For Supernatural Sunday in Hall H there was a mood in the air which I can only describe as loving terror.
“Can we all just start crying so I don’t feel so weird?” Jared Padalecki asked the 7000 or so fans in attendance. None of us would have traded our spot in that room for anything in the world, and yet we all wanted what was about to happen to simply not be happening. Because this was it: the real beginning of the end.
A year in the life of Supernatural, for the fans, tends to begin in July at San Diego Comic-Con, because it’s when the audience gets the first real and official news about what the new season will hold. And so last Sunday was, in a way, the first day of the last year of our life as a fandom.
The cast has appeared at several of their own fan conventions since the announcement that the show would end with its fifteenth season. Conversations have been had between the cast and fans, and it’s been a slow process, coming to terms with the news and looking at what it means in all sorts of different lights.
But the summer hiatus is over and the band is back together one last time as they return to Vancouver in order to make what will be the final twenty episodes, and thus, they begin to officially talk about what the end of the road holds for the Winchester family.
Supernatural has been a staple of the con since the show’s inception and it has become woven into the fabric of SDCC over the past 15 years. This year was also Comic-Con’s 50th anniversary, and it felt right that such a momentous occasion for Supernatural was happening in tangent with such a momentous occasion for Comic-Con.
From screening the pilot in Room 6B back in summer 2005, Supernatural graduated from the expanded 6BCF to Ballroom 20 and, from 2011 onwards, to Sundays in Hall H, where they’ve remained one of the only TV shows with a guaranteed spot on the main stage every single year. They will be sorely missed, and Comic-Con will forever be differently shaped in their absence.
Just ask Pam Noles, one of Comic-Con’s most beloved staffers – she’s been with the con for over 20 years looking after various celebrity guests and runs a tight (albeit extremely enthusiastic and compassionate) ship at the Hall H special entrance. Pam is fairly unflappable about most of the events and properties that grace her hall – Comic-Con is a labor of love, but she’s seen them all come and go – but all weekend, this year, she was telling everyone (her staff, the media she was corralling, and so on) just how proud she was of the Supernatural cast, having watched them come up through the convention over the past decade and a half, how wonderful this family is that they have built.
A couple of years ago, I was in the house when Supernatural pulled off the surprise of Kansas appearing live to play a rendition of “Carry On, Wayward Son,” accompanying a massive sizzle reel that travelled around the hall on WB’s iconic circumnavigational arena-style screens.
On that day, each fan received a gift of a gorgeous ‘rock band tour date’ style t shirt documenting the Supernatural’s journey on the road so far at Comic-Con, and this weekend, Executive Director of Publicity for Warner Bros Television Holly Ollis was wearing one of these when she introduced this year’s presentation, presumably as a reminder of all that her team and Supernatural have achieved at Comic-Con over the past 14 years.
Ollis was a core part of the PR team who launched the show in 2005, and for many in the audience, her emotional introduction – asking the crowd to think back to when and how they first discovered the Winchester saga – was the moment the tears started flowing.
Others had already done their share of weeping, camped out under the white tents to spend the summer night together, sharing memories into the dawn as they waited in anticipation for the chance to say the first goodbye; or perhaps earlier in the week, raising a glass in memoriam at the annual fan gathering Wayward Cocktails.
And for some, the breaking point was the cast’s final entrance to the stage, where the panel’s official hosts – recurring Supernatural actors and creative comedy partners Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr – gave each panelist a beautifully earnest and sincere introduction, culminating in the joint arrival of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, brothers-in-arms since day one.
The panel itself, which also featured Alex Calvert, Misha Collins, showrunner Andrew Dabb and executive producers Robert Berens, Robert Singer, Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner, was on the shorter side, because it was preceded by a video retrospective of the show’s full 14 seasons, which, even succinctly cut (and bravo to the team tasked with putting that epic summary together) takes a pretty long minute to get through.
But in the half-hour the cast, creators and 7000 of their nearest and dearest SPNFamily members got to spend together on Sunday, not a moment was wasted. Not too much was teased about season 15 – see our press room videos below for the real scoop – but as they reflected upon what the show’s legacy will be, the lead cast were all visibly overcome with emotion at one point or another, supporting one another as they attempted to express their love and gratitude for the audience and each other. Here are a few of their most moving statements during the panel.
