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08 August 2012 @ 03:30 pm
Big Season 8 SPOILER Post  


Supernatural returns to The CW at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3

This year, Jeremy Carver has taken the reigns as showrunner, and in his first move as the new boss, he's putting some romance in the mix.  

The "Supernatural" powers that be are currently casting Amelia -- Sam's (Jared Padalecki) first recurring love interest since Ruby died in Season 4. Amelia is a doctor in her late 20s to early 30s, and when we first meet her, she's overwhelmed by a devastating tragedy. She'll appear in the third episode of the season -- directed by Jensen Ackles -- and she'll initially be very wary of Sam. She's described as "a brave, sweet, smart, sarcastic woman."

We will see Sam investigating grisly murders that seem to be related to the Occult. Of course, presuming that Dean is out of Purgatory by then, he'll also be involved. For Dean's sake, we hope he's back in time -- because this case also involves a stripper, and we all know how he feels about strippers.

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It's almost time for the Winchesters to get back to work! Jensen Ackles has already begun his prep to direct the third episode of the season, which is the first episode they'll shoot this year. It's tentatively titled "Heartache" -- as if Sam and Dean haven't had enough of that! We've already spilled the beans about Sam's love interest and the stripper. Also in this episode, we'll meet a sweet 70-year-old lady with a very questionable past who helps out on a case.

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Supernatural casts Sam´s new love interest:

The CW series has cast Liane Balaban (IMDB) in the role of Amelia, who is described as “a tragedy-damaged soul” that “soon reveals herself to be a brave, sweet, smart, sarcastic woman.”



Episode 8.02 of Supernatural will be called "We Need To Talk About Kevin".

It will feature a new recurring guest star called "Benny" who masks a deep savagery.

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Thomas: I need some Supernatural season-eight info!
Wait, you mean the fact that we exclusively told you that Jensen Ackles' father Alan Ackles will be guest-starring on the show isn't enough awesomeness for you? Fine, how about that fans can expect to meet the darkly handsome Benny, who is an easy-going, no-B.S. kind of fellow…with a bit a savage side deep down, of course. Think Johnny Cash meets Benicio Del Toro. We're sold!

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TV Guide Interview with Robert Singer:

Helped by a delicious double cross from Crowley, Season 7's finale saw Sam and Dean stake Dick Roman, the Leviathan monster who planned to turn humankind into a culinary delight.  But Crowley had a price, and the brothers and their allies paid it in the cliff-hanger.  The King of Hell sent Dean and befuddled angel Castiel to a monster filled Purgatory and whisked away his demon subject Med and teen prophet Kevin, leaving a distraught Sam alone up on Earth.  We asked executive producer Robert Singer for some scoop. 

Will Season 8 hinge on Sam trying to save Dean from Purgatory?

No.  We pick up the season a little bit down the line and Dean will have made his way back from Purgatory.  We will do flashbacks through the season as to what happened there and what Sam did in the time that Dean was away.  

Your fans usually hate it when the brothers are separated.  Is that why they're back together so soon?

We're aware of that, so [we decided to tell] their stories in flashbacks and have them relate to the current story.  The fact that the boys are going to be together pretty quickly was, we thought, a good thing.  

When Castiel and Dean wound up in Purgatory, Cas did his angel disappearing act.  Will Misha Collins go missing from Supernatural again? 

We're just framing our ideas now, but our intention is to have Cas back a number of times.  

Will Kevin the Prophet be back?

Kevin [played by Osric Chau] is an integral part of the year.  

Crowley's got him in his clutches.  Any hints what he's up to?

Well, you've got a prophet who can read these tablets that are supposedly the word of God.  Every year we start with a theme -- this is our "Raiders of the Lost Ark" year.  The season-long story will be a quest.  It's about Kevin and the tablets and the word of God.

Will you bring back any Winchester allies next season?  They could use some!

We love Charlie--and she wasn't seen as a threat to the boys' relationship--we love Sheriff Mills, we love Garth.  So we have a pretty good cast of people that we'd like to go to.  And there's one new character that we're talking about.  It's a monster that Dean meets in Purgatory. 

Who will be the Big Bad this season?

It's basically and angels-and-demons year.  It's not apocalyptic but about who can gain control and keep demons in Hell or angels in Heaven.  

Former Producer Jeremy Carver, who exec produced the U.S. version of Being Human, is returning to Supernatural as your new co-showrunner.  Will fans notice anything different?

No.  Jeremy gave us a couple of years on the show, so I do think this season will be a little less earnest and a little more the kind of stuff we did in Seasons 2 and 3, before the weight of all the mythology got us.

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Dean's Journey Back
As was mentioned in the panel, Dean's time in Purgatory will be told primarily through flashbacks throughout the season. Padalecki said that Dean's time in Hell wasn't really shown, but they will be showing his experience this time.

In terms of the Supernatural timeline, a year will have passed from the events of the previous season's finale when the show returns for season 8. “[There will be a] character introduced in the first episode that helps explain how Dean got out [of Purgatory],” Ackles explained. “That character doesn’t just go away. [He/she] is going to stick around, and, of course, cause problems. Because Dean is indebted to this character for his exit [from Purgatory] it makes the situation volatile. That’s how the onion gets peeled back [about Dean’s time in Purgatory. It happens] through Dean’s crazy relationship with the new character."

