1.01 Pilot (The Winchesters)
|Episode #||Season 1, Episode 1|
|First aired||October 11, 2022|
|Directed by||Glen Winter|
|Written by||Robbie Thompson|
|Outline||Upon returning from Vietnam, veteran John Winchester is pulled into the world of the supernatural by Mary Campbell, as they both begin the search for their missing fathers.|
|Timeline||March 23, 1972|
|Location(s)|| New Orleans, Louisiana|
|[[|« Previous Episode]] | Next Episode »|
At night in a cemetery Samuel Campbell enters a crypt with an Aquarian star above the entrance. Deep in the catacombs, he draws a blood sigil to open a concrete tomb. As he opens the lid, he hears a noise behind him and runs! Above ground in the cemetery he trips and some creature descends on him from the dark.
- Dean: March 23, 1972. The day Dad came home from the war. And, the day he met Mom. Now, I know this story might sound familiar, but I'm gonna put the pieces together in a way that just might surprise you. And in order to do that, I have to start all the way at the beginning.
John Winchesters is on a bus, returning home after two years in the Marines. Flashes of combat in Vietnam flash through his mind, unsettling him, and he fingers and envelope that has an Aquarian Star printed on it, and his name written on the front. As he walks through town, he literally runs into a woman outside the movie theatre - Mary Campbell. As he helps her pick up the items spilled from her bag, she gives him a box of licorice drops, and they part. At Winchester's Garage, John reunites with his mom Millie, who owns the place. She's pleased to see him but there's some tension - he forged his dad's signature to join up while underage. Millie asks what John plans to do now he's home, but he doesn't know yet.
That night John is in an alley, and pulls a key out of his pocket when a man, whose eyes flash totally black, confronts him demanding the key. As the man attacks, John fights back and is suddenly joined by Mary. Eventually, she kicks him into a water tank. He taunts her about somoen called Maggie, who he says is in Hell. Mary starts an exorcism which sends a plume of smoke out of his mouth. She tells John that the man is dead, and was possessed by a demon. John tells Mary about the letter, handed to him by a mysterious man.
Outside the building that the letter told him to come to, John sees a Devil's Trap that Mary drew. He takes out the key that was with the letter and Mary notes there's an anti-possession charm on it - same as she has on her bracelet.
Inside they find an obviously long abandoned clubhouse of some sort, that seems to have belonged to a group called the Men of Letters. Mary finds a file with a schematic in it - her father said someone called Ada Monroe told him to find it. John finds his father's locker which includes a photo of him, John and Millie, as well as a journal.
In Ada Monroe's Occult Bookshop, the light's start flickering. She grabs an anti-possession charm and starts to run, but when she trips and drops the charm, a plum of black smoke enters her, and her black eyes show she is possessed by a demon.
John finds Mary, and tells her that Ada Monroe has been reported missing. John is keen to be involved as his dad also went missing 15 years ago, and he thinks finding Mary's dad might help uncover his story.
At the Lawrence library, Mary introduces John to Latika, a hunter in training. She shows Latika the schematic, but refuses her offer to accompany them to Lubbock.
As they drive to Texas, John has visions of his friend Murh who was killed in Vietnam. He tells Mary about how Murph died, and that he still has a piece of his silver cross embedded in his arm. At Ada's bookshop, they find evidence that Samuel was there. At the sound of a smash they run outside and find a young woman possessed by a demon advancing on them. Just in time a van smashes into her sending her flying. It's Latika and another hunter Carlos! Carlos squirts the demon with holy water from a water pistol, and then puts a circle of salt around her, and then gets John to read an exorcism written on a diner menu. The demon smokes out. Back inside the shop, Lata finds a book with details about the box that Samuel was looking for, and works out that the schematics from the clubhouse are a guide on how to open it. She also finds a scrap of paper with coordinates to where it is located.
New Orleans, Louisiana
In a cemetery in New Orleans, John asks Mary about Maggie. She reveals that Maggie was her cousin and she was killed while hunting. Maggie wants to get out of hunting as soon as she finds her dad. They find the same crypt Samuel had been in, and a large hole leading to the catacombs. John and Mary descend, while Carlos and Lata stay topside. John and Mary find the tomb Samuel had opened and inside it find the box Samuel was looking for. Just then they are attack by a loup-garou which the Men of Letters used to guard the tomb. They try to escape it but it keeps advancing. John has an idea and tells Mary to return to the surface. With a knife, John digs the silver cross from his arm and thrusts it into the monster which howls and falls back. Topside, Carlos has disappeared, and Latika is attacked by the possessed Ada Monroe. Carlos returns - he recognised a symbol indicating there was a loup-garou in the crypt. Carlos returns with a large silver blade and helps Lata battle Ada. Mary climbs up from the catacombs and tosses the box to Lata who uses the schematic from the Men of Letters clubhouse to trace the sigils on the lid in the right pattern to open it. As she does, it draws the demon from Ada and traps it in the box. Mary tosses the silver blade down to John who uses it to behead the loup-garou.
At the garage, John confronts his mom, and Millie admits she knew that Henry was in the Men of Letters, but they she didn't tell John because she wanted to keep him safe. She shares the letter he was given by the mysterious man. Maggie reads it, realising that Henry is dead. She begs John not to follow his father's path, but John says that he feels a calling to this fight. To "saving people and hunting things". Millie makes him promise to always come home.
