Supernatural premiered its backdoor pilot with "Bloodlines."
It was a tale about monster families running Chicago and featuring cameo appearances by Sam and Dean Winchester. But was it any good? Would viewers want to see a full series?
Did you enjoy Supernatural taking time off to introduce a new potential series?
Carissa: I thought it was a bit of a bust. I guess, overall, it fit into The CW framework as it used to play out, but these days series need to be edgier. Star-Crossed isn't working as well as expected, and it's fluffy. This was fluffy and also disconcerting. I see the other questions give me room to address these issues, so moving on!
Alice: I thought that the idea had merit. It’s kind of exciting The CW wanted to expand the Supernatural universe. The potential for the type of stories that could be told and grown like the original is huge. BUT WHY THIS??? This ended up being the winning idea? I’d hate to know what the rejected ones were. It was like watching a train wreck, except I wanted to look away, and I did.
Sean: Look, I appreciate that Supernatural tries different things, especially after nine seasons. And while the Bloodlines concept might turn into something, it never really felt like an episode of Supernatural. Take away Sam and Dean (who weren't really there anyway) and you never would have even thought it was Supernatural aside from all the werewolves and shapeshifters, etc. Sorry, but this episode made me continuously ask, "What am I watching?"
What was the best thing about the hour?
Carissa: Nathaniel Buzolic as David Lassiter. He nailed his part and if the pilot goes to series I think the entire show rests on his charisma and laid back nature and comedic timing. He interacted well with all of the other characters and I particularly liked how he described being a shapeshifter to Ennis. It was done in the classic Supernatural tone.
Alice: When Castiel called Dean and they got the flock out of Chicago monster dodge. Sam didn’t know how to finish his conversation, so he just gave this kid who he was trying to talk out hunting, a kid getting ready to ruin his life by seeking revenge, a “good luck” pat on the shoulder instead. Sam, the same guy who had his life ruined by the same choice 9 years earlier. It was a “WTF?” end to a “WTF?” hour.
Sean: I agree with Carissa that I liked Nathaniel Buzolic as David. There was some definite promise there and he at least had a few decent lines like calling Dean "Buffy" to his "Romeo."
What was one thing you really disliked?
Carissa: Ennis flat out killing a human being and nobody calling him on it. Since when do hunters kill people? He was raised by a cop and he thought putting a bullet into a human was a good practice? They never addressed why this was bad or what they did with the body. It was really sloppy and not a good introduction to his character. It certainly didn't make me want to cheer him on. I also didn't like how a human was the bad guy in their first time out of the gate. If that's the idea going forward, I wouldn't be interested.
Alice: The entire episode. This was bad on so many levels. I’m with Carissa about Ennis killing the human and no one telling him that was a wrong thing to do (geez he’s only the son of a cop) but by that point, I had thrown my entire stash of TV bricks at the set. They lost me far before that.
I’ve always been open to new concepts for Supernatural (I loved “Bitten”), but this was a very clunky, poorly executed way to introduce a series. It should have never been tied to Supernatural and aired as a backdoor pilot. It should have been a standalone pilot for the network brass where they clearly would have killed it before upfronts without making it go through the embarrassment of a public viewing.
Sean: Ennis was tough to watch, and his decision to kill the human at the end without a real convo with Sam and Dean still seems baffling. But the episode just never really felt Supernatural. I'll at least give an episode like Bitten credit for still feeling in the vein of the series (although I wasn't really a fan), but this one was far too glossy and covered in cliche soap opera. It definitely added to my dislike of the episode.
Did you expect Sam and Dean to be more involved in the story?
Carissa: Considering they met a kid who had plans to be a hunter, yeah. Other than saying -- this is bad, mmmkay. It felt odd not to give him more than "you don't want to do this, trust me," speech. They could see he wasn't going to listen, so at least give him some tools or a hotline to the hunter network. Disappointing.
Alice: No, and honestly they looked so out of place in the parts they were in. It’s like you were watching The Originals and Mulder and Scully randomly show up cause they’re after something unexplained. Yeah, I believe that’s called the premise. I would have escorted Sam and Dean to the door and commanded, “Out of my fictional universe you heathens!” Although not without slapping Dean’s ass and running my hand through Sam’s hair first.
Sean: Yes, but only because I thought I was watching Supernatural, the show that stars Sam and Dean. But to Alice's point about them seeming out of place, that was totally true. It was as if they were there in name only so to remind everyone that Bloodlines would be a Supernatural spin-off.
Would you want to watch a Bloodlines series?
Carissa: Based upon this pilot, no. If they went in another direction with David Lassiter, perhaps.
Alice: Sure, if it was a medical drama on ABC about life in a trauma center. Oh, you mean Supernatural: Bloodlines? No.
Sean: Unfortunately, probably not. I don't deny that a Bloodlines series could turn into something, but after watching the episode, it made me really wish we saw a gritty Chicago instead of this mob monster melodrama.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.