For fans who are curious about episode 8.03 (the one Ackles is currently directing), he told us that he has been appearing in scenes throughout the entire 8 days of filming. In other words, Dean will be appearing in the episode even more than the last two episodes he directed.

Sam’s New Life
“Sam [has been] living in normalcy [for the year],” Padalecki said. “Sam got out of the life. [He was' without Bobby, Cas and Dean, and had no Kevin in sight. Sam [basically said to himself] ‘everyone I know is dead’. He didn’t know what happened [to Dean].” As the season progresses, we’ll see flashbacks about what happened to Sam while he was trying to live a normal life. Padalecki said that during that year, Sam enjoyed himself. "I think he wanted to be normal for so long. He was moving forward outside of hunting.” Unlike when the boys went to Hell, there are no real leads for Sam to chase this time around. Although, while he was happy, he was still clearly grieving for everyone that he had lost. At the same time, don’t expect to see Sam like he was in the season 4 flashback episode “I Know What You Did Last Summer”.

Still, some fans may be worried that Sam and Amelia’s relationship will affect the central relationship of Sam and Dean. Padalecki assured us that this new romance will not come at the expanse [sic] of Sam and Dean’s relationship. We will see more of Amelia in the current timeline, as well as in flashbacks. She herself is a bit of a damaged soul, but Supernatural will never be a soap opera about romantic relationships. Edlund assured us that the writers plan on being as small as they can with the romance story. It’s meant to be a very small part of the overall supernatural aspects of the show.

On a side note, fans who were wondering about Sam's sideburns can rest assured that they have been significantly trimmed. Padalecki joked that "they were gradually taking over my face."

Winchester Reunion
While we don’t know a lot about the reunion between Sam and Dean, we do know there will be a bit of initial tension. Dean will feel slightly resentful that Sam didn’t try to find him, according to Edlund. Dean will essentially ask “‘why didn’t you look [for me]? We had a tacit agreement that we always look [even if we said we wouldn’t]’.” Padalecki also said that Dean will question how Sam just cut himself out of a life of hunting. Wasn’t he paying attention to the strange things happening around the country? For his part, Sam will explain that he knew there were other hunters out there to take care of things and he chose to do this with his life instead.

Castiel’s New State
In the Supernatural panel, Misha Collins was asked when Castiel would return. Although he refused to answer at the time, he did tell reporters that we would see Castiel again in episode 2, although that will contain Purgatory flashbacks. Later, we will continue to see more of Dean and Castiel in Purgatory. But will he still be the same Crazy Castiel he was at the end of season 7? Collins indicated that the crazy would be toned down, primarily, he thinks, because of Cas being in survival mode in Purgatory. There may be further explanation as to his new state revealed later, but he’s pretty confident as to the reasons Castiel has had a bit of a transformation.

How much of a transformation? We’ll see more of “old Cas,” Collins said. He will still have all of his past experiences and won’t be as naive as he was when we first met him, but he will revert back slightly in terms of his personality.

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WELCOME BACK | How does new showrunner Jeremy Carver feel about being back at work on the show? “It’s sort of like having been a camper and coming back as a counselor,” he replied.

SEEKING POWER | The brothers are “starting the season on the offense,” shared Carver. “They really want something. It ties in very deeply with the mythology [and is] something very near and dear to their hearts. They are very much united” in their quest to get it. So what is the mysterious something? Sam, Dean, Kevin and Crowley are “all involved in a chase for a power source, ultimately,” hinted Edlund.

BONDS OLD AND NEW | “The strength of the show is the bond between these two brothers,” said Carver. But while the sibs were separated, “it had a profound effect on each of them. And each has gone a very separate way. They will each carry what happened in their [time] away from each other.” In the interim, Dean and Sam have both made new relationships that “will carry forward and be very, very important.” Adds Edlund, “They’re kind of emotional shut-ins that have to learn to deal with other people. … We’re trying to get into more complex, real human relationships.”

LOVE IS IN THE AIR | “Sam is totally getting some action this season,” confirmed Jared Padalecki. But what about Dean? “Does Dean ever really get romance?” replied Ackles. “I think the only real romance in Dean’s life is the car. So in that regard, absolutely.”

M.I.A. CAS | Where did Castiel disappear off to in the Season 7 finale? “He went out for beer, and he’ll be back shortly,” joked Misha Collins, who pleaded the fifth when asked when the angel will return.

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"Dean's plight is a terrible one," he said. "His story in Purgatory is something we will track for quite a long time" through flashbacks.

"There's a whole body of events that take place there. There's going to be some problems."

But, as new co-executive producer Jeremy Carver pointed out, "Purgatory makes for strange bedfellows."

Added Ackles: "It's like Diet Hell. Hell Zero."

Carver revealed that he plans to pull back from the "crushing amount of mythology," establish something new for many more seasons to come, and introduce a game-changing element the show's hinted at during previous seasons.

The overall theme for this year: "Raiders of the lost ark."

"Suffice to say, the boys have been reacting to things at the beginnings of (past) seasons, and they are starting the year on offense," said Carver, adding that they'll be on the hunt for "something near and dear to their hearts."

"Crowley thinks more ahead than anybody else on the show. He will be quite an issue. A titanic one," Edlund said.

