Post Mortems
Supernatural Season 11 Matt Cohen Returns

Supernatural Stars on [Spoiler]'s Surprise Return, The Darkness' Origins

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Supernatural

Supernatural hosted a family reunion of sorts during Wednesday night’s Impala-themed hour when Sam had a vision of the younger version of his dad, as played by occasional guest-star Matt Cohen — except we found out it wasn’t really John Winchester telling him, “The Darkness is coming… God helps those who help themselves.” (As to who really appeared to Sam — could it be the holy deity himself? — that mystery lives on as the boys hunt.)

“It was fun for me to play that part of Sam,” star Jared Padalecki says during a recent visit to the show’s Vancouver set. “Sam’s not often really caught off guard like that. He’s been through a lot. He’s been to Hell and to Heaven and purgatory and he’s died and killed, so Sam’s not often caught totally off guard. So that was a fun direction for me to go with him.”

To keep the return a surprise, the production went to some “funny” lengths. “On the call sheet, they didn’t want to put Matt Cohen, so they put Leonard Cohen in case anybody picked it up,” Padalecki recalls. “I was like, ‘That’s not going to be suspicious! Oh, Leonard Cohen is doing a guest spot on Supernatural. He’s going to play the troubadour.'”

Supernatural Matt Cohen ReturnsWhile Padalecki didn’t share many scenes with Cohen during his previous two appearances on the series, he has spent plenty of time with the actor offscreen, thanks to various fan conventions.

Supernatural is such a unique show because even though [Cohen] hasn’t been on the show in five years, we still see each other several times a year,” Padalecki shares. “I don’t see my brother 10 times a year, but I see a lot of our guest cast. So he’s a buddy. He just became a dad. Most of the time, they call ‘Cut!’ and we’ll be like, ‘What’s going on? How’s the baby? How’s the wife?'”

“He’s a great actor, and he brought something great to the character,” Padalecki continues. “It was a really neat thing to do to use him instead of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who I also love, because it puts Sam in an even more awkward position. It wasn’t the dad that he knew, so it had Sam really unawares… It was just such a well-thought out and well-executed script.”

Elsewhere in the episode, a ghoulpire (that’s half ghoul, half vampire) leader began forming an army because of The Darkness’ arrival, which “goes back to those unique alliances that are taking shape,” co-star Jensen Ackles describes. “People are getting their defenses together… and being like, ‘Listen, it’s not about you and me anymore. It’s about us, and we’re going to lose all of this if we don’t join forces and man up.'”

Ackles notes that struggle will mostly focus on “the brothers and those immediately around them” like Castiel, Crowley and Rowena. “It’s all these different players in the game and where they’re going to go to find safety — or if there is any safety,” he previews.

And it won’t just be ghoulpires shedding light on the mysterious new villainness. “In and around Episode 9 and 10, we’ll have some other cool characters that have some interesting things to say about The Darkness,” Padalecki teases.

“And what she is and where she comes from and how she ties into the whole thing,” Ackles adds.

Supernatural fans, what did you think of the unique Impala hour? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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36 Comments
  1. DWSW says:

    Awesome Episode… Definitively Awesome. :D

  2. TVRocks60 says:

    What ever is in the water in the writers room, give them more. This season has been stellar. The surprise tonight was fantastic!!! Can’t wait to see what the season brings.

  3. Drew says:

    Great episode. The best in years. There were no angels or demons wasting time twirling their mustaches. No Crowley spinning his wheels… This is the show I love. The Winchester in their car, hunting things. It made me realize how much filler is in a lot of episodes these days. I really don’t want to go back to Crowley’s throne room after this.
    The humor was great. The deep conversations felt natural and meaningful. The appearance of “John” genuinely surprised me. I even liked Castiel on the phone, filling the Bobby role. It was grounded. I just can’t say enough good things about this episode. It felt like one of the early seasons.

  4. ninamags says:

    That was fantastic!

    “Night Moves” what an amazing song. Love it.

    Sammy finally getting some action! Poor Baby, got beat up all to hell, almost as much as the boys did.

    I actually do think the visions Sam is getting are from God. Off to watch again :)

  5. Phoenix5634 says:

    Sam’s visions are from Michael and Lucificer!

    • Weezy says:

      How did I not think of that? I was operating under the assumption that it was God, but I think Michael/Lucifer is an interesting thought. Of course if they are in the cage and still have enough juice to pull that off, then how come they don’t utilize it more? Don’t you think they would’ve been super pissed at Sam and Dean and used their “power” to keep the boys in a permanent state of mental distress? I’m just saying if they were capable of pulling that off, then how come they haven’t driven the boys crazy by now?

  6. Phoenix5634 says:

    Awesome episode, great getting back to the shows roots with this episode. Haha and the scene Dean got jumped by the deputy is hilarious lol.
    Also the visions Sam is getting I would say without a doubt are from Michael and Lucifer… think about it, the shows’ all but us directly. They told us the Arch Angels were the force God used to repel the Darkness in the beginning. We know Micheal and Lucifer are freaking out down Hells’ Cage since the Darkness got out according to Crowleys demons. And Sam’s first vision was of him when he was trapped in Hells’ cage being tortured by Michael and Lucifer. Sam’s second vision was of his younger father, one of Michael’s vessels, and the way he was talking I swear it was Lucifer when he said ” I’ve never seen able to trick you, have I Sam ” that sounds like how Lucifer used to talk to Sam when he wanted him for his true vessel. And we know Angels can communicate by using visions. My guess is that it’s a combined effort by both ArchAngels to send a message out of the Cage to Sam and Dean about the Darkness. They all need each other !

    • Weezy says:

      Great and well thought out theory. However you are overlooking one thing. If they were capable of soliciting visions then how come they haven’t used that to drive the boys insane for locking them in the cage? Unless the Darkness being released has something to do with unlocking this ability. I just don’t think beings that powerful wouldn’t seek retribution for being locked in a cage for eternity.

      • Karen says:

        Maybe they’d never ‘joined forces’ before. Michael and Lucifer are joining up the same as demons and angels are. Maybe they have to work together to so the vision thing and they’ve both been too stubborn to do that until now.

      • Phoenix5634 says:

        It likely takes an incredible amount of power to send the visions from the within the Cage, more than any 1 Arch Angel could do. The Cage was created to hold Lucifier, not both him and he’s equally, if not stronger older brother Michael too. And up til the Darkness was released they had no need to waste the energy or to work together. They’re immortal and the most powerful beings alive besides God, so they probably just knew they’d get out eventually, doesn’t matter how long for them… Until now, until the Darkness was released…

  7. Linda says:

    best episode of the season

  8. Carrie says:

    One of the best episodes ever.

  9. Wow JUST AMAZING loved it and the fight in the car was insane Dean is a true badass .

  10. Pat says:

    I absolutely loved it. I thought that it was God talking to Sam in the form of his Father. Sam asked for God’s help and I think we will be seeing more of his help as he guides Sam and Dean, in their fight to contain the darkness. Supernatural is just one of those shows that could go on and on, for me but when the end finally happens I think we will finally see God and I had always wondered if Castiel was actually God.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      I’ve been wondering for years if God hasn’t been testing Castiel to become his Heir. Just think about everything Castiel has been through, he’s been everything from human, to basically a God himself when he had the souls of Purgator, he’s been a leader, he’s been a nobody, and a lot in between. Plus Gods’ brought him back twice I think. And we’ve known for a long time God has basically all but left, besides saving the Wincesters when Lucifer was released, and Cas being brought back from lucifer and the Levi’s. I also think that Big angel sword will be used by Cas at some point, his daughter has it still.
      And same, I could see this show going for a long long time, just me I could roughly think of atleast 2-3 more seasons of plot/ story, and the show is still awesome! I hope it goes on for a long time yet! Awesome episode this week! And awesome show in general !

  11. Raz says:

    This episode was very well done. Loved the head in the cooler and Cas becoming the new Bobby.

  12. CountryQueen says:

    I love that Sam, Lucifer’s vessel, now seems to getting messages from God, and Dean, Michael’s vessel, is connected to The Darkness. Nice role reversal. This show was amazing. I really loved all the camera work as we saw our Boys from the viewpoint of “Baby.” She’s just as important as they are in all this! Always has been.

    • Weezy says:

      Yeah that was one of the first thoughts I had when watching this episode. Great role reversals. I’ll be interested to see how the writers play that out. Lot of solid opportunity there.

  13. Phoenix5634 says:

    It’s not God giving Sam’s visions… It’s Michael and Lucificer

  14. Phoenix5634 says:

    They have to work together to defeat the Darkness.

