Supernatural is the show that just keeps on showing. The fourteenth season recently debuted on The CW with a fresh twist: the big bad was none other than Michael inhabiting Dean’s body. The good guys couldn’t kill the bad guy without killing Dean. The latest episode ended with Michael having seemingly vacated Dean as a vessel. Given that there was no obvious reason why Michael would leave Dean’s body, many fans naturally theorized that Michael was still in there and just pretending to be Dean.
Well, Supernatural showrunner Andrew Dabb has officially debunked that particular theory, saying this about Michael:
He has departed. The question of ‘why?’ is one that will be explored. But he has definitely gotten out, and Dean is not secretly possessed.
There you have it! You don’t need to spend the next episode (or however many episodes pass before Michael shows up again) wondering if Michael is really pulling the strings from within Dean. The eldest Winchester brother is indeed archangel-free… at the moment. Considering some of Andrew Dabb’s earlier comments about Dean in Season 14, the odds are pretty good that Michael will be back in Dean at some point, which is very good news for those of us who felt Dean was de-Michael-ed too quickly.
With that question answered, fans can turn their attention to all the other questions that remain. The biggest really is why the archangel gave up his perfect vessel. The first version of Michael spent most of a season desperate for Dean’s consent (while the first version of Lucifer was desperate for Sam’s) as a vessel, and the Apocalypse World version of Michael lucked out in the Season 13 finale when Dean agreed to let him in.
Archangels quickly wear out vessels that aren’t suited to their presence, so any other vessel Michael selects likely won’t last very long. Unless he finds a way to spring the long-lost Winchester brother from the cage and possess Adam instead, Michael may be hopping from vessel to vessel now that he’s gone from Dean. He must have had a very good reason for bailing on the perfect vessel, and that reason may bode badly for Dean.
Of course, even if Michael does have something unpleasant in store for Dean as Season 14 progresses, Dean will have to struggle with his initial experience under Michael’s control anyway. Andrew Dabb went on in his chat with TVLine to say about how Dean will deal with the aftermath of Michael leaving him:
You’re looking at a Dean that’s still a little shell-shocked from everything that’s happened. He’s walking not just back into himself after the last episode, but back into Sam, Cas and Jack, who’ve all kind of shifted over the past few weeks, [and] back into a bunker that’s suddenly full of a lot of hunters he doesn’t know or has very passing relationships with. You’re dealing with a Dean that’s maybe a little bit besieged on all sides, and as Dean so often does, [he] throws himself into a case.
Understandably, Dean won’t be able to just bounce back into his old self by the end of the cold open in the next episode. We’ve seen that recovery from angel possession can be a difficult and ongoing process, and Michael is no regular angel. Dean, as is his wont, may try to bury his sorrows in booze and quips. Michael was also doing some pretty awful things while wearing his Dean suit, murdering plenty of people and making an alliance that created werewolves that seem to be impervious to silver.
The consequences of archangel possession will extend beyond what MIchael did to Dean. He’s going to have to deal with a very new reality. As we saw in the Season 14 premiere, Sam made some drastic changes to the way monsters are hunted after Dean was possessed by Michael. Instead of the bunker existing as a home base for Sam, Dean, and the occasional guest, it was teeming with hunters as Sam delegated work among them. There were more concerns than just Dean.
A bunker full of hunters and a fresh way of hunting monsters will be something new for Dean. “Saving people and hunting things” might not consist of Dean and Sam in the front seat of the Impala, chasing down leads, pretending to FBI rock stars, and killing monsters anymore. While we can be confident that the show won’t totally upend the dynamic that has powered Supernatural into becoming The CW’s longest-running series, some changes may be lasting, and Dean might not handle that well.
As it turns out, Dean will bear physical marks of Michael’s possession on top of any psychological trauma. Michael left him with a scar, and Andrew Dabb teased how meaningful that mark will be:
It’s a brand-new scar that he got while he was possessed by Michael. It seems to plant the idea that something hurt [Michael] enough to give him a scar. What can do that? What can hurt an archangel in that way? That becomes a real jumping-off point for this [week’s] episode as our guys try to find out what that object is.
It may not be the Mark of Cain, but Dean’s newest scar is a sign that there’s something bad enough out there that it could leave a mark on an archangel’s vessel. Archangels are very hard to kill, as we’ve seen over the years, and it would make sense that they’re hard to mark as well. The next episode will see the boys dive into the mystery of the mark. They’ll have a lot on their plates, and none more so than poor Dean.
Tune in to find out what happens next for Sam, Dean, and all the rest with new episodes of Supernatural on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Season 14 is a few episodes shorter than most other seasons of the series to date, so it should be interesting to see how many Monster of the Week episodes Supernatural fits in between mythology episodes featuring Michael.