It’s the weekend, so I’m sitting down to process everything that happened last week on Supernatural and in the Supernatural fandom (before the next promo trailer hits us and renders all of is incapable of coherent thought for a while). This is installment 3 of my series of articles designed to try to experience fully (and document) every bit of this show’s final filming and airing. I’ve watched Supernatural for fifteen years, and been madly in love with it for fourteen of those years (it took me a while to fall, but when I did, I fell hard!) I’ve documented that love and the show itself in six books and countless interviews and articles – but these articles are a little bit different. These are the last months in which Supernatural and its iconic characters still exist – and the last months in which the SPNFamily interacts in the way it has for fifteen years. I want to remember – and celebrate – the way it is now, and I want to cherish every single moment.
Spoilers ahead but only to the extent that’s been on social media already. I’m keeping speculation to a minimum so far!
Last week Supernatural filmed the rest of its penultimate episode (Inherit the Earth, 15.19) and on Friday they began filming the first day of the LAST episode – the series finale, Carry On. The cast and crew, hard at work in Vancouver filming the final two episodes, have been wonderfully generous in sharing some of their experience with us, so it’s been another week of almost constant Supernatural content. Which is glorious! That’s one of the things I’m going to miss the most – being able to hop on twitter and see post and post after post about the show I love.
I’m assuming the actors who are there took last weekend for themselves, to prioritize their emotional and physical health – and no doubt supported each other in dealing with the upcoming end of the show – as they’re hopefully doing right now as well. As they returned to filming last Monday, Donald Painchaud from the Sound Department shared a photo of a small group of fans showing their appreciation for 15 years of the show. (Due to pandemic concerns, fans were asked to stay well away from filming, and from all accounts it seems like most did that).
They filmed some of the penultimate episode (15.19) in Cloverdale, at an iconic looking gas station that Jerry Wanek and his brilliant team constructed just for Supernatural. Its name is a shout out to director John Showalter, as the show pays homage to those who have made it special in its last few opportunities to do so. Paul Orazietti, of the Cloverdale Business Association, posted some beautiful photos of the construction – and deconstruction – of the gas station, along with Baby waiting for her close up. I’ve been privileged to watch the ingenious crew of Supernatural at work as they put up sets and take them down, amazed every time at how they work like a well oiled machine and all get along so well. I swear there will never be a cast and crew like this one ever again, together 15 years and like family.
Alex Calvert posted a photo from that location with the message “the end has no end,” leaving fans both perplexed and hopeful.
I desperately want to believe you, Alex!
Jared Padalecki’s tweet that day was not quite as optimistic – and turned out to be prescient, because by the end of last week there were MANY tears as the show wrapped its penultimate episode and began filming of its final episode ever, the series finale of Supernatural.
Excuse me as I go grab a tissue from my very depleted box.
Also last week, Misha, Jared and Jensen joined most of their fellow cast members in posting their support of Samantha Smith in her fight against breast cancer, modeling the Rise tee shirts from Stands charity campaign. We’re all sending so many good wishes your way, Samantha!
Misha’s was fancy – angel wings and all! You can buy a T shirt and donate at shopstands.com.
Fandom: Also, tattoo and tum glimpse!
We have to take the happy little tidbits we can get right now.
By Wednesday, the show moved to a breathtaking location to shoot what are surely going to be some breathtaking scenes. Camera operator Jose Manzano tweeted the beautiful view. So did on-set props person Maisie, with Baby looking just as pretty as the Vancouver backdrop.
Somehow I think the beauty of the Vancouver landscape is going to make these final scenes even MORE emotional – and even more iconic. Supernatural has been such a gorgeous show, thanks to both the talents of people like Serge Ladouceur and Jerry Wanek and also the natural beauty of Vancouver. I keep saying this in a million different ways, but I don’t think there will ever be another show like it.
That same day, producer Jim Michaels tweeted that they were starting the tech scout for episode 20 – the very last Supernatural episode ever. Jim was emotional in his tweet, and I was very very emotional thinking how many times I’ve thrilled to see Jim’s technical package tweet over the years, and how this is the last one I’ll ever see. I love that everyone involved with this show has been so interactive with the fandom; it has made such a difference. Damn. More tissues.
I’m also having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my days won’t be accompanied by Jason Fischer and Emma Peterson posting the Quote of the Day anymore. It’s become a wonderful Supernatural tradition and I will really miss it, both the song of the day and the often inspirational quote, plus some insight into what they’re filming. The QotD for episode 19 ended up including an extra day so they could finish up that episode on Thursday – and a scene that had so many parts it must be incredibly epic!
‘Angel With A Shotgun’ immediately became fandom’s go-to vidding song, as you might expect.
That last one got to me – at the end of the day, it’s all about family. The show, and the fandom.
Jake Abel (Chuck bless him) once again provided the content to make me smile through my tears last week, with a ‘Bravelecki’ video of Jared, Jensen and Rob frolicking by the beautiful lake and tossing giant logs like they were twigs (okay, that was Jared – the others cheered him on). It felt healing to see them still finding time to be playful and enjoy each other’s company, since this loss is at least as difficult for them as it is for us.
