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'Supernatural' Boss on Henry Winchester's [Spoiler] and the Men of Letters

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Jan 30, 2013 | 4:59pm EST

Supernatural

If you have yet to watch Wednesday's new Supernatural, avert your eyes now! Massive amounts of spoilers ahead! West coast, consider this your spoiler alert: look away until you've seen "As Time Goes By."

Henry Winchester, we hardly knew ye.

Introduced to their paternal grandfather at the beginning of tonight’s episode, “As Time Goes By,” Sam and Dean ended the poignant hour by burying him in the ground, just as they’ve had to do with all other members of their family. RIP Henry. You, and your awesome handcuff-evading skills, will be missed.

But with his death came the introduction to a whole new mythology arc, the Men of Letters. This group of educated men is the opposite of hunters, yet still deal with the same supernatural issues that hunters do – just in a more elegant way. Turns out, Sam and Dean were legacies of this group, but when Henry disappeared (time-traveled to 2013 to meet up with his grandsons), the Men of Letters were all killed, and their knowledge ended with them. Sam and Dean’s father, John, became a hunter instead — the rougher, more violent version of the Men of Letters.

Along with the discovery of this group also came the introduction of the mysterious box (the magical key, the supernatural mother lode that can decipher all scrolls, tablets, etc.). What will Sam and Dean do with this game-changing artifact?

Hollywood.com chatted with executive producer Bob Singer after watching the episode, and he gave us the all the intel on the Men of Letters, Henry Winchester, the new concept of a home base for the boys, and much, much more. Read on for all the Supernatural scoop you could ever want:

Hollywood.com: So tell us about this place where Sam and Dean are going to take the key.

Bob Singer:

The reveal of that place, which is in the next episode, is a really stunning set. It’s full of mysteries. It will become a home base for the boys. We’re really excited about it. After eight years of not having a home base, this will be the home base for quite some time. I think you guys will really dig the set. It gives us this new home base that’s chock full of information and will certainly lead to other stories.

The Men of Letters concept is a really interesting piece of mythology. How will that fit into the Supernatural universe?

These Men of Letters, which is a brand new concept for us, is really if you took dad’s journal and you multiplied that times a hundred. It’s got every source of information and that’s interesting for the boys. Of course, when they get in there, Sam is totally immersed in the place and Dean is just happy to have his own room. He’s put posters up! And he says to Sam, if you want to do to this geek stuff that’s fine with me but I’m just digging this.

How does the key fit into the story?

This all plays into the tablet business. If, for instance, Crowley got his hands on the angel tablet and could somehow decipher it, that would probably be kind of a bad thing. The information that is contained in this Men of Letters bunker, if it fell into the wrong hands, it would be quite a powerful weapon against the boys so it has to remain a secret and guarded closely. And as we go down the line for the rest of this year and hopefully next year, dramatic turns will take place because this is an important place.

Are there any remaining Men of Letters still alive?

No they’re all gone. The Men of Letters are all gone. The last surviving one was the old guy in the home and he’s no more. When they go in there it’s pristine. It’s like been hermetically sealed and everything. Everything is just as it was. It’s perfectly neat. The only sign that someone had to get out of there in a hurry was a chess game that was uncompleted and an ash tray full of cigarettes.

Are Sam and Dean going to share this wealth of knowledge with other hunters?

That’s probably on a need-to-know basis. I don’t think you’re going to have a hunter convention in there and welcome everyone in there and go, “Have at it!” That’s really not their style. I would be surprised if Garth didn’t show up and probably break an expensive globe. They’ll go to great pains to keep that hidden. It’s kind of impenetrable. And they need a place. Not just for us to be able to have a set to shoot on, but I think the boys actually need a place where they can decompress with their bromance moments. The other sets we’ve had were not the biggest. When you see this set you really realize they have lots of room to move around and there’s lots of really cool things in there. It’s a very expensive set so we’re going to be using it.

Tell us about casting Gil McKinney as the dearly departed Henry Winchester. Why kill him off so soon?

[McKinney] came in and read, and we just thought this is the right guy for the part. I thought he did a really nice job. We were just looking for the best actor and the guy we thought would work well with the boys and also that there was a contrast. I mean, this was a guy who is more educated, more learned, more elegant. Our boys are more rough-hewn. So when he says, “Hunter?!?” he was so appalled at that notion. He came around at the end. So we were actually looking for a contrast more than a familial sameness. And it was a nice bittersweet moment that they got to make a connection with the grandfather they never knew, but one of the themes that we’ve always played is that the people that they get close to, it never turns out well for them. They’re traditional loners and what they have is each other. And we want to keep it that way. That was always the plan with Samuel as well. That would not be something that would go on for a long time.

Sam and Dean have certainly had their issues this season. Are they back together for good or is their major fight still in the back of their minds?

What you’ll see happens in subsequent episodes is another kind of conflict between them, but it’s not necessarily the kind of conflict of, “Do I want to do this,” or “What’s my plans beyond closing the gates of hell,” or any of that. It’s a new conflict. I won’t tell you any more than that but as always, there’s always something going on between them. You can count on a big emotional talk. For a different reason, for something they didn’t see coming, starting next week that thing will carry through to the end of the year.

Which of our favorite returning players will be back?

Kevin will be back, Benny will be back, Castiel is back, maybe Amelia, maybe not. Every season we like to bring the season full circle and get a lot of questions answered of that season but then pose new questions for whatever the next season is going to be. So all of these people that we introduced will have a pay off.

Any more info on what’s been going on with Benny? Last time we saw him, when Dean broke up with him, he didn’t look so hot.

He was really fighting the good fight and trying to not give in to his bloodlust. Dean having to basically cut the ties was a hard thing for him. So we will explore that idea of what he’s been going through. We didn’t feel that and never felt that story was totally ended. It’s probably not great drama to end a whole arc on a phone call.

Watch Supernatural Wednesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on The CW.

[Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/The CW]

Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum

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