This week marks the fifth episode of Season 8 of “Supernatural,” and we still have a lot of unanswered questions lingering from the season premiere. In the first episode, we saw Sam abandon a serious love interest (and his dog) in the middle of the night to return to Rufus’ cabin. However, we still don’t know why he left her behind.
“We do find that out,” Jared Padalecki told us when we visited him on set during filming of the upcoming episode “Citizen Fang.” “That’s actually one of the cruxes of this current episode that we’re shooting, and the next one, actually, so Liane [Balaban] has been around a lot this past week and she’s coming back. I’m shooting with her tomorrow. We do find out when and why, and it begs a few further questions.”
Since Sam’s cell phone was turned off, we know he didn’t leave her because of a phone call from Dean, and he’s obviously still pretty hung up on her, given the rose-colored flashback we saw a couple weeks ago. “We see in Sam at the beginning of the season that she’s not dead to him. It’s not like ‘Ugh, whew. Done,'” Jared says. “He still has something for her, even if it’s just the idea of being able to settle down and have a woman in [his] life … it’s a very, very good reason, why Sam and Amelia go their separate ways, and I’m happy that we get to see that.”
Just as Jensen Ackles told us he’s enjoying exploring new connections for Dean, Jared is excited about Sam’s new relationships this season. “The show is always going to be about Sam-and-Dean as a character, the brotherhood,” he assures us, “but I do like fleshing out who these guys are outside of each other. It gives it more value, how much they care about each other, when you see that they have other things that they care about.”
Even in its weakest moments, the relationship between the brothers is the cornerstone of the series, and Jared says that exploring other relationships will only serve to drive home how crucial the Winchesters’ bond is. “[If they only have each other] it’s not as much of a sacrifice, as if Dean is having to step away from this friend that he made in Purgatory, I’m having to step away from a woman that I still love, you know, knowing she’s out there.”
The love interest and Sam’s abandonment of the hunt has been a controversial issue for fans, including us here, but Jared’s loving the new direction. “It makes for some really good television,” he tells us. “I’m really excited about it. It’s been — I don’t want to say it’s been a while, it hasn’t been a while, but I’ve read the last few episodes and this last one coming up, and I’m actually thinking ‘This is really cool!’ I just had a talk with [executive producer] Bob Singer, he was up, and I was like ‘I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed.’ You sign on to another season and you’re like ‘I hope it’s good!’ and with a new showrunner, and new blood. I’m so happy with the direction we’ve gone. I think it’s really really cool.”
In this week’s episode, “Blood Brother,” Sam finally meets Dean’s secret monster friend from Purgatory. If you’ll recall, Sam’s been in a similar situation, when he developed a morally questionable bond with Ruby while Dean was out of the picture. “[Benny] does have a lot of parallels with Ruby,” Jared says. “I find myself in the flip position of where I was four years ago. It provides for a lot of moments between Sam and Dean, of going ‘Dude, you said to me what I’m now saying to you in a different situation.’ And Ruby was a lot hotter than Benny, so I should’ve had more understanding from you. Maybe I’m biased,” he laughs.
Sam and Benny don’t really get a chance to know each other before stuff hits the fan. “It’s a quick introduction,” says Jared. “Sam and Benny don’t get to go out, have a beer, figure out what’s what. It’s a very abrupt, unexpected, ‘Who is this?’ because Dean has never been real forthright with Sam about who he was talking to … but we see Sam kind of go, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Something’s not right.'”
We’d have gotten further into the subject, but as you can see from the video below… we were interrupted. (We didn’t hate it.) Tune in to “Supernatural” Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on The CW after “Arrow.”