Is all hope lost?
Nine seasons in and hundreds of car rides later, that's the question on every Supernatural fan's mind as the Winchester brothers' relationship is the worst it's ever been. Seriously, the emotional distress Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean's (Jensen Ackles) is starting to concern those around us as things are looking so bleak that we're not sure they can ever return to prank wars and drinking beers while sitting on Baby's hood. (Ah, the good old days.)
We chatted with star Jensen Ackles about what's ahead for Sam and Dean in tonight's episode, "Blade Runners," airing at 9 p.m. on the CW, and whether or not it's hard for him and Padalecki to leave the bad blood on-screen. Plus, Ackles previewed the side-effects of the Mark of Cain, Castiel's (Misha Collins) return and why he's hoping for more "pie and classic rock" in Season 10...
This is the worst state we've seen Sam and Dean's relationship in ever on the show. Is it hard for you and Jared Padalecki to leave it on screen when it's so bad between them?
Yeah, it's been pretty rocky this season, and not just the relationship between the two of them, but personally, for myself, for Dean, it's been a kind of treacherous year for him. He's had a lot of grief and regret and pain and suffering and just, you know, there's a lot of turmoil going on inside of him, and he's made some poor choices that have added to it, and learning that his brother doesn't necessarily have his back to the extent he thought he did. That hurts. It's a troubling time in paradise, and Dean's having a real tough time, and it's been difficult as an actor to play that emotion with him, because Dean can get emotional but at the same time he can also have the levity of the situation, he can lighten it up, he can have the comedy. There's just been very little of that this year because of what he's been going through. It's been a burden for him to carry.
Jared and I have been together so long that we can leave it on set. We can turn it on, whether it's supposed to be a comedic scene, an emotional scene, a fight scene, whatever it is, he and I kinda fall into rhythm pretty quickly, whatever we're gonna do, so luckily, it doesn't transfer off camera. When the cameras aren't rolling, he and I can laugh and joke all we want, but yeah. The emotional stuff is tough to play in the moment, but it's what we do.
Speaking to Sam and Dean's relationship, is it only going to get worse or is there a light at the end of the tunnel, or season really, for them?
As you might know, there's a spinoff that's occurring, so there is a bit of a reprieve as far as that goes, so we kind of take a bit of a detour into that land, just to introduce some new characters, and it's not a total sidebar. It does play into what Sam and Dean are doing, so there is a little break there, but as we get back towards the final few episodes, it will all start to culminate. I have not read…I've just kind of looked at the breakdown for episode 21, and I have not read past that, and we've got two more past that, which, I know 21 there's some really big stuff that happens there, and I think that kind of really sets the ball in motion for the end of the season, which you know, hopefully Dean can dig himself out of the hole he's been in all season, but you know, we'll see.
Dean now has the Mark of Cain, which he took without really hearing the possible side effects. Can you preview the fallout of the Mark?
Well, as you saw in the last episode, the Ghostfacers, who have arrived back in town—which was great, it was really nice having those guys back on set, and playing with them —but as you saw at the end of that episode, Dean, without hesitation, kills a human, and I think in the past, Dean probably would have knocked him out, chained him up to a pole, called the cops and said, "Hey, I left you a present." But instead, because, I think, his moral compass is a bit askew right now with this Mark of Cain. It's almost like he's all jacked up on testosterone and steroids, you know, he just feels this kind of rage. There's kind of a mounting rage going on inside him, and it's becoming very cut and dry with what he thinks needs to happen, and he's not thinking twice about it like he used to a bit. He's always been kind of a devil-may-care kind of guy, but there's always been a level of humanity and compassion with him, whereas I think that's kind of flying out the window, and he's turning into a more robotic hunter at this point.
And we know Misha Collins will now be in four more episodes this season, so can you tease what fans can expect from his return and any interactions he may have with Dean?
That I think is to be seen, or to be filmed. I know in 21, everybody kind of gets back in the pool together, so we'll start to see those relationships start to pan out a little bit more in episodes 21, 22, and 23, but like I said, I haven't dove into those quite yet.
Congratulations on the Season 10 pickup! Looking ahead, is there a side of Dean you haven't explored yet that you'd like to?
I will definitely say that the dark side of Dean that we have seen this year, I wouldn't be upset if I got to put him away for a while. Just give me some pie and give me some classic rock and send me down the highway. I would be happy with that. I think the dark side of Dean was something that needed to be explored a little bit, and just really down-and-out, rock bottom, desolate, kind of his own island kind of guy, and we've really seen that. It was really tough, especially through like episodes 10, 11, 12, 13, it was a really kind of tough time for me. He hasn't fully come out of it yet, but I'm hoping that does happen. I always kind of love Dean's levity in the heavy situations, and I always like the fact that he can bring some humor to some dire situations, so I'd love to get back into that. As far as things we haven't seen from him, I don't know. In nine seasons we've seen a lot of different sides of both of these guys, so I'm sure that these writers—they're highly talented—they'll figure some way to peel another layer of the onion off, for sure.
Supernatural airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW.