The third Supernatural convention of 2021 kicked off on the one year anniversary of the series finale, which means emotions were running even higher than usual as I was flying to New Orleans. Both Jared and Jensen posted a heartfelt remembrance, Jared including his last call sheet and tape mark from that day that is now in his office along with a panel from the bunker. Jensen sang along to Carry On Wayward Son on the radio as he and the family road tripped down to Nola, as emotional as we all were.
It did help to know that they were as emotional as we all were, as we all converged on New Orleans.
This was a challenging con for me physically because I injured my knee two weeks before, on my way home from Charlotte. How did I do that, you ask? Skiing? Jogging? New exercise routine? Alas, no. I got into a car. Just…. Sat down. That’s it. It’s doubly annoying that I wasn’t even doing anything worthy of an injury, but here we are. That made getting back and forth from hotel to convention center a lot harder than usual, though I was very very thankful that I was at the hotel that was closest to the ballroom!
When I got in on Friday morning, after submitting my Covid test and getting my wristbands, I caught some of David Haydn Jones and Adam Fergus’ panel – they have so much chemistry together and always have a lot fun onstage, which makes their panels a pleasure to watch. They both wrote chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, giving a behind the scenes look at their experience on Supernatural and with the fandom.
A fan asked when Ketch decided not to be with the BMol.
David: When he got shot in the head?
That’ll do it.
Both agreed that they wished they’d had more scenes with each other. And on a less serious note, there was enough innuendo to amuse just about anyone, with the two planning a spa retreat, some wrestling in the snow, wearing chaps on the first date, eggplants (ahem) and a pillow fight, among other things. Similar to Jared and Jensen, Adam and David clearly enjoy each other’s company and make each other laugh, which inevitably gets me laughing too.
David told the story of the chupacabra gag reel bit again, which I adore. Just him saying that word makes me giggle at this point.
David: You know it’s a good day on set when the camera is shaking!
The best segment, though, was David overhearing an amorous couple last night in the hotel room next door.
David: I’ll have what she’s having!
There was a fan asking lots of the guests the ‘screw, marry, kill’ question. Adam said he’d screw Dean, marry Sam and kill David, then realized he’d left out Castiel and wondered if he could make it a threesome.
David: Don’t go into shipping territory!
Probably good advice…
Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were reunited onstage again for this con, and it was so nice to have them back together too.
Kim and Briana wrote chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood, Kim’s titled “Wayward AF” – and both very personal and powerful essays about what the fandom and the SPNFamily have inspired for them. Kim touched on that in this panel too.
Kim: You have made me so much fucking more than I was when I started.
Briana also talked about some of the things she wrote about in her chapter.
Briana: Donna reminds me of fandom – she found her community and sense of worth in the hunter community.
They talked a little about the Wayward Sisters pilot that didn’t get picked up, Briana remembering that Donna was going to be a vampire, which she was looking forward to.
They got the screw, marry, kill question too.
Kim: Marry Donna, screw….herself – training a new lover is hard! And kill Crowley, even though it wouldn’t take. Could totally do the first two with Donna though.
Friday night I was too exhausted to do anything but limp back to my hotel room, where I ordered some Italian take out and hung out with a friend for a while. My knee decided I would not be limping BACK to the convention center for the episode screening, which I was really wanting to watch, or for karaoke. Boo. Conventions are no time to have a messed up knee.
Saturday I had intended to trek down to Starbucks because (ask anyone) I am very cranky without my iced decaf whole milk latte, but my knee was not having that either. Luckily Alana is the friend we should all be fortunate enough to have, so my latte arrived shortly after I did. I took a few grateful sips and then ran into the ballroom to catch a few panels, leaving my latte for after and enjoying the anticipation. Yes, I’m that serious about my lattes.
And thanks for the lattes, Alana. You know I love you.
I caught some of Rob Benedict’s panel, with Rob looking adorable in his glasses and Mardi Gras beads.
Rob: I tended to think that Chuck was God’s vessel, but I don’t know. Maybe Jensen can write the Chuck origin story into the prequel? Can we de-age me?
He said it was a shock to him in Season 14 that Chuck was gonna be the big bad.
