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Supernatural Round Table: "Bloodlines"

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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?

Join Supernatural Round Table panelists Carissa Pavlica, Sean McKenna and Alice of The Winchester Family Business in discussing Supernatural Season 9 Episode 20...

Supernatural Round Table Logo

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."

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."

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

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I have noticed that the shape shifters no longer lose their skin to shift now they just shimmer (way less realistic), I wonder if that was done intentionally to make him seem as less of a monster and more of a good guy.Why would Sam and dean just let a shifter and werewolf live. Their job stab them both in the heart with a silver knife. Sam and dean wouldn't have just stood there and watched a fellow hunter get gunned down for doing his job. when the hunter had the werewolf chained up what was with that, she could only escape the chains when here boyfriend was being torchered. Also making a werewolf look as the victim that has to be saved is wrong did the creators expect us to just forget that every full moon they turn and rip out someone's heart for dinner. overall this episode turned into everything I abhor about what Hollywood has turned into the monsters you see now in Twilight , teen wolf, vampire diaries etc. it sickens me to think that this could be the direction that a new supernatural spin off could be heading towards.

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when I watched this episode of supernatural I had no idea that this was to be a spin off show. I was embarrassed to watch this poor excuse for supernatural, you would think that the creators of supernatural could create anything better than (for use of a better word) this piece of crap. If I wanted to watch some puffy soap opera I'd watch the vampire diaries. supernatural is suppose to be a story of two brothers on the road fighting evil not this. The creators should feel ashamed for bringing this to their viewers especially if it makes it as a spin off series, hopefully this wont make it as its own series since it would ruin supernaturals reputation.

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Bloodlines was so incredibly awful, that we immediately deleted the show from our DVR, hoping that that act alone would return the one hour we wasted. Everything seemed off about this pilot: The story was weaker than an eight-year-old Garth. Agreed, this did not feel like SPN. With all the pretty, polished faces, we felt like we were watching Twilight labeled with SPN branding. I needed a sick bag for all the sophomoric lovey dovey antics. RE: Twilight. Combined with the awful soundtrack. Barf. The leftover Muzak tracks from a Soap Opera that's run its course was unbearable. No solid character development. Or even likeable characters with the lone exception possibly being the matriarch. I realize the creators can only squeeze so much story into 45 minutes, but the injection of Sam and Dean into the storyline felt contrived. When have the brothers ever traveled beyond suburbia and into a metropolis? Beyond that, S&Ds only purpose in this episode was to serve as a vehicle for introducing the spinoff. The problem with this is that the show's creators probably felt they needed to have Bloodlines succeed on its own without much support from S&D. Mistake. It failed. I think this could have been another one-off, Sam and Dean-centric episode that introduced us to a new dynamic world, with new characters. Much like the Ghostfacers episode. Building a show off of Chicago's history of corruption seems trite, unoriginal and cliché. Five monster mafioso families controlling a humungous city? Really, couldn't come up with any better ideas? I embrace the CW wanting to expand the franchise, but Bloodlines should have been left on the cutting room floor. Such an embarrassment.

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I did not like this back door pilot at all; as a matter of fact, I normally write reviews of all SUPERNATURAL episodes at Winchester Family Business, but I bowed out of writing one for this abortion of an episode because I wouldn't have had anything good to say about it. You ladies have outlined brilliantly all the flaws in this potential series. They are going to have to do a lot better if they expect to draw an audience to BLOODLINES. I felt almost nothing for any of the characters. I remember being immediately drawn to Sam and Dean in the pilot, instantly caring about them, wanting to see more of them and where their story was going. The group in BLOODLINES? Instantly forgotten. Love, Robin

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This round table reflects my thoughts perfectly on the show. The guy playing David the shape shifter was the only bright spot of the hour. Even sam and dean seemed off.

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I was hoping Dabb had put together a good script, since I like his SPN episodes okay, but I did not think it worked on any level. It came off like a first draft to me and should never have been filmed or aired. There wasn't any thought in this script about developing the new characters. Dabb just jumped them on-screen and somehow thought, because of all the wholesale theft of old SPN background (the Pilot, daddy issues, missing dad, and the 'club' idea from that awful Man's Best Friend with Benefits episode -- and the wholesale lifting of direct dialogue (usually Dean's) -- that made a fully developed story and characters. I left the episode not sure of what story was going to told if the show is picked up. Is Ennis a vigilante or a hunter-in-training. Not a good start, if he is a hunter. I also did not catch that he was a cop-in-training, although I've read posts where he was. The episode never told us that. Are the monsters going to be the victims to mean, ugly humans? Is the love story going to make up the most of the story, or the Dallas power grabbing? Oh, I can't even think about it enough to go on. Honestly, I thought the acting was not good (especially Ennis) and the characters looked like high school kids, with all the bling and sparkle and no substance at all. Besides, there were so many characters introduced, I couldn't keep them straight. There was not one character that I saw that I have any interest in finding out more about. I am hoping the CW does not pick up this series. If they do, then the SPN audience is not the target. I'm thinking middle schoolers up to very, very early 20ish.

Cody w broadhead

Bloodlines was horrible. It was nothing that I wanted to watch and a waste of time. If you want to do a spin off use GhostFacers. They are funny and you could keep the story going. Or spin off DJ's character Garth. There are a number of ways to go but Bloodlines is weak!

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I lost intetest 10-15 minutes going into the show, waiting to see Sam and Dean..I think I saw them maybe 2-3 times during the whoe episode?? The show is about 2 brothers that face the termoil of hunting monsters, demons, while trying not to loose each othe, keeping the only family they have left, they both share a special brotherly bond. I was doing disappointed. .with the new show im a great fan off the old original supernatural. .. They need to put back the brothers Sam n Dean back into to the stories!!! Or I will no longer continue to watch

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Everyone seems to beg for supernatural feel....I found premise intriguing. Where monsters were the empathetics and humans were the vengeful creatures. People are being being way too harsh. Characters were good. David was awesome, shame sal was killed..better than any other shows I have seen on CW.

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Did they have to choose Chicago as the city? I think it could have worked somewhere else but when you already have specific shows set in Chicago such as Chicago Fire and Chicago PD it doesn't really sit well.

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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