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3) Are there show elements in the pilot that you as a viewer had forgotten were laid down that early?
Elle - I'd almost forgotten about the coordinates John used to communicate - of course I knew it's what he did, but I hadn't thought of it in a while.
Elle2 - The marriage of the supernatural and the natural. We’ve had episodes such as The Benders and Family Remains, to name two, which are all human: a family of hunters who hunt humans…otherwise known as serial killers, and a child born from an incestuous relationship kept locked in a house, who most definitely goes mad from the mistreatment. In the Pilot, both elements are present: the tragedy of the Winchesters’ lives at the hands of a demon and the never-ending hunt to find and kill the “thing” is set against the urban legend of the Woman In White, which, in this incarnation, is born out of the very human events of betrayal, tragedy, and suicide. It’s also a microcosm of the Winchesters’ lives: Sam tries to go live a normal, human life but the supernatural hunts him down; while Dean embraces the supernatural through hunting and saving people, but needs the very human elements of his father and brother with him.
Percysowner - The two things I think of is that the demons really were after Sam from the beginning, that it wasn't a random attack and that Mary knew more about what was going on than we guessed.
Metamorphic Rocks - The only thing I didn't remember is that Supernatural has used parallels for Sam and Dean's situation even from the very first episode. The Woman in White was an effective one (Mothers lost - though for different reasons, families torn apart by tragedy - specifically murder, the inability to return home to what used to be - they were all there) and the first in many, many parallels the show would utilize to illuminate the Winchester Brothers' circumstances, relationship dynamics, and emotional states at any given time.