As psyched as Supernatural fans are for the "musical-ish" 200th episode, the Supernatural stars themselves were not so jazzed when they learned what the episode was going to be.
"I didn't have a positive reaction," Jensen Ackles told E! News. "The first time in I think 200 scripts I went and sat down in the showrunners office and said, ‘What in god's name are you doing?! Why? I need to understand why this is happening.'"
It took some convincing from executive producer Jeremy Carver for Ackles to finally come around to the idea.
"He gave very eloquent answers and did a great job of explaining why we were doing what we were doing," Ackles said. "I guess I had been aware of this 'fan fiction' for a while and I felt like maybe if I ignored it, it would eventually go away. When I read it in the script that is what I do for a living and is my work—I'm very protective of these characters and the story and I think we have a right to be—I wasn't angry. I just wanted to understand why and what was the message we were ultimately sending with this script and story. By the end of it, I felt good and it gave me all the confidence I needed. It was better than I could have ever hoped."
He continued, "I never should have even sat down in that office, so Jeremy, I'm sorry."
But Ackles wasn't the only one raising his eyebrows at the premise of the milestone episode. His costar Jared Padalecki's first thoughts?
"'Please don't make us sing,'" Padalecki said with a laugh. "We've been in a situation like this more than actors on other shows where they tell us to break the fourth wall. We're always thrilled. Our approach to this, is as long as we can remain true to Sam and Dean in the situation, which obviously makes for a lot of comic relief, then it's kind of daunting."
Not surprisingly, Ackles' and Padalecki's onscreen alter egos feel a lot more strongly about the high school musical they discover that is based on their lives and Chuck Shirley's (Rob Benedict) books.
"They're going to have slightly different reactions," Carver said of Sam and Dean's feelings about the musical. "One will be bemused and one will be angry or bewildered. But by the end, the strength of the passion behind the musical and the people putting it on is going to win them both over and that's really where our shout out to the fans is. That's the way we derive a lot of energy from all of the fan support out there. It's very much meant to work on that level."
And yes, since this is a musical...
"There will be singing!" Robbie Thompson, the writer of the episode, told E! News. "When I found out I was going to write the episode, I watched episode 1 through basically the last Chuck Shirley episode because that's the Winchester gospels. I really wanted to find a lot of the iconic moments from the show and really bring those to life in song. You're going to see some moments that you will remember from episodes and then you'll see a medley of stuff that will explain where we are on our journey of Supernatural."
Besides the music (and believe us, there are some gems in this episode), the next best part of the musical is the cast of high school girls portraying important and iconic Supernatural characters.
"I'm really excited for the fans to see the boys reacting to seeing their lives portrayed by high school kids putting on a musical," Thompson said. "I'm really excited for people to see the kids in this, because they're really phenomenal. They did such a great job both embodying and interpreting these characters that we all know and love, from Sam, Dean, Cas, John, Mary, all the people we love from the show."
That means that while Castiel will be in the 200th episode, it's going to be a different version of the angel fans know so well.
"Castiel is in the episode but I, Misha Collins, am not," Collins told E! News. "Have I met [the girl playing Cas]? No, and I'm going to kill them. But I've heard that it's funny. There should be some comedy there. From all accounts, it's either going to be a screaming success or an absolute train wreck."
So was Collins bummed that he didn't get to appear in the episode? Oh yeah, he was.
"When I saw the script, I also sent an email (I wasn't so audacious to show up in the writers room)," Collins said. "I sent an email, and I was like, 'I would love to be in the 200th episode because it's such a milestone and it's such a big deal.' And again, Jeremy, very eloquently, explained how they wanted to prioritize quality in this episode so they were casting Castiel with another actor. I thought that was a good choice."
Thompson knew at the start of the season that he had to be the one to write the 200th episode.
"When I heard that the fifth episode of the season was going to be absurd and about a high school musical, I was like, ‘Uh, I will kill all the other writers,'" Thompson joked. "It just felt like such a great way to craft a love letter to the show and a love letter to you guys, the fans."
That's why the showrunners and writers are extra anxious for the fans to finally get to see it.
"I'm so excited to see the fan reaction to it," Carver said. "We had a lot of fun with the episode. We took some risks and every time we do, we wonder if we've gone too far or if we've gone far enough. It's fun for us to be on the edge of our seat and wonder how if the fans are going to like it as much as you do. But we think it's a real fitting, slightly subversive salute to 200 episodes. I'm excited."
Supernatural's 200th episode airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW.