Supernatural filmed its final scenes on Thursday, September 11. I stayed online all day, as did most fans, as cast and crew and guest stars from the past fifteen years posted their gratitude and appreciation for the show. When the final wrap happened, we all sobbed together, and I for one did a fair amount of grieving over the next few days. I wrote up all the events of that last day in an epic article, and then I sat back to figure out how not to fall into a depression knowing the show I love has filmed its last scene.
As I write this now, it’s September 19. In exactly two months, Supernatural will air its final episode. I’m indescribably grateful that we have these two months to still savor our favorite show, and to still have this active and engaging fan community to enjoy. I intend to appreciate every moment of the next two months – and to keep on cataloguing the last months of Supernatural’s epic journey. I hope you’ll join me here for all of that last wild ride!
I’ve done alot of chatting with my fandom friends over the past week, in DMs and phone calls and text messages and emails, all of us trying to help each other get through this. I had a zoom chat with my friends Kim and Alana a few days after the wrap, which helped alot. Everyone grieves differently, but Alana (as someone who has studied film and does it for a living) and I were both very impacted by the show itself ending. Not the broadcast of the show ending (which hasn’t happened yet), but the actual existence of the show as something being acted and produced and filmed. That has ended, and that’s significant. For me, it’s also been tough to know that in some sense at least, Jared and Jensen are no longer Sam and Dean. I am so used to being able to ask them questions on a regular basis about their fictional characters, and trust their answers, that it feels incredibly sad to know that they are no longer those fictional people – almost like I know I can never talk to Sam and Dean again. I know that a part of Jared and Jensen will always belong to Sam and Dean, and I know that in real life they consider each other brothers, but it still feels like a loss. I fell in love with those fictional characters, and their story has ended – even if we haven’t seen it yet.
Like most of the fandom, I’m cheering myself up and hanging onto the fact that we have yet to actually SEE the rest of that story, and that we have that to look forward to. (No, I have no idea how I’m going to cope with the end of the show airing, because then I won’t be able to use this particular coping strategy – I’ll deal with that when I get to it!) I’m also consoling myself with the fact that the fandom is still very much vibrant and alive, with as many tweets and posts and interactions as I’ve grown accustomed to over the past fifteen years. Cases in point:
Last weekend, we were treated to photos of Jared and Jensen celebrating the end of filming at the same restaurant they always go to, Cioppinos in Vancouver, with the amazing Pino Posteraro.
I had one of the most amazing evenings (and meals) of my life there at dinner with them a while back, so I was thrilled that they’d been able to keep up a tradition that I know is important to them. I’m sure that not being able to hug their long-time crew goodbye, let alone have the epic wrap party that they’d been planning for so long, was devastating. We all need rituals to grieve, and the pandemic denied them most of those. At least they could keep this one – I hope it gave them both time to process the loss of Sam and Dean with the other person who understands that loss completely.
We still don’t know for sure when Misha was in Vancouver and when he was not, but if he didn’t get a chance to do that sort of processing, that’s really difficult. He would have been there, of course, at the epic wrap party, as would all the other cast who have worked so hard and cared so much about this show over so many years. What a loss for all of them – and for the fandom, since we would undoubtedly have been able to celebrate with them vicariously through photos and videos.
Misha’s friend Darius posted a tongue in cheek old photo of Misha, Jared, Jensen and Adam Fergus in non-pandemic times, asking what to do with his friend now that the show is over – and wondering about his next job.
Good times, pre pandemic! I won’t be shocked if Misha’s next venture isn’t acting, but we’ll have to see. I have no doubt that whatever he does, he’s going to kick ass at it.
September 13 was also Supernatural Day (15 years from the date of the premiere). Misha kicked it off with a Supernatural Selfie challenge, and both cast and fans posted themselves back in 2005 and then today. It was bittersweet to celebrate the show’s special day knowing that it had wrapped its final episode, but it was heartwarming to see all the posts and memories.
Those blue eyes though…
I’m not sure when Jared and Jensen left Vancouver, or I guess even how they left Vancouver, amidst various people ‘in the know’ posting conflicting things about the two of them roadtripping their way home to Texas. Suffice it to say, the Impalas were loaded up and began their trek south toward Austin. Fans spotted them on the road driving through Colorado, and an entire fandom cheered the Babies on.
There were more posts from guest cast and crew wanting to express their gratitude and every single one of them attested to what a wonderful set it was to work on, with a wonderful and welcoming group of people.
(He’s worked with Alex before, hence the Alex teasing – Vancouver really is a small world!)
