Supernatural Teasers: The Winchester Mythology; Plus, Will Castiel, Benny and Amelia Return?

spn2Tonight’s all new Supernatural introduces fans not only to John’s father, Henry Winchester, but to another important piece of the Winchester family mythology. After a screening of the episode, executive producer Robert Singer participated in a Q&A that teased tonight’s episode and a few things that are coming – and coming back – this season.

[Mild spoilers ahead]

Deciding to Explore the Winchester History. “John’s a product of the fact that he didn’t have a father growing up. [That’s] the first of many kinds of bad luck for him. He sort of held a grudge against his father because he felt his father deserted him. We wanted to do [this episode] because we spent time with the other side of the family [the Campbells in season 6] and just kind of bring the thing full circle. And I don’t know if you remember the cupid episode where they said ‘it was ordained that [Mary and John] should get together’ and now [we’ll learn why].” Does that mean we might see other Winchesters popping up? Well, there’s no plan at the moment, according to Singer. But you never know what might happen in the future.

How Do the Brothers React? Singer brought up a difference between Sam and Dean in the way they relate to their father which has bearing on how they both react to Henry: “Dean had a probably more complicated relationship than Sam did with John. It was pretty clear to Sam early on that [he wanted to get out and go to college and that didn’t really work out after all], but I think he had kind of a clearer mindset. Dean, I think, was more conflicted about his dad and it’s been pretty consistent throughout the show that Dean has always been in defense of [John] and John made the ultimate sacrifice for Dean. So I think he takes this [Henry and familial] stuff a little more personally than Sam does and that’s what you’ll see in this episode.”

Casting Gil McKinney. The producers wanted to have a bit of a contrast between Sam and Dean and their grandfather. “[Gil] came in and read and we just thought that he was the right guy for the part.” They weren’t really looking for physical similarities in casting Henry’s part. “It’s sort of a generation removed. We were just looking for the best actor and the guy we thought would work well for the boys. And there’s a bit of a contrast, [Henry] is a guy who is more elegant and more learned and more educated, while our boys are rough-hewn. We were actually looking for more of a contrast than a familial…sameness.”

Read more spoilers from Singer about what will happen with the knowledge Sam and Dean get from Henry.

The Return of the Prophet. Singer confirmed the return of Kevin, which isn’t really a surprise since we’ve seen photos of him in an upcoming episode after he has a breakthrough with one of the tablets, but he also confirmed the return of some other characters, including…

Castiel’s Importance. We last saw Castiel summoned back to heaven by Naomi, but fans can rest assured that he will return. “He’s really crucial to the tablet stories. He’s going through sort of a trial of his own that’s personal. Naomi is very unhappy with him, Crowley is very unhappy with him. He’s a confused angel right now.”

Benny’s Reappearance. Despite Dean cutting ties with the vampire who helped him escape Purgatory, we haven’t seen the last of Benny. “He was really fighting the good fight of trying not to give in to his bloodlust and I think Dean having to basically cut the tie is a hard thing for him. We didn’t feel that, and never felt that, that story was totally ended. [It’s] probably not great drama to end the whole arc on a phone call.” Singer also made a point to say that “Pretty much every season we like to bring the season full circle and get a lot of questions answered for that season but pose questions for whatever the next season is going to be. I think all of these people that we introduced will have a pay-off.” That would apply to Benny and to a few other characters.

Charlie Redux.  Singer confirmed that Felicia Day will reprise her role of Charlie Bradbury (last seen in the amusing “LARP and the Real Girl”) again this season.  “We love Felicia.  We know she’s going to be in [an upcoming episode].  We’re just breaking this story now.  I know that she basically brings them a case, but beyond that I can’t tell you a whole lot.”

Will Amelia be Back?  The door seemed to close on the Sam and Amelia romance when Sam chose not to return to her when Supernatural returned this January, but does that mean we’ll never see the vet again?  Well, maybe/maybe not, according to Singer.  He did say that “We think she’s a really valuable character, we like her a lot and it certainly creates a big complication in Sam’s life.  We’re just kind of doing the end of the season now in the [writers’] room and I know that we’ve talked about bringing her back, but we don’t have anything specific.”

