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Had the final season of Supernatural gone according to plan, the series finale would have aired already. Unfortunately, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the show to halt production in March. They were two episodes away from completing the series. The CW held five more completed episodes so it could air seven new Supernatural episodes this fall.

Series finale of Supernatural countdown
L-R: Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki | Colin Bentley/The CW

Showrunner Andrew Dabb says the six episodes leading up to the series finale end up setting up the finale nicely. Dabb spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone. Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

7 episodes of ‘Supernatural’ makes the ending less abrupt

Supernatural could have aired five more episodes in the spring to give viewers some new content. However, saving them, Dabb said the last batch of episode eases viewers into the ending.

“Coming back with the final seven episodes versus, let’s say, the final two or even final three, it gives you a lot of runway to remind viewers okay, this is where we’re going, these are our players, why it matters,” Dabb said. “Again, I think it really worked out for us in a way that was unanticipated but good.”

It gives ‘Supernatural’ six more chance to have fun before wrapping up

The last run of episodes also gives Supernatural a chance to have some of the fun the series always had for 15 seasons. They have to attend to the ultimate ending, but now they have time for some standalone episodes.

Supernatural: Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki
L-R: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles | Colin Bentley/The CW

There are actually two. One is our first episode back, it’s more of a standalone episode. And then we have an episode a little bit later that is kind of a flashback to a young Sam and Dean that is a little bit of a standalone and then we have kind of a Cas and Jack adventure that is a little bit of a standalone. I will say these days, we don’t really have straight standalones. Even our standalones, the A plot or the B plot will tie into our bigger mythology, so they’re standalone-ish, let’s put it that way. In the final seven we’ve got probably three that would be in that ballpark.

Andrew Dabb, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 10/1/2020

There’s just more buildup 

Ultimately, the effect of ending with seven episodes is a steady build up to the series finale. Had they just returned with the final two, it might have felt like throwing viewers into the deep end.

Supernatural: Winchester brothers
L-R: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles | Colin Bentley/The CW

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“I think it ended up working quite well because our first episode back is kind of a lighter episode,” Dabb said. “I think certainly Supernatural has a habit of doing those. I think it’s a good palette cleanser that gets you into the final six which are much darker and much more mythology driven, much bigger. I think it ramps up in an actually really nice way. It was completely accidental but it ended up working out.”