I want to share my thoughts and reactions to The Winchester’s first episode. In a nutshell—I liked it. This isn’t a review or a recap as much as it is my impressions, which were very favorable.
Yes, I miss Sam—but I am convinced Jared will show up in some way at some point. We have now been told by several sources to hang in until episode 13 and everything related to Sam will be explained. I subscribe to the head canon that this is how Dean is keeping busy while he’s in Heaven and Sam is still alive, and that’s why Sam isn’t with him, but they’ll be reunited. (Time doesn’t work the same way in Heaven. That doesn’t require time travel because Dean isn’t trying to change the past. He’s basically tuned into re-runs, ‘catching up’ on the saga before he was old enough to be part of it.) I’d love to discuss this in the comments and get your reactions and see what Supernatural Easter Eggs you found.
Spoilers Alert if you haven't yet seen the Pilot.
I thought the show was true to the Supernatural vibe/feelz/aesthetic, from the Indiana Jones-esque beginning through the monster fights and the humor all the way to the ‘we’re in deep sh*t’ moment at the end.
I liked this John a lot—which makes older John even more tragic, since losing Mary broke him in ways Nam couldn’t. Young John is kind and funny, brave, loyal, and haunted. He’s also a lot like Sam—no surprise.
Mary is sharper-edged, a lot like Dean in that way. Understandable given her upbringing, and her worry about her missing father. She’s independent but doesn’t have the self-destructive (and vastly annoying) anger and arrogance like Claire.
This is an ensemble cast, so Carlos and Latika are the rest of the Scooby Gang. I’m thrilled that we’re seeing ethnic diversity that was lacking in the Mothership. Carlos is also non-binary, a nice bit of representation and a reminder that queer folk are not new. (Please let them have long lives!) Carlos is the group’s Shaggy, a free spirit, but he’s there for his friends in a pinch. Latika is the librarian researcher, the Velma.
Millie was another surprise—I’d always wondered how Henry’s wife dealt with his disappearance. Turns out she’s the car geek behind Winchester Motors, not Henry. Her comment, “Maybe one day when you have kids you’ll understand, you’ll do anything to keep them safe” was a gut punch! (And did you hear the family theme music from SPN?)
The monster, by the way, is a ‘loup-garou’ not a rougarou—a Cajun werewolf. John was so brave running at it on his first hunt, and then clever to use the silver shrapnel to slow the creature so he could get stop it.
John’s earnest comment—“saving people, hunting things—I was born to do this’—also brought tears.
And while Henry’s absence clearly haunts his wife and son, it was a great touch to have Gil McKinney (who played Henry in SPN) do the voice over of Henry’s letter that gives John some closure—and an important key.
The dialogue was snappy and clever, with moments of humor, like in Supernatural. “See you later, soldier boy,” could mean John’s military service—but we also heard a shout-out to Jensen’s alter-ego. “Let the past go”—how often have we heard that? “I hate him for that, & I love him for that” (John, talking about Henry) reminded me of Dean confronting Mary in her dream-heaven. “Is breaking an entering a big part of hunting?” All definitely harkened back to the Mothership.
“You don’t want this life”. Mary wants out…and we know how that ends. Also, “the only thing worse than how it starts for a hunter is how it ends.”
I loved Carlos crossing himself to ‘Jimi, Janis, Jim Morrison’, and his holy water squirt gun—why did Supernatural never use this?
“Figured you take your coffee like your world view—black as night,” made me laugh. John isn’t giving up on pursuing Mary, but he meets her where she is, accepts her on her own terms, and keeps a sense of humor. He loves her spirit, and doesn’t try to change her.
So many great touches. There’s an anti-possession charm, a postcard for ‘Manner’s Motel’ on Samuel’s hunting map, and awesome classic rock in the background.
We also have a new MOL bunker! Squee! It’s the gang’s clubhouse. I also loved that Mary keeps a trunk of weapons in the library.
The New Orleans cemetery scenes were spot-on, either shot on site or replicating the historic St. Louis #1.
My heart broke when John found Henry’s MOL locker and told Mary the story about how when as a child he asked Henry about monsters under his bed, Henry said, “Don’t worry son, I know how to trap it.” That’s a big difference from John handing Sam a .45!
By the way, the sigil that Samuel Campbell traces in blood in the first scene is a Norse Furhark rune, ‘othalla’. It means ancestors, inheritance, heritage, and home. Nice touch!
The demon trapping box was cool, but I’m glad Sam learned to send them back to hell because the Impala’s trunk would get awfully full, and that would be dangerous to put in a storage facility!
I’m intrigued by the idea of the Akrida, a creature that is ‘not of this world’. Supernatural takes on Cthulhu? Nice!
Samuel used the MOL bunker in Savannah, and I am totally on board with seeing more!
Back with our narrator, Dean has the Samulet hanging from the rear view mirror, and says he’s going to keep picking the music! I can’t wait. And I will definitely be along for the ride.
Find more of Gail's commentaries on her Writer's Page.