‘The Winchesters’: What Did You Think of the ‘Supernatural’ Prequel Premiere? (POLL)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Winchesters series premiere.]
Dean (Jensen Ackles, narrating and reprising his role on-screen) says it best in the Winchesters series premiere: “Now, I know this story might sound familiar, but I’m going to put the pieces together in a way that just might surprise you, and in order to do that, I have to start all the way at the beginning.”
The Supernatural prequel tells the story of how Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) and John Winchester (Drake Rodger) met and fell in love. But first, John has to be introduced to the world of demons and monsters, which is exactly what happens after he comes home from the war in 1972. He crosses paths with Mary, first outside the movie theater, then as he’s looking for answers about his dad (Gil McKinney’s Henry — Supernatural fans know what happened to him) and a demon finds him. Mary easily dispatches of the demon (with holy water and an exorcism) before cluing John in on what actually exists in the world (including magic).
Mary’s dad (Tom Welling, beginning in Episode 7), too, is missing, having been on a hunt, and she’s now looking for schematics for a certain box. She just so happens to need to get into the same place that John has a key for, and inside, they discover it belonged to the Men of Letters. John finds his dad’s locker, but he still has plenty of questions, including the name of the young woman who saved him from the demon. Mary only gives it to him as they’re setting out to find Ada Monroe (Demetria McKinney), a lead in what happened to her dad. Mary’s friend Latika (Nida Khurshid) tries to get her to at least call Carlos (Jojo Fleites) in for help, but Mary refuses, given what happened last time. (He was busy making out with Mary’s ex-boyfriend and flaked on her.)
On their way to Ada’s, John admits he’s been seeing a fellow soldier who died after stepping on a landmine; he has pieces of his silver cross necklace in his arm. Mary takes out an EMF reader to show him he’s not being haunted. But she gets it: She sees the faces of everyone she couldn’t save, and she has yet to figure out how to cope with that.
There is one problem: When they get to Ada’s, they find signs Samuel was there, but they’re too late. A demon has already possessed Ada (and is gone), and the one from earlier shows up in a new body. Enter Carlos, hitting the demon with a van (then holy water) and guiding John through his first exorcism. After, he does the sign of the cross to “Jimi, Janis, Jim Morrison, amen,” and focuses on what’s important: new clothes for John. (Carlos is already so much fun!)
With the demon problem handled, Mary, John, Carlos, and Latika look through Ada’s shop and find the schematics of that box: powered by dark magic, it traps and kills monsters. The runes just have to be traced in the right order. That’s when John comes in handy, recognizing a series of numbers as coordinates. That leads them to a cemetery in New Orleans (where we saw Samuel in the beginning of the episode).
On the way there and to the mausoleum where the box is, we find out that Latika feels like she owes Samuel, while Carlos shares a bit of his tragic introduction to hunting with John “Do all hunters have such tough beginnings?” the newbie to this world asks. “The only thing worse for how it starts for a hunter is how it ends,” Carlos informs him. We also learn that Mary’s cousin Maggie was killed by a vampire when she was 18. Mary wants out of the hunting life. In fact, she’s planning to walk away after she finds her dad. As for what she wants to do with the rest of her life, “I just want to live long enough to find out,” she tells John.
Inside the mausoleum, they find Samuel’s lighter, and Mary and John head down through a hole to where they eventually find the box. But they’re attacked by a monster, and John uses the silver in his arm as a distraction, until Mary can drop him a silver blade to decapitate it. Meanwhile, Mary, Latika, and Carlos also deal with the possessed Ada, eventually using the box to trap the demon.
Back home, John shows his mom Millie (Bianca Kajlich) Henry’s things and asks how she kept it from him. She reminds him that she stayed. “When I was your age, all I wanted was this, my own garage, like my old man had. Then your dad and I met and we fell in love and it was just us. But then you were born, and I put you on my chest, and in that moment I knew I would do anything to keep you safe. Maybe one day when you have kids, you’ll understand,” she tells him. John gives her a letter from Henry (that’s McKinney’s voice): “If you’re reading this, then I’m gone. I’m sorry I kept the truth from you, John. There’s a dangerous world out there and our family has fought that danger for centuries. The answers to all your questions are at the address below. I love you and your mother, always.” Millie tries to warn him against going down that road, but John argues, “my entire life, I’ve been searching for something, and this is good versus evil, saving people, hunting things” — the family business! — “I was born to do this.”
Mary, John, Latika, and Carlos then meet with Ada, who recalls meeting Henry. All the Men of Letters she knew disappeared 15 years ago, she says. As for why Samuel wanted that box, it’s the only thing that can trop the Akrida, a malevolent force, a monster not of his world, that for centuries has been trying to invade. The Men of Letters got them every time, but they’re gone now. The Akrida want to wipe out everyone here, including demons and monsters, and take over their world. Samuel found evidence of the Men of Letters office in Savannah, which had records of how the Akrida crossed over in past. His plan was to find where coming in and use box to stop them. And so the five of them now have a new destination: Savannah.
The premiere ends on Dean, writing in his journal and leaning against Baby. “What they didn’t know was that the Akrida weren’t just a threat to Earth, but to all of existence. Now, like I told you, there’s going to be some surprises. Hell, I’m still trying to find all the puzzle pieces myself. But I’ll explain everything, and until then, I’ll keep picking the music,” he says before getting in the Impala and driving off.
The Winchesters pilot plays up the nostalgia just the right amount, with plenty to make Supernatural fans smile (though not in a way that’s overwhelming or would isolate new viewers). Among the highlights: a devil trap, a common theme (dad’s on a hunting trip and hasn’t been home in a few days), conversations about the life of a hunter on stairs, directors’ names — Kim Manners and David Nutter — and even the title card. Plus, there’s, of course Mary and John bumping into each other outside the theater showing Slaughterhouse-Five.
But what did you think of The Winchesters series premiere? Let us know in the poll below.
The Winchesters, Tuesdays, 8/7c, The CW