Supernatural Takes Second Crack at Potential Spinoff
Back in season nine, the long-running hit TV show Supernatural introduced its first spinoff. Based on monster families dwelling in Chicago, Supernatural: Bloodlines was born and quickly scrapped. This offered a different look into the world of the Winchesters. Having spent nearly a decade with the Winchesters, it would be hard for me to stomach a show without the brothers. They would come on occasionally, but it would feel empty to me. I am happy to tell you this second attempt at a spinoff has a promising future ahead. Despite having a bumpy first episode, I’m excited about the timing of this show. I have been since it was announced Supernatural would be attempting another spinoff.
When the Winchesters are the ones who need saving, where do you turn? Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) of Sioux Falls, SD has taken the place of Bobby Singer since season seven. She, along with her adopted daughters Claire (Kathryn Newton) and Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), form an alliance with female characters to form a “girl power” squad. In the winter finale, Sam and Dean find themselves trapped in “The Bad Place.” Here, a new universe of things that go bump in the night is hunting the Winchesters.
Because this is a backdoor pilot, Sam and Dean take the sidelines this episode and mostly run around “The Bad Place” avoiding monsters big and small. Oh, and Dean loves eating lizard now. The plot of the episode is standard for Supernatural. Sam and Dean find themselves in trouble yet again, so the Wayward Sisters have to save them. The boys have been to other dimensions before in the past through Hell and Purgatory. Therefore, it’s not too far a stretch for them to just sit back and take in the new Jurassic World.
Patience (Clark Backo) and Kaia (Yadira Guevera-Prip) arrived this season solely because it is time to round out the Wayward Sisters. Unfortunately, Kaia isn’t offered much to do in this episode. She was instrumental in helping the Winchesters and new protagonist Jack find Mary Winchester during the winter finale. After this episode, it now feels like all of this was for naught. The final moments taught us Supernatural will find a hundred ways to rehash the same character in different skins.
Officer Donna Hanscom (Briana Buckmaster) comes back to help Mills and the teenage females to offer the episode some levity. With her Minnesota/Wisconsin accent and her gung-ho approach to killing the monsters, she offers a skillset to the team like every other female character in this group. Alex works the night shift at a local hospital, so she has access to medical records and databases. Patience is a psychic, so she offers her powers to the group despite still being new to her abilities. This character trait provides the central conflict among the women in addition to Mills being protective of Claire.
While the climax and shocking twist didn’t really feel earned, we get a great bonding moment between Mills and Claire. Claire has always been stubborn about hunting after seeing what Sam and Dean can do. In one tense scene, Mills scolds Claire for getting seriously injured every time she “dive bombs” into a mission. This leads to the third act of the episode, where Claire does exactly what Mills warns her about.
It’s fitting for Supernatural to want to introduce us to a spinoff with five female characters as leads. With feminism being a central talking point these days, the timing just seems right. While this episode feels familiar and by-the-numbers, Supernatural knows to not fix what isn’t broken. Even though the revelation in the closing moments of the show ends up as a big letdown, this episode excites me to see how the Wayward Sisters carry on.
Next week, Sam and Dean team up with Officer Hanscom to take down a cannibalistic doctor.
Supernatural airs on The CW on Thursdays at 9pm.