If there was one consistent theme in today's Supernatural panel and press room at San Diego Comic Con, it was "Free For All." That was the term coined anyway by Executive Producer Jeremy Carver. It was actually the answer to his first question...
What's the world like with fallen angels everywhere? "We're going to learn pretty quickly that a world full of fallen angels is pretty much a free for all."
Everyone was on board with that theme as Jeremy Carver, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Robert Singer, Misha Collins, and Mark Sheppard took to the stage, along with a surprise guest. But that part comes later.
First, before the panelists were introduced, we got some bonus footage. There was a Season 8 sizzle reel, which can be found below.
The real treat though was a clip from a season nine episode! This was confirmed by Jared later in the press room to be from episode two. Here is the breakdown (massive spoiler alert!)
Kevin Tran is barricaded in the Men of Letters bunker, and Dean arrives. Kevin is a wreck, saying he hasn't slept in days. He tells Dean how the whole place lit up and the the controls are back on. Dean lets Kevin know what happened, the angels fell. Then a very healthy looking Sam arrives, with a chained up and masked Crowley. They take Crowley to the Men of Letter's dungeon and chain him up. Sam and Dean demand to know the names of every demon and the human they're possessing on earth. Crowley (and yes there's a lot of smart talk back and forth) won't give up the info. So the boys decide to leave Crowley in there alone. All alone. In the dark, with no one to talk to. "You're own personal Hell," Sam taunts. Crowley is left alone and he doesn't look too happy!
The hijinks started right away when Jeremy Carver was trying to answer his first question. Mark Sheppard knocked his name card onto the floor in front of the table. So Mark got up and went to pick it up. Misha waited until Mark walked back around and knocked it over again (after some encouragement from Jared). So Mark went back and picked it up again, and then knocked over Misha's. Misha stayed put and took Mark's card.
Jared - "This is a day on the set."
"You were saying Jeremy?" - Jensen
Eventually Jeremy Carver finished his question. The angels aren't going to be unified, that's for sure. "We've got lots of different angels out there with lots of agendas." "A world of fallen angels is a dirty, bloody, scary and in some ways a very human world and we're really excited to explore that." The brothers are walking into a world this year where there aren't the normal constructs.
As for Sam and Dean's relationship, the brothers chose each other. That's left them stronger, but they're surrounded by a lot for uncertainty. The King of Hell isn't around and Heaven isn't running the way it did.
Next the question went to Misha. "Its a remarkable shift for Castiel." Castiel has spent a lot of time popping in and out helping the brothers in some way. He was always useful in some way. "Now he can pop in and fold their laundry." There's definitely a shift.
Castiel is also learning how to eat and what happens after you eat. "There's a great bathroom scene," spoils Jared. Misha calls a human flushing a toilet for the first time an epiphany.
What about Crowley's breakdown? "Whatever happened to Crowley has had a profound effect on him, whether he likes it or not," said Mark.
Next Robert Singer was asked about the Men of Letters bunker. It's their first ever permanent set for the show, and there's rooms they haven't explored it. He also said that the Men of Letters bunker considered to be a home for Dean, but a workplace for Sam. "He's comfortable in the academic pursuits one can explore in the Men of Letters, so that's something we'll see this season."
(All photos by Alice Jester unless otherwise noted)
What about Jim Beaver's return? Jeremy Carver confirmed, saying that Jim also tweeted he's coming back in a way we wouldn't expect. That's where he's leaving it. "Because I'm a bad person." Robert Singer said, "Jim tweets that stuff before we really have a plan to bring him back." So, they'll have to bring him back.
What about Charlie? Will Felicia Day come back? Robert Singer just started trashing Felicia, saying how much of a pain she was to work with. She spends too much time in the makeup trailer, she always forgets her lines...
Yeah, that was an obvious setup. For in walks Felicia Day! "I heard you Bob and I flew over here." She pretends to go after Bob Singer. Jared and Misha step in to break up the mayhem. Yes, it's cute.
(Photo courtesy of Vlada Gelman)
Considering she's a fixture here at Comic Con, Felicia's appearance wasn't much of a surprise, but she did say that was her first time in a panel at Hall H. She took a seat, and they even had a name card for her! Her appearance all but confirms, Charlie will be back.
