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October 21, 2014

Q+A Time: 'Supernatural' Showrunner Sera Gamble Talks Castiel's War, Dean's Dilemmas and Sam's Soul

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jan 26th 2011 1:00PM
When 'Supernatural' returns from its winter break 9PM ET Friday on the CW, we'll find out what happens when Sam Winchester finally gets his soul back.

The restoration of Sam's soul capped a strong fall for the CW drama, one that found the Winchesters facing complicated threats on several fronts. A civil war in Heaven, a new power dynamic in Hell and troublesome critter clans all over the place made it a challenging time for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). Oh, and there was that whole "Sam doesn't have a soul" thing. Yep, the problems the brothers faced in the last few months made your average ghost hunt look like a tea party.

In an extensive recent interview at her Los Angeles office, 'Supernatural's' executive producer and showrunner Sera Gamble talked about why the show's brain trust approached this season differently and how the writers found interesting new situations and dilemmas for the Winchesters well into the show's sixth year. Some fun tidbits about individual upcoming episodes can be found here, but the full transcript of my January chat with Gamble is below.

Speaking for myself, I think the show has recharged its creative batteries in season 6. There have been several outstanding episodes in this ambiguous and bittersweet season, and I certainly can see the show going strong for another year. So are there plans afoot for a seventh season? Gamble said it was "too early to say" but she added that "we are preparing as always for the possibility of another season, and we hope to have one." (On that front, at the recent TCA press tour in L.A., CW president Dawn Ostroff said she'd be "shocked" if the show didn't get a seventh season.)

Before I get to the interview with Gamble, let me make one thing clear: Your comments are most welcome, as long as they are polite, on topic and maintain a calm tone. There's more on the commenting rules at the end of the interview, but just know that we maintain the Lurker's Rule around here: The comment area should be so civil and pleasant, whatever the opinions expressed, that the most timid lurker should feel welcome to join in.

One last thing: When Gamble and I discussed the rest of season 6, we didn't really get into hardcore spoiler territory. One or two upcoming episodes are discussed in a vague way, but I think it would be OK for spoilerphobes to read this Q+A.

This interview has been edited and slightly condensed.

Mo Ryan: Was it always the plan to have Sam soulless for half a season?

Sera Gamble: Yeah. It was, I mean, we went a little bit back and forth on exactly which episode different things would fall into, and his troubles are far from over, obviously. We'll roll out what happens next to him when we get back from our little hiatus. But there was a brief period, creatively, when we were talking about what we could do with him.

As an exercise, we talked about what would happen if we kept him soulless for the whole season, or most of the season, and saw how much story we could pull out of that. [executive producers] Bob [Singer] and Eric [Kripke] and Ben [Edlund] and I had a lot of conversations about that, which was really helpful. But, ultimately, I don't think we were seriously considering going there for that long. That would've been really hard, I think, on the central relationship. But we did spend some time walking in those shoes for Sam and Dean.

MR: Well, I thought it was actually good to end it where you did, because there now are other stories that can be spun from the state that he'll be in when he returns. And is that the Sam of old? I mean, do we just have to wait and see, or will he just be essentially the same guy that we saw before he was sucked down into the cage?

SG: Well, the hope is when you do something that drastic to a character, they don't just revert, right? And we have specific repercussions planned for him and for Dean. There's a reason we left him screaming.

MR: So, the wall in Sam's mind -- the plywood wall, or is it particle board? Is it wrong to assume that that wall will break this season?

SG: It's not wrong to assume that that's a factor. I mean, that's something that's of concern. That's a problem when someone does something like that to you. You get put in the lowest cage of hell with the devil for a year and a half... having the full dose of that could conceivably kill him, [so] they had to do something.

MR: I think some fans have had concerns, I wouldn't necessarily say it's a complaint, but there have been concerns about that central relationship between the brothers. As you said, him not having a soul could have really damaged that. What do you foresee for that relationship going forward? Is it going to be as difficult as it was at the start of the season? Or maybe it's going to be puppies and rainbows, right?

SG: Yes, it's going to be puppies and rainbows from now until the series ends... in the year 2056. Right?

MR: That sounds like a nice, round number.

SG: Right? How old will they be in that year? [Here Gamble referred to a conversation we'd had when I first arrived at her office about the fan reaction to season 6.] They [fans] have actually been wildly supportive. I mean, the truth is, we've been on the cover of TV Guide. They've been amazing for us this season. And this was a bold move for Sam.

