Supernatural fans eager to learn what’s next in Season 14 for Sam — and, more importantly, for the Michael-possessed Dean — finally got at least a little of their appetites sated Sunday when the show’s cast and crew took over Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con.
Moderated by Richard Speight Jr. (Gabriel) and Rob Benedict (God), the panel was stacked with stars Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam), alongside showrunners Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb, Alexander Calvert (Jack), Misha Collins (Castiel), and executive producers Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner.
No one was in a hurry to reveal what our next glimpse of Dean might be, after he walked off the screen under Michael’s malevolent control in the Season 13 finale. But Dean’s fate, said Calvert, is definitely the main focus of the new season’s story arc.
“I think the ultimate thing is getting Dean back,” Calvert confessed. “That's everyone's driving motivation, is to get him back in the fold.”
Wresting control back from an entity as powerful and determined as Michael might take all of Season 14’s reported 20 episodes — the fewest episode count in the show’s lengthy run. But judging from the vibe of the show’s loyal and devoted fandom (in evidence among the panel’s audience in Hall H), that likely won’t be a burden.
Reflecting on what has kept people so engaged through all of Supernatural’s twists and turns, Padalecki said relationships, across the board, are the glue that holds the show together — even as it rounds the corner toward its 300th episode.
”I think there are many many facets to why we're still going. Number one is y'all (the fans). Sharing that spot is a really supportive network and studio,” said Padalecki. “It feels like both in Vancouver and in Los Angeles, well, the relationships among the people are legit. I care about the people I work with.”
Collins, who plays Castiel, the Winchester brothers’ angelic keeper, seconded the fan support theory."I think it's about this fandom largely,” he said. “There are so many factors that go into what's been successful in this show, but there are some unique ingredients that go into this particular dynamic. People who started watching the show 14 years ago have literally grown up with it.”
Buckner did give some insight into Michael’s single-minded motivations, and his gift for improvisation as he traverses very different realms to impose his will — though we don’t yet know how we’ll see it evolve further in the new season.
"We all saw what Michael did in the previous world, which was not a good thing,” said Buckner. “It was pretty much decimated, which he called 'purifying.' Now because he has no angels to pull together as an army like he did in the other world, he has to make do with what he has here."
“Jody Mills will be back for us, and I think we'll be seeing some other members of the Wayward ‘family’ as well,” said Dabb. "Rowena will be back for us as well.”
While no bombshell information opened a floodgate of fresh info on how Season 14 will weave its labyrinthine way through the show’s growing mythos, the approach of episode 300 apparently does have the Supernatural crew scheming up some kind of big surprise.
But, despite a too-good-to-be-true joke from Padalecki, we somehow doubt the show will commemorate its big 300th milestone by channeling its inner Sparta. “Jensen thought that the 300th episode should be called 'The 300' and we should all wear togas,” joked Padalecki.
Seriously though — they’re planning something, even if not everyone is in on it yet. “Andrew (Dabb, Singer’s co-showrunner) has a plan (for episode 300). He hasn't let me in on it, but I'm directing it. I'd like to know what I'm directing, but Andrew won't tell me,” joked Singer.
Supernatural returns to The CW for its 14th season beginning October 11.