|Supernatural Convention - Nashville, TN - December 10-12, 2021
I am not going to write this in a very objective way. I won't be quoting the actors or reporting on what was said during panels. It's great that now every panel is posted to YouTube, including the gold panels that few get to see in person. So this is more about personal impressions than the reporting of facts . The Fangasm! blog also has great write-ups of highlights of what was said in almost very panel.
This con felt important to me.
My friends and I bought our tickets to this con in 2019. Before it feels like everything changed. Before Supernatural wrapped filming. Before the finale aired. Before covid. This con was postponed and rescheduled at least three times as the pandemic dragged on. When we bought tickets in 2019, this was to be our last 3-day convention as a group. This is something we have loved doing together for the better part of ten years. We would choose one con each year where we'd get together from across the country and we always had an incredible time immersed in Supernatural for a long weekend. The idea that THAT part of the experience for me is in the past is difficult. It's another ending - another postponed ending in this covid era. When we first chose this convention which was originally scheduled for April 2020, it was to be the first con after the final filming day on Supernatural but BEFORE the finale aired. At the time, I thought it would be great to be there to cheer for the cast once the final "that's a wrap" was called, and enjoy the excitement surrounding the anticipation of the finale with other fans.
Cut to December 2021. A full YEAR after the finale aired. Jared and Jensen have both completed other projects. Jensen did The Boys. Jared is, unbelievably, on season TWO of Walker. So much has changed since my last con in April of 2019. For everyone. I was stressing the required negative covid test - running around trying to find a place that turned around results in 36 hours and then crossing every finger and toe that I would come up negative so I wouldn't be out of luck after all the waiting and all the money spent. Luckily, I found a place with the required turnaround time and I tested negative.
So how would this one feel? Would it feel like something I "used to" do? Would it make me sad to be seeing the actors I love while knowing the SHOW I love will not be telling us any new stories? I miss all of the Jared-and-Jensen-together-on-set social media content desperately. I was afraid that this convention would feel "wrong" somehow. No new set stories. No plot and character speculation.
I will backtrack a bit with more details, but I was incredibly happy that the Sunday Jared and Jensen panel might have been the best one I've ever attended. Probably THANKS to the end of Supernatural, they seemed rested, happy, they and the audience laughed together more than I can ever remember in a panel. It felt like they missed us. Like they continue to love Supernatural as fervently as we do. It felt like not everything changes and the SPN family forges ahead. Like Sam living life without Dean. Like Dean in heaven driving until he's reunited with Sam. We carry on.
Before the con even really got underway, I was suddenly right back in the center of the SPN Family when I and two of our group filled in for a friend in the vendor room on Friday night. It felt like a reunion. People were still passionate about this show. People were happy to be there. It did not feel "weird" or "past its prime" in any way. I noticed an even larger age range amongst fans than ever before. Moms and daughters. Sisters. Grandparents and grandchildren. I also noticed more male fans than I had ever seen at a con and that made me happy.
Panels that stood out to me were Kim and Bri's and DJ Qualls'. Kim and Bri get me every time. They are so passionate and such real, true friends. Kim managed to make me cry, again, totally unexpectedly, when talking about being women working hard to be recognized in any field - about self-doubt and self-confidence and self-worth. Damn, Kim, you always cut right to the heart of the issue and do it with such authentic fervor. As a woman, I truly feel seen and understood when listening to Kim and Bri together. DJ is so likeable. Also very real and honest.
