(For those that missed part one of the report, that can be found here: http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/con-reports/19374-report-comic-con-2015-alice-s-supernatural-adventures-part-one)
Last but not least, things got really weird when Richard talked about the next guy chipping gold out of his molars to “pay for his next fix.” Back rooms, dark alleys, yada yada. When he was told it wasn’t Robbie Thompson (which is why the joke is funny since they're close friends), he decided to just “bring out the next guy then.” Enter first time panelist Andrew Dabb. At this point, Jared is still stuck on the chipping the gold out of his molars joke. Rob and Richard wisely move on.
(All photos from Alice Jester unless otherwise noted)
Rob assures Jeremy Carver they got the list of things they can’t talk about, so rest assured they won’t reveal that, “Castiel leaves the Garrison to pursue a career in dentistry,” and “The Darkness is actually a hard rock group from the 90’s.” That last one was my theory! I knew it! :) If they start the whole season to a montage of “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” then I’m officially giving Jeremy Carver a pass on everything (okay, maybe not season nine). BTW, that song, from their debut album, is from 2003, not the 90’s. But I’m just splitting hairs.
Rob simplifies the first question. “The Darkness, what up with that?” I won’t share the spoilers mentioned (that goes on our spoiler page), but let’s get say things are going back to an epic feel. Of course while Carver is saying all this Jared is making squishy faces real close to him then starts breathing hard on him. Jensen usually sits next to Carver at these things, so I’m sure he’ll make sure that happens next year! Jeremy doesn’t miss a beat though. If anything, he’s surprised people want to hear what he has to say. “I’m putting myself to sleep here.”
Richard then opens a BIG bit door, asking Jared and Jensen how they think Sam and Dean will beat this thing. Be prepared for the Padalecki. “I think we’ll beat it, because we’re not the lose-Chesters.” He does an “up-top” with Jensen who returns the high five! Mark Sheppard, who as I mentioned spent most of this panel laughing his ass off, managed to get in a “that is so bad” comment. Jensen claimed he’d been working on that for years, while Misha was just ashamed to be sitting next to him. Jared was just happy he nailed it. “That is the most written bit we have for this entire panel,” said Richard. Now Jensen starts howling! “There’s a reason Jared doesn’t have a long sitcom reel,” joked Richard and that gave us early indication where this panel was going. Jared tried to get serious, but all he had to do was mention the “lose-Chesters” again the crowd kept laughing. Jared saw what was going on and gave the line again! The crowd screams. “I love sympathy comedy,” said Misha. Sorry, I don’t remember Jared’s answer at that point because of my own laughter, but I believe the theme is the brothers will be working together.
(Photo from FangasmSPN)
Richard brought up the Mark of Cain with Jensen and how he was saddled with that the whole year (don’t remind me!) “Obviously something happened at the end last season and now it’s figuring out how we’re going to deal with the decisions that we have made, which is pretty much what we do for the past ten years anyway,” answered Jensen. “Just ten?” Jared joked. The brothers will be united, similar to season one when they were looking for Dad (huge cheer from the crowd). The brothers aren’t inflicted with something like demon blood or the Mark of Cain, and now they’re reunited to fight a common target. “I’m excited about that, I’m excited to get back to that original formal,” Jensen said.
Just wait though, Mr. Carver has a disclaimer. “Everything that Jensen just said, I’m just going to say ‘ish’.” Jensen is not amused! He encouraged people to crash his Twitter, but considering Carver wisely doesn’t have one, that won’t work! Lord knows fans have tried. :)
(Photo from FangasmSPN)
Unofficial poll time! The Padalecki wants to know how many people started watching in the last year. A smattering. How many have started watching because of Netflix? That got a much larger response. It dawned on him just how many people have grown up watching them over ten years. We saw evidence of that at Thursday’s Wayward Cocktails. This got Misha’s attention! He claimed he was rather moved by the retrospective at the beginning. “I was bawling actually.” “I’m one of the new kids and I’ve been doing this going into 8 seasons now.” He’s amazed how their relationship has changed with the fans, initially being afraid of them, then they started collaborating with fans… “And now you’re angry with the fans,” interrupted Richard. “And now we’re really angry at the fans…” joked Misha. In all seriousness, it’s been an amazing journey and now it’s amazing seeing a second generation of fans watching. “It’s totally bizarre and wonderful.”
