Last time we saw hunter Jo Harvelle in Season 5 of Supernatural, she was sacrificing herself for the greater good as hellhounds descended upon her rigged-to-blow hideout. But in this week’s episode (Friday, 9/8c on The CW), Jo returns much more at peace, says her portrayer Alona Tal. It helps that she’s, you know, dead.
TVLine chatted with Tal about what brings Jo back to the Supernatural world (duh, Dean), her final moments pre-death — yes, we’re talking about that kiss! — and her buzzy new FX pilot Powers.
TVLINE | What was your reaction when you heard they wanted to bring Jo back for an episode?
I went, “About time!” [Laughs] In my mind, internally, I said, “It’s about time.” I was happy. I said several times throughout the last two years, whenever it works out and they do want me back, I’m always game, and I’m always excited to go back there. It’s a fun place to go back to.
TVLINE | What was it like coming back after being away from the show for a while?
It’s exciting. It’s a little bit like you’re going home, because you know everybody. That’s a wonderful part about the show is that 90% of [the crew] are the same. You don’t have to get to know new people again. It feels like, “Oh my God! I haven’t seen you in a while!” and pick up where you left off. It’s comfortable and welcoming in that sense. As far as the character goes, you go back to a character you haven’t touched in three years, and you’ve grown as a person. You just try and mirror that to the character because the character doesn’t just pick up where it left off. Obviously, she died. So there’s been some issues.
TVLINE | How would you say Jo has changed since we last saw her?
Other than being dead? I think that there’s a level of – this is all assumption — but they say when somebody dies, there’s clarity that comes with it, and there’s a different level of comfortability. That uneasiness that people have when they’re alive, from the stories we’ve heard, seems to go away when one is dead because you’re in the spirit world. It’s a completely different world. She’s just relaxed and not angry.
TVLINE | What brings her back?
There is an Egyptian God who finds people who are guilty or feel guilty, have guilt in their hearts, and basically judges them based on this guilt. This Egyptian God puts Dean on trial for his guilt, and one of the things that he [feels] guilty about is me. That I sacrificed myself for them — and him in particular because he knew my feelings.
TVLINE | Speaking of feelings… The last scene before she died was of Dean kissing her. Is that brought up in the episode?
It’s not so much the kiss. The kiss was irrelevant. It wasn’t the point of the scene even then. It was more of a goodbye than a kiss. It was more one person really seeing another and thanking them and appreciating them. For him, at that particular moment, there was no other way to express it but with a kiss. There was that awkward, long silence right before the kiss. It’s because what can one say? The kiss says so much more. So there’s no need to really bring it up. I think what is brought up is just the obvious unsolved, unresolved [feelings]. It’s always brought up whenever Dean and Jo are in the same room.
TVLINE | Does she get a little bit of closure about Dean?
Everybody will have to see it and [decide] for themselves. ‘Cause there are interesting exchanges between them.
TVLINE | What is Dean’s reaction like to seeing her again?
From what I could tell, just surprise. … Imagine somebody you care about that you obviously have guilt issues over and then you see their face. There’s so much you want to say, and I think that’s what you get from him. He wants to say more. And he wants to have a better communication.
TVLINE | Did you get to interact with Sam too or is it just Dean?
It’s both of them. I can’t just do Dean. I have to have a little Sammy.
TVLINE | What can you say about your FX pilot Powers? Are you part of the regular cast if gets picked up?
Yes, I am. If anybody doesn’t know Powers, look it up because it’s a wonderful comic by Brian Michael Bendis. Powers is basically a cop drama set in a world where people have powers. These people have different levels of powers. … I’m playing one of the very powerful ones. I play Zora. She’s lived for thousands of years. She’s very strong. Very badass. Doesn’t give an eff about anybody. She’s not trying to be liked by anybody. [It’s a] very gritty pilot. Jason Patric’s in it. Vinnie Jones is in it. Lucy Punch is in it. We have some really, really, really good people in this pilot, and some really good people behind it.
TVLINE | When do you find out if the show is picked up or not?
I’m hoping to find out very soon. I’m hoping very, very soon. So if everybody can cross their fingers out there for me in the next month… Let’s give it a month. I won’t ask for people to cross their fingers for longer than that.