With Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) set for their final adventure (for now?) this Thursday with the series finale "Carry On," the SPN Family around the world has had some time to prepare for the moment. Of course, being fans, that doesn't mean they've fully "accepted" the inevitability of it all. You can't blame them when it took Ackles until filming the 18th episode of the final season ("Despair") of The CW's Supernatural for it to really hit him.
During an interview with EW, the soon-to-be-Solider Boy in SPN creator Eric Kripke's The Boys revealed that it was filming the scene where Misha Collins' Castiel sacrifices himself for Dean that really drove the point home. "The scene between Cas and Dean, basically Cas's goodbye scene, it started to hit a little bit that day," revealed Ackles. "Knowing that this was Misha's kind of tearful goodbye to Cas was tough. I did my best to hold it together on my end." As Ackles puts it, that scene made the show's ending "hard to ignore."
In the episode, Billie aka Death (Lisa Berry) wasn't going anywhere until she saw Dean dead. Only one problem- Billie didn't realize just how much Castiel loved Dean and how much he meant to him. Playing upon his deal with the Empty, Castiel delivered a feels-crushing speech about how knowing Dean and the sacrifices he's made throughout his life in helping others showed Castiel what true love and happiness meant- changing him in the process. And with an, "I love you," Castiel true happiness summoned the Empty- taking Castiel and Billie with it.
As for that moment when Castiel leaves a handprint on Dean's shoulder after he saves Dean from the Empty? Think of it in terms of the first time Castiel pulled Dean from Hell. But while a move like that would seem planned well in advance, Ackles explains that it was much more in-the-moment than we would think. "I kind of want to say that that was Misha's idea," Ackles added. "I feel like that was an on-the-day idea." Episode writer Robert Berens and director Richard Speight Jr. confirmed that Ackles' recollection of it being an "on-the-day" idea is correct, but that the move was "a group realization/inspiration by Rich, Misha, and Jensen, triggered by a location move that happened the very day they shot the scene."
Supernatural season 15, episode 20 "Carry On": THE END — After 15 seasons, the longest running sci fi series in the US is coming to an end. Baby, it's the final ride for saving people and hunting things. The episode was directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.
"Supernatural" Cast on The Journey Coming to An End
Though news of the series' was announced in March 2019 (with Collins via Instagram post, which you check out below), Ackles and Padalecki did their part to get viewers through the grieving process a month later, taking the stage at VegasCon 2019 to explain that the decision to end the series was a "community decision" and not influenced by the network or the studio. In the video below, Ackles wanted the crowd to know that the decision was one they had discussed for quite some time now, saying, "It wasn't an easy decision. It was months and months, if not years, of discussion between he and I, between the rest of the cast, between the crew, between our writers, between our producers, between the studio, between the network. Nobody wanted to see this show fizzle out."
For the Supernatural team, it was a matter of knowing when the right time was to leave. Ackles says it was important to find that right balance between not staying around too long and giving yourself enough time to tell the story that fans deserve: "I think that it was everyone wanting to do the biggest service to the show that we could by going out strong. It just seemed like the writing was kind of on the wall as to when that was happening. Everybody kind of felt that it was coming soon, and so it was just taking that leap of faith of going like, 'Well guys, let's get out the paint and paint that finish line because what we've accomplished is unlike any other.'"