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Supernatural Set Interview: Jared Padalecki on Sam and Dean's Strained Reunion

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Supernatural Season 8 kicked off last night with Sam and Dean reuniting after a year apart in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." While Dean was fighting his way through Purgatory, Sam was living a normal life - with a girl and a dog.

Last week, TV Fanatic headed to Vancouver (trip provided by Warner Bros TV) to visit the Supernatural set and get the scoop on the upcoming season from Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins.

At the end of a very long day, Padalecki sat down with a beer in hand to talk with us.

With Kevin

The brothers being separated is nothing new to Supernatural, but this time Sam, left all alone, decided to leave the hunter life behind. Jared explains why:

"I think Sam in this season is different than Sam in other seasons where Dean was either in hell or where Sam was in hell. Usually when they’ve been split up, there’s been sort of the impetus of like my brother’s in trouble, I’ve got to save him. I’ve got to help him. He’s going to help me and he’s going to save me. But here Sam was like, you know what, I was in a room and Dick Roman vanished and Castiel vanished, Kevin Tran is gone, I have no Bobby, I have no [Castiel], I have nothing...

"I’m going to take off the hunter garb and just live a normal life because I have nothing to tie me back. There’s no Jo, there’s no Harvelle’s Roadhouse, there’s nothing. There’s absolutely nothing holding Sam back from a normal life so he really commits to it and so when it all comes crashing back down, it’s like a brutal reminder yet again of who he kind of has been and is possibly meant to be. He isn’t so happy about it. I mean, he’s been living a pretty good contented life for a while."

In the video below, Jared elaborates on the strained relationship between the Winchester brothers and Sam's desire to leave the hunter life behind:

After the year apart, Sam has grown up and doesn't need Dean in the same way any more, as Jared explains:

"I think Sam, in a weird way…Sam is kind of the adult in this reconciliation. He’s like, look I found my own thing. I love you. You’re my brother and I’m so happy you’re back and I’m going to help you now but I want out. I want out. I love you. It’s great. I’m grateful that you’ve saved my life many times and vice versa but it’s not that I don’t need but I don’t need you and I know that now. No hard feelings."

Sam agrees to help Dean because he feels an obligation to his brother, but also sees the tablets as a way to get out of the life permanently.

"I think the way [Sam’s] going to specifically react to Dean is just try to help him out in the task at hand and hopefully then do his own thing again," Jared says on the video. "He’s not going to leave him hanging and go like, nope, I’m not having this. Have fun. He’s going to be like, okay I get it. I do owe you this as you certainly have done for me a lot more than anybody else has and vice versa but you’ve earned this and so I’ll help. ... We both believe that we’re onto something that will end our hunting careers forever so Sam’s like you know what? Perfect because I know what it’s like to not have an anchor into the hunting aspect of life so I would love to actually not have a need for that hunting aspect of life and if this can solve that, then I’m in."

On tap for next week: "What's Up, Tiger Mommy." And later this week: our latest Supernatural Round Table.

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Remember the ep where Dean disappears in a crop circle? A girl in a bar asks Souless Sam what is going on and he tells her his brother disappeared. She offers Sam her condolences and he says it's ok because he's had time to adjust. She asks when did it happen and Sam says "oh, about a half hour ago." Thats the Sam the Sam in the first ep reminded me of.

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Some are missing the point. At least Dean TRIED to find Sam when he was in the Cage. Sam didn't even bother trying to find Dean after he disappeared. Not even a little bit. He just didn't care his brother was gone. Thats what shocked me. Dean had every right to feel angry and hurt. Sam was as cold as a block of ice. The Sam in the opening ep actually reminded me of Souless Sam.

