It's hard out there for a Sam fan.
Since getting possessed by Ezekiel, Sam (Jared Padalecki) has repeatedly been pushed out of the action on Supernatural this season to allow the angel to save the day (with the delightful exception of Sam's scenes with Crowley last week). And though with each use of his powers, Zeke — and thus, Sam — weakens a little more, Padalecki says Sam will get back in the fray soon.
"We do start to see that Zeke is healing Sam," Padalecki tells TVGuide.com. "We do see Sam start to not require so much help from Zeke and his brother. So we will gradually see more bits of Sam more often than Zeke in the upcoming episodes, which doesn't mean we won't see Zeke as well."
Though he was focused on translating the tablet last week, expect Sam's suspicions about the situation to resurface in full force. "Sam's no dumb cookie and even though Sam's not doing too hot, he can tell his brother's acting a little bit weird. And Ezekiel, every time this happens, is wiping Sam's brain and Sam's smart enough to go, 'Wait a second, how did I get here?'" Padalecki says. "The tension definitely rises because Sam is starting to catch on."
The brothers have kept secrets from each other in the past — including Dean's (Jensen Ackles) time at a home for delinquent boys, which Sam will learn about this week — but nothing on this scale. So it comes as no surprise when Ackles warns us that when the truth about Zeke does comes out, it won't be pretty. "It is starting to drive [Dean] a bit crazy and it gets to a point where it actually backfires on him," Ackles says. "In some way, shape or form, it's going to explode and the ugly truth will rear its head. At this point it's a battle that he is very begrudgingly having the fight."
In order to protect the secret of Sam's possession, Dean was forced to kick his only real (non-familial) friend Castiel (Misha Collins) out of the bunker, reducing the already small number of people Dean can confide in. Especially since he never knows when Zeke might be eavesdropping. "It's really kind of put Dean in a sticky situation because he can't be 100 percent with Sam and he can't be talking to some newfound stranger who just happens to be saving his brother's life theoretically," Ackles says.
Though Dean is hesitant to completely let his guard down around Zeke, the pair will begin to bond. "I think it's because Dean was so obviously and apparently vulnerable to Ezekiel. He had to basically say, 'Listen, fine. Just do whatever. Save my brother.' So Ezekiel's seen Dean's Achilles Heel," Padalecki explains. Part of their growing comfort around each other will also stem from the fact that Dean will learn — very soon, in fact — more about Ezekiel's motivations for offering his aid. And of course, Dean is willing to do pretty much anything at this point to keep Zeke around no matter what, because without him, Dean loses his one shot at saving his brother's life.
Though if Sam had his way in the first place, he wouldn't have a life to be saved. Even though Zeke wiped Sam's memory of his deal with Death, that doesn't change the fact that Sam was — and still may be — ready to die. "Those are feelings that he had before the memory loss and it might be feelings that he still has. And it's possible that we might still see those sacrificial feelings," Ackles teases.
"We definitely do see that Sam values his life, but he also values life. And kind of says, 'Why am I more important than this or than that?'" Padalecki adds. "And I think it's a good place for Sam to be and I think we'll certainly see more of Sam saying, 'Listen Dean, I think I've done my bit."
Do you think Sam has a point?
Supernatural airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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(Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams)