SUPERNATURAL stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins — along with executive producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb — spoke to reporters at Comic-Con about season 12. Guest stars Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester) and Ruth O’Connell (Rowena) also visited the press room.
The Hunt for Sam. The search for Sam takes over the first “couple of episodes,” Singer said. Sam is kind of going through hell with the British MOL. One thing they found interesting with this situation is that Sam thinks Dean is dead. “As far as he knew, the bomb blew up and that’s what saved the world. So he’s really excited to see Dean when Dean shows up.” Plus, Toni tells him his brother is dead. “That doesn’t take up too many episodes. We get that over with pretty quickly but I think [those episodes are] action-packed and all our characters are involved. Everybody has their own piece in those stories.” He thinks we get season off with a bang and will see everyone involved.
Dean Goes “TAKEN” When Sam Gets Captured. Dean doesn’t know what’s going on with Sam at first, but Sam thinks Dean is dead. Ackles said that Sam got shot at the end of the season and we see in the trailer for season 12 that he’s been captured. “[Sam] has no reason to believe Dean would even be coming for him. Dean’s got to figure out quickly what has happened, where [Sam[ is and it turns into a bit of TAKEN [the movie].” In fact, Ackles said the writers even kind of plagiarized a line from the TAKEN film. Not the “particular set of skills” line, but more like the “when I find you and I will find you” speech.
The Added Dynamic of Mary. Dabb doesn’t think that the introduction of Mary dramatically changes the the dynamics of the show as a whole because SUPERNATURAL has “always been about family and the show’s always about Sam and Dean.” There’s the “initial shock [of Mary’s return], of ‘Oh my God, Mom is back. What does this mean for us?’” But as that wears off, we’ll learn more about Mary as a person. She’s coming back into his world where her sons are adults and they’re adults doing the one thing she didn’t want them to do. The man she loves has passed away and changed a lot. “The John she knew was quiet, unassuming, [a] great guy, loving father. That’s not necessarily the John raising Sam and Dean. He was a very driven, very focused guy.” She feels a lot of guilt about that because if she hadn’t died, none of this would have happened. But from the point of view of Sam and Dean, “this isn’t a mistake. They’re heroes, they saved the world,” Dabb said. Smith also said that Mary’s return and the season is “all about family. About exploring the deeper dynamics of …. learning to be a mother to adult children and adult children learning what it’s like to have a mom that they never had. I think there will be a lot of soul-searching, layered exploration.” She went on to say that Mary is trying to absorb everything she can about this new world she’s in. She’s been dead for more than three decades and life is very different now. “And her children are adults and they were raised without her and her husband is gone.” It’s very much like a lot of noise is coming at her. “It’s Mary dealing with her stuff less than being at odds with either of her children.”
Exploring More About Mary’s Past. Dabb said that we’ll see Mary’s presence “for a while”. She’s not intended to be a one episode character and we will explore more about her “over the course of the season”. We will also learn more about parts of Mary’s history that we haven’t seen before. For example, we’ve been under the impression that once Mary married John she settled down and stopped hunting. “But we’re going to find out that that’s maybe not the whole story.” Expect to see flashbacks to explore this.
Mary as a Hunter. We’re going to see Mary as a badass hunter. That’s who she was and who she will be when she returns, Smith said. She’s had to do fight training and weapons training to prepare for season 12. “[Mary] will be hunting, I will be fighting and participating. And that is not something that my version of Mary has done so far.” Smith thinks that it will be really “fun for the audience to watch as Mary finds her footing in the current life that she’s given.” Smith also said that the introduction of creatures like angels (which Mary didn’t know about when she was a hunter) is “something that we explore in the first episode.”
Sam’s Reaction to Mary? The brothers will both react differently to meeting their mother, Padalecki said. “For me, what’s most exciting for playing Sam with Mary back in the picture, [is that]…we never saw Sam be a son. We saw him with his dad…but it was contentious. So now we see Sam with him mom, who he doesn’t….he never really knew her and has no ill will towards her. He never really knew her and Dean knew Mom, albeit for four years. But [Dean] has memories of Mom, pictures of Mom. He remembers the sandwiches she used to make. Sam doesn’t know that. He just knows that this is his mother and he loves her. But he doesn’t know her. I think Sam feels towards Mary the way Dean feels towards Sam. He wants to keep Mary safe. I mean, he lost Mary, he never really knew her. But Mary’s a hunter” and if Sam and Dean are going off on a hunt, then their mother will want to go with them. But Sam just wants to protect her, even if he should trust her and her skills. Sam blames his father for all the hunting stuff, Padalecki went on to explain, but you could argue it’s really Mary’s fault or the fault of her lineage. That being said, the “boys know that this is their life, this is what they’re good at, this is the way they can best help the world. So I think it’s a double-edged sword, but they’re grateful they’re in this life because they can do it better than anyone else. But I think we’re going to see Sam probably not want his mom to go out and hunt.” There will be “a few cute moments where Mary’s like ‘well, I’m your mother, you gotta listen’. It’s weird, but it’s kind of right.”
