The showrunners explain a little about how Jeffrey Dean Morgan will return to Supernatural for the show’s 300th episode. He’ll be reprising his role as John Winchester, Sam and Dean’s dad, a mere ten years after he left the show for pastures new.
Speaking to EW in a new episode, co-showrunner Robert Singer said this about the episode:
“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.”
And the other showrunner, Andrew Dabb, said this:
“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.”
This casting/return news, when it broke in December 2018, went down an absolute treat for fans of the show. Jeffrey Dean Morgan previously only appeared in 12 episodes of Supernatural, before stepping away in 2008, but he made a big impact in that time and has been popular in the fandom ever since. In the intervening years, he’s been asked regularly by fans and journalists when he will return to the role, and it’s nice that we now have a definitive answer to that.
The storytelling possibilities are rife, of course, when you bring Sam and Dean’s dad back into the fold. On the subject of this momentous return, executive producer Andrew Dabb said this:
“We’re incredibly excited to have Jeffrey back for this milestone episode, and think fans will love what we have planned for his character… and a few other surprise guest stars.”
There’s no new statement from Morgan to mark this news, but Collider recalls that the actor said this in 2017:
“We talk about it all the time and I’ve been saying it for years — because it’s Supernatural, and you can come back (as proven by every actor that’s ever been on the show), I certainly hope that at some point not only will John return in some capacity. But I think that Sam and Dean need to have some closure with this guy and I think that John would like the opportunity to have some closure, and I think you, the audience, deserves it.”
The 300th episode of Supernatural will air in the USA on Thursday 7th February. It’s going by the title Lebanon, and we’ll bring you more news as and when we hear it.