News

Supernatural After 14 Seasons: Where Will Sam and Dean Travel Next?

Find out what the long-running CW series will never do, plus a few suggestions of storylines the Winchester brothers haven't yet explored.

by | March 7, 2019 | Comments

Starting with two brothers, a beloved Chevy Impala, and some demon-hunting equipment, Supernatural defied the odds to become one of the longest-running primetime shows in television history. It is also one of the few genre shows to break the tenth season mark, joining the classic Doctor Who in a very rarefied club of long, continuous production runs. When Rotten Tomatoes spoke with the cast and producers during a celebration of the program’s 300th episode, they all credited its longevity to two factors: first, stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, and second, the on-set family dynamic that now includes a large stable of recurring characters and eventual co-leads like Misha Collins.

“I think that my favorite [aspect] is the growing family dynamic of the show where the core cast, which used to be just Sam and Dean, has really become a legitimate group of people who very much love each other and care about each other,” said executive producer Brad Buckner.

That family feel was on display in the 300th episode, which aired last month, but it left us wondering where the show can go now. Have the Winchesters driven every highway, rural route, private drive, parkway and surface street in their never-ending relationship with forces beyond imaging? The CW doesn’t think so, considering the network has already renewed the program for a historic 15th season. But let’s take a look at some directions Supernatural could go next.


Alien Invasion

MARS ATTACKS!; Supernatural Jensen Ackles as Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam (©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection; Dean Buscher/The CW)

(Photo by Mars Attacks!: ©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection; Supernatural: Dean Buscher/The CW)

To be sure, this is a pie-in-the-sky idea considering creator Eric Kripke‘s stated rule that aliens do not exist in the Supernatural universe. Over the years, the show has poked fun at its slight similarities to The X-Files via a handful of episodes in which aliens turn out to be fairies or frauds. It is a completely understandable decision as the show is literally called Supernatural. You really don’t expect to see E.T. or grey aliens plotting with Rowena (Ruth Connell) or Alternate Michael (various actors including Ackles).

But now that the image is in your mind, consider this little thought experiment: What if they suddenly arrived and defied everyone’s assumption that they were not real. What if the angels and demons had no knowledge of them and could not account for their existence? Suddenly, the assumed political paradigm of the cosmos is upended because God never mentioned that he created other life in the universe. Alliances would have to be made, as well.

It leads to plenty of questions. Are the aliens bound by the same rules of engagement? Do they have their own versions of angels and demons to contend with? Are there alien equivalents of Heaven and Hell? In which case, does each sentient alien race have one of its own and why would God make things so complicated?

For the boys, it would start with disbelief and, no doubt, an eventual alliance with at least one extraterrestrial. Similarly, their adversaries would be looking for the angle immediately. And that’s before the show even thinks to introduce a second alien species. But on a larger scale, it would be interesting to see all of these impossibly old spirits lose their sense of security because a completely unknown element is in orbit above the Earth.

Yeah, it’s a reach, but it would be a funny one.


A Return to the Road

"Lazarus Rising" - Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL on the CW. Photo credit: Sergei Bachlakov ©2008 THE CW NETWORK, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

(Photo by Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

Since season 8, the Winchesters have had a place to call home within the bunker formerly used by the Men of Letters. It offers them a respite from their investigations even if it comes under attack from within and without all the time. But when it was first introduced, it was meant to change one key element of the show: Sam and Dean’s eternal journey across the country solving weird events. Six years later, it feels like the boys could lose the bunker and roam around essentially homeless. The material to write that story is there and, really, losing the sense of security the Bunker offers would be a huge shock to their systems — even more shocking than Sam or Dean getting possessed again.

And since it seems neither brother will ever have any semblance of a domestic life, removing their sense of home would reinforce that they are riding or dying together. This could go to the extreme of removing Castiel, Mary (Samantha Smith), and Jack (Alexander Calvert) — which would be a shocking turn at this point – but even if the five of them are forced to move from town to town, it could alter the program’s dynamic in unexpected and interesting ways.


