Supernatural returns from winter hiatus this week, and after four months and over 250 episodes, I am proud to say that I am caught up and cannot wait for its return. I don’t know what I expected when I started watching Supernatural, but it was not to dive headfirst into a new fandom- nor was it to learn a few important things along the way. I thought I’d share some of my biggest takeaways.
1. It’s okay to not be okay.
Nobody expects you to be 100% “on” all the time. It is a big, scary world we live in, and life’s ups and downs can take their toll. Human beings are not machines, but they function similarly in that sometimes, they break.
And that’s okay.
Because there’s always someone or something to put you back together again.
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
It’s okay to laugh at yourself- just like it’s okay to curse out a pigeon, ride a farty donkey, or jam to your favorite song- inside, outside, or on top of your car. Life is short. Do whatever makes you happy.
3. You don’t have to be blood to be family.
Mary and John Winchester left this world far too soon- that is something most all Supernatural fans agree on- especially given the circumstances of their deaths. Sam and Dean are certainly not alone, though. They still have plenty of extended family to lean on when times get tough. Surrogate parents and siblings in characters like Bobby, Jody, Charlie and Castiel give them purpose and motivation to keep the family business going.
4. Never give up.
This is something the boys have demonstrated both on and offscreen. Onscreen, the Winchesters keep going no matter how bad things get (demon Dean immediately comes to mind). Offscreen, Jared Padalecki’s Always Keep Fighting campaign sends the same message to those struggling with anxiety, depression and mental illness: never, EVER give up. No matter how bad things get, it will always be okay in the end.
5. Be the change you want to see in the world.
The cast and crew of Supernatural use their platform to make the world a slightly less sucky place. From social media campaigns like #SPNFamilyValues to bigger campaigns like Misha’s GISHWES, they set a positive example for everyone by demonstrating that it only takes a little to do a lot of good. Captivating such a large fanbase in these creative, positive ways are a welcome reminder that change starts from within.
6. You never know how strong you are until you truly need to be.
The list is endless: Jo sacrificing herself in season five, Castiel leading the angels, Sam with the tests, Dean in his efforts to finish Cain. It’s ironic, but the moment you think you can’t handle something is the moment you become stronger than whatever that “something” may be.
7. The ones we lose never truly leave us.
Sam and Dean live in a world where “death doesn’t always mean goodbye,” and loved ones can reappear in the flesh. That’s not entirely true on the other side of the television, but the loved ones we’ve lost are still with us- they’re just in different forms. Whether it be through memories, clothing, photos or a flask, we all have our own ways of keeping that person’s memory alive.
8. Your “enemy” might not be your enemy, after all.
It takes a lot of energy to hate someone- so finding common ground with an adversary and realizing they’re not as bad as you thought can be a relief. Sam and Dean would bitch and whine if they read this paragraph, but Crowley is as much their enemy as the puppy from Yellow Fever (8×03). Sam’s attempted “curing” was the first time we realized Crowley is a big ol’ softy. He deserves love, too, after all. Since season nine, Crowley has proven himself Demon MVP (hacking Sam’s mind to convince him to eject Gadreel was no small task). The saying goes, “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Between ruling Hell and all those Mommy issues, Crowley still makes time for Sam & Dean. If he really is “the enemy,” he’s the friendliest enemy around.
9. There isn’t always a right or wrong.
Life occasionally does this thing where it gets bored and throws curveballs. Sometimes, these are manageable, but other times come with no “best” way out. When life decides to be a dick, important decisions become judgment calls. All you can do is weigh the pros and cons and just kind of go with it. The cliché sounds something like, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.” Some judgment calls work out (Sam offering himself as Lucifer’s vessel), but unfortunately, some don’t (Castiel offering himself as Lucifer’s vessel- that Lucifer, always keeping things interesting.). That’s okay, though, because one thing Sam and Dean have always shown us is that it’s better to do something than nothing at all.
10. Home is where the heart is.
Chuck said it best.
“Just because they never had a roof or four walls, they were never, in fact, homeless.”
Home is anywhere Sam and Dean are together, which makes perfect sense given the way they grew up. Home isn’t just a location you look up on Google Maps; it’s a feeling. That feeling- whether it be comfort, happiness, safety or anything else- depends on the person. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing; whatever makes Sam and Dean feel “at home,” they feel most when they’re with each other.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.