After nine seasons, Supernatural may finally be getting a spin-off. This week’s episode, “Bloodlines,” is a backdoor pilot for a potential new show next season all about the warring monster families that rule Chicago. Because of that, there’s very little Sam and Dean. This is definitely a different show that happens to exist in the same world as Supernatural.
The episode begins in Chicago where young, handsome cop Ennis Ross is about to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Tamara. But don’t get too attached to her.
Elsewhere in a monster night club, shapeshifter Sal Lassiter has a run-in with werewolf Julian Duval, and they do not get along. Like Ennis they are also handsome, because this is a CW show where all guys must be good-looking.
Their monster feud is interrupted by a hooded figure with Freddy Krueger claws who does some serious damage. The next thing we see is Sal, with a gaping wound in his stomach, stumble outside where Ennis is in the middle of asking Tamara to marry him. The Claw Monster joins them, kills Tamara and Sal, then leaves. Much like Peter Parker losing Uncle Ben, we now have our hero’s tragic origin story.
The exposition for Bloodlines continues as we meet the other main characters. The simple set-up is that Chicago is secretly run by five monster families: shapeshifters, werewolves, djinns, ghouls and vampires.
Margo Lassiter, Sal’s sister, is running the shifters now that their dad is dying. She’s working with Freddie Costa, a human detective who was also a friend of Ennis’ father. Her other brother, David, is a college student who uses his shifting skills to steal test answers. David, played by The Vampire Diaries‘ Nathaniel Buzolic, is instantly charming and the most likeable character in this potential spin-off. He doesn’t want anything to do with his family’s business, but Sal’s death brings him back into the fold.
Across town, Julian, the head of the werewolves, is preparing for a shifter attack since he knows Margo will suspect he killed Sal. Julian’s sister is Violet, who used to date David but is now set up in an arranged marriage to help her family.
Ennis meets Sam and Dean in the interrogation room, but doesn’t take their advice to stay away. Ennis breaks into the monster club and is almost killed by a vampire, but the Winchesters save him and tell Ennis all about monsters and Hunters. Sam and Dean don’t have much of a role in this episode, but that’s OK as long as you’re willing to embrace this as a completely different show that happens to take place in their universe.
Ennis learns more when he meets David, posing as Freddie, who is looking for more information on his brother’s murder. They have a nice moment and it’s instantly clear that these two will become allies and possibly friends, despite the fact that their first meeting features Ennis pointing a gun at him.
An Unlikely Team
David visits Violet to try and convince her to arrange a sit-down between their siblings to prevent the inevitable monster war. They chat about their romantic past (they planned on leaving town together, but she never showed up), but get interrupted by the Claw Monster. He takes Violet hostage, but doesn’t kill David because Ennis, Sam and Dean all show up (they were tracking down various leads, all of which led them to the Duval estate).
In a perfect illustration of working with the enemy, Sam and Dean team up with Ennis and David to go after the Claw Monster. If Bloodlines becomes a show, having Ennis and David working together is the best possible path to go down.
Once they find the building where the Claw Monster took Violet, David gets kidnapped as well and learns that the Claw Monster is actually just a human with a cool Freddy Krueger glove made out of silver. He’s angry at the monster families because his 8-year-old son was mauled and killed by Sal and Julian. Yes, it seems the shifter and werewolf who hated each other were, for some unknown reason, working together.
The Claw Monster threatens to kill David, but this causes Violet to wolf out because she loves him. She attacks him, but is pulled off before he dies. Sam, Dean and Ennis show up to see the aftermath. Ennis sees the human Claw Monster who killed his ever-so-brief fiancÃ©e and shoot shim dead. Wow, Bloodlines is going to be a really dark show if the “hero” already has one human murder under his belt.
The epilogue for this episode sets up even more mysteries for the potential spin-off. David tells Violet that Sal’s last words were “David, I’m sorry. I didn’t have a choice.” He doesn’t know what it means, but she does. The night she was supposed to run away with David, Sal met with her first and told her to run away because it’s important to keep the different monster bloodlines pure.
Violet doesn’t tell this story to David, but instead kisses him passionately and then walks away. She’s sending some seriously confusing mixed signals.
At the Lassiter mansion, David sits next to his dying dad who warns him that Margo wants a war, so David needs to stop it. Just like that, David is back in the family business.
Finally, as Sam and Dean leave to deal with more important matters (Metatron, Abaddon, etc.), Ennis steps up to become a Hunter and take down the five monster families. In one last twist, the episode ends with Ennis getting a mysterious phone call urging him not to become a Hunter. And the call is from his allegedly dead dad.
Overall, I could see myself getting into Bloodlines as a series. It’s certainly a different show than Supernatural, but it seems to fit more with the CW’s other shows like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. The main reason I’d watch this spin-off is for Nathaniel Buzolic, who was funny and engaging as David. Based on this episode, he seems like more of a protagonist than Ennis.
But what do you think? Would you watch Bloodlines? Or were you just angry that this wasn’t really an episode of Supernatural at all since there was so little Sam and Dean?
Next week on Supernatural: Sam and Dean get back to business with the First Blade and Abaddon.
(Image courtesy of the CW)