I’m still trying to recover from the finale. I have never cried so much. I’ve cried for an entire week. But we are carrying on and reminding ourselves of all the reason that was have loved this show so much for so long. It might take me awhile to really get back into it and let the memories of what happens at the very end fade enough to enjoy it all over again IN THE MOMENT, but we are going to carry on and it starts now. I am looking forward to a full series rewatch and seeing what I think of every episode now that I know the whole story – what will I see that’s new? What did I love and forget about that I will be reminded of? What did I hate that I will hate less when I see in it the context of the entire series? We will find out together. The Supernatural family does not end.
I remember 15 years ago when I tuned in to this pilot out of curiosity after seeing the incredibly compelling trailer with Mary burning on the ceiling. It looked different. Boy, was it ever different. Change-my-life different.
We are carrying on. Starting now.
I was supposed to watch the pilot last night – exactly one week after the last-ever new Supernatural
episode. I couldn’t do it. I have been so sad about Dean’s death and Sam’s long life without his brother
that I just didn’t know if I could do it.
But my wife who has been a patient victim of my SPN obsession for 15 years said she’d like to watch it with
me from the start. So I watched the pilot with her tonight.
I’ve only watched the pilot about 4 times over the past 15 years. In spite of my week of crying over the
finale, I immediately fell in love with Sam and Dean. They were magic right out of the gate. I did not, as I
feared, keep thinking about Dean’s death the whole time. How could I when these two incredibly young
guys were showing me these incredibly interesting, fully-formed characters with all kinds of intriguing
suggestions about backstory and this electric, compelling, brother relationship?
Of course I watched it differently in light of the recent comments about the pilot as it informed the finale –
from wardrobe to lines to Jared’s thoughts about Sam’s choice to reunite with Dean being the happiest
moment of his life (though it admittedly did not look that way in the pilot with Sam seeming more
interested in his life at Stanford than in getting dragged back into the life of hunting with Dean). But
Dean’s love and need for Sam was there at the very beginning. Dean always felt they were better together
and even though he did a lot of putting down Sam’s ambitions, now it looks to me like someone trying to
hide his fear of being alone – not being a cocky jerk (though Dean could be a cocky jerk at times back
Sam’s so smart figuring out the case and Dean’s so clever escaping every tight situation. The importance
of family is there with Sam being touched that John kept a photo of the three of them in his motel room. I
think I even saw that very old photo of John and Mary in this episode that appeared in the room where
Sam died in the finale (so no, I could not get the finale entirely out of my mind).
The classic rock and the gorgeous dark look of the show (something I wish they had kept throughout) and
the truly sad and scary woman in white…the destruction of Sam’s happiness in his life with Jess – there
was so much packed in to this first episode that I can’t believe it was under an hour long. Like Swan Song,
there were no wasted scenes. The cinematography was gorgeous. The light and dark on their young faces
(young Jensen, more androgynous than he is now is truly just flat-out beautiful and young Jared smart,
sweet, approachable) and they just seem to UNDERSTAND each other and their characters so well.
I was happy to find out that the finale did not wreck my enjoyment of the first episode I’ve watched since
they said goodbye just over a week ago. Not at all. In a way, they are so much younger here and Sam
and Dean’s story was so different at this point than where it ended up that I did feel a bit like I was
watching a different show than I was last week during the finale, but I could also see all the threads – the
start of all the very Supernatural touches that did carry all the way through. It’s all there and it’s magic.
Maybe the only cure for my Supernatural depression over the finale is – Supernatural itself. I’ve always
turned to this show for relief, distraction from life, to get me through and give me a break and maybe it will
still be able to do that, even when the thing I need saving from is my sadness over this very show’s finale.
I watched the pilot and thought about how they had no idea what this would become. They were just doing
the new job they had been hired to do. They had no idea how incredible it would be and neither did I.
When I first watched it in 2005, I only knew I wanted to watch the next one and I’ve felt that way for 15
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by journalbookbinder.
LOVE THIS!!! Thanks for setting this up, JBB!!!
From the first promo I found Supernatural intriguing! I had looked for another dark AND funny, scary AND touching, intense AND engaging show ever since Buffy and Angel ended and THIS new show about two brothers looked promising.
And once the pilot aired I stopped looking, never looked back and stuck with it through 15 incredibly wonderful years full of EVERYTHING I had looked for. Plus I gained a whole bunch of things that I could have NEVER even imagined – FRIENDS that I will love and be with for the rest of my life; EXPERIENCES I never knew are available like Conventions and road trips and scene and promo shot recreations and so much more.
