Last season on "Supernatural," Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) were at odds with their friend, the angel Castiel (Misha Collins) when he made a dubious deal with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) to find the hidden souls of Purgatory and use their power to crush a rebellion in Heaven that would have restarted the Apocalypse. In the end, Castiel betrayed Crowley and absorbed all of the souls himself.
Then, as a frightened Sam and Dean looked on with their mentor, Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), Castiel declared himself God and demanded that the Winchesters and Bobby bow down to him in reverence or be instantly destroyed.
And in the very first scene from the seventh season (courtesy of The CW), we see who's willing to drop to their knees and if it makes any difference to the newly empowered Castiel...
Earlier this week, "Supernatural" executive producers Sera Gamble and Robert Singer held a press conference interview (via AOL TV) and dropped more than a few hints about whether Castiel will be the Big Bad going forward.
"I think [Castiel] totally bought into what he was doing at the end of last year," noted Singer. "Eric [Kripke] used to like to say, 'Every villain is a hero of his own story.' [Castiel] totally believed in what he was doing and believed that it was the right thing -- there was a certain amount of hubris and ego there that was probably misplaced, but I don't think he counted on what happened to him and I think there's just sort of that life lesson there of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"Cas realizes in [the season premiere] that he has more to prove than he thought," added Gamble. "I think if you kind of look at this from his perspective, he had friends that he stuck up for and he gave up everything for, over and over again for a long time, and they didn't stand by him. So, some of his actions in this episode are kind of about proving them wrong. He digs himself in a bit deeper because of that."
As for the two Winchester brothers, Dean will be reunited with Jo (Alona Tal), when he is placed on trail for his life by Osiris, the Egyptian God of the Afterlife.
"[Osiris] weighs your heavy heart against a feather and if your heart is heavier than the feather, then he does you in," noted Singer. "It's all about carrying guilt and that sort of thing, not just 'do I feel bad?' but 'do I feel guilty?' That's kind of the big turning point episode for his arc this year ... kind of a kick off for a real kind of good run for Jensen. He's in a different place, I think, than he's been in previous seasons."
Sam's memories of his time in Hell will also continue to haunt him this year as his mental state deteriorates.
"It comes out pretty quickly that [Sam] is dealing with this awful wall-breaking, hallucinatory situation, which escalates really, really dramatically in the next episode, which Ben Edlund wrote," said Gamble. "It becomes something that Dean is trying to deal with and Bobby is trying to deal with and it was an interesting thing to throw at him... The [second] episode kind of discusses how this is Sam facing that moment as a hunter where he's just been through so much he might just be losing his marbles for good and there's no amulet he can wear for that. He could try Prozac maybe, and that doesn't sound so good to him. It's just this intersection between the real world of what happens when somebody is in an awful job for a long time, and the supernatural, which was interesting to us."
Gamble and Singer also dropped hints about another time travel story finding one of the brothers stuck in the '40s, while also teasing the return of Crowley and some new allies including a hunter named Garth who will be played by DJ Qualls.
Don't miss the season premiere of "Supernatural" on Friday, September 23 on The CW!