A few months ago, I wrote a post concerning the news that the CW’s Supernatural was getting a spin-off. And I was leery of the idea from the get go, afraid that a series set in the world created by Eric Kripke that didn’t feature either of the Winchester brothers would never hold its own. These two heroes are, after all, the heart, soul and sexy of the Supernatural-verse.
As Season 9 Episode 20, titled “Bloodlines,” rolled out, fans were given the opportunity to meet the spin-off and its title characters via speed date. And let’s just say that, as far as this fan’s concerned, there won’t be a need to exchange phone numbers. Fair warning, spoilers for the episode are ahead.
But before I get into the critical, “please make it stop” phase, let’s recap what we know about the spin-off, Supernatural: Bloodlines, so far. The series will revolve around a “monster mafia” made up of five monster families (shapeshifters, werewolves, ghouls, djinn and a potential siren group) all vying for control of Chicago. And stuck in the middle is Ennis, a newly-minted hunter who witnesses the tragic, and supernatural, death of someone he’s very close with.
One of the main problems with Bloodlines is the development of the storyline as far as the character of Ennis is concerned. There were a lot (and I mean a lot) of very familiar occurrences in the young man’s life, including the tragic, supernatural death of his girlfriend-almost-fiance right in front of his eyes, the discovery that a beloved parent might not have been as innocent to the World of the Weird as Ennis had always believed and (surprise, surprise) a mysterious call from a father warning his son to stay away from all the action.
I couldn’t have been the only person going “John Winchester, is that you?”
When I signed on to watch a backdoor pilot episode so late in the season, I expected something new and shiny. Something that I hadn’t seen before. And while the concept of the monster mafia was new, it wasn’t exciting. I was watching something that had already been created and executed nine years ago. Ennis needed to be his own character, not a poorly-mixed blend of Sam’s tragic past and Dean’s ego to make me feel like I was still watching the Winchester brothers.
And then there comes the monster families, which could have been the shining star of the whole series. There could have been grit and sabotage and calculated moves. Instead, there were a couple of really whiny characters who were obviously spoiled as little monster babies. Monsters are supposed to be evil! I can even handle morally ambiguous monsters that sometimes make good, helpful decisions (Crowley, I will forever love you). But I can not get behind bratty, “I’m better than you because my fangs are pointier” monsters.
And don’t even get me started on the silly romance between the shifter David and the werewolf Violet. Look at our love story, torn apart because our families can’t get along! It’s a Romeo and Juliet kind of ridiculous that I don’t want to see in Bloodlines. If I wanted to watch that, I’d pick up the play.
Maybe I’m being overly critical and harsh. Bloodlines really could surprise everyone and bring a dark, gritty aspect to the show when it actually sets out in a time slot all its own. But I don’t see it. The monsters are less-scary-more-sleazy, Ennis falls ridiculously flat in having a mind of his own and for the love of Castiel will someone please toughen up that Violet chick before her eyes are in a state of permanent tears.
In conclusion, I think no one can express my true, down-to-the-bone feelings about Bloodlines better than Dean himself: