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Supernatural will finally come to an end on The CW after a whopping 15 seasons, proving that even the seemingly unstoppable Winchester brothers can only save people and hunt things on primetime for so long. The final season will run for 20 episodes, and the premiere is still months away, but the very ending of the very last episode has already been decided.
Jensen Ackles, who of course has played Dean Winchester for the past decade and a half or so, spoke to CinemaBlend and other outlets at San Diego Comic-Con about the end of the series, and he revealed that he didn't have an easy time accepting what the ending would entail. Here's how Ackles put it, when asked how involved he wanted to be in the ending:
I think it was less involved about the arc and it was more of let's figure out where we're going to end up. And then how we get there, that's up to the writers, they can figure that out. So when we went to go see the writers in L.A. about a month and a half ago, it was the pitch for what they think the ending should be. And it was really real that we were having that discussion with everybody that really crafts the show. I had trouble with it. For some reason, it didn't go down easy. And about a week later, I was like, 'Man, why am I having so much trouble digesting this?' I called an old friend.
Considering how emotional Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins were in the announcement that Supernatural would be ending with Season 15, it's easy to understand why Ackles would have trouble digesting the end of what has been a very long journey for him.
Supernatural has survived more than one apocalypse, the deaths (and resurrections) of what seems like most of the characters, the switch from The WB to The CW, and much more, all with the same two actors as anchors from the very beginning. What will The CW look like without the Winchester brothers and the family business, carrying on in the Impala? Supernatural isn't even the only long-running series ending on the network in the 2019-2020 TV season.
Jared Padalecki also weighed in on the series finale, and while he didn't drop any spoilers about how the Winchesters' story will wrap, he did promise "some version of peace" by the very end. He furthermore shared how his reaction to learning the ending differed from Jensen Ackles' reaction. That both actors came around to the ending -- whatever it is, at this point -- is promising, although we can't rule out Padalecki's earlier pitch for the boys to go out in "a blaze of glory" just yet.
As for the identity of the "old friend" that Jensen Ackles called when he was having trouble with the ending, executive producer Robert Singer explained that Ackles had reached out to Supernatural creator Eric Kripke -- who left the series after Season 5 and went on to develop shows like the tumultuous Timeless and The Boys on Amazon -- about the ending, and Ackles shared this about the "clarity" he received from his old friend:
I told him what the plan was, and I needed some clarity. And he gave it to me. And then I called Bob [Singer] and talked to him a little bit about it, and he gave me some more clarity. Now I'm actually pumped up about it. And I think it's gonna be great and I think it's gonna be very emotional. In fact, that last day is, I believe we're already planning to schedule the final scene the final day of production. And I believe it'll be an added day, just for that one scene. It's gonna be really tough hanging those keys up.
TV shows often film out of sequence, and Game of Thrones actors have revealed that the final scenes they filmed were definitely not their characters' final scenes in the show. For fans' sakes, we can only hope that the Supernatural finale is less divisive than Thrones' finale, and it sounds like the production team is going the extra mile for the actors to pack their real-life emotions into the last scene of the series.
If the final scene of the series is indeed the final scene shot, we can count on the Winchesters' reactions (assuming they're both in the final scene) being impacted by how Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki feel about the show ending. Ackles didn't specifically say anything about how fans will feel, but I have to wonder if we should start stocking up on the tissues for the series finale.
Robert Singer, also speaking to press as SDCC, elaborated on the conversations with Eric Kripke about the final season and Jensen Ackles looking to the creator for some clarity:
We didn't really consult Eric. I mean, Eric left the show so different to where we are now. I know Jensen talked to Eric about where we saw it ending, and Jensen wasn't sure and we told Eric and Eric said, 'Oh, that's great! What are you, nuts?' [laughs] So we sort of got the stamp of approval from Eric.
As longtime Supernatural fans will undoubtedly remember, Eric Kripke originally imagined the show ending after Season 5, and Season 5 concluded on a cliffhanger. After Sam was seemingly lost forever by falling down into the cage in Hell to trap Lucifer, Dean went to Lisa to start a happy normal life. Mysteriously, Sam turned up at the end outside of Lisa's house, watching.
If that was the series finale, there wouldn't have been a ton of closure, but there would have been some sense of peace and a little bit of hope. After all, Sammy was seemingly free of the awful cage, and Dean stood a chance at a normal life. Of course, Season 6 revealed that Sammy had returned without a soul and Dean wasn't doing the greatest job of adjusting to the normal life after all those years of hunting, but the Season 5 finale ending wasn't a total downer.
Should we expect something similar from the actual series finale, considering Eric Kripke signed off on it? Or something entirely different? We'll have to wait and see. Supernatural's series finale won't hit the airwaves until 2020, and there's plenty of craziness in store before then. We can count on another classic Supernatural meta episode, although I'm not sure any episode count out-meta "The French Mistake" or the 200th episode that saw a musical adaptation of the in-universe Supernatural book series.