For Jared and Jensen, there were no Walker questions. Not many, if any, Soldier Boy questions that I can remember and this time? I liked that. I personally wanted this to be an SPN experience. I mentioned that they seemed relaxed. What we got were great personal stories from their own childhood about holiday traditions (a very detailed one from Jensen about how he could never wait for Christmas a child, to the point where his father "sealed off" his bedroom with taped-off black trash bag plastic to keep him from seeing the presents before Christmas morning). They really seemed very free when talking with the audience. Admitting things that were hard about SPN. Talking about their families and kids. It was truly wonderful. So very normal-feeling, it made them feel familiar to me though I don't know either of them personally. I can't describe it other than to say it just felt good and right and like home. At one point, I think it was Jared who talked to one first-time con-goer attempting to ask a question with a severe case of nerves, and telling her that she could not be in a more welcoming, accepting, supportive room than she was standing in at that moment and the crowd cheered for her until she was able to get her question out. That is the best of this fandom, to me. Screw the infighting and ship wars and all the other crap. This is what it is about to me and I was so happy to see it alive and well a year after the show ended. A highlight of the J2 panel was the entire crowd laughing along with them to the sexual innuendo of a fan apologizing for her voice because Matt Cohen completely wrecked her throat the other night (singing karaoke) - the turn down the sexual innuendo road was instantaneous and hilarious. We all got the same joke and we all laughed together. And that's also what this fandom is - always happy to get slightly dirty and love it and they were right there with us.
Other highlights of the convention weekend included the Saturday Night Special where Rob and the band really put on a great show and even Rob said from stage that it felt like the were starting to hit their stride again as performers. I was disappointed that more cast members did not perform, though Kim did a great job and Briana burned the house down with her performance. But I missed hearing Ruth and Gil, both of whom were attending. Of course I had hoped Nashville would inspire Jensen to sing. I am dying to hear him perform something off the Radio Co. Vol. 2 album live. But he did not perform (and has not to date at any of the cons since they started up again). Still, the show that Rob and the band put on was very good. Billy Moran is amazing.
There were great and surprising moments throughout all the panels. Misha played with the audience as he likes to do and was self-effacing and grateful as always. David Hayden Jones and Adam Fergus kissed on the lips. I always love a good display of physical affection between male friends and continue to love knowing that these actors have become friends in real life. Ruth was a complete and total sweetheart as was Sam Smith. Jim feels like our rock, always in disbelief that so many fans want to meet him and see him. I was disappointed that Steven Williams had to cancel; I've been looking forward to meeting him for two years, but it was not to be. I am sorry I missed the only Matt Cohen panel while away at a photo op. Rob did a good job hosting, but I couldn't help but miss him and Rich together. They have a unique bond and are such great entertainers as a pair. Rich was off directing and was unable to attend.
I do fear that as time goes by, more of the cancellations will have to become the norm. New jobs have priority. I like the trend of having Jared and Jensen there on Saturday and Sunday so they can leave sooner on Sunday and not have autographs into the night. It feels more relaxed. I liked having a Jensen photo op on Saturday instead of cramming everything into Sunday.
It was the plan that this was to be the last SPN con for me. Largely for financial reasons. I thought I would not want to go after the show ended. And though this will be the last big 3-day con meet-up for my friends that I love dearly (we do plan to get together, just not around the challenges of making everyone's schedule align with the con schedule), I don't think I can go cold turkey on my SPN Family. I am not saying this is the last for me anymore. Time to adjust the plan.
SUBMITTED BY: Journalbookbinder
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Briana Buckmaster, Billy Moran, Jason Manns, and Paul Carella ROCK the house in Philly
The July heat wave in Philadelphia was made even hotter when Briana Buckmaster and company came to town. As part of their summer tour series, Briana, Billy, Jason, and Paul braved the soaring temperatures to bring some of their sultry coolness to the city of brotherly love. I was lucky to attend and am SO glad I had the opportunity to see this group. It was truly an awesome experience. Just in from an event in New York City the night before, Briana and company treated the intimate crowd to a meet-and-greet followed by a live performance of acoustic selections. Not a bad way to spend a Monday night.
First, the venue: small, crowded, and HOT. Like, sauna hot. The place is called "The Fire" and it's essentially a bar with a room in the back. It's a small room -- there were about 50 of us for the meet-and-greet, and another 25 to 50 for the show. NO seats (except for the few at the bar)! So we stood from about 5:30 in the afternoon (when the M&G started) until 8:30, when the show was over. There was a wall-unit air conditioner in the back of the room, but you COULD NOT tell. It had to be over 80 degrees in that room. I felt bad for the performers, because by the end they -- especially poor Jason -- were bathed in sweat. They were such troopers about it, though. They sang and played their hearts out like every thing was...cool.
