‘The Winchesters’ Pilot Episode Brings Lots of Emotions to a Long-Time Supernatural Fan

I already posted my emotional non-spoilery reactions to the pilot episode of The Winchesters which aired at New York Comic Con, but I also wanted to do a rewatch and a deep dive into the events of the episode itself and the introduction of the younger version of John and Mary Winchester who we know from the original series, Supernatural. As a very very passionate Supernatural fan who watched that show for 15 seasons, I felt both anticipation and trepidation at a prequel kicking off – it was mostly due to the reassurance of people who knew the Supernatural world intimately that I went into watching ‘The Winchesters’ pilot hoping for the best. I was also anxious, though. I am very protective of “My Show” and always will be.

So it was with a lot of conflicting emotions that I watched the series premiere. Now that I’m home and have done a rewatch, here’s my deep dive into the events of the pilot and the characters, familiar and new, introduced in the episode.

It’s a suitably spooky beginning, a dark graveyard and an Indiana Jones-esque character entering a crypt by torch light to slice his palm and draw a blood sigil, opening a stone container to retrieve something – and then run like hell trying to escape from the monster that’s now after him! As Supernatural beginnings go, that’s pretty on point!

And then we’re greeted by a “Welcome To Lawrence” sign and an instrumental music background that’s also reminiscent of what Jensen Ackles likes to call “the mothership”, OG Supernatural. That show used lots of signage to mark the brothers’ travels, so this also feels familiar. Young John Winchester (Drake Rodger) is on a bus heading back to Lawrence, fresh from the war, still rattled by flashbacks thanks to the PTSD he’s brought back with him, and clutching a mysterious letter addressed to him.

Apparently the show had to fight hard for the extra budget to film John’s war scenes, but I think those instincts were good – we need to understand how much impact the violence John experienced had on him, and how much guilt he’s carrying around as a result of not being able to save his comrades. Those experiences are integral to his determination to head down the ‘saving people hunting things’ path, especially the guilt and the subsequent need to save everyone he can. Similar motivations will send his sons down the same path eventually, as we all know.

“March 23, 1972” a familiar voice narrates – it’s no surprise to anyone that it’s Jensen Ackles reprising his role of Dean Winchester. The narration is emotional for any Supernatural fan, but it’s also a bit confusing, because we don’t know who Dean is supposed to be talking to, and it actually sounds like he’s talking to us, the audience – and that he’s somehow savvy about the anxiety fans have had over whether this prequel will mess with established canon. “I know this story might sound familiar, but I’m gonna put the pieces together in a way that might surprise you” seems directed at us, the anxious viewers. Perhaps that’s only for this first bit of narration but it struck me as interesting. I guess we’ll see!

I’m not entirely convinced that we really needed Dean as the narrator, as much as I’ve missed having my favorite character in the history of the universe on my screen. I would kinda like to watch this story as its own thing, and am not sure I need the frame of Dean looking back. But hopefully they worked that into the ongoing story in an organic way that just hasn’t been revealed yet.

Anyway, John does indeed bump into Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) just like we’d heard in the original show. It’s a “meet cute” in the tradition of meet cutes, and both John and Mary are likable, but they don’t get that cup of coffee that we heard they did right away. Instead, Mary walks away with a “see ya around, soldier boy”, a cheeky shout out to Jensen Ackles’ role on The Boys as Soldier Boy.

I admit I smiled at that and both her and John’s love of licorice (something their son Dean will later share and which I cannot fathom at all..). Also I love Mary’s bell bottoms! Don’t tell me that bell bottoms aren’t awesome, I remember how awesome they were! I’m hoping fervently that Danneel Ackles agrees with me, because I’m fairly certain she’s the biggest influence on the fashion choices we’ll see on this show.

John’s reunion with his mother Millie (Bianca Kajlich) is frosty to start, which is interesting. Millie owns the gas station and is a mechanic, and she pulls no punches reminding John that from her perspective, “my husband and son walked out on me, so…”

She also clearly adores him as she sweeps him into a welcome home hug.

I like the complicated mother-son dynamic, which strikes me as realistic. John pops open a beer saying he’s legal now; Millie takes it away. It’s like every college kid who lives independently at school and then comes home on that first break and gets treated like a kid all over again.

We also find out that John enlisted illegally when he was actually too young, which explains some of the age inconsistencies fans were wondering about but also adds to existing canon which makes me nervous anyway. It’s an anxiety-provoking experience to love something passionately and not want anything to ever change it, and then to have something that has the potential to change it. It requires a tremendous amount of trust to believe the people who have that power to change it care as much as you do, and to believe them when they say they won’t destroy anything that you love so fervently. That’s what I’m doing, I’m trusting, but that doesn’t entirely eradicate my anxiety!

