At the end of Supernatural season eight, all four of the main and supporting characters were left in a state of change. Sam (Jared Padalecki) was physically altered, after having spent the season working to complete a rigorous set of trials that were meant to close the gates of Hell forever but actually had him journeying to hell and back in the process. Dean (Jensen Ackles) was left to watch his brother endure this physical torture while he could only want to fight alongside him. Castiel (Misha Collins) returned from Heaven as a human. Crowley (Mark Sheppard) underwent an exorcism of sorts to be “cured” of his own demonic nature. It is no wonder showrunner Jeremy Carver called season nine a season of soul-searching when LA TV Insider Examiner caught up with him in Los Angeles this evening!
“It’s a really interesting theme weaving throughout the season that you have Crowley and you have Castiel and you have many of our other major characters are really doing a lot of soul-searching, asking the– I think it was Sheen in Wall Street who said ‘Who am I?’ In all seriousness, our major characters across the board this year at one time or another are all asking themselves ‘Who am I? and what kind of man do I want to be?'” Carver said.
In the case of Castiel, Carver noted that he doesn’t realize he doesn’t have all of his powers right away in season nine. But once he realizes that aspect, it becomes a bit of a “fish out of water” scenario where he struggles– even more than Sam and Dean– to figure out what’s going on and how to best fight these new fallen angels.
“There is such a myriad of emotions that’s going on with this guy, something that he doesn’t even fully understand [at first] because he’s never experienced things like this before. Some of it is mined for humor, and what I’m really happy with is the writers’ room has really taken on the challenge of ‘What would it be like to experience these emotions?’ We really put Cas through his paces, not only learning what it is to be human, but also he’s something of a public enemy #1 of the angels, and he doesn’t have the tools to confront them as he did in the past. It’s very much a fugitive’s existence for him,” Carver said.
“The angels that have fallen are not one uniform thing. As we’ve seen for the past several seasons, there’s many factions in heaven, and then there are angels that are alone, solo. Castiel was of, but for the most part he’s been alone for many years. So it’s really going to be explored that while Castiel is going through his own fear, you’ve got angels who haven’t been down on Earth for thousands and thousands of years who are even more ill-equipped to deal with what this new life is. We look at many individual cases, and I think we have many cool, rounded angels they’ll encounter early on.
“As the season starts to unfold, you’ll realize we’re seeing angels that even other angels haven’t seen for a long time. When the angels fell, a lot of junk fell out of heaven.”
Meanwhile, for Crowley, “the experience that Crowley went through at the end of season eight had a lingering effect on him, and you’re going to see him revisiting that in ways that even he is not entirely prepared for or not necessarily comfortable with,” per Carver. The two, then, are on somewhat parallel tracks, emotionally speaking, despite coming from very different places.
But the idea of identity is not lost on the Winchesters, either. Late in the series run, Carver and his writers’ room brought in the idea of the “Men of Letters” and it being the boys’ true lineage– had things not gotten derailed all of those years ago. Carver called it a “jolt of energy” to the show, noting that it not only opened up the mythology of the show but also the Winchesters themselves. Sam found an identity, and Dean found a home. Though Padalecki has gone on record a few times of late saying that he feels Sam looks mostly at the bunker as a place of research, Carver didn’t want to talk too much about that aspect tonight, noting instead that Sam’s feelings on the place and the subject will get answered clearly in episode four of season nine.
But furthermore, the Men of Letters as a whole is a theme and an arc that will continue deeply this season, certainly providing insight into the boys, but also providing for the first of what will probably be many “outside of the box” episodes for the show.
“We very early on have a fun but surprising episode involving the Men of Letters where we’ll actually see the first two Men of Letters going to, literally turning the key for the first time in 1935. You’re going to see that case as something really wonderful to do with The Wizard of Oz. That’s as far as I will go! It’s a really fun, relatively elaborate episode that we’re all really excited about!” Carver said.
Supernatural returns to The CW on October 8 2013 at 9 p.m.
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