The Winchesters is an excellent throwback to the early seasons of Supernatural. It also introduced us to characters that I’m already in love with. Depending on how you’re coming to this show, you’ll love it, or it just won’t be your thing. If you are a Supernatural fan, you’ll love the old-school cases and all the easter eggs. If you didn’t watch Supernatural, the monster of the week might not be what you are looking for.
The Winchesters has a very similar beginning to Supernatural. “Dad’s on a hunting trip, and he hasn’t been home in a few days,” Dean said in the pilot. This time, it’s Mary Campbell’s (Meg Donnell) dad (aka Sam and Dean’s grandfather). John Winchester (Drake Rodger) is searching for his father in a way too. He discovers his father was part of The Men of Letters and wants to know more about him.
Sam and Dean’s mom, Mary, grew up as a hunter, which we knew from the original show. But, on the other hand, John doesn’t get into hunting until Mary is killed. In the prequel, though, John gets into hunting when he meets Mary.
The difference between Supernatural and The Winchesters is Jensen Ackles and Danneel Ackles decided to bring in the extended family right from the beginning. So we meet Latika Desai (Nida Khurshid) and Carlos Cervantez (Jojo Fleites) in the first episode. Lata is just getting into hunting, like John. Carlos, on the other hand, is a seasoned hunter.
Meg and Drake have great chemistry together. We see it when they meet, and Mary calls John “soldier boy.” (We see you, Jensen.) If we didn’t know they were going to get together, it would be pretty clear from how they interact. All four of the main actors have great chemistry on screen. They become a family pretty quickly. So it was the right call to start it this way. For you, Supernatural fans, remember how great it was when we had Castiel and Jack. Having the foursome on screen was so much fun.
I also like the diversity these characters bring to the franchise — a Palestinian woman and a Hispanic non-binary person. That was definitely what the original show was missing. It was primarily white. The show brought in more female characters in later seasons, but it also killed off many fan favorites (I will never get over the death of Charlie).
As we get deeper into the season, we learn about how the war affected John. We never got that in the original show because he wasn’t around long enough for us to know. We knew he had been through a lot. You could see it all over his face. But this will give us a deeper understanding of the character.
That is assuming that we are in the same universe as Supernatural. It’s unclear how the two shows connect and how it protects the legacy the original created. We’ve already seen a lot of new monsters. The big bad this season feels like it shifts the lore. One of the fan theories is that it’s in a different universe than the one we know. The Arrowverse played with that, and now the Marvel movies are too. It would be an easy way to do whatever they want without worrying about messing with the legacy.
I’m all in favor of the mind wipe. I want it to be in our Sam and Dean’s world. I love being in that world. And that’s part of the reason why I love this show. But, of course, it doesn’t hurt that Jensen is narrating.
At the show’s heart are the fantastic characters that Jensen, Danneel and Robbie Thompson have created. I can forgive plot errors or boring episodes here and there if I fall in love with the characters. I immediately fell in love with these. Mary kicks ass, and John has this naive hopefulness about him that Jeffery Dean Morgan’s John never had. The way that they interact is also so much fun. Meg said that they took inspiration from Mr. and Mrs. Smith for the stunts. And you can see that. Carlos has this great introduction leaning way into the 70s (we see you, Danneel). They’re funny and so stylish. What’s not to love? Lata is the closest to Sam. She’s all about the research.
We won’t have to wait too long to find out how this connects. Robbie said it would be revealed in episode 13. So, for now, let’s enjoy the ride.
I’m looking forward to seeing where Mary, John, Lata and Carlos’ journeys go.
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