The penultimate episode of ‘The Boys’ Season 3, ominously titled ‘Here Comes A Candle To Light You To Bed,’ releases this Friday on Prime Video, and the little teasers already have everyone bouncing in anticipation (per usual). This is my non-spoilery teaser review of my own reaction to episode 3.7 – and as a Supernatural fan, this one is especially for everyone who was already a Jensen Ackles admirer or has joined the party recently and jumped on board in appreciation of Soldier Boy.
The last few episodes of Season 3 are going to be a rollercoaster for Ackles fans the likes of which we have never ridden. My advice is you’d better hold on tight, because this one is like that rollercoaster in the dark at Disney World where it’s extra scary because you never know when there’s gonna be a sudden twist or how violent the turn is gonna be. That also makes it extra exhilarating – for a long time that was my favorite ride there. But when I say my heart was pounding out of my chest and I had to jump up and sort of run around my kitchen a few times to calm down, to the accompaniment of colorful exclamations, I am not exaggerating.
Ackles himself weighed in on Instagram about his character’s wee bit of anger issues….
From the perspective of someone who has been a Supernatural fan for 17 years, there are all kinds of things that fandom has imagined a character Ackles plays doing – things that a show on the CW could not include, even if it might have made more sense for hardened traumatized hunter Dean Winchester than his PG vocabulary ever did. Most of those things have played out in fanfiction over the years, for sure, but somehow seeing and hearing a character onscreen who is not limited to the CW standards and practices was more shocking than I expected. No, I am very much not complaining.
Seeing Jensen be able to sink his teeth into a role like this, into a character who is raw and fucked up and in many ways the worst of a swatch of humanity in real life – it was awesome. For someone who’s a long-time fan, it was also a mind fuck, in that I could not help but love the character just a little even when I hated him.
There’s a reason the fandom calls him Danger Grampa or Sweet Baby Murder Kitten, after all.
We learn about some of the horrible things he’s done in this episode, right alongside more of the things that have been done to him – and right alongside the moments when he lets his guard down a little and says something real and shows some genuine emotion. That is one of the things this show has excelled at from the beginning and why I’ve loved it since Season 1 – it’s always shades of gray, even the worst characters having moments of humanity when I feel for them. But having one of my favorite actors embody that kind of complexity made it so much more difficult for me to negotiate. I kept wanting to sympathize with him – especially when the traumas of his past are laid out – but each time there’s a punch to the gut that reminds me that I can’t get too pulled in. Talk about a mindfuck!
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’ve used these words to describe Prime Videos ‘The Boys’ before, but it remains the most accurate description for the show as it moves into its third season – it is a WILD ride! From the start, The Boys has packed so many ups and downs and twists and turns into its eight episode seasons that I invariably end up feeling dizzy afterwards – in a good way. (If you love rollercoasters like I do, you know what I mean.) Once the adrenaline rush has subsided, the best thing about The Boys is that it makes me think. My brain was working overtime the night after watching the first three episodes of Season 3 so instead of sleeping, I was mulling over all the things that happened. Trying to make sense of each character’s evolution, trying to suss out the real life parallels this show makes unapologetically. Where is the story going? What’s it setting up for the rest of this season?
I love getting to the end of an episode and having questions like these rolling around my brain, keeping me awake. But if it just made me think, I probably wouldn’t have been bouncing in anticipation for this season. I think for a living as a psychologist, and then try to make other people think as a professor – so sometimes I just want to sit back and be entertained. One of the teaser trailers for this season of The Boys was set to Imagine Dragons and asked repeatedly, “is this entertaining?” Well, the answer is a resounding YES. Watching the eight jam-packed episodes of Season 3, I laughed, I was sad, I was horrified. I had to turn away a few times when it was too much. I scratched my head with a hypothesis slowly forming, and then sometimes did a triumphant fist bump being right – and sometimes gasped out loud being wrong. This is one of the few times when I’m happy to be fooled. Surprise me, Show, and I am here for it!
For those of you who haven’t been reading my reviews of The Boys for the past two seasons, I came to the show via Supernatural. Eric Kripke, the showrunner behind The Boys, was the creator and first five years showrunner of Supernatural also. He changed my life with that show, and I will basically watch anything he puts his creative touch to and at least give it a chance. Was I ever glad I did that with The Boys! From the very first episode, I was intrigued. And then I was hooked. When Supernatural’s own Jensen Ackles joined the cast for Season 3, I was beyond overjoyed.
So let’s just say I could not wait for this season to drop!
Without giving away any of the truly gobsmacking events of the first three episodes, because you need to experience those yourself (so NO BIG SPOILERS), here’s a synopsis of where we find the characters as Season 3 begins and as they progress through these first few episodes. Alot of time has passed in real life since we’ve been in this universe, and the show includes a time jump as well. It’s a year later – a year that, unlike the constant turmoil that we’ve experienced in real life – has been relatively calm for the boys. It’s heartbreaking that the calm, as is inevitable for this series, is mostly on the surface and about to be shattered. Somehow that makes it all the more devastating when that happens.
