Supernatural star Misha Collins blames 'rogue translator' for changed viral scene: 'I'm irked'
"Was it perfect? No, but I think the world is better off because of it and I’m stickin’ to my guns."
UPDATE: A final Supernatural mystery has apparently been solved.
Actor-producer Misha Collins shared a video on Twitter Wednesday to explain why a key scene in the final season of Supernatural had notably different dialogue in a version translated for Spanish viewers. It's a change that inspired a range of feelings among fans — from outrage to suspicion to vindication.
The scene in question is the pivotal moment from Nov. 5's "Despair," in which the angel Castiel (Collins) says he loves Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). In the English version, Castiel says, "I love you," and then Dean responds, "Don't do this, Cas." But in the Spanish version, Dean says, "Y yo a ti, Cas" — "And I you, Cas." Which, obviously, is an entirely different reaction to somebody declaring their love. The Spanish version aired Stateside a couple of weeks after the English-language version, so it's only now that the difference is being spotted and circulated:
Adding to the debate was the fact that a contingent of fans have long wanted the two characters to be a couple, even though the producers have maintained that Dean is straight. As pointed out by the Daily Dot, given that Castiel was sucked into a hell dimension right after declaring his love, the original choice also led some to accuse the show of following the "bury your gays" trope (whereby gay characters are considered dispensable — though in this case, Castiel survived until nearly the series finale).
The situation is similar to much of the fandom uproar around the BBC's Sherlock, where some pined for straight friends and colleagues Sherlock and Dr. Watson to become lovers, and were disappointed the finale didn't include an ending with such a reveal, while the show's producers and actors maintained that such a move just wasn't in the nature of those characters. Likewise, some Game of Thrones fans believe there was an alternate ending for Daenerys Targaryen that was scripted and then changed.
But Sherlock and GoT fans never had a piece of video that actually suggests an alternate history.
When addressing the Supernatural situation, Collins noted that a "rogue translator" changed the wording.
"Hi, I just wanted to take a moment to explain there is no conspiracy, there never was an alternate ending of episode 15-18 when Cas said, 'I love you,'" Collins said. "Apparently, there was a rogue translator.
"I feel proud of the ending of Supernatural," he continued. "I feel like it was intentionally inclusive and a celebration of someone expressing their truth and having good things come of it. Castiel is not a character that plays into any insidious trope of exclusion in Hollywood... In my opinion, Castiel’s declaration of love was done at his own volition with full knowledge of the consequences of those actions. He went on to rebuild heaven and his action literally saved the world. By expressing who he really was, by making this declaration of love, he literally ends up saving the world. And if that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. I'm a little irked, that's my irked face."
Collins concluded his message by telling fans: "I love you all and I love your passion and I wish we could just take a moment to celebrate the good of this show. I’m sad it’s gone. It was 15 years of the forces of good triumphing over the forces of evil. Was it perfect? No, but I think the world is better off because of it and I’m stickin’ to my guns."
Fans accused the CW of censoring the originally scripted ending, saying the Spanish version is the "real" one. Copies of episodes are often sent to foreign translators in advance, and last-minute changes could, in theory, still be made after they are sent, yet still prior to air. But "Despair" was the final episode shot before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the show's production in March, so an edit would have been locked months in advance. Also, the CW is a network that has many LGBTQ characters, so it's difficult to imagine the network or studio Warner Bros. changing a creative decision if the Spanish version is how the producers actually wanted the scene to play.
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.