Millie accuses John of chasing after his dad ever since he disappeared mysteriously, saying that’s why he enlisted, and not exactly believing him when he assures her “I’m fine.” Mom advises John to let the past go, but John sets out to follow the instructions in the mysterious  letter – and runs right into Mary again.  That’s because a demon tries to take the key that was in the envelope (and then ‘kill you quick’) and Mary comes to the rescue.

The ensuing fight scene was in the trailer and isn’t one of my favorite parts of the pilot. I’m all for Mary being that overused word “badass”, but I need that to be realistic. She’s a trained hunter and no doubt a skilled fighter, but she’s about half the size of the demon she’s fighting so it ends up not looking all that plausible. John has also presumably had some fight training, so his ineptitude is a bit baffling. I didn’t like when Supernatural did the ‘make the guys look silly to make the women look more badass” and I’m not a big fan of that here either – let her be badass and competent, period. That said, I did like Mary using her brains and having the vat of holy water ready to push the demon into. That I totally believe!

The demon makes the mistake of taunting Mary about someone she cares about being “down there”, and the reference to Maggie pushes Mary to spout off an exorcism and send the demon smoking out, much to John’s bewilderment. There’s a welcome reference to the fact that some hosts can in fact be saved after possession (though not the poor guy floating in the holy water tub). Drake Rodger does a good job with portraying John’s What The Effing Hell reaction, and Mary is matter of fact as she tells him the truth about what he just saw.

John tells Mary the truth about the mysterious letter and key – that a man he didn’t know gave him the letter and then vanished. Literally. (Dean?) It’s a letter from his dad, who John is understandably obsessed with figuring out what happened to him, saying that if he wants answers, he had to come to that address. They realize they’re both looking for their missing dads, and so they enter the crypt together.  Mary couldn’t get in before, since the door is magically sealed.

John: Wait, magic is real too?

Mary: It’s all real.

John: Right. Of course it is.

Shades of young Dean telling very young Sam the truth reluctantly, heartbroken by Sam’s heartbreak in response.

(For me as a viewer, these reveals were also discomfiting, since in the original show John didn’t know about any of this – hunting, Men of Letters, nothing. So it’s a big change and I trust it will all make sense eventually with a mind wipe or the reveal of an AU or something, but for right now it just feels anxiety provoking! I guess I’m with John on that.)

As John uses the key to open the door, Mary realizes why the demon didn’t possess either of them – there’s an anti possession charm on the key, and Mary has one on her charm bracelet. Good thinking, Henry Winchester!

The exposition is inevitably a bit clunky as Mary has to fill John in on virtually everything hunting in like three minutes, but I suppose that had to be done to move the story along. Not sure they couldn’t have slowed the pace down a little instead of jam packing all that reveal into the first ten minutes of the show though.

John suspects that maybe his dad was “one of those paranormal freemasons” especially with the symbol on the envelope, but Mary insists there’s no such thing. Also canon that Mary didn’t know about the Men of Letters, it should be noted.  As they look around the cavernous room they’re surprisingly in, Mary sees a switch and throws it – and the lights come on to illuminate what is reminiscent of the Men of Letters bunker from Supernatural, so much so that it brought a lump to my throat.

The Winchesters — “Pilot” — Image Number: WHS101d_0032r.jpg — Pictured: Meg Donnelly as Mary — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The Winchesters — Image Number: WHS101b_0655.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Meg Donnelly as Mary and Drake Rodger as John — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I was immediately thrown back to the time I was on set to watch filming and got to roam the incredible Men of Letters set, with none other than The Winchesters showrunner (then Supernatural writer) Robbie Thompson to play tour guide and show us around. It was such an amazing set, and felt so real, down to all sorts of unexpected details.

I also immediately remembered Jensen Ackles’ emotional video as they tore apart that set as the show came to an end. So when I say that my emotions around this show are complicated? Yeah, they’re complicated.

John: What is this place? Clubhouse?

He wipes the thick dust off a plaque, and my emotions get even more complicated as he reads it.

John: Who are the Men of Letters?

Mary easily picks the lock on some file cabinets, while John finds a locker labeled “H.E.W” – Henry Eric Winchester. (I’m guessing Henry’s previously unrevealed middle name is a shout out to the man who created this universe, Eric Kripke)

John unlocks it with the combination that’s his birthday and finds photos and a watch that were his dad’s. he shares a story with Mary that’s another callback to the pilot of Supernatural.

John: When I was little I thought there was a monster under my bed. My dad would say, don’t worry son, I know how to trap it.

Mary far too easily finds the file on the first try that her dad was looking for and they set out to find Ada Munroe and the box he risked his life to find. And then they part ways, Mary advising John that he doesn’t want any part of the hunting life.

