This season, the Winchesters have lost their beloved Impala, their friend Castiel and now their only remaining “family” member (RIP Bobby). But where did Bobby go? How will Cas come back? And is Sam about to lose his last marble? TVLine went to executive producer Sera Gamble to get answers — and dish about this week’s time-travel adventure (airing Friday at 9/8c)!
TVLINE | You ended the fall finale with the Reaper posing a pretty big question to Bobby. But then with last week’s episode, you didn’t address that question. Why did you decide to go in that direction?
In Episode 11 and in episodes to come, we wove in oblique references to that. What we want to do is keep the audience in the same grief space as Sam and Dean, who miss Bobby and start to question whether what they’re seeing is evidence that he might be a spirit or whether they’re just going through that normal grieving process where you think you see your loved one everywhere. Anyone who has gone through that knows that happens sometimes. And even when you are the world’s foremost supernatural investigators, that could happen to you.
TVLINE | Was the empty beer bottle one reference to that? Like, maybe ghost Bobby drank it?
Yes, that was definitely meant to tingle everybody’s “spidey sense” and make you wonder, “Is this one of those just lapse moments for them or does it mean something more?” It’s definitely meant to be evocative.
TVLINE | Will we at some point get an answer as to what Bobby chose?
We’re not going to leave you totally dangling forever. We would never let an actor as good as Jim Beaver go forever and ever. We fully intend to see him again in some way. I can’t give away everything, but I can say at the very least, we could do something like flashbacks to earlier in their lives, or bring him in in some other way.
TVLINE | What’s the next course of action for the boys in pursuit of the Leviathan?
Right now, the problem is they have so little information about how to make a direct assault of any kind. Dick Roman is a monster they don’t know how to kill. Also, he’s wearing the body of a very, very powerful human. In upcoming episodes, we’ll see Dean really obsessively checking in with Frank and working with Frank on this. Sam is every bit as interested in pursuing this, but also kind of worried about Dean’s psychological state because this has become such a personal, unhealthy revenge situation for him in the wake of Bobby’s death.
TVLINE | Is Mark Pellegrino coming back?
TVLINE | Does that mean the wall in Sam’s head is breaking down again and becoming an issue?
Basically, Sam’s hallucinations never went away. He has mechanisms in place to maintain throughout the day. We’ve laid in times, as recently as Episode 10, where you’ll see him press the scar on his hand. We made the choice to keep them subtle a lot. You don’t always hear the sound effects or anything from his point of view. It’s just how he gets through the day. He knows how to sort through what’s real and what isn’t. He’s achieved a very weird status quo, a status quo that only Sam Winchester has. [Laughs] In an upcoming episode, we start to see what that looks like from his point of view again, then we shake things up for him a little bit. [The status quo] wasn’t going to last forever.
TVLINE | This week’s episode is “Time After Time After Time.” What are some of your favorite moments from it?
One of my favorite moments is just the moment that Eliot Ness (played by Nicholas Lea) walks in the room. Philip Sgriccia, our executive producer, directed it, and he clearly watched a lot of movies from the time period. It just looks fantastic! It’s quite an entrance.
TVLINE | The episode description says Sam is “surprised by the reappearance of an old friend.” Is that ghost Bobby? Or someone else?
You’ll see on Friday. Sam’s problem is every bit as bad as Dean’s because Dean is stuck. So Sam is pretty frantic. Part of the fun of this episode is they’re often in the same place, just in different time periods.
TVLINE | What is this about Sam getting beaten up by clowns?
Yep, Sam gets beaten up by clowns in an upcoming episode. [Laughs] We’ve been looking forward to doing that to him for some time. Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin, two of our longtime writers and producers, wrote a really twisted episode in which Sam and Dean have to investigate a series of murders that bring them to a kids’ restaurant called Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie, and it has a clown theme.
TVLINE | That’s a mouthful.
Yeah. [Laughs] They came up with it. It’s just the worst place ever for Sam. It’s even worse than a carnival.
TVLINE | What can you say about Castiel’s return?
He’s coming back! [Laughs] Soon! I can say maybe not in exactly the form you’ve seen him [in] before.