In short what started out as a new little horror show that fascinated me Supernatural quickly became a huge part of my life. I will never be more grateful for anything than I am for Eric Kripke’s creation of this show and for Jared’s and Jensen’s portrayal of these characters who have become REAL for me.
ANYHOW – ON WITH THE SHOW…..AGAIN!
I’m tired of crying my eyes out at every meme and gif of the scenes in the finale and I am READY to relive the whole ride….at least once more.
I love all of your points about watching the Pilot without trying to be influenced by the end of the road. I was worried, too. And just like you I found the worry unnecessary in the end.
I have watched the entire series several times over the years, but I STILL find new things each time and enjoy it every time. This time was no different.
I always wondered why the pilot never got a episode name. It’s just PILOT. Huh.
From the start I was pulled into the episode. Captivated by what was unfolding. It never lost it’s grip on me.
What immediately got me was the feel of the show. It was dark, gritty, pretty brutal straight from the beginning, but also had a distinct tone of relatability. These were NORMAL people with screwed up problems and the grit to try and solve them.
To me, as an immigrant to this country AND as a travel professional, the AMERICANA the show exuded right from the start was another HUGE point of interest. The back roads, motels, smaller towns, classic car, classic rock….I mean, wow, what’s NOT to like??
And then there was the brother’s connection. It never even occurred to me that they looked nothing alike, the completely natural way they were interacting with each other made me believe they were brothers. The head slapping, bumping each other, stomping on a foot, glaring at each other….it was all there and all seemed to speak of YEARS of knowing each other. For two young actors to pull that off so immediately was IMPRESSIVE and still gets me today.
But there was also immediately the impression that both of them had layers and depth and a vulnerability that promised for very interesting character development.
BECAUSE of all of that the story made sense. The dialogue wasn’t strange, the situations seemed believable. It was MAGIC.
I thought at first that Dean was a pretty cocky jerk, BUT that there had to be more to it than that. Here was a 26 year old “kid” hunting monsters on his own, reluctantly asking his brother for help? And there is the younger brother, in Stanford of all places, reluctantly going off with his older bro to find their dad and figure out what might have gotten him? WOW. there had to be so much more to the story.
Nowadays I get the biggest smile on my face looking at the two of them being so young!! Their voices were much higher! Jared seemed almost like a teen still, puppy fat and lack of definition. And Jensen….well, of course, he was completely STUNNING from the start. HAHA.
One thing I had kinda forgotten is how many catch phrases were immediately coined in the Pilot! All things that became immediately t-shirt worthy like the “Driver picks the music….”; “Jerk” & “Bitch” and others.
Another thing that was immediately apparent is that the guest actors casting was well done. There was no wasted character in this episode, from the teenagers to the police officers to the creepy motel clerk to the actual “monster”. I love Sarah Shahi, the actress playing the Woman in White, in many of her future projects and love to be able to always know that she was in the pilot.
The horror aspect of this show was also great. The special effects seemed pretty elaborate for a TV show – before special effects were easy and cheap to achieve. The case was spooky. The action from the first fight in the dark to the driverless car attack to the fight with the Woman in White at the end including crashing a car into a house….WOW….nicely done and exciting.
Watching it again now the pilot has not lost any of it appeal or special fascination for me. Even aside from my love for the show I think it holds up as one fine episode of TV all these years later!!
CAN’T WAIT FOR MORE!!!
YES! About the acting! I also never questioned them being brothers though they looked nothing alike because they acted like brothers from the very start. I remember thinking that even the widower (husband of the woman in white) was great casting back then and did a great job in a small role. They have always been great with casting!
I also loved how considerate Sam finally had enough and just told the woman in white “I’m taking you home” after the attack and drove the car into the house (which still surprises me even though I know it’s coming).
I also thought long ago that this pilot story was pretty depressing – the children basically getting revenge on their own mother. I thought that was different because it was so dark. And my wife, watching it this time for maybe the first time was actually quite creeped out by it for about a day – the image of Mary and Jess burning on the ceiling; kind of bothered her and it’s so “normal” now to Supernatural fans after all these years – but it was so arresting it’s what got me to start watching from the first promo before it even aired. It still, apparently, sticks with people.
kate38November 26, 2020 at 12:36 pm #3871
“YES! About the acting! I also never questioned them being brothers though they looked nothing alike because they acted like brothers from the very start. I remember thinking that even the widower (husband of the woman in white) was great casting back then and did a great job in a small role. They have always been great with casting!”
I agree. I have loved the chemistry between these two since the very beginning. I never doubted for a second that they were brothers. Kudos to the casting director!
kate38November 26, 2020 at 12:36 pm #3870
Fashionably late to the party, but nevertheless, here I am 🙂
I agree with you, JBB! I didn’t like the finale at all, but we both agree that the best cure for the Supernatural blues is MORE Supernatural! And the gag reel snippet released last night doesn’t hurt, either.
About the Pilot:
Even all these years later, I still think the Pilot was well done. I agree with the statement above that the grainy, dark (almost black-and-white) film style is gorgeous. I LOVE it! It adds a creepiness and gravitas that’s been missing for a long time. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE how the early season episodes are riddled with classic rock. If there’s one single thing that I miss about the early seasons, it’s that.
I only have a few negative things to say about this episode. Larry and I have joked about the intro more than once. It makes perfect sense that if John was downstairs asleep and heard Mary scream, he’d absolutely run upstairs to check! But once he burst into Sam’s nursery and found Sam alright, why didn’t he continue searching for Mary? Why didn’t he run into Dean’s room to check on HIM? I get that the blood drop caught his attention, but there were a few lost beats there. Oh well, it’s a minor point, but it always makes me and hubby chuckle.
Only a few more negative observations, then I promise to get back to the positive stuff. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. I struggled to like Sam until about season 7, and it began with the Pilot. If he supposedly loved Jessica, why didn’t he tell her who he truly was? I know John had a “rule” about that, but since when did Sam obey ANY of John’s rules? Dean told Cassie who he was, and he was religiously obedient to John and his rules. Dean loved Cassie, even though he’d only known her for a short time. When you love someone, you tell them the truth about who you are — especially if you have a dark or dangerous past. Sam was supposedly going to propose to Jessica — BAH! I’ve often wondered if Sam initially left with Dean for his OWN reasons. He’d been having visions of Jessica burning up on the ceiling for days before she died. Maybe he wanted to find John to get answers to that, and not really to save John. I don’t know – I just found Sam selfish and unlikable for the first several seasons. Jared’s acting was clunky at times, which didn’t help. Jensen was already SO velvety smooth, that it just made Jared’s inexperience more apparent. And sorry, but it was kinda sleazy for Jessica to come into the room like that. If you hear a burglar breaking into your house, or you hear your boyfriend talking to another man in the middle of the night, by all means, enter the room wearing next to nothing. Classy. Enough of that. On with the love fest…
I know the budget was low back then, so I really appreciate how they still managed to incorporate some memorable effects. Like, I loved the ghostly hand on the car window to let us know that the ghost was still in the car.
I’ve often asked myself if I’d have watched the show again based on the Pilot. I think I would. Dang – I guess I’m still in love.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by kate38.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by kate38.
ShannonNovember 26, 2020 at 12:36 pm #3900
Sam had left the family business and was pursuing a normal life; whereas Dean was completely involved in that life. There is no reason to tell Jessica.
Lol! This show was designed to be a guy’s show. A pretty scantily clad girl is precisely what should be expected. I think one could find fault with some of the set ups, such as Sam saying he’s had nightmares regarding Jessica, yet, leaving her to help find John. We all have nightmares and carry things around in our minds that catch up to us in bad dreams. Sam loves this girl and has built a life completely different and presumably distanced from all his childhood trauma. He lost a mom that he never really knew and left a family whose soul purpose was to fight evil while avenging his mother’s horrible nightmarish death. Dreaming that Jessica would die the same way could have been interpreted as fear of losing her too. He had no understanding that these were visions or any reason to believe they were anything but manifestations of fear.
I think they did a fine job introducing Sam and Dean. I have loved them til this very day.
“Sam had left the family business and was pursuing a normal life; whereas Dean was completely involved in that life. There is no reason to tell Jessica.”
Hello, my friend!
LOL! Yes, we’ve disagreed about Sam aplenty, haven’t we?
I wonder about this point, though. Sam often defends himself by saying he left John and Dean to go to college, so he wasn’t running away. That makes me question whether he truly would’ve stayed away forever if things had gone differently. As close as he and Dean were, and as much as Sam must have known Dean cared about him, I doubt Sam would’ve walked away from Dean forever. That means that at some point, Jessica would’ve met Dean and Sam would’ve had to lie over and over again about who Dean was and what he did for a living. (Side note, it always saddens me when Dean says that he stayed away from Sam for two whole years and never even tried to call or contact him. That must have broken his heart. He loved Sam so much…)
Also, this show has always been heavy on parallels. Mary thought she’d walked away from hunting forever, so she never told John who she truly was or anything about her past. That ended disastrously for their family. Although Sam had no way of knowing about Mary’s deal at that point, I can’t help but think his secret from Jessica could only have ended as tragically.
“He lost a mom that he never really knew and left a family whose soul purpose was to fight evil while avenging his mother’s horrible nightmarish death. Dreaming that Jessica would die the same way could have been interpreted as fear of losing her too. He had no understanding that these were visions or any reason to believe they were anything but manifestations of fear.”
Shouldn’t Sam have thought it odd that 22 years after his mother’s death (which he never witnessed, so he wasn’t traumatized in the same way Dean was) and after being with Jessica for 2 years, he’d suddenly start having visions (according to Sam, several in a few days) of Jess burning up on the ceiling? I get not completely understanding what was happening, but to this day I can’t imagine why he thought ignoring those visions was a smart move.
ShannonNovember 26, 2020 at 12:36 pm #3935
Lol Yes we do! On a side note as to dreams. We are told they are not prophetic, but manifestations of fears larger than life and seldom have anything to do with what is realistically going on. It could have been a reflection of Sam’s guilt in having undeserved happiness. You know that feeling you have that someone is staring at you? Then you turn around and someone is!!!!. That’s the one you remember. You don’t remember the times when no one was. I guess my point is that of all the things that could have been with respect to guilt or anxiety…this is a horror show. So, of course.
As far as telling Jessixa. If he were actively involved in that life, it would be a disservice not to tell her. I felt similarly when Dean kept his concerns from Lisa in season 6. She has a right to protect herself and her son from whatever might be out there. Get out of town or something. But, that complete innocence for Jessica being shaken and taken when there was no reason for Sam to unnecessarily frighten her.
I genuinely believe that Michael wiped Mary’s mind. I certainly don’t believe the hideous retcon in season 12. Seeing Azazel in the nursery would have triggered a memory. Much like those who have amnesia can have memories triggered suddenly. I’m sure she remembered she was raised a hunter. But, that was a long long time ago and a life she wanted nothing to do with. There is nothing in my past that I feel the need to distance myself from or keep others away from. So, I can’t say whether or not Mary should have told John about her childhood or Sam should have told Jessica about his. To ordinary people it would seem like a hell of a traumatic story to lay at their feet if no longer part of it and safely, presumably, away from it.
Honestly, I was so taken by these two brothers and there obvious bond, I quickly forgot there was ever any distance between them. The acting and writing were superb. That they quickly became like brothers in real life doesn’t surprise me.
“On a side note as to dreams. We are told they are not prophetic, but manifestations of fears larger than life and seldom have anything to do with what is realistically going on. It could have been a reflection of Sam’s guilt in having undeserved happiness.”
If Sam had not been raised as a hunter, I’d grant him this. I’m no psychologist, but you are; so for regular people, I’m sure this is true. But Sam clearly understood the implications of death omens, psychic visions and the like. To have zero visions for his entire 22-year life, then suddenly have several visions over a few days about his girlfriend burning up on the ceiling doesn’t seem like something he should’ve ignored. We can clearly agree to disagree here, but I think with Sam’s knowledge, he should’ve known better than to disregard his visions.
“I genuinely believe that Michael wiped Mary’s mind. I certainly don’t believe the hideous retcon in season 12. Seeing Azazel in the nursery would have triggered a memory. Much like those who have amnesia can have memories triggered suddenly.”
Believe me, there are SEVERAL terrible retcons I’d disregard if I could. I’d never have resurrected Mary in the first place; Chuck’s disastrous character arc in seasons 14 and 15 wouldn’t have happened; and Jack either would never have existed, or he’d have been killed as a villain in season 13 or 14. However, I feel like I need to take the show at face value, and that means dealing with what they did with Mary. If we don’t disregard her retcon in season 12, then she clearly remembered being a hunter, she hunted after Dean was born, and she probably remembered her demon deal, because what hunter would forget something like that? That means she kept that terrible secret from John and unwittingly doomed her family to disaster by doing so.
Kate38November 26, 2020 at 12:36 pm #3883
By the way, did you guys notice “Deanne Kripke” was the family’s neighbor in the newspaper article?
I love these little Easter eggs. I also love that after watching these episodes SO many times, I still notice new things from time to time.
I finally get some time to go back over your PILOT comments and love to keep the conversation going.
“I struggled to like Sam until about season 7, and it began with the Pilot. If he supposedly loved Jessica, why didn’t he tell her who he truly was? I know John had a “rule” about that, but since when did Sam obey ANY of John’s rules? Dean told Cassie who he was, and he was religiously obedient to John and his rules. Dean loved Cassie, even though he’d only known her for a short time. When you love someone, you tell them the truth about who you are — especially if you have a dark or dangerous past. Sam was supposedly going to propose to Jessica — BAH! I’ve often wondered if Sam initially left with Dean for his OWN reasons. He’d been having visions of Jessica burning up on the ceiling for days before she died. Maybe he wanted to find John to get answers to that, and not really to save John. I don’t know – I just found Sam selfish and unlikable for the first several seasons. Jared’s acting was clunky at times, which didn’t help. Jensen was already SO velvety smooth, that it just made Jared’s inexperience more apparent. And sorry, but it was kinda sleazy for Jessica to come into the room like that. If you hear a burglar breaking into your house, or you hear your boyfriend talking to another man in the middle of the night, by all means, enter the room wearing next to nothing. Classy. Enough of that.”
I’m not saying Sam wasn’t still very much a selfish child at times in the early seasons!! And rebellious as all hell. YES! But I can sympathize with it in many ways. Of course you are supposed to tell the person you love the truth….but in Sam’s specific case I simply think he was partially embarrassed by his strange and dangerous past and didn’t want to drive a new love interest away with it and partially he probably wanted to protect Jessica from possible danger. Was that smart? NO. Was that the right thing to do? NO. But Sam at that point was under the impression that his dad had thrown him out instead of being proud that his son got into a GREAT school on his own smarts AND he was probably under the impression that his brother wasn’t standing up for him to help him convince John. As we find out over time the Winchester Family also completely SUCKS at communicating emotional truths, so to me all this leads to the understandable as circumstance why Sam was looking for a “clean slate”. Obviously that action proofed foolish pretty quickly and deadly for Jessica…..and I do think that Sam carries that failure with him for a long long time.
I do find your point about Sam going with Dean to get answers from John about his visions VERY intriguing! I could totally see that as an additional motivator!!
True that Dean was honest with Cassie!! And I always applaud him for that, however, he obviously also lacked communication skill in that confession because we find out that Cassie thought he was nuts or lying to get rid of her and he didn’t seemed to have followed up and tried to smooth the situation over or keep a relationship going. You KNOW I love Dean, but he is not exactly emotionally mature at the beginning of the show either. Telling a girl he spends a few months with the truth about who he really is when he knew very well that he wouldn’t stay with her was in a way not much of an emotional risk. And after all even after reconnecting with her SHE is the one realistic about their impossible future….and he obviously doesn’t try to show her differently.
All I’m saying is that both brothers have their issues with relation ships and lack the ability to navigate the necessary emotional give and take successfully.
But it’s exactly THAT which makes them such interesting and relatable characters to me. So I forgive them.
“I wonder about this point, though. Sam often defends himself by saying he left John and Dean to go to college, so he wasn’t running away. That makes me question whether he truly would’ve stayed away forever if things had gone differently. As close as he and Dean were, and as much as Sam must have known Dean cared about him, I doubt Sam would’ve walked away from Dean forever. That means that at some point, Jessica would’ve met Dean and Sam would’ve had to lie over and over again about who Dean was and what he did for a living. (Side note, it always saddens me when Dean says that he stayed away from Sam for two whole years and never even tried to call or contact him. That must have broken his heart. He loved Sam so much…)”
I often wished they had written that differently!!! I always had a hard time believing that the brothers were so close for all their youths and then Dean WOULDN’T have went to check on Sam at college – even if it was unseen. Having Dean say that he essentially was ok with ignoring Sam for two years did not do the character any service!! Same with John. He says that he didn’t want Sam to go because he was worried for his safety, but then he has no problem completely abandoning him at college? So which is it? Are you worried? Or are you pissed and convinced that Sam is ok on his own?