For several seasons, “Supernatural” boys Sam and Dean Winchester have had a troubled relationship. At one point, they seemed destined to go down fighting on opposite sides of the war between Heaven and Hell, but after countless fights and deep betrayals, they’ve emerged once again as brothers with a common goal. In last week’s episode, “Trial and Error,” they seemed closer than ever as Dean confessed that he dreams of a happy future for Sam and Sam swore that he believed in Dean’s ability to live through their latest battle.
It was quite touching, really. But can they continue to see eye-to-eye as Sam faces the trials from God in his attempt to close the gates of hell for good?
Jared Padalecki tells us that there’s a potential for the trials to cause a little bit of trouble between them, because once again, Sam and Dean aren’t being entirely honest with each other. (It’s the Winchester way!)
“I do feel like the trials are going to take a toll on their relationship because … it’s something that Dean really wanted to do,” Padalecki says. “That’s not necessarily the way it worked out, so I think Dean doesn’t resent Sam, but Dean resents that he wasn’t able to do it.” When God tests a man’s strength of character, he doesn’t go easy on him. Sam is going to have a really rough go of it, and he’s going to do his best to hide his struggles from Dean.
“Dean and Sam have always been like, ‘Just be honest with me! Tell me what’s going on.’ But obviously the trials are taking this toll on Sam, but he doesn’t want to go to his brother and say, ‘Listen, buddy, I’m scared. It’s hurting, and I’m coughing up blood.’ He’s like ‘No, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good,'” he explains.
Naturally, Dean begins to question Sam’s fortitude. “Sam’s lying to Dean, and Dean’s lying to Sam, because Sam’s like, ‘You don’t believe in me!’ and Dean’s like ‘Of course I believe in you,’ but Dean is having his doubts.”
Jensen Ackles tells us that despite honest moments like we saw in last week’s episode, the conflict between the brothers is still palpable. “I don’t know whether the brothers will ever fix things. The strains are less, there’s an unbreakable bond as we’ve seen,” he says. “Try as they might, they are bound by blood, and that will always be there. The straining relationship, and the bickering, and the not understanding what each other is going through, the trying to battle all those things — that’s always going to be there.”
Speaking of strains on the Winchesters’ relationship… while we’re hearing that Sam’s love interest Amelia is out of the picture for good, rumor has it that we haven’t seen the last of Dean’s Purgatory pal Benny. Though some fans may worry about Benny’s impact on Sam and Dean’s bond, Ackles is all for seeing him return to the show, and not only because he loves working with Ty Olsson.
“The character itself I think was really cool, because Dean’s never really had a relationship anywhere close to that. His relationship with his brother is what it is, and everybody knows about that, then there’s the relationship with Cas, which was strained and tattered and torn, and there was a whole bunch of stuff there,” says Ackles. “But to have somebody who was a war hero with you, to have a brother-in-arms kind of thing, was something that hadn’t really been explored, so I really liked that connection that Dean had … kudos to [Jeremy] Carver for going with that storyline. I thought it was awesome, the whole Purgatory thing. Selfishly, I hope that Benny comes back.”
Tune in to “Supernatural” Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on The CW. In the meantime, check out our video interview below for more from the actors, including Padalecki’s thoughts on how long the Men of Letters bunker will last and Ackles’ opinion on how the series should end.