Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Supernatural 9x20 "Bloodlines"

You may have heard some time ago that Supernatural was getting its own spinoff series, Bloodlines. Much like Vampire Diaries did with The Originals, they decided to launch it as a backdoor pilot. For those not on the up and up with the insider lingo, that basically means they launch it within its origin show so as to get the viewers interested. If you had no idea that this was meant as a backdoor pilot, I suspect you would be thinking pretty much along the lines of WTF when watching this episode, yeah?

Supernatural 9x20 "Bloodlines"
Cutting off heads just in time, like they do.
Before I get into the recap, and honestly I may not do a full style recap with this one because... well, exactly. Do I care about this spinoff? Will I watch it (if it in fact does make it to series)? I'm pretty much on the side of no right now. This introduction to the new show was a pretty melodramatic outing, brimming with exposition that felt super contrived. Am I alone in this thinking? I don't think I am, honestly. But let me know in the comments if you really liked this episode.

Basically, this dude Ennis goes to take his girl out so he can propose to her, and inadvertently gets caught up in this monster pre-war in Chicago. The girl gets killed, and he sees some weird crap, like funky faces in the mirror. How they ended up in basically a monster restaurant, we can't be sure. You'd think they'd be more exclusive with their clientele. But anyway! Ennis ends up meeting Sam and Dean after they catch wind of the case, and even though they lie to him about the monster sitch at first, eventually they have to come clean when Ennis nearly gets killed by a vampire. Whoops.

So, in short, there are five monster families that reside in Chicago. They each have their own territory. At the top of the episode, one of the shapeshifter sons gets murdered by some mysterious dude. They assume it must be Julian of the werewolf clan because there is such bad blood between them. Julian didn't do it, but he would rather they think he did so he can start a war.

Supernatural 9x20 "Bloodlines"
Let's have a melodramatic walk through the woods, shall we?
Meanwhile, dead shifter's brother David comes back to town after hearing of said death, and wants to find out who really did it. This requires him to have a chat with Julian's sister, and his former forbidden love, Violet, which leads to much staring in the eyes and "you didn't show up at the train station, but I did!" shenanigans. Right in the middle of their chat, Violet ends up getting snatched away by whoever did the killing earlier. This leads to David having to team up not only with Ennis, but also with Sam and Dean, who all happened to be hanging around the area when she was taken.

Turns out, the guy who killed David's brother is just a guy whose child was killed, and is looking for revenge. They get the better of him, but Ennis is still pissed that his girl got killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and shoots the dude. Sam and Dean try to warn him off the hunter life (well, more Sam than Dean if we're being honest), but he seems pretty intent on doing it, especially after his supposedly dead father calls him up and tells him not to get involved. Dun dun dun!

David and Violet, meanwhile, share another "how could you!" moment that actually leads to smoochy times. Because, it turns out, Violet only didn't run away with David because his now dead brother showed up to warn her off because they have to keep their bloodlines pure and blah blah. Why she doesn't just tell him that, who knows. Instead she just kisses him and then runs off.

And Sam and Dean drive off into the night after Castiel makes a well-timed phone call saying he's found Metatron or something.

Random Thoughts:

- Why don't these shapeshifters take more time to switch like the others, leaving a pile of goop behind? I'm pretty sure all shifters have been born a shifter, so it's not the difference between being turned and being a natural shifter. Hmm.

- The most egregious exposition came near the end of the episode when Sam asks Ennis if he lives alone, and Ennis straight up says, "Yeah. Sister lives across town. Mom I haven't seen in a while. Dad's dead... killed in the line of duty a few years ago." I actually don't remember what he said exactly about the mom, but it was something like that. I mean, would you really just say all that straight up? Sheesh.

- I mean, it's an interesting concept. But it seemed super dramatic, and without a lot of humor. I know they were trying to get a lot of information across in a short amount of time, but man it felt clunky.

- Let's be honest, there was hardly any Sam and Dean actually in this episode, and a whole lot of new people to try to get us to care about. And I'm not sure I really care about any of them. Then again, I'm getting a bit burnt out on the show in general, so it could just be I'm super critical. What do you think?

Quotes:

Dean: Looks better with a little off the top, don't you think?

David: We shift our shape. It's kind of all there in the name.

Dean: What is this, Godfather with fangs?

Ennis: He's a frickin' Transformer!

Dean: All right, you're with me, Romeo.
David: Sounds good, Buffy.


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16 comments:

  1. Is it me, or is this just another CW pretty people whinefest -- with an assortment of weird moles that gets your attention much better than the stereotyped, boring characters do.

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    1. Ha! The mole! I feel bad because she's a real person, but I actually said to my boyfriend I'm surprised she never had it removed.

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  2. I liked the David dude, but the show seemed sluggish, rushed, and choppy all at the same time. If it is picked up, I hope it gets better since it is 'related' to Supernatural (I'm not tired of Supernatural yet!) I would rather it wasn't picked up for fear it would be a big disaster. The premise of 5 monster families running Chicago's underground was a stretch at best.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure if it's already kind of guaranteed for a pick up or not, but based on just this I'm not very interested either. It came off also as not very Supernatural at all, much more CW soapy.

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  3. I was pretty disappointed with the whole thing, though I wasn't exactly optimistic going in. It didn't feel like an episode of Supernatural, and though I realize that it's supposed to be another show all together, if they're going to give it that SPN endorsement, it needs to feel like it's in the same world, you know? Not like a wonky episode of The Originals with ten minutes of Sam and Dean.

