Supernatural is returning to The CW for the final run of episodes that fans have been waiting for since back in March, and the final episodes promise to deliver the returns of some notable characters from the fifteen seasons. That said, not all of the major actors who the show wanted back were able to return, and their characters' absences could be absolutely heartbreaking for the Winchesters (and fans) in the last couple of episodes.
Showrurnner Andrew Dabb spoke with TVLine about the end of Supernatural, and his comments reveal two characters who won't be back. Based on what we already know about the final two episodes, it's safe to say that their absences will pack an emotional punch. Dabb explained, saying:
Look, COVID was limiting, especially when it came to the last two [episodes]. And there were certainly people we would have liked to have brought back like Samantha Smith, like Jeffrey Dean Morgan. People who have been such core parts of the show for so long. But unfortunately, because of COVID and some other things, doing a big supersized guest cast family reunion was just off the table. But in terms of our story that we’re telling, we didn’t have to make any compromises. Everyone who is coming back is coming back for a specific reason. These are people we want. They’re important to us. They’re great characters, and we just thought it was an opportunity to revisit some of our and, hopefully, the fan favorites.
First, let's take a moment of silence for the fact that Samantha Smith and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played Mary and John Winchester from the very beginning of the pilot back in 2005, won't reprise their roles before the end of Supernatural. Although Morgan's appearances on Supernatural were few and far between since John's death back in Season 2, Mary made an unlikely return at the end of Season 11 and dropped in and out before her latest death in Season 14.
Still, with such a focus on family in Supernatural and the show's penchant for finding ways to bring back the dead, it seemed like the characters who helped start the series would return for the end. Based on Andrew Dabb's comments about COVID-19 preventing Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith from returning in Season 15, it's probably fair to guess that they were intended to appear in the final two episodes.
Supernatural managed to complete filming on five of its final seven episodes before production shut down earlier this year, although postproduction requirements meant that those five weren't altogether finished. If COVID is what kept Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith from getting Supernatural swan songs, it stands to reason that they were being saved for the very end. Just imagine the Winchester family reunion that could have come in the series finale, if only the stars had aligned!
While I for one am pretty bummed that the original Winchester parents won't return before the end of Supernatural, at least Andrew Dabb's comments can prevent fans from holding out hope for John and Mary to return before the final credits roll. Besides, Supernatural did deliver a Winchester family reunion with the emotional 300th episode that played with time to bring John back for a little bit.
That said, knowing that John and Mary won't be back with the original actors does make me more nervous than ever about Castiel. Could Supernatural end not only without Samantha Smith and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but also without Misha Collins if Cas is collected by The Empty ahead of the finale? He has been an honorary member of the Winchester family for more than half the series, so the heartbreak of his potential absence would be considerable. Hopefully Cas can add his deal with The Empty to his list of deaths that he recovers from!
Find out with new episodes of Supernatural, airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. For some additional viewing options now and in the coming weeks, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!