Editor's Note: Bookdal has written witty, thorough, amazingly fast recaps of Supernatural episodes for The Winchester Family Business for many years. Sadly, she has decided to put down her quill and "retire" from our staff. We will forever be grateful for her talent and insights, and wish her all the best. Tonight begins a new era for us as we welcome our new recap writer, "Emberlast". Please welcome her to our staff! She's a huge fan of Supernatural and an excellent writer! We hope you'll love her as much as we do!
So how is this second attempt at a Supernatural spinoff?
Bloodlines' problem was that - on multiple levels - it felt tacked on. It didn't fit in properly with the lore of the world, the themes, or continuity. Remove Sam & Dean from the episode and you'd barely have to change anything. Likewise remove the episode from the season and nobody would notice its absence. If you told a viewer that they took a pilot from a completely different show and filmed some pickup scenes with Sam & Dean to attach it to the SPN brand, I would believe you.
This time? It fits within the lore and continuity of the original series. You can't remove Sam & Dean from the episode without breaking the plot and character motivations. Likewise the work put in to make it feel more organically grown from the season also means you can't remove it from S13 without apparently opening up plot problems. Heck they even went so far as to put several echoes to the original pilot within it to really make sure this felt like it belonged to the same world. I have no real opinion on backdoor pilots (not sure if I've seen any others in other series to be honest) but if I was to grade them, this would be my new standard for how they should be judged.
It’s not easy to review an episode of Supernaturalthat had so many flaws, but at the same time made me grin. Just call me Abby Normal. Hey, what a great username! Maybe I’ll use that instead of Mallena, someday.
I remember very well my reaction the last time we were in this situation in season nine, aka the other back door pilot for “Supernatural.” After much promotion and anticipation, I sat through one excruciating hour of “Bloodlines,” stunned beyond belief that anyone thought that horrible drivel and total insult to any television viewer was actually being pitched as a possible series, let alone a “Supernatural” episode. It was an utter piece of trash, easily one of the series worst episodes. My faith was restored in humanity when CW President Mark Pedowitz passed on the series. Thank Chuck, that man does have taste!
This season, when it was announced that “Wayward Sisters” would finally get it’s shot, I didn’t think that was a bad idea. It had a lot of merit. In these times of #MeToo a story of female empowerment, fighting against monsters of evil is timely as well as very sorely needed. Also, it would feature mostly strong female characters we have gotten to know through the years, much better than the random characters thrown at us for the first time in “Bloodlines.” So, now that the episode has aired, did it work? Well, it wasn’t as bad as “Bloodlines.” That’s a very low bar though. I didn’t hate it, but it in order for this concept to work, it needed to be much better.
Each week my “Threads” review analyses myth arc and plot themes within Supernatural episodes. This will be a special edition of “Threads”, dedicated not to analyzing the continuing themes surrounding Sam and Dean’s storyline but rather to the new hunting team that arose from Sam and Dean’s legacy. This is the first edition of "Threads" for Supernatural’s potential spinoff series, Wayward Sisters.
“Supernatural” is back, but something is different. You got it, it’s a very special back door Pilot episode! There’s only been one of these before and…well…that didn’t go so good. So, how did tonight’s story fare? There's a lot to cover and discuss so let's get into it.