The CW’s Supernatural was a huge success spanning fifteen seasons and 327 episodes, making it one of the longest-running shows on the network. While viewership wasn’t always steady, thanks to the dedicated SPN fandom, this show lived long enough to birth a prequel spinoff series only two years later — The Winchesters.
It’s always an uphill task trying to create a spinoff of a successful show. While the Game of Thrones (GoT) spinoff, House of the Dragon, was a success among GoT fans, a similar spinoff show released this year, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, wasn’t a favorite among diehard fans during its runtime.
Despite a lukewarm reception by the #SPNFamily fanbase to the trailer and behind-the-scenes drama between Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki, The Winchesters is starting reasonably strong. According to Media traffic, The Winchesters was one of the most-watched new CW series of 2022.
The Winchesters series is based on the early life of hunters, Mary (Meg Donnelly) and John Winchester (Drake Rodger). And if it’s anything like the first season of Supernatural, then they are on the right track.
If you’re a Supernatural fan and haven’t watched The Winchesters yet, this article has all the reasons why you should start watching the first seven episodes out now!
The Episode Pacing
Supernatural episode formulas always worked. It would usually start with Sam finding a monster in a nearby town from the newspaper or online on his computer. They would then pack their guns, fake IDs, and a bag of salt to take down the next monster on their list. But towards the end, the story would always tie back to the main theme/ villain they were fighting that season, whether it was the demon Azazel from season one, Lucifer, or Chuck.
And it makes sense that The Winchesters would follow the same script. While this monster hunting club hunts different monsters in each episode, towards the end, they always get clues about fighting their main villain — The Akrida.
But one main difference between Supernatural and The Winchesters is it won’t only focus on two people. During a press interview, showrunner and executive producer Robbie Thompson stated that The Winchesters is more of an ensemble focusing on five main characters, including Mary and John. Unlike the earlier Supernatural seasons that only concentrate on Sam and Dean on the road.
So it will be interesting to see how the first season plays out compared to Supernatural season one.
The Winchesters’ Plot
John and Mary Winchester have always played important roles in Sam and Dean’s lives. While they made several appearances throughout Supernatural’s 15 seasons, we never understood who they were at their core. As a Supernatural fan, you probably remember the pilot episode started with Mary Winchesters’ death, and John is left to care for his young sons. When Dean looks for Sam in his college room, it’s to help him find their father, John. Who disappeared while on a hunt.
While many Supernatural fans don’t like John Winchester and how he treated his sons, this series may answer several questions we’ve been asking for years. This John Winchester is young, full of energy and life but still dealing with demons from his past.
So, if you want to know how Mary ended up with John and how their hunting journey began, this is the show to watch. Considering they made some changes to the origin story we got on Supernatural, it’s interesting to see how they bring John Winchester (the newbie hunter) into the fold and teach him to survive. The episodes dive deep into Mary and John’s fears, hopes, and dreams as they maneuver the monster-hunting life together. Going on this journey with Dean will also be interesting as he discovers who Mary and John Winchester were before they became parents.
The plot also starts similarly to Supernatural season one — when Dean asks for Sam’s help to find their dad. In The Winchesters, John Winchester has just returned from the Vietnam War looking for his father. Which leads him into a Men of Letters bunker in his hometown. But will it be so easy to find his father, who only left a few clues behind?
Jensen Ackles’s Involvement
It’s no secret that most Supernatural fans were tuning in to see Sam and Dean Winchester. Their bromance was through the roof; they would go to hell and back for each other (literally). Their friendly dynamic, even outside the show, kept fans coming back for more.
So, it was a welcome surprise when The Winchesters trailer dropped, and we saw Dean standing next to his Chevrolet Impala, writing in his diary. Who would have thought? When news broke about a prequel series centered on Sam and Dean Winchester’s parents, fans were happy but skeptical about how they would tell the story. But it was a relief to know that Jensen and his wife, Danneel Ackles, are producers on the show.
In 2020, Jensen and Danneel launched their production company, Chaos Machine Production. Their first project was The Winchesters. So, they’re all in! With how much Jensen loves the Supernatural world, who else could be trusted with its legacy?
We get a few shots of Dean Winchester and his voice-over throughout most episodes. So if the Supernatural season 15 finale made you cry as I did, this series will make you feel better seeing Dean happy and healthy on The Winchesters again, even if it’s for a few seconds.
Unfortunately, we aren’t sure whether Jared Padelecki will make a cameo on the show, as he is busy starring in the Texas Ranger spinoff, Walker, also on The CW.
Getting To See Old Characters Again
One thing I love about prequels is seeing the origin stories of some of the earlier shows’ favorite characters. While John Winchester always came off as uncaring and rude, the younger John Winchester is entirely different, at least before Mary Winchester’s untimely death.
But we are still excited to get a look at some of our favorite Supernatural characters. Most fans eagerly await to see Bobby Singer, Rufus Turner, and maybe even demons like Azazel, who was involved in Mary’s death.
Executive producer Robbie Thompson said he was 100% sure we will see many familiar faces in upcoming episodes. Including younger versions of characters, we haven’t met yet. So, we’re in for a long ride. So far, we get to see Mary and John building their relationship with other hunters, so we’re sure some Supernatural favorites will pop up down the line.
The Winchesters has been airing on Tuesdays at 8 pm EST, with the mid-season finale airing on December 6. But don’t worry, The Winchesters is set to return on air on January 24 at 9 pm EST. And although we know that John and Mary are endgame, it’s a slow-burn love story that we are eager to see play out.