To read more on Supernatural, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday. You can buy the whole set now, or purchase the individual covers of the group shot, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, or Misha Collins. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
When The CW gave Supernatural an early renewal for its 13th season, the show easily could’ve kicked back and taken some time to relax. Instead, the writers plan to kick things up a notch this year: Altogether, season 13 will test the waters for a potential spin-off, fulfill a long-held dream of an animated episode, and introduce a new central player when Lucifer’s son, Jack (series regular Alexander Calvert), moves in with the Winchesters. “The big thing with us is: How do we keep it fresh?” co-showrunner Robert Singer says. “We just felt there’s so much opportunity with Jack. It’s a big swing again, but somehow we always manage to keep the show grounded in its own reality.” They do that by never losing sight of the central story: Sam and Dean and their very human experiences dealing in a business of nonhumans. “At the end of the day, the show is really about these two guys and how great they are together,” Singer says. “They’re the lifeblood of the show.”
That’s why it might surprise some fans that this season will see Jack hitting the road with the boys, which begs the question: If driver picks the music and shotgun shuts his cakehole, what does the Nephilim in the back seat do? “Last season was about the guys being kids, and this season is about being parents, to a degree,” co-showrunner Andrew Dabb says. “To have [Sam and Dean] confronted by this kid who is at once scary and charming gives us a chance to show a different side of the guys, and that’s always a great thing, especially 13 seasons in. If Dean had a kid, what would that look like? If Sam had a kid, what would that look like? The joke is that it’s My Two Dads, Hell Edition.” But considering that Jack isn’t your typical kid, getting him acclimated to the world is about more than just teaching him how to use Netflix (though Padalecki says that will happen). “[Jack is] really struggling to understand himself,” Alexander Calvert says. “There’s definitely a loneliness.”
Loneliness is something Sam and Dean can relate to seeing as how the season 12 finale saw them lose Crowley, Castiel, and Mary, who’s currently trapped in an alternate world with Lucifer. “[The loss is] just constant,” Jensen Ackles says. “It’s Dad and Bobby, and now it’s Mom and it’s Cas. It’s this vicious cycle of loss and grief. Dean just needs to feel like there’s hope.” That hope will eventually come in the form of Castiel, who will return to the land of the living… eventually. “Everyone is healthy and in fighting shape and ready to go,” Misha Collin says of life post-return. “We’re all a team again.” Even better? Having Cas back will help inject some light back into the show. “One of my favorite things about the series is that it can bring levity to situations,” Ackles says. “And I think that’s one of the reasons why this season we’re not going full-mope.” Jared Padalecki chimes in, “Never go full-mope.”
In other words, fans can prepare for laughter and tears in season 13, but when EW gathered stars Ackles, Padalecki, and Collins for the cover shoot of our latest Untold Stories issue, it was all about the former. Altogether, there are four covers to choose from: The group shot will go to subscribers and hit newsstands Friday, with the three single covers being made available exclusively at Barnes & Noble beginning Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Check out all four covers below, and watch a behind-the-scenes video (with more on season 13) above.