Part 2 of the last con report of 2018, from not-very-sunny Jacksonville, Florida. But hey, it was alot warmer than where I flew from, so I’m not complaining!
I wanted to end this year on a high note, remembering the good moments and reminding myself of all the reasons I love this show and this cast and this fandom. I hope the pretty pictures and the amusing memories will brighten the last day of 2018 for you too!
Part 1 left off with Saturday night, so that’s where we’ll pick up here. Then it’s Sunday, which means Jared and Jensen, along with panels from Ruth Connell and Richard Speight Jr.
Saturday Night is always special at a Supernatural con, because it’s the concert that caps off the day. I love the Saturday Night Special because I can just enjoy it in between taking pictures and don’t have to do any live tweeting – maybe that’s why it’s usually one of my favorite parts of any con.
Louden Swain kicked things off, then Mark Pellegrino introduced Matt Cohen, who can rockstar out with the best of them. Remember when he was hesitant to sing at the SNS? You’d never know it now!
Ruth Connell not only looked gorgeous but sounded that way too, harmonizing beautifully with Rob on the U2 classic “One Love”. (The chapter she wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood is all about her fear of singing and where it came from, and how the SPNFamily has given her the courage to do something she’s always wanted to do).
The band played some songs from their new CD ‘Splitting The Seams’, which everyone should have – the renditions are so emotional and beautiful.
Emily Swallow and Rob did a brother sister duet on ‘You And I Both Know’ (is that what it’s called?) Then Emily took the mic for ‘Renegade’ which was awesome.
Kim Rhodes sang ‘I’m Just A Girl’, which I always love because if anyone is NOT “just” a girl it’s Kim Fucking Rhodes!
Briana Buckmaster sang my favorite song from her new CD that I hope everyone has because it rocks, which gets stuck in my head for literally weeks after I see her perform it, but constantly singing about when love makes me high isn’t really a bad thing to have stuck in your head, come to think of it.
Jason Manns joined Rob to sing a spectacular version of ‘Hallelujah’ and I got chills when they gave the audience a turn to sing too and just listened, looking as rapt as we all were listening to them.
Richard Speight Jr. played bass for ‘Slightest Thing’ and then took the mic himself for ‘Copperhead Road’. Do you ever just sit around and wonder how this show cast so many people who are so damn musically talented?? Rhetorical question.
Louden Swain kicked butt with ‘This Is How’ and ‘Amazing’ and then Rob brought the room to near tears with ‘She Waits’, all of us swaying our finger lights and singing along to show our support.
And then there was the triumphant ending to a great concert with the entire cast and friends rocking out to “Mama’s Jam’ while we all danced our butts off, and then Louden Swain took a well deserved bow.
I always leave the SNS feeling totally euphoric – in fact, DJ Liz always plays some sweet vintage Backstreet Boys so we can all keep singing as we leave the auditorium.
Sunday morning was the Jared and Jensen gold panel. Sometimes I think, one of these days, their panel won’t be so amusing that I wish it was ten hours long, but today was not that day. No day has ever been that day, in fact.
Jared came out flustered because he’d put his ring in his pocket to work out and then couldn’t find it, leading to a frantic search so he didn’t inadvertently start some rumors. They know this fandom so well.
For the gold panel, people don’t stand in line to ask their questions (or have them pre-vetted and picked from a box at random). Instead the boys call on fans who raise their hands. At one point, they called on a fan whose hand was raised.
Fan: Oh, I don’t have a question.
Jensen: Just airing out your pits?
They’re clearly very excited about the 300th episode, which makes me excited too.
Jared to Jensen: Would you like to tell them what the 300th episode is about?
He did say that there are a lot of Easter eggs in the 300th “but I won’t ruin it.”
In a little foreshadowing of Supernatural’s own version of a Christmas episode this season and the internet flurry about what does and does not count as a Christmas movie, Jared said that ‘Die Hard’ is one of the top five Christmas movies. Jensen said he recently watched ‘Home Alone’ with JJ and in the middle realized that it really wasn’t kid appropriate.
Jensen also mentioned ‘Elf’. Jared said he hadn’t seen it.
Jared: But I know it’s a favorite of Jensen’s!
Someone asked what they loved or hated about their characters.
Jensen: One of the things that attracted me to Dean…
Jared (interrupts): He’s hot.
Jensen: That’s why Jared was attracted to him too…
They had a whole animated and amusing discussion about their frustration over the brothers getting beat up and not having more advanced weapons, which was priceless.
Jared: I love Sam’s academic approach to things…but I’m also sick of Sam getting beat up!
Seriously, those repeated concussions must really take a toll.
Jensen: Why do Sam and Dean not have more advanced weapons? Like little iron spikes that shoot out of their Kevlar vests!
He says he wants them to evolve with the times. Maybe mount a gun on the Impala. Or how about that classic hula hoop filled with salt?
(I’m all for anything that gets Jensen to move his hips like that, just sayin).
