DC Con is one of my “home cons” – that means I can drive there instead of flying. I hate driving, but it’s still better than spending a fortune to fly, so I started down I95 on Friday and actually managed to navigate to Crystal City without any major mishaps – until I got to the parking garage that is. I then drove around for a ridiculous amount of time to find ZERO spots. Finally, in desperation, I inched my Honda into a spot that it barely fit into, and then went through some truly disturbing acrobatics to inch my way OUT of the car. Not fun!
I cheered up when Carrie Genzel came by my vendor table soon after I got set up. It was SO good to see her again and have her at a con – I sadly didn’t get parked in time to catch her actual panel on Friday with Nate Torrance, but hugging her made up for it a little. Carrie wrote a powerful chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and is an inspiring person in so many ways. Follow her on social media if you don’t already!
Friday night was a rare tourist excursion while at a con, joining friends for a tour of DC with our tour guide extraordinaire Smiley. The bus stopped for us to get ice cream too, and I got to catch up with some SPN Family friends I hadn’t seen in far too long, and get to know some new ones a little better too.
Saturday I caught some of the Matt and Rob panel. Rob and Rich are watching the show from the beginning for the Supernatural Then and Now podcast, and Matt is also watching the show – it’s been interesting to hear all their takes on this show that I’ve watched from pretty much the start.
Matt: I was impressed that Jensen Ackles was the same badass in early seasons as he was in Season 15.
Someone asked Matt, if John Winchester picked a theme song for Supernatural, what would it be?
Matt: Miley Cyrus, I Came In Like A Wrecking Ball.
Rob: If Chuck chose the theme song, it would be What If God Was One Of Us.
Also Rob: It’s all fun and games until I actually get to Heaven and God’s like, oh no, not you, I watched the show… I’ve actually signed some bibles – I’m like oh, I’m glad that you liked my book…
Rob said he did his first con right after The Real Ghostbusters aired, and he was scared shitless, then thought OMG this is exactly how I felt in the episode!
(When I live tweeted that it apparently said he was scared shirtless and now I’m laughing at my own mistakes – no shirts were frightened off)
The conversation turned to that time Benedict Cumberbatch was being interviewed by Matt for EW and pronounced him “hot”.
Rob, apropos of nothing: If I married Benedict Cumberbatch, he’d be Benedict Benedict.
Matt: I just interviewed David Boreanaz and he was like, why are you not ON the show, you look like a SEAL!
I mean, accurate…
It was nice to have Matt a a con again (Matt, Rob, Kim and Briana all wrote chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood too).
Saturday also had an awesome ladies of SPN panel with Carrie Genzel, Samantha Smith, Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster.
Carrie got some props for being amazing at karaoke the night before, which I missed due to playing tourist with friends (and Smiley).
The Creation Supernatural convention tour returned to Orlando for the first time in a long time last month, in a new hotel with a very lovely pool and lots of palm trees. I got there just in time to catch some of David Haydn-Jones and Adam Fergus, David looking very Florida indeed. Without any context when I arrived, Adam was saying to David, “you like to go deep!” and David was agreeing. They like to joke that their panels are mostly innuendo, but I for one enjoy that thoroughly.
Someone asked who their characters were closest to on the show, and Adam said that there was a special bond between Mick and Sam – but that Mick also wanted Dean’s approval.
David said that Dean and Ketch grew close – after all, “I’ve tended Dean’s wounds…”
Kim and Briana were up next. Kim said she’d started watching Supernatural again and was up to season 4.
Kim: I forgot how much I loved the Ghostfacers!
What was the first time they met Jared and Jensen like?
Kim: The first time I saw them, they were riding mini bikes around the set playing catch with each other.
She thought oh god, they’re not going to be helpful at all when she had to do a big emotional scene after Jody lost her family, but the boys surprised her.
Kim: But when my scene started, they were both like, “what do you need?”
Briana: Jared and Jensen are amazing hosts. They’re so aware that they’re only as good as the people they work with.
Briana: I was introduced to Jensen and I just kept on walking because I saw his face and said, uh oh, that’s pretty…
Kim: For some reason, Jensen makes my upper lip sweat and all I hear when he’s around is mmmmmmm.