Of course, all the attendees I talked to were Supernatural fans. I had a nice chat with two ladies who had driven all the way from Wisconsin to catch the show the night before in NYC, then they drove to Philly for Monday night's show. As always, it was wonderful to be surrounded by people who love Supernatural! There was lots of standing around, so we had time to kill, and Supernatural was the universal ice breaker.
The M&G was cool! I'd never been to one, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I got picked to ask a question, and I asked Billy the back story behind his "Amazing Grace" video that I love so much:
The story is very touching. He was asked to arrange and perform the song for a funeral. When he'd completed it, he thought he should put it on YouTube because he thought it might touch someone else. I assured him that it blew me away, and he thanked me.
In between the M&G and the show, the performers mingled with the audience and took sweaty selfies! Like I said -- absolute troopers!
The show was solid. Between all the Supernatural Convention Saturday Night Special concerts (which feature Louden Swain and various members of the show's cast), and Briana's CD, we'd heard most of the songs before. Jason sang "Dock of the Bay" and a few other songs we've heard him do before. Briana and Billy did "Wave", "Have a little faith in me", "Better than that" and some other stuff from her CD. She also did "Valerie" (made famous by the late Amy Winehouse) and "Arms of the Angels" (from Sarah McLachlan), which I'd never heard her do before. And she did an acoustic version of "Carry On". It sort of felt like the one from Fan Fiction, but I thought she did a nice job with it. Of course, the place exploded when she did "Gunpowder and Lead" for her final song!
So, then the whole group came up for the final few songs to end the show. Nobody was surprised when they started "Wagon Wheel", but the crowd blew the rafters off the place when BILLY STARTED SINGING!! I was screaming and cheering so loud, I couldn't even tell you how he sounded at first. But then after a few phrases, the whole crowd quieted down because we all must have realized we couldn't hear him at all. He has a light and delicate voice. I hope he starts singing at Supernatural convention concerts, because it was a real treat.
After the show, the performers mingled again with the crowd, signing autographs and taking selfies. Their enthusiasm and boundless energy were unaffected by the heat and the late hour.
Overall, it was a cool (albeit hot) experience, and I'm glad I got to go!
(left to right) Billy Moran, Briana Buckmaster, Jason Manns,
SUBMITTED BY: kate38
|April 18, 2019
It seems like I was just, finally, getting used to her being around the bunker again and being part of the family. This season she was not distracted by the British Men of Letters; she was there for Sam and Dean more than she ever had been before and suddenly, she was gone.
I have plenty of issues with the decision to bring Mary back at all in the first place. She was a gift to Dean from God, but her death was the reason for the entire series and I spent years enjoying glimpses of her in flashbacks, the idealized memories of young Dean, and in Sam's longing for the mother he never knew. I also enjoyed it when some big bad used Mary's image to get to Sam and Dean, as when she took the form of Eve or was used by the Djinn to try to lull Dean into letting his physical body die as his brain lived in a fantasy where Mary was still alive.
When she arrived back on the scene as her real self, she was a woman dropped into the world of her adult sons whom she did not know. She was written and played by Samantha Smith as someone trying to find her place in this new, strange world, and she was a bit too understated and emotionless for my taste. One could also argue that it was nice to see a woman on TV who was not overly-emotional, who was tough.
I heard Samantha Smith speak about playing Mary at the 2019 Chicago Supernatural convention. Her solo panel was the day after "Absence" aired where we learned that Jack hadn't just injured her, he had killed her and there was no way to bring her back.
Sam Smith said that she got the call that her character would be killed off when she was at the vet with her dog. Andrew Dabb was on the phone and he told her about where the story would be heading. She said it was not a happy day for her. She said it has been the honor of her life to play Mary, that she never expected to be brought back as a main cast member in later seasons, and that she loved playing a tough woman who could fight. She liked fight training. She has auditioned to play so many "crying wives" that she hopes she never has to audition for a role like that again. I hope not too.