“It really is hard to express the takeaway from the experience. Fifteen years – well, we’ll say fourteen and change – it’s a long time. This guy [Padalecki] was just in his early 20s… We hooked it up to Vancouver thinking that, you know, we’d just put our lives on hold, just press pause for maybe a season, maybe two. We knew we had something good, we might’ve even gotten something like three seasons out of it. And then we would come back and press play and life would go on. And it never got unpaused and I’m very thankful that it didn’t, ’cause it’s been quite a ride and it’s hard to express what we’re going to take away from that, but: life-long friends, experiences of a lifetime, and I mean this [the SDCC audience] is… It’s hard to put into words.” — Jensen Ackles
“When I got on the show… I just recently found a goal card – it’s these 3×5 notecards that I write around New Years’, really nerdy but it’s like ‘Here are my goals for the year.’ And the year before I got on Supernatural, I had written this goal of ‘I’m a regular on a show that is creatively fulfilling and I become lifelong friends with my castmates.’ And I have found this show to be – I mean, I just came across that and I was like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe that I wrote that and I can’t believe that this has come to pass.’ I consider these guys [Ackles and Padalecki] lifelong friends and you guys [Benedict and Speight] lifelong friends […] but I could have never dreamed that along with that would come this incredible fandom and this kind of iconic legacy of a show and it feels like a great honor to have been a part of it and I look forward to writing a new goal card.” — Misha Collins
“This is a really unique feeling. We’ve been up here a few times, we’ve been really lucky, and the gang at Comic-Con has been outstanding. This is a really weird sensation – I keep on sort of going and having out of body experiences, wondering why there are so many people looking towards all of us onstage, and going like ‘Oh wow. This is a cool thing. We’re not going to be here next year.’ I feel like the relationships I’ve been able to build. I met a couple of my best friends […] I also met this girl named Genevieve, had some kids, got really tired, got a few grey hairs when they wouldn’t stop waking up in the middle of the night. For me, the legacy is going to be… He [Ackles] and I talked about this, and we actually talked about this for about two or three hours last night, about the show and about how lucky we are and we still have a job to do, but I feel like I’m really lucky because my friendships won’t go away, and Sam Winchester, for me, won’t go away, he’ll be a part of me forever.” — Jared Padalecki
“Looking back, I’m just really proud of the work that this team has done for this long. To do a show is not easy. To make television is not as easy as people may think. You see the 42 minutes that we release to the masses, but to get those 42 minutes is eight days of very intensive work and that’s just the filming of it. There’s pre-production, there’s prep, there’s the writing, there’s the conceptualizing, there’s a lot that goes in and it takes a lot of very talented people to give you guys the best thing, the best product we can make, and I’m really proud of that product. After this long on a show, to still truly love what we do and be proud to hang my hat on that at the end of the day is… That’s what I’m gonna take with us, that’s one of the legacies that I’m proud of, is knowing that I put it in. I put the effort. We all did. Everybody puts it in, nobody phones it in here, and I’m thankful that you guys appreciate that.” — Jensen Ackles
Oh yeah, and if that wasn’t enough: they gave away a freakin’ car.
Hall H giveaways are always a treat, and every attendee on Sunday was able to take home a special limited edition collectable Impala, about the size of a Hot Wheels. However, after a special video presentation about the restoration of an old Impala to make it screen ready – voiced by Jim Beaver, the grizzled mechanic himself Bobby Singer – the hall was absolutely dumbstruck to discover that the car was being given away that very day to a fan in the audience.
For me personally, I thought for a beat that we’d been watching a mini documentary on how the show’s actual hero car was made – which would still be a very important moment – but no, it turns out that WB had organized for the team who looks after the cars for the show to source another junked Impala and bring her back to life as an exact, screen-ready replica of Baby, precise in every detail, lovingly crafted by the same hands that made the Winchesters’ car the thing of beauty that she is.
Baby’s little sister even hails from Kansas – very appropriate – and she will be sent to Oregon as the property of the lucky winner, Laura, who won the keys in a random draw narrowed down to those attendees who lined up to ask a question.
