Op-Ed: ‘Supernatural’ – The End of an Era
Author’s Note: I know ‘Supernatural’ is not what we usually cover here at GOC, but this place is my home and my family, and this show is part of it and who I am. I really need to express myself over this, no matter how silly it may seem. Don’t tell me what’s wrong with the show and why you hate it. Let me say goodbye the only way I know how.
March 22, 2019, will be forever left in my memory as the day I was expecting…but never really saw coming. Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins (the three main leads of Supernatural), shared a video where they announced after 15 years on the air, they would say their goodbyes once the next season was done.
It may seem silly (and it certainly is to some), but I cried like I haven’t cried in a long time because I was seeing these three men barely keeping it together in the video as they shared their thoughts about this decision. This is one of those times where “it hurts me more than it hurts you” actually applies in regards to a television show.
Whenever people asked me why I kept watching Supernatural after all the times it made me angry for things such as general decisions regarding the characters I love so much – the truth is, I continued to watch because this show has been there for me for more than half of my life, and I honestly don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have it. Thinking on it, I’d probably be a person I wouldn’t recognize.
I’ve been a fan of the show since I was 8-years-old, and while it certainly has its faults – a lack of diversity in terms of people of colour in their leads and a history of sort of queerbaiting their fans – the truth is that this show has shaped me in many ways, some that I’ll try to convey in this piece as I try to process my feelings over the show’s confirmed ending.
It has shaped how I see my failures, not as concepts that define me, but as things that I overcome and help me grow. It has shown me great rock and roll songs, all while teaching me how to be able to laugh at myself and not take what happens way too seriously, as life is too short for that.
But mainly, Supernatural has helped me by shaping how I see the concept of family and what that word truly means, as well as what is like to actually belong to one.
The main topic the show revolves around is that family doesn’t end in blood, and it certainly doesn’t begin with it either. Family is made by the people you choose in your life and who have been there with you through everything – the good and the bad, sticking by your side even when you’re a dumb-ass or make terrible mistakes.
But that’s not everything Supernatural has done for me. The series has been there for me through some truly dark moments in my life; when I was down and felt like I had nowhere to go, put a smile on my face when all I saw was darkness, made me laugh when I didn’t think it was possible to do so. It became my inspiration to finally chase my acting dream and make it a reality, wishing that one day I’d be there to share an adventure with Sam and Dean. Even though I may never be on screen with them, I am living my dreams thanks to these guys, and for that, I don’t have enough words to thank everyone involved in the show.
But mostly, what this show did was make me feel less alone in the world.
It may seem ironic that a show about family made me closer to my own family, but I became closer to them thanks to this show, and in return, understood them better, knowing that while you may certainly never see eye-to-eye with your family, if they truly love you they will always support you and be there for you, no matter how many times you clash. Sometimes you tell them things you don’t mean, but you will always come back together when it truly matters.
I will forever remember in my heart the moments I shared with my dad and my sister while binge-watching Supernatural once it was out on DVD/ Blu-Ray. It was great to bond over watching an entire weekend of the Winchesters fates, and their quests to save people, hunt things, and the family business.
I’ve felt for a while that the ending was near, but at the same time, I was trying to convince myself (and others) that this show would never end, and I would be able to share the series with my kids in the future on those nights when Supernatural aired. I knew it was coming, just by watching the show and its current themes, I was feeling it in my bones, but it still broke my heart to watch that video confirming something I expected, but never truly thought was possible. I honestly thought Supernatural would go on forever.
While I may be heartbroken for it’s confirmed ending, at the same time I’m incredibly glad and relieved that Supernatural goes out on its own terms – not because it got cancelled, but because they feel it’s the right time to go. I’m sure the grand finale will be an epic one, much like Swan Song was when we all thought that would be the end of it all.
We still have a year left to enjoy the show, and I hope that it ends with these characters having the happy ending they truly deserve. However, before the end is here, let’s make it a great year by supporting the cast and crew, as I’m pretty sure they’re having a harder time than us since they’re saying goodbye to a huge part of their lives. Don’t make petitions to keep it going, don’t disrespect them by saying they owe us an explanation. They owe us nothing. It was Jared, Jensen, Misha and the writers’ decision to end the series, and we should respect that, regardless of how much it hurts.
Fanfics, cosplays, conventions, the memories – these are all things that we fans can carry with us. This family won’t die unless we let it die. As long as we remember these times, these characters, these people, they won’t ever be truly gone. They mean a great deal to me, and I’m sure they’ll always be part of my life, even if they’re not having new adventures any longer.
I may not have been part of the actual show like I always dreamed, or actually met any of them for that matter*, but I was part of the family and that is something that will live with me for as long as I live.
This is not goodbye, at least not yet, but I just want to say how thankful I am that my 8-year-old self walked into an episode of Bloody Mary being defeated by the Winchesters one night. Her life, my life, was never the same after that.
I’m sure I’ll cry more when this is over but in the meantime:
Carry on, my wayward son.
*Once I was in Vancouver and saw Jensen Ackles, but I was so starstruck I only stood there, like an idiot. Not a picture, a hello, or anything. Now, it only lives in my memory.