For You, Supernatural – As You Start That Last Ride

For You, Supernatural – As You Start That Last Ride

Tomorrow Supernatural returns for its final seven episodes, leading up to the series finale after fifteen glorious years. Most of the fandom is feeling a lot of conflicted emotions right now – anticipation, elation, pride in what the show has accomplished and what it has meant to so many. And at the same time, anxiety and sadness knowing we’re about to lose it. Over the past year, the actors and fans pulled together their thoughts and memories of the show and how it has changed their lives. How Supernatural has inspired them, gotten them through tough times. Has helped them figure out who they really are and become that person. Has created lifelong friendships.

The result was the book There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural. There are chapters from Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and a dozen other Supernatural actors, plus a special message from Misha Collins to close out the book, and from twenty fans. The hope is that the book will be something we can all hold onto, to remember forever how special Supernatural has been and will always be –and to help get us through its ending. Everyone talks about what Sam, Dean, Castiel and the other brilliantly written and acted characters have meant to them in their chapters, whether they portrayed that character onscreen or were inspired by that character in real life. These characters have been incredibly real, and incredibly important, to so many of us.

So now, as Supernatural’s fictional characters prepare to jump in Baby and try to save the world one last time, we wanted them to know that they’re not alone – we’re all here with them, cheering them on, right up to the end. The title of the book is a wish for those fictional characters we love. The beautiful original song and video are too – it’s our message to the Winchesters and Castiel, the boys’ “angel over us”.  It’s what we wish for them, after all they’ve given us – the peace they so richly deserve.

All the kudos to the incredibly talented Eloisa Parton, who created an amazing video, and J R Wyatt, who wrote a song that makes me cry every time I listen to it. That’s a high compliment.

LYRICS:

Take up the fight

In the family business

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not

And in the end

We’ll drive Baby toward sunset

‘Cause, Brother, we’re all that we’ve got

To hell and back

And all that we’ve been through

It’s been quite a road so far

On a path

That ain’t easy to stick to

Just never forget who you are

We’ll dance with the devil

With an angel over us

And you’ll always keep fighting

Next to someone you can trust

Together we’ll carry on

Just a couple of wayward sons

And, Brother, just remember

There’ll be peace when you are done

Save each other

Save the world

Together into the unknown

Face whatever 

Comes our way

Let’s take those boys home

At the end of the day

I’m always proud of us

But when the time comes to leave here

We’ll put Baby in drive

And leave this place in the dust

We’ll dance with the devil

With an angel over us

And you’ll always keep fighting

Next to someone you can trust

Together we’ll carry on

Just a couple of wayward sons

And, Brother, just remember

There’ll be peace when you are done

So, Brother, just remember

There’ll be peace when you are done

About the Book

There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done has chapters from Jared, Jensen, Richard Speight, Jr., Shoshannah Stern, Lauren Tom, Julie McNiven, Andrea Drepaul, Carrie Genzel, Todd Stashwick, David Haydn-Jones, Adam Fergus, Tahmoh Penikett, Rick Worthy, Chad Lindberg, Gabe Tigerman, Lee Majdoub, Brendan Taylor, Hugo Ateo, Lee Rumohr and writer Davy Perez, as well as twenty fans of the show. The very personal chapters talk about the characters we’ve come to love and the experience of portraying them, and thoughts on what the legacy of Supernatural will be. The book benefits the important work of charities Random Acts and SPNSurvivors. You can find more information at peacewhenyouaredone.com

About the Vidder

Eloisa Parton was born in Italy, but is currently studying Visual Effects in Vancouver. She started casually making videos and uploading them on her youtube channel in 2012, but only in the summer of 2014 did it became a full-time hobby. Around that same time, she started watching clips and videos of Sam and Dean Winchester and immediately fell in love with the characters and their relationship, even without knowing anything about the show. She started watching Supernatural in May 2015, and the show and her love of the characters (especially her favorite, Sam Winchester) gave new life to her channel, inspiring her to make more and more videos and bringing lots of new subscribers. What was a small channel with just a few hundred subscribers now has over 16k subs, largely thanks to her Supernatural videos.