Monsters of Myth

SUPERNATURAL Image SN2 - 0698 Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean star in SUPERNATURAL on THE CW. Photo Credit: Michael Muller/The CW

(Photo by Michael Muller/The CW)

There was a time, 14 years ago, when the show was about Sam and Dean following up on urban legends and mythical creature sightings. Their dealings with Lucifer and the political structure of Heaven appeared later (even if it was seeded from the start). What if, suddenly, the forces of Heaven and Hell were gone? In the absence of demons and angels, wendigos, fairy folk, will-o’-the-wisps, jiangshi, and other creatures could try to hold sway upon the Earth. One imagines they would try to fill the power vacuum left by the departed angels and demons. It would reframe Sam and Dean’s mission and, possibly, create an end point for their fight as they clear away all of the supernatural creatures. Of course, they would be faced with the existential reality that evil can originate in humans without any supernatural source, but then it would be a different show.

Maybe that’s the Supernatural spin-off The CW would actually pick up to series.


The Road No One Will Take

Supernatural -- "Devil's Bargain" -- Image Number: SN1313a_0238b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jensen Ackles as Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)

There is definitely one version of the show producers say they will never try to do: one in which either Sam or Dean is gone permanently.

“The heart and soul of this show is really the relationship with the brothers,” executive producer Robert Singer told Rotten Tomatoes. “They just deliver and their personal relationship is so close. That really comes through on screen. I’ve actually done shows where the two actors weren’t quite as fond of each other, and I think that shows up on screen. But these guys are great and they just live in these characters and so it’s easy for us to write for them.”

Singer and Buckner both agreed that losing one of their leads would mean to end the show.

As it happens, Supernatural even offered its own example of what the show would look like with a Winchester brother absent: The survivor leaves the life and settles down. Now, we would love to see Ackles in show where he is a retired hero trying to adjust to the humdrum suburban world, but we wouldn’t want that show to be an “AfterSupernatural” style spin-off or, worse, a Padalecki-less season 16.

Nonetheless, Supernatural keeps finding ways to keep its flame alive. It bends the Winchesters into impossible shapes, ports them over to alternate realities, and even reunites them with long-lost family. It also keeps the politics of the Heavens strange and compelling. Maybe that’s enough fuel to get the Impala to season 20.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Tag Cloud

