Castiel. 2008-2011. Beloved Angel and Friend. He helped save the world. A lot.
Yes, just two episodes in to Supernatural's seventh season and Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), and the show's rabid fanbase, have already said goodbye to a fan favorite: Castiel (masterfully played by Misha Collins). In one of the series' boldest moves, the boy's angel sidekick (and recent God) became the new big bad's (the Leviathans) first victim, leaving nothing but his signature trenchcoat behind.
We chatted with Supernatural's executive producer Sera Gamble about the decision to kill Castiel and the impact his death will have on Sam and Dean. Oh, and whether or not fans have seen the last of Castiel, in case you care about that very important piece of information...
So when did the writers make the decision to kill off the beloved angel? "We've been discussing what is going to happen this season as early as the beginning of season six," Sera explains. "Different iterations of this have been floating around for a long time, but there is always a couple of options on the table and we just try to pick the one that is going to give the most unexpected story."
Unexpected sure is one way to describe Cas' send-off, which entailed the former God walking into the water full of Leviathans dying to bust out of their vessel within the first five minutes of the season's second episode. It was important to Sera and the writers that fans see the Cas they fell in love with one last time. "We wanted to have that moment of connection and acknowledge his attempt at redeeming himself," Sera says of the season premiere's final scene. "I think that was definitely genuinely him in those moments and hopefully that made for a better surprise."
While it was heartbreaking to see his signature trench coat wash ashore, fans probably can't help but feel this isn't the last time they'll see Castiel. Come on, this is Supernatural, where actors usually get more work after their character dies. On the possibility of bringing Cas back in the mix this season, Sera says, "We had that discussion before we even wrote the premiere...We love Misha and we've always had some ideas in our back pockets for different ways we can do a little writing for him down the line, but for now obviously the story is a lot about the impact of Cas' loss on the boys."
The loss of Cas for Sam and Dean is "a big deal" as "they've lost their favorite guy to call on" in times of need. In fact, we sometimes thought the boys relied too heavily on Cas' assistance so it will be interesting to see Sam and Dean face obstacles without that lifeline.
"This is a good story problem to have. It's good when you don't have a backbone that you can call and it has been important to us this season to start to kind of strip away things that the boys have been leaning on and counting on, things that make their job easier," Sera says. "It's harder in the writers room and it's certainly harder for Sam and Dean, but we're hoping that it make for more interesting, unexpected episodes."
Sera also assures us that the show's humor didn't die along with Castiel.
"We have our certain mix of darkness and humor, even when Dean is at his lowest, he will poke fun at himself and Sam and Dean will poke fun at each other," she says. "We also have more closed-ended episodes coming up with that thread of mythology kind of running through, our usual mix. We have some pretty funny stuff coming up as well."
Supernatural airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on the CW.
What did you think of Castiel's send-off? Are you intrigued to see the boys operate without their angel sidekick? Sound off in the comments!