MR: Yeah, definitely.

SG: But the reality is that this is something we talked a lot about. This question came up a lot at the end of last season, which is, what do you do after the Apocalypse? How do you pick the ball up off of the ground when you've burned through so much of the mythology that you set up for five seasons? And we intentionally made big moves [after that]. We had to pick the thing up and shake it pretty hard.

And that includes their relationship and it was uncomfortable. I know it was uncomfortable for a certain segment of the audience to watch and it was a weird, fun, interesting, fraught place to write from and to develop.

But it generated a lot of good story and interesting problems in the writer's room and we also got a lot of feedback about it. It shook things up so much, I think, that it yielded genuinely new, interesting stuff between the two of them. And to be able to do that 100-something episodes into a show is -- it's like a like you're on a unicycle and you're juggling, you know?

MR: Well, I think that's one of the reasons that I've really enjoyed the season. Even before the season began, you said that it would be morally ambiguous and dark, and I really go for that. You know, I love the idea that you're exploring these issues in a really serious way, yet there's still the 'Supernatural' humor and there's still the people that we know. Sort of.

SG: Yeah.

MR: Though obviously, there's a lot of new stuff with Sam and his soul or his lack thereof.

SG: Right.

MR: Dean, has maybe even had a more difficult time of it, because Sam wasn't feeling anything. Sam was feeling no pain, literally.

SG: Yeah.

MR: That got me wondering about the trajectory for Dean. I know that's been the whole arc of the series -- for both of the Winchesters to become men -- but so much of what Dean has been trying to do this season is help his little brother. He's sort of in that rescuing mode again. Where does he go from there?

SG: There's a couple of layers there, because there's the relationship between Sam and Dean, and there's kind of the back and forth in terms of how much caretaking Dean does. They were in such a fantastic place at the end of season 5. Soullessness was a bit of a setback.

MR: It was.

SG: But something that's been interesting for us is that there is a parallel for Dean. [There's a parallel] to Sam's soullessness, just in terms of what hunting does to [Dean]. When Dean had a chance to essentially retire and leave hunting for a year, obviously that wasn't right for him. For many reasons. But there were a lot of moments for him in the first half of this season where he was really struggling with what it meant to be a hunter and whether that just meant that he was a bloody killer, essentially. I don't think it's resolved for him.

I think that there's the literal soullessness and then there's the metaphorical soullessness. There's what you give up to save people in this horrible way, because the job itself is hard and violent and disgusting. I mean, you just have blood in your mouth all day, every day. It's a terrible, terrible, terrible way to live. I mean, the more you actually think about what they have to do on a daily basis, the more it's like, "How much of himself did he have to turn off to be able to do that?"

MR: Right. So is the idea that he has to find another way to get off the road and stop hunting, or is it just that he has to be at peace with it to the extent that he can be? I mean, it's always going to be these two brothers in a car and that's just that ... and he can just drink a lot?

SG: Yeah, that's funny, he does drink a lot. We had a conversation about, have we ever seen him actually drunk? Maybe not.

MR: You should do that, there's an episode.

SG: That's not a good sign for him [i.e., that he doesn't actually appear to be drunk].

MR: Yeah, he's just pretty much the same.

SG: Yeah, in real life, that wouldn't be a good sign.

MR: No, that would be bad.

SG: Well, I mean, he's a hero, that's what heroes do [i.e., keep going].

MR: Yeah.

SG: In real life, it would be like, "You know what, Mr. Winchester, what you need to do is actually check yourself in somewhere, because you're actually really going to go mad." And in a show like 'Supernatural,' they're 1,000 times stronger than a regular person would ever be. That's why they're heroes and there's a whole show about them.

We could never handle it, but Dean Winchester can handle it. So we can bring him to a place where he might be able to resolve these different aspects of himself and he might be able to come to at least a resting place. Before we stir everything up again.

MR: So, what's the pace and the tone like when the show comes back?

SG: We come back and we have some mythology to set up, then we have a couple of standalones coming, and we have a pretty good mix going on.

[That mix includes the Feb. 18 episode called 'The French Mistake,' which Gamble called the "craziest meta episode" the show has ever done. You can read Gamble's comments about that and some casting news about the episode here.]

