They say that when you hit rock bottom, there’s no other way to go but up. Same probably goes for the opposite. When you’ve already tackled something over the top, maybe it’s time to rinse and repeat. Supernatural could do just that. What could be a more supernatural topic than the ultimate conflict between light and dark—the conflict between God Himself and His estranged sister, The Darkness? God is the alpha and the omega so there’s not exactly a mom and dad is there? So where can Supernatural go after writing itself in a very high corner? Most likely, back to basics. The basics, many fans agree on is the monster-of-the-week format with lesser emphasis on a world-ending menace and a closer look at the characters.
“We’re getting back to our roots a little bit, the kind of stories we’re going to tell this year … I think we don’t have as big an uber story as we did last year, After all, it’s hard to top God,”
— Robert Singer, Supernatural Executive Producer, The CW
Except the basics will include a few complications. First, season 11 ended with the return of Mary Winchester, Sam and Dean’s mom. Unlike their grandfather Samuel Campbell who took advantage of the enhanced hunting talents of Soulless Sam, Mary Campbell Winchester may not entirely approve of the family business since it was the reason she wanted to run off with John Winchester in the first place. Her desire of a normal family life for her and her boys, coupled with maternal instinct could throw a wrench into the well-oiled engine of the Impala. Not to mention the awkwardness resulting from absentee parent syndrome. Mary knows Dean a little bit but doesn’t know Sam at all. Sam himself was at odds with John since John was absent most of his young life. It’s tough, and this author personally attests to that. Then again, it’s TV. Anything could happen, and Mary Winchester can very well replace Kevin as the bunker’s mainstay or go back to her hunter roots and even join the boys on the hunt.
“It presents a dynamic we haven’t had… When mom [died], Sam was a baby and Dean was a child… The children that she knew are now men, the relationship is kind of nonexistent, so it’s going to be an interesting situation of them trying to bridge the gap that occurred over the last thirty-some years… How is she going to plug herself into their lives? Is that going to leave the brothers vulnerable? For the longest time, the way to get to one of them was if you trap or make one suffer, the other comes running. Now there’s a third element in the mix that could make the guys more vulnerable.”
— Jensen Ackles
Speaking of the hunt, according to Robert Singer, Sam would be absent in the first two episodes courtesy of Lady Toni and Dean would be hunting for Sam very likely joined by Castiel or Mary Winchester. It’s a predictable aspect of the show, the brothers not staying apart for very long, so Mr. Singer didn’t bother to hide it at Comic Con, but it would still be fun to see the events play out. The brothers will also be tying up the loose end called Lucifer in the first half of the season. We can expect a bunch of personalities since Lucifer doesn’t pick generic meat suits. The first will be Rick Springfield. Hopefully, we get to see Nick (Mark Pellegrino) again as Lucifer’s base form.
Another complication would be the British Men of Letters who seem to know so much more and are more proactive than their American counterparts. Lady Toni banished Castiel with ease using the angel banishing sigil that only angels and the boys were so far privy to. They even seemed composed while the world was ending or that was simply a display of English bravado. Should the world survive the catastrophe, there will be hell to pay.
“The British Men of Letters are “very organized, very by-the-book… They see everything in black and white. Either you’re good or you’re evil, if you’re evil, you’re gone … They view the American hunters as just this patchwork of loonies out there, picking their own missions and leaving collateral damage. It’s just not the British way, so they’ll bump heads pretty hard in the course of the season… The British Men of Letters play a big part, and ultimately, they and the Winchesters will butt heads because their methodology is way different than our guys, the way they do work,”
— Robert Singer
Will the British Men of Letters play conservationists and interfere with the brothers’ work as they are known to be just chroniclers of the supernatural, or will they interfere in the worst way and run the brothers to the ground like the Leviathans did? And since they’ll be dealing with the British, the boys might do some location shoots in the UK and get to gank the ghost of Jack the Ripper.
Also, it would be interesting to know the fate of the other supporting cast. After God and the Darkness, what’s next for Castiel? If there’s anything disappointing about the 11th season finale, it’s Castiel’s deadpan behavior around God Himself after Lucifer was ejected, unlike Metatron’s fanboy attitude when God revealed Himself. I’ll have to say that Metatron’s redemption was classic. According to Misha Collins, Castiel might form a bond with Mary Winchester due to her inevitable outsider status and probably pave the way for a relationship with the brothers. Crowley meanwhile will also be on the hunt for Lucifer as revenge for what happened in hell, according to Mark Sheppard. Season 12’s family oriented focus will also show the fate of Crowley’s mother Rowena as well as his son Gavin. Crowley and Rowena could team up since Rowena has enough arcane knowledge in her arsenal to tickle The Darkness.
With more monster-of-the-week episodes, dysfunctional families and work-related problems, Supernatural fans are in for an interesting 12th season.