Sam (Jared Padalecki) is hanging onto life by a thread when “Supernatural” returns for its ninth season on Tuesday (Oct. 8). And Dean (Jensen Ackles) prays for help from any angel within close range, but instead of offering their help, the angels are irate and want to kill Dean.
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“Without giving too much away, last year [Sam and Dean] put themselves above their mission,” explains executive producer Robert Singer. “That’s going to have a price. That price is going to affect Sam in a certain way and it’s going to affect Dean in a very emotional and almost guilt-ridden way. I can’t really go much beyond that.”
Even so, XfinityTV did get Singer, as well as Ackles, to reveal a bit more about Season 9. Here are five things you will want to know before tuning in:
No. 1: A new storyline arc is coming, but this year’s is more multi-layered than in the past.
“When we start a season we say, ‘All right, very, very loosely, what’s the movie this year or what’s the story this year?’,” Singer says. “A couple of years ago we said we’re going to do a seasonal mystery. Last year was an Indiana Jones-quest movie for the entire year. This year is very multi-layered. We don’t really have a good movie or story in mind. We just have a lot of balls in the air and a lot of stories that are separate and apart from Sam and Dean. Of course, they’ll get integrated into those stories, but the angels falling, Crowley [Mark Sheppard] incapacitated, and what’s going to happen with Abaddon [Alaina Huffman] … we have demon-on-demon stories, angel-on-angel stories, and the boys are in the middle of all this, as well.”
No. 2: There will be consequences from the decision that Sam and Dean made at the end of last season and the world is slightly different now with all of the fallen angels.
“The big thing is that the brothers chose each other over the grander thing of shutting the gates of hell,” says Ackles. “I think the fact that they chose each other, they really, really have to unite more than ever in order to handle the new terrain that they’re going to be dealing with. There’s a lot of questions. We don’t know how these angels are going to react now that they’re out of their element so to speak. They can be friends. They can be foes. We won’t know until we start dealing with them, and it could be a case-by-case basis. It’s going to be interesting to see who we can rely on and who we have to be skeptical of, but, I think, for right now the brothers have to stick together and navigate it together. “
No. 3: How much will the show be character-driven as opposed to special effects this season?
“I think our first three episodes this year, which are basically a three-parter, are really going to set up the run for the season,” Singer says. “I think these are as good a three episodes that we’ve done in a row that I can think of. There’s a big surprise in Episode 1 that involves the boys. We really explore Castiel [Misha Collins] and his dilemma. They’re all really terrific stories.
“For me, my approach to this show is that it’s always been a character show. Years ago [executive producer] Eric Kripke and I did a panel and they asked us what our favorite scene was. Mine was a very quiet, emotional scene in an episode called ‘Faith,’ and Eric’s was when we stuck a character’s hand down the disposal unit and turned the disposal on. Eric said, ‘That’s why this show works, because Bob does this part of it and I do that part of it.’
“So for me the character stuff is the stuff that I really glom onto and that’s the row that I like to hoe. Having said that, we have people come up with some really fantastic stuff and we have a great visual affects department and their stunts are great. I don’t worry about that stuff. I’m interested in what the characters are doing and other guys are doing all that crazy stuff.”
No. 4: Is there more to Dean than meets the eye? Throughout all the seasons of the show, there have been hints that there is more to Dean than we realize, especially this past year on his vulnerability and his affection for Sam.
“I think that given the fact that Sam was going through trials last season and it was really taking a toll on him, and the helplessness that Dean felt was also coupled with guilt and the fact that he felt as though he should have been the one doing it, he should have been the one to sacrifice himself,” Ackles says. “I had that big speech where I was talking about how, ‘I’m the grunt and you’re the one that needs to go on and have a legacy. I’m just a worker bee, and let me lay myself down.’ I think Dean carried a lot of guilt, but he couldn’t allow that to get in the way of supporting and protecting his brother … It’s a whole different ball game now. I think that Dean has cleared the guilt and the uncertainty, and he’s more driven now to be like, ‘OK, this is what we chose, this is what we’re left with, let’s move forward, deal with it, and figure it out together’.”
No. 5: How long will Crowley be imprisoned?
“I can’t give you an exact time,” Singer says. “We like this idea of Crowley being our Hannibal Lecter, and, like Hannibal Lecter, his goal is to get out. He’s still clever and he’s going to try everything he can. Eventually, he will. Where that happens, we don’t know yet. We like him in the cage. We like that the boys can have these one-on-ones with him and that he realizes that if he has any chance of surviving he’s going to have to do it quid pro quo, but always scheming, always trying to figure out a way. We’ll play that as long as it takes.
The ninth season of “Supernatural” premieres on Tuesday (Oct. 8) at 9/8c on The CW.