Rob: I was like NO, they’re gonna hate me! But then I was so happy to be a part of the end of the show.
Someone asked if he considered himself mostly an actor or a musician and he said that had changed somewhat over the years.
Rob: I still have this childhood dream that I win an Academy Award. But music was always my passion. I guess now I’d be just as happy with a Grammy, or host and musical guest with Louden Swain on Saturday Night Live!
Rob: The French Mistake. The ultimate wink at reality and I love that.
Me too, Rob.
He reminisced about Supernatural and what it meant to him – the chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood is one of the most powerful in any of the books, taking us moment by moment through his experience of having a stroke at a convention in Toronto, and how the SPNFamily helped get him through. The world would shine so much less brightly without Rob Benedict in it.
Rob: I once accidentally hit Jared with a plunger and I was like, oh so sorry, but we were smiling – we all always made each other laugh.
Me now: (sobs in sentimental over the best set ever…)
There was also a ladies of SPN panel with Kim Rhodes, Ruth Connell, Samantha Smith and Briana Buckmaster – all wearing crowns like the queens they are.
Once again, the joy they all were feeling in being back together was palpable – look at those smiles!
They talked about how hard it is to do the really emotional scenes, but that’s also what makes acting so rewarding. Kim said she loved the scene where Rowena confessed that she did love her son (which is one of my favorite scenes also)
Ruth: The weird thing is, that was my backstory that I’d created, but I had never told anyone!
Ruth also wrote a beautiful, very personal chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood about how her experience with the Supernatural fandom changed her. I will always love what she did with Rowena, who became one of my favorite characters on the show.
A fan asked what would they spank Sam and Dean for, which could have gone a certain direction but instead Kim answered with a heartfelt and touching answer.
Kim: I think they spank themselves enough. I’d sit them down and say slow down and give yourself credit – you’re enough, you’re everything.
Briana had some really nice things to say about the cast of Supernatural.
Briana: The actors on Supernatural are so smart, they built all those little subtle reactions in – so much for those boys was about how little or how much they were loved.
Someone asked about their accomplishments over the pandemic, and Samantha Smith totally won.
Samantha: I beat cancer.
Briana: A win for all of us!
Kim: I found out that I’m neurodivergent!
There were also some funny moments. Ruth said that the funniest thing that happened on the show to her was when she accidentally said ‘vulva’ when trying to recite some spell, which of course sent her costars into hysterical laughter.
Ruth: All those years and I finally broke…
I would have loved to be on the set to witness that moment!
We also got a panel with David, Adam and DJ Qualls, which turned out to be entirely amusing. David revisited the story he told the day before about the loudly amorous couple in the next hotel room.
David: Four different couples yesterday claimed to be the couple in the room next to me!
DJ got a question from Mr. Fizzles’ brother, which is a real testament to the SPNFamily’s enthusiasm for all things SPN.
I really enjoy DJ Qualls, who had some more serious things to say about toxic masculinity and the importance of standing up to those toxic norms and not putting up with pejorative words, with David and Adam echoing what he said. DJ talked about the scene where Garth stands up to Dean, and said that both he and Jensen teared up a little at that scene.
Adam reiterated his character’s attraction to hot male angels, and DJ chimed in.
DJ: In real life, yes!
This panel eventually went right down the rabbit hole too, with David relating how he read a fic on Ao3 about Ketch having sex with actual him.
David: I felt like a narcissist reading it.
Adam: Now when someone says go fuck yourself…
Somehow they also got into ‘elbow’ as a euphemism for penis, and DJ exclaiming “They’re just penises!” At any rate, it was a great panel!
I went back to my vendor table before Misha’s panel, and walked up to find my latte spilled all over the floor, ice cubes everywhere, and my friend Lauren on the floor trying to mop it up. To my scream of anguish, she replied defensively “I didn’t do it!” probably because at that moment I looked like I might have slightly lost my mind. Maybe.
Let me tell you what kind of people most of the SPNFamily are though – my next door vendor table neighbor Misty from Random Acts immediately jumped up and offered to go get me a replacement latte, though I immediately tried to walk back my over the top reaction to unexpected latte loss. She would not hear of it. Misty, you are a lifesaver!