Maisie posted a beautiful tribute to Robin, who has been the on set props person for most of the show’s run. Kathy and I interviewed her and prop master Chris Cooper way back in 2008 for an article we wrote in Supernatural Magazine, and she was both lovely and incredibly knowledgeable. I’ve heard both Jensen and Jared tell stories of how she’s saved the day many times over the years.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this group of people who have been together for so long – and are so familiar to us as well – are not going to work together anymore. If I think about it too much, I have to grab for the tissues. (That’s happening a lot tonight anyway….so much loss…)
On Monday, the TV Guide we still get delivered came, and to my surprise, had an article about Supernatural! I may have gotten a bit emotional, realizing that I will no longer open up the TV Guide and be surprised by news of my favorite show once November is at an end. The article repeated what we already knew about the final two episodes, with the penultimate one wrapping up the season and the series finale tying up “the personal threads”. Ackles called them “a double whammy” and Misha predicted that “the fans will be incredibly sad, but they’ll be satisfied.”
I’m not sure satisfaction is the right word if I’m sobbing on the floor inconsolably, but I appreciate Misha’s attempt to be reassuring.
On Tuesday, we all cheered up – because it was Jared Padalecki’s turn to be on the Inside of You podcast with friend Michael Rosenbaum. Adorably, Jared chatted with Michael while lounging in bed under a sauna blanket, periodically holding hands/paws with his beautiful dog Koda.
Michael Rosenbaum asked him about what he’s said about not wanting Supernatural to end — is it that you want the fans to always remember Supernatural or is it that you’d like to come back and do a movie or come back in some way someday?
He was emotional about the end of the show, which they were just starting to film.
Jared: I’m saying goodbye to a friend of fifteen years, my character Sam Winchester who I know so well. I’ve never gone five months without playing Sam Winchester.
He also said that they were already emotional.
Jared: I’ve cried every day. Okay, this is the last time we’ll be at this location. There’s a possibility that I’ll never make this drive again. I hope I do, but I’m just preparing myself. Ackles and I talk every day about it. It’s very bittersweet.
He said they had to get it done though. They can’t come back in a month, they have to finish.
Michael also asked, in the very last final moment, would Jared and Jensen be together? Would they both wrap at the same time and be together on the final take?
Jared tried to answer without giving anything away, which was a little confusing.
Jared: The last time Sam and Dean see each other is the last time Jared and Jensen see each other. The last moment I have on camera with Jensen.
Michael asked how emotional that scene would be, saying that it would be two big handsome dudes bawling together, a sauna blanket over both of them.
Jared: He and I are both so committed to these characters. I love Sam Winchester, he’s been my close friend for fifteen years, and I want to do him justice. I’m trying to make sure if Sam cries, it’s Sam’s tears, not Jared’s.
In both Jared and Jensen’s chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, they talk at length about their close relationships with Sam and Dean, and their belief that Supernatural will never die. I’m hanging onto those chapters, and what they’ve said in these recent interviews, so that I can hang onto Sam and Dean and Supernatural too.
Might there be and would Jared want to do a Supernatural movie eventually?
Jared: I hope so — and absofuckinlutely!
He also clarified that both he and Jensen got an Impala, that it wasn’t in their contracts but was a gift from Peter Roth and Warners Brothers as a thank you so much for doing such a good job for so long. He added that he’s actually the car guy – he had a ’69 Camara that he still has today, and can actually change the oil in a classic car like Baby!
On Thursday, the mainstream publications had articles about how Supernatural pulled off filming their final two episodes in Vancouver in the midst of a pandemic without a hitch – or a single person testing positive! I was so damn proud of this little show. They assured us that they were going to finish the show in the way that it, and they, and us, deserved. Pandemic or no pandemic. And they goddamn well did it.
In Variety, Jensen and Jared talked about the responsibility they felt to be careful as they filmed, since if they were reckless “it would have been shutting down production and putting people out of work again.”
Jared added, “We all felt the importance. We weren’t going out on weekends.”
Jensen agreed, saying “Everybody was taking it very seriously.”
Bob Singer said that the fact that they have so many crew people who have been with the show since its first season contributed to their ability to get it done. Normally an episode takes eight days to shoot, but they were able to shoot the last two episodes over nine days each to allow for delays, because, as Singer noted, “it is a very well oiled machine.”
They filmed under BC’s Covid restrictions, with production divided into seven pods to keep social distancing and any work that could be done from home done remotely. Cast and crew coming into Canada had to quarantine for fourteen days, with some shooting right after and then returning.
As far as the episodes themselves, co-showrunner Andrew Dabb said that they sometimes had to simplify the pathways to get to the end, but they didn’t change the ending itself.
