The Winchesters – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Pilot

The Pilot of the Supernatural prequel The Winchesters starts with a flashback of a demon-summoning ritual. The episode then moves to John Winchester who is going back home from Vietnam War in 1972. John holds a letter in his hand that has a Devil’s Trap symbol on it. Dean Winchester, John’s older son narrates the story of how his father met Mary Campbell-Winchester, his mother soon after arriving from War.

John and Mary run into each other for the first time at the movie theatre and have a flirtatious conversation. John then makes his way back home to greet his mother who is emotional seeing him for the first time in two years. Mrs Winchester runs a car repair shop and she is still mad at John for illegally joining the military without her consent.

He had fled home looking for his dad who was missing for a long time. His mother asks him to move on and let his past go. Later that night, John meets a demon (possessing a human) when he is out with his letters and a key. The demon is chasing John for the key. Just as the demon beats John up, Mary intervenes.

John tries to take over the fight between Mary and the demon and ends up hitting her in the process. Mary eventually pushes the demon into a pit of holy water and asks him about her father. The demon says that it was over for her father now that Maggie was down in hell.

Mary exorcises the demon and John is overwhelmed watching the entire process. She calms John down and tells him about demons possessing humans, the holy water and the exorcism. John tells Mary about the letter that was given to him by his dad.

Since this is the first time John is hearing from his father in 15 years, he came looking for the old man. He states that since Mary too was looking for her dad, it is possible that both fathers, who are hunters, were together.

Mary takes John along with her. She is on a mission to help her father who needs help with his hunting trip. Mary uses the key John found with the letter to enter a basement. The two talk about hunting when Mary turns the lights on and learns that they are in The Men of Letters bunker.

John finds Henry Winchester’s (his father’s) locker and spots his family photograph inside. John reminisces memories of his father from when he was younger. Mary too finds a file that her father was looking for and takes it along with her. She is about to leave to find her dad and John follows her with his questions.

Mary warns John asking him to steer clear from the demon-hunting life and leaves him without even telling him her name. That night, a demon enters a library through a vent and possesses a woman named Ada Monroe. Ada is the woman Mary’s father asked her to look for.

The next morning, John finds Mary and tells her about Ada Monroe going missing. Mary tells him to stop chasing after the demon-hunting life and asks John to protect himself. John is sure that looking for Ada will help him get closer to finding his father.

Mary agrees to team up with John and they visit her friend’s library. Latika (Lata) is a hunter in the making and Mary tells her about her father, Samuel Campbell going hunting by himself. Lata wants to join John and Mary too but Mary asks her to stay back.

Mary is worried when John has a PTSD panic attack in the car and he tells her about his time in the Vietnam War and his friend who died there. Mary tells him about the EMF (electromagnetic fields) reader and reassures him that there were no ghosts for him to worry about.

The two enter Ada’s library and find clues relating to Samuel. Just then they hear a noise and rush to leave the library. They run into a demon on their way out but meet with Carlos Cervantez, a queer hunter. He teaches John lessons about exorcism using holy water, salt and the Latin spell.

John completes his first exorcism with Carlos’ help. Inside Ada’s library, Mary shares her worries about her father leaving for a hunting trip all by himself. Lata finds Samuel’s notes and tells the group about the rune box built by The Men of Letters.

The four find coordinates to a location in New Orleans and take a trip to find Samuel. In Carlos’ van, Mary asks Lata to walk away from the life of demon-hunting. Lata reassures Mary that whatever happened to Maggie was not her fault.

In the backseat of the van, Carlos and John have a conversation about what it’s like being a hunter. That night, the four of them go out on the hunt. John helps Lata overcome her nervousness.

Mary and John talk about Maggie and she tells him Maggie was her cousin. Maggie was killed by a vampire during a hunting trip. She states that her family brought her into this world and claims that she wants out of the hunter life all along.

She also tells John that finding her dad is her last mission before she walks away. The four enter a dungeon near a cemetery where Mary finds Samuel’s lighter.

John and Mary follow the underground trail where they hear monstrous growls. Outside the underground trail, Carols disappears while Lata is alone and scared. Underground, John and Mary find the rune box made by the Men of Letters.

The two are chased by a loup-garou, a werewolf who was here to protect the box. John chases the werewolf away using a silver bullet that was left in his arm after being shot in the War.