Mary: Go home, soldier boy…

The Winchesters — “Pilot” — Image Number: WHS101f_0165r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Drake Rodger as John and Meg Donnelly as Mary — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

There’s a shot of the movie marquee playing Slaughterhouse Five, referenced in Supernatural as where John and Mary met – one of the “signposts” that Ackles talks about hitting (but changing what happens in between them). I’m still nervous, but I can see what they’re trying to do at least.

We find Ada (Demetria McKinney) in Texas in her bookstore, running like hell before being unable to escape being possessed by a demon.  John doesn’t listen to Mary’s ‘stay away’, wooing her with coffee and some research that leads to the missing Ada in Lubbock.

Mary: You’re like a dog with a bone.

John: And coffee…

Mary: Your dad kept all this from you for a reason.

John: Yeah, and I hate him for that… and I love him.

There’s a kind of running joke that codes Mary as Dean and John as Sam, including how they take their coffee. So off they go, driving from Lawrence to Lubbock. We meet Latika (Nida Khurshid) in the library and I like her immediately.

The Winchesters — “Pilot” — Image Number: WHS101b_0456r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jojo Fleites as Carlos and Nida Khurshid as Latika — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

She’s smart and great at puzzles, and worried about Samuel Campbell hunting alone without family and disappearing after he saved her life. She also insists on coming with them, despite not being a fan of the scary (or rats – understandably).

It’s both jarring and satisfying to see Mary and John driving to their next case so much like Sam and Dean. John has more flashbacks, most notably him promising another Marine called Murph “I’ll get you through this” and then that guy stepping on a landmine, turning in slow motion to say “John…”   I can’t imagine really understanding John’s mental state without these flashbacks, so kudos to whoever fought hard for them – the Ackles as exec producers, I’m guessing.

John still has a piece of Murph’s silver cross necklace literally embedded in his shrapnel-scarred arm. John thinks he’s being haunted by the man’s ghost, but Mary pulls out an EMF meter and says nope, no actual ghost. She empathizes though, saying that she sees the face of everyone she couldn’t save. They bond a little over that shared struggle, and understand each other a bit better.

They find Ada’s rare book shop trashed and reeking of sulfur, and a familiar looking pin board on the wall marking Samuel’s search (with one paper prominently reading “Manners”, a shout out to the late and dearly beloved Supernatural director and producer Kim Manners). John himself will leave behind similar pin boards when he goes missing and his own sons are searching for him in Supernatural.

Unfortunately the demon Mary exorcised before has a new host and confronts them in the street. Luckily, fourth member of the new team Carlos (JoJo Fleites) shows up just in time to run the demon down with his Scooby van.

I think I’m going to really like the character of Carlos and was looking forward to meeting him, but his character was also a little over the top, so I’m hoping that was just for the big intro. I like his personality and sense of humor, but the ‘Jimi Janis Jim Morrison’ was a bit much.

Drake and JoJo Fleites have some great comic chemistry together, especially when Carlos asks John to read the exorcism scribbled on a menu and John instead starts reading the actual menu. I laughed out loud! John manages the exorcism and this time they can save the woman, though she can’t be in too great shape after being hit by a freaking van!

Mary and John do the same looking-at-you-while-you’re-not-looking thing that Sam and Dean did when they weren’t saying what they were thinking, as they look through MoL folders. (I have one of those from the Supernatural set so that made me unexpectedly nostalgic too).

The pilot introduces some of the dynamics between Carlos, Lata and Mary, including that Mary doesn’t think Latika is ready to hunt and thinks she should walk away while she can (Mary is still feeling guilty for what happened to Maggie, just like John is feeling guilty for what happened to Murph). We also learn that Carlos used to have a crush on Mary and “flaked on her” while making out with someone’s ex-boyfriend, so we gather that Carlos is perhaps bisexual. That puts some pressure on the show to avoid stereotypes but I’m looking forward to learning more about Carlos – and I love every interview I’ve seen with JoJo, who identifies as non-binary in real life. We find out that a ghoul killed Carlos’ family before he could kill it, giving him a similar motive for hunting. The pilot is not as dark as Supernatural in tone, but we get some hints of the underlying darkness in Carlos’ conversation with John.

Carlos: The only thing worse than how it starts for a hunter is how it ends.


Carlos is also a musician, which should bode well for more classic 70s tunes.

Lata figures out that the box that Samuel was looking for is one that traps monsters, pulling them inside and killing them (like that ‘egg’ that the British Men of Letters had on Supernatural, presumably). She also figures out how it can probably be opened.  Samuel has left some coordinates in the book – now we know where John got that practice of leaving coordinates for his sons – and that leads the foursome to New Orleans, Mary insisting on driving (now we know where Dean gets that…)

Lata and John bond over being nervous but they both choose to go in and face the danger, following Mary and Carlos.

