After a long wait, we finally have a sneak peek into Supernatural: Bloodlines. And I have to say, that was a lot of information to take in. But even though my head hurts, I am definitely intrigued by the concept of the show. This pilot wasn’t perfect, there is definitely work to be done, but what’s not to love about Chicago and the "Supernatural" universe? The answer to that question is nothing.
Just for my own sanity, I think it’s best to start with a little recap of our main players.
First, there is Ennis Roth, our main character who tragically lost his girlfriend Tamara in a bizarre, supernatural bar fight. We don’t know much else about Ennis except that his father was a cop who died in the line of duty. Or did he?
As Ennis is thrown into the world of hunting, he quickly discovers that Chicago is made up of five monster families who run the entire city; vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, djinn, and ghouls. In this first episode, the majority of time was spent on werewolves (The Duvals) and shifters (The Lassiters). There seems to be a long-running feud between these two families, although the root of their disagreement is never explained. I suspect someone whacked someone’s cousin twice-removed. The whole thing felt very much like two families that had been fighting so long they couldn’t even remember why they started. And honestly, that approach can work. If I’m not mistaken, that’s how Romeo and Juliet began. But personally, I’d be interested to know how these feuds began. And how did these five particular families come to be at the root of it all. But I’m getting ahead of myself and asking way too much of a backdoor pilot.
Perhaps the most interesting dynamic was the love story between Violet (a werewolf) and David (a shapeshifter). Who doesn’t enjoy a little tragic, forbidden love every now and then? It certainly helped that Nathaniel Buzolic who played David Lassiter has a kind of effortless charm. I took a quick glance at his IMDB and it looks like this isn’t his first rodeo with The CW. This network has a habit of recycling its actors and as Supernatural fans know, sometimes it works beautifully. To me, David was definitely the most intriguing character. His backstory is a kind of bizzaro version of Sam’s. David craved a normal, human life and wanted out of his family responsibilities. So he ran off to college to try and live his own life. But circumstances outside of his control pulled him back in.
I also enjoyed the male bonding going on between David and Ennis. They have both lost someone they care about and their world has been turned upside down because of it. I could see David as an ally for Ennis as he begins his hunting career. David may not be willing to help Ennis kill any of his own family, but he may be able to help him find a way to keep the peace in a city that seems determined to go to war.
On the werewolf side of things we have Julian. A gigantic d-bag. For whatever reason, Violet is basically sold to Julian and the two are going to be married. The whole thing felt very outdated and disturbing. According to Julian, Violet is just there to look pretty and shut up. What I can’t understand is why Julian even wants to marry Violet. It doesn’t seem like he enjoys being around her at all. And this is 2014. People aren’t expected to get married anymore. Although I’m sure it’s all about making more werewolf babies to continue those clean bloodlines. Still I feel like Violet has more of a choice in the matter than she seems to think she does. Sure, David’s brother threatened her life if she tried to run off with him, but that doesn’t mean she has to consign herself to a life with Julian. It seems like she has just thrown in the towel.
If Bloodlines does get picked up, there are a few things I’d like to see. I need some more back story on how these five families came to be the powerhouses that they are. I definitely need some more character development where Ennis Roth is concerned. For me, he fell kind of flat in this episode. To be fair, there was a lot to accomplish in 42 minutes. But if he is supposed to be the main character I need to care about him. I would also like to see a little more grit. There is something a little too polished and shiny about this world. I know "Bloodlines" isn’t supposed to be "Supernatural" but it comes from the same universe so it feels like it should ring a little more true to its roots.
What did you all think of this backdoor pilot? Was it what you were expecting? Do you think you would watch it if it gets picked up? Are you anxious to get back to Sam and Dean? I know I am. These last two weeks have been fairly light on the Winchesters. I’m ready to get back into the action.
I did have a few stray observations I wanted to mention.
I was happy to see Sean Farris (Julian Duval) on my TV screen again. I was a fan of the extremely short lived series Life As We Know It. And I’ve been rooting for him ever since.
I am intrigued by the likelihood that Ennis’ father is still alive. The Supernatural universe certainly thrives on absent fathers. But I do wonder what he’s been up to. Is it possible the he is a hunter? Or maybe he was turned by one of the families?
I loved the use of “Little Black Submarines” by the Black Keys. It felt like the perfect song for the scene.
Dean: “You’re with me, Romeo.”
David: “Sounds good, Buffy.”
Ennis: “I only see one monster here.”