'Supernatural' returns: Jeremy Carver warns that it's not all fun and gamers and talks returning characters

supernatural-dean-charlie-pac-man-fever.jpgWe're pretty impressed that it's taken "Supernatural" eight seasons to get to the "If you die in the game, you die in real life" episode. In tonight's show, fan favorite Felicia Day returns as Charlie Bradbury. As usual, the episode plays to her strengths -- it's a geek's delight, complete with fun costumes, harrowing stunts, and a gamer premise ripped straight from a cheesy horror movie. (We say that affectionately, obviously.)

But executive producer Jeremy Carver warns that this might not be the silliest episode we've ever seen. In other words, don't expect to see Dean Winchester LARPing and laughing at the end of it.

"Let me say, I haven't seen all the promos, but while it might be being billed as a fun episode, it's actually a pretty heavy, surprising look into Charlie," Carver tells us. "What seems like it's going to be all fun and laughs turns into a very moving, heartfelt, and, in some ways, sad episode. I think it's pretty wonderful. We'll get a very deep look into her past and what makes her tick."

When Carver rejoined "Supernatural" as showrunner at the beginning of Season 8, he took a look at some of the show's successful secondary characters from past seasons, to figure out who would be best suited to advance Sam and Dean's storyline with return appearances this season. 

This is Day's second appearance in Season 8, and she's not the only returning character we've seen. As we've already revealed, several characters from the boys' previous hunts will be returning in "Clip Show."

"That's very much part of the story-pitching process," he says. "At the beginning of the season, we lay everyone out. We figure out who's alive, who's dead, and where everyone is. We talk about our favorite characters, who might have more to say to Sam and Dean, and who has loose ends to explore."

Krissy Chambers (Madison McLaughlin), who was in Season 7 as a hunter's daughter who forged a bond with Dean, recently returned for an episode, which revisited some of the parental instincts we've seen in Dean over the course of the entire series.

"Sometimes it's very deliberate, where someone falls in the story's arc, and sometimes we find our way back to someone over the course of the season. Krissy was really wonderful for us on the show before, and the time that she was gone, the actor had grown up some," Carver says. "It really lends itself to telling a story about what the relationship between Dean and this girl is going to be now that she's a teenager ... and now that she's more of a woman than a child." He laughs. "Listen, I went to summer camp for 8 years with all boys; I don't know how to talk about this stuff. But it was a very interesting premise, Dean having to accept that Krissy's all grown up."

Following that theme, of course, Carver decided to bring Misha Collins back into the fold as a full-time series regular next season. Collins, who guest starred in Season 4 and was a series regular in 5 and 6, was reduced to guest star status in Season 7 and 8.

In Season 9, fans can expect a much more in-depth look at Castiel's life, his relationships, and his choices. We'll come to understand him on a different level than we've seen before.

"One of the things you evaluate when you talk about bringing someone back in a big way is, whether there are new ways to be telling stories with this particular character," Carver says. "And I can't tell you much, but I can absolutely, definitively say that with Castiel -- yes, there's a new way to tell his story. We'll get a very large hint about that in the finale. I think fans are going to be really intrigued."

"Supernatural" returns with the final four episodes of the season, Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW
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