Supernatural Stars Tease Wayward Sisters Backdoor Pilot

Den of Geek talked to Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Briana Buckmaster about the potential new era of Supernatural.

We’re only a week away from Supernatural‘s midseason return, an episode that will also act as a backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters, a spin-off of the popular, long-running CW series.

Wayward Sisters will follow Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), Sheriff Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster), and a group of orphans as they fight the same kinds of supernatural forces that left them without parents. 

Den of Geek was part of a group of reporters on Supernatural‘s Vancouver set this fall. We had the chance to talk to Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, as well as Buckmaster, about the upcoming episode.

“Episode 9 builds up to [“Wayward Sisters”] and we see Sam and Dean in a situation where they are out of sorts and they need help,” previewed Padalecki. “And so Jody is calling to check in or maybe tell us about a case and she can’t get ahold of us.”

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When Jody can’t get a hold of the Winchester brothers, she calls in rogue hunter Claire Novak (Katheryn Newton) to help find them.

“We get to see these girls fleshed out quite a bit,” continued Padalecki, “and see what their world is like, and the return of some characters that we introduced this season with Patience [Turner] and obviously with Kaia [Nieves].”

Ackles calls it a “direct homage” to the Supernatural pilot, which has a similar story set-up.

“Jody calls Claire and says ‘the boys have been on a hunting trip and haven’t been home in a few days,’ which is the exact same thing that Dean said to Sam in Episode 1, that Dad has been [on a hunting trip],” says Ackles. “The genesis is very similar in that aspect. Obviously, the stories will be a little different, but it is this gathering of characters to go and save their friends. Or their family. So right then and there that’s a great foundation to build stories on.”

Buckmaster said that the tone of Wayward Sisters will be very similar to the tone of Supernatural.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a drastic change, other than it literally is coming from a female point of view,” said Buckmaster. “I don’t think that in tone it’s really significantly changed. The stories are still in the same vein of Supernatural, so I don’t think it’s going to be this huge shift for the fans. I think it’s going to be just slightly heightened.”

The “Wayward Sisters” episode will show the events that see Mills form a new female alliance of hunters with foster daughters Claire and Alex Jones (Katherine Ramdeen), joined by Donna, newly-minted psychic Patience Turner (Clark Backo), and dreamcatcher Kaia Nieves (Yadira Guevara-Prip).

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How exactly does Donna fit into this motley crew? She’s there to assist Jody and Patience, said Buckmaster, gushing about Backo’s inclusion in the cast as psychic Patience.

I just watched that episode actually a couple of days ago. Clark Backo is such a great, wonderful actress and I think Patience is the perfect addition because she comes from a different background than a lot of the women. A lot of the women come from rougher beginnings and Patience was raised at a little bit of a higher class. It will be interesting to see what that character brings, or learns even.

Donna’s character has evolved a great deal over her time on Supernatural, going from a sheriff and leader dealing with insecurities following the separation from her husband, to a woman who regularly fights supernatural evil. Buckmaster is excited to continue exploring that evolution.

“[“Wayward Sisters” goes even further into the character, what she’s going through, what she’s capable of, and what she’s going to do moving forward,” teased Buckmaster. “I’m more excited about this script than I’ve probably been about anything for my specific character.”

The episode sees Donna struggling to deal with the reality that her niece is missing. Buckmaster said it is very different from the episodes Donna has previously been in.

She’s usually kind of funny and bright and sunny, and she’s not in this episode. She is haunted, she is broken, she is vacant, she is lost, because she has lost this woman who’s like a daughter to her. It is an intense, dark, creepy episode. I don’t want to give too much away but, for me, it’s a darker episode than I’ve ever been a part of and you see what she’s willing to go through moving forward.

Wayward Sisters, should it get be picked up to series, is poised to be a supernatural show that puts its female characters, and their relationships with one another, at the forefront. Speaking about what Wayward Sisters would add to Supernatural fandom, Buckmaster said:

It’s going to give the fandom, which is in a large part female-based, an opportunity to feel like they’re telling the story and an opportunity to relate to these characters. I think it’s going to make them feel more involved and it’s going to get them more excited about the show, if that’s humanly possible.

For a fictional world that has been criticized over its 13 seasons for its dismissal of female characters, Wayward Sisters seems like a step in the right direction.

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“I think now is the time that television and movies are discovering that a lot of women want to have their stories told by women; they want to have their voices heard,” said Buckmaster. “This is an opportunity that Supernatural and The CW is giving to all of us as a viewership and a fandom.”

The “Wayward Sisters” episode of Supernatural will air on January 18th on The CW. Here’s everything we know about the Wayward Sisters spin-off so far.