This is such an unusual time to be in the Supernatural fandom. I feel like we’re suspended in this bubble that’s about to break, acutely aware that the show is returning in less than two weeks but also that it’s already filmed its last scenes and wrapped for good. I’m both full of anticipation to see those last seven episodes, and dreading seeing those last seven episodes – because they will be the last.
One thing I’m grateful for is that this interim time has not been quiet in terms of my favorite show. As the crew and production office continue the rather depressing work of taking apart the offices and sound stages, some of them posted along the way, including this lovely post by one of the women in the costuming department as she prepares to start work on a new show. For most of them, as for us, I don’t think there will ever be a show quite like this one.
There was also a brief video of workers dismantling the Men of Letters bunker, which I could only watch once and then had to put aside. I was only there once in person, but that set was so real and so important to so many of us – because it was so important to the fictional characters we loved – that it literally hurt to see it being destroyed. Knowing it was home to them made it, in a weird way, feel like home to us too.
Shortly after, my friend Alana King posted a Tik Tok saying her own goodbye to the bunker and Sam, Dean and Cas, and the combination singlehandedly resulted in me going through half a pack of tissues in one morning.
Alana said she’s sorry, but she’s not. (And ultimately the video was validating and cathartic for me too). I’m sorry I told you to go to your room, Alana. (Kinda)
We’ve also been blessed by lots of content from the cast, which lets us know how they’re doing (Yes, I worry about these things). Last week we got video interviews with both Jared and Jensen, and although Jensen’s was not new, it was still a helluva lot of fun.
Richard Speight, Jr. and Rob Benedict have had a podcast for some time, as most of you know, but they kicked off their new name and format (a return to Kings of Con) with special guest and good friend Jensen Ackles on Tuesday. As is the tradition on the podcast, everyone fixed themselves a drink before they started, and that made for a fun and laid back video of their chat. (Jensen tweeted the day after the video “Not gonna lie….I was pretty drunk”, shocking exactly no one). He also dressed like a train engineer and somehow made that ridiculously attractive anyway.
Richard: We’re going right down the shitter from here. There’s nobody we know that’s gonna show up with a hat-shirt-kerchief combo that matches their throw blanket and their background….
As the video begins, Ackles realizes his spotless Vancouver apartment has the bedroom door open.
Jensen: Let me close my bedroom door, nobody wants to see that!
Everyone watching: Umm…
Jensen insisted he’d gained the Quarantine Fifteen but got the word at the end of May that they’d be back to shooting in August, so had two months to ‘clean it up’ and work out. Whatever he did, looks like it worked out fine.
Jensen and Rob apparently had some epic zoom calls during their quarantines in Vancouver, hanging out for 5 or 6 hours with their computers propped up while they talked and made dinner, and there was some talk of them doing music together, which yes please.
Jensen also talked about how odd it will be to film with the Covid regulations (the podcast was filmed before he went back to the set), with everyone in a color coded group and not allowed to “cross pollinate”. In his chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, Jensen talks about the unique closeness of Supernatural’s cast and crew, and he said that’s what would make it difficult.
Jensen: This is a crew that’s so intertwined. Most shows, the grips show up, they do their work, and camera, sound, then actors and hair, makeup. But the camaraderie that has grown on this particular set is unlike most, so it’s gonna be really tough. These are friends that we talk to on and off set quite often. People I’ve spent my birthdays with, celebrated life achievements with. To now have this barrier between is us gonna be weird and sad.
They all agreed that not being able to shake hands with someone you meet will be weird if that custom doesn’t ever come back, saying that they were taught that by their fathers, that it’s a cultural thing.
Jensen: That physical connection is so ingrained in me, I can’t imagine meeting someone and not shaking their hand. With people you know, I’m hoping that hugging will still be, because we all hug each other, whether it’s the bro hug or the full bring it in.
Honestly, I love that about this cast. They’re all demonstrably affectionate with each other, and the feeling is clearly genuine.
We also heard about Jensen’s drink, the Negroni – and about the Inception Negroni (a Negroni in a Negroni…) at a local Vancouver bar. Where Jensen apparently likes to invite people to go out and have a drink at 1:30 in the morning.
Richard: I’m not using a Negroni at 1:30 am as a caboose. Everyone else is like, I should go brush my teeth, and Jensen’s like I should too – with a Negroni. I know you’ve slayed many a visiting director with a Negroni-in-a-Negroni nightcap.
