I often refer to Supernatural as a rollercoaster, but this week’s season finale episode felt more like being caught in a tsunami and tossed around until I didn’t know up from down and my heart was pounding so hard I thought I might pass out. A few times there, I didn’t know whether to reach for the tissues because I was ugly crying so hard I was dripping on my slice of pie or to reach for the Tums, I was so queasy. Every time a commercial came on and I paused to tweet something inarticulate and unspoilery (usually WHAT??! NOOOOO!!!) I marveled at the fact that after TEN YEARS this Show can still overload my emotions so much that I’m having a physiological reaction to what I’m seeing. After all this time, I care that much.
The Supernatural fandom had been on pins and needles all day in anticipation of what we’ve come to expect from season finales — an episode that rips our hearts out and then leaves us hanging for four months. Fandom passed around empathic gifs so everyone would know that we’re all in this together.
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a week for the SPNFamily. The Supernatural season finale is tomorrow, and we had all watched Jared and Jensen and Misha and the rest of the gang onstage at Asylum (on video at least) in between gnashing our teeth and sobbing about Show. When Jared tweeted that he was in desperate and urgent need of his family and had to head home before JIBCon, and then asked fans for a few seconds of time to write him, tweeting that “I need all the love I can get right now,” fandom responded by coming together in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. We’ve followed and written about this amazing fandom and Show for almost a decade, and have seen countless examples of fans supporting the Show and the cast and crew and each other – but not on this scale. I’m still in awe.
Jared’s colleagues immediately expressed their outright support, verbally and on social media.
@amellywood: Hey @jarpad. I got you.
@TravisAaronWade: For our friend @jarpad Hoping this warms your heart and puts a smile on your face brother (then he posted a little vid clip).
@mishacollins: @jarpad Love u man.
@jensenackles: .@jarpad get some rest, my brother. I got ur back…Always. #AlwaysKeepFighting #SPNfamily
I often say that watching Supernatural is a roller coaster – emotional ups and downs, violent twists and turns, screams and shouts and sometimes a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach even though you’re having a great time. The last two weeks were a bit different – Dark Dynasty was just plain dark at the end, and left me with the sinking feeling that Show had gone somewhere it would have a tough time digging itself out of. The Prisoner was dark too, but it was more of a roller coaster. This time, though, it wasn’t always my favorite one (that would be the Great Bear coaster at Hershey Park, btw). That one flies you through the air swiftly and smoothly, your feet hanging free, a gigantic grin on your face as you soar and dip and basically have the time of your life. The roller coaster ride of The Prisoner was more like one not designed quite so smoothly – one that goes at breakneck speed and sometimes jerks you around corners too roughly and leaves you screaming OUCH instead of YAY. One that creates a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, far beyond queasy. One that you stagger off of at the end clutching your heart and asking WHY??
Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But last night’s episode did have me feeling a bit sick and worse for wear. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a well done episode – it was, especially the amazing acting. But there were parts that were just too painful for me; I haven’t been able to do a rewatch yet, in fact. So this review is from my live watching, which sort of seems fitting for an episode that left me feeling so raw.
Last weekend was one of those wonderful times when my academic self and my fannish self don’t have to be split down the middle – one of those times when I can put on my fangirl hat without taking my psychologist hat off. It was the Celebration of Supernatural at DePaul University, which brought together academics who research the show and the fandom, and fans who write about the show and the fandom – in other words, since we’re all doing the same thing, why not share it with each other under the umbrella of a whirlwind day of thinky thoughts about the show we all love?
The Kings of Con Talk Their New Series, Convention Shenanigans, and Getting Muddy with Jared and Jensen
I had the pleasure of chatting with Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict (aka The Kings of Con) earlier today about their web series in the making and how the support of their SPN Family is making it happen.
Lynn: So I just have to ask: Texas Tough Mudder? You guys, Jensen and Jared, Osric, Jason Manns. How was it?
Richard: Actually it was really challenging, but it was a blast!
Lynn: (skeptical) Was it? It’s not exactly my version of fun, gotta say. But you all enjoyed it?
Richard: Well, you know, all of us are sports enthusiasts and played various sports and athletics growing up, and even though seemingly we’re like different dudes in that regard, we’re not.
Lynn: Not surprising, just still having a hard time labelling it as ‘fun’…. I really love that all the guys wore Kings of Con shirts!
Rich: The funny thing is, that was Jensen’s idea. He named the team ‘Kings of Con’. You have to name your team, so I was like, oh awesome! So we had the shirts on.
Lynn: That doesn’t surprise me at all – you guys have all supported and contributed to our books, and everyone in this cast is so supportive of everyone else’s projects.
Finally, the last of our VegasCon reminiscences – and more beautiful photos of beautiful subjects. Huge thanks to talented photographers (and fellow fangirls) Kim Prior and RitaKF for working so hard to get these amazing shots. Leave them some love in the comments!
Sunday is always a blur of J2, and that Sunday was no exception. The boys did their gold panel early, and I think everyone was grateful to poor Jared for coming even though he clearly wasn’t feeling well. That didn’t stop his irrepressible sense of humor or his affection for both his costar and the fandom.
I knew that streak of “OMG fandom all agrees about the awesomeness of this episode” wouldn’t last forever, so it wasn’t that shocking that this week’s episode split fandom down the middle once again. Half of my social media compatriots loved it and half hated it – or at least one line of it. I admit that particular line caused me to go “Huh?” – actually out loud, while scratching my head – which isn’t the reaction they were probably going for. I had to make a little cognitive detour to figure out what the hell it meant, or at least to come to my own way of making sense of it, which threw me out of the story for a minute, but then I found my way back in. Other than that glitch, and putting it aside for the moment, the rest of the episode was solid and touching, even if it didn’t quite leave me breathless or scrambling for tissues.
This was the first episode in which I found myself really liking the character of Claire. Kathryn Newton has done a credible job playing her throughout, but she was written to be annoying and that’s how she came off. This episode gave us a more mature Claire, some of her defenses partially dismantled as she searches for her mother. No coincidence that it’s her 18th birthday. Sometimes reaching that ‘legal adult’ status just brings up all the losses of childhood and makes us want to be parented all over again. I could understand Claire’s determination to figure out what happened to her mother. To find her, or at least to make sense of her abandonment. To make the chaos of her life somehow have meaning. I think Dean can relate to that need, which plays into what he says to her later.