Briana: Phil Sgriccia told Jensen that I was a professional comedian, so he took it as a challenge to try to make me break in the donut scene.
Kim said that her character Jody had a special bond with Sam, because he saved her from having to shoot what had been her son.
Kim: That was the foundation of her trust in those boys. She would have died for Sam.
They both talked about how knowing the Supernatural fandom taught them that being on the ‘celebrity side of the fence, they still saw fans as loving – and that, for Kim, let her feel okay about loving Neil Gaiman as a fan herself.
The caption: weapon of choice or sex toy?
I’ve been watching too much of the boys, so my instant reaction was: both??
Friday night I had dinner in the outdoor courtyard under the palm trees and then joined a bunch of other fans in the ballroom to watch the Supernatural pilot. It was so much fun to watch it all together, everyone clapping at all the iconic moments. Damn, I love this Show.
Chicago was the very first Supernatural convention, way back in 2007. I was there, overcome with anticipation to see both Jared and Jensen together and to be in a room full of my fellow Supernatural fans. Kathy and I, along with our friends Laura and Karen, had stalked the Creation website for weeks to get the best possible seats, and we couldn’t wait to all be together to celebrate the show that was already changing our lives.
It’s 15 years later, and so much has changed. Kathy, my partner in crime who I went to all the early cons with, and to the Supernatural set, and who I wrote the first four books with, passed away unexpectedly several months ago. Going back to Chicago, where this unlikely fifteen years and counting adventure began, without her was emotional. I felt lucky to have so many of my friends there to remind me how much love I have in my life and what incredible friends I have still here with me. I’m so grateful.
Chicago con always seems special because it’s the site of so many memories. Even though this year’s was in the convention center instead of the familiar hotel where so many cons have been held, I still stayed in that hotel so the nostalgia was real. It’s also the con where I met or became closer to some of my best fandom buds, and making new memories with them this year felt extra special.
Also Jared was back and that was something to celebrate for sure – he missed the last convention in New Jersey after his very serious car accident. He’s still on the mend, but it was wonderful to see for ourselves his smiling face and have his banter with Jensen back to normal. It felt healing to all of us, I think.
Chicago had a great line up of guests, and I caught most of their panels since I flew in at a ridiculously early hour. Free shuttle to the hotel, yay!
DJ Qualls was back for the first time in a while – I always enjoy his panels, and he’s incredibly friendly. All weekend long, every time I walked by his autograph table in the vendor room to get to my book table, he was happily chatting and selfie-taking with fans and enjoying it immensely.
DJ: Jensen is good at everything. For the dance number that we did, he had like a 15 minute head start and knew it all.
A fan asked what his craziest dream was, and DJ started to laugh.
DJ: Heh heh, no. I had one after Jared’s accident…I think I was worried about him… and it was like fan fiction…
So no, he didn’t share it!
I enjoy hearing DJ talk openly about things like gender roles and the pressures of masculinity. He said that he got hurt every single time he did some stunt work on Supernatural, but the expectation was that you just “walk it off” so he did.
Next we had what for me was a real treat – a panel with Katie Sarife and Joy Regullano, who played Marie and Maeve in the Supernatural 200th episode, Fan Fiction. It’s one of my favorite episodes and they were brilliant in the parts. I had coffee with Joy in Vancouver years ago and so enjoyed our chat – it’s linked below if you want to get to know her a little.
Joy identifies as a fangirl herself, wanting to represent fans as “smart people with a passion”, and Katie said that her ex-boyfriend was a huge Supernatural fan. He’s the reason she already knew “Carry On”, in fact.
Since they are Vancouver based actors, they knew the show – and Joy had auditioned before.
Joy: The first role I auditioned for was K Tran – which became the character of Kevin!
Both said they loved the episode and the way it ended, except that they would have loved to come back. Understandable.
What was the most fun working on Supernatural?
Joy: Well, Jared is like 6 foot 15, so it was fun being able to boss him around and like, be mean to him. (In the show!)
She also had a scene in which she adlibbed to Jared (Sam): “Look with your eyes and not your mouth” but unfortunately it got cut. I would like to have seen Jared’s response!