More Tablets? When the existence of an Angel Tablet was confirmed in the January premiere, quite a few fans wondered if any other tablets might pop up this season. Singer said “not this year. Pretty much [we have the Demon Tablet, the Angel Tablet and the Leviathan Tablet already]. That’s about all the tablets we can handle [for now].” That doesn’t mean we won’t see something in the future, though.

spn1The Brothers’ Relationship. Despite the boys having a few hurdles to overcome in the first half of the season, they seem to have achieved a sense of harmony with each other now. Will it last? Singer said that “I don’t think [their relationship] is shaky, I think what you’ll see happen in subsequent episodes is that there’s another kind of conflict between them, but it’s not necessarily the kind of conflict of ‘do I want to do this?’ or ‘what’s my plans beyond closing the gates of Hell?’ or any of that. It’s a new conflict. I won’t tell you more than that, but, as always, there’s always something going on between them.” Despite this, the “conflict” doesn’t sound like something that will split up the brothers. In fact, Singer noted that “I think you can count on a big emotional talk. Without giving it away, [they’ll likely have this talk] for kind of a different reason, for something that they didn’t see coming. Starting next week that thing will carry through to the end of the year.”

Season 9? When asked whether he think Supernatural will continue past this season Singer acknowledged that “I’ve been around this long enough that you never feel confident about anything. I think we’ve done really well this year, I think creatively it’s been really good and, by and large, the network is happy with our numbers. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that we’d be back.” But will the end of season 8 be a cliffhanger? “I’m sure [it] will. It’s worked for 7 years,” Singer laughed. “There’s an old show business saying ‘always leave them wanting more’ and I think for 8+ seasons we’ve done that so I suspect there will be some hanging chad [at the end of season 8].”

Don’t miss an all new episode of Supernatural tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW and come back after the episode for more teasers from Singer about what’s next.

You can watch the first meeting between Henry and the brothers here and visit our Supernatural page for more about the episode and season 8.

  • Dot

    I’m very curious and excited about this episode and what it’ll reveal about the Winchester family history, and for the rest of the season. Hopefully SPN will continue to repair the brothers’ relationship in having them be more honest with each other, and allow the other characters and relationships to grow as well. It’s really good to hear Castiel will be back and has a personal arc of his own. Hopefully we’ll get more of his pov and it won’t play out mostly off-screen. Like many others, I’m kind of baffled at the total lack of Castiel mentions, given the dire situation we last saw him in at the end of 8.10, but very happy he’ll be back (and I hope he’ll be around more in S9).

    Sam and Dean may be the center of SPN but the brothers, and the show itself, does better when they aren’t isolated all the time, I love the brothers but tv shows need to grow and evolve, as do the characters. I also think the isolation and the punishing string of losses puts an extra strain on the relationship (and it would be unrealistic to me not to depict that) and they can’t do this alone, with no one but each other to care for them or be cared for. Season 8 has been very satisfying so far and I hope the momentum continues.

  • marie

    While Dean’s daddy issues aren’t a surprise, I was kind of hoping this might be the one episode that was heavier on Sam’s emotional connection with the guest star. Not to say Dean can’t have any as well, obviously, but this season’s been fairly light on Sam connecting with guest stars and other characters, especially in real-time, which is where the bulk of understanding where the brothers are at emotionally really shines through. It was probably dumb to hope for, but, I mean, this is their grandfather…

    I guess I’ll just hope those emotional talks between the brothers can somehow make up for Sam’s ongoing isolation and lack of emotional clarity (and altogether usefulness, really) within the story.

    • Clarissa

      Marie, teasers work like this: we tease the episode. We do not spoil the episode. Teasing the episode in this case would be talking a bit about Dean’s history with his father and how that affects how he views Henry. Are you certain that Sam will have nothing to do/not be affected by this visit? Because I would tell you that if you believe that, you would be wrong.

      Accept that sometimes telling you everything about a certain character might spoil the episode and we simply cannot do that. Wait until the end of an episode to judge how someone is affected going forward.

      • TexasGreatGrams

        Clarissa, you are so right. Sam did seem to be more pulled into Henry’s story. The casting of Gil McKinney was inspired. He was so Henry. Really loved this episode.

        • Clarissa

          Yeah, it would have been impossible to talk about how Sam was connected to Henry’s storyline without divulging the whole Men of Letters/knowledge bunker thing. The emotional stuff with Dean wasn’t really a spoiler since it was fed by what we know of Dean (and his relationship with John), but talking about Sam would have spoiled the “twist” about the true Winchester legacy.

          I thought it was great the way that Sam really connected with that aspect of it. Dean has always seemed to really embrace the hunting side that John taught them and while Sam is obviously a great hunter, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also really embraced the Men of Letters side just like Henry and combined these skills. Imagine if they combined both of these skills in Sam and Dean – they would be the best hunters ever! (if they’re not already ;)

      • Percysowner

        Well, having seen it I guess I should be grateful that Sam got something out of the storyline, although he of course was not permitted to exchange more than 2 lines with Henry. Dean defends John, Dean gets the one on one scenes with Henry. Sam isn’t important, he gets to jump to conclusions while interacting with no one. Oh, that’s right he exchanged information with dead guest star of the week, but nothing emotional.

