Don’t worry — the Winchester brothers will be reunited with the newly returned archangel Gabriel (Richard Speight Jr.) on Supernatural soon enough.
In the February episode “Devil’s Bargain,” fans learned that everyone’s favorite trickster, who (at least appeared to have) died in season 5, was alive and imprisoned in Hell. Gabriel hasn’t been seen since that episode, but stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have confirmed to EW that the hunters will find out about Gabriel’s resurrection very soon.
“They can’t believe it. They’re thrilled [because] they need his help more than ever,” Padalecki told EW ahead of the CW drama’s PaleyFest panel Tuesday evening. “It’s very funny that we’re kind of harkening back to a lot of season 4, season 5, season 6 mythology and it feels so natural to be going back there, to be doubling back to Gabriel, to be doubling back to Lucifer. I’m just very excited to have Gabriel. He was sort of the last person we expected to have but now that he’s around, we need his help.”
Ackles added: “There’s a shock to it obviously, but given the things and the nature of what they’ve seen over the course of 13 years, there’s not a lot that really truly shocks these guys anymore. They’re a bit like war-torn heroes at this point, and it’s not totally unbelievable for anything to happen anymore. So I think it’s more excitement at the fact that, ‘Hey, we finally have somebody that we need and we can use this person, and now we have an ally that is very beneficial to have.’ So, it’s all about finding the angle.”
Not only will fans see Speight in front of the camera, but the actor also directed an episode in which he appears. “He directed and acted in the same episode, which is pretty cool and I’m sure a mindf— for him,” said Padalecki. “But he killed it, so it was nice.”
In addition to Gabriel’s reunion with the Sam and Dean, you can also expect Castiel (Misha Collins) — who killed the treacherous prophet Donatello in episode 14 — to remain in season 4 soldier mode for the time being. “He’s grown frustrated from the impotence of a sort of PC approach to things or a more measured diplomatic approach to things, and he just wants to go back into fighting mode. So that’s where we’re finding Cas right now,” Collins told EW on the red carpet. “I think for a long time Cas has been trying to do the right thing in a delicate and measured manner, relatively. I think he has found that it’s not working and that there have to be casualties along the way. It’s an interesting sort of turn for the character because it’s also justifiable.”
Looking ahead, executive producer Andrew Dabb also took a moment to tease this season’s finale, which doesn’t sound like it’s being treated as a possible series finale (Supernatural has yet to be renewed for a season 14, although Ackles is confident a renewal will happen). “This year’s finale I think evolves all our characters in a really interesting way,” said Dabb. “With this finale we close some doors, but we also open some interesting doors as well. All of our characters come out of it changed in a pretty big way.”
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.