What’s the difference between Jared and Sam?
Jared: Sam does his hair.
Jensen: No, Sam has a team of people who do his hair!
People come up with some creative questions, gotta say.
Fan: Who’s the big spoon and who’s the little spoon?
Jensen: Two big spoons.
Jared: The real question is who’s the spoon and who’s the fork…
I don’t even know what they’re talking about anymore, but it amused me anyway.
They also shared some insights into filming, which is always my favorite thing.
Jared: Many times, when Sam or Dean have cried on the show, it hasn’t been scripted.
Jensen: Many times when we get on set, emotion comes that we didn’t expect, because he and I are available for that.
It’s something Jensen has talked about several times, how important it is to know your character and the scene so that you can be emotionally available to the other person and interact like two real people would. I feel like that makes such a difference on this show, and it’s one of the reasons the characters seem so real to us.
Jensen: I did a scene in Episode 14.12 where Dean is in a bad place physically, the script said ‘scared’ and I got emotional. It was unexpected, and I had several crew members tell me they had tears in their eyes.
Me: OMG I am not going to survive Episode 14.12!
I’ve been on set when Jensen has gotten emotional, and experienced just how intense that can be, so I’m not shocked, but I am sure that all that emotion is going to have me reaching for the tissues too. That’s so not a complaint though – I love this show for making me feel, and I’m disappointed when it doesn’t.
Jensen also teased the reappearance of Michael, which we’ve now seen come to pass.
Jensen: It was terrifying playing Michaal, a whole new character. And it’s not done yet…
Like I said, I never want the gold panel to end, but alas, thirty minutes goes by fast.
I missed Mark Pellegrino’s second panel, but managed to catch most of Ruth Connell’s, so yay!
Ruth had some wise words about dealing with anxiety and going to therapy, including the importance of speaking up and getting help.
Ruth: It’s never too late to get help.
Ruth was wearing her “book author” outfit, which is what she wore to the book release party for Family Don’t End With Blood, so that made me all kinds of emotional because I adore the chapter she wrote so much.
Ruth: I’m wearing my book author shirt. I wore it to the book release party for Family Don’t End With Blood. I feel like I look a little like JK Rowling in it.
Ruth also gave us a bit of insight into where Rowena is at this season. She’s accepted that Crowley is gone and come to terms with his loss.
Me: But I haven’t!!!
Ruth said she loves that Rowena is now seen as a character on her own terms, not just in relation to Crowley or defined by masculine terms, and I agree with that.
Ruth: I used to say I play the mother of the King of Hell. Now I say, “I play Rowena.”
It touched me that she said she was just at Mark Sheppard’s house and that she’s very excited about his new venture though. Still SPNFamily.
Jared and Jensen did their main panel in late afternoon, still in a good mood and still highly amusing. It was raining torrentially in Jacksonville, and Jared joked that they came from rain and maybe brought it with them.
Someone in the audience (was it you Alana?) yelled out “Bless the rains!”
Jensen: We blessed the rains down in Jacksonville.
Jensen: What? It’s funny! Haha, made myself laugh.
Oh Jensen, why are you like this?
Like Misha, they told a few parenting stories. Jared talked about parenting “fails”, including Shep managing to shock himself on the Christmas tree in his room (on purpose). Jensen told a story about being the only dad chaperoning JJ’s kindergarten field trip. Awwww. He was the protective dad when another five year old shoved JJ and had to struggle not to retaliate. Ah, the joys of parenting.
There was also a little teaser for upcoming episodes – Jared said that there’s a new version of Sam coming up that might be a new favorite. Cue lots of J2 laughing, and me being excited about whatever’s coming up!
Also, Norton is all of us…
If they could say one thing to their characters, what would it be?
Jared: I’d tell Sam to stay in the bunker! You know, take it easy, increase the WiFi, decorate a little…
Me: I want to see that episode.
Jensen: I’d tell Dean to fill a hula hoop with salt.
Me: I want to see that episode too.
Someone asked how Jared broke his hand in season 2.
Jensen: (chin hands)
Jared said he broke it doing a stunt when he landed on his hand, and there are some scenes where he had to do things with his left hand because it was hurting. He had it x-rayed days later and it showed his wrist was broken. Ouch.
A J2 panel isn’t complete without a re-enactment. This one included the ‘why we don’t like filming vampire beheadings’ reenactment, which Jared and Jensen did like showing to us.
They also sort of re-enacted the time they were filming and Jared kept making Jensen laugh. He finally made Jared turn his back, but Jensen still ended up cracking up because he could see Jared’s shoulders shaking, he was laughing so hard!
Maybe my favorite funny story and reenactment was Jared going to meet Gen in a restaurant and mistaking another woman for her. He walked right up and put his hand on her back and was like, “Hey baby” and she was like “I do not know you.”
Jensen: It would’ve been even better if she’d been like “Oh. You look way better in your profile picture.”
