Supernatural looks like it’s intent on keeping its creative resurgence alive going into season 9. The series seemed to lack narrative focus in its sixth and seventh seasons, but now it looks like the series is back on track and on target for showrunner Jeremy Carver’s strategy for season 10. It’s almost as if this show – which so often deals in matters of life and death – has experienced a resurrection of its own.

Rumors are already circulating that Supernatural could extend to season 12 or beyond, and considering that the show is among the most consistent hits on The CW, the network is eager for the adventures of the Winchester brothers to continue. Plans are already in the works, in fact, to produce a Supernatural spin-off series. But what can fans expect from the upcoming ninth season?

Fan favorite characters like Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) and Castiel (Misha Collins) are set to return, and now TV Guide reports that Tahmoh Penikett will guest star in the season 9 premiere. The first episode back will feature the actor as Ezekiel, a fallen warrior angel. Carver has previously revealed that season 9 will focus largely on the show’s angels (hence an expanded role for Castiel) and their interactions with the Winchesters.

The Supernatural role marks the latest guest spot for Penikett, who is best known for his series regular roles on Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse. He recently appeared on shows like The Killing, Continuum, Arrow and Castle as well as this summer’s big screen superhero reboot Man of Steel. Given his experience dealing with sci-fi and other genre shows, Penikett’s casting is a no-brainer. Moreover, his work demonstrates that he can bring the right combination of humor and intensity to Supernatural.

It’s unknown at this point if Ezekiel will reappear throughout season 9, but considering that Penikett has a positive relationship with The CW (see: his work on Arrow), it’s likely that – if fans react well to the character – he might pop up again down the line. After all, Supernatural has a history of long-standing recurring characters (and a tendency to not let even death keep the most popular characters away).

Do you think Penikett is a good fit for Supernatural season 9? Who else would you love to see on the show? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts and suggestions.

Supernatural season 9 premieres October 8th, 2013 @9pm on The CW.