"I'm just waiting for Season 8 to be renamed Oh Crowley, as it should be," Sheppard said. "Crowley is essentially what happens when people aren't paying attention."

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However, according to executive producer Jeremy Carver, "a significant amount of time" will have passed since the Season 7 finale, which means Dean will come back a changed man. Ditto Sam, who was left to fly solo. "He is able, in his opinion, to make a clean break and to go, 'You know what? I've given everything I've got. I've died,'" Jared Padalecki said. "So he's given it all and he finally uses this as an opportunity to make good on his goal from years ago to just try to live a normal life. Sam was able to leave the life and be happy enough. I think happy has an asterisk for the Winchester Brothers."

These new relationships include Sam's new love interest, a veterinarian named Amelia (Liane Balaban), who Sam meets after he accidentally hits a dog. (Spoiler alert: The dog lives.) "She's also just gone through a loss, so I think Sam and her have that to hold each other together. They're kindred spirits so to speak," Padalecki said. "I know we're going to see a lot of their relationship. ... When the season starts, they're taking a break, but I think she's going to come back."

The big question is whether Castiel (Misha Collins) and Bobby (Jim Beaver) will be back. Both actors appeared on Sunday's panel despite the fact that Castiel disappeared from Purgatory and Bobby was most recently returned as a ghost after getting killed last year. Both were tight-lipped, Beaver joked that he had said the phrase "anything's possible" about 7,000 times over the convention's run. Meanwhile, Edlund hinted that Castiel's fate will be "complicated" and "difficult."

"I come back in a flashback first in the second episode," Collins said of his first Season 8 scene, set in Purgatory. "It's Dean, myself and a third important character."

Although a lot of time will be devoted to flashbacks of Dean's time in Purgatory, a good portion of Season 8 will also see the newly reunited brothers chasing after what Edlund calls an important "power source." "For the first time in a long time they are starting the season on offense," Carver said. "They want something, and it really ties into the deep mythology. [It's] something that is very near and dear to their hearts."

Or as Carver told TVGuide.com following the panel, "When we say this time it's personal, we mean it."

This special something will put them at odds with Crowley (Mark Sheppard), who will become "quite a Titanic" issue for the Winchester brothers, Edlund said. But more importantly, this chase will also establish a new storyline that Carver believes will set up the show well for years to come. "I think we're really building some foundations for a storyline that can carry us for at least a few more years," Carver said. "There's a notecard in my office [that says] the end of Season 10."


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Jared Padalecki
On Sam's mindset and emotional stability going into Season 8: "He's happy; he's Winchester brother happy! [Laughs.] Nothing's ever going to be lollipops and candy canes, he's obviously had a lot of hurt and a lot of loss in his life; obviously he's had demon blood in him, he's done it all. He's able to finally resolve himself to get out of it, to get away, to say 'listen, I've lost everything -- I got it back and lost it all over again, it's too much.' He's wanted to live a normal life for a long, long time, so he's able to finally go 'You know what? I'm gonna go try to live a normal life and walk away from it, to get a job and get a dog.'"

On his new love interest: "We do see his love interest but we see it only in flashbacks. This one's not a demon, she's not going to end up on the roof, the Yellow Eyed Demon is dead, Sam's out of the life so he's not putting anyone in harm's way as far as he's concerned. But he has a relationship with this girl. It's not gonna affect Sam and Dean's relationship because Sam and Amelia are done by the time Dean shows back up."

Jeremy Carver
How he approached coming back to the show after being with "Being Human": "The most significant change for me is that for the last two years I've been telling stories from the monsters' point of view, and this year I'm telling stories from the perspective of two guys whose mission in life is to kill monsters so that's the biggest shift. [Laughs.] But truly, it was an honor to be asked back."

Ben Edlund
On where we'll find Sam and Dean mentally next season: "Maybe a little shocked to realize that in this profound period of separation, they've figured out how to survive without each other. That's part of it, a little bit growing up and realizing that they can't be the only things to each other or they have too closed a world or too closed an emotional complex. [They'll meet] new people, have new relationships, and are looking outward from this partnership that is both highly functional in terms of saving the world but also highly dysfunctional in terms of how you might relate to the world."

On Castiel's arc next season: "I think he's -- in the most general sense -- he's moving back towards his roots in a way. He's an angel who's had all these strange experiences with free will and he's actually starting to gravitate back towards ... towards home in a sense, but that's gonna be a different home because the angels' home has been destroyed. He's got a story to play, but it'll take a little longer than the other ones because we kind of front-load it with the boys and then bring him in."

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When Dean disappeared at the end of Season 7, Sam was pretty hopeless. Season 8 jumps ahead one year to a time when Sam has abandoned hunting -- partly out of necessity, since he was left with no contacts and no leads last year, and partly because he thinks he's earned it.

"Sam actually got out of the life," Jared confirms. "Without Bobby, without Cas, without Dean, with no Kevin in sight and Crowley taken him God knows where -- Sam finally went, 'You know what? Everybody I know is dead. I'm gonna leave. I have nothing anchoring me back.' He didn't have a voice in the back of his head saying 'Find this,' or 'My brother is in Hell.' He didn't know [Dean] went to Purgatory. He was just gone."

Unlike the last time Dean died, Sam doesn't degenerate into a life of anger and alcoholism. "It wasn't like an 'I Know What You Did Last Summer,' tortured, alcoholic existence. It was kind of like, trying to get his s*** together."

