Comic-Con 2012: Flashbacks Will Be Huge in Supernatural's Next Season

There were some major people disappearing in the Season 7 finale of The CW's Supernatural. Dean vanished to Purgatory and Castiel did one of those "sound of angel wings" and *POOF* he's gone. But the biggest disappearance happened for Supernatural came off camera, when showrunner and founding father of Supernatural Sera Gamble vacated her spot as showrunner of the cult series in the off-season after taking over the job from creator Eric Kripke for the last two years.

Stepping in to run the show for Season 8 will be Jeremy Carver, a longtime Supernatural writer who spent the last two years adapting Being Human for Syfy with his wife Anna Fricke. I'd say the last two seasons of Supernatural were a bit of a rough patch after the creative high of Seasons 3, 4, and 5, but it wouldn't be accurate to lay the blame on any one person. Still, fans are looking for a rebound, and Carver, who wrote such gems as "Changing Channels," is being looked upon as the man to bring the show back to form.

"I'm really excited, I thinkwe're telling the story a little different way this year in that we're incorporating a lot of flashbacks of joining the pieces of what happened when [Sam and Dean] were away from each other," Carver said. "While these two are very much united in terms of what they're after this season, they have to come to terms with that they are both maturing and becoming slightly different people than they were before they separated last season. I'm excited for the fans to watch the boys mature just a little bit more."

"Because the show hinges so heavily on the Sam and Dean relationship, it's been difficult do go do Sam [alone], and do Dean [alone], and then bring them back together," explained Jared Padalecki , who plays Sam Winchester (but you knew that already). "We're going to see a lot more of Dean in Purgatory than we saw of Dean in Hell. And because we're going to have a Dean storyline for however long he was there [in Purgatory], I think it was a year or something, we're going to see a lot of what happened with Dean and what happened with Sam. And it was the first time in Sam's life that he was able to–without feeling bad about it–walk away from the life. He wasn't in behind Castiel, he wasn't in behind Bobby, he wasn't in behind Dean, he didn't know about Kevin, he was finally like, 'Okay, not my issue, I'm out for real.' And he was able to, for a long time. But now he's being dragged back into it."

It kind of sounds like a reversal (this show loves its reversals) of the start of Season 6, when Sam went to Hell and Dean lived a regular life with that orange ex-girlfriend Lisa. But the flashbacks might be more focused individually on one brother at a time, and those flashbacks may run the whole season.

"The flashbacks [will] become more and more [important] as the season unfolds," Jensen Ackles said. "It's a bit of an onion, you peel back what happened over the past year while Dean was in Purgatory, what was happening to him, and also what was happening to Sam while he was up top will be revealed through flashbacks as the season progresses. We start off in present time, which explains how Dean got out of Purgatory, but what happened to him while he was there will be explained later."

Writer extraordinaire Ben Edlund, who has written some of the series' most daring and memorable episodes, reflected on the last season and what's coming up. And he kind of hinted at disappointment in Season 7. "It would be cool if we had a higher instance of absurdist toss-away episodes," Edlund said. "I think that that's something oddly we would have had more of last year, because it seemed to me like we were moving in the direction of a B-movie premise with the monsters [the Leviathans]. I would say the monsters were actually a wrestling match of things that worked and didn't work, but mythologically speaking they set the ground for other things that I'm very pleased we've got working in our grandfather clock, so to speak."

I asked Edlund about the tone of the season, now that Carver is running the show, and whether it would be lighter and more fun. "I'll say that our arc is in some senses pretty serious, but I think what that means is a higher index of comedy, similar to the Republican administration [laughs]."

This could be a make-it-or-break-it-season for a lot of longtime Supernatural fans, but it sounds like the writers already have a much better idea of what's in place than they had in Seasons 6 and 7.



Super-Note-urals

– Jensen and Jared flew in from Vancouver Sunday morning at 8am after filming until 4:30am earlier that day, and hadn't had any sleep. Jensen asked for forgiveness if he wasn't completely mentally all there, but he was, and yes ladies, he still looked like he'd gotten plenty of beauty rest.

