Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

Sure, Sam and Dean have died a lot on Supernatural — but never like this! When the Mark of Cain transformed Dean (Jensen Ackles) into a demon at the end of the Season 9, fans had no idea what was next for the eldest Winchester.

Ahead of Tuesday's premiere (9/8, CW) showrunner Jeremy Carver  previews what to expect from Demon Dean, Sam's (Jared Padalecki) next move and whether death means anything on the show any more.

How does Demon Dean compare to the Dean we know?
Jeremy Carver:
 I think he's a better singer. He is probably much more carefree in the sense that he doesn't care about anything. He's not particularly loyal to anyone [or] anything. Whereas regular Dean, if he's anything, is loyal to a fault. We'll see the opposite in Demon Dean. I think you'll see a Demon Dean who is a much more questionable moral character than regular Dean, even though regular Dean has his moral failings. You'll see definite distinctions. I think the interesting part which we sort of explore is how much real Dean is still in there in terms of how much control does real Dean have over Demon Dean. And that's something we deal with head-on in certain circumstances and in some ways we leave it open to interpretation.

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How self-aware is he of who he was before and who he wants to be now?
Carver:
 In some places we talk about it and in other places it's left more to interpretation. Even the fans may say, "Whoa! Is that Demon Dean or is that a real demon?" And it's going to be OK to leave that open to interpretation in certain situations just because we personally think it's a little bit more interesting that way.

We've seen demons who are very likable. Will Demon Dean be empathetic?
Carver:
 I think he will be because he's Dean. It's a question we asked ourselves over and over as were scripting out Demon Dean. How far is too far? And I think Dean goes pretty far in ways that we might not expect. In some ways you'll definitely see flashes of real Dean that's in there and in some ways you'll wonder where real Dean's gone. So we really — enjoy might be the wrong word — but any time we get the chance to, through whatever means, making him a demon or not, to expand what the notion of what this overall character is in terms of the character of Dean Winchester, we always embrace it because it's fun and interesting and a challenge to do.

Dean's hair is different this season! Is this a Demon Dean thing?
Carver:
 That was very much by design. Demon Dean has different ideas of styling.

How will the Mark of Cain keep affecting him?
Carver:
 That will factor in in a big way. Just because you're cured of being a demon doesn't mean you've totally cured yourself of everything that ails you. So when Dean does come out of being a demon that's not the end of his troubles.

Sam is typically the one being saved. How does he react to this crisis?
Carver: I think Sam will respond pretty much in accordance with how we ended last season and the note we ended with these two brothers in contrast to how Sam reacted in Season 8 when he did not look for Dean. This time, given where their relationship has come, he's very much actively on the hunt to discover first and foremost what happened to his brother. Sam, at the beginning of the season, has no idea that Dean is a demon or how he got out of that room or frankly how he became alive after he was dead. So there's a lot of discovery for Sam. And I think in his relentless pursuit for his brother, Sam is going to make certain moral choices or decisions that help him track Dean down, which at the time will seem necessary in order to do what he needs. But once he's called on the carpet for these things, he'll begin to realize I think how morally depraved he was in certain situations as well. So it's going to be quite the conversation.

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The brothers have each died many times, so how do you keep the stakes high when death is taken off the table?
Carver:
 It's a good question. I'm trying to think of what that secret sauce might be because despite the fact that they've died many times, I'd like to think that the emotions of the moment or the status of their relationship has differed at these different moments and I think that's what keeps it compelling. This idea of where they are with each other at each moment of death as it were. And look, we've had certain episodes a la "Mystery Spot" where they've died hundreds of times. That doesn't make it any less painful. I think the moment they stop feeling the pain over one another's death or impending death is the moment where maybe we stop feeling it. So as long as there's that bond between these two men, I think we'll feel the pain of about everything they go through. I'm pretty sure.

Everyone was shocked when Kevin was killed last year. Should we be worried about another major character dying this season?
Carver:
 I think we always need to be worried. The Kevin death was one of the more shocking deaths I think we've done in the past few seasons. But yeah, if you're in the Winchesters orbit, there's an 89 percent chance of an early death.

What state will Castiel (Misha Collins) be in when we see him again?
Carver:
 The arc he goes on this year is really very interesting. Could I say that any more dryly, by the way? ... I sound like a librarian! But he's coming back this season and his grace is fading, he's dying and he very much wants to find Dean. But he's not hand in hand with Sam finding Dean for reasons we touch upon in the opener. So in some ways, he's very much a man in need of a mission and the mission that is handed to him becomes something very different, becomes something very personal and evolves over the course of the season, making Cas really take stock into really what this central mission of what being an angel on Earth is. Cas' story along with the boys stories and even Crowley's story this year are very, very  personal and that's very much by design. That we are taking a very personal look at all our major characters this year. And in that way, the mythology of the season is a bit of a slower build but I think that makes it even more powerful. Hopefully. That's the hope.

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

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