The Winchesters — Image Number: WHS101i_0315r1jpg — Pictured (L-R): Drake Rodger as John, Meg Donnelly as Mary, Nida Khurshid as Latika and Jojo Fleites as Carlos — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Mary shares that Maggie was her cousin and like a sister to her, killed by a vampire a year ago. She was killed at eighteen, just like John’s buddy Murph. Mary tells John she wants out of the life, that her parents put a knife in her hand when she was four years old – a callback to the Supernatural pilot when Sam, who also wanted out, complains that their dad (John) put a .45 in his hand when he was eight years old and said he was afraid of monsters.

Intergenerational trauma at its best! (worst…)

Their conversation is also a direct callback to a painful conversation between Sam and Dean, where Sam says that after they find their dad, he’s walking away, much to Dean’s anguish. John isn’t invested in the same way (yet), but he does question what she wants to do with her life instead.

They’re now in the tomb where we first saw Samuel running from the monster, and they open the same lid and descend into the “giant hole in the above ground cemetery” as Lata describes it. John and Mary go down, John feeling more and more like this is “a normal night”. These scenes are all shot by torchlight, which is really beautiful and gives a much more believable feel to monster encounters – it’s beautiful in the way that director of photography Serge Ladouceur’s famous flashlight lit scenes in Supernatural always were.

Carlos and Latika stay on top, and Carlos inexplicably leaves her alone for a few minutes, and that of course is when the demon possessing Ada shows up. Carlos returns in time, having figured out there’s a loup-garou below menacing John and Mary, but gets knocked out.

Meanwhile, John and Mary find the box and then the monster finds them, and the next few minutes are full of action and suspense that is well done.

It’s a loup-garou, which I would have preferred to not actually see clearly, but it’s a scary scene nonetheless. John proves himself a true Winchester by cutting the silver cross out of his own arm to slow the monster down enough to buy Mary time to get out of there alive. She crawls back up and retrieves the knife, tossing it down to John and tossing the box to Latika to open. In true Supernatural fashion, John finally finds the knife and Lata figures out how to open the box just in time, the demon being sucked into the box and John beheading the loup-garou as a preview of the badass hunter he’s clearly going to turn out to be. I saw “our” John Winchester then, in that moment. The man he’ll end up being, for better and for a lot worse.

John brings Henry’s watch back to Millie, demanding to know how she could keep this from him. She says all she ever wanted was her own garage, like her old man had (aka “normal”). That when he was born she knew she’d do anything to keep him safe – a Winchester tradition.

Millie: Maybe one day, when you have kids, you’ll understand.

The Winchesters — “Pilot” — Image Number: WHS101a_0096r.jpg — Pictured: Bianca Kajlich as Millie — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The Winchesters — “Pilot” — Image Number: WHS101f_0435r.jpg — Pictured: Drake Rodger as John — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

We would have thought of Sam and Dean at that moment anyway, but Jay Gruska’s “Americana”, the family theme of Supernatural, plays to make it even more poignant.

John: That’s what Dad was trying to do too, keep us safe.

He gives Millie the letter – from Henry. Voiced, as we knew from the convention a few weeks ago when they clued us in, by Gil McKinney, who played Henry Winchester on Supernatural. It was so good to hear his voice again!

Henry apologizes for keeping the truth from his son, writing that their family has fought the dangers out there for centuries, and ending with “I love you, and your mother, always.”  Millie is tearful reading it, begging John not to go down this road. But John is determined.

John: Saving people, hunting things, I was born to do this.

The callback is so specific it starts to feel too much to me at this point, the very mantra of Supernatural repeated here. I get it, that they want to tie this explicitly and specifically to the mothership, but there’s a part of me that wants to watch this as its own show and let it succeed on its own merits.

Millie: You sound just like your daddy. Just come home.

John: I promise.

Ah, the Winchester promise. We know how that goes.

The four connect with Ada, who tells John that he looks like his dad.

The Winchesters — “Pilot” — Image Number: WHS101d_0504v2r.jpg — Pictured: Demetria McKinney as Ada — Photo: Matt Miller/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

She also tells John that all the Men of Letters she knew disappeared 15 years ago. Ada also clues them in to what they – and Samuel – are up against. The Akrida, who tried for centuries to invade their world but were held back by the Men of Letters. Now they’re all gone – and so the Akrida are back. They want to wipe out everyone, including demons and monsters and humans, and take over the world, as the best of monsters do. Samuel was trying to find out where they were coming in (somewhere in Savannah).

Mary: Well then it looks like I have to get to Savannah.

John: We. Looks like we have to get to Savannah.

Mary nods and the foursome set off, and we hear – and see – Dean Winchester again.

Dean: What they didn’t know was that the Akrida weren’t just a threat to Earth, but to all of existence.

The narration continues, once again seemingly directed more to us than anyone in story.

Dean: Like I told you, there’s gonna be some surprises…but I’ll explain everything. And until then, I’ll keep picking the music.

