It’s a good year to be Sera Gamble. Having been involved with the CW’s cult hit ‘Supernatural’ since its inception, Gamble has confidently ascended the ranks from writer to executive producer to her latest role as showrunner of the stalwart drama, which is now entering its sixth season.
TV Squad caught up with Gamble at the Television Critics Association’s press tour to pick her brain on what’s in store for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) in season 6, and just what’s become of everyone’s favorite classic car
Having penned the first episode of season six, Gamble was able to reveal a little more about where our favorite demon-hunting duo will be when we meet the Winchesters again, one year later. “Dean has been retired from hunting; he hung up the gun, he walked off the battlefield,” she explained, teasing that Dean will have fully embraced a normal, apple pie life, right down to the car he drives …
“He’s not driving the Impala,” she confirmed, much to our horror. “It’s under a tarp, and when he needs something from the trunk, he just lifts up the edge — it’s torturous!” We can’t argue with that, but why banish something that’s as synonymous with Dean as classic rock and a slice of pie, a car that’s arguably as beloved a character as Sam and Dean themselves? For precisely that reason, Gamble said. “The Impala represents everything to Dean — it represents his childhood, and more to the point, it represents hunting and it represents Sam. He’s not a hunter anymore and his brother is dead, so it’s under a tarp and he’s living a different life.”
That different life comes with its own baggage, namely a woman and a child who have become inexorably attached to Dean in the year that he’s been living with them. So how does Gamble intend to deal with Lisa and Ben once Sam returns, albeit under “mysterious circumstances”?
“We deal with it by dealing with it,” she admitted. “Our goal is to have Dean be an adult. He’s in his early thirties at this point, and Lisa is a real character with a point of view and a child who’s in the mix here — a child who really loves Dean.”
Gamble reasoned that she was interested in playing out the relationship dynamics between Lisa and the elder Winchester brother, seeing it as “an opportunity to tell a lot of story about Dean. If you’ve been in a relationship of any length, it has stakes, to the point where you’re living with someone and you’re raising their child with them. There’s real affection there, so you don’t just pack up your sh*t and go, even if you really need to go — it’s a conversation for them both to have.”
Gamble wouldn’t divulge too much on the “monster problem” that brings Sam and Dean back together, except to say that our favorite angel, Castiel (Misha Collins), would be involved in the ongoing mystery of the season.
“Although we’ve been saying that this season is much more gritty and down to earth, we didn’t completely ignore everything that came before it,” she said. “It’s about the post-apocalypse in that the concerns of heaven and hell are part of the mythology of the season, and Castiel brings us the news of what’s happening in heaven.”
But Castiel won’t just be sitting on a cloud playing holy news anchor; Gamble pointed out that “he’s very attached to Sam and Dean, and wants to be involved in helping them as much as he can. He’s being pulled in a lot of directions …”
While Gamble admitted that he’ll remain “a little bit mysterious” in the first part of the season, she promised that what’s going on with Castiel will become more central as the season goes on, tying into the larger mythology of the year.
The new showrunner couldn’t be tempted into spoiling much when it came to new or recurring guest stars, but did confirm what’s already been widely circulated — that Mitch Pileggi will return in some capacity as Sam and Dean’s maternal grandfather, as well as “demons you’ve seen before,” such as Mark Sheppard’s Crowley and – if set reports are to be believed — Fred Lehne as Azazel, the eponymous Yellow Eyed Demon who set the show’s whole mythology in motion.
Gamble also reiterated – that the archangel Raphael will return. “He was not in a good mood when we saw him before, and he’s the only one left in heaven, so he has a role to play,” she teased.
As for Jensen Ackles’ recent directorial debut, Gamble only had praise for the actor: “Every report was glowing, every meeting I had with him was fantastic and professional,” she enthused. ” He’s spent so much time on a set and he has such a strong point-of-view, he understands the show on a level that visiting directors couldn’t possibly, and he was set up for success that way.”
But when it comes to her own success, Gamble is far more modest, “I feel really spoiled and really fortunate, because Eric [Kripke] is still really involved and he’s been very gracious and very active,” she said. “And Bob Singer has been co-showrunner from the beginning and is still with the show, and is one of the most experienced executive producers in television, period. He’s very much responsible for the success of the show, as much of any of us.”