Just before The CW's longest-running series began its 20-episode 15th season on Thursday night, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins shared a sweet video message thanking the fans for their support over the years. The video opens with the trio seated on set, in character as Padalecki expresses his gratitude to the show's loyal fanbase.
"Hey SPN family, we just wanted to send out some love and most of all some gratitude for being with us for 14 years now and counting for tonight's final season premiere," Padalecki says.
"Season 15 starts tonight, so --," Ackles begins, before he's cut off by co-star Alexander Calvert, whonot-so-subtly interrupts him, as he apologized for being "late" to the party.
Collins couldn't help but poke fun at Calvert's late arrival, quipping, "You missed, like, 10 years!" -- a reference to the actor joining the series in season 12. "Oh s**t, that's how long it's been!" Calvert jokingly responded.
Ackles paused for a moment at the reality of how long Supernatural has been on the air: "Wow, this just got really awkward."
"The Beginning of the End. Season 15 premiere and the Winchester's [sic] final round," Ackles wrote on Instagram alongside the video. "Keep an eye out for all the hidden surprises this season. Gonna be a good one."
Collins also took to Instagram hours before the season kicked off to commemorate the show's final premiere, channeling his quirky trademark humor.
"I don't know what it is, but something feels weird today -- almost like it's the beginning of something, but also the end of something, too," Collins wrote on his Instagram story. "I'm sure I'll figure it out later."
The actor also posted a photo from three years ago with Ackles holding a sign foreshadowing that "the end is near," paralleling that behind-the-scenes moment with a candid that was taken Thursday -- which featured the boys in the same spot with a new sign that read, "The end is here."
Earlier in the day, Papa Winchester himself, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, shared photos of him and his former Supernatural co-stars Ackles and Padalecki getting matching wrist tattoos at his wedding reception last weekend.
"Me and @hilarieburton weren't the only ones joined for life.... @jaredpadalecki @jensenackles and myself will forever have a bond that is both special, and permanent," Morgan captioned the photos on Thursday, which shows him, Padalecki and Ackles all getting ink. "Love you both dearly. #jmb #spnfamily."
"Family who slays together, stays together. #kongsforever #spnfamily," Padalecki commented.
“I don't think these guys look in the past very often unless it's to help moving forward. I think they will continue to move forward,” Ackles told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “This is a long journey that I don't think is ever going to be over. I think we're just going to go away for a while. How long? I don't know."
"I'm not ever ready to close doors or burn bridges. I think that's foolish," Ackles said. "Am I saying there's something in the works? No. Am I saying that I'd be open having a conversation about this in the future? What's the harm in that?"