Somehow, that was the perfect segue to the Teen Choice Award nominations! First a congratulations for the Best Actor nomination for Jared. But the real talk is the “Best Chemistry” between Jensen and Misha (Dean and Castiel). Misha understood why. “We actually have a chemistry set we work with on set and I assume that’s what they’re talking about.” Jensen added to the joke by saying how they get boxes in their trailers and Jared gets fan mail while he and Misha get beakers! “Or at least you will now,” said Richard.
Since that chemistry bit fell flat, Richard went for the hard stuff. He said to Misha, “You guys have branded yourselves the best team since Ernie and Bert.” Misha was speechless, while Mark wanted to know which one was which! That got everyone rolling. They have no answer. Richard asked if the Castiel and Dean relationship is still growing and fluttering in Season 11? They all turn to Jeremy and Andrew for answers. The word “ish” gets thrown around a lot before Carver says yes, because there’s no way he’s going to say no to this crowd!
(Photo from FangasmSPN)
Yeah, well Richard isn’t done yet. He went back to Misha. “Why limit yourself to one Winchester? What about a little Sastiel action?” Misha does have an answer for that! “Because the height difference between me and Jared is just too jarring.” Yes, Jared and Jensen could be seen wiping a tear or two from their eyes in laughter after that answer. Rob tried exploring the whole Castiel beat down of Crowley. “I think I speak for the entire rest of the cast when I say that opportunities to have fight scenes with Mark are really satisfying.” Misha then claimed that sometimes they convince directors and producers to let them shoot what they tell Mark are scenes, “…but they are never intended to air. We just pound on him for a little bit while the cameras pretend to roll. It’s pretty cathartic.” “It’s called elder abuse,” countered Mark. Just think, only a couple of years ago Misha was the butt of all the beatdown jokes.
Rob and Richard try to move onto Andrew Dabb, but Mark doesn’t like how he was skipped. There was a very good reason for this, but hey, Mark forced it, even throwing a tantrum by moving to the end of the table away from everyone. He came back though, to get his Funko Pop doll before going back to the end of the table. Well, since he forced it, now it’s time for the most outrageous bit of ANY panel I’ve seen, not just this one. Rob and Richard have arranged a special guest star just for Mark. Someone that worked with him on several episodes this year. Introducing…the hamster.
Yes, Mark loses it. Jared loses it and it got nuts. Rob held a stuffed hamster and mimicked it talking while Richard stood behind him doing the voices. “I just want to say for the record, that was the best and kindest actor I’ve worked with in ten seasons,” said Mark. What’s funny is during this whole bit, the accent of the Hamster kept changing! The entire panel was laughing so hard it looked like they’re going to break into convulsions, especially Mark and Jared. Jared even got up and stepped on the Crowley Funko Pop doll that Jensen threw back there earlier. The Hamster noticed! “Aww, somebody stepped on your Funko head. You’re Funked. He just got Face Funked.”
The Hamster tried to get a question out for Mark about the season finale, but he’s having some voice issues. “I know my accent is going from somewhere in South America to Italian, so bear with me…” The Hamster pointed out the “bitch slap” that Crowley got from Castiel and basically wanted to know what’s happening with Crowley in season 11. “Help a brother out.” Everyone was wiping tears from their eyes now. “My stomach hurts,” said Jared and Mark cracked up again! “We need tissues, the whole panel’s in tears,” said Jensen.
Mark’s answer, “I’m dead. They just let come here because I was going to show up anyway. Have a great season guys, it was fun.” Everyone played along with that answer and Mark noticed that the hamster’s lips weren’t moving anymore. “He’s a hamster after all,” Rob answered. Mark loses it again! “Still the best actor I’ve worked with ten seasons.”
With the hamster taking a prominent spot on the podium, Richard went to the only guy left, Andrew Dabb. “No, following that is going to be great. Ask me something about angels, it’s going to be awesome.” Richard brought up the long history “Supernatural” has with the meta episodes of the show like “The French Mistake” and “Changing Channels” (since he was in that), so will there be anything like that this year? “No,” answers Andrew. He mentioned episode 4 (see our interview with Jared for the big spoiler on that.)
Back to the Carver. Any fan favorites coming back this year? Yes, but they’re coming back in a surprise way so he can’t talk about it. Rob claimed that was a personal question, hoping he was one of them. “Is the Hamster coming back?” Mark asked. The Hamster couldn’t confirm, but he gave a wish list! “It would be nice to work with one of the boys.” Mark was dying, because the accent has drifted Italian again.
