This weekend saw the cast and crew of the long-running CW series Supernatural descend on Comic Con International in San Diego to take a curtain call, talking with some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in all of television from the Hall H stage one last time. At the end of the 2019-2020 season, Supernatural will draw to a close after 15 years and more than 300 episodes, and the panel was an emotionally raw one.
The panel may have been one of the first times that those behind the series actually allowed themselves to be swallowed up in the emotion of the series ending. After the panel, series star Jensen Ackles said that when the series began production earlier this month, someone on set had pointed out that it was their "last first day." He told them to save it for January, when the cast and crew would be coming back from their holiday break. That said, Ackles admitted that it was kind of nice to have evolved past most of his interviews starting with the question of how long the show could go on.
“Some people were starting to wonder, when is it going to end?” Ackles told ComicBook.com during a recent interview. “That was one thing, in all the different conversations we had, was ‘let’s end it before people stop caring, before people stop pointing it out.’ And so the fact that there’s still a vibrant interest in the show, the audience is still there — we wanted to go out while it was still strong, and I hope we made the right choice.”
The previous season wrapped up in fairly spectacular fashion: Chuck (that's "God" to non-Supernatural fans) lost his temper with the Winchesters and unleashed a zombie apocalypse on the Earth. Given the stakes and the twist -- God as a villain -- it is hard to imagine the season fifteen finale getting much bigger, and Ackles said that he would rather not think about it that way.
“I don’t think we ever want to put pressure on ourselves or make the writing staff put pressure on themselves that we’ve got to one-up it or we’ve got to get bigger,” Ackles said. “I think it’s quality. It’s quality over quantity, and if we can deliver something heartfelt and meaningful, I think the audience is going to appreciate that more than bigger explosions or more stunt casting. I really think it’s about the depth of the story, the depth of the characters, and how those things marry up.”
Of course, with God -- who identified the adventures of the Winchesters as his favorite show -- stepping in as the big bad, the series's long history of going "meta" seems likely to have at least a few surreal moments heading into its final bow. Ackles assumes some of that is coming down the line, although he did not have much in the way of specifics.
“That was part of the show that I thought was going to sink the show originally,” Ackles admitted. “I was like, ‘what are we doing?’ But then it turns out to be some of our highest-rated episodes, fan favorites, certainly cast and crew favorites. So I do enjoy going down that road and there’s very few shows that can do that, and I think we’ve solidified our positions as one of those shows so I’d certainly like to see us play into that a little bit in the last season.”
For the most part, though, he is keeping his "wish list" for the final season pretty close to the vest.2comments
“There’s not a lot on the table that we haven’t at least attempted,” Ackles said, noting that with over 300 episodes in the can, there are some advantages. “I feel like there’s still a few other things I’d love to do, and maybe we’ll get to do them this last season.”
Supernatural returns for its fifteenth and final season this October on The CW.