Jensen: It’s really a test, to see if you can handle the Inception Negroni. That’s how we roll up here.
Rob apparently passed the test.
Also that day, there were some photos posted of Jared and his Impala, showing it off to a friend’s daughter who I’m guessing is also a fan, in Austin. The thought of Jared driving his Baby proudly around Austin made me simultaneously happy she’s with someone who loves and appreciates her, and sad that she’s not with Sam and Dean anymore.
My feelings, they’re complicated.
We also got a photo of Jensen back in Austin, recording some ADR at Chez Boom Audio. That was strangely comforting – he was still ‘being’ Dean, at least for a little while longer!
On Wednesday, Gen Padalecki did a youtube interview with Maria Menounos, and Jared joined in for a part of it. He did not dress like a train engineer, but he did look adorable and rather glistening, after saying he was sweating like crazy when he’d just taken a shower (they had an cute little conversation about Gen keeping the house warmer than Jared would like).
Gen: I’ll turn it down!
He had some nice things to say about working with Paris Hilton – she shows up on time, she hits her mark, and she’s kind to cast and crew. When she’s in public, Jared said, he realized that she just feels like she has to play the TV star – when they went out to dinner, they were off the clock but she was working, in a sense.
Jared: It was my first lesson in don’t judge a book by its cover.
Maria brought up The Boys as a recommendation for Gen and Jared to watch, and he excitedly interrupted.
Jared: Jensen, who does Supernatural with me – DID Supernatural with me – he’s going on to do The Boys. And Eric Kripke, who created Supernatural, is the showrunner. That for sure is my next watch. I have it downloaded.
Me: DID….. Where are my tissues?
Maria: So Supernatural is done. How did it feel to end?
Jared: I’m still trying to parse it out, I guess. We finished a week ago. We had that five month span to decompress a bit and beta test what it’s like to be a husband and father for real, not for a few weeks at a time. It was different, everyone had different color lanyards of who they could be around, but the heart was still there. And it was great to see the cast and crew.
He said he was still not really processing it.
Jared: When it occurs to me that I’m not going back to Supernatural…probably on my first day on Walker, it will be like, wait a second, this is a new camera person and a new this and that person…
Oh, my heart.
Jared talks about his feelings on the show ending, and the relationships he’s made as a result of Supernatural, and how important that is to him, in his chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done. He talked about it here too.
Jared: Fifteen years is a long time. Fifteen and a half years from pilot to September 10 of 2020. We’ve had people come and go, we’ve lost a few, we’ve seen marriages and divorces. It was a remarkable experience. I’m just …. very grateful for it.
Every time Jared spoke about Supernatural in the past tense, I teared up. I think I’m in even more denial than he is. or trying to be anyway!
Fandom is always there to validate my feelings and sometimes cheer me up though. I’m fairly certain this sequence of tweets was a set up, but honestly it made me laugh so who cares?
I have a feeling Antony Starr and Jensen are going to have a helluva good time on The Boys!
Meanwhile, we got little tidbits of information about the Supernatural’s final episodes. In TVLine, Andrew Dabb answered the question of “is it too much to hope for a heavily brother-centric series finale?” with a vague sort of answer: For the most part, we wrap up a big chunk of our mythology in Episode 19. As a result, Episode 20 is more character-based and is more concerned with Sam, Dean and this family they’ve built around them than it is with figuring out the Case of the Week.”
I honestly don’t know if that was a yes or a no, but congrats on being vague, Andrew Dabb!
Misha has been busy trying to get the vote out for the critically important election in the US, with Jensen also tweeting about the importance of voting. The way Misha cares -and the energy he puts into trying to make a real difference in the world – is a constant inspiration. And it also means we get some lovely photos of Misha to brighten our timelines.
He also posted a photo of one of the last times he was on set and asked fans to text him on his text line, inspiring all kinds of speculation about what might have been happening in this particular scene.
On Friday night I watched the new episode of The Boys, which will wrap its second season just the day after Supernatural begins its last seven episode run. Speaking of that show, I also caught Aisha Tyler’s after show on Amazon – with her guest Jeffrey Dean Morgan!
I swear, once you’re on a Kripke show, you are hooked forever. And I’m so grateful!
Jeffrey gushed about the show, saying it’s his escape every week and that Kripke does a great job telling a story. It was wonderful seeing him fanboy about the show – and also just wonderful to see him, open shirt and tattoos and jewelry and glasses and GUH.
