As fans are still digesting all of the information that was revealed at this year’s Comic-Con, a few standout panels delivered some touching moments. One show, in particular, is gearing up to say goodbye to fans after 15 years on the air. That bittersweet fact helped produce one of the most memorable panels seen all weekend — “Supernatural.”
In the Beginning
When “Supernatural” began on The CW in 2005, The CW wasn’t even The CW. The show had originated on the WB (back when it was the WB and UPN). The series followed in the footsteps of other sci-fi/fantasy shows such as “Charmed.” In those days, the Halliwell sisters ruled the network way before the Winchester brothers had become a household name.
Created by Eric Kripke, the little CW show eventually became a phenomenon. The story follows the Winchesters, two brothers who drive across America in a black Impala (named “Baby”), “saving people and hunting things” — all the while listening to a very cool classic rock soundtrack. It was a recipe for success.
Originally, Kripke had plotted out what could have arguably been one of the most perfectly-arced shows on television. His five-season storyline beautifully wrapped things up in a way that was magnificently constructed to tell a touching, detailed, and well-crafted story.
By season 11, not only was the show one of the most beloved on television, it made history as the longest-running live-action TV show in America. The characters, the lore, the twists and turns, the idea of fate and free will; “Supernatural” had rightfully earned its place in the hearts of its fans.
On October 10, 2019, the series will premiere the first of its 20 final episodes. After 15 seasons, the fans, the actors, and the crew will have to bid farewell to the show that has probably been the source of more fanfiction than any other series in existence. As expected, the show’s impending ending prompted a very emotional panel at Comic-Con this year.
Over the years, “Supernatural” has become a staple at Hall H. It’s one of the only shows popular enough to carry its own conventions, let alone be a shining star at the ultimate pop culture conference in San Diego.
Longtime “Supernatural” guest stars Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict moderated the panel. Some iconic tunes were played and a replica of the Winchester’s Impala was even given away to one lucky fan. On stage, “Supernatural” stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Alexander Calvert joined executive producers Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, Eugenie Ross-Leming, Brad Buckner, and Robert Berens. The onstage reunion brought some touching moments.
The Monster at the End of this Book
Perhaps what everyone is most curious about, is season 15. How will it end? Misha Collins, who plays Castiel, pondered this question at last year’s PaleyFest before the network had even announced “Supernatural’s” final season.
“I think at this point the fans are wondering – where does this show end?” Collins said during an interview. Even then, the actor said he and Padalecki and Ackles had spoken about it. He also revealed that Ackles had dreamed the last scene of the show—which of course, brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
So, will Ackles’ dreams become a reality? During the round tables at Comic-Con, we learned that very well might be the case. “The big looming mountain to climb is going to be that final episode,” Ackles admits. “We have an idea of what we’re going to do, and already knowing that, is going to take some mental preparation.”
Being nine months away from that, Ackles pointed out that anything can change, “but yes,” he continued, “we’ve all kind of signed off on an ending.”
In fact, he and Padalecki flew out to L.A. over a month ago and sat down in the writers’ room. The actor admits in all of the years that the show has been on the air, it’s something the two have never done. All of the writers prepared and gave a full pitch to Ackles and Padalecki. In the end, everyone was on board with the decision.
“That was what we wanted to do,” Ackles continued. “We really truly care about these characters and this story. They’ve been a part of our lives for 15 years now.”
So yes, the Winchesters themselves will have a hand in their own ending. The irony that the show is about a balance between fate and free will is not lost on this moment.
“You know what’s been really awesome about ‘Supernatural’ to me,” Padalecki added during the round table, “is that I’ve stayed in my lane. I’m really committed to making Sam Winchester as honest and real as possible on camera.”
As for where it ends, Padalecki said, “I have some idea where the season is going. I’m really excited about it. I want to make it as true as possible. You know, it’s going to be around forever. So when my kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids are watching ‘Supernatural,’ I want to know that I gave it everything I had.”
“I guess what I hope the show’s legacy will be, is what I had always hoped the show would be about, which is: you do what you can when you can, and where you can. You try and help as best as you can,” Padalecki continued. “You accept your flaws, again, as best as you can. You’re not going to be perfect. Move on. Pain is mandatory. Suffering is optional.”
The actor then shared one of his favorite sayings. “It’s the idea that everything is not going to be hunky-dory and perfect, but you have got to keep on going.”
Padalecki has always been a champion, both on and off-screen. For more on that, you can check out their campaign, “Always Keep Fighting.” The idea is always to be kind. Every soul is engaged in a great battle. His message: Reach out and be kind.
The real-life relationships spawned from the show are much like the show itself. They’ve lived through births, deaths, triumphs, and losses.
Padalecki elaborated on the relationships he has formed since his time on “Supernatural”—particularly, his closeness with Ackles. The two opted out of some Comic-Con events, to spend some quality time together the night before the panel.
As far as the finale goes, with nine months left to film, Padalecki says that he’s not reflecting on everything just yet. Either way, the show will air its final episode sometime in the spring of 2020. In total, “Supernatural” will end its era, having racked up 327 hours of television time.
While people wonder what will come next, if we’ve learned anything from “Supernatural,” it’s that nothing really stays gone. Some fans might be hoping for a movie, and others a swift reboot. A few are holding out for a successful spinoff, while several of us dream that the cast and creatives form a large music supergroup.
They could hit the road with Louden Swain and all ride around in a big black Impala. After all, “Rock Never Dies.”