About the Singer/Songwriter

J.R. Wyatt believes in the American songwriter’s dream enough to bleed for it. Music has been flowing through him since he first picked up the drumsticks at age three and then never stopped exploring new instruments, the most important of which was the pen at age twelve. Drawing influence from musical heroes like Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain, Jason Isbell, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Jeff Tweedy, Wyatt learned to bear his soul whenever he put pen to paper. After becoming a staple at local bars and clubs in the small Maine town he grew up in, he decided to take his guitar and his dreams to Nashville. Starting with no contacts, job, or money, Wyatt found a kindred group of songwriters and musicians to collaborate with and self-released his first full-length album, Staying Gold, in 2016. Four years later, he’s back with his sophomore record, I’m Still Here, which demonstrates new levels of confidence as a songwriter and ambition as a producer. J.R. Wyatt’s songs acknowledge pain from the past so we can learn to live better while we’re still here, a perfect fit for the story of Supernatural.

Enjoy! (Or cry with me, which is what I do every time I watch the beautiful video…) We love you, Supernatural – and we’ll miss you like crazy. But we’re wishing our favorite characters ‘peace when you are done.’

Watch the video here (and have tissues ready):

There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done

— Lynn

There'll Be Peace_Preorder Graphic_Banner_v4

Happy Birthday to Supernatural Actor – and Director – Matt Cohen!

 

Today rounds out the trifecta of birthdays that happen in the month of September – Richard, Rob and Matt, otherwise known to con-goers as R2M!  So, in the spirit of this being the last year of the little show that brought the three of them together being on the air, a look back at what makes Matt Cohen so special, and such an integral part of Supernatural.

Kathy and I first met Matt ten years ago at his first Supernatural convention. He didn’t really know what to expect, so he just went with his instincts. That is, he attempted to hug every single person who wanted a hug from him. I remember turning to Kathy and saying oh, we need to interview this guy, he really knows how to interact with fans (And also? He’s gonna have to not keep hugging every single person or he’s never going to get anything else done ever again!)

We sat down with Matt for the first time shortly thereafter, and found out that he was in fact every bit as warm and genuine as he seemed – and just as appreciative of the fans as his hug policy had suggested. In those early days, when Matt was onstage with Richard Speight, Jr. he was the quieter one. Richard’s quick wit and ability to riff off the cuff had to be intimidating – for anyone! But little by little, Matt developed the same ability, and soon he was keeping up with Richard and making us all laugh.

I have enjoyed all our thoughtful chats, and a few times when we weren’t all that serious – what were we doing this day?? I can’t remember but it was undoubtedly fun!

When Rob joined Richard and Matt onstage at cons, the kinetic energy between the three of them onstage was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever sat through an R2M panel without laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. They are hilarious together, and at the same time, the depth of their genuine affection for each other is always clear. Who knew I’d be missing Matt’s traditional leap off the chair onstage that kicks off every R2M panel so much right now?

As some of the few ‘regulars’ at the early Creation conventions, Matt and Richard also were the natural options to revamp the convention karaoke. When they realized it wasn’t as egalitarian as they wanted, they recreated karaoke and made it something amazing – something no other show’s conventions had. They had costumes, they had themes, we all dressed up and got silly together, and they played all the songs we loved from the show.

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Happy Birthday Jensen Ackles!

 

Last year I wrote a long post for Mr. Ackles’ birthday and the top five reasons he’s a pretty special person. This year, I find myself emotional in a slightly different way about Jensen’s birthday today – because this is the last year that on his birthday, he is still Dean Winchester.

I fervently hope that at some point in the future, Jensen will get to portray Dean again – and I know, because he has said it more than once – that Dean will always be a part of him. But this is the last March 1st when Jensen is Dean and Supernatural is still filming and on the air. The last birthday when Dean’s story is not yet fully told, and the character that Jensen has inhabited for the past fifteen years is still so much a part of him – likely in a way that no character will ever be again. It’s a rare and special thing to be able to play a single character for fifteen years, as he has often said; they become a part of you, a best friend who you come to love.