Felicia - "I feel this show needs a teflon vagina." Jared - "That's why we have Mark Sheppard."What keeps Dean going? How does he stay so strong and stand by his brother? Jensen acknowledged that Dean has been through a lot is 173 episodes. "I think when Dean got back from Purgatory there was a real sense of clarity to his mission. Fight that fight and be there for his brother and driving that beast of an automobile down the highway."
What about Sam? Jared said Sam has accepted he's not going to have that normal life and he's just going to continue to fight and make the world a better place.
At this point they opened it up to fan questions. This was my favorite. "Now that Cass is human, is he going to get to learn how to drive the Impala?" Jensen, "No!" Misha - "He's kidding of course." Jensen - "No!" Misha - "It'll happen." Jensen - "No!"
Where do the angels and demons go when they die? Misha - "They go to Comic Con." Robert Singer and Jeremy Carver actually tried to tackle that question, but they just ended with "It's ripe for storytelling."
Will they direct? Jared, no, because he lives in Texas now and has a family, including a small child. Misha, he has two small children, and he's looking forward to getting away from them so he can finally get some sleep. He's directing 9.17. "I apologize in advance for the product."
Felicia popped in with an answer (without a question) on what Jensen smells like. "Jensen smells like coriander and leather." Rich Sands (the moderator) then joked that half of the people in line left since their question was just answered.
Will the Winchesters help angels? Jeremy Carver (dancing around the question). "They are going to be knee deep in angel troubles this year."
Someone wanted to know how Jared managed all that angst from the season finale. "It really took me over for some reason. Jensen was like, "˜chill out.' I think all the angst came from hanging out with Sheppard." He had huge praise for Mark. "I have to admit, I was impressed. I didn't think he could act." He found it nice to do that with another actor considering he and Jensen have been doing it for years.
How do they feel about playing different versions of their characters? Jensen thinks Dean really tries to stay Dean no matter what. "He's just angry." Jared is so grateful he could do so many sides of Sam, otherwise it would be the same thing over and over again. Jeremy Carver (joking) - "It would be just like playing Dean."
A deaf person came up trying to ask about Jessie the antichrist, but his interpreter didn't understand the sign for antichrist or something. So everyone's trying to guess what he meant, and then when the interpreter came back with antichrist from the panelists, he gives her a "yeah, that's what I said" look. Anyway, no plans, Jeremy Carver said any character can come back.
What guns do they want to use? Jared - They have a grenade launcher in the car. Why haven't they ever used that?
The last question ended the whole thing on rather funny note. Why is Crowley the only demon that can teleport? Robert Singer gave this answer about how he's the king and all of that. Jared - "It's like when Voldemort learned to fly." Jensen - "Really?" EVERYONE cracked up on the panel over that.
The final part is always everyone's favorite part, the gag reel. This clip was only a few minutes long, so I'm hoping that's not all of it. It starts with the end of "LARP and The Real Girl." The masses go to charge and...down goes Jensen. They even showed that twice. It's priceless I tell you.
Even though that should be my favorite part, I laughed harder at this bit (probably because I didn't see it coming). It's the part of "Goodbye Stranger" where Dean and Castiel are in Lucifer's crypt. Dean's bloody, on his knees pleading to Cas, and Castiel is hovering over him holding and angel sword.
Dean: I need you Cass. You're my baby daddy.
Misha (not breaking character): I love you too.
Talk about playing on the fandom. I loved it. Anyway, there were a ton of goodies in there, but the gag reel will definitely be a pleaser.
That was all for the panel. Up next, I'll have all the press room reports. They were spilling a few things in the room.
I got to spend some time talking to writer Robbie Thompson before the panel, who I had met briefly last year. He was playing social ambassador, introducing other writers to people and talking with everyone. Talk about one of the nicest guys imaginable. He was so happy to see and meet everyone. He's from a town very near to my hometown in Michigan, so we had some fun things to talk about there! He also introduced me to his fiancee (congrats Robbie!). He brought Adam Glass over to meet us bloggers, and Adam remembered me from the panel last year when he and his family sat with me and Osric Chau. I also met Nicole Snyder and her family in line. She is very pregnant! Jim Michaels was there too socializing, as he has been for a few days. It was nice he could come in for this.
So, what do you think Supernatural fans? Does this get you more excited for season nine?