SG: Yeah. There was a lot of healthy trepidation on every level when we were pitching ['The French Mistake']. But the dailies are fall-on-the-floor hilarious. The guys are so funny in this episode. And, you know, meta is not to everyone's taste, but I enjoy it, a nice slice of meta. I really enjoyed working on 'The Monster at the End of this Book' and episodes like that.

MR: I loved that episode.

SG: I didn't know if there would ever be a way we could go back to that well. But this is a whole other level. It makes ['Monster'] look like that wasn't even that meta.

MR: I was dying when they were referencing other episodes like 'Route 66' in 'Monster.'

SG: Yeah, we're not very nice to ourselves.

MR: But I love that. I mean, I think that's what the fans really respect is that you guys are willing to engage in that debate right along with everybody else.

SG: I think we're the first people to admit that some of what we do is pretty shitty. I was talking to Bob the other day, he was like, "You know, you spend the most time on episodes that are [merely] okay." You know, the episodes that are really good, to make them great, is actually not that hard. Because they are good right out of the gate and it's just a pleasure to work on them.

And the episodes that are just okay, pulling them up to making them good is a tremendous amount of effort on everyone's part -- Bob and Eric and I and Ben and all the writers and everyone, and [director] Phil Sgriccia, just work night and day to make them as good as they can possibly be. But Bob is the Buddha of all of this and he's just like, "Sera, there's 22 of them, they can't all be complete winners." He's just so philosophical about it. But, you know, part of my job is to be like, "But they have to be [perfect]! They have to be!"

[We segued into a discussion of an upcoming 'Supernatural' episode with Old West theme. You can read more about that in this post.]

MR: The thing about your cast, is that they can really change on a dime and do the drama, the comedy, the sarcasm, the ripping each other's hearts out,. For you as writers, is that freeing, because you can know that you can throw anything at them and they can just nail it?

SG: Yeah.

MR: I'm just continually impressed. So many casts start to phone it in around season four.

SG: They really don't.

MR: They really don't. Nobody does.

SG: I mean, they can do very serious, they can do very funny, both of them, and then we kind of threw a new character at Jared this season.

MR: Exactly.

SG: But we knew that he would do something special with it and in fact, we've been talking for a long time about different ways to play Sam dark, and for my money, some of his best moments on the series have been when Sam has been pretty dark. Nobody was worried about it at all, actually. We knew [Jared] would find something really cool.

MR: One thing that you guys have been exploring a lot this season is this whole idea of family, and there's also the Alpha thing. Is that going to come into play throughout the rest of the season?

SG: Yeah. We have more to reveal about what's going on with the monsters and this sort of hierarchy of monsters. As soon as [the Jan. 28 episode], you'll be hearing more about that.

MR: Is Dean an Alpha? Of the Winchester clan?

SG: An Alpha monster? He's not a monster.

MR: No, but I mean, there's been so much mythology about the Winchesters, the family line that he comes from, and, you know, maybe Samuel is the Alpha of that family, I don't know. But is there more to reveal about their particular family?

SG: As in, do we have a big monster reveal? Like Alpha-related reveal to Dean? Is that the nature of the question?

MR: Oh, no, no. I didn't ask this very well. Let me try again. It just seems to me that there's been this idea that there are different clans, different families. And in a weird way, everybody's being played -- every clan is being used by greater forces.

SG: Yes.

MR: One of those clans is the Winchester-Campbell clan. They've been involved in this world forever as hunters. So I wondered, is it possible to end up with an alliance between the Winchesters and some of these other clans, all of whom are being jerked around?

SG: See, you've actually thought about this more deeply than I have in this area. No, that's the honest truth about it.

I'll say this about it. The family parallels and the clan parallels are all intentional. [There's] the feeling that alliances are being formed and they're shaky and Sam and Dean are sick of them and don't want to ally with anybody any more. The next person who comes along and asks them to ally -- they're out of luck because they're going to be the 50,000th bad guy to say, "Don't you want to work for me?"

MR: "You win the prize. We're going to punch you in the face."

SG: Totally.

MR: Regarding purgatory, is there still a real estate grab there? Or a land grab? Or is someone else going to kind of pick up that goal and do something with purgatory?

SG: All of these threads still have connections. And in the second half of the season we flash back periodically. We have an episode coming up where we talk about one of the cases that Sam worked early on with Samuel.

[We went back to a discussion of how the season was structured and began talking about angels.]

SG: It's a season that's, I think, is a bit on the twistier side, but inasmuch as I'm looking at the show as like a fan of the story, [when the season begins] I want to know what's happening with Sam and Dean. You know, that story couldn't wait. That story had to be told first.

MR: Yeah. But you set up that there's purgatory, there are angels at war, there are clans, and so now that's kind of what the texture of the second half of the season will be?

SG: Yeah. You'll see more about what's going on with Castiel, poor put-upon Castiel and his civil war. You meet one of his lieutenants and you'll see Balthazar again.

MR: Who's his lieutenant, can you talk about that person?

SG: Well, we're kind of writing [that character] right now.

MR: Okay. So obviously, Misha Collins [who plays Castiel] and his wife had their baby last fall. Was it always the plan to keep Misha light in the first half of the season and then do a lot more with him in the second half of season 6? Or in terms of the story telling, was that always the plan regardless?

SG: You know, I think it just sort of fortuitously laid out that way. But it was easy to accommodate the baby situation. And, oh my God, the pictures he sends of that baby. That is the cutest baby I've ever seen.

But the reality is that just the way the story is unfolding that he's going to be sort of heavier as we move forward. I like to think that the collective consciousness of the writer's room was just like all aimed at making Misha's life easier. But it just sort of worked out that way and I'm happy it worked out that way.

MR: Well, you know, it's great because I feel like there's so many cool things that are percolating. I can't wait for the show to revisit Castiel's evolution. Is the trajectory to take him to a darker place? He's a war general, right? You know, he's in a very tough battle and he can't be who he was. Is he going to continue down that road?

SG: Well, I mean, the interesting thing is when we first met Cas in season 4, he wasn't nice at all, he wasn't nice to Dean at all. I remember writing the second episode we saw him in and he was like, "Give me lip, I'll throw you back to Hell." Dean was like, "Why don't you help us?" And he was like, "Because I'm busy fighting a war, go to hell."

Then he became, to his own surprise, really invested in what was going on with the boys and that caused him to have doubt for the first time in his multimillion year existence and he eventually became a bit of a traitor.

And then, you know, he started to lose powers and he's like, "What's fried chicken?" All of that has been really fun. And so now he's kind of a mix of both. But that thing of, "I'm not human, I'm an angel. I'm sorry, I'm not a person, and I understand why you want me to care about this stuff, I understand that you care about this stuff, but I don't, and I can't" -- that's actually really interesting to us.
And one of the things that happened at the beginning of the season was, Cas came back with more responsibility and while Crowley was running [Hell], he unwillingly kind of had more responsibility, too, and he hated it also. Like, when we saw him in 'Weekend At Bobby's,' he was like, "Why did I take this job? It's like herding cats." It's a little bit of like the Apocalypse just left everything kind of [messed] up.

MR: Yeah. Sometimes a promotion isn't so much fun. Except in your case, clearly.

SG: [laughs] Well, I mean, it's [ironic], I write all this stuff and I'm like, "I'm having a better time than anybody on the show after my promotion."

MR: Hey, that's the goal. But another important thread is, we've seen these hints about souls and the power that they have. Is that also another place that you're heading in the back half of the season, that someone is harvesting souls, that people are using the power of souls in some terrible way? You're probably going to tell me that that's part of the story you're going to reveal in the next part of the season.

SG: I can't directly speak to it. But I can say that, thematically, the human soul has ended up being tremendously resonant this season, between Sam and Balthazar and our complete gutting and reinterpretation of what purgatory is and just what it means to have a soul.

And again, angels aren't people and to somebody like Balthazar, it's currency. To somebody like to Crowley, it was currency.

MR: Yeah.

SG: But not to Sam. Not to Dean when Sam didn't have one.

MR: Definitely. Well, it's really interesting to me how you guys have, again, taken on these big ideas and I think the two biggest ones are, what is a family, what is it to have a soul? Another one is, what does it mean to have a destiny or a fate? I want to guess that the show comes down on the side of free will, you know, Team Free Will and all that, but is that something you feel like is an unanswerable question? Or are you always in favor of free will and that's kind of the point of where the stories go?

SG: Well, the show came down on the side of free will for sure last season, because that's what halted the apocalypse. But there is this interesting kind of thread that's appeared this season about the natural order, in a way. With Death [for example].

There is a difference between free will and total anarchy. And you do have to be careful with free will. I mean, it's an interesting thing to pose to someone like Dean, who's just basically been a free spirit his whole life and it's kind of part of the process... I mean, he's an adult, but there's a growing-up process that happens when you're with a character for six seasons and you see him for a long time and he's been through so much.