Another shout out to the Supernatural pilot, when Dean reminds Sam that “driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.”

Dean climbs into the Impala  – with a glance at the Samulet hanging from the mirror – and drives off to some classic rock. A typical early days of Supernatural ending which made me smile.

The first part of that narration seems like a clue to what might be happening and why Dean is “back”. Could the Akrida be a threat to Heaven too? Or could this be an AU world that’s also threatened? Does it involve some threat to Sam, and that’s why Dean cast that glance at the Samulet as he drove away with an empty seat beside him? I hope so, because I need an explanation of why Dean is back on my TV and Sam is not – because right now, that hurts.

I had so many feelings when the episode ended – especially the first time I saw it, sitting in the giant Empire Ballroom at New York Comic Con and watching it on the big screen – that I sat there a bit dumbstruck for a few minutes. There’s a remembrance of a beloved crew member, stunt coordinator for the early seasons Lou Bollo, on the screen at the end, making me even more emotional. Lou was an integral part of that episode I got to watch film in the Men of Letters bunker, and I was fascinated to watch him choreograph a fight scene so brilliantly.

So much has changed, I was reminded, and there’s been a lot of loss in the 17 years since Supernatural began, and it all ganged up on me as I sat there. Rewatching the episode now, I still feel pretty emotional. And I’m still feeling protective about the show that changed my life that I will love forever, but I also did enjoy this brand new show and its new cast of characters.

I like the callbacks and homage as long as it it’s not so much that it loses its impact, and I like all four of the “core four” characters. It had enough of a Supernatural vibe to seem like it is indeed a prequel, but it was also different – as an ensemble from the start, I want to get to know all four of them  (and Millie) and hope that the interrelationships will remain complex. Drake Rodger was particularly good at making me care about John, and showing us his vulnerability as he struggles with guilt and PTSD. I can see both of his future sons in him, a mix of Sam and Dean with both their strengths and vulnerabilities. The chemistry between John and Mary isn’t quite there yet, but I like the comedic moments between Drake and Meg already so that’s a start. Carlos and Latika and Millie are all characters I want to know.

So, I’m trusting you, Robbie Thompson and Jensen and Danneel Ackles. I’ll go on this ride with you, hoping that this Supernatural universe that’s so beloved to me will stay alive and thriving, and will someday bring Sam and Dean back to me too. Until then, looking forward to the next episode on Tuesday and getting to know these characters even better.

– Lynn

You can read Jensen Ackles and many other

Supernatural cast and fans’ chapters about

what this show and fandom have meant to

them in Family Don’t End With Blood –

links here or at peacewhenyouaredone.com

Thanks, Robbie!




29 thoughts on “‘The Winchesters’ Pilot Episode Brings Lots of Emotions to a Long-Time Supernatural Fan

  • Really interesting take, Lynn. I had steeled myself to be disappointed, but actually ended up liking the episode.

    You have, however, articulated a few issues here that I had e.g. the much-vaunted physical ‘badassery’ of petite Mary versus a considerably larger, plus supernaturally-powered, demon, the WIP nature of the central romance and (ironically) the supernatural elements like the monsters not quite working. Also, Meg’s Mary reminds me more of Clare Novak than Sam Smith’s Mary at this point, but, to be fair, Meg has the almost impossible task of being the female Dean Winchester. That Ackles guy is a tough act to follow.

    There were flashes of a great show for me, though. Drake, in particular, I thought was a really natural actor and believable as a Winchester – although he does have the advantage of resembling Jared physically. And I actually really like Carlos myself and loved Lata’s scene with John when they were bonding about being nervous. Plus, a few of the exterior daytime scenes were gorgeous to look at and the music was unsurprisingly excellent.

    I also actually loved Dean’s narration – for me it gives the show a tantalising and more ominous ‘bigger picture’ dimension and echo. But I agree. The jarring absence of Sam (and Jared) is really disconcerting, and just feels wrong. I do believe in Jensen – and Robbie and Danneel – though, so am crossing my fingers that twill work out. Overall, kudos to all involved and looking forward to next week.

    • Oh also! Really liked Millie and the garage, thought Demetria was great but Ada’s purpose in the story wasn’t clear to me, loved the reveal of the Men of Letters ‘clubhouse’ and thought the last line ‘Until then, I’ll keep picking the music’ was gorgeous.

    • I too was impressed with Drake’s performance and how much he seems like a Winchester. I also just liked him and Meg as people meeting them at New York Comic Con, and believe that they are going to do their damnedest to fill those (very big) shoes

      • Agreed! From the interview and panel videos I watched, they both seemed absolutely lovely and really committed to doing the story justice and bringing their own magic to the mix. I’m looking forward to watching them settle into their roles and taking us on another amazing ride in this Winchester saga 🙂

  • I think Deans narration is directed at Sam.

    Not feeling the Akrida. I get needing a Big Bad for the season however I cant help
    but think this one is so big and so bad that they over reached. Kind of like the Darkness never really lived up to its promise. And The Box. Not only does it capture but it kills too. Talk about an inanimate Deus Ex Machina! Its reusable! Like Rubys knife. Or the Colt!. And seriously is this what they are going to use to defeat this incredible force that wants to wipe out everything? Sounds like Leviathans on sreroids.
    I liked for the most part. Thought Drake did a great job. He even made the shrapnel in the arm seem plausible. Tho honestly that teeny piece? That was a tad lame. I wouldve tried to poke it in the eye at least.
    Having issues not being able to view what i just wrote so if it doesnt make sense that is why

    • It does make sense! The monsters are inevitably the weakest part for me, but that’s also because it’s always the relationships and the characters I’m interested in. It is a pretty giant reach tho, monsters who are a threat to not just Earth but everything! It could be Sam he’s narrating too, but some of the narration just made the most sense if it was actually directed at the viewers – I don’t actually think that was the intention, but it ended up sounding that way.

  • Im thinking what if after all this time, Deans in Heaven and Sams on Earth living out his years with Blurry Wife and Mini Dean when the Akrida, having been beaten back by the Core Four years ago – forever they thought – is now back to rear their ugly heads. Because of something they either didnt do or did wrong and now everyting is once more at stake.
    Either thru AU or time rravel or dual timelines ala Doctor Strange Dean has to intervene but in a very limited way. Hence the handoff of Henrys letter and quick disapperance. Dean needs to figure out what happened and help then correct what once went wrong.
    I still think the appearance of that burgandy Mustang that sounded like the Impala drove up just at the correct moment to distract John so that he ran into Mary was suspicious. Could Dean be in the Mustang?
    I know. Wishful thinking. Still it was convienent.
    Make Mary strong and kickass but on her own merit. No dumbing down or making her opponents weak… I could t stand Claire-Sue from the original, the last thing we need is a Mary-Mary Sue. Physically that demon they first encountered would have wiped the floor with her. And when he fell into the Tub ‘O Holy Water – where were the throes and the splashing? Cmon now. And if Im nick picking – a few squirts of Holy water is enough to disable a demon so that Carlos can casually strut while lying down a circle of salt? Granted it had just gotten hit by the van but still. And why didnt it just smoke out before its annointing by Carlos?

    Loved the reading of the menu
    Drake was manifesting Sam/Jared there. Those mannerisms? Spot on. Dont know if it was intentional or not but bravo!

    • The comparisons to Claire I’ve seen alot, and it’s true that right now Mary seems more like Claire than any version of Mary we saw – but I’m hoping that changes as we get to know her. I am looking forward to finding out just why Dean is on this mission of his (and when) – it seems we won’t know for sure until episode 13, which is an awful long time to wait!

  • Thanks Lynn, another weekly review to look forward to! I was expecting to like the show, and I did. I agree that the chemistry is not quite there with John and Mary just yet, and thought maybe the one liners by Mary could have been timed better? Sometimes seemed like the line was rushed and didn’t sound natural. I thought this with some of Carlos’ lines too.
    You mentioned wishing the monster had remained blurred, and I agree. I had to look up loup-garou, not being american, but it looked more lizard like to me than werewolf. Was it hairy?? Anyway it’s neck looked thicker than my thigh (and that’s saying something!) and for John to lob its head clean off in one swing with that mini machete, was weird. Couldn’t they have just used a longer blade? It’s these little details that irk me, because it seems so easy to fix.
    Still, I think it’s off to an interesting start. Maybe it was an angel that popped back with the letter? Maybe one of those pesky cupids that were intent on Heavens orders? Maybe we’ll never know. But I’m looking forward to scooby-gang adventures!

    • I think we will know – Robbie and the Ackles are promising that all will eventually be revealed – but it looks like we may have to wait a while!

  • I share your reservations and am not yet comfortable with this whole concept – especially the fact that they’ve shoehorned Dean in and not Sam. I understand the commercial pressures meant they had to find a way to include Jensen, but the way this has unfolded has left me very distrustful (not necessarily of Jensen himself but of the studio and Robbie’s ability to hold true to the brand).
    But I thought this wasn’t terrible, it was certainly streets ahead of the previous spin off attempts, and even Mary wasn’t as annoying as I’d feared she would be from the trailers. Carlos was the most amusing character (though I’m with you on thinking he was a tad OTT), and I did like Lakita a lot.
    There were a lot of details I’m wary about them ‘fixing’ and I’m still scared about the mess this could make of SPN canon, but I’m reserving my judgement until after this fabled episode 13 which is supposed to make things clearer.