It reminded me of this time – perhaps that same location – Jared and Jensen being just as playful (with slightly smaller logs…)
Rob Benedict posted his goodbye message the next day, his pretty blue eyes moist and his expression wistful. Best cast and crew in the business, for sure.
(You can read Richard Speight, Jr.’s thoughts on saying goodbye to the best cast and crew ever in our interview with Richard here last week)
On Thursday evening, the CW decided to destroy the entire Supernatural fandom by posting a new promo trailer for the final seven episodes of the season. What we all took from the promo (titled “Trouble”) is this: Our hearts are going to be irrevocably broken. First there were Castiel and Dean, both tearful and looking heartbroken, clearly facing some sort of finality.
Then there were Sam and Dean, Sam tearfully insisting that the only thing he could ever count on in life was his big brother protecting him, and Dean looking absolutely gutted by what that might mean. Along with me.
It is strikingly clear that all three actors, even from the quick glimpses we got in the trailer, were as overcome with emotion as their characters. Someone pointed out that Jensen’s chin is visibly quivering as he tries to keep from breaking down, and that pretty much did it for me as far as breaking down myself.
This is what I will miss so much about being part of the Supernatural fandom – I stayed online most of the evening, needing to be ‘near’ my friends who were as torn up as I was. Fans shared their reactions and emotions and then consoled each other; there is tremendous validation and comfort knowing we’re all in this together. The consensus? We are all:
The end of the week, believe it or not, brought even more emotion. The first day of filming for the series finale, Carry On, began on Friday. The last episode that Supernatural will ever film – the last first day of an episode. Ever.
The gravity of that was not lost on either the fandom or the cast and crew.
Jared posted an emotional message as he headed out to start filming the very last episode of Supernatural, clearly already close to overcome with emotion himself. (And, shallow though this may be of me to say it, looking absolutely gorgeous)
Brothers in real life, brothers on the show. Brothers til the end.
It hit all of them – and it hit us too – that this really is the beginning of the end. The very last episode of Supernatural ever. The last first day ever. It’s the end run now.
A little while later, Jensen posted a video on Instagram, and this time both Misha and Jared responded, reaching out to empathize with and support their friend. Jensen’s video was like a dam breaking. When he held up the script that does not – like every one of the 326 scripts before it – end with “To Be Continued” and instead says “The End,” I lost it completely.
What the rest of the end of the script says:Even those fans who had either been staying in denial mode or had managed to keep from losing it up until then lost it. You can hear the emotion in Jensen’s voice, see it on his face. Somehow seeing the tears well up for Jensen – seeing how much he was struggling with this impending loss – was both tremendously validating and also eradicated any barriers I had left against my own feelings. We really are all in this together.
Fandom responded with all the creativity that fandom is known for. I relished every second of it — this vibrant, endlessly creative community that I’ve enjoyed so much over the past fifteen years.
@Offlarjun created a beautiful thank you poster, as fans started tweeting with the hashtag #ThankYouSupernatural
@Bosslogic cried with us, with a powerful End Of The Road poster.
That made me cry even more.
Sherri @shr2da1, whose original art graces the pages of There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, posted her original art of “the boys”, and it looked as much like an emotional Jared and Jensen as Sam and Dean.
There were video edits, meta analyses of the Trouble trailer, posts of every sobbing gif and emoji in existence, or posts that just said IT’S TOO MUCH again and again.
Near the end of the night, we got the shocking news that actor Chadwick Boseman had passed away at the age of 43 from cancer that no one knew he had. Many of us were fans of him and his work as well, and the sudden loss hit an already reeling fandom hard. I’m in awe that he inspired so many while fighting a fierce private battle himself.
I reached out to the cast with my support, knowing that filming the last episode is hitting cast and crew at least as hard as it is all of us, and then I spent Friday evening supporting my friends and letting them support me, in DMs and chats and texts and emails. We reminisced about the fun times we’ve spent together as a result of this little show, shared how much we loved our favorite characters. We cried on each other’s virtual shoulders and promised ourselves that as soon as we could, we’d get together again. Like so many other times in the past fifteen years, we got each other through. It’s what this fandom has meant to me, and why it’s so important.
I know things will change when the show ends – there won’t be this kind of immediacy, with hundreds of posts and tweets all day every day. I’m trying to get myself ready for that loss, but I’m also reminding myself that the friends I’ve made will be there and the show will live on in reruns and Netflix — and, we hope, in the pages of the book the actors and fans wrote to always remember it. We put together There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done as a way of celebrating the show and its legacy. Re-reading those chapters, knowing that other fans feel the same, and that the actors feel the same too, reminds me that we really are all in this together.
Happy weekend, everyone. #SPNFamilyForever
You can find There’ll Be Peace When
You Are Done at the links on the home
page or at peacewhenyouaredone.com.
We hope it helps us all get through!