The Cast and Writer of Supernatural Tell Us How They’re Feeling About the End
We talked earlier this week about what will happen in the final season of The CW’s Supernatural, but now it’s time to discuss what it really means to the cast, crew, and fans that this is the beginning of the end for a series that has been a constant in our pop culture lives for a decade and a half.
At San Diego Comic-Con, there were tears aplenty in Hall H as “the boys” (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins) said the first of many goodbyes. The show’s publicist, Holly Ollis, who has been with them since season one, even fought back the waterworks as she introduced the panel, and journalists (including me) were sniffling at the end. Even so, when we got back to the press room, we made sure to ask the show’s stars and writers how it feels to bring this epic journey to an end, and the decision to do it now.
Of all the writers who have guided the show, no one has been a bigger part of it for the entire run than Robert Singer. Not only is he the namesake for the beloved Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), but he’s been co-showrunning Supernatural since the beginning, helping to shape the show with series creator Eric Krpike. “The fact that I’ve hung on to the end is pretty amazing to me,” Singer told us. “I wasn’t sure how much longer I actually wanted to go, but when the guys said, ‘Well, this would be it,’ well, I’ll definitely see it through to the end.”
Singer will be there at conclusion, stepping into the director’s chair for the last time for the final episode. “I wouldn’t miss that for the world,” Singer added. “The fact that I’m seeing it through to the end is probably going to sink in more … when we wrap for the last time and realize that the shooting is over … I don’t think it’s really hit any of us yet.”
Dean Winchester himself, Jensen Ackles, felt the same. Ackles is currently doing double duty acting and directing the first episode of the final season to be shot (it will air as the fourth episode). “To be honest, it’s kind of business as usual right now,” Ackles said of starting his last go behind the cameras (on Supernatural, at least). “I don’t think all that stuff’s gonna settle in until after the holidays and we start doing those final episodes. Then I think it’s gonna get real heavy.”
Ackles jokes that when crew brought up the finality of it all, he told them to “save it for January.” Even so, Ackles is aware what this ending means for him and for the fans:
We’ve been doing this a long time, and Jared and I were sitting back stage while they were calling the folks out … And I said, “Don’t forget to take it in.” And so we had that little moment there and we walked out and we just kind of looked out amongst the crowd and it was … pretty heavy. It was a wave of emotion … That alone just goes to show how thankful we are for what the fans have given us for these past fifteen years. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s just … forever grateful.”
Ackles and Jared Padalecki were key in making the decision to end the show at this point. “It was a conversation,” showrunner Andrew Dabb shared with us. “I know it was a very difficult conversation between themselves, so it was something that evolved over a two-year period.”
Ackles elaborated, “I think we were all on board to call it before the quality of the shows deteriorated, not to say that it would.” He feels the story is still compelling but said, “I always wanted to go out on top, or at least to go out when we had some gas in the tank. I didn’t want to run out of gas.” He added, “Now I just have to have faith that we’ll get it done.”
But will it make fans happy? “You can never please everybody. Once you realize you can’t please everybody, you have to do the ending that makes the most sense,” said Dabb, “and I think we’ve got an endpoint that does that for us. I certainly hope more people will like it than won’t like it, but I’d be lying to myself if I thought everyone was going to like it. You have to do the thing that makes the most sense to you.”
They do know what that ending is (well, everyone except for Misha Collins). Ackles and Padalecki weren’t just instrumental in deciding when to end the show; they were consulted on how, and Padalecki, for his part, is happy with the endpoint the show is going towards, though, of course, it could change. “If the series ends the way we’ve all discussed, I would be pleased as pie,” Padalecki said. “If it changes, then … so be it.”
Padalecki has said in the past that he could only see a version of the end where the Winchesters were dead, but he’s amended that now. “I wanted them to have some version of peace, whether that meant they were dead or alive or had found a version of peace,” Padalecki explained. “I feel like the way the show ends has them in some version of peace that I’m comfortable with.”
The end of the show will also allow the cast some peace, at least for a little while. Misha Collins, in particular, has been working on the show, as well as charity, wild scavenger hunts, and several book projects, and he’s looking forward to some rest. “The prospect of having some time and space is really exciting. There are silver linings to the end of the show. It’s bittersweet,” Collins explained. “We’re all very sad about a lot of aspects of the ending of the show, but there’s also a hole in the calendar coming up, and that’s a nice thing for me, at least. But we’re gonna miss each other; we’re gonna miss the fandom.”
Supernatural, however is a show with a legacy. There are so many fans that have been touched and impacted by it. You could feel the love in the room as we said that first goodbye, and hear the love in the stars’ voices as the spoke of their affection for their coworkers and the show. “It’s been the greatest professional experience of my life,” Ackles said, “and probably will be for the rest of my life.”
The final season of Supernatural premieres Thursday, October 8 at 8:00PM on The CW.
(featured image: Cate Cameron/The CW)
Jessica Mason is a writer and lawyer living in Portland, Oregon passionate about corgis, fandom, and awesome girls. Follow her on Twitter at @FangirlingJess.
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