After a SUPERNATURAL panel that included a live performance by Kansas, actors Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins joined producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb for the show’s press room, which gave us an opportunity to learn more about Lucifer’s son, how Mary will survive in the alternate world, the upcoming SUPERNATURAL spin-off and what’s to come for Sam and Dean Winchester in season 13.
Jack and the Winchesters. How will the brothers deal with their new Hell-spawn ward? “No big deal,” Jensen Ackles joked. “[It will be like] Two Men and a Baby. We pick up right where we left off and essentially Dean’s lost everybody aside from his brother. He doesn’t really know how to respond to that or emotionally process what just happened. But what he can do is go shoot someone in the face. So that’s what he tries to go do. It doesn’t happen. Sam stops him and tries to talk some sense [into him]. But that’s the mission that happens in kind of the first episode. Because that’s what he knows he can do and that’s something he can do right there. Dealing with what just happened, he’ll deal with that once they neutralize the threat. But of course the kid gets away and now it’s a bit of a manhunt.” Ackles also said that the alternate universe is “one thing that keeps Dean from just opening fire [against Jack. He opened the other world so] if he did it once, what’s to say he can’t do it again. Maybe he can do it again and maybe he can try to get Mom back. There’s possibilities, but Dean is going to treat it like ‘keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer’ type of thing.”
Meanwhile, when asked whether Jack is really their foe or if the brothers just don’t understand his intentions, Jared said it’s “a little bit of both. So Dean, I think, sees Jack as a foe. Jack is like same song, different verse [in terms of bad guys]. We’ve seen this before where we think this is going to be fine. There was the demon Ruby and there was this and that. But it always comes back to bite us. So I think Dean as we might have guessed is like ‘let’s shoot first and figure out later’. Whereas Sam, I think for a lot of reasons — one being trying to figure out what happened to Mary — wants to try and nurture [Jack]. I think Sam sees a lot of himself in Jack. Sam was supposed to be evil. Sam had demon blood [in him] before he was one year old. And I think he’s trying to convince himself that nurture is more powerful than nature. Sam is human, but I guess you could also argue he’s part demon [but] he’s kept it at bay for a while. I think he’s getting getting flustered at Dean without really saying ‘hey man, you want to kill me too?'”
Winchester Conflict. There will be some disagreement between the brothers this season, although it won’t necessarily be as bad as what we’ve seen in the past. Ackles said. “it’s not so much the brothers are head-to-head like it’s been in the past seasons. It’s more of [a situation where] Dean wants to go this route, Sam wants to go this route, but they will both eventually end up in the same place. Dean will acquiesce to Sam and be like ‘we’ll try it your way, but if anything happens we do things my way’. So it’s more like that.”
Sam as a Leader. We really saw Sam step up and take the lead in the fight about the British Men of Letters at the end of last season and Jared explained that he thinks “Sam has always been kind of ultimately powerful. He’s been Lucifer. He’s been so full of demon blood that he started the apocalypse. So Sam is a thinker and he knows that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely….[This leadership role for him is going to] continue as much as it can and it needs to. Obviously the British Men of Letters problem [is gone but] there’s another task at hand. And he certainly has taken the lead and he has taken the lead with Jack. So maybe that was awakened in him at the end of season 12.”
The Search for Mary and Her Life in the Alternate Reality. When asked how the brothers will try to retrieve their mother Jared said “I think Sam is going to be doing the only thing that he logically can do, which is try to figure out how the universe opened up in the first place — which I think we know it rhymes with ‘Jack’ — and seeing if he can help guide Jack to a place where he could do it again. Even though Jack didn’t do it consciously; he didn’t knowingly open up a rift to another universe, it just happened when he was born. But I think Sam is really going to be trying to figure out how to nurture Jack into a place where he can tell us where Mom is.”
Singer also explained that Mary “does try to run away from [Lucifer] first thing [in the alternate reality], but it doesn’t turn out as well as she might hope. We visit there, but we don’t live in that universe for a whole long time. It’s always there in episodes but the majority of the time is spent in this world. Whenever we do visit there and we meet some characters there — some that we know and new ones — it’s just really not a pleasant place. I think a little bit of that is going to go a long way. A lot of the emotional stuff about what the season [is about] is that Dean is convinced that once Mom went through that rift with Lucifer [it] was curtains for her. Sam is of the opinion that [they have] this kid and he opened the rift once, let’s go see for ourselves. If she’s alive, let’s try to save her. That causes a certain bit of head-butting among the two guys. And that’s part of this idea of the family being torn apart, that they have sort of different takes about this. Dean gets a little dark about that.”
Jack as a Hunter. Will Jack be riding around and accompanying Sam and Dean on cases? “In the beginning, without getting too specific, he doesn’t have much control over his powers,” Singer explained about Jack. “I guess he’s a little bit like the Hulk in that regard, in that he can do things but he does them involuntarily. Part of him, because he’s half-human, doesn’t want to hurt people. He knows he has this thumb drive that his mother left him talking about [the fact that] he can be what he wants to be. And he has this angel looking over him. So he’s aware of all this. But he can’t control himself. So it’s really about how do you get that balance? He’s interested in the hunter world but he has a couple of mis-steps early on and, again, what Dean feels about him in the beginning of the year as opposed to what Sam wants to do with him, they’re really worlds apart. So there’s a lot of conflict between the guys there and this kid is kind of caught in the middle. But good drama is conflict so that’s what we try to do every year.”