Katie: I learned a cool trick from Jensen, of crossing my eyes and the moving just one of them.
(This made me cringe because Jensen has done that to me to tease me and it’s the only time I have ever run away from him lol)
They also enjoyed the comedy in the episode, right down to the “you can’t spell subtext without S-E-X.” Classic Robbie Thompson.
Joy and Katie were asked if Jared and Jensen pranked them, but they said no.
Katie: I think because we were playing teenagers, there were no pranks. Jared and Jensen were really sweet. And not creepy.
I love that everyone who ever worked on the Supernatural set has nothing but praise for the main cast.
Joy: It was like a master class in acting, watching the experienced actors just snap into character like that.
(I’ve witnessed it too, and to a non-actor it is nothing less than amazing!)
Friday also had a great trio panel of Gil McKinney, Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones. They joked that it was the “grumpy old men of letters panel”! It was Pride month, and David had on his Yasssss Queen shirt given to him by a fan and some truly awesome rainbow socks.
I definitely could not have anticipated how eventful the NJ Supernatural convention a few weeks ago would be! It’s my “home con”, which means I can drive to it. I hate driving by myself so I was happy to be able to drive with a friend, and we headed out early, full of gleeful anticipation. All went well until we got there and drove around the parking garage – and could not find a single spot. I am not a fabulous driver on my best day, and an unfamiliar garage that was nearly impossible to navigate was not helping. My friend was equally nervous, so I couldn’t convince her to take the wheel either – so we gave up and parked at the hotel entrance. She stayed with the car while I went inside and asked what I should do if there were no spots.
Lovely security guy standing nearby: Ma’am, that’s not possible.
Me: I can’t swear that I didn’t just miss them in my panic, but I did not see any.
Lovely security guy (sighing): Okay, come on.
He rode in the back seat as we drove back into the garage, and patiently navigated our way to the entire wing of the garage that was hidden in the back. Oops.
Anyway, I’m a fan of the con hotel for life thanks to that lovely security guy.
In between being in the vendor room, which still feels like a family reunion after we all missed cons for so long. I caught a little of Kim and Briana’s first panel.
They’ve talked before about how much they loved doing some of their own stunts (and would have done more if Wayward Sisters went to series), but Briana also said that she didn’t really know how to move for some stunts. She did an imitation, laughing at herself the whole time.
Kim said she was inspired by the film Wonder Woman, especially how she looked out for her little sister, which was a very Supernatural thing to say. Similarly, they talked about how important it is to “get back on the horse” when you’re had a setback.
Briana: Just make sure you have your people around you. Fandom is a great example.
Kim and Briana together are always magic. There are so many lifelong friendships that were forged from this show and this fandom. They gave us some examples by reading their most recent text conversation aloud. Complete with emojis.
Kim talked a bit about shooting the scene of vamp Dean biting her, which she didn’t mind one bit – except that Jared and Jensen were busy making all kinds of jokes, including yelling for condiments!
I personally would not have wanted the Supernatural finale to end any other way, but I know some people found it really hard to have Dean die so young. Kim had an alternate ending: Sam and Dean turn out to actually be little kids playing, with a little toy Jody and Donna… then we pan up a tree to Cas… and Lucifer… in real life. Waiting.
Dark, Kim! But adorable too.
They gave us the good news that they’re about to record more of the Wayward Podcast, which I really enjoy. Yay!
If you’d like to hear more from Kim and Briana, they wrote very powerful and frank chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood – which are also very inspiring.
Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones also had a panel on Friday.
Adam said that David is more like Sam and he’s more like Dean in real life, though I can’t imagine either Sam or Dean in that velour track suit even if they were in New Jersey!
To say this was a momentous day in the Supernatural fandom would be a ridiculous understatement. Somehow, Jared, Jensen and Misha have all ended up in new shows on The CW and thus they were all in attendance at the CW Upfronts today, which is a story in itself that I’ll make a separate post about so we can remember the lovely happy-making chaos.
It was also the day that the trailers for the Padalecki-executive-produced Walker prequel, Walker: Independence and for the Ackles-executive-produced prequel, The Winchesters, were released as part of the Upfronts. And that means the Supernatural fandom, myself included, are having A LOT of feelings right now.
Let me just say that I loved the trailer for Walker: Independence (aka Windy) – I don’t have the same kind of emotional reaction to the Walker universe as I do to Supernatural, which means I can sit back and just enjoy both the OG Walker and this new prequel. The cast seems awesome, the look of the show is amazing, and the characters are ones I’m looking forward to getting to know. Add to that director Larry Teng, who I’ve so enjoyed following, and the show’s determination to hire Indigenous actors and get that representation right, and Windy looks like a great way to spend a Walker-intensive Thursday evening.
The Winchesters trailer left me with an emotional reaction so big and so complex that it’s taken me all these hours to be able to write about it. It should be no surprise to anyone, because I am Very Emotional™ about all things Supernatural, so this was probably guaranteed to destabilize my always-a-little-raw feelings when it comes to this show. Its very existence has been contentious in the fandom since its leaked announcement and Jared being in the dark about it before then, which only served to heighten just about everyone’s reaction today. Mine included. I knew that would be the case. What caught me off guard is how intense my emotions are and how conflicted – it’s not very comfortable to be feeling multiple (and sometimes seemingly mutually exclusive) feelings all at once. Humans are notoriously confused by that; we want to think we only feel one thing at a time, but unfortunately that’s not always how we work. Today was one of those days.
I was expecting Dean Winchester to be in the trailer. So I wasn’t shocked when I heard his voice, or when I saw him, leaning against the Impala, like he’d never left (and truly, he has never left my heart or even my brain since the show ended exactly 18 months ago). (Oh yes, and that just added to my emotionality, btw).
I have MISSED him and thought about him, every single day. So my heart soared seeing him on my screen again, and seeing him with Baby, on a deserted highway, everything that I’ve missed so much feeling so familiar. I’ve missed Dean Winchester like I’d miss someone I’ve ‘known’ for seventeen years, and who has meant alot to me. I am beyond grateful to have him back, even if only as the narrator of this story.
It felt so good. We saw the Green Cooler in the backseat, as it should be. And then the Samulet, hanging from the mirror. In that moment, when I noticed that, I think I gasped out loud for the first time – because the emotions were so strong and so mixed up.
I cherish the Samulet, its history, its meaning. I love the episode Robbie Thompson wrote to bring it back, glowing in Sam’s pocket, and the look on Dean’s face when he knows Sam kept it. I love that it’s there now in the prequel, that Dean has it right there in front of him at all times, reminding him of his brother. I love that it’s there; but it hurts that Sam is not. Supernatural to me is the story of two brothers, and that will never change. There are other characters and stories within the story that I love too, but Sam and Dean, that’s the heart of the show. I know that The Winchesters is not that story, but it is the story of their parents, and it tugs at my heart that Sam is not sitting beside Dean as he goes on this quest to tell their parents’ story.
I understand that the network probably wanted some Sam and Dean involvement if they were going to attempt another spinoff, since they’ve made it clear they understand that’s critical to any success. So I get why Dean needed to be added in as narrator. But I am counting on Jared and Jensen to be able to bring Sam into this show also; I can’t imagine how it will feel if he isn’t in some way. I’m going to trust that they’ll work it out the way Jared and Jensen work things out in real life, even when bad things happen. They’ve both told me how they feel about their friendship, and I believe them. But wow, that mix of emotions left me literally breathless for a while today. The fandom reaction was mixed too, with some fans just plain ecstatic to see Dean, and some really missing Sam/Jared’s presence, and some trying to figure out what to make of the two seconds of Lazarus Rising footage that appeared in the trailer. Supernatural fandom is nothing if not multifaceted.
There’s still so much we don’t know, so today was a day of speculating. Is Dean narrating from Heaven, while he waits for Sam? I’ve been assuming he is, and that’s the reason why Sam is not beside him. He has the Impala with him, and she has her original KAZ25Y plates, so that fits. He wasn’t wearing the Samulet in Heaven, but it could have been in the car – or maybe he wished it into existence because he missed his brother and hey, this is Heaven. On the other hand, I think he’s wearing his watch, and if this takes place while he’s waiting for Sam, Sam’s back on earth and wearing his brother’s watch. See how complicated this is? I usually love when fandom is busy gnashing our teeth and trying to figure things out, but this is too emotional to be very enjoyable right now!
