Dean Buscher/The CW
Samantha Highfill
December 07, 2017 AT 12:00 AM EST

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the Dec. 7 midseason finale of Supernatural.

Talk about a cliffhanger. After introducing Kaia and the concept of dreamwalking, Supernatural‘s midseason finale saw Jack end up in Apocalypse World while Sam and Dean were accidentally sent to The Bad Place. And if there wasn’t enough going on, when the show returns in 2018, it will be time for the much-anticipated Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot. So, EW got on the phone with executive producers Andrew Dabb and Robert Berens to talk about the finale and what to expect in 2018.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Kaia is obviously a part of Wayward Sisters but her gifts also make her useful to Sam and Dean. Will she continue to play into things as the Supernatural season progresses?
ANDREW DABB: We certainly established that there’s more than one dreamwalker. Kaia’s obviously very strong and she’ll play a pivotal role going into [episode] 10 because Jack is in Apocalypse World and Sam and Dean are trapped in The Bad Place. Kaia’s the only person in our world that knows what went on in that boatyard that night. So she becomes very important in episode 10 to finding Sam and Dean. Her feelings about that place [are] extremely conflicted. In [episode] 9 she dreamwalked under duress. Going forward, the question is: Can she embrace her abilities in a way that is not just about saving her own life? She’s pivotal to the search for Sam and Dean in a very real way. Although there are other dreamwalkers out there potentially, solely for the sake of the next little while, she’s our go-to.

ROBERT BERENS: Ultimately, Kaia represents a link to Mary, but she’s a reluctant participant in that solution, so I think it creates some really interesting conflict between Sam, Dean, and Kaia.

I’m so happy Jack was revealed to be good… at least for now.
BERENS: [The time away] was actually very good for Jack. He spent some time on his own and he really performed a miracle of hunting combined with his own powers and research. He did something that made Sam and Dean actually really proud. It wasn’t just a question of, “I found Mary.” He did the work on his own. I think that’s a really beautiful emotional moment between the three of them when they realize what he’s done for them — he’s brought them back hope after a season where we were debating, can he be good, can he be bad? It’s actually a very happy moment in this very high-stakes episode.

What is happening with The Bad Place? Is that a King Kong-type skull?! That’s all I could think when I saw it…
DABB: Let me put it this way: We’re not going to do anything like that unless we know we can pay it off.

Just when you think there aren’t any more stories to tell, you all open the possibility of multiple other worlds.
DABB: It’s going to be great when we get to the world where everyone is the exact same, it’s the same world, but everyone’s voice is six octaves higher. That’s the only difference. That episode is coming in season 17 and it’s going to be great. [Laughs]

You mentioned finding Sam and Dean earlier. Is that the thrust of the Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot?
DABB: From the very first episode of the very first season, Sam and Dean [have been] the people that look for people, they’re the people that save people. So when Sam and Dean themselves are in trouble in this very big way, who can come and save them? That’s where Jody and Claire and some of the allies they put together really join forces. However, at the same time, Sam and Dean are trying to save themselves. They’re not passive passengers in this situation. But the purpose of [episode] 10 is we’re showing how Jody, Claire, and everyone else can band together to solve a problem, because ultimately, if the show goes forward, that’s what you’re going to be watching on a weekly basis is them solving a problem. That was the fun of [the backdoor pilot]: We’ve got a problem, a problem Sam and Dean have not really dealt with themselves, and how do these established characters come together to solve this problem in a new way?

BERENS: Almost all of these women have been saved directly by Sam and Dean in the past, so on some level, they’re going to have to wrestle with: Right now Sam and Dean are not in our world, we all owe Sam and Dean — for our lives, for introducing us to hunting, whatever it may be — so the subtext of it is them paying that forward and also them reckoning with what Sam and Dean have inspired in them. They themselves need to step into those shoes for this one case, and what does that bring out in each and every one of them?

Donna’s the only Wayward character we haven’t seen yet this season. What’s her role in the pilot?
DABB: Donna will obviously appear in episode 10. Donna will do what she does best, which is come in and offer some clarity and guidance and some humor.

Jack is now in Apocalypse World. Does that mean we get some good Jack-Mary bonding?
DABB: We get a lot of Jack-Mary. Obviously, there are certain people we know exist in Apocalypse World, like Apocalypse Bobby, who may cross paths with Jack. And then obviously there’s the anti-bonding, which is Jack’s interactions with the powers that be in Apocalypse World, specifically Michael, who’s going to show interest in this kid going forward and that really sets up Jack’s conflicts for the next run of episodes.

Supernatural returns Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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