Supernatural‘s Dean Winchester has made a lot of life-or-death decisions, but it seems allowing the Mark of Cain onto his arm may be his worst one yet. The Mark turned him into a carefree demon at the end of last season—and now it’s slowly returning him to that form. In fact, Dean’s descent has already begun.
“If you go back to the beginning of the season with Demon Dean, there was truly a devil-may-care attitude that he possessed—lack of attitude, lack of anger, lack of anything. There was no feeling. He just didn’t care,” Jensen Ackles told EW. “If you notice, Dean’s starting to fall [back] into that attitude a little bit. I wanted to bring a little bit of that into [present-day Dean] to show you that, if things go wrong, then this attitude could get a lot darker and a lot deeper and a lot more pronounced.”
But Dean isn’t fully gone just yet. At this point, he’s still cracking jokes, but as Ackles put it, “It’s more of a mask.”
“If you really want to psychoanalyze it, he’s covering up what’s going on inside, and the best way he knows how to do that is to be his happy jovial self,” Ackles said, adding “Or as happy and jovial as Dean can be.”
And Dean will get a chance to be his “happy and jovial” self when he takes a bit of a break from the Mark of Cain in tonight’s hour, thanks to the arrival of Castiel’s sort-of daughter, Claire. Although Dean and Claire ended things on a sour note during their last meeting, Ackles did tease that things are looking up between the pair.
“Dean’s tolerance for our modern day teenagers is not much,” Ackles said with a laugh. “That being said, it certainly ends on a better note than it did last time. I think we’ve seen this before: The very reluctant relationship ends up being the most satisfying when it actually comes together.”
With that in mind, this week will focus a bit more on Castiel and Claire’s relationship. But as fans know, Sam already has other ways to further his Mark of Cain research. And when Dean eventually finds out about his brother’s plan, well, “he’s not going to be happy,” Ackles said.
“It’s not that he doesn’t want his brother to help. It’s that he knows that if his brother continues to help, it’s going to put his life in danger,” the actor continued. “And maybe not just his life. Maybe other people’s lives. And we’ll see the consequences of why Dean is so angry with Sam when he finds out what’s going on. Dean’s fears of what could happen kind of come true, and it’s a pretty unfortunate situation.”
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.