TVWriter™ Note: This episode originally aired in September 2005. But some people, you know like most of TeamTVWriter, have never seen SUPERNATURAL because it’s on the CW. (Which, contrary to its claims, would seem to us to prove CW isn’t a viable network at all. But we’ll get back to that another time. Meanwhile, our current point, although it did kind of get away from us for a moment:)
**If you are unfamiliar with the series, be aware this review contains spoilers.**
by Anthony Medina
“Of course you should be afraid of the dark, are you kidding me?” – Dean Winchester
What do you get when you combine a burning mother, ghost hunting, and a couple of pretty boy male leads? Well, apparently you get a hit show on the CW. Welcome to the world of Supernatural.
The pilot opens on Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith), a mother of two tucking in her children. As she walks over to see her infant son, she sees a man standing over the boy’s crib, obviously her husband… OR IS IT?! Nope, it isn’t. When she realizes her mistake she runs back into the room but it’s too late. She screams in terror, which wakes her husband and he immediately runs to help her. And what is it that he finds? That’s right, you guessed it, she’s been sucked up to the ceiling, she’s bleeding from her stomach and she explodes into a fiery inferno that engulfs the house. I mean who didn’t see that coming right? John Winchester (Jeffrey Morgan) tries to save his wife but is only barely able to get his children out of the house before it all goes boom.
Fast forward a couple decades into the future and we are introduced to the two boys, now grown men. Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) is celebrating with his girlfriend on having just passed the LSAT and is awaiting an interview for a full scholarship to law school. However, things get a bit more complicated when his brother, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), appears in the middle of the night to ask for his help. Their father has gone missing while hunting for something. Something… SUPERNATURAL! Here, we get some exposition to help us understand that since the death of their mother, the boys have been raised as soldiers to seek out and destroy the supernatural beings of the world. Their father, who was adamant in their militaristic tutelage, has dedicated all his efforts to finding whatever it was that killed his wife.
Sam agrees to help and the two take off following a lead on the possible supernatural event their father was chasing. Although, they don’t manage to find him in this episode, their search prompts them to impersonate cops, use fraudulent credit cards, get arrested by the cops and oh yeah, help a ghost woman come to terms with her suicide, only to have her dragged to hell by the children she drowned in a bathtub. Take that you tortured bitch!
When Sam returns home, the worst thing imaginable awaits him. His girlfriend hangs from the ceiling, bleeds from her stomach and erupts into a fiery inferno that engulfs his home. With that, there is nothing left to do but join his brother and return to a life of hunting the Supernatural.
This show is really a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, the premise is reasonably interesting. I mean who doesn’t like ghost hunting con men. But on the other hand, I’m not crazy about Sam’s character. Jared Padalecki is a fine actor, but he plays this role just a little too stiff. While I am painfully familiar with the straightman angle, he made everything a little less fun and when you’re talking hip young ghost hunters, fun is a must. I couldn’t help but hear Heath Ledger’s Joker in my head every time he was on screen, “why so serious?” Dean, for me is a much more interesting character and sets the tone nicely for adventure and mystery.
Nevertheless, I was not dissatisfied with this pilot and I believe there certainly is potential going forward. I just wasn’t amazed. I will watch this show, but I probably won’t be dying to see every episode, at least for now.