If you’ve been keeping tabs on “Supernatural” spoilers, you already know that this season, Sam (Jared Padalecki) will have his first significant love interest in several years. Amelia is a veterinarian to whom Sam brings an injured dog a short time after he loses Dean (Jensen Ackles) — and everyone else he knows.
Given that Sam has been decidedly unlucky in love in the past, the writers had a challenge to create a functional relationship. It was further complicated by the fact that Sam isn’t exactly a catch when Amelia (Liane Balaban) meets him. Even his strapping good looks don’t quite make up for the fact that he’s literally been to hell and back and is about as battered and damaged as a man can be. It takes a special kind of woman to handle that.
“We’re looking at what the definition of what a working relationship is,” showrunner Jeremy Carver tells Zap2it. “I think it was Crowley who said to Sam, ‘For the first time in your life, you are well and truly alone.’ Who is the man that walked out of that building? Who is that version of Sam? And who is the type of person who could possibly rebuild that crumbled thing in him?”
Carver is optimistic that fans will be interested in the ups and downs of Sam’s relationship with Amelia — a story which will be told mostly through flashbacks, though Amelia may also appear in the present-day. “I think it works because you’re going to see what this person does for Sam and what he does for her. It’s a very unique, very mature, grown-up relationship,” Carver says.
Like with Jessica early in the season, Sam may not be entirely forthcoming with Amelia about his history. “Without getting too much into detail, there is tremendous emotional honesty,” says Carver. “That’s what we’re going for there.”
While Dean doesn’t have any romance on the table early in the season, he’ll be preoccupied by a new character as well. “Battlestar Gallactica” alum Ty Olsson will play Benny, a vampire with whom Dean forms a “reluctant alliance” after Benny gets Dean out of Purgatory. “I don’t know if I would call him the big bad,” Carver says. “I would call him a big influence and a force to be reckoned with, but I don’t know that I’d call him the big bad. He’s big; he’s bad. He’s a lot of things.”
Benny will be a significant presence in Dean’s life this season, as Dean is indebted to him for the Purgatory escape. As for whether Dean will be proud of Sam for moving on with his life or frustrated that Sam gave up on finding him, Carver teases, “It’s a little bit of both.”