    • I always appreciated that Americana got used so sparingly and I would prefer that stay the same. I think they felt they had to ‘pull out all the stops’ on the pilot to get it to go forward, but I’m hoping they dial back in the next episodes…

  • I think the demons at this time are probably some of the weaker flavor on purpose and not the more powerful ones closer to the apocalypse that surround Lilith Crowley or Lucifer. I like where all the characters are starting from. Mary wants out and I think her turn will be to stay in because of John’s turn to get involved. I found about half way through that I was watching just for this plot on its own merit and it hasn’t done anything yet that really breaks anything. I’m willing to see the story they want to tell me.

    • I think ultimately it’s going to have to succeed on its own merits, so watching just for its plot is a good sign!

  • Sorry, this is soo long, I hadn’t planned to write anything, but after some stuff I’ve seen, I just couldn’t be silent.

    As we all know, Supernatural comes with so much baggage, on screen and off, it was always going to be a tough act to follow.

    Professional critics generally have been rating it reasonably highly, recognising it’s potential as entertainment and understanding that it has many, many positive points, things missing from other shows right now. The SPN family, however, are always going to be grading on a different curve. SPN family adored what went before and the show itself, certainly in the early years under Kripke, set a very high bar and it’s going to take to time to adjust to the fact this is a different show, although from the stable of Supernatural.

    Realistically it was always going to be unable to meet every expectation and hope of the entire Supernatural family, so it isn’t getting the normal ride a brand new show would get. We are a tough articulate audience, who are used to high quality and getting spoiled with some amazing stuff. We have high expectations that are often voiced robustly. When expectations are not met, we are equally robust in response.

    Robbie and Jensen have shared what they can and we have the promise of full disclosure by episode 13 ‘Regarding Dean’ and what’s going on, they have reiterated nothing will change from the Mothership, all they need is a little patience to lay out their own road map. It will be very understandable if it doesn’t suit everyone, not all will want to stay on board for that timescale and that’s ok, but for those who can give TW time to find it’s feet, they will reap the benefits.

    TW has a charm all its own and Dean will take us on a fantastic journey to expand the world. As others have said ( Aly looking at you, you too SciNut 😊) Dean forms part of the bigger mystery, he’s keeping us on our toes, the story pivots around him, he will be essential, we just don’t know the why of it yet. Nothing has been irreparably changed right now and there’s so much obvious love and care being put into this, I trust in the team to deliver.

    Were there a few wrinkles? Yes, of course, what pilot ever is perfect?, There always something that could be different or better. Do the team have to continue to earn our renewed trust ( or indeed, in some people’s minds earn trust back??) certainly. As for the ripples of concern about canon, its also understandable, but think about how many times the Mothership has gone ahead and wilfully broken it’s own canon. I’m sorry to say, there is a laundry list of broken canon scattered over the run of the show. But that said, it’s never been a barrier to having quality product that we could continue to embrace.

    I’m in a happy, positive place, the opening episode of TW felt like being wrapped in hugs from a friend and I thank Jensen and the team for being brave enough to take a risk to bring us this show, knowing they fought for our corner to make the best product they could , knowing it wasn’t and won’t be easy, they chose a hard road to journey on to entertain us. Personally l plan not get hung up on canon in episode one, because what we have here is a golden opportunity to weave in some of those loose disparate threads from Mothership errors/ new canon, out them into shape and make them make more sense than before.

    It’s a new era, following a new road, do we miss our old show? Absolutely, we will never not want our beloved brothers doing their thing, but TW is another book in the Winchester Chronicles, maybe a bit more of a Vonnegut version of the Chronicles, but it’s warm welcoming and inclusive, filling the time until the ‘Boys are back in Town’ so let’s enjoy the ride.

    Thanks to you Lynn as always, for your coverage and providing a place to talk.

    And Dean, good to have you back buddy, it’s been too long!

    • Nice take. Id love to see the fandom gather around. As Marion says like it, love it or hate it – at least give it a fair shot.
      Thats all Jensens asking for.

      • I would add, as emotional as we all may feel about this change of direction, realistically there’s going to be things that may not sit right, for the reasons I’ve said above, but collectively we need to try to offer constructive thought through suggestions and feedback that the producers can work with, because I’m sure those who are acting as custodians of the Supernaturalverse ( ha, that’s a word now!) Are listening

      • Add on top of all that the network (CW) and the studio (WB) both changing hands and they’ve got quite the hill to climb. I’m here for it though. Bring it.

      • Excellent point, the Studio, the network and budget do dictate some of the choices that get made and there are rules/ requirements that need to be complied with. Mandated if you like. The TW production doesn’t have free reign and they do have to compromise on their vision at times, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how the team negotiate all these BTS obstacles, it’s a fascinating as what’s happening in screen, in its own right.

