Episode 18 of the final season of Supernatural is titled "Despair," which is also an apt description for how fans reacted to the wild conclusion of said episode. Why? Because after years and years of speculation, inside jokes, and elaborate fan theories, Supernatural's showrunners finally made Destiel canon ("Destiel" being the fan name for the romantic pairing of Dean Winchester and Castiel), only to immediately kill off the angel afterwards. So what happened?
In the final moments of the episode, as the two men are cornered in danger, Castiel makes the decision to sacrifice himself to save Dean. He begins to express how much he cares about Dean, how he's "changed him," and when Dean asks why it sounds like he's saying goodbye, he simply responds "Because it is. I love you. Goodbye, Dean." Castiel then gets sucked away into the Empty - which for Supernatural is basically hell, but way worse.
You can probably guess why fans feel so conflicted. On one hand, this Destiel confession may be the LGBTQ+ representation they've been asking for all along, a chance for a show long accused of queerbaiting to redeem itself. On the other hand, the romance will never have a chance to play out on screen, and it seems completely one-sided, as Dean barely reacts to the confession. It's also perfect example of the "bury your gays" trope - a bad habit plenty of shows and movies have of killing off LGBTQ+ characters far more frequently than heterosexual characters, possibly because they view non-straight characters as expendable, automatically doomed to tragedy, or, in the worst cases, subject to punishment. Pair this last reason with the fact that Castiel basically goes to hell for confessing his love and the undertones are, well, yikes.
Anyway, to help you get through this rough revelation and character death, here are all the ways fans have reacted to the episode, good and bad, hilarious and heartbreaking. We've gathered memes and Supernatural fan reactions from across the internet. See what other fans have to say about the Destiel love confession, and vote up the best Destiel-confirmed reactions!
There's A Lot Going On Right Now282Spot-on Reaction?
The Full Breakdown284Spot-on Reaction?
Still Waiting For Dean To Say Something Like274Spot-on Reaction?
Why Don't You Understand How Monumental This Is?247Spot-on Reaction?