Supernatural: Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki on Being Hunted, Dean's Guilt and Moving On

When they’ve lost their heavenly ally, home base, sanity and possibly their only remaining parental figure, how can the boys of Supernatural possibly go on in their Impala? That’s what the Winchester brothers will be dealing with in this Friday’s episode (The CW, 9/8c) and beyond, following the intense and shocking turn of events in last week’s installment.

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“We’re moving forward as we can, I guess,” Jared Padalecki shared on the Vancouver set of Supernatural, during a visit arranged by Warner Bros. TV. “It’s certainly not the first curve ball that’s been thrown the boys’ way.” Still, this is a considerably “large one,” he noted, “because we’re gradually starting to realize and understand that we are losing all vestiges of hope that we’ve relied on – at least since Season 4.”

“And obviously Sam feels vulnerable because once again he’s got something going on in his head,” Padalecki continued. “We’re committed to moving forward. We’re just not sure how we’re going to do it yet.”

Complicating matters are the new baddies in town – the Leviathan – who are out to make life Hell on Earth for the boys (who, yes, hve already been to the real Hell, so no need for that). As if it wasn’t bad enough that Sam and Dean seem incapable of destroying the monsters, the creatures are now out to destroy the boys’ anonymity.

“The Leviathan are trying to weed us out,” explains Jensen Ackles, “and they’ve come up with different scenarios, different schemes to do so. One of them is getting the cops basically put on our trail and really making us like America’s Most Wanted, which doesn’t help us because as soon as [the Leviathan] know that we are being locked up or being detained in some facility, we’re….” “Sitting ducks,” Padalecki finishes.

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To evade being outed and in turn captured, Dean and Sam will have to cut out the things – and people – they’ve come to depend on for hunting. “We can’t always be on the phone,” says Padalecki. “We can’t always be on the Internet. We can’t always be keeping ourselves logged into the world and even to other friends. … Sam and Dean are really going to have to go with each other [and] cut out a lot of other things, from the car to this or that.”

That Butch and Sundance quality lends itself to a “stripped down” feel to the season. “It’s the acoustic season,” Ackles jokes. But in all seriousness, it’s back to basics with the boys just “relying on each other, our wits and our street smarts just to make it through,” he continues. “It’s reminiscent of the first season, which was the season that I know we fell in love with the show.”

Alas it’s not so great for Dean, who on top of being without his usual reserve of resources has “a laundry list of things he feels guilty about,” and that will play into Episode 4 when an Egyptian God puts him on trial.

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“There’s the responsibility of his brother and having to watch over him, feeling like he let him down all the time,” Ackles notes. “Now there’s the whole Cas issue. He didn’t get to him in time. He wasn’t able to help him out and save him.” And the issues continue to go way, way back – “all the way to his father,” says Ackles – so “there’s just a mound of guilt that has built itself up on Dean’s shoulders and that he constantly wears around.”

As for Sam, who isn’t put on trial despite having done his share of guilty things – e.g. drinking demon blood, opening Lucifer’s portal – “he understands he’s served his time” as a result of his crumbling Hell wall troubles. “He tried to do the right thing over and over again, and he’s like, ‘You know what? I made a few mistakes, but…I think I’ve done more good than bad,” says Padalecki. “The scales of Justice are still tipped in my favor.’”