A few years ago, Jensen talked about a dream he’d had that really struck a chord and brought some surprisingly strong emotion. It was a dream about Dean, from Dean’s perspective. A dream in which Dean hands over the keys to the Impala to a motorcycle rider and trades vehicles – because Sam is dead and he no longer needs a vehicle with a passenger seat. Recently, Misha mentioned the dream too, saying that Jensen had shared it with him and Jared and they had all gotten emotional. At the time he had the dream, I’d had the chance to talk to Jensen about it. Perhaps, I’d said, the dream was not just about Sam losing Dean, but was as much about Jensen thinking about eventually having to say goodbye to Supernatural – to Jared, to Misha, to Bob, to Jerry, to Serge, to the crew he loves. I think that’s why it hit all three of the actors so hard to remember it now, knowing there’s only one more month of filming. It’s not like they won’t see each other or remain friends, but it will inevitably be different. Just like the everyday happenings in the fandom will change, Jensen has to say goodbye not only to Dean, but to Sam and Cas and Jack too.

So this post is a reminder of how much Dean Winchester has meant to me and to so many others, as Jensen and his fellow actors face saying goodbye to their beloved characters (temporarily at least!). A reminder that as hard as it is to say goodbye, Castiel’s words to Jack are still true. We are so lucky to have had this time with these characters – to know them and to love them. So lucky that they were here at all.

Dean Winchester, more than any other fictional character ever, taught me to never give up. That you don’t have to be perfect to be a good person, or win every battle to keep on fighting. You can be flawed, and constantly struggling, and ricocheting back and forth between good decisions and bad ones, and still hang onto the goal of doing what’s right. Of fighting every day with the purpose of saving people, hunting things. That works literally in the show, but figuratively in real life, and has inspired countless people to try to change the world for the better in a million ways.

Dean’s incredible, unshakeable loyalty and the way he fiercely, unabashedly loves those he calls family – perfectly willing to move heaven and hell to save their lives and keep them with him – has been a revelation. I’ve never encountered another character as determined as Dean Winchester. Do not get in between him and someone he cares about, because he will never ever give up making sure they’re safe.

He’s not perfect, and I wouldn’t want him to be. He can be singleminded and obtuse and lashes out when he’s hurt in ways that can hurt others (even those he cares so much about). He started out a product of the way he was raised, brittle and defended and brusque because of it. It took me a whole season to really understand the depth of emotion and vulnerability he was hiding under that gruff no-chick-flicks-moments exterior, and another fourteen seasons to understand how much it eventually cost him to let some of those walls down. His moments of vulnerability have brought me to tears again and again. I’ve been there to see how much those moments cost Jensen the real person in real time, too; how real those tears are. I’m pretty sure that’s why they get to me the way they do.

I am incredibly grateful for Dean Winchester and the inspiration he’s brought me for the past fifteen years. I’m incredibly grateful that Jensen Ackles cared so much about this character that he brought him to life and made him real, and never let him become a caricature. No matter where the story went, Jensen kept Dean being Dean. Because he cared about the closest imaginary friend he’ll ever have, as he recently said. He talks about his relationship with Dean in the chapter he contributed to the new book, There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, and I’ll hang onto his words whenever I start to miss Dean Winchester too acutely.

I’m sure that next birthday, there will be all sorts of new things to celebrate – because this is Jensen Ackles we’re talking about. He’s talented in so many ways, and perhaps more importantly, he’s a kind and caring person who always gives 100%. There will be other acting roles, perhaps more directing. Already there’s that incredible Radio Co. album full of songs, and I’m sure that’s only the tip of the iceberg. After that dream sequence recently, maybe we’ll see him struttin’ his stuff on Dancing With The Stars (sorry, Jensen, couldn’t resist…)  I’ll celebrate Jensen’s future successes and be excited for every step of his journey. This year, though, I’m wishing Jensen a happy birthday and celebrating the fifteen years he’s put into crafting the most amazing, inspiring, heroic, entirely human fictional character I’ve ever had the pleasure of ‘meeting’.

