Saying farewell to a fallen hunter involves more than just your typical salt and burn. From John to Bobby to Charlie, Supernatural's Sam and Dean have grieved on their own, finding solace around a blazing pyre in the middle of nowhere. In Season 12, however, the Winchester boys will join their fellow demon slayers at a hunters wake.
Set to take place in episode 6, the wake will introduce viewers to a few new faces. Hunters general find their origins in tragedy (or tooth fairies, if you're Garth), but newcomers Alicia and Max will come equipped with a unique past.
"[Pretty Little Liars' Kara] Royster will play Alicia, a fellow hunter who crosses paths with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) in episode six of the upcoming season," Variety teased. "Raised by a witch, Alicia and her brother Max now hunt the things that go bump in the night."
The wake will allow Supernatural to press pause on the worlds of heaven and hell to return to the series' roots.
"This is called more the hunter season. The last seasons have been very heavily angel/demon. [Season 12] the focus is on hunters - both American and British- [their] different approaches, what works, what does, how they get along," co-showrunner Andrew Dabb told EnStars at San Diego Comic-Con. "In episode 6 we're going to see something we've essentially never seen before, which is a hunter's wake. We're going to get some ideas in terms of how [Sam and Dean] are viewed by other hunters, how they view other hunters. Again, it's all about building on this world that we have talked about for many years and we explored at some points with the Roadhouse and things like that, but it's not something that we've dived heavily into for a while."
The Winchester brothers have certainly had issues with fellow hunters in the past. Gordon attempted to off Sammy in season 2, Walt and Roy actually did kill Sam and Dean in season 5's "Dark Side of the Moon" (what ever happened to those guys anyway?), and the boys were on shaky ground with their grandfather's crew in season 6. Other than their trusted confidants - Bobby, Jo, Ellen, Garth, etc. - you rarely see the Winchesters team up with anyone in their field. And yet, they always seem to have someone to call when they can't take a case.
It seems season 12 will finally reveal a few of those connections and the reasons why certain hunters have stayed loyal to the Winchesters despite their habit of kick-starting the end times.
Supernatural will return to The CW on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Click the video below to see a preview of the series' premiere, "Keep Calm and Carry On."