SUPERNATURAL's 'As Time Goes By' Post-Mortem: Robert Singer on Where Dean and Sam Go From Here - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERNATURAL’s ‘As Time Goes By’ Post-Mortem: Robert Singer on Where Dean and Sam Go From Here

January 30, 2013 by  

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the SUPERNATURAL episode, “As Time Goes By.” If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it now and then come back to see what executive producer Robert Singer had to say about what’s next.]

How great was SUPERNATURAL’s “As Time Goes By”?!

Dean and Sam met — and lost — their grandfather in the span of an hour, but it helped to shed a lot of light on what their dad went through as a kid, and it kicked off the next adventure for the Winchester brothers.

The CW held a screening of the hour for press, and executive producer Robert Singer answered a few burning questions from reporters. Worth repeating that if you haven’t actually seen the hour, you should probably go watch it first. (And it’s good, so why would you want to ruin it for yourself?!)

Keep reading for what Singer had to say about what’s to come…

Henry Winchester was actually a decent guy.

John Winchester may have held resentment towards his father for abandoning him, but it turns out things weren’t that simple: Henry’s time in the future proved to be fatal as he lost his life protecting his grandsons and saving the world. Unfortunately, John never knew that as a kid.

“In retrospect, it makes you wonder what [John] would have been like, which I think the boys say at the end of the episode,” Singer pointed out.

And while it could have been nice to learn more about the Winchester family, it was always the intention for Henry to be a one-and-out character.

“I think we wanted to close it, and it was a nice bittersweet moment,” Singer said. “[Dean and Sam] got to make a connection with a grandfather they knew. One of the themes we’ve always played is people they get close to, it never works out well for them. They’re kind of traditional loners and what they have is each other. I think we wanted to keep it that way.”

Playing with the SUPERNATURAL mythology.

Up until this point, very little was known about the Winchester side of the family, but Singer said there wasn’t a real hesitation about diving into this side of the family tree.

“We really kind of go where the story takes us,” he said. “We’re not afraid to try new things; we honor the mythology. We don’t make arbitrary left turns [saying], that would be a good story. But it’s ever-evolving. We always feel that and we’re always trying to keep the story fresh and new things happen. And we embrace them.”

“That felt really right to us…[everything John thought he knew about his father] it was all untrue,” he continued. “And the idea that if you could speak to John, this is what happened. All of that anger you carried was not real. that has a certain amount of pathos to it. And in addition to everything else we do, I think the reason we lasted so long is we tell these personal stories and whatever the plot of the week is, ultimately it comes down to how are the brothers feeling about it, how does it effect their relationship, what’s underneath the surface of the story. The subtext and the character development are always — after we get the basic ‘what’s the story about’ we go, ‘what’s the emotional story here?’ We thought this was a good emotional story.”

The John of it all.

John Winchester may have had a lovely goodbye, but his presence has been missed on the show. But it doesn’t seem like the show will be revisiting his specific storyline (at least with Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing the character) anytime soon.

“We’ve talked about it on occasion, but because [Morgan]’s really not available, and God knows he has a great send-off, that doesn’t get a whole lot of talk in the room,” Singer said.

When another reporter brought up that Morgan has mentioned he’d like to come back for the series finale, Singer was intrigued. “We haven’t thought about the very end yet, but I can tell you this: if Jeff did want to come back, I’m sure we could find room for him,” he said.

Where do Dean and Sam go from here? (Yes, literally!)

The hour ended with Sam and Dean saying goodbye to their grandfather and talking about going to the mysterious location where the box of intel Henry died protecting would be safe from evil. And it turns out, that location is very important to the rest of the season.

“The reveal of that place — which I believe is in the next episode — is a really stunning set,” Singer noted. “It’s full of mysteries. It’ll become a kind of home base for the boys. We’re really excited about it. After eight years of not having a home base, this will be home base for quite some time and I think you guys will really dig the set. It’s really cool.

“These Men of Letters… if you took dad’s journal and multiplied that times a hundred, it’s got every source of information that would be interesting to the boys,” Singer continued. “Of course, when they get in there, Sam is totally immersed in the place and Dean is just happy to have his own room. He’s put posters up and he says to Sam, ‘If you want to do this geek stuff, that’s fine by me, but I’m just digging this.'”

And the boys will have this mysterious location to themselves.

“They’re all gone,” Singer confirmed. “The Men of Letters are all gone — the last surviving one was the old man in the home. And he’s no more. When they go in there, it’s pristine. It’s been hermetically sealed and it’s just as it was. It’s perfectly neat. The only sign someone had to get out of there in a hurry was a chess game that was [incomplete] and an ash tray full of cigarettes.”

But should this box they’re trying so hard to protect and keep from being deciphered be viewed as a parallel to the tablets poor Kevin is currently hard at work on?

“This all plays into the tablet business,” Singer said. “For instance, if Crowley got his hands on the angel tablet and could decipher it, that would be a bad thing. The information that’s contained in this Men of Letters bunker, if it fell into the wrong hands, would be quite a powerful weapon against the boys, so it has to remain a secret and guarded closely. And as we go down the line for the rest of this year and hopefully next year, that dramatic turns will take place, because it’s an important place.”

So, yep, it seems they’ll be staying put a while.

“It’s impenetrable,” Singer pointed out. “They need a place, not only for us to have a set to shoot on, but the boys need a place they can decompress, have their bromance moments, and the other sets we’ve had, they’re not the biggest [compared to this]. When you see this set, you realize there’s a lot of room to move around, and we’ve brought some really cool things in there. [They] came up with this really cool idea and we latched on to it immediately. It’s a very expensive set, so we’re going to be using it.”

Yes, Dean and Sam are committed to this mission.

“We get into this whole idea of closing the gates of hell, that becomes a real raison d’être for Sam,” Singer teased. “I think…it’s really revenge motivated: that’s what killed their mom, that’s what killed their friends, all of that. I think Sam would see a certain amount of closure if they could pull this off. So I think he still in the back of his mind thinks there’s a normal life out there for him.”

“And in a way, Dean’s on board for that,” he continued. “He’d like to see [his brother] happy, but they have this one thing to do. Now, television being television, they’ll have [foreseeable] one thing to do down the line. And I think it’s actually a good separation of character for the two of them that one has one set of drams and actually allows himself to dream, while the other is much more fatalistic and accepts that. I would hope whenever we bring the curtain down, Dean would find some peace. And if I have anything to say about it, he will.”

If the boys were successful in closing the gates, Singer agreed Dean would probably keep fighting the good fight: “He’d like to finish this particular job and then go off and do what he does.”

But those continued different specialties can help the brothers appreciate each other — even if they’ve had some rough patches this year.

“If you boil it down to it simple, Sam is more the brains, Dean is more the brawn,” Singer said. “I can’t remember which episode, I don’t know if it’s aired, but Sam makes a speech and he goes, ‘You’re the greatest hunter I’ve ever seen. You’re better than Dad.’ And that’s Dean. He’s probably much more internal than Sam, in a way. When they get into these emotional areas, the catalyst is more Sam. Those are the characters…Dean loves the information if he can act on it…’Oh, you need [a weapon] from the thirteenth century to chop some guy’s head off? Great. Let’s do it.’

However, when Singer was asked if things were resolved between the Winchesters now that they’ve recommitted to their partnership, he was a little more vague.

“I think you can count on a big emotional talk,” he said. “Without giving it away, [it’s] for something they didn’t see coming and that really — starting next week, that thing will carry through to the end of the year.”

What are your best theories? And is anyone else dying to see the new set?!

SUPERNATURAL airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on The CW.

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