After a final farewell and a huge standing ovation, the Supernatural cast and creators departed the Hall H stage for what is likely the final time – a series retrospective panel next summer after the season 15 finale is always an option (I have a feeling a Supernatural victory lap would go down a little better than this year’s Game of Thrones panel, which became a running joke for other panelists during the entire convention) but for now, everyone involved is treating this one like it’s the last one.
Watch the full Supernatural Hall H panel below:
An hour or two later, Hypable was able to catch up with the gang at the post-panel press roundtables to discuss the heightened emotions on display in Hall H and, of course, dig a little deeper into what the fans can expect season 15 to hold.
First up was the Winchester family’s newest member, Alexander Calvert, whose nephilim character Jack was killed by God at the end of season 15. The season 14 finale ended on a cliffhanger in which Jack awakened in the Empty – the void of nothingness that we’ve learned is the final resting place for angels and demons – to find Death, better known as Billie, who seemed to be teaming up with the Empty entity, known as the Shadow.
The pair of eternal beings clearly have a job for Jack, and Hypable wanted to know if Calvert could tease anything about what it was.
“I don’t actually know what the Empty has in store for me as of yet, but I’m definitely curious what kind of mission will propel Jack, and how that will affect the Winchesters along the way,” he teased. This fair – the show had only been shooting for 2 days when they took the trip to Comic-Con, and, as will be discussed later, the scenes shot so far are not scenes that involve any of the lead cast and are not a part of the season premiere.
In terms of whether Jack will return to the physical plane or whether he will remain in the Empty for a while, Calvert had a firmer opinion. “For the show’s purposes, I really hope that I do make it back into the physical world, because shooting in the Empty is kind of a logistical nightmare!”
Watch the full roundtable interview with Alexander Calvert below:
Next up was executive producer Robert Berens, a senior writer on the show’s past six seasons and the man who brought us Wayward Sisters. In a perfect world, Berens should have departed Supernatural after season 13 in order to showrun Wayward, but when the spin-off failed to be greenlit by the CW, Berens stayed on until the end of his initial contract with Supernatural, and worked on the show’s 14th season.
The shock decision to not take Wayward further was understandably disappointing to all who put their hearts into it, and the last I heard from Berens on the matter, he was pretty sure that he would leave the show at the end of his current contractual obligation. Over the past twelve months, he also did some consulting work and had an episode credit or two on Doom Patrol, which is helmed by former Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver and just announced its season 2 pickup at SDCC.
So naturally, I wanted to hear about why Berens decided to re-sign and stay onboard the Supernatural ship until the very end.
“I think any time you’ve been on a show a really long time, you get an appetite to move and test other waters. I did a stint on Doom Patrol, and it was definitely a case where I knew that I needed to commit wholly to either the second season of Doom Patrol or the final season of Supernatural and truthfully, what brought me back was the final season of it all. Having conversations with Meredith [Glynn] about some ideas she had, some ideas I had, I was like ‘I can’t walk away! This is the final season!’”
“And it is – it’s that chance to close out this massive story that people are so emotionally invested in – I’m never going to have this opportunity again to have a voice in that. They got me in the end, and I’m back. […] But I’m glad to be back and I’m very excited about this season.”
In terms of what the season has in store, Berens was the first to share with us that the plight our heroes faced at the end of season 14 (when God revealed that free will was a farce and ripped a hole in the universe, releasing all of the tortured spirits from Hell) will not necessarily become a season-long arc for 15. However, while the issue is on the table, you can expect to see the boys go toe-to-toe with some old enemies they had assumed were long-vanquished.
“I think there’ll be a lot of fun in revisiting some, but it’s really only in the first couple of episodes, and that’s all encased in the global question of just okay, well we’ve learned this massive thing about God, and Chuck… Jack is dead as far as they know, and that really kind of takes precedence on the emotional side for them, and I think the adventure side of that is cleaning up that mess, hitting those old hits from the past that we saw glimpses of in the finale.”
Watch the full roundtable interview with Robert Berens below:
“Exhausting, a big day. It’s fun though, and bittersweet – weird to do the last one,” was writer and executive producer Brad Buckner’s assessment of the massive and moving Hall H panel experience we’d all come from that morning. As one of the people who will be helping to shape the end of the Supernatural story, it seemed important to quiz Buckner about what the writers feel they owe to the characters in order to close out the show. This was his thoughtful answer.