While I’m on this topic, multiple people checked on me all weekend long, even lending me a cane in case my knee popped out again or got worse. No exaggeration, no less than a dozen people took excellent care of me during the con, and I’m extremely grateful. Sometimes when online infighting feels like what the fandom is all about, I forget that most of fandom is just like this – willing to go out of their way for a fellow fan just because.
Replacement latte consumed with gusto, it was then time for Misha Collins’ panel. A fan asked what he would change as far as Castiel’s story – actually she asked what he would retcon, which resulted in Misha learning a new word in fandom speak.
Misha: Well, I would change Castiel having to eat ground beef off the floor….
Can’t say I blame him for that one.
Misha is a great storyteller and I always enjoy when he tells a story. One of the stories he told this time was something else he regretted – in one of the very first scenes where he had to eat or drink something on the show, he was supposed to drink a beer. He didn’t realize how many takes they do, and that the first run throughs are not actually filmed, so he chugged the whole beer before he was even on camera. The director laughed and was like, great, do it just like that! So he did – many many more times.
Misha: Rookie mistake.
He also told the hilarious story I never get tired of hearing, about the time Cas was supposed to punch Gadreel and it was supposed to be a punch direct to the camera. He did the punch and then everyone in video village started laughing.
Misha: I was like, what?
Jensen: Oh….you weren’t kidding?
I love Misha’s comfort with making fun of himself and his dry sense of self deprecating humor.
He also told a hilarious story about his most awkward audition, where he decided he should take his shirt off mid-scene, but got stuck in it and ended up with it half on and half off. Awkward.
On a more serious note, someone asked what message they should remember from Castiel.
Misha: Be true to yourself.
He also said that Castiel would say, you keep on trying to do the right thing.
He also had to answer the screw, marry, kill question, but didn’t actually answer.
That question is designed to be awkward and it definitely lived up to its expectations.
Now that Supernatural is over, the actors can talk about freely what they liked and didn’t like on the show. Misha talked about his frustration with the inconsistencies in the way his character was written, which also drove me nuts in the later seasons.
Misha: No one could remember the moves that Cas did – was it fingers to the head, thumb up the butt…
I must have missed that last one.
Fittingly, the day after the one year anniversary of the finale, Misha also talked about how Cas, Sam and Dean were never willing to give up no matter the odds.
He also said that in real life, however, sometimes there are things we do have to accept.
Misha also talked about his upcoming PBS show, Road Food, which I’m looking forward to.
Misha: Filming Road Food has been really illuminating. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process too.
Like many of the actors onstage at the convention, Misha expressed gratitude to the fandom. He wrote about his relationship with the Supernatural fandom eloquently in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood too – how the fandom has supported him, but also how fans support each other.
After a great panel, Misha said goodbye and thanked the fans. And was that a kiss? Or just a priceless face. Either way, it’s kinda adorable.
I caught a little bit of Mark Pellegrino’s panel before the end of the day too. He had a conversation with a fan about dimensional storytelling and the common practice now in media of fleshing out the villains, and wondered whether there was a danger in humanizing real life evil.
A fan asked what Lucifer would have liked to teach Jack.
Mark: To love his father!
He also said again how much he appreciated Misha’s portrayal of Lucifer, which was patterned after his own portrayal.
Mark: I liked the consistency he brought to playing Lucifer. It was interesting to watch and then be like, do I do that?
While he said he never got pranked purposely on the Supernatural set, having to do a scene “in Jared’s fart cloud” came close.
Also, Mark was almost a Chippendales dancer in his youth. Who knew?
Weirdly, because to me it still belongs on Sundays, we had our J2 autographs on Saturday afternoon also, since I was having them sign a copy of There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done to auction for charity (on Sundays they sign photo ops). I hate not having that end of the day, end of the con, goodbye and safe travels moment with Jared and Jensen on Sundays as the ending of the con and I will miss it forever if this is the way things stay. Jensen found time to tease me about something he hinted at but can’t talk about and I can’t even say anything at all about it, so this is not at all helpful I realize, but it was a moment I enjoyed nevertheless.
