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?
07
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.
SPN 9.20 DavidViolet
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.
SPN 9.20 Ennis
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.”

Comments  

LEAH
# LEAH 2014-04-30 16:55
Hi Sofia, yeah, it just didn't work for me. If it had been promoted and launched as a separate show I might have liked it more but the SPN connection was non-existent other than the shoehorning in of Sam and Dean and the 'borrowing' of some the elements of the show. Ennis could have found about all of this without them. The idea that this was a spin off was irksome as there are no characters that come from Supernatural which I believe is spinoff 101, right? I was bored. SPN needed a show that advanced the story this late in the season so that didn't help either. I do wish they could find their footing and succeed but on it's own merits not piggybacking on the success of SPN. Good luck to them. Thanks for your thoughts Sofia.
E
# E 2014-04-30 17:02
Ah, Sofia, you are far more patient, generous and kind then I am. I hated this supposed back door pilot. You said it when you mentioned that the world being built in blood lines bears little (or none at all) resemblance to Sam and Dean's world in Supernatural. I saw no resemblance at all. It was more like Beverly Hills 90210 or Gossip Girls or any other of those awful shows about overly wealthy, overly privileged teenagers who spend the bulk of their time being overly privileged. Ennis didn't look much like a cop; more like a high school student, which actually might have made him more interesting than he currently is. To me, the similarities in back story between Ennis and Sam seems not like a nod and more like a theft and a sad retread. They couldn't figure out another way to make us like Ennis than to reuse old plot lines?

And I predicted that there would be a lot of close, tight camera shots of people's faces as they hold their blank stares in a way that is supposed to resemble emotion of some kind. I called it on that score because we got that in droves! Angst and close camera shots galore! And not one of them was either Sam or Dean. :( .

So to answer your questions:
Quote:
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 hated the back door pilot. It was EXACTLY what I was expecting. I definitely will not be watching. I am so, so anxious to get back to Sam and Dean and see where all of the interesting plot ideas end up going. I feel like we've been on another forced and badly timed hiatus. As far as I am concerned, Superantural was not aired this past week.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-04-30 17:40
Honestly I am going to watch it again like I do any episode of SPN that I didn't enjoy the first time around. Hopefully a rewatch will be better. I really think the episode would have worked better if Sam and Dean weren't involved at all or were a lot more involved. I did like the character of David and he and Ennis could have an interesting relationship. I just really feel that this might not have been the best audience to pitch this story to. We fell in love with two brothers on the road saving people hunting things. There is a reason I don't watch TVD or TO and even Arrow. Don't care for the melodrama or love interests.
sofia
# sofia 2014-04-30 20:02
You raise an interesting point that I agree with. There either needed to be a lot more Sam and Dean, or none at all. I also agree that this resembled some of the other CW shows, none of which I watch. I'm not much into soapy TV but I am holding out hope that like most pilots, this episode was a really awkward, info-dump. But only time will tell.
Freebird
# Freebird 2014-04-30 17:51
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sofia.
This episode didn't work for me at all. I'm not even sure that it needs more time to develop to become better. Basically, it's "Godfather with fangs", except that "The Godfather" movies are excellent work. Bloodlines seems to be just another soap opera with beautiful people. Good comparison to Beverly Hills 90210 and the like, E.
On the other hand, what this episode proved, is how GOOD a show Supernatural is! So yeah, I'm looking forward to continue watching it without the polished looks and the angry, vain, revengeful, full of hatred, perfectly styled people in mansions.
obsessed
# obsessed 2014-04-30 19:31
Im usually more of a lurker than a poster but I had to throw my two cents in on this one. Didn't work for me. At all. I'll watch SPN till the final curtain falls and beyond but this episode is all I ever intend to watch of Bloodlines
KG_SPN
# KG_SPN 2014-05-01 00:09
Thanks for your thoughtful review Sofia. I'm pleased to see that there are some reviewers out there that are not just dismissing Bloodlines out of hand. I enjoyed watching the Supernatural universe from another perspective... and note, that this is not the first time our Show has done this... think Ghostfacers and Bitten. Not everyone likes the Ghostfacers. Not everyone enjoyed Bitten. And clearly, not everyone enjoyed Bloodlines. But all those episodes had a vibe that was different to a 'typical' episode of Supernatural. And it's one of the things I like about the creators of our Show - they are not afraid to try new things, even if they don't always work out. I, for one, will always support them in this... and give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, they've given me SO much with this Show and characters that I've grown to love :)

As you said, the pilot wasn't perfect and it definitely needs some work. But I liked the chemistry between Ennis and David. I liked some of the humor. When David said "We shift our shape... it's kinda all there in the name" while trying to explain what a shape-shifter was, I laughed out loud. And, when he called Dean Buffy, it was priceless (as was Sam's face at that moment). I really hope they retain the humour if they get picked up. I also liked the way Sam and Dean were used in this episode (though I know many didn't). They provided some of the lighter moments... and I loved how nonchalant they were about lopping of a monster's head and trying to explain monsters in one short sentence ;)

So yeah, I liked Bloodlines enough to watch a few more episodes if it's given a chance to develop... and I really hope it is. Will I love it? I can't answer that right now because it often takes me half a season to warm to characters in a new show. But I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand like many people that I've seen on social media in the last 24 hours. :P
sofia
# sofia 2014-05-01 08:10
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who is willing to give it a couple more episodes to find its groove. Thanks for your thoughts!
mary9930
# mary9930 2014-05-01 07:25
Thanks Sofia. It's always good to get another perspective. I also liked what KG_SPN said about trying new things even if they don't work out. There were some ideas in the show worth pursuing but on the whole I wouldn't even say it rates a second chance with me. That's ok because I don't think it was aimed at me.

