So last night, Supernatural gave us our first taste of its spinoff series, Bloodlines. It's a "backdoor pilot," much the same way The Originals aired as a backdoor pilot on Vampire Diaries. And this show felt like, well, like a weaker version of The Originals, actually. Here's our complete rundown.
This is Ennis. He's more or less our main character, and the opening sequence, in which he's trying to propose to his (doomed) girlfriend, is meant to establish him as a relatable guy.
Into the restaurant where Ennis is trying to propose comes this guy, Sal. He's a shapeshifter, and he's part of the five different monster families that secretly run Chicago. They also make all the pizza, and generally take care of all Chicago-related cliches in monster fashion.
Sal runs afoul of this guy — Julian Duval, a smarmy werewolf, who tries to smack him around. They have a past together and stuff. Sal calls Julian lassie or some other dog-related joke. Anyway, the restaurant's power is cut and some mysterious guy attacks.
So finally Ennis is proposing to his girlfriend out on the waterfront, because there were too many smarmy monster dicks in the restaurant.
Sal is killed, along with Ennis' girlfriend, and his last words are something cryptic about his brother David.
This is David — if he looks familiar, that's because this actor played Kol, one of the original vampires, on The Vampire Diaries. Plus he looks sort of like every other dude on the CW. He's a devil-may-care shapeshifter who impersonates his professor to get test answers.
This is some dirty cop, who works for the shapeshifters or something. He's trying to cover up the monster attacks and stuff. He'll probably have 10 of his own subplots if this show actually makes it to series.
David and Sal's sister, Margo, is evil. You can tell from the necklace. She wants to plunge Chicago into a monster war, for reasons that are unclear. Hey, remember when Death was eating Chicago pizza? That was really neat. That was a much more interesting use of Chicago, really.
This is, I believe, a Djinn named Marv, who is signing up to help Julian Duval in the coming war between shapeshifters and werewolves. Everyone thinks Julian killed Sal, and Julian is (like Margo) eager for war. So he doesn't care if people think he killed Sal, basically.
Julian's sister is named Violet, and that's sort of apt because she's kind of a shrinking Violet. She doesn't really stand up for herself when Julian tells her she's just a bitch and she should stay out of his important warmongering. Also, she's engaged to be married to a New York werewolf. I hope it's Jack Nicholson.
This is Ennis' father, a cop and monster hunter who's absolutely definitely dead. No question. He died years ago. Why do you ask? He's dead.
Sam and Dean (remember them?) explore a secret "VIP room" for monsters in the fancy restaurant, complete with lockers full of blood and organs and stuff. No doubt, we'll be spending lots and lots of time in that restaurant if this show becomes a series.
So Violet gets kidnapped by the villain of the episode, where she finds the traditional Wall of Crazy.
And surprise! The villain of the episode is... Riddick! Why, Riddick, why?
Riddick is mad because he thinks Sal and Julian killed his kid, and he's trying to start a war between the monsters, to wipe them all out. It's not a bad idea, but because this is apparently the Vampire Diaries universe instead of the Supernatural universe*, we sympathize with monsters and don't care about human life. After Riddick captures David, Violet finally wolfs out and attacks him.
David helps talk Violet down from wolfiness. Then Sam, Dean and Ennis show up, and Ennis randomly decides that monsters are okay and Riddick is the real monster. So he shoots him. To recap: Ennis just murdered another human being in cold blood. Nobody bats an eye at this. Dean is probably bummed because the mark on his arm is thirsty for human blood, and he missed an opportunity. Again, this feels much more like Vampire Diaries than Supernatural.
In a flashback, we learn the reason that Violet never met David at the train station to run away together — Sal showed up and talked her out of it. Because the monsters believe in racial purity, on top of all the other shitty things about monsters.
At long last, David and Violet kiss.
Here's David's father, on his death bed. He tells David that Margo (David's sister, remember?) wants to start a war — and David's father, who's still technically in charge, can do nothing about it. So he tells David it's up to him.
David tells Margo he wants "back in" to the shapeshifter crime family. Side note: what crimes do shapeshifters commit? Do they make fake IDs for college students? Do they smuggle drugs by impersonating government officials? I'm dying to know. Margo pretends to be happy that David is back in the fold, but doesn't pretend very hard.
And then Ennis tells Sam and Dean he wants to be a Hunter, even though he's wayyyyyyyy out of his depth. Then he gets a call from — wait for it — his dead father. Whoa.
All in all, this is weak sauce. Most pilots are weak sauce, so that doesn't mean the eventual show won't be watchable. There could be a lot of retooling between now and next fall. But yeesh. The best we could probably hope for here is something along the lines of other recent CW shows, that started becoming watchable after half a season. My only investment in this backdoor pilot was hoping Sam and Dean would kill all of these other characters. Sad.
* Yes, I know this show doesn't take place in the Vampire Diaries universe. But it feels as though it really, really wants to.
Most screencaps via Screencapped.net.