– Jensen is getting behind the camera again this season and directing its third episode. It's actually the first episode Supernatural is shooting this season, and he described it as "a one-off" but said it will include one of the important flashbacks that tell the bigger story.

Mark Sheppard, who plays King of Hell Crowley, said, "We've seen Hell, and it looked like the line for the panel."

Misha Collins said we'll first see Castiel in Episode 2, and we won't see him in Episode 3.

Jim Beaver would not reveal the fate of Bobby or say whether the character will return in Season 8. "I don’t exactly know where ghosts go when they stop being ghosts. If they haven't said, I think that's good because it leaves doors open."

– Collins does AMAZING charity work. Please check out Random Acts when you get a chance.

– Edlund said that he's come up with another way to tell a different version of the super-meta episode "The French Mistake," and says it would give the boys a whole new acting challenge. Fingers crossed this happens!

– Beaver was wearing his Deadwood hat during the press room, and says he's been asking for a Supernatural one for several seasons.


Psst! Check out our complete Comic-Con coverage for the weekend's news, photos, and more.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (26)
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Yeah the last twos seasons have been off, but maybe things can turn around.
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I love Supernatural and yes the last 2 seasons have not been the best it is still one of the best shows on tv. I am excited about next season though and I hope it is better than the last 2. Keep up the good work boys and I hope that Jim Beaver is back for keeps.
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I still think Supernatural should have ended after the fifth season. I feel like the brothers have no reason to really be doing what they're doing anymore, and that nothing can be really threatening to them, seeing as they hardly ever die, and when they do, they always find a way back. They're sort of chummy with the both king of hell, and Death himself, as well as having an angel on their side.. It just makes it hard to imagine there ever being a situation they can't get out of, and that removes all the drama-y parts of the show.



Luckily, we still have the funny/meta stuff.
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Reading about Jeremy Carver coming back to showrun Supernatural has given me hope that SPN will pick itself back up and will become much better after the colossal mess that was Seasons 6 & 7. I love Being Human partly because of how well done it was by Carver and with his experience at showrunning a series that turned out to be successful and his prior experience of working on Supernatural, I'm confident that Season 8 will be better than the last two seasons.



However, I was hoping that we'd explore Purgatory as it is instead of in flashbacks. They could've taken advantage of that twist and use it to write good storylines. I just hope that with the direction that Carver has taken, he executes it well.



There are some loose ends that I want to see tied up in the new season. For example: Adam being stuck in the cage. Are Sam and Dean just gonna leave him in there to be continuously tortured by Lucifer for eternity? It seems cruel to forget about him, I mean he's been in Hell longer than either of them. It's been nagging me since the end of Season 5 and I want to see that particular storyline resolved.



They also need more characters. SPN has a reputation of killing of beloved characters and it has contributed to the emptiness that I felt upon watching Seasons 6 & 7. They could create new characters or they could bring back killed off ones. However, I for some reason disliked the characters that they created for the past 2 seasons so I think it's better to bring back dead ones. I particularly enjoyed the characters of Garth and Kevin and since they haven't been killed off (yet), I hope that they come back. The past seasons had great characters that added something to SPN and made it greater but were killed off prematurely. I wish that they brought back Jo, Ellen, John, Bobby, Gabriel, Ash and Balthazar. They all added different layers to the show and were more importantly, like family/friends/allies to the Winchesters. So seeing all of them being killed off made me sad for the boys because of the fact that they have no one else to rely on but each other.



Overall, the storylines that Carver has in mind and the structured storytelling that's being implemented in the new season makes it feel complex and sophisticated. This makes me REALLY REALLY excited Season 8. Can't October 3 come here fast enough?!
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I am extremely excited for season 8.

I agree the last season may not have been up to the mark, but I dont think Supernatural can have THAT bad a season ever that I'll stop watching it all together.