As he told us back in May, Jared liked the idea of exploring Sam without Dean for a while. "We almost talk about it like three characters. There's Sam, there's Dean, and then there's Sam-and-Dean. Sam-and-Dean is really number one on the call sheet," he says. "It's about two brothers and what they do together; that's the lead in the show... but I really always wanted to flesh out Sam. I think it makes Sam-and-Dean stronger. I think it makes Dean stronger. We didn't see a lot of Dean in Hell, but we will see a lot of Dean in Purgatory."

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"Battlestar Gallactica" alumnus Ty Olsson has been cast in a major recurring role on Season 8 of "Supernatural." He will play Benny, a vampire who helps Dean (Jensen Ackles) escape from Purgatory a year after Sam (Jared Padalecki) gave up on finding his brother.

"Supernatural" fans may recognize Olsson, as he's played a different vampire on the show before. He had a small role in the 2006 episode "Bloodlust," as Eli, part of a pack of "good" vampires who have tried to live under-the-radar, feeling on cow's blood.

Benny won't just help Dean jump out of limbo without consequences.

"That character doesn't just go away. [He] will stick around and of course cause problems," Ackles tells us. "Because Dean is indebted to this character for his exit, it makes the situation very volatile. That's how the onion gets peeled back, through this crazy relationship with this new character." We'll see how Dean and Benny met through flashbacks as Benny complicates Dean's relationship with Sam in the present day.

Suffice to say, Dean won't be particularly honest with Sam about the vampire's motives. "Ultimately, they are pathologically dishonest with each other because John Winchester was pathalogically elusive to them," consulting producer Ben Edlund says. "They learned that the truth is this dangerous thing, and that you shouldn't speak it. He even taught them to keep secrets from each other for strategic purposes."

Edlund notes that Benny is not the season's "big bad," despite differing reports online. In fact, fans will be surprised to learn that there is no big bad for the season -- there's a goal, and several villains (some familiar, some not) who are hoping to reach that goal before the Winchesters do.

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Men in Trees actress and Futurama voice regular Lauren Tom has booked an episode on the CW drama's upcoming eighth season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

Though details are sketchy, Tom's character -- which could be become recurring -- is described as an "intense" and "overbearing" mother to one of the characters on the show. Her introduction to the Supernatural world is said to be dramatic.

She is expected to begin filming in Vancouver in the next couple of days.

Repped by Gersh and Pop Art Management, Tom -- known primarily for her voice work -- recently wrapped season eight of Comedy Central's Futurama. Other credits include Fox's Napoleon Dynamite, King of the Hill and TNT's Hawthorne.


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In Episode 2, "What's Up Tiger Mommy," the Winchesters are invited to a very fancy party. (Cross your fingers for tuxes, ladies.) The event is described as "an auction of remarkable, unworldly objets d'art" -- and the bidding will get heated as an ancient monster grows increasingly determined to get what he wants.
Spoiler TV reported this as a change to 8.03, "Heartache," but 1) Jim Michaels said that title hasn't changed and 2) they've shown in the past that they don't get which episode the crew is referring to when they shoot out of order


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Tabitha: I'll take anything you've got on the new season of Supernatural!
Mythology fans, prepare to geek out. In Supernatural's third episode of the season, we'll meet Plutus, the host of a high-end auction who likes the bids to go higher and higher (how fitting considering Plutus is the God of wealth?), and Mr. Vili, who is after one of the auction's items and will do anything it takes to get it. In Norse mythology, Vili is one of the three gods of creation


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Most Supernatural fans have already speculated that Season 8 would see the return of some old friends, and a few enemies, to the show.

While promoting his new show on FX, Legit, at the TCA Summer Press Tour, Qualls confirmed he'll be heading back to Vancouver in a few weeks for another adventure as supernatural hunter, Garth Fitzgerald IV.

"I go back to Supernatural in a couple of weeks. It's one of my favorite shows to moonlight on. Jared Padalecki is a really good buddy of mine and also they wrote the part for me. And that's kind of an honor when somebody calls you and says, 'Hey, we wrote this for you. You probably are not going to do it.' I read it and I said, 'No, this is funny and I'd love to do it.' And I'm having a great time.

"The fans on that show are insane. I did one [a convention] in Birmingham, England. And literally people would just line up and hug you and cry. And it's like, 'I am so boring in real life. This is really flattering, but you should see me ten minutes before I got here. I was like a wreck. They love it.'"

Legit is a new FX comedy starring Australian comic Jim Jefferies, Dan Bakkedahl and DJ Qualls. Legit will be on the FX schedule in January of 2013.

NOTE: There is no word yet if Mr. Fizzles will be joining Garth in their next escapade

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"Supernatural": Good news, Castiel fans! Misha Collins will be in a minimum of 8 episodes of "Supernatural" this season. The not-so-good news? Given the flashback-heavy season, Collins can't confirm whether or not Castiel actually makes it out of Purgatory. Thus far, he hasn't shot (or read!) any scenes that aren't flashbacks of Purgatory.

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Misha Interview about S8:

Last we saw Castiel (Misha Collins) on Supernatural he was high-tailing it out of Purgatory, leaving his buddy Dean (Jensen Ackles) behind to face down countless unknown monsters and creatures. But Collins himself didn't get too far-- we caught up with him at the network's parent company TCA party in Los Angeles to find out just when we'll see Castiel again and how he may be different yet again this season.

