Dean Winchester is back. After spending weeks as Michael’s vessel as the archangel discovered the perfect formula to create super monsters, Dean was freed at the end of season 14‘s second episode. No one is quite sure why Michael would let the Winchester brother go, but what they do know is that Michael won’t be gone for long, and that means that once again, the Winchesters have to prepare for war.
EW spoke with Supernatural co-showrunner Andrew Dabb about Dean’s return and what comes next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So are we definitely saying that Dean is back?
ANDREW DABB: I think it’s pretty conclusive that it’s Dean. Cas is going to read him in the next episode. It’s pretty obvious that this is Dean, the question is more: What’s the fallout for Dean having gone through this experience? We’re in the aftermath of what he’s been through. We get to the bottom of certain things that were left as questions at the end of last episode, certainly how Dean’s feeling, where he’s coming from, and what happened to him during that time.
What’s their next move with the Michael situation?
They know Michael’s still out there. They know he’s going to rear his head again, but how do you get ready for it? How do you prepare? What weapons can you use against him? And in the next episode, they find a weapon they think may be effective and they go after it, and that weapon may be possessed by an old friend of ours.
How does Dean react when he comes home to a bunker filled with hunters that view Sam as their leader?
Dean’s used to doing things a very certain way — him and his brother and Castiel and now Jack, and it’s a pretty small family. There’s going to be an adjustment period for Dean. He was just possessed by Michael, he’s now walking back into a bunker filled with people he doesn’t really know that well, and his brother’s in a different role and he deeply respects Sam but there’s going to be an adjustment period for him. That’s going to play out for the next few episodes.
With Michael creating super monsters, are the brothers essentially having to rewrite the lore?
Yeah to a large degree. It takes away some of their crutches. As Sam found out last episode, [if] you chop pretty much anything’s head off you’re going to kill most things, but there are certain things our guys use that can’t slow these monsters down. So how do they adjust? Also, if you’re someone like Sam, you’re dealing with a group of hunters you’ve spent weeks or months training to hunt monsters and suddenly everything you’ve taught them goes out the window. He can adjust to that, Dean can adjust to that. The other people may find it a little bit harder and there may be a little collateral damage along the way.
I also want to touch on the Nick story line. What was the thinking behind having him stick around and diving more into that story?
We’ve dealt with possession stories before, but Nick’s got his own story and as we started talking about that character, we realized there’s a lot of loose ends that exist for him both from a plot point of view in terms of his family and from an emotional point of view in terms of, he just went through this incredibly traumatic thing, how does that affect him? Sam and Dean have done this so many times. I’m not saying they brush things off because that would be wrong to say, but they have dealt with this level of trauma before. They’re the heroes of our show, they’re superheroes, they’ve been trained to deal with this kind of stuff to a degree. Nick hasn’t. So when a normal person goes through this, how does it affect them for good and for bad? And with Nick, right now, he’s obsessed with finding out who killed his family and he thinks that when he does that, all his problems will be solved and that may not quite be true.
Moving forward, which episodes are you most excited about?
Next week’s episode is kind of our Halloween episode. It’s a fun, throwback ’80s-slasher-movie vibe, which I think came out really, really well. And episode 6 puts Jack in a whole new light and gives him some more fun stuff to do.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.