'Supernatural' at Comic-Con: Scoop on falling angels, Castiel's big changes and more

The project: CW’s Supernatural, which returns Tuesday, Oct. 15. (New night.)

The panel: Showrunner/executive producer Jeremy Carver, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, EP Robert Singer, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, and guest panelist Felicia Day, who has guest starred.

Footage screened: Sizzle reel from season8, a portion of the gag reel, AND a sneak peek at season 9. The rundown: Dean walks into the Men of Letters HQ and Kevin shoots an arrow at him. He misses. “Dean you’re alive,” he says. Dean retorts, “Yeah, because you’re a crappy shot, Katniss.” Kevin confesses he’s been living in fear that the world has ended — and he’s constipated. (To which Dean said, “Overshare.”) “Next time, when the world is ending, grab a gun,” Dean chides. Then Sam walks in with Crowley, who’s chained, covered, and bound. The brothers drag him down into a dungeon, and Dean punches him in the face. “I never get tired of doing that,” he says. Sam makes clear to Crowley, who is fascinated by the boys’ “tree house,” exactly what they’re looking for — the name of every demon on Earth and who they are possessing. Crowley thinks Sam and Dean are going to try to torture the information out of him, (or, as he puts it, “put the S-A-M into S & M.”) but instead, they say they’re going to leave him alone. “We figure being in a room by yourself with no one to talk to is pretty much your own personal hell,” Sam says. They close the doors and it becomes clear that Crowley is certainly not going to enjoy his time alone in the dark. FIN.

Snap judgment: The Supernatural panel — in no small part due to the panelists — always tends to find a balance between entertainment and information. This year was no exception.

The big revelations:

+ Carver on the angels falling down: “We’ve got lots of angels out there with lots of different agendas. [They're] lost, scared, and vengeful, and I think [the storyline] is lending itself to lots of exciting and wonderful character moments for all of our characters to be dealing with. A world of fallen angels is a dirty, bloody, scary and in some ways very human world. We’re very excited to explore that.” But will we ever see the Winchesters HELPING angels? Carver was coy, but said, “I think we can pretty much bet that the path of the fallen angels intersects with the Winchesters in some very big way this season.”

+ On the boys’ relationship this year: “That has left them stronger than ever but also created an tremendous amount of fallout for them, particularly this season, because the brothers are walking into a world where the normal constructs of heaven and hell aren’t the same anymore,” Carver says. Padalecki adds: “We did chose each other and to continue fighting the fight together. We’ll keep fighting the fight together and you’ll be seeing Sam and Dean — in this free-for-all world — we’re really going to need each other more than ever.”

+ On Castiel’s big changes this year as a human: “It’s a remarkable shift for Castiel,” says Collins. Particularly difficult, says Collins, will be the fact that Castiel’s powers and tools that once were very helpful to the brothers are gone — no teleporting, no time-bending. “Now he can pop in and basically fold laundry,” says Collins. “So there’s a shift in the dynamic here…I think for Castiel’s arc as a character this season, it’s going to be an immensely rich terrain to explore.” And great for comedy, too. Collins teased a scene in which Castiel must come to terms with the “filth” involved with being a human being. “There’s a really really great bathroom scene,” he said. “It’s a three episode arc,” Carver quipped.

+ On the Men of Letters : “There are rooms in the Men of Letters we haven’t explored yet,” teased Singer, adding that this season would also explore Sam’s interest in the academic possibilities presented thanks to the MOL, while Dean will continue to see it as a home.

+ On Charlie (guest star Day, who showed up about halfway through the panel): “We have big plans for her this year,” said Singer.

+ Ackles on Dean’s seemingly unbreakable spirit. “Dean has been through a lot…and I think what keeps him motivated and pushing on is his sense of duty to fight the good fight. It’s his duty to his brother, his family; it’s what he signed on to do,” he says

+ Will Castiel ever drive the Impala? “Nope,” Ackles, who Singer revealed has a bit of a territorial approach to the car, said. Collins and Ackles share a great back and forth here, with the former insisting he’d get a chance to drive. We’ll see who wins in the end.

+ Collins will direct episode 9.17. “I apologize in advance of the product,” joked Collins.

Best audience question: “Where do Angels and Demons go when they die?” asked a fan. Collins’ response? “They go to Comic-Con.”

Quoteable moment: Day: “I think this show needs a tough-love vagina.” Padalecki: “That’s why we have Mark Sheppard.”

Earlier in the day, Collins and Sheppard both stopped by EW’s video studio. Check out their chat below:

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