Supernatural Director Jensen Ackles Hits It Hard with Atomic Monsters

Supernatural’s fourth episode of its fifteenth and final season reminded me of all the reasons I’m going to be a sobbing mess when the show wraps – and I don’t have this sort of episode to dig into and enjoy! Written by Davy Perez and directed by Jensen Ackles himself, ‘Atomic Monsters’ ran the gamut (as some of the most enjoyable Supernatural episodes do) from action hero sequence to humor to meta to tear-your-heart-out boys in the car conversation. In other words, exactly what I want from my Show.

I was bouncing with anticipation for the opening sequence after hearing Ackles talk about it so excitedly and hearing some of his original ideas (never doubt that the man can write), and then reading some of his interviews about the sequence. Jensen sent a full pitch to showrunner Andrew Dabb, who came back saying he loved it but it wasn’t possible unless they were doing a full length feature film. (Um, who’s on board to watch that film? Line up to the left).

Ackles and stunt coordinator Rob Hayter posted the two of them practicing some of the John Wick type moves in the studio. Jensen’s conversation with Rob: “Let’s go hard here. We’re gonna go big, we’re gonna do like a full Dean Winchester as John Wick.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

All the applause for triple threat writer/director/actor Ackles for creating the perfect showcase for the character he loves so much, making Dean badass (and bearded) and showing off his own smooth stunt moves in the process. He filmed the sequence red lit, much like the  scenes of demon Dean tracking down his brother in the bunker, with the lighting giving it all a surreal feel and somehow accentuating the violence and desperation.

We get the feeling this is Dean, but not our Dean, as he takes down demon after demon, stalking the familiar halls of the bunker. The dread builds as he encounters a fallen comrade – and we realize it’s Benny.

I’ve complained already about too many characters being brought back in one episode, but this time it worked for me, in part because Ty Olsson was in a short but emotional scene. Despite his few lines, the chemistry between Ackles and Olsson was clear, as was Dean’s genuine affection for Benny, and the lines that he did have hit right in the heart. The show is understanding and leaning into the power of the call back this season, as we all try to prepare ourselves to wrap it up. Benny’s words to Dean echoed his words from many seasons ago, as Benny once again dies.

Benny: I’ll see you on the other side, brother.

Well done, Ty Olsson and Jensen Ackles.

Jensen also shared that it was he who wanted someone memorable to be killed in the fight sequence, and suggested Olsson. Although Ty was working elsewhere, he was able to fly in for just a few hours to do the scene, and he killed it. And we got another fan favorite character back before the show ends! Interestingly, in this sequence – which seems to be an alternate reality – Benny is human. But it seems like in every universe they’re in, Dean and Benny care about each other.

Our sense of dread builds as the body count increases, and when Dean finally demands “Where is he?” I think we all knew who he was looking for.  It’s still shocking to see Sam standing there, lit in red, a halo of beautiful hair around that handsome familiar face – which looks totally unfamiliar because of the cold expression. All Sam’s empathy, which Jared Padalecki is so skilled at showing us, is gone. Erased. Sam’s voice is cold, even in the face of his brother’s pleading. Long before his eyes go black, we know that this Sam is not going to hear Dean. And that is profoundly terrifying, upending the one thing that we all count on for this Show. The Winchesters always, always care about each other.

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The Winchesters “Always Keep Fighting”: Supernatural’s The Werther Project

WB/The CW
WB/The CW

I went into this week’s Supernatural episode already feeling very emotional, thanks to Jared and Jensen’s posted videos celebrating the last day of filming their tenth season of the Show. Seeing them so emotional about the ten years and about how they’ve only grown closer during that time – not to mention sharing some good whisky with their neckties as headbands – was the perfect way to mark that momentous occasion. That they shared what was originally intended as a video just for them with US only made it better.

Jensen: Just finished season 10!!!! 10 years. Same show and same ugly co-star. But damn is he lovable. Here is my post season interview with my boy Jared Padalecki. Cheers everyone!!!

There was a lot of cheering in response to both those videos, that’s for sure.

ten years celebration J2

The ending episodes of this season feel extra special because it’s such a ‘big year’ for the Show, and it seems like everyone is amping up their game in response. I usually have at least SOME things to pick apart, and there’s usually a whole contingent of fans who dislike any particular episode, but in the last few episodes? Not so much. Supernatural is always good – but recently? It’s off the charts good. It’s like everyone wants to close out the tenth season with a BANG.

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A Family Affair – Vegas Supernatural Style!

Jared and Jensen by KarenCookePhotography
Jared and Jensen by KarenCookePhotography

Vegas Con is like a Supernatural con on steroids – it’s an over-the-top, nonstop, emotional rollercoaster of a con, with fans sobbing with joy leaving the photo op room or hugging friends they haven’t seen all year or collapsing in exhaustion on a conveniently placed bench. Of course it is – it’s Vegas!

We live tweeted the entire con (except for the beginning, thanks to an airport shuttle that took the scenic route to the Rio…) but we thought we’d share some of our favorite con moments here.

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Celebrating Fandom – Jared’s Passionate Words, Fans’ Feedback and a Special Fangasm Sale!

Photo by Chris Schmelke
Photo by Chris Schmelke

Happy holidays from Fangasm! Whatever other holidays you’re celebrating this season, we hope you’re also celebrating what we all have in common – our love of Supernatural. And we hope you’re celebrating something else that we think is unique, special and important: Fandom.

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Last Supernatural Con of 2013 – Going Out with a Bang at Burcon!

Banner outside Burbank Con Hotel
Banner outside Burbank Con Hotel

As the last stop in the 2013 convention tour, the Creation Supernatural convention in Burbank last weekend was invested with a lot of emotion, for both fans and cast. It’s been a wild ride, and there’s something bittersweet about the year ending. That gave Burcon an extra emotional punch, and more than a few moments that had us tearing up a bit. Here are some of the highlights of the con for us, including some meet and greet tidbits and pre-con chats.

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