Rob tried to go back to straight forward questions, asking Jared how the Mark of Cain was harder on Sam than Dean. How will Sam be affected by that? He gave a round about answer and then ended with “We’re not the lose-Chesters.” He motioned Jensen for another “up top” and Jensen looked at him with disdain. Jared ran his hand through his hair instead to save face. “The problem is, we’re slowly becoming the lose-Chesters,” said Jensen, realizing that they had an overdone bit.
Rob and Richard tried to ask Misha about Castiel’s in season 11 in this new alliance. In his failure to come up with an answer, Mark made funny faces! The Hamster decided to reminisce instead! “I remember that from break time. Your stuff is golden.” Mark broke into laughter again. Who knew Mark could be so amused by a stuffed rodent? He wanted to know what break time.
Misha, who was still trying to come up with an answer, turned to Andrew for help, asking he’s correct in saying they are united against a common enemy. Yes. “We know that Castiel is not really a fan favorite, so he’s not that involved,” joked Andrew. They’ll find something for him to do. Oh yes, this panel has really gone off the rails!
(Photo from FangasmSPN)
It’s time to go through the panel again. Jensen talked about the big return and how he’s directing this episode. After being on break, everyone has come back refreshed. Some people on that panel even said how happy they were to be coming back. “That was a private conversation,” Misha answered with offense. “That was a private moment. Unbelievable. Is nothing sacred?”
This did produce a great Jensen director story from Misha! They did a scene and Jensen came out of the tent and asked him to do it again differently. Then he came out of the tent after they did another take and he looked a little unsatisfied, giving Misha another note to tweak it. “And then he came out of the tent after the third take and said, ‘I think I’m making it worse.’ So not everybody came back fresh and ready to go, evidently somebody had dropped the ball over hiatus and forgotten how to act,” Misha joked (remember, everything Misha says is usually a joke).
Jensen added that it worked. It just takes knowing what to say to certain people until you get the performance out of them. “There’s some people you don’t have to talk to at all,” (Jared staring at him closely), “nobody on this stage.” So the Hamster said something. “I’ve never had the pleasure of working with you,” said Jensen to the Hamster and yes, now Jensen is on stage talking to a Hamster. This panel has gotten about as surreal as it can get.
What’s it like directing Jared? (Jared lifts his foot up and listens with curiosity). “Jared knows his character so well, Mark knows his character well, Misha is still working on it…” Basically he doesn’t have to direct the main cast much. They know what they’re doing. He can focus on trying to tell the story through the camera. He mentioned Ruth (O’Connell, aka Rowena) during that question, who turned out was in the audience! She stood up and waved and Jensen remembered that she was the chick earlier that said she was in Vancouver for shooting. Of course she was, she’s in the episode!
Jensen also commended how the crew are a big safety net. It’s one big family. “We’ve seen children grown up, we’ve seen people get married, we’ve been through births, through deaths, through marriages, through divorces, it runs the gambit of what we’ve experienced with this whole group of people. There’s a majority of them that are still there that have been there since day one and that’s pretty special when you work in this industry to have that time spent with that many people.” Mark even added something sweet! “There’s no better feeling than going to work and being embraced by the arms of your family and know you have people there to trust, that just smile at you and make your day better.” Jensen added that coming to places like this (big cheer from crowd) makes it all that much more inspirational as well.
(Photo from FangasmSPN)
They went back to Mark for a question, but he only wanted questions from the Hamster. “Well, I’m dead, there’s not much I can really do.” While that doesn’t mean anything on this show, Mark claimed he has no trailer or anywhere to park his car. Misha picked up his Crowley Funko doll. “Yeah, well these dolls are obsolete now.” He throws it into the crowd! Mark is still amazed how this journey came to be. “I showed up as a guest star, kissing a very tall man under a bridge. And suddenly it’s seven seasons later and it’s been the most fun journey I’ve ever had.”
Fan questions time! The Hamster takes a break. Mark needed time anyway to rest his sides.