Jensen connects with his inner Dean in Lawrence Kansas

Happy birthday, Jensen.

Thank you for Dean Winchester.

— Lynn

You can read what Jensen and many

other actors (and fans) have to say about

the legacy of Supernatural in There’ll Be

Peace When You Are Done – preorder

links on the home page!

 

The Last Supernatural Con of the Decade – Jacksonville 2019

 

Jacksonville is a great venue for a con, with the vendor room in a gigantic brightly lit room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river. I was fortunate to have my friend Christina with me at the vendor table all weekend, along with other friends who stopped by to chat or bring food and a latte or give me a bathroom break. I always leave conventions feeling so warm and fuzzy about this fandom, and this cast, and this show. Maybe because we all knew this was the last con of the decade, there were even more warm and fuzzy feelings than usual – along with some anticipatory sadness, knowing the end of the show is coming.

The con kicked off, as it often does, with a panel by Rachel Miner. Rachel always makes me smile, so it’s a good way to start the day.

One of the things I love most about Rachel is that she’s a bona fide geek, just like so many of us are. She spent a few minutes sorting her colleagues ala Hogwarts.

About Billy Moran?

Rachel and Rob: Slytherin for sure!

Rachel: I’m a big Dr. Who fan. I’d love to be on that crossover. I feel like that’s why we all connect, because I’m such a nerd.

She’d also love to see Meg team up with Rowena.

Fan: Double sassy!

Rachel: Meg and Dean are also alike in some ways. Snarky and afraid of their feelings.

I also love that Rachel is a proud shipper – of Meg and Cas – but also a vehement supporter of ship and let ship (or don’t ship at all).

Rachel: Everyone should ship who you want, but I ship Meg and Cas and in my fanfic version she would never turn on him.

Rachel l had some kind words for Rob and the work he’s doing as Chuck.

Rachel: I think Rob is doing such a great job. We should all be extra nice to him, because he’s still a great guy – he’s just a good actor!

She also had nice things to say about the Supernatural set, and how special it is.

Rachel: I’ve never had that feeling of being taken care of on another set, and that feeling like you’re doing something important, but not self important, as on the set of Supernatural.

She’s also very excited to have Shoshannah Stern back. Shoshannah has written another project for her and Rachel, which is doubly exciting!

On a more serious note, Rachel acknowledged that life is sometimes hard.

Rachel: It’s okay to feel like life is really hard because sometimes it is, and don’t beat yourself up about feeling that. And then you can move on and notice what joy there is right here. It’s work to find that joy, though. It’s not easy. You’re allowed to feel your feelings, and also take time to find the joy in even moments that are difficult.

How can you describe the SPNFamily?

Rachel: We take care of each other, and that’s a model for the whole world.

Jason Manns did his traditional “quoncert” next, playing some tunes and answering some questions.

Someone asked him how he got Jared Padalecki to sing on his Christmas CD.

Jason: I was up in Vancouver recording Jense, and Jared was hanging out and I was like, well, you’re here if you want to record a song…no pressure…

Good job, Jason!

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The Final Supernatural Panel in Hall H at SDCC

To say that the final Supernatural panel in Hall H was emotional would be a serious understatement. Supernatural fans, myself included, alternated between trying to stay in denial about the upcoming ending and getting unexpectedly overcome with feelings at other panels for soon-to-be-ending shows. By the time Sunday morning came around, most of us had packed extra tissues as we filed into the giant Hall H.

We waited for the panel with mixed emotions, staring at the familiar name placards that have been there every year at Comic Con. I still remember the very first panel we were at, in the much smaller 6BCD room.

Excitement ran high as it always does. Fans who sacrificed sleep to wait in line and get their Hall H admission wristbands were nevertheless filled with energy as soon as those doors opened. Several cast members had come through the lines like they always do, including Misha Collins, Rachel Miner, Alaina Huffman and Osric Chau. Jared and Jensen stood out on the landing to greet the fans before the panel. Coffeed up or not, everyone was wide awake as they filed in and hurried toward the front to get the best seat possible.

WB gave out special edition Impala models, which are awesome. (In the press room that afternoon, Jared was wishing he had one too). As we settled in to wait, I chatted with some Supernatural crew and with Osric Chau, one of my favorite people in the universe. I love that he was as excited as we all were!

It was a good thing that the woman next to me brought an entire BOX of tissues because just the very start of the panel made me tear up. Warner Bros publicity person Holly Ollis, who has kicked off every Supernatural panel I’ve been at since way back in 2007, took the mic to talk about how special this little show and this incredible fandom have been. Her voice broke for the first time and I had to choke back tears. I didn’t even get through her intro, folks!

Holly has been a champion of this show from the start and it’s been a long and winding journey, with lots of ups and downs for the show — and for me. I’ve written thousands of articles and episode reviews, and published 6 books on Supernatural. Knowing this was the last time I would sit here and listen to her introduction, after 12 years here at Comic Con…it was a lot. It’s been a lot to be privileged to experience, and it will be a lot to give up.

Whether you’ve been on this wild ride from the very first Supernatural appearance prior to its airing in 2005 (as were several fans I spoke to) or you discovered the show in Season 14 and binged to catch up, every fan has their own shared story with Supernatural. Everyone has a reason why the show is special, their own history with Sam and Dean and Cas and company. We each know what the show and the cast and the fandom have done for us. And as we start the journey through the “last year”, that makes it an emotional journey indeed.

The panel kicked off, as it usually does, with a filmed compilation. I’ll never forget the epic year that WB installed surround screens ALL OVER Hall H and it was Sam and Dean in the Impala racing around them, followed by Kansas performing Carry On Wayward Son LIVE.

But this compilation was also special – because it was a look back at the ENTIRE series. And it began with this sign.

Photo @paleonut

And yes, it made me cry.

The montage then began with those iconic scenes from the pilot, “We got work to do” and then took us on a wild ride through the seasons, each one introduced with its number. FOURTEEN seasons, countless special moments flashed before our eyes, a visceral reminder of how incredible this show and its cast and crew have been.

The audience cheered our favorite scenes and our favorite characters, and if we were filled with emotion before, it was overflowing now.

And the video ended with this.

Which made me cry even more.

And then the last Hall H panel began – moderated by the only two people who could possibly do it justice: Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict. I feel like we are the luckiest fandom ever to have two actors from the show, who play iconic characters, and who happen to be super talented at improv and at emceeing panels (which they do constantly at Supernatural conventions). They came out wearing trench coats, then quipped, “We’re cosplaying…. Sam and Dean in the rain…”

They got us to laugh so we could temporarily put down the tissues.

Rich and Rob were also emotional though – not only have they been on the show since its early seasons, but it has changed their lives in countless ways. Rob and Louden Swain have their own passionate fan base. Rich is now an accomplished director who’s directing three episodes in Season 15. It was so much more meaningful having them anchoring the panel; they’re part of the family. They get it.

Rob and Rich introduced the panel – showrunners Bob Singer and Andrew Dabb, writers and exec producers Eugenie Ross-Leming, Brad Buckner and Robert Berens, and Alex Calvert, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The actors were all clearly moved as they took the stage, trying to take it all in and remember this unique experience of being applauded by a room full of 7,000 some people. Jared and Jensen stood side by side and paused for a few photos, physically anchoring each other through all the emotion.

Credit Getty Images

Misha sat down and just smiled, looking out over the crowd. Alex was clearly trying to take it all in.

Rich and Rob kicked off the panel by asking the first question – where are your heads at? You grew up with the show, and now it comes to an end, how are you feeling about it all? What’s your grand take away from this?

Jared: That’s so mean to start with, I’m trying not to cry, can we all just start crying?

Most of us: We’re way ahead of you!

Jensen said that what he’s gotten from the show are lifelong friends, experiences of a lifetime, and this (gestures to crowd).

He paused, looking out at the sea of adoring fans.

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