It’s always one of my favorite things when someone I fangirl tells stories of them fanning someone else, with all the same feelings and frustrations that plague so many of us at Supernatural cons. Jared talked about fanboying over Carlos Santana in a restaurant, and Jensen talked about fanboying so hard over Eric Clapton at the gym that he couldn’t bring himself to even say anything. He kept walking by the guy, pretending he needed more water, to try to get a better look at him. Finally he just had to leave because he was afraid he was being creepy.
We can relate, Jensen!
Jared and Jensen went to grab a quick bite to eat last night at the hotel restaurant because they checked in so late, and there was a guy who kept staring at them and was finally like ‘you look just like those guys from Supernatural!’
Jensen: I mean, we’re standing right next to each other!
Jared: I thought we were getting punked.
Jensen: Finally Jared was like, ‘we are them’ and he was like OMG NO WAY!
They both like to send memes of themselves to friends, basically to annoy them. Jared’s favorite is Sam and Dean going OOOOHHH open mouthed.
Jensen: This is mine. (facepalm) And you see why.
Too bad they don’t get residuals for gifs, Jensen joked.
Jensen made everyone go ‘awww’ talking about an ongoing text thread that he and a bunch of his friends have, including Jason Manns, where they all send photos of their kids on ‘Father Friday’. I mean, awwww.
Like many fans, both Jared and Jensen said that the message they take from the show is about never quitting (Always Keep Fighting) and about sacrifice.
Jensen: Never quitting, just like the Winchesters. You can’t kill us.
Jared: Because we’re not the LOSEChesters… (looks hopefully to Stephen Norton for a rimshot)
Someone asked how much input they have into how their characters are written. Jared joked that they’re bigger than the writers, so…
Jensen: We’ve been playing Sam and Dean longer than they’ve been writing Sam and Dean. We know them pretty well. We don’t waste their time making a phone call about small changes, we usually do what’s needed to stay honest to who our characters are. The writers trust us to make some changes on the day. They take our notes and we take their explanations. The best idea wins out on our set no matter who it came from.
He said that the whole crew is invested. The other day, one of the carpenters had a suggestion for him, and Jensen did it and it was great.
Jensen: He knows the show.
Collaboration really is what it’s all about on Supernatural, and I think that makes all the difference.
The last question (after the hapless last questioner ended up getting her hair brushed by the cast – not for real, don’t worry) was about their favorite moments to film in Season 14 so far.
Jared: My strange answer is that a scene we’re gonna film in four days is going to be very very special.
Jensen: I was gonna say the same thing. There’s also a fairly epic bar fight that will be coming up soon.
If I wasn’t already looking forward to the 300th episode, I sure am now!
The lucky last questioner took a quick selfie with the boys, and then the J2 panel was over, much too soon.
Jared and Jensen thanked the fans for an awesome year, shared their customary fistbump, and waved goodbye for the last time in 2018.
I have no idea what caught Jensen’s eye on the way out, but the picture was too funny not to share anyway.
Rob had to leave early for an acting gig (yay!) so Rich did the final panel of the con – and of 2018 – alone. Which sort of made me emotional too.
Richard: I’m like the chairs. I show up on Thursday night and I’m just here…
Hardly like the chairs though. Richard has been integral to the Supernatural conventions for over a decade!
Richard had some glowing things to say about Jared, very similar to what Mark Pellegrino had said about Jensen earlier.
Richard: I loved that scene of Jared talking to Sully (when he was directing). That little boy left in that hotel room grew up to be Sam Winchester, so I blocked all the scenes with Jared looking smaller. I presented the idea to Jared, of Sam looking smaller and then I watched Sam become vulnerable about going back into hell. Jared knocked it out of the fucking park.
Jared confided in him afterwards that when he initially read the script, he didn’t the scene was special. But Richard’s direction resonated with him, and that helped him bring the emotion.
Richard answered some questions about Gabriel, saying that he was okay with his character’s death, though he did think it would be cool if Gabriel took over heaven. (They seemed to hint at that in one episode, then dropped it – alas).
Richard: I would have liked the Gabriel and Michael scene to be bigger, but I can’t feel bad about anything in that season. It was a great year.
That it was.
He had some good news for this last panel of 2018 – They are more hopeful than ever and closer than ever to a Season 2 of Kings of Con! (Now able to be viewed on CW Seed!)
That gives me even more reason to be excited for the new year.
And that brings me to the end of the con (as we know it), and the traditional farewell song from Richard and Louden Swain. Sing along if you know it – it’s the end of the con as we know it, so go home…
I hope this put you in a hopeful mood for the new year too. Thank you to everyone who took the time to tell us that Family Don’t End With Blood has meant something to you this year, either in person at a con or by email or tweet or message – it means so much to me, and to all the cast and fans who wrote chapters, to know the book has touched someone.
From me and from the amazing friends who help me out on the blog and at the cons, who I couldn’t do this without (and wouldn’t want to) – a very Happy New Year!
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