        • Clarissa

          Seriously? Did you miss the fact that Sam was so obviously drawn to Henry and this legacy because of his love of knowledge and that Sam is clearly a driving force behind their pursuit of this new bunker of information and will so obviously be overjoyed to have access to this kind of information and this will affect how they interact with it? You missed the fact that Henry’s visit and the uncovering of the legacy of the Winchester man clearly affected Sam on a deeper level and is likely that final push he needed/wanted to convince him that he made the right choice in coming back to hunting?

          All of these crucial plot points that will have far-reaching consequences and storylines somehow matters *less* than which guest star Sam got to speak to and how many lines he had? Everything that happened in this episode – including the types of character interactions – were completely in character with what we know of both Sam and Dean over the years. If you dismiss how Sam was pulled into this story – albeit in a different way than Dean, but so clearly at the same level of importance – then I just don’t know what else I can say.

          • Percysowner

            Yes, seriously. When I have to intuit Sam’s motives by Jared trying to convey them through facial expressions as opposed to actually getting dialog, I’m annoyed. When Dean is allowed to express his feelings to Benny and Garth and Charlie and Cas and his grandfather and Sam gets to listen to Amelia’s feelings and talk to no one I seriously care about that. You are happy and that’s great, I am not and that is my right. Different strokes.

        • Clarissa

          I can’t reply to your second comment with the “reply” button, but I’m not really sure where Sam didn’t use words to express himself last night, particularly with regards to the new knowledge library that will clearly be important to his story (and their story) going forward. He expressed dismay, with words, at the possibility of locking that information away forever as Larry had suggested. And he also addressed his parents’ relationship at the end of the episode when he talked about the cupid speech (while Dean was much more dismissive of his parents’ destiny to be together because of his fatalism).

          Sam doesn’t express his feelings to Garth and Charlie, etc because Dean, for all of his insistence on “no chick flick moments”, has *always* been a far more open book when it comes to his emotions. It seems strange to say that but he is generally more prone to showing his emotions even when he’s an expert at keeping things hidden. I thought that everything Sam did in this episode was completely consistent with the Sam that we’ve known since day 1. There was nothing about Jared’s performance that I had to intuit. But, as you’ve said, different strokes.

          Given everything we’ve seen this season (and for many, many years), I think that if you have this expectation that Sam will start expressing himself like Dean that you will be disappointed. And that sucks, but I don’t think it will start happening because I haven’t seen it happening thus far. They have different personalities despite their shared experiences and I find that – more often than not – these personalities are complimentary. But I don’t think they’re ever going to react to things or interact with people in the same way. And that’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way that they are. It doesn’t make one of them “less” or “better” of a person than the other.

  • Tina

    looks like the conflicts between the brothers from now on will be about them wanting to protect each other (at least I hope I’m getting it right).
    I hope that the whole “Castiel is crucial to the tablet stories” doesn’t take the focus away from the boys. They’re the ones who should deal with the tablets and close the gates of hell. With their own human powers.

  • Anja

    Who tought is was a good idea to ask Singer for spoilers? Ughhh, sometimes I feel like he hates every other character that isn’t Sam or Dean. Why can’t we have more supporting characters? What Supernatural has to do, is get an ensemble cast, not just have 3-4 guest stars appear every 7 episodes, or not even that often. At this point, when show is in its 8 season, it’s kinda monotone to watch only Sam and Dean all the time. I hope that Henry has a more important role in the show, and I seriously, seriously hope, that Castiel’s “own mission” isn’t only something that will be going off-screen, like we saw in season 6. We want Castiel on our screens, interacting with Sam & Dean. The situation in which the writers left him, it’s causing me to think they don’t care about continuity at all. They just give him random appearances every 6 episodes, to satisfy us, and leave us in even bigger despair. Castiel is suicidal at the moment, and influenced by Naomi, they can’t just expect us to forget about him and watch 8 episodes in a row where Sam & Dean don’t even care to mention him at all!.

    • Clarissa

      Here’s how these particular Q&As work: First, the network has to use the person who is available to speak which, in this case, was Singer. Second, a lot of the questions are typically focused on the episode in question, which happened to be a big Sam and Dean episode, so a lot of the information is about Sam and Dean. But, people made a point to ask about other questions. In some cases, he simply *cannot* spoil upcoming storylines, which is why there’s only a vague mention of other characters or upcoming situations.