He unleashed such tremendous power just on the entire universe with free will, and then it's like, "Drink responsibly with your free will." Or, you know, with Balthazar, we have an episode coming up where Balthazar causes some serious, hilarious problems because he just does stuff for the [hell] of it basically. Because he can. Because that's kind of what he's about, right?

MR: Yeah. Because it's fun. So he just messes with stuff. It's interesting that you brought up Death and this whole idea of natural order. Julian Richings has been incredible.

SG: Yeah, he is.

MR: Is he going to be back this season?

SG: I don't know. I'll put it to you this way, we haven't broken the specifics for the last two episodes yet. So I don't know if Death has to make an in-person appearance yet. So I couldn't say. But we're huge fans as well. It was so much fun to bring him back.

[Some familiar characters will be back this season -- they're mentioned in the spoilery post referenced above.]

MR: Loose nukes, are they still an issue?

SG: The heavenly weapons?

MR: Yeah.

SG: The stuff that, the weapons that Balthazar has, actually do come up again in some form.

MR: But there isn't going to be a hunt for a specific one again, or the Winchesters won't come across one and that'll be the story?

SG: A loose nuke, as of right now, it's not the way into a story. But the fact that Balthazar has those weapons is, of course, that's the important, because he could turn the tide [in Heaven's civil war].

MR: Last season you had the Apocalypse, and that was such a defined thing. That was the overarching theme. Would you say that this season there are multiple themes? You know, souls, family, that kind of stuff. Or is there something toward the last part of the season or the second half of the season that fans should be aware -- an overall theme or idea?

SG: Well, the stuff that you're hitting, I mean, I'm glad you're saying those things because those are the things that we're focusing on: The family and taking a second look at what the definition of family really is and uprooting Sam and Dean's assumptions about what family is. Yes, there's kind of a weirdly serious examination of the human soul for such a popcorn, fun horror show. We all talked about this a lot to various reporters and people at the beginning of the season-- it was never the plan to roll out the Big Bad, at the beginning of the season, and to lay it all out and to be like, 'Here it is in episode 1.'

MR: Right.

SG: Because we had just come off of Lucifer and that structure was just never going to hang. And we're really glad that the fans are watching and are interested and have taken to this kind of structure, which was a departure from the last couple of seasons, and intentionally has rolled out the mysteries of the season more gradually.

MR: But I think that's been effective because it allows you to weave together various things, as opposed to having one overarching concept that kind of has to be, you know, jammed into every episode. Season 5 had so many great moments and good episodes, but it feels like you're not as under the gun to fit season 6 episodes into one big structure or paradigm.

SG: Well, there's just no way we could say, "If you like Lucifer, you'll love Crowley!" That's when we were like, you know what, [midway through the season], we've just got to burn his bones. Before the season even started, we had a list of big statement stuff that we wanted to do to make sure we were declaring that this was not that kind of ['Big Bad'] season. So to kind of like pleasant WTF's that people have been having, if they've been having them in the right places.

MR: Well, it's so easy for shows to coast at this stage in their life and to just be like, "We know what works -- here's the ghost house!" You know, you're not dragging things out.

SG: It's just not in the personality of the executive producers of the show. I don't think it's in Jensen and Jared's personality either, I just don't think that they're half-assers, just as actors. I think they show up and they do good work. That's part of why they're who they are. But certainly with Bob and Eric -- I mean, Eric is continually coming in and saying, "This structure is too typical. We have to now rip it up and start over and turn it on its head and we've done this before, we can't do this again." And I'm just way too Type A too. I don't think it's possible for any of us and Ben would just die of boredom.

And the same goes for, you know, Dan [Loflin] and Andrew [Dabb], who have been here for years and are in the middle of writing the Western episode. I think we all [don't want to be bored] because we all just genuinely love this genre.

There is a procedural aspect of this show and there is a certain amount of formula to the shoe leather that they have to follow just to solve the mystery. But the cool thing about horror is in horror movies, everyone can die, including the main character, we get to kill them sometimes.

And Sam and Dean lose sometimes. And that's okay. In fact, sometimes it's important for them not to solve the case properly and to lose people that they're trying to save and for us to have the freedom to be able to do that, it just makes it exciting, it makes it possible, I think, for the core writing staff to work on the same show for six years.

MR: Without going insane.

SG: Without killing each other. We still can look at each other every day and be pleasant and enjoy each other's company.


