Dean sipping a latte? Find out about the surprises ‘Supernatural’ has in store

Fans of “Supernatural” (8 p.m. Thursday, WGN-Ch. 9) will have a couple of weeks to prepare themselves for this sight: irreverent, classic-rock-loving demon hunter Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) wearing a suit and tie, working as a middle manager at a corporation, listening to NPR and drinking lattes.

Suits As if that’s not enough—horror of horrors!—he won’t even be driving his beloved 1967 Chevrolet Impala in the March 26 episode. Without giving away the surprise, let’s just say he’ll have a more energy-conscious set of wheels.

“It’s like you tuned in to ‘Supernatural’ and you kind of got ‘The Office,'” said Sera Gamble, “Supernatural” supervising producer, in a recent phone interview.

The comedic outing will come after two more serious episodes on Thursday and March 19, which will touch on the show’s ongoing story about an epic battle between heaven and hell, in which Dean and Sam have become major players. (To see four clips from Thursday’s “Supernatural” episode, “Death Takes a Holiday,” look here.)

“It’s this tonal whiplash that we’ve become comfortable doing,” Gamble said. “We’ll leave them bleeding and half-dead in a hospital, and the next week they’re fine, and they’re doing something funny. It’s this way of giving you a minute to take a breath before the next run of heavy episodes.”

There are indeed some momentous episodes coming up this spring for this consistently entertaining CW show, which has sustained ratings growth even as it as upped the ante this year for the Winchester brothers. The guys are not merely killing demons and hunting other freaky creatures. Dean is the special charge of a mysterious and powerful angel known as Castiel (Misha Collins), who pulled him out of hell at the start of the fourth season.

Driving “The angels’ plan for Dean will be revealed this season,” Gamble said. But don’t fear Castiel going away: The show has been renewed for a fifth year, and guest star Collins has been upped to series-regular status for Season 5.

“Being wrapped up with what’s going on with Sam and Dean is really dangerous for an angel like Castiel,” Gamble said. “He is getting to like Dean quite a bit. Dean is a terrible influence on an angel, I think, because everything about Dean’s way of looking at the world is antithetical to being an angel, which is all about obedience and following the party line and doing what you’re told without question.”

Sam, on the other hand, has been exploring special powers that he has, but angels have told him to ignore them and his brother has implored him not to use them. Could this conflict lead to a Winchester versus Winchester showdown before the season is over?

“As to where exactly Sam and Dean’s relationship is headed, I have to say, tune in and find out,” Gamble said. “But it’s true that their relationship has been fraying and has been different since Dean got out of hell. They spent that time apart. Sam was … was suicidal. Dean was in hell. They were very changed. … And a lot of this season has been about the ways in which they can’t connect anymore.”

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