    • In all fairness, I used to complain about the canon misfires in the mothership too 🙂 Fingers crossed we don’t get too many of them!

  • As fandoms go we are a tough one.
    Honestly tho, I stuck with Supernatural and that ridiculous Chuck as writer storyline to the end so I think I can weather some wrinkles. Give Jensen and Company the benefit of the doubt and support their efforts. The attacks on Jensen in regards to Jareds/Sams whereabouts and the questioning of his loyalty is beyond the pale.

    So many nay sayers and non stop bitching. We need diversity! And representation! And respect! Only for these same to turn on and mock him because they feel his attempt to provide and cater to is found to be lacking. Or not good enough. Rich, white, greedy, self serving, ego maniac, fraud… you name it Ive read it.

    I do question one thing tho. Ive read Danneel oversees the wardrobe. I lived thru the 70’s. I The clothing? Hit or miss here.
    It is kinda interesting and fun tho while watching to suddenly realize – I remember/I had that/those! And to think Oh my God. What were we thinking? Blast from the past for sure.

    So hey. Carry on our wayward Jensen. We will be there for you.

    • Not quite my seventies either Aly, I think it’s a more stylised look, capturing the essence of, rather than being full on, perhaps that is intentional to give the show its own classic look, the same way the Brothers had their jeans and plaid. All the same it’s certainly going to be interesting to watch doing the compare and contrast thing as the show rolls out all the costumes over the season.
      John Winchester certainly managed to find himself a smart enough jacket that even Beau Arlen would happily have in his wardrobe ( the Brown one, which I’ll christen his ‘Coffee Morning Jacket’🙂)

    • If there’s one thing this fandom is good at, it’s attacking all of the actors, depending on what corner of fandom you reside in. I’m ready to judge the show on its own merits and watch it as its own thing – and looking forward to more 70s fashion and music and ambience. I was also alive in the 70s and yes, so far it’s not quite on point all the time, but I’m enjoying the attempts. I agree with Danneel that it’s an amazing time. Bell bottoms forever lol

    • Well said. I understand and support queries with, comments on and quibbles about the subject matter – the story, the portrayals etc. Audience reactions are valuable part of the cycle of creativity and experience of art. And we love this Supernatural world (though ‘for fans (we) sure do complain a lot’!) and the Winchester brothers and are very protective of it! And Supernatural itself was nowhere near perfect! Just really good and really loved.

      But like you, and Lynn and the rest of the commenters here, I do NOT understand or support personal attacks on anyone involved in the production. There’s a great quote from an Urdu poem which goes something to the effect ‘Riders/kings may fall on the battlefield, but what do those others who have never risen from their knees know of falling?’ …Not a great translation I’m afraid, but it’s a kind of lyrical version of ‘Tis better to have tried and failed, than to never have tried at all’.

      The Winchesters production is finding its feet as a show, as are Meg and Drake with their characters, and both are doing some things really well, and some things are WIP. I, for one, am very happy to give them the time and space to find their rhythm. Looking forward to Episode 2!

      • People need to keep in mind if The Winchester’s fails the likelihood that anyone will take on any other possible spin offs would be found somewhere between slim to none. Slim being right up there with me ever eating lizard. They need our support and if people can’t do that then at least stop tearing it and the people involved down.

      • That’s a very good point Aly, the studio and network have to have continued faith that this world is one investing in , know that they still have our good faith, that the ratings will be there and it serves them as an organisation, if we ever want to see Dean and Sam again.

  • I agree that I liked a lot of the Pilot, and will keep watching for now. I’m intrigued by Henry Winchester’s involvement, and by the idea that Dean is somehow involved in driving the story forward. I got the feeling that Dean was writing the story up to share with Sam once Sam gets there.

    drake has a lot of moments where his mannerisms are very Sam-like. I think he will do well. I have yet to be won over by Mary. She’s really not letting her lines have the space and timing they need, IMO, plus as has been stated up above, she is far more Claire than Sam Smith, and I for one loathed Claire.

    Some of the sets were absolutely gorgeous. I loved the first MOL ‘cave’, where Henry’s possessions were found, and I’d love to see the show bring him in somehow. Maybe with Josie/Abbadon and that kind of evil.

    The demon voices didn’t really sit well with me. Can you even imagine to Crowley speaking and that kind of voice emerging from his august larynx? He’d be all, “What the hell? Do we have to?” They really aren’t necessary, and I’d like a little more subtlety in my demons. Maybe I should give it time, but so far I’m less than impressed by the standard of demon deemed necessary to protect their territory against Mary.

    So, having said all that, I have implicit trust in Jensen, who has always seemed to be the supreme #1 SPN fangirl, that he will allow the Mothership the respect that it deserves, and that when he says ‘trust me,’ he’s not just blowing smoke. Please, Mr. Ackles, don’t let me down.

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