With Carver and Edlund, I'm so looking forward to a new season.
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I think I'm going stupid but I really don't get the orange ex-girlfriend part. Although it was really funny to read.
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I think they were referring to Lisa (Cindy Sampson). We met Lisa in season 3 and thought Lisa's son Ben was Dean's since they were 'together' 8 years prior. Sampson had some serious fake-baked tan going on in season 6, she looked a little orange.
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I tapped out halfway through season seven and nothing in this article does anything to make me want to come back. I love you, Tim, and I'll probably check in on the episode reviews but man... Just can't take anymore. Especially if they're gonna do a re-hash of the truly awful "The French Mistake". Eugh.
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Orange ex-girlfriend Lisa :))) that is the best line in the whole article...RESPECT!
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I read about what the intended season story arc for season 8 will be. One of the producers I think Carver said that 1. The arc will be a season long "Raiders of the Lost Arc" type quest. It will once again feature the war between heaven and hell. Kevin the prophet will play a huge role in the season as the goal of the quest is to find the rest of the tablets of the words of God in which Kevin is the only human who can read them. Now I also read a rumor that finding these tablets is also a matter of finding God, who some have said is "missing" it would be interesting if it turned out that he has been captive, can you imagine an enemy the bros go up against that is strong enough to abduct God? (Shivers) since season 5. But come one I know where he is, he's in the body of an human old man playing Skee Ball at the Jersey Shore (Dogma joke) lol Anyway with the whole heaven hell stuff getting more and more out of hand I expect God to make his glorious appearance and kick some unholy ass(meaning the demons and other villains) before the series ends.LESS
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I just hope they end this shows suffering, I love this show to much to see it go downhill like this but hopefully we get some answers for Chuck because we've been asking those questions for the longest.
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I'm still curious about Chuck and wish that they brought him back to the show.
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can they please end this show already how many more are they going go
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Vampires,.... no we did that, Purgatory.... we did the to oh I know......ALIENS!!!!
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I have to admit since I marathoned 1-5, it just wasn't as good as those first 5. But I am a fan on and can't wait for season 8!
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So...I'mma finish watching Season 7.
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I hope there are more episodes like 'The French Mistake', because that was amazing!
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It's when they make those types of episodes that it makes Supernatural more awesome!
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I hope Sam gets "Hell-bent" mad with the disappearing of Dean..



I love Dean and "lost-Castiel" snippy relationship, so barring the third episode that Castiel wont feature and Jensen is directing, i hope we get to see more of Castiel.
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From some of the comments, it really seems like they understand how last season was fairly lackluster and are preparing to make next season a lot better. Hopefully it works out that way. I agree, even after all these years, next season is kind of a make or break season for me.



Also, LOL: "We've seen Hell, and it looked like the line for the panel."
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Jim Beaver's had some great roles on some equally great shows: Deadwood, Supernatural, Justified and now Breaking Bad. Never disappointed to see him turn up!
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Sounds like Spnl will bounce back to its A-game this season! Can't wait to see what they have in store for us!



P.S: That should be Founding Mother*, not father for Sera Gamble!
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I don't understand only two comments including mine Teen wolf Comic con review has more comments then supernaturals
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That's because Teen Wolf post was uploaded 14-15 hours ago, while this post was done around 3 hours back.
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it was stupid of me i watched uploading time after writing the comment
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Why couldn't I go to Comicon this year? WHY!?

I'm extremely excited for season 8. I can't really tell if it looks more promising than the other seasons did in the summer hiatuses of the past (since I joined onto the show bandwagon around late season 6), but I'm really optimistic for Carver's lead on this season. I loved "Changing Channels" and almost all of his other written episodes (including Being Human on Syfy).

One thing I don't want is an extensive focus on domesticated Sam. The one thing I hated more than the Winchester's treatment of Cas in S.6 was Dean's role as a domesticated boyfriend for Lisa. IMO, the brothers are meant to live and die together as hunters. There is no other option that fits them as canon.

And why isn't Misha in ep 3? I would probably have him in every episode and every scene if I could haha.

Last point: If Carver manages to fit in another meta "The French Mistake"esque episode, I will forgive the past two seasons of mediocrity. "The French Mistake" remains as one of the highest points of the last two seasons.
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