In the first episode, ‘Payback’, on the surface at least, things are going well for most of the boys. Mother’s Milk has a warm relationship with his daughter again, which is what he wanted most. His exploits with Butcher and company haven’t left him unscathed, though, when it comes to his marriage or his OCD. He still feels compelled to line up the forks at his daughter’s (painfully supe-themed) birthday party. And it turns out obsessions with revenge aren’t all that easy to walk away from either – MM has got an entire walk-in closet papered with old newspaper articles about a supe who died decades ago – Soldier Boy. It looks a lot like John Winchester’s hotel room walls, yellowed newspaper clippings proclaiming Soldier Boy cleared of various – and yes, we already doubt that.
Frenchie and Kimiko have been together for the past year. They can communicate seamlessly now, Frenchie fluent in her unique sign language and Kimiko also using her phone to text messages to him and express herself. They seem closer than ever, but we get a clearer look at how much the trauma of Kimiko’s past has affected her. She might not have words, but Kimiko can be eloquent, whether it’s carving FUCK into the furniture or playing an increasingly discordant melody on a laptop keyboard piano as other members of the team argue. There’s a poignant scene at an amusement park where Kimiko glimpses a brother and sister sharing cotton candy, smiling sadly knowing that she and Kenji never got to live that life and longing for it still. Sometimes this show is brutal with the “we don’t get to have nice things” and you just know this is gonna be one of those times.
Hughie and Annie have also been living a relatively quiet life. They’re spending most nights together, having a lot of sex (with the euphemism of don’t forget the AquaFresh), and getting along fine. Hughie finally feels like he’s getting some respect too, working alongside Victoria Neuman at the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs. His coworkers are a little bit in awe of him, giving him accolades for helping bring down supes, and he looks dapper in his well-fitting suit. He has a collegial relationship with Neuman, the two of them eating lunch together, joking, supporting each other. United in their mission. Even Butcher reluctantly plays by the Bureau’s rules, deferring to Hughie though it clearly grates on him.
When you think of how far Hughie’s come, how shattered he was after his girlfriend’s death and how helpless he felt, it’s easy to imagine just how heady his new life must be. He doesn’t have to get his hands bloody and he genuinely feels like he’s doing some good in the world.
Unfortunately he’s on the wrong show. Of course we all know that Neuman is the one who’s responsible for all the exploding heads of the past season, so watching how close she and Hughie have become was immediately ominous. Poor Hughie. Like I said, on this show you really can’t have nice things.
Even Butcher has been living a relatively calm life, following the Bureau’s rules as far as who the boys can go after and how (no murder or dismemberment) and visiting Ryan at Grace Mallory’s heavily guarded and hidden away house. Though it’s a painfully awkward fit on Butcher, there’s a clear affection between Butcher and Ryan that makes even Mallory acknowledge that maybe Butcher isn’t a total asshole after all.
Or is he? As we move through the first few episodes, the line between Butcher and Homelander is more and more blurry as the differences between them narrow. They are both rage-filled, on a hair trigger, capable of brutality. Neither puts a scorched earth policy off the table. Is there a line that Butcher won’t cross to get his revenge on Homelander? Is he willing to sacrifice anyone and everyone to do it, including in a very real sense, himself and who he is?
Time will tell.
Once again, because this is The Boys, things fall apart dramatically and all of the boys are drawn back together, reluctantly understanding that in order to effectively fight a system that is much more vast and integrated than they suspected, they can’t keep playing by the rules. We’ve all seen Butcher’s laser eyes in the trailers, so it’s no spoiler when I say things go south in a dramatic way.
For all of them, but for Hughie especially, I found that evolution heartbreaking – because it requires him to turn off his natural empathy and sacrifice some of his humanity to do it. From the beginning, Hughie has been the one hanging onto that humanity, being the canary in the coal mine, willing to speak up even if he got punched in the face for it to try to find the elusive balance between morality and power. Can he keep hanging onto it this season?
That’s painful to contemplate. However, that’s one of the things I like best about The Boys – it makes me feel.
Things are changing rapidly on the other side of the fence too. Most of those things I won’t spoil, but suffice it to say some of them are jaw dropping. It’s no secret, since it’s been in the trailers, that Homelander is becoming even more unhinged than he was before – which is really saying something considering what we’ve seen him do. The more alone he is, the more unloved he feels, the more desperate he becomes, the thin thread keeping him from just doing what he wants – whatever the hell he wants – fraying with every loss.
