For Supernatural fans, the Mark of Cain has never been worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) than the moment it turned Dean into a demon in the season-nine finale. But despite Dean making it back to his normal, human self, the Mark is still around, and fans haven’t seen the last of its supernatural effects.
When we left the Winchester brothers in 2014, Dean had just murdered an entire house full of normal humans. Sure, they were despicable humans, but as fans of the show know, the Winchesters hunt “things,” not people. But thanks to the Mark of Cain, Dean’s rage has grown past the point of differentiating between what is right and wrong. So will human Dean end up being darker than Demon Dean ever was?
“That’s certainly the fear,” showrunner Jeremy Carver said. “That’s the fear that’s driving both brothers over the second half of the season to find a solution to this thing, and it’s going to cause them to shake a lot of trees and associate with a lot of characters that they may not want to associate with in looking for, if not a way to get rid of this thing, than for a way to figure out how to live with it. So, in terms of Mark of Cain Dean being darker, that is certainly the threat.”
And step one of the journey to find answers leads them right to the man they’d hoped to never see again: Metatron. “Well you have to assume that Metatron, with all the knowledge he has amassed over the years, might be someone you would suspect has a particular insight on the Mark of Cain,” Carver said. “As of right now, Metatron is our closest link to God and someone who may know all of this stuff, so he’s a logical if unsavory place to start.”
Although, don’t expect Metatron to suddenly become one of the good angels. “[The brothers will] get more than they bargained for. [Metatron is] the perfect example of a person you’d rather stab than talk to, but again, strange times make strange bedfellows,” Carver said.
The good news: The brothers’ quest for a solution will give fans more interaction between Castiel, their favorite good angel, and Sam and Dean. But that doesn’t mean Cas is done with Claire. “The Claire-Castiel story is not finished,” Carver said. “You’ve got this guy who is in some ways, beyond how he deals with Sam and Dean, is reconnecting with humanity in ways that he never thought possible. That journey continues for Castiel, while he does get caught up more and more in what’s going on with Sam and Dean as the season moves toward a conclusion. But the idea of reconnecting with this sort-of daughter and what it means to him and what it sparks in Castiel in terms of how he sees his place here, is not over.”
As for Sam, the younger brother remains focused on saving Dean, though Carver assures fans that Sam’s story will be as juicy and emotional as ever. “If you think back to seasons past, there were plenty of times when Dean was very focused on what was going on with his brother, what’s ailing Sam. So given what happened in episode 9, it would be criminally negligent for Sam not to be worried about what’s happening with his brother, and that’s going to lead him on a journey that will become his own, but the root of it is, ‘How am I going to save my brother?'”
And in his attempts to save his brother, Sam is going to ask for help from a number of familiar faces. After Metatron’s return tonight, next week will bring back fan favorite Charlie, whose time in Oz “has changed her profoundly,” according to Carver. Without revealing too much, Carver did promise that the promo that showed Dean punching Charlie in the face is “not schmuck bait. [He] is punching Charlie.”
But the real twist isn’t Charlie suddenly knowing how to take a punch to the face. As Carver put it, “She knows how to give a punch to the face as well.”
Supernatural returns tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW.