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Supernatural‘s time in purgatory will be short-lived, but what happened to Dean and Sam during their separation will play a big role in Season 8, the CW drama’s executive producers previewed at the show’s Sunday Comic-Con panel. They also talked about how this year’s theme – Raiders of the Lost Ark– will lead to some antagonistic chases, Cas’ status and some of the new relationships that have formed. Read on for highlights!

WELCOME BACK | How does new showrunner Jeremy Carver feel about being back at work on the show? “It’s sort of like having been a camper and coming back as a counselor,” he replied.

SEEKING POWER | The brothers are “starting the season on the offense,” shared Carver. “They really want something. It ties in very deeply with the mythology [and is] something very near and dear to their hearts. They are very much united” in their quest to get it. So what is the mysterious something? Sam, Dean, Kevin and Crowley are “all involved in a chase for a power source, ultimately,” hinted Edlund.

PURGING PURGATORY | “[Dean's] return from purgatory is going to come quite quickly,” revealed Edlund, but the story of what happened there will “be something we explore over the course of the season” via flashbacks. “There’s a whole body of events that take place there,” he continued. “There are meetings and conflicts. … It affects the future in all these different ways. They’re going to meet some badasses down there.” Jensen Ackles joked that after going to Hell, purgatory is “like diet Hell.”

BONDS OLD AND NEW | “The strength of the show is the bond between these two brothers,” said Carver. But while the sibs were separated, “it had a profound effect on each of them. And each has gone a very separate way. They will each carry what happened in their [time] away from each other.” In the interim, Dean and Sam have both made new relationships that “will carry forward and be very, very important.” Adds Edlund, “They’re kind of emotional shut-ins that have to learn to deal with other people. … We’re trying to get into more complex, real human relationships.”

A RELATIONSHIP TURNS SOUR | The Winchsters’ frenemy-like relationship with Crowley will become “much more antagonistic…. He is going to be an issue,” warned Edlund. Added Mark Sheppard: “We’re kind of chasing after the same thing, so it could be a problem.”

LOVE IS IN THE AIR | “Sam is totally getting some action this season,” confirmed Jared Padalecki. But what about Dean? “Does Dean ever really get romance?” replied Ackles. “I think the only real romance in Dean’s life is the car. So in that regard, absolutely.”

M.I.A. CAS | Where did Castiel disappear off to in the Season 7 finale? “He went out for beer, and he’ll be back shortly,” joked Misha Collins, who pleaded the fifth when asked when the angel will return.

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