Aisha: John Winchester’s experience was similar to Butcher’s – driven by rage toward superhuman forces who took their wives from them.
Jeffrey: Kripke likes to explore those kind of issues. He loves the dynamics of fathers that are messed up because their wives are dead or their sons are disasters – that’s something as an actor that you can dig into — you have to have something you can dig into.
The talented costumer for The Boys was also on the show, and is as much of a character as anyone on that show. After a discussion about the Supe suits and their codpieces, she asked Jeffrey when he was going to suit up.
Jeffrey: Gimme some tights, I’m ready for some tights!
I mean, we’ve already got Jensen lined up for The Boys, and we know JDM would love to do it, so…
Near the end of the week, we got the news that Jared’s new show, Walker, would be filming right down the road from Jensen’s brewery, The Family Business Beer Co. That should make it easy for Jensen to direct an episode or two if it works out, and give the Walker cast and crew a great place to grab lunch or wind down after a tough day!
We also got The Boys news that there will be a spinoff, and a couple more amazing fan art depictions of Soldier Boy. I am so grateful that we do have their new projects to look forward to, although for me that’s entirely separate from the grief I feel about Supernatural ending.
It’s a weird feeling to be excited about seeing Jared kill it as Walker and seeing Jensen kill it as Soldier Boy, and at the same time to be dreading the incredible loss it will be for me to have them not be Sam and Dean. Nobody told me fandom was this complicated – though perhaps it’s really just the complexity of being human, isn’t it?
Jared also posted about a charity auction, offering the crew gifts for Season 15 and a copy of the series finale script signed by Jared and Jensen! The bidding went to $22,000 – which is a wonderful donation to a great cause, and shows just how popular Supernatural is even as it’s going off the air! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to have that script – though I’d probably just sob my way through it every time I looked it at anyway.
That brings me to Saturday, as I write this wrap up of last week. Trish from Supernatural’s makeup department posted a beautiful but haunting photo of Castiel, and Rob Benedict posted a photo of him with his birthday present from his fellow Supernatural cast – a gorgeous new guitar.
They each made me emotional in a different way. Thinking about the final run of the show, and those last seven episodes, fills me with both anticipation and trepidation. We know there will be moments of fun (Dean is wearing a nightshirt ala Scoopynatural in one episode, so how could there not be? But we also know there will be heartbreak, and that image of Castiel appearing to be at the Crossroads reminded me that I need to have lots of tissues on hand for this end run. I don’t know if it’s a new or old image, but it brings a wave of anxiety either way.
Where are my tissues?
On the other hand, Rob’s post reminded me, once again, just how special this SPNFamily is. Not just for us, the fans, but for the cast and crew who were fortunate enough to work on the show and become part of the family. When I put together Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, I was astounded by what the actors said about how Supernatural changed their lives, dramatically. They, like fandom, have formed a tight-knit group who support each other, and have had each other’s backs through thick and thin. In every chapter of both books, the actors describe how special Supernatural has been, how the show and fandom and their fellow actors have gotten them through hard times and inspired them to do things they might not have otherwise. In Rob’s chapter of FDEWB, he writes about the time he had a stroke at a convention, and how his friends from Supernatural literally saved his life. It’s because of the close bonds that they share that his friends realized something was wrong and acted so quickly that he made a miraculous full recovery. Every time I read it, my heart is in my throat – and there are always tears in my eyes by the end. When I read Rob’s post about all the SPN actors getting together to buy him this special gift for his 50th birthday, it made my eyes water all over again.
That’s the thing. This IS special. Supernatural has changed lives in countless ways – it’s what the books I’ve written and edited are all about. It’s why the actors, as well as the fans, wrote their chapters. I’m so so grateful, but losing the show that inspired all that change for so many of us is so so hard.
A week and a half of this in-between stage of waiting and anticipating (with a little bit of dreading) and we start the final ride. I feel kind of like I’m waiting in a very long line for my favorite roller coaster – when I finally get on and start up that giant hill, I know I’m in for an incredible experience – but I also know that once it starts, it’s going to stop. Right now, I’m just waiting patiently, and hoping when the ride begins, I can hang on for dear life!
Check back next week for a wrap up of all the Supernatural happenings to come, and the following week for my in depth episode review of the new episode!
You can find Family Don’t End With
Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You
Are Done at peacewhenyouaredone.com
Or at the links on the pinned article here