If you think you have it bad, check out Supernatural where the poor Winchesters just can’t catch a break. In tonight’s episode (The CW, 9/8c), Dean gets promiscuous with the wrong person, leaving Sam to try to save his brother’s life. And there’s even more trouble ahead, star Jared Padalecki tells TVLine, including the return of the younger Winchester’s hallucination problem, the emergence of a hellbent-on-revenge Dean and the deeply felt loss of Cas and Bobby.
Padalecki also opens up about the possibility of returning for an eighth season, and what he’d like to see explored.
TVLINE | How has it been for you as actors having lost Castiel (Misha Collins) at the beginning of the season, and now having lost Bobby (Jim Beaver) as well?
As actors, it’s been great to explore those intense feelings of loss and regret and resentment; it’s been a nice acting exercise, so to speak. But as Jared and Jensen, it sucks because we love Jim — love, love, love him. We love Misha. They’re great people off-set, and they’re awesome actors on set. They add to the show quite a bit and, selfishly, I like having them around because they help propel the storyline. They add more dimensions just by nature of being two different people. But I understand how [losing them] makes for good television and good storytelling.
TVLINE | How is Sam coping with the loss in upcoming episodes?
Sam is all sorts of a mess. Bobby was very much a father figure to Sam, and so he certainly misses him. It’s difficult for him, but Sam and Dean went through so much that Sam, especially, is like, “We’ve got to deal with what’s on our plates now.” Like, “I miss him. I’ll love him. But we can’t bring him back. We can’t. We no longer have that option.” And Sam’s also dealing with a bunch of craziness in his own world – visions and hallucinations and his wall breaking down – so he almost literally cannot afford to worry about things other than just keeping his head on straight.
TVLINE | Sera Gamble said that the empty beer bottle was supposed to be evocative. Is Sam having any moments where he thinks he’s sort of seeing Bobby?
Not yet. One of the things that I tried to make clear in that episode was that Dean’s been drinking a lot. So Sam sees Dean drinking and is like, “Alright, whatever you’ve got to do to cope, you’ve earned it.” But also when that beer vanished and Dean’s saying, “Hey dude, what gives?” and I’m like, “It wasn’t me,” part of Sam is saying, “Man, maybe he’s just really having a problem drinking,” and part of Sam is saying, “Huh, I don’t know.” We’ve definitely encountered weirder, so Sam isn’t really suspicious just yet.
TVLINE | What can you say about [this week's episode] “The Slice Girls”?
Dean and his promiscuity, that Sam’s kind of making fun of, ends up being something pretty dire and scary and intense — and something that could end up [resulting] in [Dean's] death. And so we find ourselves in the situation where Sam has to say, “Hey man, there’s hunter Sam, there’s Brother Sam, there’s X demon Sam, there’s hallucinatory Sam. But right now, I’ve got to be hunter Sam.” We’re going to see how Sam behaves differently than Dean.
TVLINE | Mark Pellegrino is coming back as Lucifer, so what’s going on upstairs with Sam?
A lot. Though [Lucifer] hasn’t been seen on camera a lot, he’s been the voice in Sam’s head since the first episode [of the season], when he was messing around with Sam. Sam’s just been able to hide it, but an episode comes up where Sam has no choice but to confront this voice in his head. That makes it much more difficult for Sam to then get rid of Lucifer once he has embraced his presence.
TVLINE | Is it going to leave Sam in a worse place?
Very much. The fact that Sam’s been able to ignore him and push his scar and send him away has kept his hallucinations and his craziness at bay. But once he engages Lucifer — or his vision of Lucifer — then Lucifer almost… It’s like inviting a demon into your house. Once you invite him, you can’t get rid of him. So we see Sam suffer the repercussions of having engaged in his vision of Lucifer.
TVLINE | It seems like with the Leviathan, Sam and Dean haven’t gotten any big breaks. What can we expect with that quest?
There are several new challenges. Obviously, the fact that Dick Roman has killed Bobby makes Dean even more bloodthirsty and hellbent on revenge. We’ll see Dean’s quest for vengeance really take him over, really torture him. We’ll also see Sam trying to keep his brother on track and telling him, “Vengeance is not going to lead the right way.” But also Sam’s deteriorating, so it’s not like Sam can really just get ahold of his brother; Sam has himself to worry about.
TVLINE | How are you feeling about a possible eighth season?
I’m excited about it. I know I have a kid on the way in March, and that’s pretty intense and exciting and scary and every emotion you could imagine. But I’m excited about Season 8. I feel like there are more stories to tell. I feel like we haven’t wrapped everything up. Season 8 could be a great season. Even if we have to wrap things up in Season 8, I feel like it would be a nice last hurrah.
TVLINE | What are the things from this season that you want to explore more?
The Leviathans. We introduced this great character, this great demon, and just doing one season – introducing them and then getting rid of them – doesn’t give them the seriousness that they deserve. I want to deal with Sam. One of the things that turned me on to Sam is how, against all odds, he can empower himself over the most horrendous obstacles. So I love seeing his inner strength. It’s inspiring to myself and to a lot of fans, so I’d like to see more of that too.