Supernatural enjoys one of the strongest fan-bases of any show on TV, largely thanks to bro-stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, with an assist from Misha Collins. Together the media-friendly stars have carried the series into a 12th season renewal, making it the longest running drama in the (comparatively short) history of the CW.
— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) March 31, 2016
Though shows have certainly lasted longer, somewhere around 14-15 seasons is where many dramas start to sputter so it’s natural for the stars to be thinking about how they’d like to see the series end: with a tidy wrap-up like Friday Night Lights, or a memorable bang like The Sopranos?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Ackles and Padalecki dished on what they’d do if they controlled the writers’ room, at least for an episode, and their character perspective almost seems to mirror their personal growth over eleven important years of jobs, marriage, and children.
When they were Supernatural rookies Ackles said he would have gone nuclear “If you’d asked me season 1, I would’ve thought that it would’ve been the apocalypse. But then again, you can’t end the TV show with the worst thing happening.”
He went on to discuss how the show and characters have changed, opening new story lines. Padalecki added, “It’s changed a lot over time. Part of me, loving Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, always thought it’d be great to see the boys against insurmountable odds and to freeze-frame on them and just hear stuff in the background. You don’t know if they die, you don’t know if they live, but you know that they’re going to go out in a blaze of glory.”
Ultimately, Padalecki says, their characters must remain true to who they’ve been, which is generally what fans want from their favorite heroes. “The boys can’t stop fighting. As long as they’re alive, they’re not going to stop fighting. We’re going to have to see them continue to do good together. I think that’s what’s the most important part.”
Padalecki’s thoughts echo the personal battles he’s fought in recent years which have required him to take leaves of absence from appearances to deal with depression. The experience prompted him to co-found a campaign with Ackles called “Always Keep Fighting”, through which they raise money for mental health support.
Ackles seems to prefer more bang than whimper though and thinks there’s always room for good drama and emotion. “I don’t really know where it’s going to go. I always thought Dean would make the ultimate sacrifice for his brother. I guess if I had to choose something, that’s probably what I would choose.”
But as always, true fans never want to see the series end and have some thoughts of their own. Demon-hunters in space, anyone?
And perhaps my favorite, as every fan can agree denial is better than any ending:
— Janet Lee Nye (@JanLNye) March 31, 2016