Sam said she was happy that Mary did not die as the victim of a monster. She didn't die fighting. She was, basically killed accidentally by a too-powerful Jack who could not control his power. In her own words, as she wouldn't drop it when Jack kept telling her to leave him alone, she wanted to help him while he was going through something difficult and, as a result, "She mothered herself to death." She also said that she is "super dead" and is sure she will not be coming back as a living character. (Those are my words...I wonder if there will be flashbacks?). Ironic that she died trying to be a good mother to Jack when many fans feel she has been a decidedly lackluster mother to Sam and Dean.
I did find myself feeling sad over Mary's death. Even though I was not always the biggest fan of what they did with her character. I feel like it was just yesterday that I felt the 300th episode finally wrung some emotion out of her character; some softness with John and her sons, and some elevation of their family (a nice dinner with wine) and a recognition among all of them at how special their family is and how much they love each other in spite of all the mistakes along the way, and then, suddenly, she was gone.
I can report that, in person, Sam Smith is incredibly thoughtful and kind. She's even more beautiful than she looks in photos if you can believe that. She was nice enough to fill out a blank recipe card for me for "Winchester Surprise" which has been referenced so many times (for the first time!) in season 14...and it was on my mind; this weird casserole that it seemed their entire family loved and associated with her. FYI, she filled it out just as she had posted on Twitter: "3 pounds beef, 3 pounds pork, 3 pounds cheese"...so a real, work-able recipe is, I think, still up to us fans, but I love having a recipe card for "Winchester Surprise" written in her handwriting.
I suppose her death was needed to create massive amounts of tension over what to do with Jack and to reveal how dangerous he is now, but I'm actually sorry to see her go. It makes the 300th episode all that more heart-wrenching. It's a continuous theme of Supernatural; Sam and Dean lose everything and everyone but each other.
Some questions were asked of Jared and Jensen how they felt about Mary's initials being carved into the table along with theirs. Jensen seemed to feel mixed, but Sam Smith was definitely honored.
I love that the same actress stuck with the show and with us for so many years. Sam Smith seemed to truly love playing Mary and was brought to tears several times during her panel and the panel with several other SPN actresses the next day when people thanked her for the job she did as Mary. Her co-workers had nothing but lovely things to say about her.
On the last day of filming, she said she went up to Jensen's trailer and knocked on the door and he came out...she said she had just come to say goodbye and promptly burst into tears. He came down the stairs and hugged her. At Jared's trailer, she didn't even get any words out, just started crying when he opened the door. He rushed down to comfort her as well.
All of us strangers, whether we love the show or work on it, have become a family. It was apparent that Mary's death caused real sadness in the woman who has played our family's kick-ass mom for 14 years.
photos courtesy of PigNaPoke
taken at the Chicago Supernatural convention on
Friday, April 12th, the day after the episode confirming
Mary's death aired.
SUBMITTED BY: Journalbookbinder
|March 18, 2019
On Saturday, March 16, 2019, Toledo native and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke sat down for a interview onstage with a local radio host at the Toldeo Museum of Art. It was a very interesting conversation covering his career, the shows and movies he's made, and how Supernatural began. Here are some of the details and my observations:
He made home movies when he was young. They were always comedies.He was sure he'd be a comedy writer.He also heard, early on, that USC had a film school and it seemed to him like it was THE film school and he decided he wanted to go there. Ultimately, that is where he attended college.
He planned to make a short film called Truly Committed for many years before he finally made it as a senior at USC around 1996 which was the year he graduated.
From 1996-2003 he struggled to make any new short films. He had no money and did lots of odd jobs. He sometimes panicked a bit thinking it may never happen for him.He entered Truly Committed in film festival competitions and occasionally won; perhaps a total of about $5,000 which funded the next short film; a
He thought he'd only do comedy, but he found out he really wasn't a great comedy writer.
