If you’re waiting for Mark Sheppard to return as Crowley for Supernatural’s final season, don’t hold your breath.

“Well, Crowley is kind of technically trapped in The Empty right now,” showrunner Andrew Dabb explained to TVLine. “As we know, The Empty is a character for us, someone with an agenda. So I would say there’d have to be a really good reason for The Empty to let Crowley wake up — and I don’t know that reason has been presented quite yet.”

With only nine episodes remaining in the series, Supernatural is running out of time to bring the fan-favorite character back. If Crowley’s return isn’t planned at this point, it seems unlikely to happen. Of course, Dabb could be misdirecting fans so as not to spoil the surprise; his comment certainly leaves the possibility open, if not by much.

Crowley last appeared in “All Along the Watchtower,” the Season 12 finale. The episode saw him sacrifice himself to save Sam and Dean. Since God is on the rampage in Season 15, though, anything is possible — even an 11th hour resurrection. Considering this is the final season of the long-running series, we may yet see the return of the fan-favorite character, but Dabb’s statement makes it seem unlikely.

Returning Monday, March 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, the final season of Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins and Alexander Calvert.

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