Dabb: For the finale, we had a big super extravagant thing planned for that episode, and it wasn’t feasible. But we found an alternative to get to the same place plot-wise and, more importantly, emotionally, that worked great. We had to do some rewriting, but nothing that changed fundamentally what the show is or where it was going.
Bob Singer said that he doesn’t think the audience will notice any difference due to Covid. The very last episode, the series finale, is “more of an emotional journey with our characters” and “a personal look at the guys” instead of an action-filled episode, so they didn’t have to make changes there. They did have to reconfigure one scene because of a limit on the number of extras.
For most of fandom, that sounded like an improvement. One think Kripke understood from the beginning is that most of us are not watching for the epic scene with 200 extras – we’re watching for the relationships between the characters, and their compelling emotional journeys. The hardest thing, it sounded like, was the fact that the crew would do all the set up and then leave before the actors came in to rehearse and film.
Singer: Once we were ready to shoot, no one was allowed on the actual shooting set other than the actors and me and the director of photography. It’s a very family-oriented set, and it was different, in that the normal interactions between the actors and the crew just didn’t happen. Their interactions were really between the camera operator, our DP and myself. And the makeup people. Other than that, everybody was sort of not around when they (the actors) were there.
Having been on that set, and seeing how it functions so smoothly with so much camaraderie, I’m sure that was really hard on Jared and Jensen. After fifteen years, ending the show was truly a joint accomplishment among all of them. I’m glad that at least Bob Singer and Serge Ladouceur, who have been integral to the show from the beginning, were there with them.
Singer said that going out on your own terms is a good thing.
Singer: That said, there were some tears. As you passed people and said goodbye, you could see that it was emotional. And I think the guys were emotional.
I have no doubt. I’m emotional now just thinking about it.
The final day of shooting took place in a forest, and Bob Singer, Jensen and Jared addressed everyone.
Singer said he thanked the actors, as well as the crew, especially those “who have been with us since day one.”
And then it was done.
I’ve got my tissues right here, excuse me for a second.
Friday was the anniversary of Castiel’s grand entrance on the show, twelve years ago, so fandom celebrated the character who has changed many people’s lives for real and the actor who brought him to life so vividly, Misha Collins. Fans posted art and photos and personal stories of what Cas has meant to them, which made the day one of celebration. There are many chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done written by fans who have been inspired by Supernatural’s iconic characters, and many of those fans wrote about Castiel and the impact he’s had on their lives. Little did Misha Collins know that the way he would begin to change the world was through playing an angel on a little TV show on the CW!
Also on Friday, Briana Buckmaster did an Instagram Live with Alex Calvert, and the two talked about their own strong feelings about the show ending.
Alex: I think it will be a rewarding end, for people who have been following the show for so long.
Alex said he was glad to have been on set for part of the last day, although he didn’t have any lines, so he could say goodbye to the crew – that was something that was important to him.
Briana: The ending was hard on a lot of people – fans, actors and crew.
Alex said that something Misha told him had been helpful – that these rites of passage and celebration are important and help us to process things.
Briana: it’s so intensely important to say goodbye, but it’s hard for a lot of people.
Alex: In this case, a cast of four men – like, yeah man, I’m gonna miss you…
It’s so clear that the actors are going to miss this show and this incredibly intertwined cohesive family just as much as we all are. I hope that means we’re all going to find a way to keep it going.
Friday also saw some photos posted of Jared with some enthusiastic fans in Denver, as he was out walking Koda, and Jared and Jensen seem to have visited Jensen’s lovely aunts who live there too, so I guess maybe there was a roadtrip after all? Who knows – I just hope they’ve had a chance to process this big change and the loss it entails — and some closure. Maybe we’ll even see some of it someday…
Saturday a fan posted an absolutely adorable and inspiring Cameo from actor Nate Torrence, who played Sully, Sam’s imaginary (Zanna) friend in Just My Imagination. Fully in character and wearing Sully’s trademark rainbow suspenders, Sully gave his friend Sam a pep talk, telling him how proud he is of him and how he is, as always, trying so hard to do the right thing. I’m very emotional about my favorite fictional characters right now, as they’re ending their journey, so Nate’s above and beyond beautiful message totally made me cry. In a good way, though.
Saturday also felt like a little bit of closure for all of us – the car carrier full of Impalas was spotted in Austin, near Jensen’s Family Business Beer Co. brewery.
The Babies – and presumably her owners – are home.
You can read the actors’ thoughts about Supernatural and its amazing legacy in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done. Read about all the actors who contributed at peacewhenyouaredone.com or at the pinned article here on the home page.
Check back here for the next weekly wrap up of all things Supernatural soon! Less than three weeks until new episodes begin airing on October 8!