SUPERNATURAL Boss on Why They Brought Back John That Way - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERNATURAL Boss on Why They Brought Back John That Way

February 8, 2019 by  

Supernatural 300 John

Supernatural — “Lebanon” — Image Number: SN1413D_0114b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jensen Ackles as Dean, Jared Padalecki as Sam, Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the SUPERNATURAL episode “Lebanon.”]

Death has rarely been the very end of the story for any character on SUPERNATURAL. However, what does end up being the surprise is how the deceased comes back—and with a genre show, the possibilities are pretty limitless.

When it came to reviving the long-dead John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the drama’s milestone 300th episode, “Lebanon,” the man who appeared was 2003-era Papa Winchester, thanks to a mix of a wish and time travel.

“You want it to be John, because if it’s not their father—if it’s a shapeshifter who looks like John—there’s no emotional weight to it,” executive producer Andrew Dabb explains. “We specifically chose this [era of] John. By the end when John passed away, or when he came back [post-death] and helped them kill Yellow-Eye and all that stuff, the relationship the boys had with him had changed quite a bit. It was a little less raw and he was a little less raw.”

“Going back to the John that existed before the show, going back to a hardened John, allowed us to [tackle things] in different ways,” he continues. “Really deal with some core conversations about the origin of the show, the origin of Sam and Dean, the origin of their trauma versus talking about, ‘That was awesome when I was a ghost.’ That’s a very different conversation you have and more plot-based versus emotion-based. What we cared about this episode was the emotions.”

Though the reunion was short-lived, as the family had to reverse it to prevent ripples from the time shift impacting everything—including erasing Mary (Samantha Smith) from the present timeline—their time together made its mark…on the present and past.

“For John, it was a dream, but I would like to think it was a dream that softened him toward Sam and Dean, and maybe acts as a turning point for the character,” Dabb says. “The John they remember from their childhood is much harder-edged than the guy who shows up in season 1. I would like to think in our ret-conning of the story without changing the plot, maybe this was a bit of an emotional turning point for him as well.”

As for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), who both had important one-on-one moments with their father, “it allows them to set down some of their baggage” Dabb allows. “These are revelations they’ve had about themselves over the course of the years. Neither one of them is going to say, ‘I’m going to be this person,’ but it allows them to…move on and fully embrace the people they’re becoming.”

Off-screen, getting to host the long-awaited family reunion was special for those involved. “[It was magic] when we were looking at the dailies and we saw that first scene where Jeffrey comes in, and when we see the dailies of Mary coming in and Sam and Dean watching their parents reunite,” Dabb says. “And the dailies, there is no music, no sounds effects, no editing. It was deeply emotional. And to see it get even better as the layers were put on it…That moment of knowing you have something really special is always exciting. I don’t think, for us, it gets much more special than that.”

SUPERNATURAL, Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW


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