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I also don't understand the Sam haters. When Same went to Hell, Dean knew he was in the cage. Dean took his year off and, while he said he looked for Sam, he still stayed with Lisa and Ben and there was no indication that he wasn't going to continue with that existence - did he call Bobby to get his help in getting Sam out of Hell, for example. No, he moved on with Lisa and Ben. And even after Sam and the Campbells showed up, he decided not to continue hunting and went back to Lisa and Ben until Sam pulled him back in with the monster baby. Sam had no idea where Dean even was and no one to help him or to rely on other than himself. And, if he thought that Dean got pulled into purgatory, Sam already knows the consequences of trying to open that door again. So why all the hate. Dean lived his own life away from hunting so why shouldn't Sam try?

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Lol its ok lord of the night, Sam won't be too hurt by the remarks here. I don't hate Sam. Quite the opposite. Supernatural is a fantastic series, entertaining, witty, heart breaking, funny, etc. Some great writing and characters to root for. Sam has always been "flawed". Sam has also always been the one who "it always had to be", as he - and we - were told, and therein lies the rub for some of us. And yes. Dean did give up looking for Sam, but he promised Sam he would, so no matter how hard it was, he at least tried to do just that. It is great writing AND acting that pulls off believably flawed characters, yet still makes them draw the viewer in. Humans don't like to be reminded of our weaknesses and yet, if done well, we are enthralled by the foibles of a charcter such as Sam OR Dean, as they are both heart breakingly broken, yet stronger and more full of "heart" than we could ever be. Hence the eternal fascination/anger/frustration we present after viewing a new episode. And by the way, I loved the opener and have high hopes this may end up being the best season yet!
(But it must include Castiel!)

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Jared's take on Sam makes me cringe. It's almost like he never understood the brother's bond all these years.

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I really do not get all the Sam hatred. He wants a bloody normal life, why is that worth so much hate? After so many years of hunting monsters. After 3 separate apocalypses that he has helped avert. After watching literally everybody he cares about die or vanish, why is it so hard to believe that Sam is burnt out? And yeah he gave up on looking for Dean, and guess what. Dean did the same freaking thing when Sam was in the pit. He looked for a while but eventually accepted there was nothing he could do and settled into a normal life. Sam just skipped the pointless searching and found himself a nice life. And now that Dean is back to drag him into the life again and remind him that they don't get to have normal lives, is it any surprise that he isn't foaming at the mouth to hunt or overjoyed to see his brother again? It's because he knows what Dean coming back means. He will either be sucked back into hunting, or he will have to abandon his brother face to face. Neither of which are appealing choices to him.

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Already only semi-likable, the character of Sam this season is barely watchable. And I love this show! Ackles' Dean has been the backbone of Supernatural from the start, and although both actors have grown, Ackles started with more acting chops than Padaleski has yet to obtain, although he has really improved over the years. So in that respect, I guess I understand the lean toward his blase 'tude. Easier. Anyway. Sam's "I've moved on" (yet again...) bent is tired, and I was really hoping for at least a bit ... more for the character this season. Dean is over-involved, hung up for sure, but come on, Sam writers. I've seen plants with more emotion, and prima donna divas with less "It's all about me" - again crap. Perhaps Dean will sort of adopt the new kid, Kevin, and let Sam go live with his dog in his cabin in Hermit Hill.
Lol in fact, at this point, I'm rooting for that to happen.
"Buhbye"

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Wow. I mean, really...just wow. So it's not mature to want to save people's lives? It's not mature to try and save your brother? Dean has 'earned' Sam's help so Sam will graciously agree to humor him this one time before leaving him again? You know what I just can't. I want to believe there are more, better reasons for Sam not looking for Dean but this just pisses me off.

Supernatural Quotes

You betrayed me? No one in the history of torture's been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with.

Crowley

Castiel: It's very complex. If the pizza man truly loves this babysitter, why does he keep slapping her rear? Perhaps she has done something wrong.
Dean: Are you watching porn? Why?
Castiel: It was there.
Dean: You don't watch porn in a room full of dudes. And you don't talk about it. Just turn it off. Well now he's got a boner.

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