Page 2 of 10
2) What do you see differently in the pilot now that we know more about where things ended up?
Elle - Certainly it's easier to see the breadcrumb trail of character development and/or plot arrows than it was as a naive first time viewer. Flickering lights might be ominous on a first watch, but now they mean, almost guarantee, demonic activity (or supernatural in the very least). Not to say it wasn't subtle - but now that we know what to look for, it's much clearer.
Elle2 - For the longest time I wondered why Mary didn’t shout for John to come with her when she realized someone else was in Sam’s nursery, but then it hit me, could her hunter instincts have kicked in and she realized that, Marine or not, John wasn’t ready for a supernatural showdown and her skills and past as a hunter would serve her best alone? Granted, when she rounds the corner at the top of the hallway she calls out for Sammy, but it isn’t until she screams that John actually awakens and comes to investigate. By then, it was all over. Family always tries to protect: Mary was trying to hide from hunting, protect herself from her past, and protect herself by never revealing it to John, but it came for her anyway. Sam tried to leave hunting and it’s hunted him down each time: Stanford as well as in Season 8 when he left it all behind, yet he couldn’t really leave it when his attempted normal life with Amelia ended with her presumed-dead husband returning and him returning to Rufus’ cabin, and running into Dean. Also, for all Dean’s bravado that hunting is what he loves and normal isn’t in the cards for them, which is present in the Pilot, he really does long for normal. We saw it in What Is and What Should Never Be, as well as Dark Side of the Moon and Dream a Little Dream of Me, even his time with Lisa. But he knew, he always knew the hunting life would come back for him.
Metamorphic Rocks - Sam's choice to hunt with Dean after Jessica died, which initially seemed so fateful in the pilot, doesn't really have the consequences we initially thought it did, now that we know so much more. Originally it appeared that if Sam never went with Dean on that night, then he wouldn't have been taken by The Yellow Eyed Demon, he wouldn't have died, Dean wouldn't have had to sell his soul to bring Sam back so Dean wouldn't have gone to Hell, Sam wouldn't have started the apocalypse, and so on.
However, as we find out in later seasons, even if Sam didn't get pulled back into hunting, it was Sam's destiny - of sorts - to be immersed in this life. It turned out that Sam was being manipulated by demons since he was six months old, being groomed from very early on to become Lucifer's vessel (just as Dean was meant to be Michael's), so that initial choice he made in the pilot isn't as critical as it once seemed.
Percysowner - I think I answered this, but the big thing is I now see Mary's reaction differently. Suddenly her not screaming for John and confronting, what we now know is Azazel, by herself. She must have seen John as not being able to handle what she was about to confront, while she had hunter's knowledge and at least John wouldn't get himself killed again.