Samantha Highfill
December 06, 2017 AT 11:47 AM EST

So far, Supernatural‘s thirteenth season has introduced us to a few new key characters, whether we’re talking about Jack — who returns in the midseason finale — or Patience, the granddaughter of Missouri Moseley. But before the show says goodbye for the rest of 2017, there’s one more important character to add to the mix: Kaia.

What we know about Kaia at this point is that she can walk between worlds and will play a part in the Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot. “What’s interesting is we have this established group of Wayward Sisters, and Patience represented a very different energy from our established cast — she actually came from, what was at least at the outset of her first episode, a happy family, a stable home life. Kaia’s more of a return to that kind of troubled runaway, like Alex and Claire,” executive producer Robert Berens tells EW. “But Kaia’s also linked to this cosmic element, this other world that she dreams of, that’s going to be very pivotal in the series.”

The official title for Kaia is a dreamwalker, and let’s just say that title makes her important, and not just to a potential spin-off. “We’re introducing Kaia in [episode] 9, but it’s not just for the purpose of the spin-off,” executive producer Andrew Dabb says. “She’s very vital in the mythology we’ve been building toward the entire first half of our season.” Speaking to how the introduction of both Patience and Kaia compares to the series’ first spin-off attempt with Supernatural: Bloodlines in season 9, Dabb continues, “These characters are a part of the DNA of our show and we wanted to bring them organically into the fold in a way; to be completely frank, Bloodlines we didn’t. [Bloodlines] kind of dropped you in the middle of a whole other story. So Kaia is important to the spin-off but she’s also important for Sam and Dean, and that will allow the audience to really sympathize with her, understand her, and see what she can do.”

Dean Buscher/The CW

What she can do could play a big role in Sam and Dean getting Mom back. In fact, it was the idea of dreamwalking that launched the alternate universe plot in the first place. “At one point, there was an idea to do this spin-off last year rather than this year,” Dabb says. “So we started thinking about the idea and actually even conceptualizing the spin-off. In some ways, about this time last year is when we first started talking about the spin-off in depth and those conversations actually led to apocalypse world at the end of last season. So in a weird way, even though [dreamwalking is] coming right now, it’s kind of the seed of the idea that grew into apocalypse world.”

Another key player in potentially getting Mom back is, of course, Jack, who went MIA after he accidentally killed a security guard in episode 6. Now, he’s back, and the question is: Has he changed? “Sam and Dean have no idea what Jack has been up to and we start the episode with a mystery around what he wants and is doing,” Berens says.

Dabb adds, “This time away from Sam and Dean has given him a sense of clarity. When he was with Sam and Dean he was really trying to fit into their mold, to be what they wanted him to be. I think he feels he’s failed at that. So he’s gone off and he’s got a little bit of a different agenda coming in and that agenda, as we’ll see in the episode, it’s creating some worrying ramifications for Sam and Dean.”

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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