It really is the end of an era.
As of Thursday, Sept. 10, Supernatural is on its final day of filming. This day was supposed to come back in March, but the CW staple was forced to shut production down with just two episodes left to film and five others still in post production. Showrunner Andrew Dabb promised that there was a plan to come back and finish the series and that's exactly what happened, prolonging that goodbye we've already spent years dreading.
Ackles, who has played Dean Winchester for 15 years, appeared on the Sept. 8 episode of Michael Rosenbaum's podcast Inside You and talked about the end of the show. When he recorded the podcast, he had just returned to Vancouver to start production.
"I like to say that episode 19 was the season finale and then episode 20 was the series finale," Ackles said, going on to explain that whenever he gets to the final two episodes of a season, he often wishes he could take a break. But he never anticipated a break like this.
"Usually what happens is you work your ass off for nine months and then the last couple episodes are the biggest, most emotional, action-packed crescendo of the entire season," he said. "So it's like running a marathon and then they expect you to sprint the last few miles. It's always pretty exhausting, and I do remember having the thought of 'I wish we could regroup and like have a little break, get refreshed.' And I did not anticipate a four and a half month refreshment. I'm good! I'm refreshed! I'm ready to go."
This has been the longest break Ackles has ever had from work and while the break didn't make him rethink the final season, he said he does believe there will be more Supernatural in the future.
"The ship has already sailed on this being the final season. Jared's already got another show lined up, I've got a few stokers in the fire, so we're gonna knock this out, try to do it justice," he said. "I've always thought that there was a possibility of five years down the road getting the call and saying, 'Hey, let's do a little short order action for a streaming network and bring it back for six episodes.'"
"This isn't like the long goodbye right now," he continued. "I feel like this is a 'Let's hang this in the closet for now, and we'll dust her off down the road a bit.'"
Even if there's more to come someday, the cast and crew is feeling the loss of the show. Padalecki posted a picture on Instagram with a caption that might just make you cry.
"Well here goes..." he wrote. "I write this as I head to my last day of #Supernatural. My last day with #SamWinchester. Obviously, my head is spinning and my emotions are stratospheric, but there's still a bit of time left on the clock."
"Thank y'all SO MUCH for the incredible amount of love and support that's been headed our way, in these final hours," he continued. "It's definitely been felt. I'll check in soon, but, for now, #WeHaveWorkToDo."
Ackles then posted his own tribute, making the tears official.
"Woke up at 6am this morning," he wrote. "That alarm went off with a heavy tone. Today is the final day of a 15 year journey. One that has changed my life forever. To those I have worked with on this journey and to those who have watched and supported...you will never understand my great appreciation for you. 'Thank you' doesn't cover it. There just aren't words. I'm so grateful for these memories that I will carry with me forever. What a ride it has been. And what a run. #spnfamilyforever here are a few shots from our final days...including today. I'll try and send more later, but in true SPN form...we are in the middle of "nowhere" and have zero service. Go figure. Stay tuned."
Star Misha Collins, who plays Castiel, shared show creator Eric Kripke's tweet with his own thank you to the series.
"You've changed my life in so many ways and you changed the world for the better," he wrote. "Fight on."
The final seven episodes of Supernatural premiere Thursday, Oct. 8 on The CW.