Back To Where It All Began – Supernatural Chicago 2022!

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.

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Supernatural New Jersey 2022!

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!

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Dean Winchester is Back (Sorta) in ‘The Winchesters’ Trailer – and I’m Emotional!

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 Windy cast (Alex Zalben)

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.

– Lynn

You can read the Supernatural actors

thoughts on the end of Supernatural

and what they hope it’s legacy will be

In There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done,

Links in banner or at:

Supernatural Cast Jared, Jensen and Misha in Three New Series on The CW!

It has been a BIG day for the SPNFamily! After weeks of speculation as to whether zero, one, two or all three of the Supernatural cast’s new pilot projects would be picked up by the CW, the news came in the afternoon that the network had cancelled multiple shows. Some of those  were fan favorites, and my heart goes out to those fandoms – it’s especially heartbreaking when a show is cancelled and doesn’t have a chance to do a proper wrap, leaving its characters and its fans in limbo. I’m so sorry for all those fans, and all those talented actors and crew now out of work.

The chances for the SPN pilots were clearly improved by that news, so it wasn’t shocking when all three pilots with Supernatural cast connections were picked up – ‘The Winchesters’ prequel with Jensen and Danneel Ackles and Supernatural writer alum Robbie Thompson executive producing and Jensen doing the Dean Winchester narrating, the Walker prequel ‘Walker: Independence’ aka Windy, with Jared Padalecki executive producing and Walker alum Matt Barr one of the stars; and Gotham Knights, with Misha Collins as Harvey Dent/Two-Face.

Fans joked that they’re changing the name of the network from The CW to The J2M network. But no joke, it’s a testament to the lasting popularity and power of Supernatural and the Supernatural fandom that they’ve made room for all three SPN cast pilots. The fandom may be fractured and contentious and right now arguing over which of the three everyone will be supporting (or not), but we are also passionate as hell, and currently trending all ‘our’ pilot pickups and faves.

Variety headline

After two failed Supernatural spinoffs, The Winchesters is the first to actually become a series. Fans have been a mix of enthusiastic and skeptical about the show portraying the beginning of the love story of John and Mary Winchester. The “mothership’s” canon had John not knowing about the supernatural at all at the time it’s set and their relationship being manipulated by celestial forces, so the prequel will have to come up with an explanation for them working together and their love story being an epic one. I’m a big fan of Robbie Thompson’s writing though, and I know how much Jensen cares about Dean, so I’m going into this hopeful – and beyond excited to hear Ackles bring Dean Winchester to life once again. I miss him. (I miss both Winchester brothers, and Supernatural itself, like a constant ache that just won’t go away). I’m hopeful that Exec Producer Danneel Ackles will bring a vintage aesthetic to the show that I can fall in love with too. Bell bottoms, paisley, the music…. Shot in New Orleans, so far, the show looks hauntingly beautiful and the cast seem wonderful.

Director Glen Winter with Thompson and Ackles

I’ve been enjoying Jared Padalecki on ‘Walker’ so I’m excited about that prequel too. Windy is set even farther back in time, in late 1800s Texas, centered on Abby Walker and her husband’s murder and her quest for revenge, and Hoyt Rawlins, the oft described “lovable rogue” type.  I really enjoyed Matt Barr’s portrayal of the present day Hoyt on Walker, so I’m looking forward to the prequel. Much like The Winchesters, the show looks gorgeous, and the cast and crew are clearly beyond excited about it. Director Larry Teng took the fandom along on much of the journey, tweeting lots of photos and enthusiasm. I’m so happy for the cast, who seem lovely.

Director Larry Teng’s wrap post

Padalecki took to twitter to let the Walker family know that the enthusiasm and congrats weren’t lost on him – and that he is as excited as we are!

Misha Collins is playing the role of Harvey Dent (and later Two-Face) on the third SPN cast-related pilot to be picked up, Gotham Knights. Part of DC’s Batman universe, the show takes place after Bruce Wayne has been murdered and his adopted son allies with the children of Batman’s enemies when they’re framed for killing him. Misha has said that the first season sees him playing Dent, but later he’ll get the chance to play a villain as Two Face. Also he seems to have a black trenchcoat, much to the amusement of his Supernatural fans.

To make the day even more exciting, some news that I’ve been waiting for was also released – Jensen Ackles will guest star as Sheriff Beau Arlen on the season finale of Big Sky airing next Thursday. (I was sitting there watching Big Sky, trying to get a little caught up in anticipation, when that news came out).  His character is described as “a confident and charming good ol’ boy from Texas who steps in as temporary Sheriff.” Charming indeed. That Deadline article came with a little ABC promo video, and let’s just say that Mr. Ackles is looking fine fine fine indeed with that long hair and a cowboy hat. Now we’ve got both Jared and Jensen as gun-toting cowboy lawmen on our screens this month. Phew.

Looking forward to next Thursday!

It’s been a great feeling to watch my timeline explode all day long with fans and other Supernatural cast reacting to all the good news. Misha Collins tweeted his excitement to his former co-stars, who will perhaps all be at the Upfronts next week (if Ackles isn’t committed to The Boys publicity and Padalecki isn’t finishing up Walker).

Looks like Jared is up for it – as long as he can play the cowbell! Seriously though, I love how this cast will always support each other and genuinely look forward to enjoying each other’s company.

Eric Kripke seemed almost as emotional as me about the incredible legacy the little show he created has left – and all the wonderful new things its cast has gone on to create. What a wonderful legacy for Mr. Kripke as well, as he prepares for the launch of Season 3 of The Boys (also starring Ackles, who luckily likes to keep busy).

Nothing is ever going to replace the OG Supernatural for me, but I feel incredibly lucky to have all these other shows to look forward to – and so proud of the actors who made Supernatural the phenomenon that it is, and everything that they’re out there creating now.  Whether you’re planning to watch one show or two or all three, there’s alot to look forward to coming up!

— Lynn

You can read Jared, Jensen and Misha’s

thoughts on fandom and the SPN Family,

and how they were changed by the show

and the fandom, in Family Don’t End With

Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You

Are Done – links on the home page or at:

 

 

Supernatural Indy Con 2022!

This was my first convention in Indianapolis, though not my first time there since I’ve been to other conferences and business meetings in the city. It’s a quick 1.5 hour flight so I got there on Friday in time to at least catch a few panels – though I was very sad to miss Gabe Tigerman’s panel. I love Gabe and I love his chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done – I at least got to say hi later that afternoon luckily.

I did catch some of Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones panel, which turned out to be delightfully full of all kinds of innuendo and just blatant naughtiness. These are good things imho.

David said he was lucky to get the role of Ketch. He had his final callback for Supernatural after working until 6 am the night before filming a Hallmark movie and he was exhausted. (But apparently not too exhausted to throw on a suit and be perfect for the part!)

Adam agreed, and gave him all the props for his portrayal.

Fan: Sorry David killed off your character, I liked him.

Adam: I liked him too!!

They had some amusing stories to tell, including the one about David and the motorcycle helmet – they couldn’t find one that was big enough to fit his head, so when they put it on it looked like a little kid’s helmet – which apparently was hilarious.

They also had a few serious things to say about their roles on the show. David said that one of his favorite character moments was when Mary told Ketch “this is just a one night” thing. He wanted to show a glimmer of broken heart in Ketch. Near the end, David said that Ketch also felt guilty and wanted to redeem himself.

David: In the hospital, that was the first time he called them ‘friends’.

Adam: Mick and Ketch were brainwashed as kids, but Mick was trying to break out of that.

Both Adam and David had lots of positive things to say about working on Supernatural.

David: The best working experience I’ve ever had is Supernatural. Jared, Jensen and Misha are the best, and the crew that’s been with them since the start and stayed the whole time, that really says something.

Adam talked about the first prank the boys played on him and then about the atmosphere on Supernatural and how special it was.

Adam: It’s so much fun to do what we do, and on Supernatural they are all so nice, and the leads never phoned it in – ever.

A fan asked about shipping Ketch with…. (pause)… Rowena?

David: I thought you were gonna say Ketch and Mick.

Adam: I was hoping!

Jason Manns helped out with the music and the emcee duties on Friday, along with Adam.  It’s always nice to have his beautiful voice on stage.

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were up next. A fan asked Kim to answer a question about working with the boys on Zach and Cody and Briana attempted to answer – hilariously.

Briana: So Zach and Cody were in the make up trailer…they liked to put on their own rouge and makeup… just like Jared and Jensen!

Kim: lol

Someone asked them their favorite words and Briana said “audacious”.

Briana: I love the word audacious. It’s used sometimes to mean that women are being too bold, but I love being told that!

Her favorite quote is by Isadora Duncan: “Darling, don’t let them tame you!”

Kim: I love the word “home”. It means different things to all of us, but we all know what it means.

Kim invariably makes me tear up at some point in the weekend. In a good way.

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