“I think everybody deserves a win, and what the shape of that might be is different because a lot of that’s going to be bittersweet – say you win some, and you lose another thing, maybe saying goodbye to somebody in service of the win. So all of it, I think we owe that, and then emotionally closing it up. The emotion of the show has always been the bread and butter, the relationship of the characters, so you want to know that everybody is sort of taken care of. One way or the other you want to make sure that everybody is home.”
Watch the full roundtable interview with Brad Buckner below:
Buckner’s long-time writing partner Eugenie Ross-Leming has some really interesting stories about Supernatural when it comes to the past 15 years, because as well as having been a fixture in the writers’ room since season 7, she also happens to be married to the show’s co-showrunner and executive producer Robert Singer, one of the Supernatural lifers who has been a driving force for the show since its inception. When reflecting on the beginning of the end, and the accomplishment
“The odd thing that I kept flashing back on is when Eric [Kripke] first came to meet with Bobby and they were deciding if they were going to do the show together, because Eric had created it but he needed help, a showrunner. And so he and Bobby had multiple meetings, and I just sort of stayed in the background, I had my own life, I didn’t care that this guy would come in and out of our house, but I would think ‘How hard is it to just decide? You guys either like each other or you don’t!’ But they had multiple meetings at the house, and then Eric would leave, and I didn’t even know this guy! He was young and kind of shy, very mannerly and very sweet but very retiring and I thought ‘someone’s going to eat him up!’”
“And then they ‘married,’ they had this good relationship as partners and they grew to really respect each other, took this leap of faith, so here I am in Hall H with a million people, there’s all these lights, and this cumulation of goodwill and loyalty, about this show that was just in my living room fifteen years ago, these two guys that were just talking in my living room, like ‘Do you think we should do this together, do you think can work with me, do you think we can respect each other, what’s your story, what’s mine…’ It just started out as this little idea, and then it became this Thing in record time, so I’m actually pleased and touched by that, the arc of that story, because I think it’s a very personal story that I’m just lucky to have been on the inside of just as an observer, and seeing how much Eric grew as very dynamic, confident creator and showrunner, and that he had such a good relationship with Bobby, because that doesn’t always happen when you work on a show.”
Watch the full roundtable interview with Eugenie Ross-Leming below:
Eugenie’s husband “Bobby” – the aforementioned Robert Singer, whose Supernatural legacy will live on as long as fans rewatch the series, in the form of the Winchesters’ beloved surrogate father who shares his name – was the next to join us at our table. As one of the people right at the top who helps to guide the story to where it needs to go, he’s well-placed to share some actual spoilers about what season 15 may hold. Singer, of course, can’t tell us how the story will end, but Hypable had to ask whether he could tell us some details about how the season 15 story starts.
“We pick up right where we left off, it’s moments later, and it’s a real problem for the guys, is how to get out of this particular mess. When I saw what Phil [Sgriccia, who directed the season 14 finale ‘Moriah’] did, I said ‘Thanks a lot, Phil. This is going to be interesting.’ But I think we’ve come up with a fun way to deal with it. It’s going to take us probably three episodes to let the dust settle, of what that ending was.”
“We have certainly some housekeeping to do with the relationship between Dean and Cas, which has been fractured, but I think the opening run that we’ve had – we’ve gotten six scripts in so far – I think we’re on the right track. We kind of know where the story’s going, but we don’t have the specifics of it. We know how it ends. We have locked in the ending, but if I tell you I’d have to kill you!”
Singer has been a crucial part of the show’s DNA in terms of the character-driven elements. Kripke himself cites Singer as the reason Supernatural has succeeded as a character drama about a group of very flawed individuals – “he brings the depth and maturity of character, just depth to the drama that I could not do. Me alone is like Boogeyman. All of a sudden with him, we have a show with all these characters that are psychologically rich and true.”
So on this momentous occasion, following a question about whether there had ever been an arc where the creators were afraid the audience would not trust the story and follow, I was keen to hear Singer to expand on whether there had ever been moments where it was difficult to balance something negative, like a character’s bad decision, being truthful to them, while also making sure that the audience was not receiving a narrative message that this what the show saw as a positive thing.