Alana and I walked up to Jared and he immediately joked with her ‘you didn’t bring Lynn, did you?’ and then asked where my review of Walker 2.04 was – to which I indignantly replied that I’d had to teach on Thursday night (which truly is a travesty) and so I hadn’t seen it yet. I suggested me call the university president and complain about my schedule but somehow I don’t think he’s going to take me up on it. The review is up now, Jared!
Saturday evening a small group of us got takeout from the same Italian place and had a ‘picnic’ at our vendor tables, sharing convention memories and photo ops and what we love about Supernatural and probably some other things that were far less relevant. And candy.
Then it was Saturday Night Special time!
I get song titles wrong all the time, but I think Briana sang ‘Uninvited’ – and killed it.
I’m in love with Kim Rhodes’ boots and the joy she clearly feels when she’s onstage singing.
Rob and the band did the slow version of ‘Rock Song’ which I love, and it’s always affirming to hear the audience scream about where all Rob’s friends are.
Louden Swain will have a new double album coming out, the first part released on April 1 – yay!
P.S. I love Rob’s jumpsuit! Even if Jason Manns did make fun of him asking if his car was ready yet.
Jason joined Rob and Billy for a gorgeous version of ‘Hallelujah’ with all of us singing the chorus, which always sounds so hauntingly beautiful and makes the three of them smile.
Even without being able to coordinate on a large scale like we used to do at the SNS, nevertheless the lights came out for ‘Amazing’ and looked beautiful.
Rob was adorable during ‘This Is How’ as he encouraged us all to sing along – it always reminds me of when Rob and Billy and Mike performed at the book release party for Family Don’t End With Blood and sang that song. I was so touched that they wanted to be there and sang for our little book kickoff party, making it an incredibly special night.
David Haydn Jones came out onstage after his Dinner With Davy to help us cheer for an encore and then we got an emotional rendition of ‘She Waits’ and then the joyous abandon of ‘Mama’s Jam’.
Kim couldn’t resist jumping down from the stage and doing a lap around the ballroom and some chair dancing, and Rob did a quick pass too, which made it feel a little more like ‘the before times’.
Mark Pellegrino, David Haydn Jones, Kim and Briana all joined in the fun as everybody got up out of their seats to dance.
I always leave the SNS kinda euphoric, even if I did have a few blocks to traverse on my sore knee back to my hotel room. Worth it!
Sunday is less hectic than it used to be, but it’s still J2 day. Jared brought his Walker costar and little brother, Keegan Allen, with him to the con as a surprise special guest, and it was heartwarming to see Jared be the big brother for a change, introducing Keegan to the SPN Family. While there was some complaining online (because when isn’t there complaining online?) about a non-SPN guest being the surprise, at the con everyone seemed warm and welcoming to Keegan, who just lost his mother and was feeling a little lost as the holidays approach. He did some photo ops and autographs and seemed to be having a blast, so I hope we cheered him up a bit.
The gold panel was first, with Jared and Jensen in very Winchestery plaids over black tee shirts and jeans and looking FINE.
I don’t know how long this will be the case, but right now they have just about the same length hair, and it’s a toss up as to which of them sweeps it back behind their ear more often.
No one is complaining about this.
No one. Nada. Not a soul.
Okay that last one is more for eyelash appreciation, but rogue locks are also aesthetically pleasing.
They were both in a great mood and the panel was full of laughs and stories and the two of them just enjoying each other’s (and our) company and having the chance to talk about Supernatural again.
Jensen told a story about having a guy recognize him the night before but not know from where. Someone said oh, he’s Dean from Supernatural, but the guy was like, I don’t know what that is. Someone else said, he’s Bacchus. First guy: YESSSS KING!
Someone asked Jensen when we would all be able to buy FBBC’s beer, and he said that they’re close to getting in bed with a distributor.
Jared: Any distributors out there?
Nod nod wink wink
Strange how many distributors there were in the audience…
There were some great questions about the series finale, including what kind of dad Sam was to Dean Jr.
Jared said that Sam took from many characters and learned from them, his brother most of all, to be a good dad.
Jared: Sam did a lot of stuff behind the scenes to keep Dean Jr. safe.
Jensen: Talk about a helicopter parent!
