Supernatural has just completed its second to last week of filming – and the SPNFamily really needs a hug. It’s Sunday afternoon as I’m writing this, and my heart is a little broken (okay, a lot…) knowing the show has filmed its last scenes in the studio. Ever. That it only has two more days of filming, out on the road on location in beautiful Vancouver, and then it comes to an end. That’s probably going to make my look back at last week even more emotional than it would have been otherwise, so bear with me. I want to make sure I capture everything that happens in the last months of the show filming and airing, so this is my weekly round up of all things Supernatural (and how many made me need tissues. Hint: A lot).
But let’s pick up where we left off.
Last Sunday, Jared Padalecki posted a photo of himself riding along the sea wall, looking very contemplative, or perhaps even sad about it being perhaps the last time. The cast and crew are as acutely aware as the fans are that every day now brings a last this or a last that. Every day there are emotional posts, from guest actors and long-time crew members, and producers and writers and PAs. Everyone who has worked on this show, some for a very long time, are struggling with the reality of it finally ending. Again, I’m so grateful that they’re taking us along on the end of this ride with them, but every time I see them get emotional, I get even more emotional.
They will miss Vancouver, their home away from home, so much, I’m sure. I’ll miss it too – I only travel there a few times a year, but it’s always for this show, and I always fall in love with the city and look forward to returning. I’ve had many adventures trekking through the beautiful landscape searching for past filming locations with friends. Watched location filming in some incredibly majestic places. Gathered with fans from all over the world for conventions, which brought some of the crew and local cast together with us also. I know the city will be there and will be as beautiful as ever, but I won’t be there as much as I have been and this little show won’t have its home there anymore. Jared’s post sort of says it all.
Monday another promo trailer dropped, which mixed anticipation and excitement in with the sadness. This time, the CW really did it right – they let the fandom know exactly when it would go live, so thousands of fans from all over the world were waiting for it to run, excitedly corresponding in the chat while they waited. There was even a 2 minute countdown, just to ratchet up the anticipation even more!
We watched with bated breath, then consoled each other about the fact that Dean seems to be sobbing in every other frame and Chuck looks seriously ominous stalking around the halls of the bunker.
SLIGHT SPOILER BELOW –
We also got a glimpse of young Sam and Dean in a flashback, which I am looking forward to and simultaneously dreading in case a) it breaks my heart or b) it doesn’t.
Okay, END SPOILER.
Misha also cheered us up with a photo of him ‘tasting the rainbow’, and Jensen could not resist a snarky reply. Location in the photo? Hard to say – which seems to be the point!
Fans continued to create evocative fan art that ensured that we were all reaching for the tissues multiple times throughout the day, however, despite Misha’s best efforts. Including expressing hopes that favorite characters might somehow find a happy ending, like this fan-made graphic hoping for that for Castiel.
Having a fandom that is so talented and so creative is so therapeutic, but it also means that staring at these makes me tear up repeatedly.
Probably the most purely happy-making thing of the week was Jake Abel posted the ‘Making Of’ behind the scenes director’s cut of his exquisite short, ‘Bravelecki’ – which showed that this cast still is still having fun and being creative, and that Supernatural is honestly the most collaborative show ever! Turns out Jared needed some assistance with tossing that giant piece of driftwood, which Rob and Jensen were happy to supply. The best thing is how into it they all got, and how excited they were when they actually pulled it off.
I think I can speak for the entire beleaguered fandom when I say that we are all profoundly grateful that Jake was in episode 19!
The director’s cut also resulted in a lot of fandom jokes about Jared and…. his wood.
Early in the week Jared also posted a photo of him getting his COVID test, which looked distinctly uncomfortable. The production is clearly taking this seriously, and it’s a good thing – other productions haven’t been either as careful or as lucky. Someone on the new The Batman production tested positive, with word on the street that it’s the Batman himself, Robert Pattinson. I guess that makes that painful looking test very worth it!
Some of Jason Fischer’s QOTDs were at least a little hopeful last week, though not all. I so appreciate the time Jason has taken to post these for the final season, as a way to include us all in on the countdown to the finale. It’s been a pleasure getting to know Jason a little over the past 12 years and I have no doubt he’s going to go on to do more great things.