"Cas is back!" Collins excitedly told us earlier tonight. "We're seeing him in flashback form first, and I think the Cas that we're seeing is more the Cas we got to know in season four and season five. He's a little bit more worldly, a little bit more weary, a little bit more worn than he was before."

Collins shared that he was excited to get back to the basics of Cas in many ways but also to have him be a more mature version of the character than we have perhaps seen, adding a new layer for the actor who has already played quite a few versions of this guy.

"Frankly, my impression this season is that all of the characters are more mature," Collins added. "It kind of makes sense. This show started now eight years ago, and you look at photos of Jared and Jensen eight years ago, and they look very baby-faced! The actors have matured, and so it makes sense that the characters have matured, too."

Of course, Castiel's maturity may be relative because he's several thousand years old. But Collins pointed out that it is really the past few years of Purgatory and the apocalypse that have aged him.

"These past few years have been hard on him and humanity!" Collins laughed.

With this yet-another-new version of Castiel comes a new dynamic with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean, Collins teased. Well, maybe just Dean for now, though, as Collins admitted thus far he has only seen scripts where "he's relating to Dean."

"It gets resolved in the first episode back," Collins said of Dean dealing with Castiel leaving him behind in Purgatory.

Though when we asked Collins if Dean could forgive him, all Collins would repeat was "I'm not telling you," which leads us to believe the answer is no...

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Anything on Supernatural this season? Or on Sam’s love interest? THANKS!! — Carly
She’s the real deal. Not a fling. Not a pipe dream (sorry, Lisa). Like, a possible lady for a lifetime. “To say that he has met a woman who could stand as the love of his life to this point, would not be an overstatement,” says new EP Jeremy Carver. “It’s a meaningful relationship.”

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Interview with Jeremy Carver about S8

At Comic-Con, we talked a little bit about the broad-strokes of the season, but I wondered if you could elaborate on Dean's Purgatory storyline and whether we'll see that mostly in the first half of the season, or whether it'll be a season-long arc?
We explore it in most detail in the first half of the season, but a lot of the arc has to do, in terms of flashbacks, with memory and perception. So it’s always open that we could re-explore it at a later date. We never close the door on it, but it's most heavily explored in the first half of the season.

Does Dean's time in Purgatory tie into the main mythology of the season, or do you have another storyline that's concurrent to Purgatory?
I would say it ties into ... It becomes its own mythology of the season. In other words, it runs concurrently to what would be our more traditional mytharc, but, yeah, it’s something that certainly impacts the brothers’ relationship. I think that’s a fair way to address it, as a concurrent storyline.

While you were on the writing staff back in seasons 4 and 5, you wrote some of the best Castiel episodes of the series, so I know you've got a great grasp of his character. Can you talk a little bit about what we'll see for him this year?
Well, I can talk about it to the extent we spend a lot of time exploring just what happened in Purgatory between Dean and Castiel. I mean, when we last left, they were split. I think we will, through Purgatory, come to understand how they may have found each other down there, how their relationship may have been affected by the events in Purgatory, how each of them may have responded to Purgatory in a very, very different way and then throw in the addition of a rather strange bedfellow that joins them to make it a trio -- that’s the story we’re telling in Purgatory.

We know that this strange bedfellow is a "dangerous" vampire called Benny (played by Ty Olsson), but can you reveal anything about his character? Perhaps why Dean doesn't just kill him as soon as they're out of Purgatory?
I think why Dean doesn’t just kill him goes to the heart of what we’re looking at in this season. That’s one of the great questions we are asking ourselves. I think it becomes readily apparent why he’s not, but what he does with this vampire when they come up is part of this concurrent storyline that I’ve been talking about. So, it’s fun. It’s great. I feel like it’s a very challenging storyline and the actor that we cast in the role is wonderful and so it’s all paying off beautifully so far.

Can we assume that Dean and Benny leave Castiel down there when they escape, or will we be seeing him in more than just flashbacks in the first half of the season?
That ... is something we explore. [Laughs.]

At Comic-Con, Jared mentioned that Sam's love interest was going to be seen in flashbacks, but will we see her in the main storyline as well?
We explore that love story in pretty great detail in the past. And I can’t say if she’s coming back in the present or not only because ... I can’t say. [Laughs.]

Aside from his romance with Amelia, can you tell us anything about Sam's other storylines this season, either independently or as they relate to Dean?
I can talk a little bit about it. I think it’s safe to say that Sam never expected to see Dean again after they were separated after last year. And I think it’s safe to say that he was pretty lost, as Crowley, I think, says at the end of last season. For the first time he was truly alone -- there was no Bobby, there was no family. And what does one do in that situation, when the brothers, between them, had made so many pacts with each other about what they would do or not do when the other one disappeared? And so, when you’re struggling to find some meaning, what happens when that sort of circumstance falls on your lap and you find yourself pulled in a totally unexpected direction and living a wholly different life than you’ve experienced before? And there’s something quite illuminating and mature about it, in a word -- and that’s sort of an operative word that we’re playing with.