Sofia, you referred to Julian as Violet's fiance. I was very confused about whether he was her brother or fiance. That should have been more clear. It reminded me of April the angel/reaper.
sofia
# sofia 2014-05-01 08:13
I thought, and I could be wrong, that Julian and Violet were engaged. I think they did use the term brother at one point but I assumed that was more of a nod to their werewolf family.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-05-01 14:40
From what I understood, I thought he was her brother, and she was going to be married to one of the New York families. Just like the real mob in that fashion! ;) I may be wrong though. I really didn't care for the episode too much. Although I do like the actor that plays David. He played Cole in "The Vampire Diaries", and he was deliciously evil with a good helping of funny on the side. And the girl that plays Violet, hasn't she been on another SPN episode? She looks really familiar.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-05-01 07:41
With all due respect KG-SPN I think many of us gave this a fair chance. Bitten and Ghostfacers weren't presented as SPN spin offs. I don't think we dismissed it out of hand. The marriage of the two show just didn't work for many reasons. The appearance of Sam and Dean felt awkward. The most important thing was that it just wasn't interesting. I treated this the same as any other episode. It should have caught my interest a little if it is going to be a series. It honestly might have worked better had it been timed better but I doubt it. I would have loved to have been delighted. Many people are in agreement on this and I don't believe it is just because we have our nose out of joint because of it being Sam and Dean lite. It was just not a good hour of television, IMO, not for our show or for a potential new series. I have no ill will towards the project nor an ax to grind. I am not a "hater" (I read twitter), I just have a difference of opinion. I wish them well. I am glad you liked it.
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2014-05-01 15:54
Thanks Sophie for the review. I did not enjoy the episode on any level except I liked David. It was not even close to the pilot of SPN, that pilot hooked me right away. The attempt at simialarities to SPN, girlfriend killed, phone call from a father thought to be dead etc was retread to me. Ennis was an ordinary perpon knowing nothing of supernatural things and without taking a breath says " You are the only monster i see" and just shoots him made no sense. Now he is just a murderer period. i was sorry TPTB wasted a SPN episode and Dean and Sam were wasted, they didn't add anything and THAT IS CRIMINAL! There were a few good lines. if it is picked up i will give it a chance. Most pilots are not great but get better with more episodes, so jury is still out on that. It may have been aimed at a yournger viewership (and I don't in anyway fall into that catagory) I watch TVD and TO and even TTP and I love Arrow. Final thought - sure not the Supernatural world I love with Dean and Sam.
kaj
# kaj 2014-05-02 18:12
Quote:
Ennis was an ordinary perpon knowing nothing of supernatural things and without taking a breath says " You are the only monster i see" and just shoots him made no sense. Now he is just a murderer period. i was sorry TPTB wasted a SPN episode and Dean and Sam were wasted, they didn't add anything and THAT IS CRIMINAL!
Ditto
meistergedanken
# meistergedanken 2014-05-02 12:08
Hey guys – found your site about six months ago and have been reading it ever since. Keep up the good work!
I have to say, my wife and I are both solid Supernatural fans, and both of us simply loathed Bloodlines. My wife even quit watching it about 40 minutes in. I won’t go into all the various criticisms, but I will say that last night I went to the show’s FB page and read through over 400 of the 1200 or so comments about ‘Bloodlines’ and it wasn’t pretty – the ratio was about 10 – to -1 against the show. Many were going to pretend they had never seen it, others wanted an apology for their wasted time, and several demanded that the episode be “salted and burned” so that it would never pose a threat in the future. Probably about 50 stated that it was the worst episode ever. The CW, or whoever cooked up this abomination miscalculated badly – and especially if they thought they would scoop up Supernatural’s fan base without effort. In a way, it was heartening to see my own complaints repeated dozens of times; clearly others felt the same way (other people were definitely pissed about how they ignored the previous mythology about shapeshifters, for example). What the hell were Bloodlines creators thinking?

Besides: we already have a show about different monsters ruling a city from behind the scenes: it’s called Grimm.

Worst moment of the pilot:
New character: “Hey, if she still has her cell phone we could track its signal to locate her!”
Sam (seemingly wincing at the stupidity of what he is supposed to say in a genuine and non-sarcastic manner): “Yeah, that might work! We should try it.”
Really?
kaj
# kaj 2014-05-02 18:10
Well, don't get me wrong. I love Ghostfacers and I enjoyed Bitten. I do! I like Bitten because the tone and the grit is more in line with supernatural. If they made spin off based on Bitten I think it will be better received. The main problem why Bitten was not well liked IMHO is because the lack of Sam and Dean. Storywise, it's good and expanding the story of a Werewolf girl who always on a run, eating animal hearts with a good dash of angst and a little bit of romance is worth a try.
Ghostfacers works as a spin off before because the chemistry of the cast is superb and the tone of the show is similar to Supernatural. Maybe if they want to make another spin off they should use the same formula.