The seventh season of Supernatural ended with a big cliffhanger for the demon-fighting brothers. After defeating Leviathan leader Dick Roman, Dean and Castiel found themselves stuck in Purgatory, leaving Sam all alone back on Earth after Crowley fled with Meg and the prophet, Kevin Tran.

Season 7 Finale Recap: Welcome to Purgatory>>

Supernatural season 8 won’t begin until October (due to the CW’s new strategy of shifting its fall premieres so they don’t collide with the major networks) and it will be on a brand new night, Wednesdays at 9pm. The eighth season also comes with a new boss as former Supernatural writer (and more recently the man in charge of Syfy’s Being Human) Jeremy Carver is taking over for Sera Gamble.

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What new changes will season 8 bring? Here are eight burning questions the show will need to answer when it returns.

How Will Dean Escape from Purgatory?

Season 4 began with Dean being lifted out of Hell. Will season 8 begin with Dean’s return to the real world? I’m guessing not, because Purgatory has so much promise as a setting that I hope the show spends at least one episode there. Dean also doesn’t have his support system because it was Cas who pulled him out of Hell, but since he’s trapped in Purgatory with Dean. And if season 6 taught us anything, it’s that opening a gate to Purgatory isn’t easy.

Is the Old Castiel Back?

Ever since he took on Sam’s pain, Castiel has been different. He’s been obsessed with monkeys, bees and board games and even his voice seems lighter. But when Cas and Dean went to Purgatory, it seemed like the old Cas might’ve returned. His voice seemed deeper and more gravelly and he spoke matter-of-factly to Dean, which is very much what the old, non-crazy Cas would do. Maybe the trip to Purgatory washed away the crazy parts of him. Or more terrifyingly, maybe it split him up so that Cas is normal, but the bad, Lucifer-tainted parts of him are also there (think Buffy season 5 when there were two Xanders).

Where Did Castiel Go?

After a few seconds in Purgatory with Dean, Cas zapped away. Was he able to escape Purgatory that easily? Unlikely. Was he going to look for something specific in Purgatory? Hopefully. This season Misha Collins was demoted to guest star, and maybe season 8 will bring him back into the fold full-time.

Who or What Is in Purgatory?

All we really know about Purgatory is that it’s where monsters go when they die. Well, Dean has killed a lot of monsters. Will we get to see any familiar faces or memorable bad guys from the past? I hope so, because what’s the point of going to a place full of dead monsters if we don’t get to see any.

What Will Sam Do Now That He’s All Alone?

The last time Dean was trapped somewhere (in Hell), Sam turned to a life of drinking demon blood and shacking up with Ruby. Now that he doesn’t even have Bobby, will Sam once again fall off the rails? Probably not, but I imagine he’ll be doing whatever it takes to figure out where Dean is and how to get him back. Let’s just hope he doesn’t douche up the Impala with an iPod this time.

What Does Crowley Want with the Prophet?

After getting rid of Dick Roman, all Crowley wanted was the prophet, Kevin Tran. What kind of plan does Crowley have in store that involves a prophet? Is he planning a war against Heaven, which would be easy since the Leviathans did quite a number on the few remaining angels? The last few episodes of season 7 certainly set up Crowley as a Big Bad for the future, so I imagine we haven’t seen the last of him or his new prophet prisoner.

What Will Crowley Do with Meg?

The season 7 finale also featured some demons taking Meg back to Crowley. Is he going to kill her? Or will he find some other use for her? Meg doesn’t seem like the kind of character who can be killed off so easily, so imagine she’ll try to make another deal to save herself.

Will Jeremy Carver Change the Show?

Sometimes when a TV show changes showrunners there’s a big tonal shift in the series. It happened on The West Wing when Aaron Sorkin left and on Gilmore Girls when Amy Sherman-Palladino left. Supernatural seemed relatively similar when Sera Gamble took over for Eric Kripke at the start of season 6, probably because she was already working with the show.

Similarly, Carver is no stranger to Supernatural and I highly doubt we’ll be seeing any major changes. At least I hope not. Supernatural is a pretty simple show with a pretty simple formula. Sam and Dean fight monsters. It’s about the bonds of brotherly love and the desire to help people. So long as those fundamental truths remains the same, Supernatural should be in good hands.

What questions do you have after the season 7 finale? And how do you plan on surviving nearly five whole months without new Supernatural?

(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.