“I’m not sure we ever had that concern, because they are flawed characters, they have their foibles, they argue amongst themselves, so we never felt like we couldn’t just have them be human, make human mistakes. The stakes are very high in what they do. You know, we’ve taken the story places where people go ‘oh my god, I can’t believe you did that’ – killing Charlie was.. We got a lot of kickback on that, but that’s where the story took us, it made for better drama, so that’s what we always keep in mind, and we don’t shy away from just telling the best story that we can.”
On the flip side, Singer was happy to list some of his favorite moments of ‘never would have believed it at the start’ progress and growth that we’re proud that the characters have managed to achieve over the past 14 seasons.
“I think Dean, over the years, has become more sensitive in many ways. Certainly if you look at the evolution of Cas, from this kind of hardass angel to someone who has human emotion, that’s a real character growth. Sam being committed [to coming back to the hunting life.] I don’t think you could stay on as long as we’ve stayed on without having these characters go through a lot of ups and downs, peaks and valleys.”
Watch the full roundtable interview with Robert Singer below:
Showrunner Andrew Dabb revealed to us that since the team has been aware the show was going to be ending with season 15 since “last spring” (the cast announced the decision in March 2019) fairly quickly after that, the writers knew what the last moment was going to be, and so all of their plans so far have been a journey towards that moment pretty clearly, and while the path getting there has changed and will continue to change as season 15 is written, that ending vision is still the goalpost that’s being aimed towards by everyone at the moment.
Looking at Supernatural’s immediate past and immediate future – does Chuck’s puppet master act being revealed mean that the strings are really cut? Do the Winchesters have actual free will these days, as opposed to the fake free will that they’d apparently been living with before?
“I think that’s a question that Sam and Dean are really struggling with. God is out there, God is gone at the end of the season. Is he around? Is he gone off to Squirrel World? I don’t know. Well, I do, but they don’t know, and so it’s a real question they’re asking themselves and I think that in some ways it’s scary and in some ways it’s freeing, because at the end of the day, other than dealing with a billion souls escaping Hell, after that’s taken care of, they have agency in a way they’ve never had agency before, but I think there is also a question of do they really, or do they not, and that’s really a question they’re asking themselves throughout the entire season.”
Dabb is one of Supernatural’s most persistent voices – when he started on the show during season 4, it was his first job in television, and he’s been here ever since. The only current writer who has been with the show since Kripke’s time as showrunner, and with more Supernatural episodes credited to his name than any other writer, he has risen through the ranks under three separate showrunners to score the top job himself. It’s a one of a kind journey for a TV writer, and I wanted to know what his tenure as showrunner has meant to him, and what his aims were in building a team and a story structure that’s more collaborative, in its golden years, than the show was when it started.
“Well, I think you adjust to the show as the show adjusts to itself. The show, and every television show to an extent, evolves over the course of its run, right? Supernatural started off 15 years ago as we all know – and television was much different, 15 years ago. And Supernatural as it exists now is much more in line with television as it exists now. I think we’re still one of the few genre television shows that do one-offs, because we can, we have the real estate to do it – if you’ve got eight episodes you don’t.”
“And so for us, it’s like you want to – and I love those stories, you want to keep that going – but I think the show would feel very old-fashioned, tonally, if we were Law & Order with monsters, and so the show’s had to evolve, and I think, you know, that started under Eric – because that really started in season 4 and 5 – that’s where that evolution began and that’s where I came in – it continued under Sera and it continued under Jeremy and it continues now. And I think Supernatural has always kind of been its own thing, it has not been a trend-following show in some ways, but it’s not like… We never want the show to go too far from its roots, but you want the show to feel current, if that makes sense.”
Before he wrapped up, Dabb had a few final tidbits to share about the first chunk of the upcoming season.
“You’ve got Sam and Dean dealing with an apocalyptic problem. We’re not ending the show with an apocalypse, we’re starting the season with an apocalypse. That’s not the whole season’s arc. And from there, it’s about – what’s the fallout of that, number 1? And then, once you’ve kicked that hornets’ nest, what got kicked loose? In some ways, some old friends will come back, and in some ways some old enemies will come back, some people we’ve seen before, and some people we haven’t seen for a very long time.”
