Oh Castiel! Why'd you have to go off and become God? On tonight's season-seven premiere of The CW's Supernatural, we'll discover what happens after last season's shocker, in which Castiel announced he was the new God and that the Brothers Winchester better bow down and start professing their love ... and fast.
"We pick up right after we left off at the end of season six. I mean, we can't leave that cliffhanger just dangling," said executive producer Sera Gamble in an exclusive interview. "Our first order of business was to ask ourselves what we would do if we were God. Cass has a lot on his mind about that. The character, in a previous season, went on a direct quest to find God and was unsuccessful. He has a lot of opinions about what God should be doing, so a lot of smiting ensues. I'll put it that way."
On tonight's premiere, Sam, Dean and their monster-hunting friend Bobby Singer are none too happy about Castiel's new gig.
"They warned him not to go down this road. And they feel strongly that this is more power than anyone can handle, even Cass," said Gamble. "Every step of the way, Sam and Dean have tried to appeal to Cass as a friend, and then really as a brother. So it's devastating to them on a personal level, and we'll see the implications of that. We'll see the implications of that throughout the season."
One other significant development involves that wall inside Sam's head. "It's hard when an angel breaks the wall inside your head that Death put up because Lucifer tortured you so much," said Gamble. "It's just falling inside of Sam's head, and that's something that really rears its head from the beginning of the season."
Castiel's change of status from angel to self-proclaimed God means that Misha Collins, who plays the former angel Castiel, has been downgraded from a series regular to a recurring guest star. And so we'll be seeing a lot less of the new vengeful God.
While Castiel fans may be none to happy about the new developments, plenty of other familiar faces will pop up this season. Ellen's dead daughter, Jo, played by Alona Tal, is returning for an episode. "We're bringing back Crowley," said Gamble. "Death, we're bringing Death back. And Colin Ford as young Sam." Mark Sheppard returns as Crowley, and Julian Richings reprises his role as Death.
"The formula in terms of closed-ended stories and mythology stories, I think that works for this show, and we don't mess with that too much. Usually when you tune in you get the nice solid monster-of-the-week story," she said.
"The nice thing about the show Supernatural is no town is untouched by monsters anywhere," Gamble said with a laugh. "If you drive, it's a show that's engineered to make you terrified to stay at any motel."
In an effort to terrify you in even more ways, "we have an episode that deals with everyone's fears about checking in to a hospital for surgery, and the terrible, terrible things that can happen to you in hospitals. We have an episode with a god with a lower-case 'g' ... We've got ghosts. We have an episode that takes place in Lilydale, which is the most psychic town in America. This is a true fact," said Gamble. "If you do have a ghost problem in Lilydale, there's probably an issue, because you throw a rock, you hit somebody who's throwing a séance."
The brothers will also find themselves facing a witch in a bit of a "bewitched situation," and "Sam and Dean deal with what appears to be a doppelganger situation early in the season as well."
According to Gamble, "it's been good for us to bring Sam and Dean back together over the past season or so, and this is not one of the seasons where you'll see some worthy character come between them. They have their issues. They certainly have reasons to be worried and concerned about each other and to have their conversations. This is the season really about each of them. The changes that are happening within each of them."
Gamble believes the longevity of Supernatural, which is headed into its seventh season, emanates from "a certain kind of ballsiness that [creator] Eric [Kripke] has always had. He says, 'Why not?' when we say, 'Well, we couldn't, you know, show heaven. We couldn't, you know, actually go look for actual God.' You say something like that to him, 'We couldn't really do the Apocalypse,' and he says, 'Why not? Why couldn't we? Why?' Because we have only a moderate budget? Because people don't do that? Because no one else has? 'Why not? Let's just do it.' So, whenever we get to the idea we couldn't possibly do, then we always end up doing that one," she said.
Kripke, who stepped down at the end of season five as showrunner, is still highly involved in the show. He built "the architecture of the season during preproduction. He is a consulting producer this season," said Gamble.
"When it came to this season, I think everybody came into the room ready to have fun and capture that B-movie/buddy movie spirit. And the season really is infused with that sense of fun. Everybody's having a really good time this season. We have a couple of new writers, and we've had no lack of ideas."
Supernatural premieres tonight on The CW at 9 p.m.
Are you ready for less Castiel and more fun?