It wouldn’t be a week in Supernatural fandom if there wasn’t also wank – everyone is emotionally on edge right now, and that doesn’t help. There were a flurry of comments about Emma Peterson’s Song of the Day on that last whiteboard, The Night We Met, which sounded romantic to some but was apparently intended to be a sentimental call out to her close group of writer/production friends who she’s met on the show. That led to disappointment and lashing out with the hashtag cwspnisoverparty, which I fervently hope that Jared, Jensen and Misha did not happen to see. I know how they feel about this show, from conversations and from what’s included in their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and Family Don’t End With Blood, and I know that would hurt. Other fans responded with the hashtag thankyoucwspn. It’s been a real emotional roller coaster of a week, that’s for sure. Like I said, the fandom really needs a hug.
Producer Jim Michaels posted a photo of Jared and Jensen’s chairs on set for perhaps the last time after fifteen years of being there. That caused some comments he probably didn’t anticipate too, wondering why Misha’s chair wasn’t there. I honestly don’t think we know yet whether or not Misha is in episode 20, but if he is, they clearly do not want us to know that so the chair would have been a pretty obvious giveaway!
A guest star on one of the last episodes also posted a spoilery photo from set with an actor/character we’re not supposed to know is back, and then she clearly was told to take it down since it disappeared. I’m not going to include it here in case someone is trying to stay free of major spoliers, but I think 90% of the fandom already knows, and about 90% of that 90% are not exactly jumping up and down with anticipation.
Friday was a big day – and an emotional one. Supernatural completed its last day of filming at the studios, which are now permanently known as the Supernatural Studios. Fifteen years of filming on those sets and the last scene there has been completed. Clif Kosterman recorded his last time driving through the studio gates, presumably with Jared and Jensen beside him, and even he got emotional about it.
Stunt coordinator Rob Hayter posted an emotional thank you. I had the privilege of watching Rob choreograph a complex fight scene with Jared and Jensen a few seasons ago, and also of hearing from them how wonderful it is to work with him. It’s hard to believe they’ll be filming their final fight scene together. I hope Rob knows how much he’s enriched this show and how much Jared, Jensen and Misha appreciate him.
Jensen’s stunt double, Jesse, also posted his Instagram gratitude to Jared and Jensen, thanking them for a wonderful eight years. Am I imagining it, or can you see the sadness on their faces even beneath Jared’s smile for the camera? So many goodbyes…. that’s a hard thing for us humans.
He also posted an action photo of him and presumably Jared’s stunt double flying through the air – which on Supernatural is usually not anything good. It seemed like a spoiler at first, but turns out it was a bts shot from an earlier season. Phew!
At the end of the week, Jared and Jensen were interviewed for Digital Spy about their feelings on the last two episodes of the show.
Jensen: I’ve read 327 episodes of Supernatural and there are very few scripts that I can say have gotten me emotional, and that’s just because I’m not reading it from that perspective. I’m reading it more like I’m studying it. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, how do I [play] Dean in the performance of this particular scene or this particular emotion or this relationship?” I’m looking at it from a very practical standpoint, but with both of these last two scripts, I got highly emotional just reading them. I’m going to have to dig deep when we film the end. I’m going to have to do what Dean does and push all that emotion down.
Jared: It was sad to read the finale script, but not because I’m sad by the story as much as it’s such a finality on what’s been such a huge part of my life. In one way or another, putting these characters to bed and putting Sam to bed is going to be hard. I consider Sam Winchester a friend, so the idea that I’m saying goodbye to him in any way, shape or form – whether he is alive or dead or anything in between – is tough. But I couldn’t be happier with the ending. Ultimately, I feel like it does the characters justice. It does their journey justice. For me, it dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s – but I’m only one person among the fandom.
In their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, Jared and Jensen both talk about their strong emotional bonds with their characters, and how difficult it will be to “hang up those boots”. Both also say they will never truly say goodbye to Sam and Dean. We hope their chapters in the book will be a source of comfort, something to hang onto, for everyone who has loved this show, and a way to remember how special it has been – and will always be. Both to us, the fans, and to the cast and crew.
As if all that wasn’t emotional enough, on Saturday producer Jim Michaels posted a photo of the clean up of the sound stages that’s beginning.
Another production will make itself at home on those soundstages and in that studio, and everything that made it Supernatural will be wiped away. I know it’s the way of things, that change sometimes has to happen, but right now it hits very hard. In times of change and anxiety, I could always count of Supernatural to be there – in the middle of a pandemic, with more uncertainty and anxiety than ever before, it’s hard not to have my favorite show up there filming in Vancouver. Didn’t matter that it was far away, just knowing they were up there, being my favorite characters and making my favorite show, helped me feel anchored. There’s a profound sense of anxiety as well as loss today, as I think about them taking those sets apart.