Right around this time, as we were instructed, everyone turned on their “Always Keep Fighting” lights. These lights were passed out to all the audience members on the way in and we were really waiting for this moment (the picture of my mini candle is at the beginning of this article). You could tell that the panel had no idea what’s going on, they just saw pretty lights. Jared was stunned by the whole thing and starts taking pictures while Jensen answered a question about Demon Dean. “What’s happening right now?” Jensen asked in the middle of his answer. “I’m not sure Jensen but I think you’re supposed to sing Freebird,” joked Richard. The fans told the meaning. “Always keep fighting.” Jared was very moved and did a standing ovation as well as Mark.
(Photo from FangasmSPN)
The next fan got the panel’s attention, which was clearly distracted by the lights. The question was for Jeremy and Andrew. “Considering that women have been used too often to move the plot of male characters, why was the decision made to kill Charlie and throw her in a bathtub?” Mark started laughing hysterically again while a wry smile came on Jensen and Misha’s faces. Jared, Jensen, Misha and Mark all kick back casually and wait for Mr. Carver to give his answer. He’s on his own!
“You know, the day Andrew suggested that…” said Jeremy and everyone started laughing. He wasn’t off the hook yet though! He did struggle through the answer. “Any time you have a favorite character on the show, people die on the show. There’s so many ways to answer that, it’s tough for me to answer. She’s an absolutely beloved character, beloved in the show, when you’re in the writers room, you have to go where the story takes us. And we try and to it without…” The others start mentioning stepping out and Jeremy joked, “This is the worst day of my life. And I’d like to thank everyone up here for the support.” The Carver came up with the final answer though. “We have favorite characters throughout the years who come on the show. If we’re doing our job right people fall in love with characters, and with the show where pretty everybody dies at one point or another, it’s one of those, horrible, sad, and dramatic things that we do on the show. “
Jensen comes in to help finally, pointing out that Charlie was only supposed to be a one off. We got to enjoy her a lot longer than intended we should be thankful with the time we spent with her. Aww, what a sweet little bail out of an unsatisfying answer. A person at our table in the press room grilled both Jeremy and Andrew about Charlie, telling them the fix the situation. They were a little more composed about it at that point. Back to Jensen’s answer, Rob mentioned the same thing happening with “Game of Thrones.” Jensen played ignorant, not knowing what show that is. It’s funny to watch Rob twist through that bit! Richard jumped in to help his bud though. “You’ll know when they do the “Supernatural” spoof of it and you have to dress up like Jon Snow.” Great answer! I really want to see that.
Next question. Do they ever pitch ideas to the writers? Jensen had the answer. “All the time. It gets filed under ‘actor bullshit.’” Jared thought they did that once and they went the other way. He enjoys his place as an actor. He doesn’t mind changing a line here or there, but they don’t guide their character’s direction. “If I did we would have been cancelled a long time ago.” He finished, “I wanted leather and a motorcycle.” Weird look from Jensen! I don’t think that’s what he got.
Are there any monsters they were afraid of as kids? Jared - “Bloody Mary and Hookman.” Jensen to Jared – “Really?” Jensen’s answer - the thunder and lightning storms they had in Texas. Jared to Jensen - “Really?” Jensen - “Yes, because it’s real.”
Misha won the question though with his story, which by the way got Mark rolling again! When he was four, his family decided to dress his uncle up as Santa Claus with a bag of toys and take a picture of him next to Misha’s bed while he was sleeping to authenticate that Santa Claus was really there. “I saw that picture and it really freaked me the f*** out.” He saw it as a creep lurking around his bedroom. He found the whole concept of Santa Claus terrifying. “I’m pitching that as a concept right now, Jeremy. Maybe we can deal with the bane that is Santa Claus.” Oh Misha. His childhood traumas are always the best. Mark is still waiting for the Cybermen. That got huge cheers.
While Mark was giving his answer, something extraordinary was happening on the other end of the table. Jared was given a sheet from Richard about the reason for the lights. Jared’s jaw dropped in amazement and he was blown away to the point where he was on the brink of tears. He tried to motion to the crowd to show his gratitude, but a Q&A was still going on and he had to keep things moving. This little event for him ended up being the big news of the day for the con, making major news on media outlets. It just goes to show what an impact “Always Keep Fighting” has made.
What was their favorite scene this season? Jensen – the fight scene with Cain. He was more banged up that he normally gets. “Those are markings I wear with pride.” It was a really great scene to do with Tim. Jared - the finale, the showdown. “There was so much heart in the dialogue that was written. It really struck a chord with me.” Misha – “I liked closing out Jimmy’s storyline. That was cathartic for me. I have to play another character than Castiel, which is something I haven’t done for more than a decade.” He had to dust himself off. Mark - Loved working with Ruth. Loved the guy that played Gerald. “Poor Gerald.” Andrew - Writing for Demon Dean (in “Reichenbach”). “Jensen embraced his inner psychotic, which comes out mostly behind the scenes.” Jeremy loved the Crowley and Rowena dynamic.
The next fan started watching in April and watched a season a week. “Do you think that’s caused lasting damage?” asked Misha. She claimed it didn’t, but we’ll see! From season ten, what was your favorite episode?
Jeremy - the 200th episode. He was really proud of what everyone had done. Jared - second that, although a strange “Saved By The Bell” example came with that answer (that’s so Jared!) Jensen agreed about the 200th (not the “Save By The Bell” thing). He also mentioned the one he directed, chasing Sam around the bunker with a hammer. He was focused on that. It has a special place in his heart. Misha - The 200th was his favorite, “even though it had a glaring omission.” It didn’t have Mark Sheppard in it. Mark loved Jensen’s episode because he put Max in as his minion. Andrew - 200th and the season premiere every year. It gets the fire burning. Dabb also mentioned that his contract is up at the end of this year, so that’s probably where the shout out to Carver’s episodes came from. Mark – “I thought you were the smartest man in the writer’s room.” Andrew - ‘The bar is low, Mark, the bar is low.” Sadly, that’s really a little too close to accurate for my liking!
When reading the script, did they disagree with the actions of their characters? Jared - Very often. Somehow only Jared got to answer this one, because they were sadly out of time and running late is not an option is Hall H. It’s a big venue to clear in and out in 15 minutes.
Richard asked for some quick parting thoughts. Jensen - “I’d like the thank the Hamster for being here.” He always loves it when guest stars come back. He also thanked the audience. "We’ve been doing this for a number of years now and it never ceases to amaze me." “Thanks for continuing to watch and support and inspire us to do what we do.” But we can’t end without a word from The Padalecki, who honestly deserved to say something after this lovely tribute to him. “The gratitude you feel towards us we feel for you. We don’t exist without you.” Aww, Moose, right back at ya.
They all stood up and waved their goodbyes, but not before throwing the remaining Crowley boxes (including the one Jared stepped on) and the Hamster into the crowd. Someone two rows behind me got the Hamster!
Oh, but we knew that wasn’t the end. The end of the panel doesn’t mean the end of the panel. It means the beginning of the Gag Reel! I know that a version of that leaked online and many of you got to see it, but for those that didn’t, the memorable parts are Jared, Jensen, and Misha hamming up a serious MOC scene in ugly Christmas sweaters (I didn’t know they made one so big for Jared!) and my favorite scene from “Soul Survivor.” Sam welcomes back Dean and then asks him why he tried to kill him with a hammer. “Because I wanted to nail you.” BWAH!!!! Honestly, they should have kept that. It would have actually brought some actual entertainment to that script.
After that, I had to book it over to the Bayfront for the “Supernatural” press room. I already posted all the interviews from that here on the site and included all the transcripts. After that I sat down by the gorgeous San Diego bay on that gorgeous day and worked for a few hours trying to get my interviews up while SPN fans headed over the Nerd HQ. What I didn’t anticipate, but should have figured, is I was interrupted every five minutes or so by passers by loving my costume. No, I wasn’t dressed up for Comic Con, but my laptop was.
The hectic weekend ended with nothing more than a quiet dinner by the bay and a trip back to the hotel to go through the reports from the seven shows I covered. I definitely got a ton done the next day, because heavy rain blowing through Chicago and the Midwest ruined numerous travel plans, including mine. When you spend about seven to eight hours at the airport, there’s plenty of time for blogging! At least I did eventually get home at 5 am on Tuesday, much later than planned. Others were still sleeping at the airport when I left. I came home wrecked and exhausted, but I also had the time of my life.
Oh, and thanks to Ben Edlund, I imagine Hall M next year, the sound of the “Supernatural” crowd cheers filling the sky, much like when the Padres hit a home run. There’s also the boys in full HD on the Jumbotron. A girl can dream, right?
Oh, and as an extra note, you can follow the Hamster now on Twitter. Just follow @HamsterSPN for all your news on acting rodents with many accents and what it’s like to be a person friend of Mark Sheppard. I'm sure it's an interesting life.
Thanks Comic Con, it was fun. See you again next year.