Like any narcissist, he magnifies and tantrums over every perceived slight, no matter how small. He threatens and snaps and lashes out – verbally with the perfect words to go straight to a rival’s self esteem – and physically if they don’t back down quickly enough with their tail between their legs. The brutality with which Homelander abuses his supe colleagues is one of the most sickening things about him. He torments A Train and The Deep ruthlessly with targeted comments about their appearance, with words like ‘disgusting’. (The gender roles continue to be flipped alot this season – we don’t often see men ridiculed for their weight or subject to control over their appearance. Except of course celebrities, which all these actors are, which makes the whole thing really meta and even more disturbing).
Homelander excels at putting supes in the position where they have to do something they very much do not want to do, with others watching so they’re forced to go along with it. He knows each of their vulnerabilities and exploits them with precision. For Annie, it’s a familiar trauma, being forced to “go out there and smile” when you want to cry or scream or say no. Those well-done moments are when the show makes me sick to my stomach, not the blood and guts everywhere.
The hate that boils inside Homelander is more and more obvious, and more and more terrifying. He’s a loose cannon who doesn’t believe he has anything left to lose, and there is nothing more dangerous than that. The other supes are afraid of him, stumbling all over themselves not to offend him and to put themselves in a one down position that might keep them alive, but they are also increasingly resentful of his abuse and control. (Ironically, Homelander is also sick of being controlled, not wanting to tow the company line anymore).
Mirroring what has been happening with the boys, as this show often does, the other supes have also been living relatively quietly. A Train reconnects with his brother, the voice of reason in his life. The Deep is maybe-supported-maybe-controlled by his cult-arranged wife Cassandra, who quite literally puts words in his mouth to try to get him in Homelander’s good graces.
And then there’s Soldier Boy. It’s Queen Maeve who finds the yellowed file with the description of his demise and kicks off the search for answers – and hopefully for the weapon that was powerful enough to kill him (and thus Homelander). I admit to gasping out loud when that report and photo appeared on screen, even though we had already seen it in a teaser. Still – this is it, Jensen Ackles has arrived on The Boys! I think I was entitled to my scream.
You’ll have to watch the investigation with its unexpected twists and turns and revelations for yourself, but by the end of the third episode, Barbary Coast, the boys have enough clues to know where to look for those answers. We also get some flashbacks of Soldier Boy and his team Payback that are absolutely priceless. I mean, horrifying. Ahem. But priceless. Ackles’ Soldier Boy is a misogynistic asshole who apparently treated his sidekick like shit, but he’s a charming one. And I cannot wait to see more of him!
There’s a lot more going on in these first three episodes – in fact, so much happens in one episode of The Boys that it leaves my head spinning. The American Hero search for the next supe is going on, with Starlight’s old boyfriend Supersonic competing, which means a little bit of the song and dance that we’re apparently getting a lot of this season (also cannot wait because Chris Lennertz never disappoints – I mean, the second episode has a ballad called ‘Chimps Don’t Cry’…)
There’s plenty of humor too. Kripke excels in the unlikely combination of horror and emotion and humor, which is one of the things that made me fall in love with Supernatural too. That combination works well here. The character of Ashley carries much of the humor that delights me, and Colby Minifie is brilliant in portraying her. It’s often Ashley’s reaction that is the audience’s reaction, and Minifie makes it so obvious with her priceless facial expressions that I laugh every time. Ashley gets an assistant this season. Also named Ashley. You cannot make this up. Oh, and there’s a Payback supe named Swatto. Who flies, with comically small wings. Again, you cannot make this up. But Kripke and company can.
And this would not be The Boys if we didn’t have some graphic violence and some explicit scenes of various flavors of sexual depravity. I tend to be in the ‘hey to each his own’ camp, but there were times I laughed out loud at the poking fun at the lengths people will go to in order to get off. No judgment though! I could probably write a whole psychoanalytic article about the sexual acts the show likes to depict and the consequences of those acts and what that says about the people who came up with those ideas, but I’ll spare everyone that. Some of the sexual humor doesn’t work for me, but I admit to laughing at times. You’ll know those when you see them.
Kripke kept saying he pushed the envelope this season with the most out there scene ever on television in the first episode, and I can confirm that yes, that envelope was pushed so far it fell right off the desk. That’s not really why I watch the show, but I appreciate their guts in going wherever the hell they want to go. It works best for me when it’s a scathing parallel for the things that are happening in the real world that are upsetting every single day, from the old adage ‘power corrupts’ to the outcomes of racism and homophobia and misogyny. From mass media manipulation to political corruption to the NRA – I mean, the Vought Rifle Association – I frequently find myself nodding in response to something going on in the show. It feels cathartic to see that reflection, validating.
And when I say that Jensen Ackles is gonna knock your socks off as Soldier Boy, in the most disturbingly complicated way possible? I am once again not exaggerating.
So, three episodes in and I am not disappointed. AT ALL. There are plenty of surprises that I didn’t see coming, and some subtle dropped hints that have me intrigued. In fact, I cannot wait to see what the rest of Season 3 brings us!
Check out the first three episodes tomorrow, and hold on tight. New episodes drop each Friday on Prime Video.
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.