Many fans are most upset about the bunker. I know there are some who miss the days of Sam and Dean always being on the road, days spent in the Impala and nights in an endless string of motels that Jerry Wanek always made amazing. I relish those days too, when Supernatural really was a road show. But I grew attached to the bunker too, because Sam and Dean – and later Castiel and Jack – had grown attached to it too. Baby will always be their first home, but the bunker became home in a different way – a home base, their own space. The day Sam and Dean carved their initials into the table and contemplated their legacy was one of the first times I thought seriously about the show ending, and what it would leave behind. It was, in a sense, the idea behind putting the book There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done together – to capture that legacy, so we could always remember how special this has been. The thought of that table not being there, tangible evidence that the world of Supernatural was here, and that it changed people – that’s hard to take in. I hope someone kept the table and those initials.
There have been a lot of pleas to save the bunker – maybe transport it to the Family Business Beer Co in Austin and make it into a Supernatural museum. I know a bunch of people – tens of thousands in fact – who would pay good money to spend some time drinking a beer at that library table. Hey TPTB, please make this happen!
I wish that I’d taken more photos when I was on that set; at the time, I was too intimidated, just wanting to stay out of the way. But I remember it vividly – how real it seemed, as you walked down its corridors, every detail so realistic. The books on the library shelves were real, the chess set was just waiting for a game to start, the kitchen shelves were full of cans and pots and pans. When you were on that set, you really felt like you were in the Men of Letters bunker. I can barely get my head around the fact that it’s not there anymore and I can never see it again.
The very first time we visited the studios, we took a few photos – mostly of the offices, which I guess will all be remodeled too. We watched Jensen film some scenes in Baby on the sound stage, and Jared and Jensen confront Chuck for the very first time in the set built there to be Chuck’s house.
Our second time there, we saw Bobby’s house set, and a random motel room, and the elevator constructed in the middle of the soundstage for the It’s A Terrible Life episode. I will forever be in awe of the amazing detail put into everything that brilliant crew constructed. How must they feel, as it all comes down, with all those memories made there?
Even the production offices were special, decorated with some of the brilliant room dividers that Jerry Wanek’s team constructed for those early season hotel rooms, office walls covered with postcards that fans had sent to the set in support of the show. So many props and set dec that had been used in episodes, all meticulously stored in case they needed to be used again and continuity had to be considered. Where has it all gone??
(I wasn’t so intimidated there, so I managed to actually take some photographs)
I mean, where have the “Various Bones” gone?? Who got to keep the Goofer Dust??
It feels like so much to lose, and it’s hard to think of it not all being there, ready to be pulled out and put into an episode once again.
Have I mentioned we all need a hug?
This will probably be the last weekend that Jared and Jensen are in Vancouver (and whoever else is there too). Who knows if they will ever work there again? Most likely not together. How many memories do they have, from fifteen years of living there a good part of the year, with familiar apartments and restaurants and friends? Jared’s emotional post about riding the Sea Wall for perhaps the last time – how many of those moments have happened in these past few weeks and will happen in the next few days? I hope they are finding ways to celebrate all the good memories even in the midst of feeling that loss.
At least we got one bit of good news – Jensen is officially getting to bring home Baby. We all know how much he’s wanted that to happen, and frankly it was inconceivable that it wouldn’t, but it’s nice to know it’s confirmed. Dean Winchester would be pleased. Now I’m looking forward to surprise photos of Jensen and Jared driving around Austin in the Impala, making people do a serious double take! (Put Misha in there too when he visits and it will give some people heart attacks – especially if he wears that trench coat he took from set).
There are two more filming days left for Supernatural, it seems. Monday is a holiday, so I’m assuming they’ll film the last scenes on location on Tuesday and Wednesday (I think, if all goes as planned). Jason Fischer was asked if they still planned to film the actual final scene last, and while he didn’t answer definitively, that seems to be the plan. Someone on twitter yesterday asked composer Jay Gruska if we’d hear Americana again before the end, and he made it pretty clear the answer was yes. Those two bits of information suggest that Tuesday and Wednesday will be heart-wrenching and difficult scenes – both for us to watch and for the actors to film. When they do film that last scene ever, I hope they know that our hearts will be right there with them.
You can read the actors’ thoughts about why Supernatural is so special and how they have been forever changed by the show and the fandom in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and Family Don’t End With Blood – read more about the books at peacewhenyouaredone.com. Every copy benefits Random Acts and two non profit organizations working to prevent suicide. It’s the closest I can come to giving you all a hug.
You can find all our books on Supernatural,
with chapters by the actors and the fans,
linked on the home page pinned article