The Season 8 premiere of Supernatural has just ended on the East Coast - come by the forum to talk about it - and now, it's time for a post-mortem with two of the show's Executive Producers, Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer, who spoke with press after a network screening earlier this week.
As we saw in the season premiere, "We Need To Talk About Kevin," both Sam and Dean Winchester are keeping secrets from one another. Sam developed a new relationship and a new life, leaving the life of being a hunter behind. Dean, on the other hand, fought for a year in Purgatory, surely facing horrors beyond imagination. Why the secrecy? Carver weighed in first on what Sam was keeping. "For now, Sam is keeping thoughts of this woman in this relationship to himself," Carver says. "It represents, essentially, another way, another life, and that's very much where he's coming into this season right now, so it's something he'd rather keep to himself than share."
The lack of Dean or any other ties greatly informed Sam's arc during the time that has passed. "We really went into the idea of what does that mean? What kind of impact does that have on somebody? And how might that affect your mindset after so many years? We talk about it in Episode 1. Dean said 'we always ignored the advice we gave to each other,' but what happens if someone actually took it?" Carver ponders.
"I think this is the first time that he was, as Crowley says to him, truly alone," Robert Singer adds. "He has no Bobby. He has no Dean. Kevin's gone. No anybody. I don't think he knew what he wanted to do, and then he hit a dog, and that started something new for him, and exposed him to something that he had never been exposed to. Even back in college, there was always family. Now, he had nothing. He says that in the reunion scene. I think he got a taste of something he'd never had before, and it had a really profound effect on him - one that he doesn't really expect Dean to understand, or does Dean expect Sam to understand what he went through, so much to the extent that he's keeping a secret about how he got out, and who he got out with. So while Sam's trying to be really forthcoming in saying 'my mindset is different,' Dean is being really less than forthcoming. And the fact that he's being judgemental of him is probably not all that fair to Sam, given what Dean's not saying," Singer continues.
"One of the things we really like about particularly the first 13 is the way we're playing with perception. Right now, Dean is piling on Sam somewhat. So what happens as these brothers start to discover more of what they've done in the past year, and might those tables turn, in terms of who has to answer for what? I think everybody will get their licks in. No one's going to be a beaten dog for too long," Carver adds. Viewers will see what both brothers went through in a series of flashbacks that will play heaviest in the first 13 episodes of the season, "with the small caveat as that we're working our way through the second half now," Carver says. Singer points out that the flashbacks will come in not every episode, but they will be seen where appropriate. "They're two stories that we just wanted to play out over a number of episodes, that inform where the boys' headspace is at any particular moment in that given episode," he says.
The new character Benny will be playing a pretty important role in Season 8, both physically and psychologically. "The idea of Benny, I think, hangs over our brothers pretty heavily, certainly as the year goes along. He's a guy who has a tremendous, tremendous bearing. He's really working out wonderfully. He's a really interesting wrinkle into our brothers' relationship this year, how they deal with something like this," Carver says. And speaking of Dean's pals in Purgatory, when will we find out what's happened to Castiel? "We'll be telling that story of Purgatory pretty steadily through the first 7 or 8 episodes," Carver says, "so by episode 7 [or] 8, you'll start to get a real good understanding of what happened in Purgatory to Cas."
Now that the bases of Sam, Dean, and Castiel are covered, what's the status of Bobby - especially considering that the actor who played him, Jim Beaver, represented the show at this year's Comic-Con? Are there plans to see him again? "Not right now; not beyond what we've already said," Carver says. "But of course he was there, because at the most basic level, he is one of the most beloved characters and actors on the show."
Finally, the notion of closing the Hell gate came up in the premiere. If the demons are all vanquished, won't the life of the hunter be over? "Closing the Hell gate is meant to be a season arc, but the questions that come up in this quest, and the series of reveals, and the series of discoveries are meant to [lead to] questions and secrets, and things that will be explored in future seasons," Carver says. "It might be overly sweeping to think that demons means no hunts, because there are so many other monsters in this universe," Carver says. "I think in the Supernatural universe, you're thinking 'well, I've eliminated a big chunk,' but certainly not all. I'll leave it at that," he says.
Oh, and one other thing: Now that the season premiere has aired, one major question remains: Why shouldn't anyone take a joint from a guy named Don? "That's just one of those life-isms, I think, that we can all agree to," Carver says. Singer points out that on set, more than half of the people there came up and asked the same question, about who "Don" would be.
Come talk about tonight's episode of Supernatural on the KSiteTV Forum! Here are some images from next week's show, titled "What's Up, Tiger Mommy:"
Supernatural -- "What's Up Tiger Mommy?" -- Image SN803a_0042 -- Pictured (Clockwise from Left): Lauren Tom as Ms Tran, Jensen Ackles as Dean, Jared Padalecki as Sam, and Osric Chau as Kevin -- Credit: Liane Hentscher/The CW -- © 2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.