The war between the angels heats up on Tuesday’s (May 13) penultimate Season 9 episode of “Supernatural,” and at the heart of it all is reaper Tessa (Lindsey McKeon).
That’s right, after three seasons, Dean’s favorite reaper is returning to The CW drama, but she doesn’t come bearing good news. In fact, she might be causing more problems for Castiel, Dean and Sam instead of helping them fix the current state of things. Maybe she’s the mole within Castiel’s ranks …
McKeon called Zap2it to talk about returning to “Supernatural” after a few years away, what Tessa’s return means for Team Free Will, and other, unseen, unintended consequences that everyone on Earth has had to deal with since the gates to heaven shut. Check out the full Q&A below.
Zap2it: I’m so excited for your big return to Supernatural this week!
Lindsey McKeon: Thank you, so am I! I just love this character. She’s one of them most exciting characters for me to play and this time, she gets to be even more edgy than normal. Some people think that Tessa’s always a bit tough, this time she has even more of a little edge and bite to her.
Well that sounds awesome. We haven’t seen Tessa since Season 6. What was it like returning to the show after a couple years away?
Yeah, it was about three years ago. It’s always easy and always a joy to return. Jensen [Ackles] and I have been acquaintances for the last 15 or so years, so going back to work with him is like seeing an old buddy. The crew remembers me, the director Guy Bee is great and everybody is always so friendly. It’s such an easy work environment to go back to.
Confession time: As excited as I am to see Tessa return, I’m also nervous, because where’s there a reaper, obviously there’s death …
[laughs] That’s what everybody says! Why is everyone so afraid of me? I’m the nicest reaper around, come on!
But really: Should fans be worried about your return?
If they want to be! [laughs] I think they should be nervous, anxious, intrigued and excited.
Tell me a little about this week’s episode, “Stairway to Heaven,” and why Tessa’s back.
She is back because she’s working with Castiel and there’s obviously this war going on between the angels. She is caught in between it all, and she’s also stuck in this world where she can’t do what she’s earth-bound to do. It’s very frustrating to her, not to be able to do her job.
Why can’t she do her job?
Well, heaven and hell are locked up, right?
Just heaven is, yeah. Hell’s still open.
Okay, yeah, so when she can’t reap her souls and get them to where they’re supposed to be, they are in turn a bit stuck and quit possibly tortured. For someone whose only duty in the realm is to do that, and she’s not able to do it, it is very unsettling to her. She doesn’t have the same abilities that she’s always had, and it’s a very tumultuous place to be.
Oh wow, that’s right. That’s interesting, because so far we’ve only seen how heaven being locked up has affected the angels. We haven’t really seen how it might affect others like humans who die, or reapers, or anything like that. I hadn’t even thought about that!
Right, exactly! And when we’re all stuck in the same place, it makes everything very confusing.
According to the official episode synopsis, Tessa is at the heart of a conspiracy against Castiel. What can you tell me about how Tessa’s motivations are influenced by her current state?
She might be easily confused and possibly manipulated, or maybe she knows better and is making some very specific choices anyway.
Okay … Very mysterious …
I know! [laughs] I’m trying to say something without saying something. [laughs] It’s difficult.
Tessa has always had a closer relationship with Dean than Sam. How is their complicated relationship going to change in this week’s episode, especially given all the effects of the First Blade from which Dean is currently suffering?
Hmm. Well, they’ve always had a love/hate relationship. But they do adore and respect and understand one another, except for the fact that they’re both working for different reasons and very different teams, and that causes them to bicker with each other. This week, that’ll the same, but on both sides it might be more exacerbated. Dean is a little more self-righteous than normal and Tessa is almost more human-like when trying to get him to understand her side.
What are you most excited for fans to see from this week’s episode?
Our huge make-out sesh.
[laughs] No. I’m interested for them to see Tessa dabble in darkness and really connect to why she does it and feel compassion and understanding for that.
“Supernatural” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.