A few notes: Check back here Friday night for my recap of this week's 'Supernatural' episode (my recaps for previous Season 6 episodes can be found here). For more from Gamble, check out Alice Jester's interview over at the Winchester Family Business. Finally, to find out how to win some CW swag (including a 'Supernatural' bag), read this post.

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Olga Chico

I 'am not a fan of Ms. Gambles but do give her credit putting the Sam character more out there. We hardly so Sam in season 4, especially in the ITB episode where Dean went back in time to talk to teen Mary and a young military man John . Dean was even the one who convinced John to pass up a family car for the now famous Dean baby, the impala. I don't care about Sera's love triangle of Dean/Lisa and her son Ben. The domesticated Dean at the begining of season 6 was only an in your face soap opera. Souless Sam should have been told in 6 episodes not taken 12 for Sam to get his soul back. The Castiel Angel Civil War , to me is just... a lot of dead repeated left over boring material from season 5. I'am so over the angel's family drama that I really dont give a rats ass about it. I just hope that season 7 is ANGEL- LESS.

March 28 2011 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew Harris

I thought that alpha meant the creature who was the first of his kind and created all the others of his kind. For example, the alpha vamp was the first vamp, and all the other vamps are descended from him. I guess that Dean could be a metaphorical alpha of sorts, but he didn't create the other Winchesters.

January 28 2011 at 2:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RGNYC

Thank you for the interview, Mo! I have been enjoying this season and can't wait until Friday night! I think Sam and Dean have had balanced story lines and don't understand the complaining I am reading. There is no other show on TV this season where the characters are so richly drawn and believable in their interactions and who I yearn to keep tabs on each week. I look forward to Sam with his soul back and Dean having his whole brother back. Last episode Dean was on the verge of having to kill soulless Sam because what else could he do with the replecant? What a relief it will be to have at least a 75 % healthy Sam back. I look forward to the confrontation with Grandpa, the heaven civil war, and the humor and adventure sure to come. Thank you, Supernatural team and Team Free Will!!!

January 28 2011 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Very good interview with a great variety of interesting questions.

I'm glad there's no connection between Dean (or the Winchester/Campbells) and being an Alpha. I like that he's "just" a normal human. IMO he's the last real connection to humanity in the show especially with soulless!Sam, or even before Sam's demon blood infection (not meant in a negative way). Every major important other character is an angel or a demon (I count Bobby, Samuel, etc. as supporting characters).
Also, while I found Sera's explanation a bit shaky, I think it's good they won't go the direction of Dean having an alcohol problem. It would be a kind of redundant repetition of Sam's addiction storyline. After all, it's a TV show and not everything can and has to be addressed.

That they considered making Sam soulless for an entire season really shocked me, though. I thought it was an interesting story line but elven episodes of it, six of them without any clue about what's actually going on, were too much for me. If they'd put it in 5 episodes right at the beginning, I'd have truly enjoyed it but the way they handled it there was next to no way to connect with the character which became really exhausting and frustrating after a while.

I didn't see the moral ambiguity really in the season so far, but neither did I have any sympathy for lucifer in season 5, although the writers said they intended him to come across as wronged by his 'father', so that might just be me.

What I'm looking forward to is seeing how they are playing the rest of the season out, especially since there's no real big bad around (currently).

There were some other things that I liked/ disliked but overall apart from Sam's dragged out soulless storyline it has been a good season so far, in regard of the individual episode qualities, but IMO they are not much for re-watching due to the strain on the character relationships and the very strong, continuous angst.

Thank you so much for sharing the interview.

January 27 2011 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cjjohnson50

Thanks for trying with the Dean questions, Mo. I have to admit I'm not thrilled where it looks like the direction of the show is going as it seems to be heading towards just a repeat of what we got in the first five seasons-there's something special about Sam and Dean's job is just to look after him and fight with him about the extent to which he should be doing that. I thought they might "re-set" to something a little different with the new myth-arc and was definitely hoping for more of a myth-arc story of his own for Dean in that. I was also hoping to see a little more of Sam's appreciation/respect/care of Dean-but this time as the hunter and the man he is, and not strictly as the family "caretaker" and/or moral compass for everyone. And I wish that I could feel like her seemingly somewhat luke-warm answers to the Dean questions meant that she was hiding/just not being forthcoming about some things concerning the character, but her obvious excitement concerning the Soulless Sam storyline(a storyline that I dislike more than I've ever disliked any storyline this show has ever given us), kind of prevents me from thinking that and also from feeling any passion for that storyline-a storyline that has even affected the great passion that I used to feel for this show as a whole.