  15. Gerald says:

    I wasn’t sure at first with everything being filmed from inside the Impala, but wow they really made it work. Loved every moment.
    I was jealous of the girls taking the Impala for a joy ride. Thank goodness the girl left a change purse in back. Money well lost .
    I hope the vision was from God. Love how God says to Sam “God helps those who help themselves” and Dean says God doesn’t say that, it is not even in the bible. Classic.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      Exactly, God wouldn’t say that, it’s a bible version, an old one, sooo it’s likely an angel. And God wouldn’t say, “I’ve never been able to trick you Sam”… That’s implying whoever is speaking has tried to trick him before…. I swear it’s a combined effort from Michael and Lucifer, the young John Winchster was one of michaels vessels ( michaels sustaining the vision, and lucificer is speaking ) I swear that sounded like lucifer the way he was speaking to Sam

  16. jan says:

    My very first thought was the Trickster though I had not thought about lucifer or michael.

  17. Tina says:

    That was one of the best episode’s in a very long time. I still love the show but I miss the classic car scenes and monster of the week from the early seasons. I still think nothing will trump season 5, but damn this episode was close. It definitely felt like an old school episode which I have sincerely missed. I loved it.

  18. nhogan47 says:

    Gabriel. Gabriel appeared to Sam.

  19. This is the Supernatural I love. The brothers and Baby are all this girl needs. Best episode of season 11.

  20. Tammy Dial says:

    I absolutely love this show! I recently started buying the books and bought season 10 on DVD. This season is bringing the show in a new direction and I think its so awesome! Love Jared (Sam) and Jensen ( Dean) my dream is to meet them before I die

  21. BARBARA BECRAFT says:

    I’M A LONG TIME FAN AND I WAS DISAPPOINTED… THIS ISN’T THE SHOW I’VE GROWN TO LOVE.. NO CASTIEL…BOBBY SINGER IS DEAD AND I MISS CROWLEY. HOPE IT GETS BETTER

  22. Sally says:

    This was the most well written episode in I don’t know how long, and I would say ranks up there with one of the best SPN episodes of all time. Loved the little callbacks to the past.. It felt like a classic episode from the Kripke days. I loved the camera shots from the Impala’s perspective, and the surprise with Matt Cohen. Just an outstanding episode from beginning to end.

  23. True story says:

    All if you saying it was Michael and Lucifer, think about this. Whoever it was, called Sam son. And when Sam protested, he said something like, “can’t a father call his son son”. Or something like that. Then when Sam said “we need help” it was almost like he was asking this guy (or whatever) to help them. “God helps those who help themselves”. I don’t think any creature in this world believes God is still around to do anything. That he has abandoned everyone to their fate. Who else would say that?

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      The “son” speak could have just been whoever trying not to raise suspicious about who’s speaking so Sam would focus on the message instead of who was speaking. I’d have to re watch that part again. I have a slightly new theory based on what you said, although I still think it sounded like Lucifer speaking in the 2nd vision…. If God is the one giving Sam his visions, he’s dropping hints to Michael and Lucifer, 1st vision would represent Lucifer and 2nd vision would represent Michael.

      And yeah basically everyone except maybe Sam, Dean and Castiel in the supernatural world think God is like dead, or at least gone and left things to unfold without him.

  24. Jay Mitchell (@jaymitchell00) says:

    I love Cas and Crowley, particularly when they are working with the boys, but as the article points out, the true strength of this series shines when the focus is on the brothers. This was a stupendous callback to earlier seasons when the boys were always united against a common foe, not being pitted against one another in the name of artificial Hollywood drama. It gave us stellar brotherly bonding, actual conversation between the boys, exploration of their psyches–who knew Sam dreamed about the mother he never knew, and Dean still dreams about his father and NOT hunting?–plus touched on the humor implicit in their roles. Dean’s pride in Sam entertaining a sexy waitress in the back of Baby was both touching and funny; and loved the bit with the decapitated head still growling and gnashing its teeth. So many good bits in this episode! It advanced the Darkness arc a little, but focused on what the show does best: the Winchesters saving people, hunting things. Thank you, Robbie Thompson! You are the only SPN writer who always “gets”–and always brings–the magic.

  25. Keith says:

    When God and the angels sealed the darkness Lucifer got the mark of Cain which was the seal …it corrupted Lucifer and made him rebel..M the mark was passed to Cain then to dean .. when the mark was taken I think that lucifers corruption dissappeared…and Lucifer will be a little diffrent when he and Michael get out of the cage…they since Amora and remember and know what needs to be done. They will work together as brothers in arms again