Look, no one likes the juvenile bathroom jokes more than me on the show, but one thing we are trying to look at a little bit differently this season is that these brothers have had pretty formative experiences apart from each other and they’ve each matured and grown and they're not necessarily hiding that from each other this season. And they are each going to have to learn how to deal with the fact that their brother might not be the same person, maturity speaking, as the guy they hopped in the car with seven years ago. And everyone on the staff seems to be united in feeling like it’s time for these guys to start growing up a little. I mean, God knows they’ve gone through so much, you know what I mean?

How is Sam’s relationship with Amelia going to compare or contrast to Dean and Lisa's in Season 6? After all, Dean severed those ties because he felt like he was endangering Lisa and Ben -- isn't Sam going to have the same issue?
Well, I feel like -- and I could be wrong -- but to me at least, it felt like even when Dean was with Lisa, he never really left the life behind. And I think that this is just the opposite. I don’t think it was in Dean’s genetic makeup to leave the life behind whereas I think for Sam, [maybe it was]. I mean, that’s probably the most striking difference there. And it doesn’t mean that … well, no, I’ll leave it alone. You almost got me again! [Laughs.]

We know that the boys have lost an enormous amount over the past few years. There have been times when it's been pretty bleak, seeing every single person they care about being been ripped away from them. Are you going to try and repopulate their world and bring in new recurring characters to fill some of those voids?
Yeah. I mean, there’s no question the boys are the heart and soul of the show, but I think one of the reasons the show has existed for seven or eight seasons is because of the wonderful supporting characters that they built up around them. And, it’s a great challenge, because there can be resistance on certain fronts when you introduce certain types of characters, certain types of relationships, for some reason, I don’t know why ... [Laughs.] But absolutely, we are introducing new characters and we’re bringing back some old beloved characters and so it’s going to be a healthy mix of both.

Speaking of which -- Jim Beaver was at Comic-Con, and there are few characters as beloved as Bobby. He had an emotional send-off but also returned and left again in a way that could invite speculation. Can you comment on what your thoughts are for bringing the character back?
As a writer on the show, I love Bobby, and I can’t comment as to whether we are or are not.

It seems like Crowley [Mark Sheppard] is playing a much more integral part than he has in previous seasons. Can you expand on his endgame this season, or at least how his story and Kevin's story ties into the mythology?
That's true, yes. I think that you’re going to see that Crowley and the boys are finding themselves much more at loggerheads this year, both finding themselves in want of something that is dearly precious to each of them, for different reasons. And there’s a certain element of ... what had been somewhat of a business-like, sarcastic relationship, that is stripped away to sort of reveal something more of a bold want on either side, and a little less tolerance for the nice stuff, I think is an accurate way to say it.

The show has often focused on the "profound bond" between Dean and Castiel, while Sam and Cas have had a more strained relationship that gradually seemed to be improving last season. Have those dynamics changed at all, and can you discuss how Castiel might relate to both brothers this year?
Well, the only dynamic we’re seeing here is Dean and Castiel, down in Purgatory, and like I was saying before, that relationship ... You know, Castiel, I think it’s fair to say, ended last season a little bit, "I sing with the bees" or whatever the line was. And I think having been sent down to Purgatory has sobered him up a bit. These two ... one thing that we’re going to see in Purgatory, again, is that it has a different effect on different people. And that effect will not always be apparent but it will have great effect on their relationship. Sorry, that’s a weaving way around it.

Lastly, just for the sake of curiosity: How much input did you have in crafting last season's finale? Were you brought on early to consult and get your ducks in a row?
Nope. I had no input. The baton was passed and they said "Good luck, kid." That was pretty much it! [Laughs.]

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Misha Interview about S8:

"Supernatural" fans didn't get much angelic action in Season 7 of the CW show, but that is about to change, according to Misha Collins, who plays Castiel.

At a Television Critics Association party on Sunday, I talked to Collins about what fans can expect from his character in Season 8, which is under the creative leadership of new showrunner (and previous staff writer) Jeremy Carver.

In short: We'll see Cas pretty frequently, in the first part of the season anyway, and this fall there's more of an emphasis on the angel's relationship with the Winchester brothers, especially Dean. [Mild spoilers follow.]

Cas first shows up in the second episode of Season 8, which is a flashback to Dean and Cas' time in Purgatory, where they ended up in the Season 7 finale. I briefly spoke to Carver at the party, and he said that the writers are currently at work on Episode 9, and that Cas appears regularly in that first batch of episodes (though he didn't put a precise number on Cas' appearances).

When Season 8 opens, significant time has passed since we left Dean and Cas in Purgatory, and as we found out from the show's Comic-Con panel and cast interviews, the brothers have been apart for a while when the Winchesters return to our screens. As for our favorite angel, it sounds as though he'll be somewhat more like the Cas of old, rather than the mentally disturbed or power-mad Cas we saw infrequently in Season 7.

I've written quite a bit about my dissatisfaction with the last season and a half of
"Supernatural", and some of the issues I've had did crop up in the questions I asked Collins.

As always, Collins answered honestly, but also a little irreverently. Fans know he likes to joke at times, but he was also quite thoughtful about where the show's been and where it's going.

This interview has been edited and slightly condensed.

Can you talk about the first episode you're in?
Yes, [Episode 2 of the season] is a flashback. We're picking up a year later, and it's a flashback of Dean's memory of Purgatory.