I also have to say that I never saw her take on the parallels between Sam's soullessness and all that Dean had to give up of himself for the hunt. While I find that an interesting revelation, I actually saw SoullessSam as more of a distilling down of RealSam to his most base self, and the parts of him that we have been getting shadings of since the very beginning of the series, especially in episodes like Asylum, the siren episode of S4, When the Levee Breaks, and actually much of S4's AddictedSam. And I was looking forward to Sam admitting to/acknowledging these things about himself to himself as part of his growth as a man. Not sure if we'll get that now, though. I'm still watching, just not with the same breathless anticipation or passion that I used to. Maybe(hoping!) she will surprise me towards the end of the season. Thanks again for the interview. Great questions.

January 27 2011 at 10:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
SusiQ

I haven't read all the posts, but a bunch seem to think this story is mostly about Sam. I always felt it was more about Dean the hero, the chosen one, care taker of his younger brother. Actually, it's about both. Also I'm reading that fans really love this season rather than complaining about it. We must be reading different blogs.

Loved the interview. I get the idea it's bye bye to Lisa and Ben-I liked them. Anyway, I can't wait for Friday and the continuing saga of Dean & Sam or Sam & Dean.

January 27 2011 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody Garcia

Thanks for a very interesting and informative interview. I ADORE Supernatural and can't wait for the new episode this Friday! Can I ask one question? What happened to Dean's ring and braclet??

Mel

January 26 2011 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

Wonderful interview, you asked some great questions! :)

And we have seen Dean drunk at least one time, in season 4's Yellow Fever (the "you're awesome" thumbs up scene).

January 26 2011 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jennifer's comment
Ali

Aw, that was a cute scene! The poor deputy was so flustered. :)

January 26 2011 at 11:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ali

Thanks for the interview, Mo! Your questions were great; I wish she'd been specific in answering some of them, but I guess things must be very top-secret!

The one thing she did answer specifically, about Dean and the alphas not being related, was disappointing. But I hope there's something good for him down the road, anyway!

January 26 2011 at 7:26 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Char

Hey Mo, thanks for the interview. You tried hard to get a balanced view of the season and the characters. I respect that. You make a very good interviewer. You ask good questions.
So...Supernatural has become the show about Sam Winchester and what's-his-name brother... Such a waste of the one of the most iconic TV characters... Such a waste of Ackles' talent.
Mo (excellent question, btw): ' ...so much of what Dean has been trying to do this season is help his little brother. He's sort of in that rescuing mode again. Where does he go from there?'
Sera: (I'm paraphrasing...): What do you mean? There and back.
Seriously though, I refuse to believe that there can be such discord between the creators and the fans. They have to realise that Soulles Sam plot has been the least popular plot in the history of ever and that Jared's acting has received as much praise as criticism. They HAVE TO. Right? Right?!
Also, I will never understand why knowing that so many Dean fans have been extremely unhappy with the season, Sera chooses not to address their concerns and, instead, blatantly confirms her infatuation with Sam's character and a story that almost leaves out one of the main character. Ms Gamble, 'care-taking' and 'drinking' do not constitute a plot; they are not even sufficient means of characterisation.
But because I used to love this show so much, and I still love Dean, against my better judgement, I will try to give the writers the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they just cannot reveal more because there is a structural connection between Dean and Alphas? ? Purgatory? Heaven and Hell? Any subplots/uberplot? Anything at all?
In the meantime, while watching the following episodes, I've decided to do a sit-up every time I hear 'Sam's soul'. I'm sure, by the end of the season, I'll have been fit as a fiddle.

January 26 2011 at 6:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Char's comment
Char

Also, after reading this interview and the one with Alice Jester, I finally understood why the fandom's name for Sera has been Becky Gamble. Oh, this fandom...Hilarious and brilliant. (Sometimes anyway...)

January 26 2011 at 7:13 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
arbiter

Seriously, you can't separate the characters from the actors? Since when did Sam/Dean = Jared/Jensen? You can not be a fan of a character, but to bash on the actor is just Juvenile. And i hope you're right that the show becomes a show about Sam Winchester so that everybody like you will keep getting mad and angry and explode and maybe finally move on.

January 28 2011 at 1:25 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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