If you’ve watched “Supernatural” from the beginning, you’ve seen a lot of characters die. Hundreds. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Maybe more, depending on how you count.
And that’s not including all the monsters killed by Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) in this horror series that mixes blood and mayhem with both drama and comedy.
I’ve watched since the beginning — 310 episodes and counting. And, like other fans, I’ve noticed the obvious: A lot of dead characters come back to life. Which has, quite frankly, created a dynamic that isn’t good for the show. There’s no dramatic tension when the main characters are in jeopardy because, even if they die, they won’t be dead for long.
Sam and Dean alone have resurrected a combined total of more than 100 times.
“There’s a running joke on the set that this is ‘Supernatural,’ and nothing ever stays dead,” Ackles said.
But now that we’re in the 15th and final season, I had to ask if death will have some finality to it in the “Supernatural” universe.
“I think, to answer your question — yes, there is going to be something that is a little different this season,” Ackles said.
“Yeah, we’re looking at this as a true ending,” said executive producer Andrew Dabb. “And in a true ending, people can’t keep coming back over and over again. … Some of the things that our guys have relied on to keep themselves going and going and going, no matter what, are going to kind of go away.”
The Winchesters will, once again, face life-and-death situations, he promised, “But this time it’s for real.”
There’s certainly a case to be made that while “Supernatural” didn’t outstay its welcome on The CW, it stuck around longer than it should have. It became increasingly difficult to keep the narrative going after Sam and Dean saved the world from apocalypse over and over again. I mean, they killed Lucifer himself at the end of Season 13, and the show kept going.
Why? Ackles summed it up perfectly: “You have a show that is so anchored not necessarily in a world, but around two characters.” Sam and Dean, of course.
“Supernatural” is actually older than the network on which it airs. It debuted on The WB in 2005; that network went out of business/merged with UPN to become The CW a year later; “Supernatural” has been there ever since.
And the network isn’t canceling the show. Padalecki and Ackles decided to call it quits, and CW president Mark Pedowitz had no choice but to go along. “I said this many times — when they were ready to stop, we will stop,” the exec said.
Whether they’re prepared for their characters to die and stay dead is another question. It sure sounds like the series won’t end with Sam and Dean in the grave. Pedowitz was joking-but-not-joking when he told Padalecki and Ackles, “If you wish to reconsider, I know a network that will be willing to take you back.”
And Ackles said he doesn’t think the show “is ever going to be over. I think we’re just going to go away for a while.”
“And then 15 more seasons,” Padalecki said.
He was joking. About 15 more seasons, but not necessarily about coming back. Someday. In some form. Maybe a TV movie? Maybe a miniseries?
“I’m not ever ready to close doors or burn bridges. I think that’s foolish,” Ackles said. “Am I saying there’s something in the works? No. Am I saying I would be open to having a conversation about this in the future? What is the harm in that?”