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Supernatural Review: Monster Mob City

by at .  Updated at . Comments

If you were disappointed or surprised that Sam and Dean mostly took a backseat to Supernatural Season 9 Episode 20 (especially so close to the finale), that’s because the hour was really focused on setting up the world for its potential spin-off series, Bloodlines.

And so the real question of the hour was whether or not this backdoor pilot was enticing enough to want to see more, to want to watch a full season of warring monster families seemingly straight from The Godfather.

David Lassiter, Freddie Costa and Margo Lassiter
David, Freddie Costa (Stephen Martines) and Margo Lassister (Danielle Savre) hang in the hallway in this photo from the backdoor pilot for Supernatural "Bloodlines."

My problem was that aside from Sam and Dean popping up (who I even often forgot were in the episode) and the Supernatural title attached, this wasn’t really a Supernatural episode or even felt in the same universe.

The tone felt far more glossy and in the vein of a soap opera with overly dramatic lines and situations, such as a Romeo and Juliet love or a dead father who might not be dead.

Sure, the hour did do what a pilot should in introducing the new main characters: Ennis, David and a bunch of others that seemed to blend together.

It also provided some stories to explore, such as the monster families controlling Chicago, the guy who becomes thrust into the monster world, the monster who doesn’t want to be an evil monster and the future war that could tear it all apart.

But it all felt very cliche. That’s not to say that it couldn’t expand and become interesting down the line, but it wasn’t anything that had me chomping at the bit to see a next episode. Not even Dean wanted to stick around to see what would happen next.

As much as I liked the parallel of Ennis losing his girlfriend like Sam lost his girlfriend in the Supernatural pilot, that wasn’t even touched upon. It could have been a cool conversation for those two to have, especially with all Sam’s been through after the fact.

Yet, I found it really hard to care about Ennis as a character, and it was rather shocking that he so easily killed the guy who dressed up like a mix between Riddick and Freddy Kreuger. Not to mention that Sam and Dean didn’t even address it, but simply said don’t be a hunter, see ya.

Maybe that darkness might turn into an interesting take on the character, but it felt jarring.

I did find the character of David (played by Nathaniel Buzolic) to be promising. There was something about his charm, eagerness and a bit of a rough around the edges appeal that made me want to know a bit more, even if the whole love tragedy wasn’t that compelling. I even liked his quick-witted banter with Dean.

However, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that his shapeshifitng seemed to be rather instantaneous. It made me miss the early days of shapeshifters having to shed their skin to do so.

As for the whole monster families fighting each other, it was an OK idea, but it too fell right in line with a soap opera melodrama. It was as if everything was trying too hard to be serious rather than a tale with the Supernatural grit, humor and drama.

But like I said, this really wasn’t Supernatural. And doesn’t The CW already have a similar type show in The Originals?

Maybe a Bloodlines series could work out the kinks if it ever gets a chance to go beyond this Supernatural hour, but I just couldn’t get into it.

What did you think? Would you watch the Supernatural spin-off, Bloodlines?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (60 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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This episode was terrible. I'm really disappointed that they tried to tack this on to Supernatural. It was so illfitting and just did not have the tone of Supernatural at all. I agree with what others are saying, it felt way more like the Vampire Diaries (sloppy writing, forced plot devices, tons of moral ambiguity, no substance to the characters...just angst and drama.). I felt this was especially apparent they had noone batting an eye over killing a human in cold blood, not out of self defense. Totally took one of the major moral themes/dilemmas that has alway been present in the Supernatural series and threw it out the window (where do you draw the line between monster and man, doing wrong things for the right reasons, the road to redemption, etc). Nope. Stone cold revenge against another human. I honestly don't know what they were thinking. Add the major inconsistecies with the existing monster lore set up in previous seasons (the skin shedding, or lack thereof has already been kindly pointed out) and we have the cherry on top of a very shitty cake that was Bloodlines. I'm going to pretend this episode didn't happen and try to enjoy the rest of the season. Bleh.

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@ Jp

Oh one positive, I thought the shape shifter was charming. I think I would have like this pilot more if they hadn't tried to attach it to the Supernatural universe. It just didn't fit and I agree with others that there was far more worthy spinoff material to choose from (young John or Henry, men of letters, etc).

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This episode sucked, honestly, I wanted to see Sam and Dean killing all of them. But yeah, screw it, just keep it Drama. First episode ever that I can honestly say dissapointed me.

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I read most of the comments here and some of you are spot on. I felt like I was watching a soap opera, and a campy one at that. The acting was bad or maybe the writing was cliche. But Ennis, man, that kids needs to get whatever it is up his back side out. The acting came across as too much tough guy and not enough I am in pain over the love of my life. When Sam's girl dead there was a vulnerablity about him while still wanting revenge. I have been watch Supernatural of the being {and not on netflix} and one of the things I love the most about the show is how far Jared P, and Jensen A. have come in there acting. I guess I will hold out most judgement on Ennis. BTW- Werewolf brother from Pretty Little Liars I like and David {from TVD} I really like too. Wow these people recycle actors.

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I kinda felt bored watching. It did not make me want more. I'll give it a chance but my hopes are now very high that I'll keep watchig it until they make it more interesting.

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I'd totally watch this show. I was kinda disappointed with the dad's-secretly-alive twist at the end, but apart from that one cliché I found the whole thing quite enjoyable. It's got potential, and I'm curious to see if it can live up to it. (It'd be nice to have an explanation for why the shapeshifters don't shed their skin though, besides the fact that it's inconvenient and probably too gross to have a main character doing it. Even just a throwaway line at some point about "backwater cousins" or something would do.) Bloodlines is clearly not Supernatural though. All those things that make Supernatural what it is clearly aren't going to be present here, and I have a feeling a lot of Winchester fans are going to be pissed off about that. It's really much more for the TVD crowd. Happily, I like both series. :)

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I couldn't get past ennis's accent. It drove me insane. The show has potential, but so far the characters suck and the acting is cliched. I liked the bad guy werewolf dude. Everyone else was..... Blah

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I found they needed to involve Sam and Dean more in this episode. Have a talk with Ennis with the usual smart lines. One of my favourite parts of SPN is them explaining things to ppl. Like the sheriff. Yes it was a pilot and we needed to meet the new characters but we can't feel any connection if the ppl we connect with hardly have any screen time with them. It was totally anti-climatic as well.

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I liked the episode. I hope the spinoff gets picked up this fall. Only thing I didn't like was Nathaniel Buzolic doesn't get to use his aussie accent. :(

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The description of the show felt too melodramatic, soap opera, teen movie to me and the pilot didn't change that opinion at all. The concept is interesting; the execution too much like some of the other shows on The CW. The only character I was interested in was David. He was funny and interesting. Violet, the Juliet to his Romeo, was only interesting when she nearly killed the guy for hurting David.

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I think a lot of people are confusing shape shifters with skin walkers. The shape shifters can alter their appearance quickly and easily. The skin walkers have to go through the gory messy shedding of flesh. Also. The five families were werewolves, djinn, shape shifters, ghouls and sirens

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@ Mickey

Its the other way around. Shapeshifters, first introduced in Season 1 episode "Skin", need to shed their skin and leave a goopy mess. Skinwalkers, first introduced in Season 6 episode "All god go to heaven", change into animals (Sam called them "werewolf's distant cousins") and do so quickly and easily without any mess.

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@ Mickey

I don't think this is true at all. The Alpha shapeshifter is the only shapeshifter that could change without the gory mess.

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@ ACR

I don't think hes the only one, i think it might work like the closer you are to the original alpha the stronger you are. And they seemed to have that whole purity thing so its possible they're close to it.

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@ ACR

Yes, but I'd hoped that that was a special ability that only the Alpha would have. Like hoe he wasn't hurt by the silver blade either or could walk off tranquilizers easily. It served to make him special and set him apart from your run-of-the-mill shape-shifters. But then, Supernatural did ignore its own canon in the episode with Magnus.

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@ Marty

I'm not sure on this, but I'm assuming that pure bread Shapeshiftersers can change without the gory mess, while half blood Shapeshiftersers have to shed their skin.

Supernatural Season 9 Episode 20 Quotes

Sal: Hello, Julian. I'm not looking for trouble. I just want a drink.
Julian: And I want to eat Taylor Swift's heart, but we can't always get what we want.

All right, look, my name is Sam Winchester. That's my brother Dean. We kill vampires. And werewolves, and demons and basically, we chase down evil and we cut its head off.

Sam
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