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SUPERNATURAL Comic-Con Panel: The Cast and Producers Tease Season 12

God and Amara made up in the season finale of SUPERNATURAL, putting aside millennia of family anger and heading off for some alone time. Meanwhile, Dean got a gift in the form of his resurrected mother, while an operative from the British Men of Letters may have shot Sam.  And Cas got banished by the operative, while Crowley found himself adrift after losing his throne to Lucifer.

SUPERNATURAL stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins — along with producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb — took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con to tease what’s to come in season 12.

11.22 – We opened with a sizzle reel from last season, featuring amusing fan reactions to episodes.

11.24 – We were also treated to scenes from the premiere. Dean asks his mother if she’s real and as he approaches her, she takes him down to the ground. There’s a few scenes of Mary and Dean in the car and Sam tied up in the back of a trunk and being burned by a blowtorch. Cas is fighting with an angel blade on a road and Mary seems confused by cell phones. Mary also says “I never wanted this for you and Sam”.

11.30 – Moderators Richard Speight and Rob Benedict introduce Jensen as having launched his career on “The Bowlegged and the Beautiful”.

Related: Read spoilers from the SUPERNATURAL Comic-Con press room

11.31 – “You don’t get bigger than God,” Singer said. “We’re going to try to get back to basics a little bit. Tell smaller stories. Some good old-fashioned horror stories. We’ve set up the British MOL and they’ll be part of what we’re doing. [Also in] the first part of the season, there’s a hunt for Lucifer.”

11.33 – Padalecki said that “Sam Winchester is alive. Because he’s not a lose-chester”. We will find out more about Toni, who is part of the British MOL and more about their worldwide society. We’ll also find out more about what they want from Sam and Dean in the episodes to come.

11.35 – How will the boys respond to Mary’s return? Ackles said that it presents the show with a dynamic we have never had. When Mary died, Sam was a baby and Dean was a child. “Dean grew up and Sam just got larger,” he joked. The children that she know, they’re now men, so the relationship is “kind of non-existent. It’s going to be an interesting situation of them trying to bridge that massive gap that occurred over the past 30 some odd years”. But how will she plug herself into their lives? Will that leave the brothers vulnerable? For the longest time the best way to get to one of the brothers is to trap one and get the other to come running, but throwing Mary into the mix can make them vulnerable too. He doesn’t know exactly where it will take the boys, but he’s excited for it.

11.37 – Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester) joins the panel.

11.38 – Smith said that Mary’s sons are now “older and taller than [she] is.” She’s always loved Mary and now she gets a chance to experience her from a whole new perspective. And now she doesn’t have to pass through as a ghost, so she’s having a lot of fun. “It could go anywhere”.

11.39 – Padalecki said that one of the things that SUPERNATURAL has been able to do is to explore “both sides of the equation”. One of the biggest things about the show is family and it will be an interesting dynamic to see someone like Mary who is 100% of Sam and Dean’s blood, we’ll find out more about how family is formed and what it means. It’s about “exploring that dynamic between two brothers and two sons again. Sam always had an issue with John for obvious reasons probably. But he dealt with it. Now Sam and Dean with their mother is starting anew.” Does blood make you family or is it about more than just sharing DNA?

11.42 – Dabb said that Mary has been mythologized to the brothers. They’re meeting someone who they have some knowledge of, but they don’t really know her. “We didn’t want things to be super easy”. She was raised a hunter and walked away from it like Sam did. But now she’s getting back into it. This is something they deeply want, but they understand family can be a vulnerability. Cas knows how important Mary has been to Sam and Dean, so he has a specific response to her as well.

11.43 – Collins said that Cas is back to a little bit of “Cas from season 4”.  He thinks Cas’ wings are still broken, but he’s got a lot of his mojo. He’s angry and he’s got a fighting spirit and he’s after Lucifer.  Collins also joked that Cas is tattling a lot to Mary.

11.44 – Collins said there’s an interesting dynamic between Cas and Mary because “in a way we’re outsiders”.

11.46 – Benedict’s hamster makes a reappearance at this panel.

11.49 – Sheppard said there’s a hint that “my family dynamic might be returning in a slightly more expanded scale. I genuinely love Ruth, but I cannot stand Rowena”.

11.50 – Ruth O’Connell also makes an appearance at the panel. “Hello, Mother,” Sheppard says dryly.

11.51 – Will any old characters return? Jody and Donna will be back, as will Claire and Alex. Gavin (Crowley’s son) will be back as well.

11.52 – Dabb said Rowena had a big move this past season. She’s wanted to be the power behind five different thrones since we met her. In season 12 she’s taking a step back and we’ll meet her “in kind of a funny and cool mindset”.  But then she’ll be drawn back in. For Crowley, he’s been dethroned by Lucifer. Early on, revenge will be a driving force. In the future, Crowley’s relationship with the boys will keep developing.

11.54 – Singer said that Lucifer is going to try out a few different vessels, but he needs a strong one. The first vessel that he feels comfortable with is a rock star who is trying to make a comeback. His name will be Vince and we’ll see him in a few episodes early on. Vince will be played by Rick Springfield (he shot his first scene on Friday)! Dabb said that ruling Heaven or Hell lacks an appeal now. But being Lucifer comes with baggage, so he’s trying to take a bit of a vacation.

11.58 – Collins said that Cas became Lucifer because he was really down on himself (a bit of self-loathing and self-sacrifice).

11.59 – Padalecki said that he and Ackles “walked into a restaurant and someone said ‘Damn, are you here to kill ghosts or something?’ He seemed genuinely concerned.” He said sometimes when the light flickers or it gets cold, he says “it’s OK, guys, I got this”. Ackles said that the paranormal would probably be smart enough to steer clear of two guys who have played hunters for over a decade. “That being said, if we ever do run into an issue, I feel like I could handle myself”.

12.05 – In a surprise move, a questioner asks his girlfriend if she’ll marry him. The cast applauds.

12.07 – Ackles says the other day he asked his 3 year old daughter if Padalecki’s sons are her friends and she said “no, they’re my boys”. He assumes their kids are going to want to “stay in the family business”.

12.09 – Padalecki says that we have never seen the brothers have a proper dynamic as “being sons”. They get a chance to be boys again with Mary.

12.11 – Ackles says he’s looking forward to seeing the hunter side of Mary and the similarities in how she deals with the supernatural and how the boys deal with it.

Stay tuned for more from the SUPERNATURAL press room!

SUPERNATURAL returns for its twelfth season on Thursday, October 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.