okay so i’m just going to try and parse a couple things out from what we actually know
so first of all:
- in the face stroking video (ahaha, i won’t go into that but suffice to say it’s a miracle i can still form thoughts), Misha says that when he found out about Jeremy’s ideas for Castiel overarching narrative this season, he felt relieved (his own emphasis)
- Misha also says in a similar interview that Cas’ mannerism will return more like to what it was in earlier seasons (i.e. i’d that that to mean before season 7)
- Dean gets out of purgatory a year later in real time (whether that’s a year in purgatory time is less certain, but i’d imagine it would be at least that)
- A monster from purgatory gets out with Dean that Dean will feel indebted to in a “volatile” way, indicating a certain tension in their relationship and a conflict in why Dean feels indebted to him. This character is indicated to have aided Dean’s escape.
- Everyone involved in the show is basically completely mum about when Cas comes back too, although most are quick to say we will see him in flashbacks pretty quickly—episode two actually, by Misha’s admission
- When asked about where Cas went when he disappeared on Dean in 7.23, not only is Misha excitably evasive, but everyone on the panel is
- Castiel will undergo some sort of physical/noticeable transformation/change in purgatory
- When asked about the chances of Dean and Cas repairing their friendship, Misha was firm in his expectation that it would be
- Jensen says Dean emerges from purgatory with a sense of clarity and drive that contrasts with Sam’s less focused hunting zeal because he’s spent a year living a “normal” life, like romancing Amelia
- Jensen says that Dean and Sam butt heads on approaches, where Dean wants to chase after Supernatural leads (he mentions Mayan deities?) and Sam wants to go after Kevin.
- It is also said that Dean is kind of taken aback that Sam settled down a bit and didn’t fervently look for him
- The Winchesters and Crowley get pulled into an Indiana Jones-esque race with each other to find something, multiple times has season 7’s theme been compare to Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Angels and demons come back into play, and although the season will be less mythology heavy as it has been, overarching mythology that could play out through many seasons will be introduced
based on what we do know, and based on what is i think safely inferable from what we know (e.g. that Dean and Cas spend a year in purgatory because it’s a year on the outside), i think we can sort of start to piece together a really broad picture of what the season may look like?
I think it’s not a stretch to say their time in purgatory between Dean and Castiel will be used to repair their friendship. In fact, not only is that the only logical narrative choice at this point, but also something i think that even as they were extremely vague for reasons i’m gonna comment on later, generally everyone involved on the show was talking very positively about this relationship. But it’s interesting you know, how immediately tight lipped anyone got when Castiel’s story arc was mentioned, which indicates to me two things: 1) it’s too important of a spoiler to give away, i.e. it’s vital to some sort of over arching plot, and 2) in terms of Castiel’s own character evolution there is something important that happens in purgatory that Misha can’t even be brought to say why Castiel disappeared on Dean, because there is that much story there behind even that simple disappearance. is Castiel’s disappearance then, which by the secrecy with which it’s talked about indicates there’s something behind that more than meets the eye, linked to his supposed “transformation”? How is Castiel affected by purgatory as a live angel in a place angels were never meant to tread?
At this point it’s also looking more and more like Dean gets out of purgatory without Castiel, meaning, I’d assume, that Cas is still stuck there when Dean escapes. Dean has tension with the monster he does escape with—because that monster took Castiel’s place on the ride out? Dean comes back from purgatory operating with a clarity this season, meaning he is focused, which happens when Dean is chasing a goal—a goal to get Cas out? I think it should also be noted that to describe Dean emerging from purgatory with a “clarity” suggests something… settled within him? and he spent most of season 7 being unsettled due to destruction, so maybe the reconstruction of Dean and Cas’ relationship helped to clarify his world view for him? Dean wants to chase after supernatural solutions instead of Kevin the prophet—supernatural solutions to his supernatural problem of purgatory? Dean can hardly believe Sam didn’t fervently look for him—because all he can think about right now is doing the same for Castiel? The season’s overarching plot is a quest narrative with a Raiders type theme, seemingly indicating more artefacts like the Word of God tablet are being sought after. Why are they being sought? Does Dean believe they can help Cas? What kind of power do they hold that humans and demons alike want to wield them?
okay so maybe those are more questions than answers, but i think being able to ask concrete questions at least gives us some sense of direction, and holy hell, am i excited for the direction this might take!