Starz Nat Geo sports Spring TV Pixar Mary Poppins Returns screenings Hallmark Christmas movies National Geographic YouTube Red razzies Superheroe BAFTA Amazon Prime Video blockbuster cinemax ViacomCBS Shudder trailers stand-up comedy San Diego Comic-Con Nickelodeon 4/20 comiccon renewed TV shows rom-coms TCM Crackle NBC parents asian-american documentaries The Witch crossover 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sundance Now Cartoon Network movie spain hispanic TCA 2017 animated Food Network police drama Horror Syfy crime a nightmare on elm street Paramount Network Women's History Month zombies docudrama pirates of the caribbean The Academy Superheroes child's play CW Seed Disney+ Disney Plus nfl book CBS batman Countdown ghosts Oscars sequel streaming richard e. Grant USA Network cartoon political drama SDCC justice league USA diversity football Reality Marvel Studios See It Skip It Fox News Winter TV Podcast king kong Tumblr Winners directors kids sag awards zombie Classic Film talk show golden globe awards VH1 71st Emmy Awards Cannes Cosplay Western laika AMC Extras FXX teaser Disney TruTV boxoffice APB festivals Pirates scorecard Universal Trailer HBO video on demand cancelled festival BBC One casting Premiere Dates New York Comic Con History anime Nominations Tomatazos 2020 Reality Competition TNT Apple TV+ Comic Book venice Mudbound 99% Kids & Family news Comedy children's TV twilight robots Pet Sematary best award winner war Mindy Kaling Alien Fantasy comic Sci-Fi mission: impossible spanish popular Endgame travel cops cats Martial Arts Rocky GoT Bravo Crunchyroll adventure Schedule WarnerMedia MCU zero dark thirty Walt Disney Pictures godzilla game show ABC Signature emmy awards Thanksgiving comedies indie Hulu DGA Discovery Channel nature finale American Society of Cinematographers dragons concert Lionsgate indiana jones archives game of thrones Best and Worst strong female leads biography PBS Netflix canceled mockumentary CBS All Access Spike stop motion Box Office Grammys crime thriller BBC Awards Set visit werewolf Film Festival adaptation period drama space Watching Series Heroines canceled TV shows 2018 psycho 2017 PaleyFest thriller Stephen King what to watch series The Arrangement First Look comic books spy thriller theme song MTV ABC Awards Tour slashers Emmys Britbox screen actors guild President Freeform YouTube Premium independent mutant YouTube rotten movies we love fresh Hear Us Out SundanceTV FOX Avengers kaiju scary movies ITV psychological thriller superhero Disney Channel TV historical drama Marvel Television OneApp quibi boxing Pop deadpool Sundance 20th Century Fox Valentine's Day Family Mary poppins Chernobyl Star Trek Fox Searchlight jurassic park Fall TV DC Comics Sony Pictures Acorn TV Musicals Logo The Purge dogs Binge Guide VOD natural history docuseries TV Land italian TCA Awards Exclusive Video comics Lucasfilm rt archives women ESPN james bond Television Academy Calendar reboot movies E! BET X-Men blockbusters Red Carpet spider-man Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt serial killer toy story video Creative Arts Emmys facebook Photos Spectrum Originals DC Universe Disney Plus joker Dark Horse Comics cancelled TV series Writers Guild of America Paramount Plus hollywood CMT 2021 halloween tv witnail dark breaking bad TBS spanish language christmas movies Animation name the review Black History Month 2015 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Biopics Apple Turner films ratings Pop TV all-time TLC HBO Max Black Mirror science fiction WGN TCA foreign GLAAD Musical The CW Country Lifetime Christmas movies elevated horror worst movies MSNBC OWN Pride Month telelvision Infographic chucky Hallmark FX 21st Century Fox prank 007 Holiday Vudu BBC America Polls and Games Drama Peacock Arrowverse SXSW stoner technology kong Shondaland DC streaming service Television Critics Association Toys Opinion CNN south america Holidays revenge classics VICE A24 First Reviews obituary Year in Review RT21 latino cancelled television Anna Paquin toronto HBO Go social media Mary Tyler Moore critics Lifetime TCA Winter 2020 blaxploitation die hard Amazon fast and furious Paramount discovery hist A&E Masterpiece hidden camera cancelled TV shows ID Ghostbusters Adult Swim Amazon Prime politics cults disaster Captain marvel Ovation Interview Tubi Rom-Com IFC Films golden globes Funimation universal monsters Mystery documentary television supernatural romance LGBT australia jamie lee curtis singing competition Travel Channel cooking green book 2016 Turner Classic Movies Emmy Nominations Academy Awards FX on Hulu Teen BET Awards transformers black harry potter dceu Netflix Christmas movies Christmas Super Bowl vampires Comics on TV dramedy YA Trivia Showtime Film ABC Family spinoff TIFF Rocketman Baby Yoda LGBTQ Star Wars rotten Action TV renewals GIFs PlayStation Apple TV Plus nbcuniversal free movies miniseries Epix Warner Bros. versus dc NYCC Comedy Central tv talk franchise 45 Amazon Studios Sundance TV romantic comedy crime drama reviews Columbia Pictures unscripted doctor who Marvel Esquire Video Games Music sitcom Ellie Kemper Legendary worst Disney streaming service based on movie composers Character Guide monster movies binge cars Marathons IFC Certified Fresh Song of Ice and Fire El Rey Sneak Peek 24 frames The Walking Dead Broadway Summer 72 Emmy Awards criterion sequels TV One Brie Larson RT History The Walt Disney Company medical drama true crime halloween remakes aliens anthology japanese 2019 french Quiz Rock satire Elton John Tarantino Trophy Talk superman DirecTV Election E3