After departing for more than 12 seasons, John Winchester and the man that plays him, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is returning to the never-ending story of CW’s Supernatural. The father of both Sam and Dean Winchester, John Winchester was the man who taught them what they know, providing them with a journal for any and every question they may have when on the hunt for what goes bump in the night. John’s final appearance in the show was in Season 2, Episode 1 “In My Time of Dying.”
There he decided to trade his life for Dean’s by making a deal with the Yellow-eyed demon which served as the big bad of the series up and till that point. The character mildly returned in glimpses including near the end of Season 2’s finale in which he helps the boys defeat the big bad demon once-and-for-all. Since then, the character has sporadically popped up here and there and has even debuted a younger look with Matthew Cohen. However, Supernatural has long been one of the more fan-rewarding shows that shares no qualms with supporting and even authenticating fan theories and fan’s wishes for returns and comebacks.
And what better way to bring back the OG hunter than with the series’ 300th episode? Showrunner Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb spoke with EW on the upcoming milestone and explained what prompted them to bring back father time to the CW’s on-going episodic boyish-drama. Singer states: “The 300th is in a lot of ways, for Sam and Dean, about home. You’re dealing with two guys who, when this story started and for the bulk of our show, never had a home. It was motel rooms and the Impala and they’d have a place they’d stay for a few weeks or maybe a few months at a time, but that’s pretty much it. Now Sam and Dean have a home, they have a family, and they have Lebanon and that’s really where the idea started. Like okay, what does the town of Lebanon think of these guys? And conversely, what do Sam and Dean think of the town? And then when the idea of Jeffrey Dean Morgan was floated it was great, because not only is it awesome to have him back for a number of different reasons but it’s thematically consistent because suddenly it’s about home, it’s about family, it’s about having that family dinner, it’s about coming home in a more emotional way.”
Dabb furthered Singer’s sentiment by sharing what viewers can expect from the episode, stating: “The fact that the guys were older now and could have different reactions to John was what made it exciting because they’re not going to have the same conversations they had in seasons 1 and 2 of the show. However, the impending reunion doesn’t mean that their story is over. They finally get some closure with their father in a way that doesn’t feel like the end of the show. It’s not like, ‘And now roll credits, we’ll never see you again!’ It feels like it allows these guys to put some, not all, of their 14 years of baggage down and move on to the future maybe with some new knowledge, maybe a little bit more unencumbered. Because if we had just brought him back and it had been like, ‘And then they go and hunt a demon together,’ it wouldn’t have been satisfying.”
Considering what the boys have gone through in the last decade with Marks of Cain, Knights and Princes of Hell, Gods, The Darkness, Men of Letters, Nephilims, and even alternate realities, it’s not hard to imagine that the boys and their dad will have plenty to catch up on over a nice cold beer. Be sure to tune in for the much-anticipated 300th episode in February in what will be episode 13 of Season 14 as Supernatural continues to be the show that just won’t die, and a lot of that has to do with the show being home to some of the best fans in the business.