Supernatural Review 9.20 - "Bloodlines"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.01.2014
Well, that's one fall show I won't be watching.
The Road So Far: Sam and Dean investigate a case of vampire attacks when called by Sheriff Jody Mills. They suspect that a victim is more than she appears and they're right. She's being groomed by the family and has fed humans to them. Jody breaks through to her and they kill the nest. Meanwhile, Dean is enjoying killing a little too much.
Season 9, Episode 20: Bloodlines Directed By: Robert Singer Written By: Andrew Dabb
Last season I declared that "Bitten" was the worst episode of Supernatural's entire run. Now here comes "Bloodlines" to challenge that perception. After watching last night's backdoor pilot, I can confirm that I will not be adding reviews of Supernatural: Bloodlines to my lineup. I won't even be watching. For an episode that's entire purpose was to sell me on a new show this fall, it failed to deliver in every single way.
The episode follows a man named Ennis, whose girlfriend is killed in the middle of a monster war. That's when Sam and Dean show up (briefly) to teach him about how monsters actually exist and certain people hunt them. He teams up with the Winchesters and a shapeshifter to find out who is responsible for his girlfriend's death. This is all in the middle of Chicago, in which there are five monster families battling for supremacy.
Let me get this out of the way first. This is a Supernatural episode with maybe fifteen minutes of Sam and Dean. Maybe. I realize it's also a pilot for a spin-off, but shouldn't that spin-off have a little more to do with the main characters so it feels like it's part of that world? This doesn't feel like a Supernatural series. It feels like almost every other CW show instead. Good-looking "monsters" with angst who look like models while they emote. Basically, The Vampire Diaries.
Sam and Dean feel like their guest-starring in some other show. They barely show up and when they do, they're not really essential to anything. Ennis does the heavy lifting, the story focuses on him and the Winchesters are there as set-dressing to basically tell him what a hunter is. It is just a lazily-written episode that sets up a show that probably won't run for more than a season. If you think Bloodlines is going to get even half of this show's viewers without the Winchesters, you're sadly mistaken.
I could forgive not including the main stars of the show when this episode is meant as a backdoor pilot. However, they cut out the main stars and don't provide a story compelling enough to keep me interested. I shouldn't be looking at my watch every five minutes wondering when Sam and Dean are coming back.
The actors and story are just bland. Sean Faris, the star of this new series, has that Jason Ritter style of acting in which he looks like he's going to start laughing during every dramatic scene. He looks like he's trying to act instead of just acting. Maybe this was just an off day for him, I don't know. All I can say is I don't care about where his story goes from here (because it's mostly resolved) and I don't care about the monster families.
There were some other problems, mostly about how Sam and Dean felt out of character and the episode somehow forgets the entire concept behind shapeshifters (they have to shed their skin in between changes, and only really powerful shifters can do it quicker). I'll just chalk those up to the poor script. "Bitten" has been dethroned. All hail "Bloodlines", the worst episode of the series.
Next week we have the home stretch before the finale. The actual story of this season has been quite good so I'm hoping "Bloodlines" is just an anomaly and not a signal of where things are going.
The 411: If this episode is any indication, Supernatural: Bloodlines is going to be a painful watch that doesn't last very long. Poorly-written, poorly acted and wasting the stars of the main show make this one of the worst episodes in the show's entire run.