      I am a firm believer that universe building is a very good thing in Supernatural and I think they’ve been a little too trigger-happy when it comes to killing recurring characters, but I also achknowledge that this show is, ultimately, the Sam and Dean show. They are always going to be the cornerstone, which is why it is not surprising (especially in the case of *this* particular episode) that the focus is on them.

      • Anja

        Thanks for clarifying how it works! I know Sam and Dean are the show, I just wish the writers would somehow at least acknowledge, maybe just with a single line, what’s happening with Cas, Benny and other characters. It’s a big lack in continuity, IMO. It especially shows after episodes like 8×10.

        • Clarissa

          I’ll admit that it is slightly strange that Castiel wasn’t mentioned at all in the last episode, but there’s a precedent for that, including in season 6. I don’t think it’s a continuity issue, I think it’s more of a stand-alone episode issue.

          With regards to Benny, I honestly don’t see why he *would* be mentioned, actually. The truth is that Dean obviously cut ties with him and, for whatever reason, isn’t telling Sam that he did so. Like Amelia, I think it would be surprising if Benny were mentioned again, just because those stories have sort of come to an end in the show (although, as Singer said, the phone call wasn’t a terrific end). Now, don’t get me wrong, I really liked Benny and I’m happy that he will return, but I honestly don’t think we’ll hear more about Benny until he *does* make a return appearance, because he is a point of contention between the brothers. That’s why I think Dean is being mum about him.

  • Christine

    Totally looking forward to tonight’s episode after reading several of the reviews online. I initially thought it sounded pretty lame but I have changed my opinion.

    I believe Supernatural could go on easily for a few more years. There is potential to change and keep things fresh but they need to populate the boys’ world somewhat. (I had been hoping they might ressurect Bobby somehow)

    I am somewhat disappointed about the lack of confirmed “Amelia” sightings in future Season 8 episodes. I find her quirkiness really refreshingly different. I was hopeful that they would be explaining the whole “Don mysteriously back from the dead” thing and assumed that she would be part of that story. I hope I am wrong, but right now it’s almost like they didn’t think the whole Amelia storyline through.

    Aside from that, Season 8 is working for me. My family is now trained not to phone on Wednesday’s when Supernatural is on.

  • Percysowner

    Well, I guess it’s official, we will never get look into Sam’s headspace when Dean disappeared. Sam is the bad brother full stop. Oh sigh!

    • Then again

      In the minds of some fans, yes, but obviously not in the minds of the PTB. They’ve stated in the past that Sam was following the family code, and they had Sam tell Dean to drop it, or else. Dean did. They obviously feel that was sufficient, and now the relationship is apparently not shaky at all in their minds.

      I share your frustration with how Sam has been handled re: Dean (in truth, I have issues with how Sam has been handling Dean this season), but it’s not some conspiracy to make Sam the bad brother, because the PTB doesn’t appear to think Sam has anything to explain/apologize for/reflect upon re: his relationship with Dean. He did the right thing, he told Dean to stop being mad, and that’s it. Granted, that leaves Sam in a bad place with fans, but it’s not the PTB thinking Sam is a bad brother. Too bad they can’t see their unintended consequences, isn’t it?

      • Percysowner

        Since fan reaction to Sam not looking for Dean has been loud, vocal and consistent since the first episode, I can’t imagine that they think that Sam looks like anything other than the bad brother. They know the impression they left and they have stated that it is never going to be corrected. They may not have wanted to trash Sam’s character, but they are aware they did and are willing to have that stand. For me that is deliberately making Sam the bad brother whatever the original intention.

  • Lisa

    Just watched the episode not long ago and oh my gosh, I loved it! Very, very awesome. I was definitely disappointed that Cas wasn’t mentioned.

    I know and enjoy that Dean and Sam are the show, but I miss Cas so much in every episode that doesn’t have him in it. Team Free Will! Can’t wait for Castiel’s return!

  • MEG

    Good eppy with Henry ( really liked him)…but I do miss seeing some deep emotion from the guys. They seemed so unaffected by seeing that pisture of John as a kid…by finding out the truth about where Henry went…They seemed oddly detached.
    There were some deep looks between them in the end. but…

  • Meg

    I found it weird that Sam and Dean haven’t mentioned Cas given what happened in the last few episodes he was in. It seems so out of character because they were both worried when he disappeared.

    I’m hopeful the rest of the season will be better. I’ve loved half of the episodes thus far, and only liked the rest. I’m also really glad Charlie will return, she’s wonderful. I’d really like to see Sheriff Jody Mills return too!

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