Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) Winchester have overcome some impossible odds over the years but when Supernatural returns for Season 14, they'll face their biggest threat yet: Michael. While the brothers are no strangers to the villainous archangel, Michael's possession of Dean changes things significantly, and Team Free Will will find themselves backed into a corner.
Their quest to stop Michael will be marred by a series of roadblocks including the fact that the only beings powerful enough to stop him are no longer in the game--Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is dead and Jack (Alexander Calvert) is now powerless. Plus, Sam will also juggle leading the Apocalypse World gang with day-to-day hunter duties while Castiel (Misha Collins) will take on a new role as Jack's mentor as the Nephilim grapples with being practically human.
With so much happening next season, we know it's a struggle to keep track. But don't worry, we've got you covered! Here's everything we know about the upcoming season of Supernatural so far.
Season 14 will be shorter. Supernatural has clocked in at 23 episodes every season since Season 7, but the upcoming season will be comprised of just 20 episodes -- and there's a very good reason for that: Ackles and Padalecki want to spend more time with their families.
"When Jared and I sit down and we talk about, 'Do we want to do this? Do we want to continue to do this?' It's not about the things that it's usually about when these kinds of conversations come up," Ackles said. "The conversation is quality of life. We both have families, it's more about how can we make our work-life balance a little better. And shaving a couple of episodes off gives us almost an extra month out of our year, which when you only get about a two-and-half-month hiatus, it goes by really quickly." We can't argue with that!
The season will be much more grounded. Rather than build toward an epic, end-of-the-world battle like they've done a million times before, this season will focus more on the emotional journeys of Sam, Dean, Castiel and Jack. "The season [is] probably a little smaller in scope than some of the other seasons we've done but a little heavier on the emotional stories," executive producer Robert Singer told TV Guide. Grab some tissues, it sounds like this season will be an emotional rollercoaster.
Michael's possession of Dean will have lasting effects. The driving force behind Season 14 will be the search for Dean, who is being possessed by the archangel Michael. With the elder Winchester MIA while Michael commits heinous acts using his body, Dean's eventual return (obviously he's returning) won't be an easy transition back to every day life. It's something he'll continue to deal with once Michael is ejected from his body."The question is when and how does he come back? And when he does, what did that experience with Michael, how did that affect him? I think that's something we're going to be dealing with for the remainder of the season," said Ackles.
Sam will struggle without his brother. With Dean missing, a gang of Apocalypse World hunters to lead and more innocent victims to save, Sam will have a full plate. He's going to struggle without his brother by his side supporting him. "Sam is just terrified. He just loves his brother, he worries about him. And now he doesn't have his main confidant to help him make decisions," said Padalecki.
Jack and Cas will be spending a lot of time together. Now that Jack has lost his powers, he has to cope with no longer being the strongest being in the room -- and that won't be an easy feat. The young Nephilim will find himself in a dark place this season, but he'll have support in Castiel, who knows exactly what he's going through. Cas will take Jack under his wing and teach him what it means to be human, bringing them even closer together.
"[Jack is] almost human and he has to deal with what a miserable experience it is to be human and to be unable to snap your fingers and solve problems magically. So Cas is in a unique position to help him with that because Cas went through that and has come out the other side," Misha Collins explained.
The Wayward Sisters will be back this season. Since The CW passed on their spin-off, Jodi Mills (Kim Rhodes) and the rest of the gang will be reincorporated back into Supernatural. In fact, Jodi is slated to appear at the beginning of the season! The sisters' eventual return will also tie up loose ends from the backdoor pilot, including whatever happened with that rift.
Along with some other familiar faces. Supernatural boss Andrew Dabb has confirmed to TV Guide that in addition to the Wayward Sisters, Rowena (Ruth Connell) will be back, as will Apocalypse World Bobby (Jim Beaver) and Charlie (Felicia Day). While Rowena will continue to be the troublemaking witch we know and love, Bobby and Charlie will be very different from the versions we knew in the real world, since they've been shaped by their experiences in Apocalypse World.
Supernatural returns for Season 14 on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8/7c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)