Over the weekend, we had a chance to talk to writers, producers, and actors from Supernatural (yes, we met Sam and Dean), and now we know the monstery score. Season 6 will take the Winchesters on a new path. SPOILERS!
It's always a pleasure talking to the Supernatural cast and crew because they're all obviously having fun, and seem to share the same off-kilter sense of humor which is key to the show's charm. Though Eric Kripke has handed his showrunner job off to Sera Gamble, he is still very much involved with the show. His official title, he joked, is "pain in the ass." But he also told us a lot about where the story is going, and how Gamble's vision is different from his.
Where are we when season 6 starts?
The new season starts one year from the end of season 5. Sam (Jared Padalecki) has returned to Earth as a human - Padalecki says he "has no idea" how he got out of Hell, but he's tried to stay away from Dean (Jensen Ackles) and let him enjoy family life. But then something happens and the Winchesters have to band together again.
Who will be back this season?
Other than Sam and Dean, we're going to see Castiel, Bobby, Crowley the demon, and Dean's family for sure. Possibly Mary Winchester, the boys' mother, will be back too. There is going to be an entire episode from Bobby's point of view, called "Weekend at Bobby's," directed by Ackles.
Monsters are the major plot arc
Kripke assured us, "We do have a mythology in store. It's a very different vibe than the mythologies we've had before." He characterized his own stories as having a "Joseph Campbell, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings sensibility," but called season 6 "more like Chinatown or LA Confidential." Gamble's vision for the season is "gritty and twisty, and people aren't who they seem."
The major arc of the season, Kripke added, will be monsters, "exploring who they are and where they come from - do they have souls and where do they go?" He assured us this wouldn't be monsters like in the first season - "We're not going to unleash 'Hook Man' and 'Bugs'," he joked, referring to two early monster-of-the-week episodes from the series. Gamble felt that it would be hard to find new demon and angel stories, so that's one reason why they turned to monsters, which have always been a major part of the show. Some of the monsters you should expect to see are weres, skinwalkers, vampires, and shapeshifters, which Kripke said are "strangely related."
[Image by Tessa Farmer]
The faerie episdode
Kripke and writer Ben Edlund promised there would one episode with lots of faeries and little people too. "I think we're going to have a Tinkerbell fight!" Edlund said with a manaical giggle. Edlund has written some of Supernatural's most memorable episodes, and admitted that he used to build gnome houses in his backyard. So naturally he has a lot planned for the faerie episode, including a lack of political correctness:
It's going to be a delicate tightrope walking arrangement to not deeply offend little people. It's going to be a tesseract – from one end it will be good to them and nice. From the other end, not so much. In faeirie lore – there's the good guys and the bad ones. We're going to deal with the darker faeries, including the deal-making aspects of faerie lore to a degree.
But, he added, "faeries are an anomaly - we're going to have a lot of monsters." He explained:
All the critters we've seen will be looked at in a different way. We've been very human centric [on the show] because most of our creatures are basically human in some form: They're ghosts, demons, angels – all of which start out as human. We've only looked at monsters from outside. Who was the monster's friend? What was its name? We're going to try that story.
But will it be funny?
Absolutely. Ackles said:
Sometimes I'm like, "Really guys? Lederhosen?" We have a saying on set - [producer] Bob Singer says, "No joke too cheap." We're always looking for the nice cheap jokes. And this season we have more opportunity for comedic moments.
Sam and Dean will be more like equals
Padalecki said that Sam's biggest issue this season will be dealing with having spent time in Hell, and having had Lucifer in his body:
I'm dealing with Hell. Sam is like Dean was on season 1. He's saying, "Asking questions got me into Hell," and now he's more interested in the tactically right thing to do. He's like, "Let's kill first, even if it's a kid". Even when he had the demon blood, he was always trying to do what was best, but now he's like, "I'm trying to get the job done." Sam has been to the depths of hell and back and he's learning to trust his intincts and trust himself. Now he can go bat to bat with Dean because [he's been to Hell] too. We'll be more like equals. More on par. This year I have a car too. Sam has a nice new [vintage] Charger.
Ackles scoffs, "Sam has a car if you want to call it that. There's only one car on the show."
What's going on in Heaven?
We got the scoop on Heaven straight from the angel's mouth: Misha Collins, who plays angel Castiel, told us all about it:
Heaven is like post-Soviet Russia. The government has collapsed into satellites and factions. Heaven's nukes are falling into the wrong hands and Cas is concerned about that – he's trying to deal with that in a righteous way. He's a little bit less of Sam and Dean's sidekick in back of Impala. He's less emotional than in season 5, wiser than he was.
He's not that concerned about the monsters in Sam and Dean's lives. As a bigger mythology is revealed we'll start to see the reasons monsters are so prevalent. The relationship between Heaven, Hell, and the monster activity will be revealed. These worlds are going to intertwine. We're going to see that bringing order to heaven relates to the realm of monsters.
Whatever happened to the Antichrist?
The Antichrist was a loose thread. We talked about bringing him back, but he's just too powerful. I like him in Australia. I hate loose threads, too – I was hitting Kroatoan for three years trying to bring it back.
He's not ruling out bringing back the Antichrist at some point, as long as they can figure out how to make him into a guy who can't just turn everybody into carrot sticks with a snap of the fingers.
And here's where it gets meta
We asked Edlund, the master of meta, what to expect in the way of meta episodes like "The Monster at the End of This Book." First he protested that the whole show is meta, and that Warner Brothers is "like the Cthulhu that controls it all." But then he admitted they hadn't gotten to planning a meta episode yet: "Usually the meta episodes come later in the season. We build a nonmeta swamp that's serious, and float a meta boat on it."
But we think there's already something cleverly meta about taking the classic monster-of-the-week formula and turning it into the seasonal arc. And that's why we can't wait to watch next season's Supernatural.