Some fans, no matter how you feel about Sam or Dean’s involvement, were more intellectually confused than emotionally. The Winchesters was going to be an ambitious show no matter what, because while there wasn’t a ton of time devoted to John and Mary’s past in the original show, there was some – and that canon is tough to line up with exploring their early lives if they were hunting together. Fans from all ‘sides’ are wondering just how that is going to be accomplished, and the trailer didn’t answer any of those questions. Perhaps intentionally!
The premise of Dean not knowing his parents’ story – actually of no one apparently knowing their story – isn’t an expected launching point from past canon, where Dean went back in time and witnessed his mother making a deal to save his father’s life and a John Winchester who knew nothing of the supernatural or hunting or the Men of Letters as far as we know. How they got together was less an epic love story and more an angelic manipulation in original canon, with angels bringing them together and not hunting. I wonder why is Dean urgently needing to know his parents’ story now? Is there some imperative that’s related to him being in Heaven?? Why can’t he go ask John and Mary from wherever their house in Heaven is?? Fandom, as always, has its own ideas. The theory that Dean is writing some John/Mary fanfiction to pass the time while he waits for Sam to get to Heaven is currently my favorite. Ah fandom, you never disappoint.
So there’s a lot of speculation and confusion. That said, Supernatural’s universe has always left a lot of room for pulling the rug out and altering what seemed like established canon (and sometimes outright retconning, I know – I love my show, but it’s not perfect. ‘lolcanon’ is a fandom term for a reason, after all). Memory wipes and time travel and angelic manipulation are all part of established canon, though the show has usually shown that there are also serious consequences to all of those. So Supernatural leaves room for a lot of options, and I’m going to stay cautiously optimistic that something like that will be able to reconcile whatever canon divergence happens. I’m an optimist by nature, and I very much WANT Supernatural and its universe and its characters to keep going for a long long long time, so I’m here for the ride and hoping for the best. I’m also sentimental as hell, so thank you Robbie (or Jensen or whoever) for including the Samulet, even if it did launch me into an emotional crisis. I would expect nothing less from anything Supernatural!
That’s my emotional reaction to the trailer. The trailer itself – other than the Dean introduction and my big feelings about that – also was interesting. I like the look of the show and the way it’s filmed, the technical aspects of which I know nothing about but which I’m sure producer Jensen Ackles geeked out over and had some impact on. Other than the hapless demon lady who gets launched into space by a VW bus, I really liked the look of the show and how it’s filmed. I love that it’s set in the 70’s, and yes, it really does have a 70’s vibe, and I love that. I was also instantly charmed by Jojo Fleites’ character, Carlos, who seems to have great chemistry with everyone and be a bit of a smartass.
One of the things I valued about OG Supernatural was that it wasn’t about romance, so the John and Mary romance isn’t a pulling point for me, but the other characters seem interesting outside what I presume will be the central romance. Nida Khurshid’s character Latika is intriguing, and so is John’s mother Millie (Bianca Kajlich) who it appears was the mechanic in the family to Henry’s more bookish Men of Letters occupation. That could be interesting indeed! I wasn’t a huge fan of Mary or John (or their occasionally A+ parenting) in the original show, but Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger seem up to the challenge of bringing the characters to life, so maybe I’ll feel more positively when I get to know them better.
It’s been an emotional day.
I loved seeing Jared, Jensen and Misha all up on that stage, thriving, and still goofing around together like old times. I feel incredibly proud of them, all with new shows and these young vibrant new casts who are just starting out on their own journeys thanks in part to J2M and what Supernatural taught them. I loved seeing Dean Winchester on my screen again, driving the Impala down a deserted road. I love knowing that Supernatural will never die, because I want that to be true more than anything, and I’m grateful that The Winchesters is keeping it alive. I’m going to cross my fingers, savor what we have, and hope for even more to love!
And in a few hours, I’m gonna settle in to watch yet another show that Jensen Ackles is in, the season finale of Big Sky.
But for now, I’m gonna go watch a few minutes of Dean Winchester again. I really really missed him.