Although it’s been a year and a half since one of the greatest shows of all time, Supernatural, took its final bow on the CW, the friendship between its leading stars – or brothers – Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki lives on. Both have now moved on to other projects with Padalecki two seasons deep into his run on Walker, a reimagining of Chuck Norris’ Walker Texas Ranger, and Ackles about to make his debut on Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys as well as standing at the helm of a Supernatural prequel series titled The Winchesters. But even though they’re busy men all on their own, the two are still finding time to collaborate with one another.
Such was recently the case when Jensen Ackles joined Padalecki on his new job to direct the rough and tumble Texas Ranger and all those surrounding him. The episode in question will premiere tonight, April 14, and is titled “No Such Thing as Fair Play,” and while the story surrounding Walker and the story surrounding Sam and Dean Winchester are completely different, that doesn’t mean Ackles and Padalecki didn’t get to leave their Supernatural mark on the whole thing. Opening up to TVLine, Ackles dropped some deep cuts that fans of the onscreen bros will recognize when tuning in for the newest Walker episode.
Possibly the most obvious nod will be when the legendary band, Kansas, takes the stage to perform their mega-hit, “Carry On Wayward Son.” Any Supernatural fan worth their weight in salt (which you should have on hand to repel demons!) knows that the song holds a special place in the 15-season series. Heck, the last episode was even titled, “Carry On,” as an homage to all the times we could hear the song blaring as the Impala transported the brothers off to their next adventure. The choice to have the band step in to perform on Walker was something that Jensen Ackles referred to as a sort of kismet. “The planets kind of aligned as they kind of fell apart at the end of Supernatural,” Ackles says, in reference to the longtime desire for the band to appear at the end of the CW series. Lucky for Walker, its vibes are still Kansas-y enough that it made sense for the rock n’ roll musicians to be featured in person on the series.
As for other Supernatural inspired moments? Look no further than the opening scene. Jensen Ackles revealed that the first shot is a big ol’ plate of bacon – definitely Dean Winchester approved. If you keep your eyes peeled for the entire episode, focusing on the backgrounds, you’ll also spot the actual iconic green cooler that the Winchesters drank a cold one out of after smiting baddies. And then, there’s of course there are the Supernatural sayings found all over the episode.
After almost two decades together, Jensen Ackles admitted that the pair have their own way of communicating, making his time as a director a very easy and fun one. Known for their tight-knit bond and silly ways, many jokes were cracked between the two that had been played out on the sets of Supernatural, but, as Ackles puts it, were now “landing on fresh ears,” making it a memorable time for all. If you’re a Supernatural turned Walker fan, be sure to tune in to catch all the Easter eggs for yourself when the Ackles-directed episode drops tonight on the CW.