While there was never any doubt that Sam would survive Tuesday’s Season 9 premiere of Supernatural, there was the question of how Dean would bring his brother back from the brink.
The answer? Sam was literally saved by an angel when Ezekiel (played by Tahmoh Penikett) swooped in after hearing Dean’s prayers.
While the younger Winchester was mentally making peace with his fate — hi there, Bobby and Death! — his big bro was allowing Ezekiel to embody Sammy and heal him from within.
Meanwhile, a newly human Castiel found himself disoriented without his powers — don’t piss off the gnarly biker if you can’t smite anymore, Cas — while also being targeted by one pretty young angel. But rather than making a friend, the encounter ended with her blood all over his clothes.
During a recent visit to the show’s Vancouver set, stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles sounded off on the Ezekiel twist, the secrets between Dean and Sam, and the dangers (and hilarity) surrounding a human Cas.
THE ANGEL WITHIN | Although Dean told Ezekiel to stay hidden, the fallen warrior angel will pop back up over the course of the season. “We see Ezekiel for a long time through Sam,” reveals Padalecki. “Zeke stays around for a while, which I like. I like that it’s a work in progress and that slowly but surely Sam is, hopefully, healing.” Padalecki adds that he was “excited” by the plot twist, calling it “a cool, fun idea. We’ve had angels bring back, and we’ve had Death bring back, but to have an angel embody Sam, that was a fun, scary thing to play.”
BROTHERLY ANGST | When TVLine visited the show’s set — in the midst of shooting Season 9, Episode 8 — the truth about Sam’s recovery was still a secret between the brothers. “When it comes to fruition, obviously, Sam’s not going to be happy,” says Padalecki. “We see Sam making good with Death, making the decision to finally go, ‘I’ve done some good. I can walk away,’ and Bobby telling him, ‘You’ve done your bit. Plus, no one gets to leave a legacy like that, so be happy.’ With the fact that Sam finally found that place, I think he’s going to be unhappy that his brother lied and has been lying to him. That never works out well.”
Meanwhile, the inevitable strain of keeping secrets from his brother will leave Dean with no one on whom he can lean. “He doesn’t have Cas, and he doesn’t have his brother,” describes Ackles. “He doesn’t have his support system like he used to. … The beginning of the season has been a little difficult for him because he feels like he’s on an island of his own. That’s a situation that he doesn’t like to be in.”
And issues will continue to plague Dean and Sam’s relationship, even if they appear to be OK on the surface. During TVLine’s visit, the actors were preparing to film a scene in which there’s dialogue about brothers always having each other’s backs. “But the brothers are constantly lying to each other,” Ackles points out. “They’re hiding stuff from each other.”
Adds Padalecki, “There’s a line [in the episode] where it’s talking about how the brothers comfort each other. We’re like, ‘Uh, I don’t know if the brothers necessarily comfort each other. They’re pushing each other, killing each other, lying to each other, bringing each other back.'”
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STARTING OVER | What will the Winchesters’ first reunion with newly human Castiel be like? “A lot of it depends on the state that Cas is in,” replies Ackles. His new identity as a human is “something that we’re going to have to deal with, something he’s really going to have to deal with.He’s got to come to terms with his new-found situation. Cas has always been a very useful tool for the boys. Now, there’s a big change there. In his adjustment, the boys are going to have to adjust, too, to him and his situations.”
A LONE ANGEL | As if adapting to human life after an angelic existence isn’t hard enough, Castiel will also find himself with nowhere to go. “He runs into an issue with a female, and then I tell him to get his ass back to the bunker,” previews Ackles. “But because he’s there and because of what Sam’s going through with his situation, there’s a bit of a conflict there.” Explains Padalecki: “The war that was in Heaven is now on Earth — and it’s hardcore. There are factions of angels that are out for Cas’ head. I know Ezekiel probably feels that it’s unsafe to have Cas around because [he] is a beacon for angels.” So the poor guy gets booted from the bunker because he “doesn’t have the power that he needs to protect himself or to protect us,” continues Ackles. “[Dean] literally has to sit down with him and be like, ‘You gotta go.’ That sends Cas out on his own to fend for himself. [In] Episode 7, we come to find out where he’s been and what he’s been doing, and that’s pretty funny.”
Supernatural fans, what did you think of the Season 9 premiere? Grade the episode via the poll below and then hit the comments to back up your opinion!Follow @VladaGelman