Supernatural's cast, producers and fans have had a lot of time to prepare for the end of “the road so far.” The drama has been on the air for 14 seasons, sure, but even then, we are only beginning to process the emotions attached to its farewell. For many fans, Supernatural, and the community it represents, is family. There’s even a hashtag for it! That's made it even more difficult to begin to say goodbye to the Winchester brothers and the myriad characters we’ve been introduced to over the years.
The actors and writers have a lot of feelings about saying goodbye as well. That was clear in July at Comic-Con International, where the Supernatural stars — Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins — and executive producer/writer Bob Berens spoke to CBR and other media outlets about their hopes for the final season.
CBR: How are you feeling about the fan reaction so far?
Jensen Ackles: I think it's good. I've been really, really stoked about how the fans are kind of digesting this. It's bittersweet… And, I didn't want us to stick around so long that the show starts to suffer. I’ve said I don't want to be in the car when it runs out of gas. And so, I think 15 is a good number; 327 [episodes], which was the best small-block engine that they put in the Chevy Impalas back in the '60s. Just a little fun fact for you.
Is there any possibility for female characters in this show to have a space, whether through a spinoff, sequel, or different show? I know it was tried with Wayward Sisters.
Misha Collins: I actually really liked that we went in that [Wayward Sisters] direction for the spinoff. It was an experiment that didn't succeed for multifarious reasons. I think it's interesting to look at the female characters that have had longevity on the show, and I think that there are a lot of really strong representations there that are great that we can be proud of, but it just hasn’t been a show about women. And that's such a tricky thing because you don't want to be, especially in Hollywood, you don't want to be marginalizing female characters. It’s a terrible thing to be doing, for a million reasons.
And yet, we're in this weird situation where we're talking about brotherhood, and it doesn't make a ton of the space for women. There's so many things like the average female character in a film made in Hollywood speaks something like 20 percent of the lines of dialogue of male characters. I mean, it's a terrible thing that happens in our industry. We have miles to go as a culture in that department.
So it’s something I think about with respect to the show because I don't want to be a part of something that's perpetuating a problem. And yet, I also feel like we have this weird loophole. It’s sticky, and we still have to be careful that the show is about brothers… And who knows, I mean, there could have been a way to have [a] female character that’s on Supernatural and have a much bigger role and still have it be about fraternity. And I think in the last few seasons, that has started to happen a little bit organically. You know, Ruth has been big on our show, we had the resurrection of Mom, and she stuck around for way longer than we thought she would.
How did you feel when you read the ending?
Jared Padalecki: I thought it was brilliant... I dug it, and I dig it. And I also, and I think I mentioned this earlier, I don't think there's ever been a season finale written before the season’s been shot, that stayed the way. Like, when Season 4 started, Genevieve [Padalecki] was gonna be in like four episodes. Obviously, Season 4 ended with me killing her, Uncle Jensen killing her… If the series ends the way we all discussed, I will be pleased as pie. If it changes, then so be it.
I've been very public for a long time talk about saying like, I hope Sam and Dean die. It’s probably on YouTube or something where I'm like, I've said it. And I think what I was saying — in my head, I was saying they should die because, otherwise, I want to see them fighting.
But I think what I was hoping for them, but not putting into words, is that I wanted them to have some version of peace, whether that meant they were dead or alive, but had found a version of peace that made them not hunt. And my point was, like, if they're not hunting, I’m going to wonder why they're not hunting. If they are hunting, I want to watch them hunt, you know, and help put them on camera. I feel like the way the show ends, has them in some version of peace that I'm comfortable with.
What’s on your wish list of things to do in the final season?
Bob Berens: Well, we don't know what our big meta episode is yet... And I'm very committed to my version, but the truth is we’re going to be duking it out shortly to hammer out what is that episode going to be. And we'll all contribute to it, whoever's episode that’s going to be.
Truthfully, there's a couple narrative pieces there that I hope we get to, but really like, the entire range of the extended Winchester family. You want to make sure that you're seeing off as many people as you can. I will say, though, that this is a 20-episode season, and we’re at that it at that point where it's like, OK, Jack, Cas, Sam and Dean, and we know how we want to complete their stories. I think that really takes precedence. And so even the returning characters that we are seeing here and there, it's almost always really in service to that larger story.
Can you talk about the meta-ness of God being the big bad of the final season and him being a writer?
Berens: I think there's an episode in sort of the first batch that will dive fairly deeply into that, and you'll see that it's a hate letter to ourselves.
Returning Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW for its final season, Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins and Alexander Calvert.