The fifteenth and final season of Supernatural is only days away from premiering on The CW, and the end being nigh may mean that all bets are off about what the show can do and who it can bring back. Nobody is ever really gone on Supernatural, what with all the ghosts and resurrections and alternate worlds. With a few exceptions -- notably including Sam, Dean, and Castiel -- the returning characters often don't come back under the best circumstances. The same will be true in Season 15, according to co-showrunner Andrew Dabb.
Considering that the big bad of Season 15 is none other than God (a.k.a. Chuck, who has been playing games with the Winchesters from the very beginning), there aren't many limits to what he can do now that the Winchesters have made an enemy of him. Andrew Dabb revealed that God will bring back some characters from days gone by, and he won't have the best motivation for doing so. Here's how Dabb put it:
Because it’s our last season, we are not afraid to bring back people who we love or who the guys have some history with, because even if it’s a character from season 3 or 4 or 7 or 8, the Sam and Dean they knew are not the same Sam and Dean as they’re encountering right now. This Sam and Dean have been through a lot more. And God’s playing with them a little bit, he’s toying with them. He’s pulling these old familiar faces out in some ways to see what they do. And it’s fun for him.
Not many shows can refer to "old familiar faces" while discussing a season as late as 7 or 8! Supernatural managed to bring back John Winchester, who died way back in Season 2, for a major role in the 300th episode, so it tracks that the final season will be stacked with long-gone characters. This may bode well for Jeffrey Dean Morgan's comments about when he wants to reprise his role as John again, and Lauren Cohan's remarks about returning as her long-dead Supernatural character!
We already saw John's reactions to his sons all grown up in Season 14, as well as Mary's when she as resurrected and kept alive for a while previously. Andrew Dabb's statements to EW don't exactly say that God is bringing back familiar faces to hurt Sam and Dean, but rather to "see what they do." He's still playing with them, and it seems that Sam and Dean catching on to his game didn't ruin the fun for him. And they will lose some people this season, so maybe seeing some people they lost will be good in a kind of twisted way for them!
Fans will have to wait and watch to find out who exactly will return after many years absent, but a photo from the third episode of Season 15 confirms one person who will be back: Kevin Tran. Take a look!
Kevin Tran! Well, he's looked better than he does in the dirty shirt he's wearing in this promo pic, but he also looks pretty great for a guy who died back in Season 9. Admittedly, while Kevin returned following his death, he did eventually make it to Heaven. Apparently, he's somebody who will return to the world of the living somehow now that God is blatantly messing with the Winchesters!
The episode featuring Osric Chau (who recently landed a role in the Arrow-verse) as Kevin Tran will be called "Raising Hell" and air as Episode 3 of Season 15, when the Winchesters and Castiel call on Rowena to help keep evil souls at bay, with an unexpected assist from Ketch. The official episode description doesn't reveal Kevin's role, and viewers presumably won't find out until Episode 3.
The good news is Andrew Dabb also explained that some familiar faces will be back sooner than Episode 3, which will air on October 17. Commenting on how Sam and Dean will be feeling after the gates of Hell were opened despite all of their hard work for a decade and a half, the co-showrunner said this:
I don’t think they’re feeling great. It doesn’t invalidate what they’ve done. They still saved a lot of people and that stands, but at the same time, a lot of the ghosts they’ve taken care of who were sent down to hell are back and we’ll see that in the first episode with the return of some old faces.
So, who will be back in the Season 15 premiere? We can really only speculate at this point. Actors like Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan have expressed their interest in returning in the final season, but I have my doubts that Supernatural would deliver Morgan at least so early in the season. That said, there is no shortage of characters who died over the years of Supernatural. One or both incarnations of Ruby are conceivable, given that Genevieve Cortese married Jared Padalecki and Katie Cassidy is a series regular on a different CW TV show.
Personally, I'd love to see Adrianne Palicki reprise her role as Jessica for Season 15, but there is the little problem of Jessica dying when she was in her early 20s. While Palicki looks great, I'm not sure she could pass for what Jessica looked like when she debuted and died in the Supernatural pilot back in 2005! Still, Jessica's death was the key to Sam agreeing to start saving people and hunting things again; a return from her would bring the show full circle, and maybe deliver that "version of peace" that Jared Padalecki teased.
The other pivotal death to the series from the very beginning was of course Mary Winchester, so it would make sense for her to return to the show at least once more. That said, Mary's exit was just about as peaceful as possible for a woman who has had as rough a ride as she has. While it would be great to see Mary again, I prefer knowing that she's happy in Heaven. Will God let her stay that way? That may be the biggest question about whether her death really will stick this time.
The final season of Supernatural won't just be packed with returning characters, as we already know an Angel vet landed a role. There are also some larger concerns, as Castiel's deal with The Empty will return, and Jack will have to come back somehow. Find out when Supernatural Season 15 premieres Thursday, October 10 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.