Dean’s Reaction to Mary. Dean’s major reaction to Mary was shown in the sizzle reel from the panel, which happens “face down in the dirt because she flips him down,” Ackles teased. She’s his mother, but she’s also a stranger. He was a toddler when she died and they don’t know each other very well. “That adjustment is going to be very tricky. Mary is also coming back and finding out her two sons are not only grown up and live in a world she is completely unfamiliar with as far as modern technology, but they’re also living in a world that she tried so desperately to get out of when she was alive, which is the hunter world. So now to find out that both of her sons are, indeed, hunters, I think is going to be [a lot] for her to process.” For Dean as well, “the vulnerability of having his mother now is going to be tricky to navigate because essentially it’s another way to force Dean or Sam to do something. Usually Dean only had to worry about his brother, but now he’s really going to have to worry about his mother and his brother.”
Cas’ Pursuit of Lucifer. Cas has Lucifer “in his scopes,” Collins said, after the archangel was pulled out of Cas at the end of last season. “He is bound and determined to find him and he’s pissed off that he made such a sacrifice to Lucifier at the end of last season only to have that be ultimately fruitless. So he’s got a bee in his bonnet for Lucifer and he is going after him pretty hardcore. He’s being forced to make compromises once again in terms of his allies in the hunt for Lucifer.”
Cas Mojo. “He’s got his mojo more or less,” Collins said about Castiel’s powers. “His wings are still….I mean, we haven’t addressed the issue of his wings yet, so it’s possible that his wings are repaired. But as far as I know, he’s unable to teleport.”
The British Men of Letters. Padalecki said that the British MOL and the Winchesters didn’t start off on the right foot at the end of season 11. We’ll soon come to learn that the British MOL are much more regimented and structured. “They know certain parts about the Winchesters that are true, but look bad on paper (ie. they started the Apocalypse, but they also stopped it too) and the Brits aren’t happy about it. But I hope we can come to an understanding.”
The New Lucifer. As announced during the panel, Rick Springfield will be playing a Lucifer vessel. Singer pointed out that Lucifer needs the vessel to say yes to being possessed. “He’s very good at the con.” One of the challenging things about the situation is that Vince (Springfield’s character) starts off as a guy who is “pretty sympathetic and he’s lost his wife. He’s tortured. Once he accepts Lucifer, he is evil incarnate. As an acting exercise it’s pretty intense. He’s written as pretty evil. It’s a good part.” Singer also confirmed that Springfield will play a little guitar on the show.
The Aftermath of God and the Darkness. Collins said they’re largely taking the action back to earth in the first part of the season so they haven’t explored much about what’s happening in Heaven since the whole God and Amara thing.
Rowena’s Taking a Break From Power Plays. “I was very hopeful that the end of the season  had impacted her and changed her,” O’Connell said. “And sure enough, when I got the script for [episode 12.02] , it has. It will be interesting to see where that picks up and where it goes from there. Ultimately I would love at some point for her to really dig in deep and really find power and strength, but I don’t know if that happens.” O’Connell also said that it will be interesting to see Rowena’s continued family dynamics with Crowley and maybe even Gavin and to especially to see Rowena’s reaction as a grandmother.
The Return of the Thule. They have something really cool coming up in episode 12.05 – it will be the “triumphant or not-so-triumphant” return for the Thule, who have decided to bring back Hitler. But the SUPERNATURAL version of Hitler is described as a “psychotic Richard Simmons.” Apparently “Sam and Dean are going to find Hitler,” Dabb teased. “And I think that’s opening up some interesting doors for us just in terms of doing more crazy stuff.”
The Monsters of SUPERNATURAL. Singer said that there aren’t many big new monsters to tease for season 12. But there “a great demon in one of the early [episodes]. We do our best when you take monsters that the audience knows about and you give them personalities or you put a different spin on them. Eric Kripke used to say ‘every villain is the hero of his own story’ and that’s something that we try to do. To give them a story as well. And that’s what I think have worked for us best.”
SUPERNATURAL returns for its twelfth season on Thursday, October 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.