Castiel returns to Supernatural tonight (The CW, 9/8c), but his state of mind and his relationship with the Winchesters are both in precarious shape.
However, all three — as well as demon Meg (guest star Rachel Miner) — will have to pull it together to complete a mission.
“They’re hunting for a tool that will help them decipher the demon tablet,” previews Castiel’s portrayer, Misha Collins. But “that statement, while true, is also misleading,” so don’t be surprised if there’s a twist or two — and a couple of lies unraveled!
Below, the actor talks about the “anger” coloring Cas and the brothers’ reunion, the toll of Naomi’s mind games and a surprisingly “tender” moment between two characters. Plus, Collins reveals what terrifies him about directing an episode next season (hint: It’s very, very tall).
TVLINE | It’s a been a little while since we’ve seen Castiel. What state is he in when he resurfaces?
He’s fairly thoroughly programmed at this point by Naomi for her bidding. So he is, for all intents and purposes, an automaton, but he keeps up appearances pretty well. Sam and Dean can tell there’s something a little off with him, but it doesn’t seem like he’s full robot.
TVLINE | The last episode ended with Dean praying for him, and Castiel not responding. So how do the brothers, in particular Dean, react to his reappearance?
With caution and skepticism for the most part. In fact, I would add one more adjective: Anger. It’s not exactly a warm welcome, but they have a shared objective, which they collaborate [on] to achieve. In spite of the fact that Sam and Dean don’t trust Cas and are pissed at him, they know that he’s a valuable ally in pursuing this objective.
TVLINE | There are a lot of secrets and lies between Cas and Dean and Sam right now. How is this episode going to shake up those relationships?
Some of the lying will come to light. There will be some resolution.
TVLINE | Meg is also back in this episode, and she and Cas have a complicated history. What’s their dynamic like in this episode?
They are actually happy to work with one another again and actually have a remarkably tender moment between one another, as well. It’s unusual for the show.
TVLINE | Will we see Cas make more of a push to fight back against Naomi’s control?
Part of what we’ll see is the losing side of Castiel’s head fighting against the programming.
TVLINE | She’s really messing with his mind. So will there be a psychological or physical toll to what she’s doing to him?
Pretty much everything that Cas goes through has a psychological and physical toll. I was going to say I’m surprised he’s still alive. But he shouldn’t be. He’s been killed four or five items now on the show. But yes, as per usual, there will be some scar tissue.
TVLINE | Since she’s messing with his memories, I’m imagining a scenario where he can’t really tell what’s real and what’s not anymore. Is that something he’s dealing with?
Yes. And that’s something that we will learn even more about in subsequent episodes.
TVLINE | Benny’s also coming back soon. Is there going to be an opportunity for Benny and Cas’ paths to cross again?
TVLINE | I was wondering: Does Cas know about Sam and Dean’s Men of Letters history? Is he aware of that?
It’s something that he will learn about. But it’s not something that, as far as I know at this point, is either forefront or [that he] knows about. Or maybe [he] is only peripherally aware of it or maybe doesn’t care about it. I don’t know. But it’s, so far, not something that’s been in…Cas’ storyline.
TVLINE | So he doesn’t get to spend any time in the bunker?
I didn’t say that.
TVLINE | And on top of being a series regular next season, which is great news, you’re also going to direct an episode. What excites – or scares – you most about directing the show?
What excites me most…is that I get to direct an episode of a show where the whole crew is going to be really supportive and I know them. They’re going to be happy to help me along the way. To me, it’s very comforting to know that I’ve got an entire crew that has my back. What’s stressful about it is that, unfortunately, Sam, played by Jared Padalecki, is in every episode. I’m going to have to direct Jared, and he’s going to do everything in his power to make my job a living hell. [Laughs] That’s what excites me and scares me most.
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