Following the Supernatural panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, star Misha Collins and executive producer Jeremy Carver met briefly with reporters to discuss the Winchester brothers’ relationship as the landmark 10th season of the CW drama opens, Castiel’s salvation, and the state of Heaven.
On the state of the relationship between the brothers: “... I feel like, at the end of last year, they actually reached a certain -- we'll call it a good place, not necessarily a happy place but a good place right before Dean died. And even over the course of [the Season 9 finale], there was a real, I don't know, a maturation ... in terms of Sam accepting that Dean was walking into death and actually being OK with that. That was a whole arc that Sam sort of did last year, and that carries into this year.
When the season starts, Sam has no idea what happened to his brother. He laid him down, dead on a bed, and came back in the room and his brother wasn't there. He doesn’t have any idea. He doesn't know that Dean is a demon, he doesn’t know any of that. So Sam is very hot and heavy on the pursuit. He has ideas of what may [have happened]. And I think you'll see the brothers, when all is said and done -- I like it a lot -- something a little bit different than what we've seen in the past couple years in the way they react in the aftermath.
There's a certain amount of healing that has to go on that they both acknowledged, both in their relationship and just on a personal level – so you're gonna see the boys really, for a lack of a better [phrase], go underground and saying, “We need to get better.” But of course the supernatural always follows them, but it's not the same bombastic “You idiot!” ... It's neat. Of course, schisms always occur and everything, and secrets, but the boys, for everything they go through, actually end up in a good place.
Regarding the clip shown in the panel where Sam and Dean are fighting each other with weapons: I very much like that [clip] to be the sort of tease because what you didn't get in that teaser was context. Obviously you don't know what came before that, what's gonna happen after – I like it sitting right there. All the questions that raises – what Sam is going to do here is so much a part of one of the opening episodes. How do you stop your demon brother, but in some ways humanly stop him? How do you humanly stop a demon who wants potentially to kill? All those types of things are grist for the mill.
The state of Heaven and the angels: The focus certainly in the beginning is much more on what's happening with some angels on Earth. In the beginning of the season, the angels have largely gotten their act together in that Metatron is in jail and the angels who are up there are doing their best to try and work things out. In terms of stability up in Heaven, it's as stable as it's been in many years.
On Metatron playing a key role in Castiel's salvation: I can speculate but I have no idea what the answer to your question is. I think probably Metatron is key to getting Cas' grace back and Cas knows that. We establish that early in the season. And we also establish that Cas is unwilling to cooperate with Metatron or ask a favor of him. That's a non-starter for him. However, I would not be surprised if later on in the season it turns out that Metatron does end up rectifying the situation somehow. Because he certainly is, as far as we know, the one who knows how to do that or where Cas' grace is.
How Cas' weakening grace affects him: He's very impaired so he's just getting weaker and weaker. It's not really human but his powers are very depleted and he's, like, sick. He's mentally sound but a little grumpy.
On Castiel's top priority: Well, Cas wants to help get Dean back to be being human. That's his most important mission, most pressing mission for him, even though he is in the process of dying himself. And the fact that he's so weak and so depleted makes it difficult for him to actually be helpful in the project of repairing Dean.
On being directed by Jensen Ackles: It was actually good this time around. But now that I say that, this is my first time being directed by Jensen. He’s good, he’s good. He doesn’t over-direct, he doesn’t under-direct. A lot of the stuff I shoot with him, he was actually in as well as an actor, which is good because it kept him distracted so he couldn’t really get in my business too much.
On new and familiar angel faces: We see Hannah right in the beginning of the season. I think she's the only one. I may be wrong. [Pauses to think] Not at the moment, not in the beginning of the season ... yes, there are a couple. That was a lie. I lied to you and then I corrected myself.
Is Cas concerned with Heaven? He's more grounded on Earth right now, but I’m not going to tell you more than that.
Supernatural returns Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.