He wrote a horror movie to blow off some steam when nothing was going his way.Every victim in the horror movie had the name of a studio head who'd rejected him.That movie was Boogeyman.He thought this horror movie was a one-time thing but a friend of a friend gave the script to Sam Raimi and
Someone at the WB had seen Boogeyman and asked him to write the pilot for their new show "Tarzan in New York".He never loved Tarzan but when asked to write it, he told the studio he absolutely LOVED Tarzan...he lived and breathed it and it was his absolute favorite. He completely bluffed his way into the job. He wrote the pilot.David Nutter directed. Later, David Nutter would direct the pilot for Supernatural.
He had no idea what he was doing on Tarzan.It only lasted 8 episodes before it was cancelled.He was around 28 years old then and screwed up on that show in every way possible.The WB president called him to tell him that Tarzan had been cancelled and he acted disappointed, but he was secretly relieved it was over.
He had worked hard on it though and the WB took notice of his work ethic.
They asked what he would want to write if he could choose.
He had already thought up the idea for Supernatural years ago.His original idea was that there would be this reporter who wrote for a tabloid and drove around researching and writing about urban legends.The WB, that day in that room, said, "no thanks, we'll pass".He then immediately asked them what they didn't like about his idea.They liked the urban legend angle, but not the reporter as the main character.They thought it had been done before. Right there on the spot, he totally made up a slightly different idea. Something like the old Route 66 TV show where there were two guys on an endless road trip...on the spot he said the leads could be brothers instead of the single reporter (he had not thought of this before)and they'd drive a muscle car.He lied, saying his notes for this "other" idea were at home and could he have a week before coming back to pitch the new idea?They agreed and he went home and wrote like hell.
That original pitch he came back with was the one we've all read. (There's a link to it on the right side of this wiki's homepage.)
They agreed to his second version of Supernatural.
The show was heavily influenced by Toldeo and his Midwest upbringing, especially the early seasons. He grew up on Breckenridge and that was the location of the haunted house in the pilot.He said the Midwest and the colors of the Midwest and the feel of the Midwest heavily influenced SPN.
The interviewer asked him about the classic rock in SPN.He said his older siblings introduced him to classic rock and he had grown up listening to it.At the time, the shows on the WB had a lot of hip, current music in them like songs by Death Cab for Cutie that he said made him want to gouge his eyes out.He pitched the classic rock idea and the WB said, "No."They wanted to use the standard WB-style "hip" music.
He threatened to quit over the music.He said he was not bluffing.He meant it.The music had to stay. He thought the studio execs were kind of stunned that he'd threaten to quit when the show was ready to go and they relented.
He only threatened to quit twice during Supernatural.The other time was when they wanted to show the first flashback of Sam and Dean as children and the WB wanted him to cut that.He threatened to quit then too. He felt the flashbacks were essential to telling the story. He quickly realized that threatening to quit is one thing you can't keep doing; you have to mean that you will really quit if you threaten it. You can't bluff.Both times, the WB caved.
The interviewer asked if it was hard for him to hand off Supernatural after five seasons.He said yes and no.It was his baby.He didn't want to let it go, but he also felt a bit burned out and unsure as to where to take the story after season 5.He thought it needed fresh eyes and new ideas.It was the first time he didn't know what the start of the next season (season 6) would look like.He talked it over with Sera Gamble and decided to step away.He wanted it to stay fresh. At first, right after he passed it off, he still wanted to control it and tried to control it from afar.He worried about it and how it was going and sometimes disagreed with some aspect of what was being done, but he soon realized you couldn't do that; micromanage (my word)...he had to let the worry go.
He moved on to make Revolution, then Timeless.Fans tried so hard to keep both shows on the air.Both shows lasted for two years.
Revolution was pure hard work for him. It took a lot out of him and he worked 17 hour days 6-7 days a week on it; on set every day.He began to feel it was not healthy for him.He was, again, relieved when it ended.It was not a happy time for him.
By contrast, Timeless was much more enjoyable.It wasfun.Very positive.He had two other show runners to share the workload with.It was a positive show and he made an effort to include stories about minorities and LBGTQ people.He was so grateful to fans for their dedication.Fans often ask him why HE cancelled Timeless and he has to strongly respond that HE did not cancel it.The ratings were not high enough and it was a business decision that was painful for him but one that he nevertheless understood the network had to make.