Someone asked what the Richchesters were doing, which at first totally threw Jared and Jensen, who do not speak fluent fandom speak. They call them the Bizarro Winchesters.
Jensen to Jared: I remember you leaned into that pretty heavily.
As I remember, both of you did! (I love the Richchesters)
On a more serious note, Jensen addressed the question that has been occasionally bobbing around fandom about Dean ‘giving up’ in the finale, or that Sam didn’t do enough to save him – which it seems to me was clearly not the case, but I’ve seen the take out there and it’s an upsetting one for some fans. Jensen set the record straight.
Jensen: If Dean was taken off the rebar, it would have been instant death. So Sam couldn’t go into triage mode.
Jensen also shared his understanding of the timeline in the finale that he’s had from before filming the episode.
Jensen: Several years went by and Sam and Dean lived their ideal life and found their sweet spot, and that played into Dean’s acceptance finally.
Not that he gave up, not at all, but when he knew he was not going to survive, it was a comfort to have had that time to live his life the way he wanted. I know that was helpful to hear for a few of my friends who’ve struggled with the finale. Jared agreed with Jensen, though he’s been more flexible about it in the past, not disagreeing when a fan head-canoned it was five years and also saying it could have been shorter. My head canon has always been a few years, so Jensen confirmed what I’ve been assuming all along – it’s comforting to think of Sam and Dean during that time doing some of those things they so deserved doing, maybe some toes in the sand and watching the stars and lots of pie fests in between hunts.
A fan asked about Sam and Dean being platonic soulmates and did they therefore know that they’d be together in Heaven eventually?
Jared and Jensen said that they did know they’d be together eventually.
Jensen: When Sam showed up in Heaven, Dean wasn’t like Omg what are you doing here?!
They signed off with a wave and a kiss, arms around each other as they left the stage.
In between the gold panel and the afternoon J2 panel, there were a few other panels that I really wanted to catch but couldn’t manage to get away from the vendor table work to do so. I especially wanted to see Alex Calvert and Ruth Connell, both of whom I adore, but missed most of their panels alas.
I did catch Alex telling the hilarious story of being pranked on set – when Jack opened a laptop to watch a sweet message from his mother, instead Alex was confronted with “ a lot of dicks, all kinds of dicks…” Poor Alex.
The afternoon Jared and Jensen panel kicked off with their impressive leaps – the boys haven’t lost their skills in the break from cons!
This panel was, if anything, even more fun than the morning panel. Jared and Jensen spent a large portion of the hour like this, amusing each other and laughing delightedly.
Jensen happily shared that Jared had lassoed him to direct an episode of Walker, which we all knew – he also let us know that he’s now directing in February (and no, it’s not because he’s not looking forward to the directing, he most definitely is).
Jensen: We kicked my episode down the road til early next year, so we’ll finish on my birthday. It just seems right that I’d spend another birthday on set with this guy.
Jared joked that he’s gonna try to get Jensen to reprise his Eye of the Tiger impromptu rendition when he’s doing Walker. I don’t know if that will happen, but these two are definitely enjoying cooking up things to do when they’re finally back on a set together, that’s for sure!
Jensen: I can’t wait for the Walker crew to be like, who are these guys? They have their own language!
Both laughed that they keep trying their inside jokes on their new sets, and no one gets it.
Jared: Hey, have you heard…
Everyone on set: (stares)
Jared and Jensen were a bit protective of each other, which has always been the case but may be a little more pronounced in the wake of the finale. Someone asked a question about people being assholes on set, and Jared responded about Jensen.
Jared: This guy is not an asshole. He’s very passionate about his character and the story, and at times he’s had to put his foot down.
Which I, for one, am grateful for. Nobody knows Dean Winchester like Jensen Ackles.
Jensen: You don’t get to have a 16 year professional and personal relationship if you’re assholes.
Jensen also talked about how much he’s looking forward to directing Jared again, including directing him as a different character – something Jensen corrected the questioner to say he’s done that before.
Jensen: I’ve directed Jared playing multiple characters, and I look forward to directing him on Walker.
He also said that Jared basically excelled at playing those multiple characters, which? YES.
