At SDCC, we spoke to Supernatural star Misha Collins about Castiel’s role in season 12, time travel, and “getting his mojo back.”

It is well-reported that Supernatural season 12 will ‘go back to basics,’ telling some good old-fashioned hunting stories as Sam and Dean reunite with their mother Mary.

But where does that leave Castiel, whose Heaven storyline is now on hold while God is on vacation?

At San Diego Comic-Con 2016 we spoke to Misha Collins about just this, and Collins was able to offer some solid hints about Castiel’s hunt for Lucifer, his interactions with Mary Winchester, and whether or not Cas will finally be at full power:

“We have outlines through the first eight episodes,” says Collins, “so I’ve got a pretty good sense of what’s happening through the first third of the season. Cas comes out swinging at the beginning of the season, and he’s a man on a mission trying to hunt down Lucifer.”

Collins also teases “some time travel” coming up, and says he’ll be interacting with Mary Winchester.

On the arc of the season, Collins says, “We are largely moving away from the Heaven storyline this season, so it’s gonna be more dealing in the human realm rather than with the politics of Heaven. So I think that storyline is sort of taking a backseat this season.”

“I would like to see Cas get his mojo back,” he explains, when asked about his hopes for Castiel. “For a long time on the show, Cas has been in one way or another cobbled, because the writers didn’t want him to be too powerful, they didn’t want him to be able to solve Sam and Dean’s problems with the snap of his fingers all the time. So he was constantly dealing with one impediment or another.”

Related: Supernatural’s Samantha Smith and Andrew Dabb preview a season of “strong female ass-kickerage”

In season 12, “I’d like to see him get his power back, and go back to playing with him as Cas from season 4,” says Collins. “And every time I’ve had an idea of what I’d like to see for the character, it’s gone in the opposite direction. So I was fully expecting that not to come to pass, but it has. That’s where we are.”

Finally Misha Collins talks about the season at large, saying, “last season we were dealing with another very big mythological arc, the darkness and resurrecting God, which are pretty epic mythological storylines. This season is much more family-based, it’s much more human scale.”

But then, as he points out, ‘human scale’ is relative. For this show, battling Lucifer is “small potatoes.”

Supernatural returns this fall on The CW.

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