| Promotional image from Pilot
|| Pilot aka The Woman in White
| Episode #
|| Season 1, Episode 1
| First aired
|| September 13, 2005
| Directed by
|| David Nutter
| Written by
|| Eric Kripke
| On IMDB
|| Dean and Sam are reunited, investigating supernatural deaths in Jericho on the path to finding their missing father, John.
|| Woman in White|
|| November 2, 1983 (flashback)|
October 31, 2005 (Dean arrives)
November 1, 2005 (in Jericho)
November 2, 2005 (Jess dies)
|| Lawrence, Kansas|
Palo Alto, California
Jericho, California (Fictional)
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Lawrence, Kansas, 22 years ago
It is a happy family scene as Mary and John Winchester put their children, six-month-old Sam and four-year-old Dean, to bed. Later, Mary investigates a sound coming from Sam’s nursery. She sees a figure standing over his crib and assumes it is John, but when she realizes it isn’t her husband she rushes back in. John, who was asleep in the living room, hears Mary's screams and rushes to the nursery, only to find her pinned to the ceiling with a deep wound across her belly. As he stares in shock, flames engulf Mary and the room. John hands baby Sam to Dean and tells him to run outside before trying in vain to save his wife. The scene ends with John and the boys sitting on the hood of the Impala as firemen tend to their burning house.
Stanford University, present day
It is Halloween and Sam and his girlfriend, Jess, go out for drinks to celebrate his good LSAT score, which should guarantee him a place in law school. Later that night, Sam awakens to the sound of someone breaking into their apartment. He wrestles with the intruder, only to discover that it is his older brother, Dean. The brothers haven’t spoken for some time, and Dean is only turning up now because their father has gone missing on what Dean calls a "hunting trip."
As Dean tries to convince Sam to accompany him to find their dad, it is obvious that what the Winchesters hunt are supernatural entities. Dean plays a recording of a voicemail from John Winchester, which contains EVP of a woman saying “I can never go home,” and Sam agrees to spend the weekend looking for their Dad. He needs to be back at Stanford on Monday for a law school interview. Jess seems worried, but it is clear that she does not know the truth about what Sam's family "hunts."
The boys travel to Jericho, where John has been investigating the disappearances of young men that go back ten years and all seem to occur on the same stretch of road. The latest victim was Troy Squire, and when Sam and Dean speak to his girlfriend, Amy Hein, they find out about a local legend of a murdered girl whose ghost hitchhikes and kills whoever picks her up. After some research, Sam and Dean discover the girl in the legend is Constance Welch, who killed herself by jumping from a bridge after her children drowned in the bathtub. That night, they travel to the bridge, and Sam makes it clear that he doesn’t want to return to hunting with Dean and John. He also questions the value of their quest to find whatever killed their mother. During the confrontation they see a woman jump into the water, and, when they go out on the bridge to investigate, the Impala mysteriously starts on its own and pursues them down the bridge, stopping once they've jumped to safety.
Upon checking into a motel, the brothers find out their father had also been staying there and that his room is still being held. They break into his room and, though it is obvious he has not been there for a few days, the walls are covered in research - newspaper clippings, notes – that identifies Constance as a woman in white. The police have been staking out the motel, and Dean is arrested when he leaves to get food. At the police station, they accuse him of being connected with the disappearances and show him John’s journal, which contains the notation “Dean 35-111”. While Dean is being questioned, Sam tracks down Constance Welch’s widower, Joseph Welch, who tells Sam that Constance is buried in a plot behind their old house, the same house where their children drowned. He also reveals that he was unfaithful to her, which makes it more likely that she is a woman in white.
Dean escapes from the police station using a paper clip and a distraction provided by Sam, but before Dean and Sam can meet up again, Sam has a personal encounter with Constance. She tries to seduce him, whilst begging him to take her home. Sam refuses, but she takes control of the Impala and forces him to drive her towards her old home. The car stops outside the deserted house, and Constance attacks him. Dean arrives and shoots at her, distracting her and allowing Sam to ram the car into the house. Inside the house, the ghosts of her children materialize, and as they embrace her, all three vanish.
