Last week’s episode of ‘The Winchesters’ was extra fun – because I got to watch it with my friend Nightsky from The Winchester Family Business. We’ve been friends since the early seasons of Supernatural but we live in different cities, so getting to watch anything “live” together is rare. We went to the premiere of A Knock At The Cabin in New York City the night before (it was awesome fyi), so were both at my house on Tuesday – which meant viewing party for The Winchesters! Here’s our morning after thoughts on the episode….before coffee, so keep that in mind….
Let’s start with our OG Supernatural fave, Dean. Here’s his narration from the episode:
Dean: This isn’t how I saw things going when I pushed over that first domino. Thing is, I’ve had more than a few dances with free will and fate, but as my dad used to say, “fate is what you make it.”
Lynn: Wait, did John Winchester actually say that on Supernatural?
Nightsky: I don’t remember him saying that, and if he didn’t, this is huge! It means that Dean is changing the timeline.
Lynn: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I don’t want OG Supernatural’s timeline changed!
Nightsky (not at all rattled by the outburst): Including Dean’s narration, fate is mentioned fifteen times in the episode. The gem is the Gem of Ursitoare, the Roman gods of fate.
Lynn: Okay, so it’s about fate. That’s a Supernatural theme for sure. But what was it trying to say about fate?
Nightsky: Lata says, “fate has a different meaning for the undead… It shows the next fated moment in your destiny. According to the legend, the leader saw he was fated to die and chose to save himself over the clan… Once the object reveals your fate, it is sealed.” But John proved that the context of fate is unknown, and within his control. Dean is “undead” in a way, so are they hinting that Dean is trying to change his and Sam’s fates, and maybe even the entire Winchester clan’s fate?
Lynn: That makes me nervous. I didn’t necessarily see this as John changing his fate though. In this episode’s climactic scene with John and the vampire, I saw the fact that the outcome was not what we first expected as made possible because John didn’t know the full context of what was happening in that vision of the future – it didn’t necessarily show that he was being killed, only that the vampire was biting him, and we don’t know what happened before or after. What if that is exactly what happened before and after, and he just figured it out? That would mean John didn’t change anything. The combination of time travel and changing fate makes my head hurt though.
Nightsky: Even though Dean remembers his dad saying “fate is what you make it”, going back through the episode, it was Millie who said it, not John. Maybe this is where John learns that lesson from his mother.
Lynn: A lot of this show is about where John or Mary learned things from their parents, that’s for sure. (What’s also interesting is that Nightsky and I both thought that John DID say it, but it’s not in the transcript we’re looking at over breakfast…)
Nightsky: In the pilot of The Winchesters, Dean says “I know this story might sound familiar, but I’m gonna put the pieces together in a way that just might surprise you, and in order to do that, I have to start all the way at the beginning.” In this episode, that’s exactly what John did. He was shown a vision of one version of events, but he put together the pieces of that puzzle in a way that wasn’t initially what he thought it would be. Maybe that’s what this series is doing – putting a context around the Winchester story that we know. They’re not changing anything, but fitting it into a larger, more complete, paradigm.
Lynn: Maybe, though that still makes me a little nervous. It still feels like change, even if it’s not going to change those goalposts they talked about not moving.
Nightky: In my reviews, I’ve been noting how I’m getting a much deeper understanding of all of the Winchesters because of the context of their history. It’s not changing anything in their personalities but I’m understanding so much more about them than I ever did before. It’s giving me “aha” moments that are enriching my love of Supernatural.
Lynn: There are some times I can fit them into the canon of Supernatural and then I can feel them as expanding my understanding of them, but there are those other times when I can’t make them fit, so I’m just left scratching my head. One of my hopes for this show is that it doesn’t change anything I know and love from Supernatural – hence my persistent concern – but instead fills in some blanks. There are moments that make me go, huh? That doesn’t sound like anything this character would have said or done in Supernatural! Times when I can’t see Samuel ever saying that, or Mary, or even Dean in his narration. It’s only sometimes, but those times are confusing – hopefully they will all make sense in episode 13!
Nightsky: So besides the theme of free will versus changing or contextualizing fate, what were the highlights of the episode for you?
Lynn: There was a lot of Millie, and that always makes me happy. Bianca Kajlich is amazing, and I believe every single ounce of her portrayal of Millie. Whenever she and Drake Rodger get a chance to interact in an emotional scene, I’m captivated by it because it feels so genuine.
Lynn: You can feel her anguish there, having to do that to her son. I can’t imagine… I love her toughness, and the fierce love underneath, maybe because it appeals to the mom in me, but I also love how we get only little glimpses of that reluctant vulnerability. Hmm. Am I saying she reminds me of Dean? Because sometimes she reminds me of Dean. We haven’t heard her say “no chick flick moments” but that’s one of those things that I can trace forward to Dean and it feels like it makes sense.