    I agree that there was way too much going on, too quickly, and too many characters that we were supposed to care about; if you showed me a line up of the important characters, I couldn't even tell you who was who. It's been argued that people are being too harsh as it's just a pilot, that no one's giving themselves time to care about the main characters, and that's certainly fair, but I know when I watched the pilot for Supernatural, I knew by the end that I was already way too invested in Sam and Dean.

    For the guys in Bloodlines, if it's take 'em or leave 'em? I think I'll just leave 'em, thanks.

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    1. I really agree with your comment about knowing I'd be into Supernatural from the pilot, with Sam and Dean really popping as characters. This, I did not feel the same at all about. It was a lot of people, a lot of clunky exposition, and I'm pretty sure I don't give a hoot about any of the characters.

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  4. The back door premiere of the spin off, was hugely disappointing. Dull, uninspired writing, poor acting, bad casting. The premise is a huge stretch, and full of enough plot holes to fill a dump truck. Shifters who don't leave any goo behind? Shifters that can't shift free of their bonds? A human dude with a claw, who can throw a medium sized girl hard enough, far and fast enough to kill her? Once the girlfriend's death by the human was avenged, why go after the monsters? There is no reason for it. What about the werewolves that shift at will, and not even into real wolves, but fanged and clawed barbie dolls? Lame. Lamer still the cliched phone call from the dead. This is a stinky fail, and I hope the CW reconsiders putting this out, especially with our beloved Supernatural's name attached to it. Only bright spots were Sam and Dean, and they were made to be guests on their own show. That just sucked.

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    1. Yes! The shifter goo! Why could they shift so easily? Suddenly the rules are different to make it easier for them to shift on the fly for this show? And I also thought it really weird that the human guy could take on monster people so easily, when Sam and Dean always seem to get thrown around, and they've been doing this all their lives. Sigh.

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  5. Back door pilots work so rarely; it just reeks of "hey, this is popular so we need to spread it around as much as humanly possible for maximum profit!" I think Happy Days was the most successful in spinning off shows from the original, but that's because they took genuinely interesting/funny characters and gave them a strong enough set of legs to stand on. This episode reminded me so much more of The Coltons, which was supposed to be a spin-off from MacGyver, and they did the same thing as they did here; did the pilot as an episode of MacGyver, viewers tune in to see what they want to see (Richard Dean Anderson in all his mulleted glory), and instead they get two seconds of Mac and a whole show of weak characters that no one cares about--not interesting enough to carry a show by themselves. I think this was an example of that--I was bored and couldn't muster enough interest to care about any of these people, and it's like "I watch this show for Sam and Dean and Cas, not these pretty, lifeless people that I don't give a crap about!"

    I'm just thankful that next Tuesday goes back to normal and I can forget about La Cosa Monstra as quickly as possible.

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    1. Yeah it seems everyone is basically feeling the same. It's one thing to introduce the characters and then give them their own show, but this was nearly an entire pilot for them with Sam and Dean just thrown in so they could do it within Supernatural's season.

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  6. It seems that "Bloodlines" is going to be another soapy-type CW drama. Do we really need more of those? David seemed to come off best. I did love him calling Dean "Buffy". Yeah, based on this, don't think I'm gonna watch

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    1. It did really feel like another CW soap. There was one moment where they had a song come on and I was like ack! That is SUCH a CW song! This is supposed to be Supernatural!

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  7. Arrow's Flash spin off backdoor pilot/set up worked. It was about the Arrow characters, took place over several episodes, and expanded the Arrow world without taking focus off Ollie and Starling. Plus the last few episodes have referenced the Flash spin-off in a non invasive way. This backdoor pilot was the opposite, and could have been handled much better.

    The Cas and Crowley show? I'd watch that. A Ghostfacers spin off? Loved the online mini-series. A young Samuel Colt fighting demons in the wild west? Heck yes! But this? No. Just, No. When Supernatural hardly feels like Supernatural somedays, I cannot bring myself to watch a show where I see the boys for all of five minutes.

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    1. That's true, the Flash spin off thing worked much better since it was better integrated into the show. It didn't feel like they just plopped it in to give him a spinoff, but rather they were introducing the character organically into the world of both series.

      Um, yes Ghostfacers! At least they have some humor and aren't just mopey drama queens. The Samuel Colt one would be cool too. Sigh. If only.

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  8. When the shapeshifter dude in the beginning ran his hands over his hair to change the color I thought, "Hmmm, I've never seen that in the series before." And then when avenging brother could change his entire appearance, willy-nilly with the shift of a camera I was really bothered. The whole premise for this new show isn't a horrible idea, but if it is going to be set in the Supernatural universe, please don't change the mythology we've all come to know and love.

    I think I am with you, feeling super burned out on the show at this point, so I hope this season ends really, really well. I feel like I need something big and great to renew my faith in this point of the series. I know this show can be really great, and I am really holding on to that at this point.

    As always, thank you for your great review. If you wanted to go back and do reviews for the first 4 1/2 seasons I would read every single one. Probably in a day.

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    1. Yeah the whole departure from mythology was weird, and not explained at all. They should know Supernatural fans will pick up on that stuff.

      Ha, thanks! Since I'm so burned out on the show also, I'm not sure I could go back and start recapping from the beginning, when the summer is more my time to take a break from it. I've always thought about doing it, though, so who knows.

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