This week' s"Supernatural" (Wed., Dec. 5 at 9 p.m. EST on The CW) also serves as the show's midseason finale, which means we won't get another new episode until 2013. (Sure, that's only a month away, but we're traumatized nonetheless). And forearmed with the knowledge that the episode ends with a cliffhanger, we're certain that the hour, titled "Citizen Fang," must have something spectacular in store for us.
When The Huffington Post visited the Vancouver-based set of "Supernatural" in early November, we suspected that Episode 9 would be a big one. Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) and Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) preview it for us in the exclusive video you can view above.
We know that the story centers around Dean's vampire ally Benny (Ty Olsson), and Sam's suspicion that the bloodsucker might be falling back into old habits, despite Dean's insistence that his Purgatory pal is on the straight and narrow.
In HuffPost TV's recent interview with Ty Olsson, the actor reiterated his passion for tonight's episode, admitting that by the end of the hour, "We care for Benny ... quite a bit."
He added, "I think we see again a lot about Benny’s conflict about trying to fit in and not really having a place that he belongs ... being this predatory vampire who’s trying to deny that urge, but also not being able to fit in with the human population at all ... We see [his world] briefly expand and we have hope that Benny is going to find some happiness and then we see all these problems arise and we see his world shrink again ... I think it’s a touching story and I think it’s a heartfelt story. We empathize for his torment, his being torn between worlds. It’s a great episode."
Ackles confirmed that the story "is going to push the brothers into a bit of a more strained situation than there already is, and that will definitely come to a head a bit in this episode." He added, "[It's] great because I think that it’s been a really good element building since the beginning of the season and you don’t want to drag it out too long, you don’t want to cash it in too quickly. I think it’s a good time to catch a glimpse of what that’s about."
Padalecki agreed that although the brothers got some of their issues out in Episode 6, "it was really just a road bump," on a longer path to tonight's episode. "We’re certainly not completely clear with each other yet or acquainted with each other yet and there will be a few more steps of kind of getting in each other’s face suntil we finally come to terms," he added.
Still, that brotherly friction hasn't dampened the actors' enthusiasm for the season. According to Padalecki, "There’s some really great episodes coming up, and that sounds like such a cliché thing to say like, as an actor on a show, ‘Hey, these are really great episodes,’ but I’m so happy with them and so proud of our arc." Ackles agreed, admitting that the new season has been "refreshing."
Earlier this week, HuffPost TV also had the opportunity to talk to executive producer Jeremy Carver about what's ahead this season, particularly relating to the events of "Citizen Fang." Although the showrunner was wary about spoiling too much for fans, especially beyond tonight's cliffhanger, he certainly teased enough to whet our appetites ...
When I was on set, the guys mentioned that their issues come back up again very soon. Can you talk about how we might see that play out in Episode 9?
Things absolutely come to a head this episode. It’s the midseason finale ... Everything that’s been an issue -- and in particular you’ve got Benny, and to a lesser extent, Amelia -- absolutely comes to the fore in very specific and different ways this episode, which really challenges the boys in terms of their relationship. It gets pretty hairy and pretty emotional. So, that’s what [Episode] 9 is all about. There will be a point after this in which the boys sort of have to, in their way, confront all of this and decide basically how they’re going to find their way forward again. That will definitely happen in the upcoming episodes as well.
As you said, Sam obviously has the ongoing Amelia arc and those flashbacks, but Dean's individual arc with Purgatory seems to have wrapped up for the moment. Does he have another specific arc coming up in the next batch of episodes?
Dean may be out of Purgatory but he still has to deal with Benny. Benny is the major sticking point here in Episode 9. So, without going into too much detail, dealing with the Benny issue is front and center for the near future for Dean.
I've been very interested in your numerous teases about "reality versus perception" in the early part of this season, especially in regards to Sam's arc. Can you expand on how that theme currently ties to his storyline -- or perhaps doesn't?
As of right now, I think if I had to say one thing, I would say Episode 9 might sort of focus on the fans’ perception of what they expect this relationship to be and not to be. The fact of the matter is, I think fans have lots of speculation when it comes to Sam and Amelia and what it might or might not be. I think, certainly, Episode 9 deals with that in a way that gives some answers to that. I think hopefully in the same heartfelt and emotional way that we’ve been dealing with it from the beginning of the season. So, that’s how I would address the perception issue in the immediate future.
What about the heavenly agenda and the introduction of Naomi (Amanda Tapping)? What does that mean for Castiel coming up?
I can’t say too much. I mean, we did not leave Cas in a particularly good place and we’ll absolutely be revisiting that and bringing him back into the story with some force. But that’s as specific as I can get right now.
I was on set for Episode 12, which involves the Winchesters' paternal grandfather, Henry [Gil McKinney]. What can you reveal about that story, in broad strokes?
I think one of the real fun parts of the show is the way, over the years, we’ve built in these holes in the family tree. I think we’re giving the same treatment to this character of Henry and what the boys discover ... Again, I think it answers a lot of questions, if there were more questions that needed to be answered in terms of the overall family. [It] answers in another way why these families may have been fated to be together, the Campbells and the Winchesters. It also speaks to one of the brothers in particular in terms of finding his place in the family mythology. It resonates across several levels for the characters, the show and then the ongoing mythology.
Going back to "Citizen Fang" ... what will it reveal about Benny that we might not know already?
I can’t really say much, except you will learn even more about the character -- as we start to unpeel him -- more and more, things that make him a fun character, a multidimensional, deep character that I think, at least, is resonating with us on the show.
What's coming up in terms of Crowley [Mark Sheppard] and Kevin [Osric Chau], since all we currently know is that the Trans are chilling on Garth's [D.J. Qualls'] houseboat?
We will be seeing them fairly soon. I have to be a little bit nonspecific about what’s coming up. There is a breakthrough coming in terms of the reading of the tablet.
The past couple of episodes, "Hunteri Heroici" especially, featured a few nice nods to John [Jeffrey Dean Morgan]. Will that continue?
I think what’s important is -- to speak not just to John but to speak to Mary also -- part of what drives the questions in terms of closing the gates of Hell is what effect demons have had on their family ...It’s very important to us to keep that pot boiling in terms of the desire to right the past wrongs.
"Supernatural" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW. New episodes resume in January 2013
Do you think Benny has started killing again? Do you think that Sam's relationship with Amelia is exactly as it seems? Will Sam and Dean end "Citizen Fang" on better terms? Share your predictions and speculation below!