The CW's "Supernatural" (Fridays at 9 p.m. ET) seems to pride itself on putting its characters through the wringer. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) have both been to hell and back, literally, while their angelic sidekick, Castiel (Misha Collins), has been exploded multiple times, fallen victim to Leviathan possession and is currently suffering from Lucifer-centric hallucinations ... Needless to say, they're all long overdue for a vacation.
The May 4 episode -- "Reading Is Fundamental," written and directed by genre favorite Ben Edlund -- sees Castiel awaken from his catatonic state not a moment too soon; a new prophet has been activated, and there are archangels on his tail, leaving him in desperate need of some divine intervention. HuffPost TV has an exclusive sneak peek at the episode below and last week, we caught up with Misha Collins to find out what's coming up for the ever-evolving Castiel, including his relationships with Dean, Sam, Meg and Crowley.
Light spoilers ahead.
The May 4 episode has Castiel waking up from his coma. What state is he going to be in, mentally and physically, when Sam and Dean arrive?
Well, once again he’s not going to be the same old Cas. I mean, essentially now he has a broken wall. And he, in some ways, deals with that very well, and others not well at all. One of the bonuses, I guess for an angel, is that an angel with a broken wall is kind of an enlightened being. He sees the absurdity of the universe in its true light. But that makes him a little bit less efficacious when it comes to helping, because he doesn’t really care as much.
I'm not sure how much the show is going to delve into this narratively, so can you expand on what exactly Castiel took out of Sam, in terms of the Lucifer hallucinations? Are Castiel's fears and insanity now causing them, or is it Sam's unique craziness transferred to Cas, or is it truly Lucifer?
Well, it's really actually a little bit of all of the above ...
Oh dear. But it sounds like the hallucinations won't be too much of a hindrance in the last couple of episodes in terms of Castiel's involvement. Is this something he can recover from without lasting damage?
I don’t know about that ... No. Maybe not. I don't know. I mean, it definitely does affect him. It’s not like he can muscle through. He behaves certainly differently now, and I don’t know how lasting that’s going to be.
Let's talk about how this new version of Castiel interacts with Sam and Dean individually in the last few episodes -- Dean and Cas had kind of a bittersweet reunion. Has that evolved in the last run of episodes?
It's still strained. And there's, I think, more of Dean sort of biting his tongue now. But I think that there is a little bit of reconciliation coming at the end of the season.
What about Sam, since Cas did him a solid and took his craziness away?
I think he's a little bit more, you know ... forgiving.
Sam and Dean made the dubious decision of leaving Meg to watch over Castiel. Can you talk about how their stories tie together in upcoming episodes?
Yes, she’s become sort of a helper. It is strange bedfellows once again. But you know, we're used to that. Again, of course, it’s a strained relationship. Cas likes her ... Sam and Dean have a little more trouble with her. [Laughs.]
We know that the guys are going to encounter a new prophet called Kevin. Can you reveal anything about his storyline?
Kevin is an unlikely prophet. The casting is as close as I would imagine to the opposite of what you would imagine a prophet to be.
So, like Chuck, but even weirder?
More so, yes. Or maybe you can say, Kevin is to prophet as Chuck is to God.
Cas and Crowley weren't on the best terms at the beginning of the season. Is there anything you can tease about their interactions towards the end of the season?
Well, they will be ultimately collaborating; although that is, of course, also a strained relationship. [Laughs.] There’s a lot of fence mending to go on, I guess.
A lot of fans were desperate to see Castiel redeemed in some way, and I know you felt the same the last time we talked. Do you feel like his return arc has achieved that?
Yes. I mean, it's not 100 percent satisfying, but let's just say that he's been put on the path to redemption.
Have you had any discussions about your involvement in Season 8 [which was announced shortly after this interview took place]?
Yes -- those discussions are occurring. Nothing is solid, but yes.
What, in your opinion, would be a happy ending for Castiel?
Hmm, I don’t know ... It would be nice to have him go off into the sunset with a sense of purpose in his life. Maybe he falls, becomes totally human. And has a good job -- let’s say at McDonald's or something like that -- that he can look forward to everyday. [Laughs.] That would be totally satisfying.
Your charity, Random Acts, is planning a return trip to Haiti this year to continue work on the Jacmel Children's Center you're funding -- can you talk a little bit about that?
Yes, we are going back to Haiti again this year. And people have got their fundraising pages going on Crowdrise, and it's actually going really well down there. The project, it looks like we are going to be expanding it. We had a one-story building and now we are going to be doubling the size and making it a two-story, 14,000 square foot structure, and it’s just going to accommodate a lot more kids. It’s great, so yeah, if people want to check it out they can go to the website and see what we are doing. And we also have Colin Ferguson, a star of "Eureka," joining us down there. And some other really great people, so the family is growing.
Have you been doing anything else, aside from the Haiti fundraising, in your time off?
I’ve been doing some writing projects. I’m actually working on getting a web series off the ground called "TSA America: Level Orange." It's a comedy web series with short episodes that all take place at a TSA checkpoint. I'm writing and producing it, and I'll be acting in it as well, so that should keep me busy. We are going to shoot in the summer, and it will be probably ready for viewing in the fall.
Check out our exclusive sneak peek below and tell us: Are you excited to see more of Castiel? How do you think this new prophet will tie into the story?
"Supernatural" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.