Season 13’s Bid Bad. Don’t think of Jack as the biggest threat in season 13, according to Dabb. “Jack is not the biggest threat they are dealing with. The biggest threat they’re dealing with — I will not tell you who it is [but] but I will say it’s an old — let’s call him friend — who we have not seem for many years and who will create many, many problems for our guys. And he probably is not currently in our world. He was from the alternate world.” When asked whether the big bad might be Michael Dabb replied “I’ll plead the fifth on that one.”
Familiar Faces Will Return. “I think that’s the great thing about SUPERNATURAL is we have supporting characters that we think are so strong we want to give them their own TV show,” Dabb said. “We have other people out there that are coming back for us. And I think in the alternate reality — look, we don’t want to play the game where it’s like every week and here’s alternative version of character X from season 3. We don’t want to play that game. I think that game gets boring very quickly. But we have some characters who are very sorely missed on our show coming back in interesting ways. And in ways that you do not necessarily expect. Certainly [they won’t always be] the character we knew, but it’s still the character we know who’s been through a lot of horrible, horrible things.”
Going Through Loss. “[The brothers losing their family recently] is really kind of a devastating blow,” Singer said. “How one reacts to that is what makes people different. I think you’ve seen where a family member will die and some people will show their emotion, or they’re trying to get their stuff out, [while others] become withdrawn and don’t deal with it. They don’t deal with their own emotions. I think that latter one is a little more where Dean is at. He kind of gets darker as the first few episodes go on. He begins to [question] ‘what is this all about and what am I doing?'” How will the brothers react to losing Cas? That will be part of this feeling of loss “Even to a certain extent Crowley is gone. He was a frenemy but he basically gave himself up for them. It’s pretty devastating. It leaves them in a really strange place and if they just had to deal with it alone, so be it, but now they’ve got this kid, this man-child that they have to deal with. It’s a lot of complication. We did that intentionally, but it’s a season based on emotion, not on big stuff…..Last year was very big with the British Men of Letters and the whole organizational thing and all that. This year we made a conscious effort that we want to go a little smaller and more personal. So with Mom and apocalypse world, with Lucifer and the boys have to deal with Satan’s son, there’s a lot of emotional possibilities and that’s kind of what we wanted to play with this year. Last year was about bringing family back together, this is what do you do when your family gets blown apart.”
Cas’s Self-Doubt. “I think that Cas goes through varying [and] different stages — varying and different degrees of self-loathing over time,” Misha said. “So a lot of his actions end up being motivated by him trying to sort of pay penance for past failures that he perceives himself having made. He carries baggage with him. Like when he screws something up he just doesn’t let it go. So that has been a big motivating factor for him for a long time — trying to do the right thing because he feels like he has failed in the past. And I think we saw that at the end of season 12 — he can’t forgive himself. I think he gets a little bit of a reset at the beginning of season 13, by which I mean he’s dead. But he gets a little bit of a reset because I think the circumstances as they unfolded at the end of [season 12] felt like they weren’t really anybody’s fault. Although I suppose Castiel could find a way to blame himself in some way. But so far in what I’ve seen he isn’t blaming himself too much. And I think that now we’re also sort of uniting around a common purpose ultimately.”
Which Cas Will Return? Misha was a bit vague when asked whether the version of Cas we know would return, so it’s a bit up in the air right now: “Well, we’re going to see different iterations of….well, yeah. The Cas that comes back is not like a totally different Cas.”
Cas and Jack. “It takes along time for them to actually come together in the show,” Misha explained of Jack and Castiel’s first meeting. “I don’t think we have scenes together until episode 6. But, in a way, I think Jack sort of thinks of him as a surrogate father or something like that. There’s some sort of strange imprinting that may have happened even though Cas was dead.” Is Jack on their side though? “I think that’s a big question for everybody.”
The Spin-Off. With the news that Donna, Alex and Claire would join Jody in the SUPERNATURAL spin-off WAYWARD SISTERS today, Dabb explained that we’re going to see the official backdoor pilot in “episode 10, so it’ll be our first episode back from our midseason break. And I will not give away plot secrets, but I will say it’s about putting together this team of really, really excellent characters — four that we know and two that we will meet this season, the first in episode 3 and the next in episode 9 — and allowing them to kind of kick some ass. And tell a story that I think [feels like it’s] in the SUPERNATURAL universe, in the SUPERNATURAL sphere, but will feel and play [a bit different from] SUPERNATURAL.”
The spin-off is “something that we have been talking about internally really since we re-introduced Claire Novak to the show, which I believe was season 9,” Dabb said. “And the idea that Jody had already taken in Alex Jones [we thought] oh, this might be an opportunity to make this happen. It’s something that simmered for us and fans really latched on it in a way we never could have expected and in a really awesome way. And then for us it was like last season because of the British Men of Letters and because of [Mary], it didn’t feel right [to introduce it]. This season it feels right. And the way it’s going, as you’ll see as you watch the show in the first half of [season 13], it evolves I think very organically out of the first half of the season in a way that we were able to do because we had such a high amount of lead time. It feels, unlike the first spin-off we did — which was, by design, meant to not feel like SUPERNATURAL — this is meant to feel like SUPERNATURAL but a different set of stories in that world, but very much the same sensibilities, the same driving forces and the same core themes, which [is] family.”
Missouri Moseley, who has not been seen since season 1 of the show, will be returning and she’ll be connected to the spin-off. Singer said that “she is the grandmother of Patience, who will be the third [young] girl in [the spin-off]. [Missouri] reluctantly has actually passed down through generations her psychic skills. [Patience’s] father wants her to deny those and not give in to this world. Circumstances dictate that she has to and that’s how she ends up at Jody’s.” We’ll see Missouri in episode 3.
SUPERNATURAL returns for an all new season on October 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.