“Sure. Rowena, Eileen, Adam. Who else? Those three are good. I’m sure there are more.”
Rowena is a staple ally to Team Free Will these days, so her recurrence is something of an expectation, but this news of the return of the egregiously murdered deaf hunter Eileen, played by Shoshannah Stern, and the boys’ half-brother Adam Milligan, portrayed by Jake Abel and abandoned in the Cage for the past ten years with Lucifer alongside the angel that used him as vessel, our world’s Michael, is sure to spike excitement among all sorts of different factions of fans.
Watch the full roundtable interview with Andrew Dabb below:
Finally came the chance to catch up with our beloved Winchester brothers. When Jared Padalecki sat down with us, I wanted to hear about one thing that Padalecki most wants for Sam before the very end, and one thing that Sam has achieved against all odds that Padalecki might be the most proud of Sam for.
“What helped me – what helped Jared, selfishishly, about Sam, is that he – uh, we’re all adults here – he had some big fuck-ups. I mean, you know. We’ve all bumped a car trying to parallel park. He started the Apocalypse. But once he was able to shake his head and wake up, he got back after it. You’re never really standing still in life, you’re either moving forward or backward in my opinion, and I think Sam figured out the same thing, that just because he made a mistake – the biggest of mistakes – didn’t mean he couldn’t be redeemed, didn’t mean he couldn’t keep trying.”
Sam, throughout that journey, and despite moving forward, has often seemed to display an inability to forgive himself for those wrongs. Padalecki agrees, and feels that Sam’s choices despite those feelings speak to what matters most – it’s a dichotomy he’s keen to keep delving into in his final months portraying the character, but as for a bucket list for Sam before the end, he’s not that type of actor.
“I think most of us probably do [struggle to forgive ourselves] to some degree as well, but his actions were still generous and kind and sacrificial and loyal, and I feel like that’s something I really enjoy about Sam, I’d like to see more of it. I don’t have any specifics – I try not to hope for something for the character. I really enjoy bringing the words on the page to life and staying in that lane – that sounds like a cop out, I don’t mean it to be – so I see more of what’s inspired Jared.”
Padalecki also gave us some insight into Sam’s troubled psyche as the season kicks off, and how the season 14 reveal that the Winchesters’ lives had been written and controlled by God would naturally affect their perspective of free will – whether any choice they made has ever mattered, or will ever matter.
He revealed that he is happy with the show’s ending as it sits right now, but admits that there have been seasons where the ending that the stars were told about at the beginning of shooting did not end up playing out as expected once the season developed and new ideas grew over the time that the episodes were being written. He hopes that it stays the way it’s meant to be as of right now, and his big personal request for the final season is to have his children – Tom, Shep and Odette – appear in the background of an episode at some point!
Watch the full roundtable interview with Jared Padalecki below:
Last (but never least) was the righteous man himself, Jensen Ackles. Back in the director’s chair after three seasons away, Ackles has been hard at work the past few weeks preparing to helm episode 4, which is being filmed first in the production order to allow time for the actor to prep his directorial plan during the end of hiatus and dive right in behind the scenes, prior to shifting his focus to the day-to-day cycle of learning lines and filming in his role portraying Dean.
After establishing that Ackles has already shot two days of episode 4 as director, I had to cut to the point and check in on something very pressing. What’s with the beards?
(It’s worth noting that not only was Ackles our final interview after a very long and emotional day, our table was also his final press engagement of the convention, so the feeling of slight hysteria at this point was catching.)
After some coy playfulness and mutual roasting about who may or may not have spent the morning crying, the real, somewhat expected answer was extracted. “We’ve shot for two days – we [Ackles and Padalecki] have not been on camera yet. These will be gone tomorrow. Flying back tonight, he and I both shoot tomorrow, on camera.”
Delving deeper into what episode 4, written by Davy Perez, holds, Ackles had this to say.
“Davy wrote it and it’s a little bit… it’s more of a one-off. We deal with the situation at hand in the first three episodes – we kind of find a way to get out of our predicament for now. […] We’re not just surrounded by zombies. There’s another show that deals with that, and they deal with it great. So this is a bit of a one-off, we’ve contained, at least, to some degree, this issue, but it’s not going to last.”
