When we last left Supernatural, Dean and Castiel were in purgatory. Season eight opens a year later, with a typical Winchester brothers reunion: awkward, silly, but still emotional. But the homecoming turns tense when Sam admits he didn’t look for Dean at all during that time, claiming that he was just “following the rules” that the brothers set up once upon a time - rules that they have consistently broken. To make matters even worse, Kevin (y’know, the high school prophet) left a series of voicemails for Sam. They started out calm, even happy, then soon went to frustrated, anxious, scared, and finally, defeated.
Show producers Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer were on hand during a special screening for a select few journalists, and spoke about the upcoming season. “The flashbacks allow us to tell different kinds of stories,” says Carver. “It’s a nice mechanism to tell a ‘relationship’ story without imposing it on the core momentum of the show.” Those relationships he is talking about include a very “normal” life that Sam led with a woman named Amelia and a dog named Riot. Dean has his own relationship, with another purgatory escapee named Benny. “Benny will be important, both physically and psychologically,” explains Carver. “He hangs over the boys heavily.” In fact, from what I saw in that first episode, Benny starts out as a sort of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”-type while in purgatory, but up on the surface, it starts to look like Benny will be a surrogate brother to Dean. While Sam is in the doghouse for giving up hunting and not looking for Dean, Carver promises that the tables will turn as to “who has to answer for what,” as Sam begins to learn more about what Dean was up to during his “lost year.” “Sam has been very forthcoming about what happened in this time,” Singer chimes in. “Dean, far less so.”
Kevin, having found another tablet, believes he knows how they can shut the gates of hell, quite literally cutting off the supply of demons and hellions to earth. This is the overarching plot of the season. If Kevin and the Winchesters succeed, does that mean Supernatural will end? While obviously there is no way of knowing if this will be the final season of Supernatural, Carver promises that even if the gates of hell are closed, “it will open up questions for other seasons.” Sounds pretty heavy, especially for a shown known to be very humorous, with plenty of wacky episodes. Carver promises we will still get those, including a LARP (live-action role play) episode, a found footage episode, and a “living cartoon” episode. “It’s not animated, but it is as if the boys are living in a real world with cartoon physics,” he explains after fumbling for words to describe it. When asked about a musical episode (ever popular in TV shows that you wouldn’t expect it from, after the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Once More With Feeling”), he says that one can only hope. Singer chimes in that it is not that stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles can’t sing, it is the writing of the songs that is the difficult part.
When asked about returning characters, Carver and Singer were surprisingly forthcoming about who we might see. They confirmed that Misha Collins will appear as Castiel, and we will finally learn what happened to him during purgatory around episode seven or eight. There will be “new angels,” including the previously-announced Naomi, a buttoned-up, bureaucratic angel. Crowley will be the main antagonist this season, and Carver believes we “might” see Meg again, but “can’t say if Bobby is coming back.” DJ Qualls will return as goofy hunter Garth in at least one episode. We will see a lot more of Kevin, and Kevin’s mom will also have a role, almost becoming a surrogate mother to the Winchesters. There will be a variety of “monsters of the week,” including one that Carver teases as “boating vampires.” Look for them in episode five.
Supernatural season eight premieres on October 3rd on the CW.