Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki

Somebody get Dean (Jensen Ackles) a box of tissues, a bottle of whiskey and some serious ammo, because the eldest Winchester is hurting bad when Supernatural returns Tuesday.

But Dean doesn't have time to sit around and mope. He's got to get his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) back and avenge the tragic death of Kevin (Oscric Chau). Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver chatted with TVGuide.com about exactly how Dean plans on pull it all off. Plus: He tells us what's next for Castiel (Misha Collins) now that he has his grace back, what Gadreel's real intentions are and more.

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No one saw Kevin's death coming. Can you talk about the decision to kill him and how it affects things going forward?
Carver: We were basically like, "How can we screw with people the most?" [Laughs] The thing is, we came to this with heavy hearts, but it was where the story took us. He's one of the most beloved characters for us to write for and have in the show so... it was not done with any glee. But it would take a towering death to have a certain effect on Dean that would affect the brother's relationship in a way that we're moving. And unfortunately it's his.

Now that Kevin's dead, will we encounter the new prophet this season?
Carver: That will be addressed. There's this outstanding question of when one prophet goes, another is sent in his or her place. So it is addressed.

How is Dean handling everything emotionally?
Carver: Dean is understandably crushed by that death and being betrayed by Gadreel. And I think he feels incredibly guilty about all of this and incredibly determined to right his wrongs. Which then gets him on a path of making certain alliances I think he wouldn't have needed if things had gone a little tighter.

Speaking of weird alliances, Dean and Cas are teaming up with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) to expel Gadreel in Tuesday's episode. How does that go?
Carver: In the vein of the best buddy-cop comedies, it's zany. I think that's one of the alliances I'm speaking to,and it is predictably tense and funny at the same time [because] in having such unlikely cohorts, it cant help but spill over into fighting and sarcasm. But on the deeper level, it's a very interesting thing because Crowley is going through his own thing this season. So, a lot of our major characters this season are going through something of a personal crisis. And to watch these guys puff themselves up almost playing the roles they're accustomed to playing with each other, that façade drops away eventually and we get some really really interesting interactions between some characters that wouldn't normally open themselves up to each other.

Are we going to see more of Dean and Crowley working together in the future?
Carver: You might...

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What can you tell me about who Gadreel really is and what his intentions are?
Carver: Well, we introduced one element of who he was...  in terms of having been the guard at the Garden of Eden. He let the serpent in and made one enormous mistake that had him thrown into prison — angel jail, if you will. So, we thought the angel that Metatron exploits in Episode 9 is an angel who has been locked away for a millennia and who is probably desperate to reclaim his name and his image. That he may be doing so in not the best way will be his cross to bear. He's an interesting guy who we're only going to learn more and more about as the season progresses.

Castiel stole another (evil!) angel's grace. Will we see consequences of having a grace that isn't his?
Carver: First off, by having his grace again and being an angel, Cas is going to find himself back in the fray in a heavier way than he maybe even thought. And he's going to have to face certain decisions sooner than later that involve the angel war that is going on. He will be heavily influenced by his time spent as a human. In terms of having another angel's grace in him, it's something he's not necessarily focused on, but it's something that he may have to deal with in the future.

How will Cas' time as a human change him and his outlook going into the war?
Carver: We deal with it rather directly in an episode coming up, so I don't want to take words out of his mouth. But I just have to say that it's impossible for Cas to live his life as an angel the same way as before having been a human. There are lessons and feelings that he had as a human that absolutely influence the decisions he makes as an angel today, not always to the best and not always for the worst. But he is a forever-changed angel.

Are there any standalone episodes coming up you can tease?
Carver: We have an episode [airing Jan. 28] where we finally get an answer to where Garth [DJ Qualls] has been. We're going to have an episode where the boys are working a case that seems to have been hijacked by The Ghostfacers. We are going to have a few episodes that dive into some really juicy history regarding the Men of Letters and we're going to meet some great overall characters that were associated with the Men of Letters back in the day.

You've previously mentioned that the introduction of Cain [Timonthy Omundsen] in Episode 11 was going to inspire a new story line this season. Can you expand on that?
Carver: He's a fascinating character with a fascinating past, and we put something of a twist on what is considered to be... known history ... He's a wonderful character and he does sprout some wonderful mythology for us to be dealing with as the season continues.

Is it going to be tied into the war for Heaven?
Carver: I think we're going to see everything, all these different strains, starting to be tied together as the season progresses.

Supernatural returns Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW.

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