At the clubhouse, Ada tells John a bit about Henry, and that all the Men of Letters disappeared 15 years ago. She tells the group that Samuel was looking for the monster trap to kill the Akrida - a monster that keeps trying to invade the Earth. The Men of Letters have always stopped but with them now gone, Samuel was determined to stop them. He had found evidence that a Men of Letters base in Savannah had evidence of how the Akrida had entered the Earth before. If they find that point, then the monster trap can stop them.
- Dean Winchester: What they didn't know was that the Akrida weren't just a threat to Earth, but to all of existence. Now, like I told you, there's gonna be some surprises. Hell, I'm still trying to find all the puzzle pieces myself. But I'll explain everything. And, until then, I'll keep picking the music.
- Anti-Possession Symbol
- Aquarian Star
- Carlos' Van
- Dean's Amulet
- Demon Smoke
- Devil's Trap
- Green Cooler
- History Lessons (Vietnam)
- Holy Water
- Lawrence, Kansas
- Mary's Bracelet
- Men of Letters
- Men of Letters Clubhouse
- Table of Death
- Title Card
- Warding Sigils
- Winchesters Garage
- "I'd Love to Change the World" by Ten Years After
- (playing as John returns home to Lawrence, and as Dean drives off at the end)
- "People Will Make You Say Things" by Frank Lynch
- (playing in the Winchester Garage while John and Millie talk)
- "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Kline
- (playing on the radio as a demon possesses Ada Monroe)
- "All Right Now" by Free
- (playing as Carlos arrives and he and John exorcise a demon; also played in 1.06 Skin)
- "Americana" by Jay Gruska
- (playing in the final scene between Millie and John)
Millie: My husband and son walked out on me so, this is the best i could do.
Mary: Since I was a kid, yeah.
Latika: It’s a monster trap. Powered by dark magic. It pulls monsters inside. And kills them.
John: Since yesterday, yes.
Millie: You sound just like your daddy. Just come home.
Trivia & References
- The legal drinking age in Kansas in 1972 was 18 years of age for beer under 4% ABV.
- John is referring to a devil's trap which can physically trap demons in place.
- Willard is a 1971 horror film, about the titular character, who can control rats and goes on a rampage of revenge against those who wronged him.
- "New car smell" is the odor a person smells when they first set foot in a brand new car.
- Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison are musicians and members of the 27 Club, an informal list of musicians and artists that have died at the age of 27.
- Freemasons are members of a secretive men’s society that dates back to the 13th century.
- Henry’s middle name “Eric” is a nod to Supernatural series creator Eric Kripke. John Winchester's middle name was also Eric.
- Mary is quoting a lyric from David Bowies’ 1969 song "Space Oddity".
- "My bad" was popularized by its use in the 1995 movie “Clueless” which may lead people to think its use here is anachronistic. However, its earliest recorded use was by the musician Louis Armstrong on the Ed Sullivan Show, in June 1956 on the Ed Sullivan Show’s 8th anniversary when he wished Sullivan a happy birthday and then corrected himself, saying: "Happy Anniversary. My bad." By the 1970s it was common slang in the African American community, particularly in pickup basketball games and from there spread into hip hop music.
Carlos: The only thing worse than how it starts for a hunter - is how it ends.
- A similar sentiment were also expressed by Dean (4.12 Criss Angel Is a Douchebag, 15.20 Carry On) and Sam (13.11 Breakdown).
- Because New Orleans is at or below sea-level, and surrounded by water means that in ground burials risk coffins being displaced or even expelled from the ground during flooding. This means most burials are above the ground in tombs or mausoleums.
John: Yeah, and I hate him for that. But I love him, you know.
- This echoes Dean speech from 12.22 Who We Are where he tells Mary "I hate you. And I love you."
- This echoes the story Dean tells Sam in 1.01 Pilot:
- "Dad's on a hunting trip and he hasn't been home in a few days."
Mary: You can't kill demons, our buddy from the alley found a new host.
- The Colt can kill demons, though at this point in time, it was believed to only be a myth, a "bedtime story" Samuel would tell Mary per 4.03 In the Beginning.
- This line echoes a line by Sam Winchester in the Supernatural 1.01 Pilot where he says to Dean:
- “When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45.”
- Sam and Dean Winchester often used an EMF reader, which Dean had made out of a Walkman.
- Sulfur is a sign of a demon’s presence.
- "Saving people, hunting things. The Family Business" was Sam and Dean's motto, first heard in 1.02 Wendigo.
- In Supernatural, the American chapter was destroyed by the Knight of Hell Abaddon on August 12, 1958. However, Ada's "15 years" is slightly off as 1958 is 14 years before, not 15.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts
- The Cast Sets Up the Prequel
- 5 Things to Know About the Winchesters
- Introducing Mary
- Introducing John
- Introducing Lata
- Introducing Carlos
- Jensen, Danneel, Drake and Mary talk about the music in the Pilot
- The Winchesters Pilot Review: When John Met Mary via TVPulse
- Take Two: Revised Winchesters Pilot Offers New Insights via TVPulse
- Winchesters’ Pilot Review [SPOILER-FREE] via Ners and Beyond
- CW Spiral Video Review via CW Spiral Podcast
- The Winchesters Pilot: All Hunters Have Tough Beginnings via Vought HQ
- Review: ‘Supernatural’ Series ‘The Winchesters’ Premiere via Cosmic Circus
- The Winchesters Is a Spinoff Made Mostly for Supernatural Fans by io9