After the case, Dean is keen to pursue John – he has worked out that the notation he left Dean in his journal are coordinates to a town in Colorado - but Sam declines and so he drives him back to Stanford. Returning to his apartment, Sam finds a plate of cookies with a note from Jess. He goes upstairs and, hearing the shower running in the bathroom, collapses onto their bed, exhausted. He seems happy, but then something red drips onto his forehead and he looks up to see Jess pinned to the ceiling and bleeding from her belly. He screams, and, as Jess bursts into flame, Dean rushes in and pulls Sam from the inferno of their apartment.
Outside the house, as fireman battle the blaze, Sam tosses a shotgun into the trunk of the Impala. He is back in the hunt again.
- Classic - What Cha Gonna Do
- Eagles of Death Metal - Speaking In Tongues
- Loveless - Gift to the World
- Allman Brothers Band - Ramblin' Man
- AC/DC - Back in Black
- AC/DC - Highway to Hell
- The Living Daylights - Gasoline
- Kid Gloves Music - My Cheatin' Ways
John: Take your brother outside as fast as you can - don't look back. Now, Dean! Go!
Jess: And where is your costume?
Sam: You know how I feel about Halloween.
Dean, what the hell are you doing here?
Dean: I was looking for a beer.
Sam: What the hell are you doing here?
Dean: Okay, all right. We gotta talk.
Sam: Uh, the phone?
If I'd have called, would you have picked up?
I swore I was done hunting for good.
Dean: Come on, it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t that bad.
Sam: Yeah? When I told dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45 [Magnum].
Dean: Well what was he supposed to do?
Sam: I was 9 years old! He was supposed to say “Don’t be afraid of the dark.”
Don’t be afraid of the dark? What are you kidding me, of course you should be afraid of the dark! You know what’s out there!
So what are you gonna do? Just live some normal, apple pie life? Is that it?
Sam: No, not normal. Safe.
Dean: And that’s why you ran away?
I was just going to college. It was dad who said if I was gonna go, I should stay gone. And that's what I'm doing.
I can’t do this alone.
Sam: Yes, you can.
Yeah, well... I don’t want to.
Sam: You and dad still running credit card scams?
Dean: Yeah, well hunting ain't exactly a pro ball career. Besides, all we do is apply. It's not our fault they send us the cards.
I swear, man, you have got to update your cassette tape collection.
Sam: Well, for one: they're cassette tapes. And two: Black Sabbath? Motorhead? Metallica? It's the greatest hits of mullet rock.
Dean: House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.
Sam: You know, Sammy is a chubby 12 year old. It's Sam, okay?
Sorry, I can't hear you. The music's too loud.
You can pretend all you want, Sammy. But sooner or later you're going to have to face up to who you really are.
Sam: Who is that?
One of us.
Trivia & References
Jensen Ackles cited this episode as his favorite in the premier issue of the Official Supernatural Magazine saying:
"I mean, obviously the pilot stands out among all the rest."
At Jus In Bello Italy 2012
Jensen said that the scene where Sam and Dean were in the library together was one of his favorite scenes, because it was the first scene ever filmed. source
The episode first premiered on Yahoo!TV on 09/06/2005. The pilot could also be seen on the internet weeks before the airing.
The premiere of the Pilot episode ran an extra 7 minutes (9:00 to 10:07 EST), bringing the total run time to 57 minutes.
The episode contains a number of scenes that are mirrored in subsequent episodes.
- 1. In the teaser John hands Sam to Dean and says "take your brother outside as fast as you can, and don’t look back". This is repeated in Home when Sam hands Ritchie to his sister Sari and repeats the same words.
- 2. The sequence of Dean breaking into the apartment and wrestling with Sam is repeated in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be when, in the wish verse, Sam tackles Dean as he breaks into the family home.
- 3. The exchange when Dean tells Sam he doesn't want to do it alone, is recalled in 7.04 Defending Your Life
- 4. Dean slams Sam against the bridge when he questions the family mission. This is mirrored when Sam does that to Dean in Salvation.