So that was a good time, right?
No, Purgatory really sucks for Cas. He's loathed, hunted and hated by everyone.

And so what version of Cas is this? I've lost track at this point. Is this Cas 9.0?
It's Cas Snow Leopard.

Cas Mountain Lion.
Yeah. Mountain Lion is definitely more accurate. He is definitely back to the land in Purgatory.

So it's back to ass-kicking Cas in Purgatory?
No, not so much that. He's a little rough around the edges in Purgatory. It's hard on him.

Well, he was already in a somewhat delicate state to begin with.
Yes. I think he's been forced to nut up, so to speak. Hey, that's almost a play on words, because he was nuts before. He's a little less crazy, by necessity. In order to survive, he had to knuckle down.

So it sounds as though the season begins with Dean out of Purgatory?
Yes.

And you're in more episodes after the second one of the season?
[Collins asked Carver, who was standing nearby, about this, and Carver said that the show will explore what happened in Purgatory over several episodes at the start of the season, and Collins will be in an unspecified number of them.

Standing in this group was a reporter from another outlet, who asked Collins the following question.]

Do you hate Sera Gamble?
[The first two words of Collins' answer were not meant in a serious way.] Fabulous question. I pretty much have gotten that question, by the way, on camera. What do people expect me to say? I do not hate Sera Gamble at all -- in fact, I love her. But if I did hate her, there's no way in hell I would say yes. It's a pretty loaded question.

OK, that was a sidebar. [And we're back to me asking questions.]

With Jeremy at the helm, have you noticed a difference in the storytelling?
You know, episode to episode, I think "Supernatural" fluctuates a lot. The tone is not always consistent and reliable, and there's no template that every episode follows, so it's too early to say. But I do think that he's doing something different in the episodes that I've seen, and in the broad brush strokes that he's sort of etched out for me of where the season is going. He's definitely doing some new stuff. And as time goes on and the season arc plays out, we'll see how the tone in total is different.

I'll be honest with you, I feel like they went one Cas too far last season. There were so many versions of him that popped up so randomly that it was hard for me to keep the thread of the character in my mind, let alone the thread of his relationships with Sam and Dean. I feel like aspects of the character spun out for me last season, and I wondered if those were ever concerns you had.
On the one hand, I like that they take the risks and do weird shit with the characters -- all of the characters on the show. It's fun to play with that stuff, and it doesn't get boring. But there are definitely times when I feel like the threads -- the character continuity -- haven't always been woven totally thoroughly. And maybe that's my fault as an actor. Sometimes there just isn't quite enough time to totally flesh out and figure out how to make sense of some of these more radical versions of the characters. But I can totally see that point.

And there have also been times in the past when I felt Cas was used as the sort of "fish out of water" comic foil, to the detriment of the character. It was a little dishonest to the character.

He's also been a "get out of jail free" card. "What is the magical thing or power that we need right now? Oh, Cas has it!"
Right. Well, you know, but I think that's a problem with Cas. If Cas is in good form and they need something, they can just be like, "Cas can time-travel us. Cas can smite all these people simultaneously." And it doesn't make for very compelling storytelling, because your two heroes are human beings who are vulnerable and are up against forces much more powerful than them, so if they have this superhero ally who can just, with a snap of his fingers, solve all their problems, it actually makes the story tough to tell.

I don't know if this is true or not, but I think that a lot of the reason Cas has often been found unconscious or crazy or evil or turning into God or missing is because he solves too many problems too easily for Sam and Dean. So it's a writers device for dealing with that, and that totally makes sense. You don't want an incredibly powerful ally. It's kind of not as interesting.

Well, the stuff that is interesting is the relationship stuff, about the characters, and I don't feel like that has gotten enough attention either.
Last season, Cas' relationship arc got virtually none [of the screen time] -- he was an egomanical God figure, then briefly a Leviathan, then he was crazy. So there wasn't much for him to work with there. This season, there's going to be a lot more of the character interplay, I think. So far, that's what it looks like.

You said earlier you had heard about broad strokes for your character this season. Can you talk about that a little bit?
They don't have that many scripts written, so it's a little tough to speculate, but from what I've heard about where they're going and the scripts that I have seen, the Cas that we're going to be seeing is a Cas that is consistent with the old Cas that we've gotten to know over the years. It feels pretty honest to that character, so I'm excited about that.

Cas and Dean. They're a continual source of speculation, fan fiction, pornography…
Yep. I'm just always gratified that I'm in some small way contributing to any kind of pornography. It warms the cockles of my heart. Words chosen carefully.

Is there a particular emphasis on that relationship this season? Or is it just fighting together in Purgatory and desperate circumstances and all that?
The scripts that I've seen so far have been dealing very much with that relationship between Dean and Cas. Whether that's going to be the most significant or a very significant thread throughout the season, I'm not sure, but my speculation is that yes, it will be fairly [important].

I've written many times that I think one of the problems of the show is that it kills off too many recurring characters. I guess my thinking is that drama often consists of complex relationships and people reacting to each other, so if you take that away … well, it's really hard for the guys to bounce off anyone else if everyone they know is dead. That's just one of my hopes for the new season, that there's more of that built up again. Does that make any sense to you?
It does. And it's something you should probably talk to Jeremy about, but my impression is that they're trying to build a little bit more of that kind of a world. I'm going to be back more significantly. Mark Sheppard is going to be back significantly. There are a couple of other characters I think are going to be woven in as well.

