A week to the day after the cast and crew finished their last day of production of the long-running series, Supernatural, a bunch of them just got back together again for Virtual PaleyFest NY 2020. We get it's hard to say goodbye, especially when this was the very last Supernatural PaleyFest panel for Jensen Ackles (Dean), Jared Padalecki (Sam), Misha Collins (Castiel), Alexander Calvert (Jack), and executive producers Andrew Dabb and Robert Singer.
Still fresh from completing production on the very last two episodes (after a long COVID-19 related shoot shutdown in the spring), the guys were happy but still feeling the emotions of bringing both narrative and personal closure to their Supernatural journey of 15-years.
Asked by moderator Damien Holbrook of TV Guide how they were feeling, Padalecki admitted there were a lot of tears in general gearing up to come back to film the last two hours of the series. "And it seems like with every set, it was the last time on this location, or the last time shooting with this person," he said with emotion. "But it’s been a week ago today and I’m smiling a lot. I’ve been really happy and proud. Now that it’s in hindsight, I can look at it more objectively. I can talk about it as an outsider now…."
Padalecki's scene partner and fellow Winchester brother since the pilot, Ackles added that in the last three days of shooting, they completed all of their sound stage work first, and then went on location to wrap the last outdoor scenes of the series. "The final day on our sound stages was...the big emotional scene of the episode and the series," he continued. "I really feel like that embodied the emotional goodbye to our home. It was like putting these brothers, and characters, away. It felt like it was the last song in a huge heavy rock concert. Then we came back for three more days on the road and it felt like an encore."
And what was that moment? Ackles only teased, "The very final day was standing on a bridge and it was less sad and it was more proud. Happy tears, when you know you’ve done something you will be proud of for the rest of your life."
While the duo might feel content, their co-stars Misha Collins and Alexander Calvert were frank in saying it hasn't hit them yet that the show is done. "I keep expecting back to work on Monday," Calvert laughed.
Collins agreed and said the COVID shutdown created an unusual vibe that felt "staggered and drawn out" because of the production stop then start up months later. "For me, I feel like I did my mourning of the show leading up to when we had to stop production. And it’s been sad. I feel like it’s the end of a seminal chapter in my life. I already miss all of these faces and showing up at work."
As with all series finales, the big question is always: will it satisfy emotionally by landing a sense of closure that honors the years of audience investment?
It's no secret that both Ackles and Padalecki have been vocal about not exactly being on board with the proposed ending when it was presented to them by Andrew Dabb and Robert Singer. But how do they feel now?
"I couldn’t be happier," Padalecki admitted. "I’ve cared about this storyline going back to January 2005 when I read it amongst a dozen pilot scripts. Then, since I was cast in February 2005 so it's been a big part of my life. I'd be lying if I hadn’t thought many times of where I want Sam to be [in the end]. I could have seen it ending it in a slew of different ways, but when 'That’s a wrap!' was said, I couldn’t be more pleased."
Ackles agreed: "It’s a fantastic way for the show to wrap up. It’s not a secret that I had my reservations when I first heard the idea. But the more I thought about it and mulled over the different possibilities, I came back to what ended up happening."
All that's left is for the audience to agree or disagree when the Supernatural series finale, "Carry On," which airs November 19, 2020 on The CW.