important objective goal in addition to being a personal goal. I don’t know where you’re getting the impression that locking them away is not importnat at all, because even though all the other supernatural creatures would still be on earth, demons, one of the most notorious would be locked away. Not all bad things would stop, but some of them would stop. That’s pretty significant. I don’t know why I have to actually state this.

                I understand that the finale was about Sam finding his personal redemption, but it’s come at the cost of other things which is why I feel it was very undermined. Dean returned with a lot of issues awoken from purgatory, but the show made him stuff them away. He met Benny whom Sam disapproved of so Dean cut off contact with him, and then Benny was killed off for no reason. Dean has taken care of Sam in his weakness. Then here, Sam is struggling with feeling like he’s letting Dean down in a very self absorbed way and he was painted as right and Dean was wrong. If the show wanted to tackle Sam’s inner demons it could have done so without doing an ass backwards job of trying to set up Sam in this light and without treating Dean the way that he was treated, of having Dean have to put Sam first, take care of Sam first, not think about himself just like the way he was in season 1 like John raised him not because it’s necessary but because Sam tries to guilt trip Dean for having his own life. It certainly could have done so without putting him into this terrible boring myth arc without following up on the Amelia mess but that’s a much larger discussion.

                I don’t feel that this is a consistent progression in their relationship, I feel like it was a surface level change, that it was done in a very half assed way and that the ~~~journey~~ as a whole doesn’t fit together with what this season has done.

          • You forgot one thing for sure bro… The emotional factor in this show was the bonding of each characters especially the winchester brothers.. Dean lost everything from season 1 through 8 and i mean literally everything…. Can’t believe a fan of supernatural fans could even said things like Dean was a selfish guy? Cmon bro really? He lost everything.. Everything he had and everything he could’ve had in this world… Watch again the pilot episodes of season 1… Remember the scenes where as a more or less a kid, he only had one task.. one assignment.. protect your brother dean; said his father.. The brother whom his father asked him to killed but Dean can’t do that… Remember that this bonding of winchester brothers is the one big sturdy foundation of supernatural could survive and kickin ass for 8 season.. And please considered the aspect of mentality of Dean.. Could you let your lovely brother, the only thing that you have in this world, fight together, eat together and always around you for forever??? you will let him go? Bro, know your supernatural better… He did with lucifer (letting sam jump into that hole) just because he know he can’t do anything in that circumstances.. He did everything he can to save his Brother… Just please don’t even find any flaws of this show, even the scriptwriter and creator of this show already did the best in their own mind to create supernatural according to what they think suitable… If somewhat haters or complainers still not satisfied of the story goes.. Just see if you can create a better record breaking series better than supernatural… Find actors that could portrayed your perfect characters, cause believe me… Too perfect is not perfect at all… Supernatural is awesome… Their flaws are what make them awesome… Their bonding is what make fans still in love for amazing 10 seasons..

  6. By the way, it was just announced that SPN writer Ben Edlund is leaving the show and supposedly going to work on Revolution, Kripke’s other show. Edlund has been with the show for years and has written some of the best and most creative episodes of it’s entire run, including On the Head of a Pin, The End, The French Mistake, The Man Who Would Be King, as well as many other episodes and three just from this season alone. It’s a real shame because I feel like Edlund is the only competent writer who was left on the show, and he’s the only one who understands how to write and use the three leads. This show is also really suited to his imagination as well and you’d think next season would be an ample opportunity to use it considering he loves the angels, but. Looks like he’s leaving this sinking ship for another one…

    • What? He left for a Revolution writing gig? Why couldn’t it be to write the Tick motion picture? SPOON!!

  7. Loved the finale. It was quite haunting. I love this article and the supposition esp. about the’familier idjit’.
    Love how this show, unlike any other, creatively intermingles good and evil, heaven and hell, demons and angels, the devil and the concept of God. And that you know somehow good will always perservere.
    Can’t wait for season 9.

    • my sentiment exactly, it’s just awsum the way those two brothers get to face both worlds heaven and hell, good and evil , and you know that they will come out on top but not in a easy way, because they too have to fight tooth and nail for survival.
      I just love me some supernatural, FALLEN ANGEL? What a concep you just gotta love it.

  8. I didn’t see it mentioned, but completing the trial also gets rid of Crowley. Actually, ‘getting rid of’ may not be the best words. Curing him may lead to the good sides best new ally. If he doesn’t get sucked to hell with the rest of the demons, but if he’s cured..

    • Crowley is not yet “cured”, but will be hilariously humanized for a while until the treatment wears off.

  9. The main thing wrong with the spn finale is that Dean had told Sam in Trial and Error that the trials would mean that one or both of them would die or worse. So the big surprise by Dean when told by Noami that Sam would die was stupid. and lazy on the writers. Dean knew what the consequences were going to be. The writers obviously forgot about that speech that Dean made as well as Sam’s speech in that same episode. Plus this Sam is jealous of all the human and supernatural connections he has made -Benny being my favorite, Charlie-second favorite, Chrissy, ect… sounds like a teenage rant instead of two adults that have gone thru hell together. It was totally childish-that whole final scene. The angels falling was pretty-that’s about it for me.

  10. Can’t wait for it