He talked a bit about writing the screenplay for the movie The House with the Clock in its Walls.
The rights to "Clock" had never come up for sale. When they finally did, he knew he wanted to be the one to make the movie.In trying to convince those selling the rights that he should be the one, he took in the childhood fan letter he wrote to the author to demonstrate how much this meant to him. He got the rights.
He thought making the movie would be a fun and enjoyable exercise in nostalgia...but it turned out to be so incredibly stressful.When you are writing a screen adaptation, you can't exactly copy the original book and he LOVED the original book so he was constantly worried that he'd cut or add something that would completely wreck the genius of the original.He was afraid to change too much of something he already loved.He agonized over those choices.
His new series, The Boys, will be available starting this July on Amazon Prime. He wrote the pilot for The Boys while making The House with the Clock in its Walls.The Boys is based on a comic book series by Garth Ennis who also wrote the Preacher comic book series.It is set in a world where superheroes are real.But they're famous and more like celebrity douchebags than selfless heroes.They have huge egos (sounds a bit like his take on angels!).His friend Seth Rogan pitches it this way: "What if Iron Man was really Robert Downey Jr.".There are a group of regular humans; blue-collar men (and one woman) whose job it is to keep the superheroes in line largely through manipulation.
He loves the Marvel universe and said that, of course "D.C. sucks out loud!"He enjoys the idea of puncturing the superhero myth.How would they really act in the real world?For example, in The Boys, the Aquaman-like character has really low self-esteem because he can only solve water-adjacent crimes and there aren't that many of those.The Superman-inspired character has the problem of thinking he's a God, which really makes him a bit of a real-world sociopath.
He says he has a truly filthy sense of humor and The Boys will be the most accurate reflection of that.He's very excited about the new show and it feels very personal to him.It's also on Amazon Prime, so the characters can swear.He showed a clip full of jump-cuts and lots of action.You didn't get much sense of the story, but the action seems interesting and the regular-world characters seem like they could be compelling.
Then it was time for audience questions.They did not leave nearly enough time for this.There was a long line and they only ended up taking 7 questions.
1. Is he aware of all of the organizations and charities that have sprung up around Supernatural? Especially those dedicated to mental heath.
2. In French Mistake, did he know his character would be killed with a shotgun?
3. When Supernatural ends, will he write or be involved in the writing of the final episode?
4.How is he able to soldier on after rejection?
5. If he could could bring the character of John Winchester back, would he be brought back as someone Sam and Dean would have to kill?
6. Since Supernatural was such a huge success, does that mean he now knows the secret of what will make a show a hit?
7.A man said that he thinks his life story is a good one (the questioner)...he was a cop or something and wants to sell his story to be made into a show and how should he do it?He doesn't know where to go to peddle it.
After the presentation was over there was the chance for fans to talk to him, get an autograph, and take a photo. He was extremely gracious and appreciative with everyone.
If he has one professional flaw, it might be that he gets very excited about every new project and almost works himself to death on each one to the point that he's glad when it's finished. This was not the case with every project of his, but he's obviously very passionate about his work. I found him to be a kind and self-deprecating man.
SUBMITTED BY: journalbookbinder
March 11, 2019
Supernatural made it to 300 episodes. An incredible achievement. I think of all the award winning shows that co-existed with our underrated Supernatural over the years and they're all long gone now. Younger fans who are just discovering Supernatural may have no clue what shows they are spoofing in Changing Channels (CSI Miami, anyone?).
The 300th was teased early on as a bit of a "day in the life" episode. Only a day in the life of Sam and Dean would play out like this.
This episode spent too much time on tangents like the teenage inhabitants of the town of Lebanon and gratuitous (but all too brief) appearances by the likes of Zachariah.
But the appearance that could easily have qualified as gratuitous was anything but.