- 5. At the end of the Pilot, there is a shot of Dean and Sam standing over the trunk of the Impala. As Sam tosses a weapon into he trunk he says "we've got work to do" and closes the trunk. At the end of 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two, the scene is replayed with the brother's positions reversed. Dean tosses the Colt into the trunk and says "We've got work to do." In 4.01 Lazarus Rising, when Dean asks Castiel why he was brought back, Castiel responds, "Because we have work for you." In 7.19 Of Grave Importance the line is used by Bobby to explain his presence as a ghost.
A deleted scene (watch
)(contained Season 1 DVD
) shows the reason Dean returned to save Sam from his burning bedroom: his watch stopped, the car radio send static and that's why he turned the car around, sensing something was wrong. Later on, we learn that in the days before the fires, signs crop up in an area, cattle deaths, temperature fluctuations, electrical storms.
Every street referenced in this episode is named after a real street in Eric Kripke
's hometown, Toledo, Ohio.S1Com, p.18
John's motel room is papered with articles. One is about a Cambion
suggested John was speculating on Sam's heritage. Another is about Constance Welch
. The article says a neighbor described Constance as a quiet but very lovely woman. This neighbor is named Deanna Kripke - the name of Eric Kripke's wife
We’re not exactly the Bradys.
Friend: And I’m not exactly the Huxtables.
- Sam is referring to the family in the TV show The Brady Bunch, a large patchwork family that stands for the ultimate American middle class family. His friend mentions the Bradys' 80’s african-american equivalent from The Cosby Show, the Huxtables.
- It is also possible that Sam is referring to the Brady family from the American soap opera, Days of our Lives, on which Jensen Ackles played Eric Brady.
Dean: [referring to Jessica's t-shirt] I love the Smurfs.
- The Smurfs was a cartoon series about little blue creatures living in mushroom houses in the woods. There was only one female smurf, Smurfette. Some fans believe that Dean, however, is referring not to the smurfs on Jessica's shirt, but to the pair underneath.
So he’s working over-time on a “Miller Time” shift; he’ll stumble back in sooner or later.
Sam: Yeah, he’s just deer hunting up at the cabin and he’s probably got Jim, Jack, and Jose along with him. We’re just gonna go bring him back.
- All references to alcohol: Miller (beer), Jim Beam (bourbon), Jack Daniels (whiskey), and Jose Cuervo (tequila).
Dean: [to two FBI Agents] Agent Mulder, Agent Scully.
- Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are the two FBI Agents on the popular sci-fi/horror series The X-Files who investigate cases involving paranormal phenomena.
Okay, thank you Unsolved Mysteries
- A TV show that featured re-enactments of unsolved crimes filmed in documentary style, with actors portraying the victims, perpetrators and witnesses. Many of these stories hinted at paranormal phenomenon.
So you want to give us your real name?
Dean: I told you, it’s Nugent. Ted Nugent.
- The first of Dean's classic rock star aliases. Also possibly a reference to the movie "Fletch", starring Chevy Chase.
I'm not sure you realize just how much trouble you're in here.
Dean: We talkin', like, misdemeanor kind of trouble, or uh, "squeal like a pig" trouble?
- "Squeal like a pig" is a reference to a scene in the 1972 horror film Deliverance, in which a suburban man is told to "squeal like a pig" then brutally raped by crazed mountain men while on a fishing trip. The scene has been listed as one of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments (#63).See Deliverance for other episodes which have quotes from this movie.
What were you thinking shooting Casper in the face, you freak?
- Title character in the famous cartoon series Casper, the Friendly Ghost in which Casper was, indeed, a friendly ghost, unlike the Woman in White.
Sam scored 174 on his LSAT.
Mary dies on 2nd November 1983.
2nd November is All Souls Day
, also called the Day of the Dead in Mexico
The nursery clock stops at 20:12.
Both Mary and Jess die in exactly the same way. In both cases, they die above Sam’s bed.
Dean knows how to pick locks, picking his handcuffs using just a paperclip.
It was assumed by Sam, Dean, and fans that Azazel
was the one who killed Jessica
. However, it was revealed in 5.20 The Devil You Know
that Sam's demon-possessed friend Brady
did the actual killing, albeit on Azazel's instructions.
At the gas station, Sam tosses Dean the Metallica cassette, but it's AC/DC's "Back in Black" that plays.
The Pilot was filmed in March/April of 2005 in L.A.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts