It’s been a few months since news of the backdoor pilot for the ‘Supernatural’spin-off series, ‘Supernatural: Bloodlines’, was first announced and the time is finally upon us. And I must say, there was quite a bit of back story crammed into these sixty minutes. So where to start…

The prodigal son returns

The action takes place in the Windy City and starts with Roth and his girl Tamara having an anniversary dinner with Roth preparing to pop ‘the question’. Taking the less than original approach he asks the maître d to drop the ring in glass of bubbly but before Roth gets his wish, Sal Lassiter comes in and Roth is forgotten by the maître d who ushers Lassiter into a secondary part of the restaurant, a club whose clientele are those that go bump in the night. Seconds in, Lassiter and Julian Duval have a dustup. You see, Duval’s a werewolf to Lassiter’s shapeshifter and there’s some bad blood between the two. The blue soon begins to flow when a Freddie Krueger wannabe comes in and starts slicing up patrons with silver blades. Lassiter escapes the initial assault though he’s not long for this world. He stumbles into Roth, who tries to help but the silver claw assassin tracks him down and, in the ensuing melee, kills Tamara.

At North Chicago University, a professor runs into an assistant, who’s surprised he’s still on camps. She never sees him change back into his younger and truer self — one David Lassiter — who’s on a mission to steal the math final. His exploits are interrupted when his sister Margo calls with news of their brother Sal’s death. On the other side of things, Roth is telling Detective Costa (a former friend of his father’s) about what he saw; naturally it’s not really going anywhere until Sam and Dean arrive as FBI. They listen to Roth’s story and he lays down the gauntlet. “That thing wasn’t human… so what are you going to do about it?” Isn’t that the $64,000 question…

Jumping back to the Lassiters, with her brother Sal dead, Margo’s running the family now. She asks Detective Costa—who looks to be in the pocket of monsters—whether or not the ghouls are with them. David enters the fray and the tension between siblings is palpable. Margo wants to go to war but he wants her to pump the brakes, to find out what really happened. “If you don’t like it, talk to Dad,” is her response. David drops in on his very sick Pop and is surprised at the old man’s condition. “You’ve been gone three years,” Margo reminds him, “things have changed.” She believes Julian Duval is responsible but David again preaches temperance. She tries throwing him off his game by mentioning his ex Violet’s impending nuptials to a New York werewolf clan. He’s not deterred though. “I’m not saying don’t fight; I’m saying be smart.”

Speaking of Julian, he’s trying to make his own moves and solidifying an alliance with the Djinn. War’s coming and he’s going to be ready. His sister Violet is trying to keep the peace, urging her brother to think things through but he reminds her dear sister that her job, as the family bitch, is “to be pretty and silent.”

Ennis Roth gets to work with the Winchesters

Still smarting from the authorities ignoring his eye witness accounts, Roth makes his way home and goes through some of his father’s stuff. He finds his dad’s gun along with some silver bullets and makes his way back to the club where he runs into maître d, Maurice, whose sharp teeth peg him as a vampire. Roth empties the chamber to no effect when Sam and Dean arrive to save his bacon. Afterwards, they try steering Roth out but he’s not going anywhere.

Focusing on the problem at hand, the Winchesters get the hint that monsters are killing monsters. Despite Roth’s arguments, Sam, someone who completely understands what Roth is going through, tells him “What we do is messed up” and he needs to stay out of it. Dejected, Roth returns back home only to be visited by Detective Costa.

Using some of the advice given by the Winchesters, he discovers that Detective Costa is something else. In fact, it’s David, who is trying to find out what happened to his brother. He gives Roth the 411 on Chicago and the city’s division between five monster families and, if he can’t figure things out, war will be coming and there will be blood. When he takes a look at Roth’s jacket, his suspicions are confirmed that it wasn’t the werewolf because Julian doesn’t have silver claws. David ends up using the jacket to distract Roth and gets away.

The confrontation only fuels Roth’s drive and, after doing some research on Julian Duval, makes his way to the Duval mansion. It’s quite a gathering place as David’s already there to see Violet and the Winchesters are there to gather some intel. As far as the former lovers go, they talk about the past, a past that was supposed to lead the two to a future together but Violet “had a choice” to run away with him but didn’t take it.

Their reunion is interrupted when the Freddy Krueger wannabe with silver claws attacks them. He runs after Violet and David attacks him but it’s not long before the interloper has the advantage, only running when Roth tries putting a few bullets in him. Unfortunately, that leaves Violet on her own and the killer catches up to the werewolf and takes her hostage. Sam and Dean arrive but it’s too late for Violet. It does, however, bring the four men together to solve the case before a lot of blood is spilt.

The funny thing, the silver claw killer is just a man and wants just that. He lost his son to the violence, telling the trussed up Violet that Sal and Julian ripped his 8 year old son apart. Violet knows Sal nor Julian would kill a kid and, more importantly, if this bad guy gets his way, a lot more innocent kids will be dead in the streets. He breaks off their conversation when he hears the uneasily aligned quartet making their way into the hideout—tracking Violet’s location by using her phone’s GPS. It just so happens that David’s the one KO’d and tied up next to Violet. The unnamed vigilante is ready to put the claws to David but Violet breaks free and starts clawing into him. David is close behind but instead of joining in on the killage, holds his ex-lover back. Sam, Dean, and Roth get there in the aftermath and when the vigilante sees Roth, he apologizes for Tamara’s death, telling the young man “she was in the way.” He tries making his case of ‘here there be monsters’ but Roth replies “I only see one monster here,” before killing him.

The case solved, David and Violet have a last chat. He openly wonders what his brother was apologizing for and we get a flashback of Sal threatening Violet when she was set to run away with David. She keeps the truth from David and leaves him but not before giving him a soul-searing kiss. David pays a visit to his father, who’s awake now. He warns his son to stop Margo and her thirst for war. David does just that, bringing evidence of the killer and telling her that he’s back in the fold. “I’ve waited a long time to hear you say that…welcome home David.” Despite her kind words, Margo means not a single one of them because she knows David’s return changes the game. On the other side of things, Sam and Dean drop Roth off at home and re-emphasizes the need for Roth to stay out of it. They bug out after Castiel calls; he has a bead on Metatron. Sam promises to call in some hunters to take care of the families but we all know Roth is going to jump into the fray. As if knowing this, he gets a call from someone that sounds suspiciously like his dead father, Nate. “If you start hunting, the monsters will kill you.” And then nothing…

‘The Godfather’ with Monsters

  • When I first heard about the ‘Supernatural’ spin off, I was both excited and concerned. I love the show Kripke and company have created but how would it be turned into a second show without becoming a clone of the original? Based on this episode, it looks like the gang has created a unique and interesting hook with Chi-town split between the 5 monster families. Through in the ‘Romeo and Juliet’sub plot with David and Violet as well as the mysterious call Roth gets from his dead father, we’ve got a nice little foundation for ‘Supernatural: Bloodlines’.
  • Furthermore, our two lead characters—David and Roth—though on the opposite side of things—seemed to have a natural understanding with one another. Striking the balance on how these two men will play off each other despite a similar goal (preventing war) intermingled with their natural dispositions and circumstances leading up to the climax, will be a key factor on whether or not the series having a successful take off.
  • Bottom line, I like the actors and characters introduced but will remain cautiously optimistic.