Outside, Lata is met with Ada who is possessed by a demon. Carlos comes just in time and attacks Ada with holy water saving Lata. Ada wakes up and attacks Carlos into unconsciousness. Meanwhile, the loup-garou gets to John and Mary.

John uses the silver to temporarily injure the animal and Mary throws him a silver knife as she makes her way out. She then asks Lata to find a way to open the rune box and fights Ada.

John decapitated the loup-garou using the silver knife while Lata is able to capture the demon possessing Ada inside the rune box. The next day, John talks to his mother about the letter he received from his father. The letter states that Henry is now dead.

His mother warns John against going down the road of demon-hunting but he is adamant. John meets Mary as they talk about the lives of a hunter. Carlos and Lata join them and they meet Ada.

John has a conversation with Ada who is now recovering. She tells the quartet that Samuel was hunting an Akrida – a monster from outside the human world. Mary learns that her father may be in Savannah and starts to leave.

John asks her to stop and states that he, Carlos, Lata and Ada will be joining them too. The episode ends with Dean making a note in his journal as he drives away in the 1976 Chevy Impala.


The Episode Review

It seems like the makers of this show; I am looking at you Jensen and Daneel Ackles; are really milking the Supernatural legacy. With the way Supernatural ended, no one from the fandom would have even thought there would be a prequel but here we are, watching the first episode of The Winchesters.

There is nothing great about the show but it is not completely terrible. We know the short version of John and Mary’s love story and we also saw a bittersweet moment where the family had some sort of a reunion in Season 14 when Sam and Dean summoned John from the dead.

However, I really think Mary’s character does not seem authentic. She seems like a naïve but wannabe badass teenager and that is not something  Supernatural showed us during her adult appearance on the show. Maybe there is hope for some character development there. John’s character was overwhelming, to say the least. There really needs to be some good reason as to why he willingly decided to join Mary on the trip to look for Samuel despite learning that his father was dead.

The first episode was really underwhelming and I hope the makers finally come to terms with the fact that fans actually want to see a show about the Destiel canon and not a retelling of John and Mary’s love story, one that we have had enough of already.

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!

 

  • Episode Rating
    (1.5)
1.5

3 thoughts on “The Winchesters – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review”

  1. So. If anyone knows the story of John and Mary, when Mary and John had ten years of normality. They made a deal with the demon azazal the yellow eyed demon. Before they met, John didn’t know anything about demons. So how did they explain that to us?

  2. Whilst I appreciate this is your blog and you can justifiably say whatever you feel, your response isn’t balanced . Perhaps it might help strengthen your arguments if you explain in more detail what you had a problem with other than you didn’t get the story you were hoping for, that you know the potted history and Mary is acting like a teen girl. Mary is a teen girl with baggage, her reactions and behaviour consistent with the adult Mary of later Supernatural seasons. With regards to your personal disappointment, the aim was to expand the world, to give back story and context on John and Mary , that was the premise from day one and the team have delivered exactly what was promised.

    For the record I enjoyed their work, it isn’t perfect perhaps, but it’s a strong start and has found an amount critical acclaim among professional reviewers for its entertainment value and honest attempt at making a viable prequel that’s inclusive.
    I would also add definitely not all fans wanted what you wanted, and a lot are happy with what we’ve been given so far, so please don’t talk as if you’re an authority on everyone’s wishes.

  3. I agree with the review. This show feels like Jensen and Danneel are trying to milk the Supernatural legacy (imo). One possible issue with that is the longer this show goes on, fatigue could set in to the point that true fans of the show may resent it. The story of Supernatural was told over 15 seasons. The original creator, Eric Kripke, reportedly envisioned the story being told in 5 seasons. Did we really need more content now? I wouldn’t mind seeing a limited run of future episodes with main cast members (it is Supernatural, after all), but this story doesn’t seem all that compelling that it needs to be told now.

    As far as the pilot episode went, the character of young Mary seemed not much like the character played by Amy Gumenick in the 2008 episode, ‘In the Beginning’. We understand Amy is a bit old to play that character now, but this version of young Mary seemed like a different person. Do the writers think we forgot about the 2008 episode? The creators of the show are also free to introduce new characters as they wish, but why was it important to establish Carlos’ sexuality right off the bat? Of what importance to the main story was that revelation? Whatever course this show takes, I really hope it is not going set aside quality storytelling to make bold, present-day social statements. After all, the setting is supposed to be 1972.

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