There was a little finale talk again, some of it taking a turn when they came up with some innovative (ahem) ways to describe the barn scene resolution.
Jared: When Dean got nailed with the wood…
More seriously, Jared said that filming the barn scene was as close to live filming as they’ve ever done.
Jensen added that they only did six takes, because it was so emotional. (He’d said at an earlier con that their long-time crew was overtly crying, which is totally understandable).
Jensen at one point tried to really give it his all in the fight scene in the barn and ended up throwing his head back instead of tucking his chin as they know how to do, and almost knocked himself out. He had to be assessed for concussion even – now that’s dedication! That scene hurt in multiple ways apparently.
Jensen also shared that when Dean was driving the Impala in Heaven, it was a drone scene so he was actually alone in the car – and got very emotional. Also understandable.
Jared was so attentive as Jensen shared these things that he wasn’t there for, full of empathy for his friend and costar.
I don’t know how many times Jared and Jensen are going to have to answer questions about how much they loved the finale (they honestly did – it took a while for Jensen to get his head around just that Dean was going to die, but that was long before the finale script was even written and just about the character he feels so close to dying at all). They both talked about how the finale was realistic in that you never know when will be the last time you do something, whether it’s the last time you pick up your child or something else. They said they felt emotional about that in real life, and appreciated that it was echoed in the finale.
Jensen: The way Dean died is the way it should have been. There was no epic battle that it could have been. These guys were where they wanted to be, doing what they loved.
On a lighter note, someone asked who would win in an argument, actor or character? Jared said that Sam would beat him in an argument, but Jensen said he’d beat Dean.
Jensen to Dean: Your fly is down! (And run away!)
Yep, he knows his character lol
There was also a hilarious segment in which Jensen tried to prove he could land a plane, with much flapping of flaps and hand gestures and eventually a descent into something that was probably no longer about airplanes, as often happens with these two.
Jared: I’d let you land my plane…
Jensen: Are we still talking about planes??
Whatever they said off mic to each other? It was clearly priceless. Talk about inside jokes!
They were in such a good mood they even sang happy birthday to some lucky fan – including Jared, who we hardly ever get to hear sing! (Even if it was in fun and extra deep lol)
At some point, Jensen also shared the news that he’s going to be playing Batman again, which is always a thrill to be able to say “I’m Batman.”
Jared: You already did – as Dean!
And then it was time for the last question, which always means a little bit of Robsen and some singing.
The last question fan was lovely – she had been by my vendor table earlier and asked me if I thought her question about Jared and Jensen’s horseback riding skills was a good one. I said absolutely, they will love to talk about that – and they did! Jared said that Gen and Jensen had both been better riders than him, but that he’d spent a lot of time brushing up on his riding for Walker and has now gotten better.
Jensen said he was stiff and sore when he got back on a horse to film the Western, but after he got used to being back in the saddle, he just wanted to stay there (on Spanky, lol)
Jensen: I told Jared, I’m gonna direct Walker on horseback!
They thanked the fans, with the traditional fist bump, a side hug and Jared’s hand over hearts, his own and Jensen’s – an emotional goodbye for a happy making panel!
As we were waiting for our last autographs, which were with Alex and Misha, Keegan Allen hopped up onstage again to thank everyone for being so welcoming. He also posted on his Instagram a photo with the Winchester bros, saying “thank you J2 for letting me tag along this weekend. Believe the hype. These dudes are rockstars and the fans are rockstars.”
I missed this, but when Jared and Jensen were doing their Sunday autographs, they got into a friendly competition of who would be the last to say thank you and goodnight – Jensen finally climbed up on a chair, much to his handlers’ dismay, and therefore won the spontaneous contest. BOYS.
It was a good way to end the con – somehow the reassurance that Jared and Jensen are still Jared and Jensen and still delighting in being goofballs just makes me feel better about life in general, and comforted that while Supernatural may no longer be airing, there is no lack of love for it and its cast and we all felt it.
I flew out a little later on Monday, which meant that Liz and Kristen and I got to stop at Café du Monde for beignets before we headed to the airport. I wish I’d gotten to spend a little more time in one of my favorite cities – but there’s always the next Supernatural con in 2023!
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