The flip side of that is, when you have characters that are well-loved or well-known by the audience that you're not afraid to kill, it raises the stakes a little bit. You're dealing with these life-and-death situations every week, and if you actually aren't sure if someone isn't going to survive, [it's more dramatic]. Some shows, you know the regular cast is always going to be there.

Yeah, but I feel like the brothers are always in so much danger, not just physically but psychologically, and they're always being put through so much pain -- why pile on? I get it, I get that it adds drama to kill off characters, but their parents are dead. Most of the people they know are dead. I mean, is it like, "Oh, yeah, this is the one that'll make them really depressed."
It is true. And to an extent at this point, Sam and Dean are like, "He was a good guy. Anyway, we got to get moving."

Right, it's like, "Um, I have a thing. Have to go. Sorry about that dead person."
"Guys, the car is idling."

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Question: Any Supernatural scoop about the Dean-Castiel dynamic? —Joyce
Ausiello: “That is something that we explore heavily throughout the season through some pretty extensive flashbacks into purgatory,” reveals new showrunner Jeremy Carver. “People are always referring to purgatory as hell, and purgatory is not hell. Purgatory is a really brutal, free-wheeling place, but it has different effects on different people. It will have a different effect on Cas and Dean as you already started to see [in the Season 7 finale]. But I will say what you think you saw might not be exactly what you saw.”

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Episode 8.04 of Supernatural will be called "Bitten".

It will feature, Kate a possible recurring guest who is described as a pretty coed. Also a character called Michael who falls in love with Kate but their relationship is hindered by a supernatural force. And finally Brian, Michaels best friend who hates Michaels relationship with Kate

A college professor named Ludensky, who has a secret past, is also being cast.

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Another Jeremy Carver Interview:

"There's a little note card in my office that goes three seasons, but that's not to say it couldn't go more," Jeremy Carver told LA TV Insider Examiner when we asked him just how far he was planning the mythology for Supernatural.

Carver is back on Supernatural after a brief hiatus away to showrun Being Human for Syfy, and now he is stepping into the boss' seat to shake things up for Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and the merry band of hunters/creatures/random innocents they encounter along the way.

"There's an end point for this particular mythology which can move, but right now I have it as three seasons," he continued, confirming.

The CW has not announced long-term plans for Supernatural, though Mark Pedowitz admitted to critics during their bi-annual TCA presentation in Los Angeles that he loves the show, never had any question about renewing it, and if it was completely up to him, would have it on-air for a number of years more. Perhaps long enough to take the title of longest-running series to start on The WB? Fans can certainly hope, and as of right now, all signs point to the powers that be prepping for such a scenario.

But before we can think too far down the line, we have to get Dean out of Purgatory and reunited with Sam, which Carver shared will occur early on in the season to jump-start new action. Of course, cleaning up the "loose ends" of Purgatory, namely the ways it has changed Dean, will be an ongoing process in season eight.

"Purgatory is not directly related to that overall, boys' mythology," Carver admitted. "You're going to see many flashbacks to Purgatory in the first half of the season, and whether or not we see more flashbacks later is still to be determined, but by the first half of the season, you'll have a full understanding of what went down in Purgatory."

Getting back to much of the "case of the week," "on the road" drama that Supernatural started out to be (the only standing set or "home base" for the boys is the Impala; every other semi-permanent place they could lay low has been burned down or otherwise destroyed), the show in season eight will also be getting back to the basics of the brothers, per Carver.

"Within each episode, there's always a fair amount of [physical] separation, just as they're tracking down the case, but we're doing some episodes that are pretty new, structurally, for us, in which sometimes you're going to see them less than you would, but that's not affecting the myth at all [either]. The boys are pretty much always together," Carver stressed.

Carver admitted that "part of the reason some of the supporting characters are coming in is, yes, some of these relationships will test the boys." Additionally, he has a few things in the works for early season episodes to call back to season one themes, stories, and perhaps even characters, but he didn't want to say too much about the specifics since they were not set in stone-- err, in scripts.

"I love doing stuff like that, and the staff loves doing stuff like that," he admitted. "Let me put it this way, we're big fans of bringing back characters. We're just still in the middle of breaking the season, so it's a little early to say."

But fans probably shouldn't expect too many return surprises, as Carver has already set up brand new characters and stories that will challenge the hunters in new ways and keep the show fresh. One actor just signed for a guest spot is Lauren Tom, who we personally think would be perfect for Kevin's mom.*

"I love Lauren Tom. I think she's going to bring a heck of a lot of heart and emotion to the role. I've been a fan of hers for years," Carver gushed, noting that the story in which she is involved does leave it open for her to recur.

(*Yes, we know we have already seen Kevin's mom on the show, but actors get recast all the time, and Carver was being so secretive, we have to imagine something goes down with her character!)

"With any luck, though, we're introducing some hopefully new iconic characters!" Carver teased.

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"You're certainly going to see more of [Castiel] in terms of understanding what happened in purgatory, and that's as far as we're going, because it's fairly significant what happened in purgatory. Purgatory has a very different effect—and different types of beings that are down there. Just because [Dean's] driven and he's very into hunting, it doesn't mean all is well."

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