“But while that’s happening I’m [Dean] is like ‘Hey, we gotta get out there, we gotta keep our skills sharpened, we gotta do some stuff. So Sam and Dean head out on a hunt. [Hypable: All three of you in this one, or is it just you and Jared?] It’s just Jared and I, but then there’s some other storylines in the script as well that play into it – Rob Benedict [is in the episode] in fact, he’s been the one who’s been shooting the last two days.”
So it looks like God just can’t keep his paws off the planet – or perhaps Benedict will be showcasing some other side of his role as Chuck Shurley. When asked to reflect on how he hopes Supernatural will be remembered, Ackles also spoke thoughtfully about the engagement of the SPNFamily- the charitable endeavors, the vocal activism, and the friendships and love stories formed because of this show – as the legacy the cast will be the most proud of, as well as the professional pride he takes in the tone that he and his co-stars have fostered at work, the reputation that Supernatural has as a welcoming, warm and comfortable environment, aware that what they have sustained is simply not always the case in this industry.
As Ackles described from the heart the gratification that he feels about the ‘home’ and ‘family’ that he and Padalecki have lovingly built for the cast, crew and fandom for the lion’s share of their adult lives, it seemed necessary, as our time with the Supernatural cast and creators came to a close, to congratulate him, and to thank him for his constant generosity in these hectic situations, just in case this is the last time that we’ll do this kind of thing together.
But Ackles, it seems, was not ready to say goodbye to the Comic-Con experience just yet.
“Ugh! I’m not going anywhere! I’ll just have to find another show to come back on.”
Watch the full roundtable interview with Jensen Ackles below:
Despite the Supernatural press room running long by more than 30 minutes in an effort to give as much time as possible to everyone, our table missed the chance to speak with Misha Collins due to time constraints. However, it would be remiss not to mention Collins’ final Hall H queue surprise, which really take the cake – or perhaps the cookie – on prior years. It has become something of a tradition for Collins to take a late night or early morning jog around the Hall H line to visit the fans who were camped out overnight, and provide them with some sort of treat, like pizza, coffee or donuts, for their efforts.
This year, Collins and a number of other fan-favorite cast members including Rachel Miner, Alaina Huffman and Osric Chau, crashed the line to offer fans some specially created cookies – for a cause. Collins is of course well known, via Random Acts and GISH, as both a philanthropist and a causer of public chaos, and the treats he ordered and distributed for his final Comic-Con with Supernatural combined the best of both of these qualities.
Labelled with a sticker directing recipient to visit the URL spnfamilyvalues.com, the cookies promote a fundraiser currently being hosted on the GISH website, with the aim of sending supplies and financial aid to the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, a nonprofit that currently relies entirely on volunteers and donations to meet asylum seekers’ short-term needs.
Cookie eaters are not the only people invited to contribute – if you feel helpless about the crisis at the U.S. border and you want to help the SPNFamily to provide aid, visit the link to make a contribution.
This kindness challenge of Collins’ is just one classic example of how Comic-Con 2019 proved that the Supernatural family business is a legacy set to carry on forever. Thinking back on this weekend, I don’t think there will ever be a time, in years to come, when the influence of Supernatural, both onscreen and off, will fail to permeate genre fiction, fandom communities and pop culture as we know it.
And thinking back on this weekend, I don’t think there will ever be a time when footage of the very last moments of that panel, as Collins, Ackles and Padalecki try to properly offer up their hearts in a final goodbye, will fail to dismantle me into a weeping wreck.
At the beginning of this piece, I said that Comic-Con marked the first day of the last year of this show’s fandom lifespan. It isn’t true. I said that knowing it was a fallacy. Yes, by this time next year, there will be no more new episodes of Supernatural to obsess over on The CW. The fandom in its first format – the generation of acolytes who studied the Winchester gospels before the final pages were written – will have to evolve. But we’re not going anywhere.
“I will say one thing about the future. I hope that in the future, this fandom continues to function as a family after the show is over. I hope that you guys continue to be a force for good and companionship in the world. You guys have been so supportive of one another and so supportive of us, and I think it’s a family that’s not going to go away just because the show goes off the air. And I think we all love you guys very much, so thank you.” — Misha Collins
You see, we’ve got work to do.