John Winchester. Back from the dead. Back from 2003, to be exact, and sitting down to dinner in the bunker with his wife Mary and sons Sam and Dean. But before dinner, Sam and Dean, especially Sam, got to talk to John and, thanks to the incredible acting talent on the set that day, made me forgive John in a
I recently started a complete re-watch and much time is spent in the early seasons on the battle of wills between John and Sam and Dean's frustration and sometimes near-despair over the lack of harmony between the people he loves the most. The 300th episode gave us the perspective of time. Sam told John he couldn't even remember exactly what was said between them in the epic fight before he left for Stanford. John owned up to making mistakes with Sam as he grew up and Sam ultimately accepted that truthful admission (after first trying to give John a pass, telling him it was okay...I'm glad Sam didn't give John a pass in the end), but the fights aren't the first thing Sam thinks of when he thinks of John (which he reveals a does "a lot"), what he thinks about is his dad, lying dead on the hospital floor and the fact that he never got to say goodbye to him.
They both apologize to each other and time has shown Sam that John did the best he could with him and Dean. He tells John that's enough and John looks like he feels forgiven. John tells Sam he's proud of him; something Sam so desperately needed to hear from a father whom he felt he was always disappointing. It's hard to imagine that John would have been proud of the uptight lawyer this episode shows us Sam would have become if John had lived.
John has the chance to tell Dean he's proud of the man he's become, though he wishes Dean had been able to settle down and have a family. Dean thinks for a minute, then tells John's he does have a family. It seems to be becoming clear to Dean that while there's a lot he's apparently longed for intensely, he also
When faced with the reality that John has to be sent back to the year from which he came, or else the current world will change, including that Mary would stay dead, he quickly says that's not even a question. His love for Mary puts her first. He's selfless and self-sacrificing when it comes to family, just like his sons.
Dinner is a tense affair until John reminds everyone that they can dread what's coming or be grateful for that moment. We see how it could have been had John and Mary lived and had John not been poisoned by revenge. He could have helped remind Sam and Dean what's important when they got mired down in their
As powerful as the moment between Sam and John was, the most amazing scene came between Sam and Dean, washing dishes after dinner. Sam, knowing they have to send John back to 2003 in order for the current world to remain the world they know, struggles with how unfair it is to lose John again. Dean turns to Sam, Dean, who wants to keep John with them because having him back is his true heart's desire, and he looks more resolute and sure of himself than I've ever seen, and he tells Sam it's okay for John to be sent back because he's good with their lives. With himself. With Sam. He wouldn't change anything because he
I think back to season two's What Is and What Should Never Be and how Dean struggled to choose to return to his real life, even when he knew his ideal life was a mirage put into his consciousness by the Djinn. This time, Dean does not struggle. He wants to keep his life, keep himself the way he is, keep Sam the way he is, even if it means losing his father again. Back in season two he was much more tempted to take the perfect life and a bad relationship in that perfect life with Sam than he is now.
And John, who does not have the perspective of time since he was summoned from 2003, is somehow able to see his sons, 16 years later, as men he can be, and is, exceedingly proud of. It's like he is suddenly able to voice what is most important. Love. Family. Love. Really, mostly love.
Right before John is sent back, he tells Sam and Dean to watch out for each other. That, right there, is what the show is truly about. He tells his sons again that he's proud of them. This time, Sam smiles a genuine smile. He hugs them both and tells them he loves them both so much. Dean tells John he loves him too. Everyone is crying...including, I suspect, everyone watching. John holds Mary's hand. Sam crushes the pearl. Dean flinches as if it were a gunshot, and John fades away in a golden glow, smiling at Mary as he goes.
Back in 2003, John gets a call from Dean and tells him he just had a heck of a dream, and that it was a good one.
It sure was.
The scenes with the Winchesters together as a complete family made me forgive the other forgettable parts of this episode. I wish the whole thing had been nothing but Sam and Dean and Mary and John in the bunker. Talking. Target shooting. Swapping hunting stories, Sharing all they've learned. Fighting. Making up. Talking some more. Hugging it out and healing some more of the crap ton of pain they've all endured.
That's what I would have wanted.
You can't always get what you want.
But if you try, sometimes, you (and I and Sam and Dean) can get what you need.
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