Supernatural: Eric Kripke on How Sam & Dean Came to "Carry On" & More

With The CW's Supernatural ready to shuffle off the programming line-up coil next month with its 15th and final season finale, there's been a "nostalgia parade" of anything and everything SPN. When you've been on the air for over 1-1/2 decades (damn!) and you have a loyal and dedicated fanbase like the SPN Family, it's no surprise that bonds are made some "feels" are invested. This time, series creator and initial showrunner Eric Kripke revealed to EW the backstory on how the Kansas song "Carry On Wayward Son" ended up in the series- and very quickly, the series' unofficial theme song throughout its entire run.

Supernatural released a new poster for the final episodes (Image: the CW)
Supernatural released a new poster for the final episodes (Image: the CW)

"I had a jukebox growing up in Ohio in my basement, like this old piece of s— that played scratched singles that my dad found used somewhere. One of the songs on it was 'Carry On Wayward Son' and I played it all the time through high school. The soundtrack of the show, certainly in those early years, when it was classic rock, those weren't just classic rock songs, those were the songs from my collection," Kripke explained. "At the end of season 1, we were cutting the first of the 'Road So Far' trailers. We wanted to do a recap to remind everyone what happened all season but we really wanted to do it in a way that wasn't the same old avalanche of exposition. [Producer] Phil [Sgriccia] and I looked at 'Carry on Wayward Son' and set it to this long recap and it just came to life because the lyrics seemed to fit what the brothers were going through."

Kripke also clarifies a little bit of Supernatural history because when it comes to the song fans think of when they think of a season's finale? Well, it didn't actually start off as a season-ending ode. "What people don't remember is that in season 1, that was the second-to-last episode that 'Carry On Wayward Son' played," Kripke reminds us. "And then we tried to do another 'road so far' for the finale set to Triumph's 'Fight the Good Fight' and it was just obvious it just didn't take the way that 'Carry On Wayward Son' took. You could just tell from fan response that people were not digging it. I guess if they had dug that, the theme song could've been 'Fight the Good Fight' but everyone really responded to 'Carry On Wayward Son' so then next season we started the tradition of putting it on for the final episode."

Which leads to this week's episode "Unity"- with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) now realizing the price that has to be paid to stop God aka Chuck's (Rob Benedict) path of destruction dead in its tracks. Dean sees Billie's (Lisa Berry) plan as the only way, no matter what the cost. Sam? Not so much- which may explain why our foursome is heading out on separate missions. Looks like Castiel sides with Sam when it comes to finding another solution. As for Dean and Jack (Alexander Calvert), it's about one last ritual- and that means a meeting with "the first one off God's assembly line":

Supernatural season 15, episode 17 "Unity": ONE WAY OR ANOTHER – Dean (Jensen Ackles) hits the road with Jack (Alexander Calvert) who needs to complete a final ritual in the quest to beat Chuck (guest star Rob Benedict). A difference of opinion leaves Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Castiel (Misha Collins) behind looking for answers to questions of their own. Catriona McKenzie directed the episode written by Meredith Glynn.

Supernatural -- "Unity" -- Image Number: SN1517A_0246r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Alexander Calvert as Jack, Jensen Ackles as Dean, Jared Padalecki as Sam and Emily Swallow as Amara -- Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural (Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved)

In the following two clips, Padalecki, Ackles, Collins, and Calvert discuss if Jack can be the answer to God that Sam, Dean, and Castiel need; and how their ability to "Never Stop Fighting" defines the core of what the Winchesters are all about:

Recently, the Supernatural post-production team released another Shaving People, Punting Things video offering the SPN Family a fresh look at the remainder of the season as well as at our favorites behind the scenes. Let's just say there's a whole lot of bleeding, reflecting, crying, hugging, drinking, and maybe… just maybe… one last chance to save the day:

Ackles and Padalecki offer their thoughts on how important "Back Roads Americana" has been during the series' 15 season run.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.