I kind of feel like I already talked about the episode itself in my initial quick reaction back when it aired. And I don't really have much to add - I mean, I could spend 2+ hours ripping the episode apart and explain just why it never worked as a backdoor pilot, but I like to keep this blog fairly positive and doing that just seems mean-spirited to me. The writers tried to do something; it didn't work. Move on.
BUT, rather than skip this episode completely, I figured I'd listen to it with the commentary track on and just kind of run a little summary of what's said about it.
It's Bob Singer, Andrew Dabb (writer), and Jeremy Carver.
Bob singer talks about shooting in Chicago and how that was a nice change.
Dabb talks about giving characters that aren't human humanity - to ground them and have people understand their story.
Singer talks about how you have to be careful casting so that you don't cast people who all look the same, and then the audience can't tell them apart.
- Oh my god, yes... that drives me nuts. I'm especially bad with white long-haired brunettes or blondes.
(Just going to jump in and say that I hate the whole fridging of the girlfriend thing - I mean, come on, think of something new! Okay, okay... I will stop criticizing.)
They introduce each actor as they come on screen and say how much they like them.
(Sam and Dean! I will say that I love the Outsider POV on Sam and Dean here... which I'm sure I said in the Quick Reaction.)
Carver talks about how trying to figure out how much to include the boys in the episode - that they went through several drafts that had too much or two little.
Carver said they were working on the pilot for 18 months and in an earlier version Ennis was an established Chicago hunter. Dabb adds that they changed it when they realized that the vast majority of hunters on Supernatural are all established hunters, and that it might be cool to do an origin story and follow a new hunter trying to learn the ropes.
They talk about how important chemistry is with new casts.
The fellow who played the Djinn did his own Djinn tattooes when he came to the audition.
It sounds like the exteriors were Chicago, but the interiors were all sets or locations in Vancouver.
Singer says that "by my count that it the 120th head that we've chopped off in the course of 9 seasons."
Dabb talks about how the FX works for chopping people's heads off. You have the shot with the body dropping and the shot with Jensen swinging the blade at precisely where the neck would be (but with no body in front of him.) Which means that when they shoot Jensen's coverage, he has to slice the exact same air every take - and he does it right every single time.
(Sam and Dean are totally wearing new clothes in this, and there's no really good shots of them - so, that's annoying for me.)
Dabb talks about how one of the things he loves about the show is that a lot of shows are like "go be the hero!" but the boys are always like "being the hero sucks. It's a horrible life."
Singer talks about how they tried to make it Godfather-esque.
Dabb talks about how Supernatural explores the fact that monster doesn't necessarily equal evil - that there are good monsters and bad monsters and good humans and bad humans.
Carver talks about how they had to cut some really nice scenes for time issues.
Dabb mentions how the actor pulled off a really great single-tear.
(Oh yeah, the pull over on the side of the road just to talk scene... so obviously just to make the conversation easier to shoot)
Singer makes fun of the fact that they use "frickin'" and "freakin'" on the show. Dabb says that in Utah (where he is from) that's hardcore profanity.
Singer explains that the adorable baby pictures in the killers lair are the 1st AD's son, Clint. (Must be Johnny MacCarthy, because Kevin Park doesn't have children.)
Bob talks about shooting in Vancouver and how sometimes the places they shoot in are actually colder inside than it is outside - so you have to go outside to warm up. It's an old steel-working plant that's been cleaned up so that they can shoot in it. One of the electricians once asked "can we ever torture someone in a nice hotel penthouse?"
(I love werewolves)
Dabb talks about how they didn't want to do a show where it was just another pair of hunters in a different place... so they played with the idea of being stationary and how hunting would be different, because you couldn't just leave town after, and that the monsters would also act differently if they were established and stationary.
(So, I will jump back in and say that a big problem with the episode is that they have the cop shoot a human bad guy dead in the FIRST EPISODE - instead of bringing him to justice or whatever. In SPN, killing humans was a big fucking deal to Sam and Dean, so doing it off the bat like this jumps the main-character ahead in his arc way too fast. He's already lost his "lawful" alignment, so to speak, and immediately becomes less of a hero, not more of one. It's a problem, unless that's what you were aiming for, which is an unpredictable unlawful hunter-cop, that is therefore even more unpredictable than the monsters he's hunting.)
Carver talks about balancing the boys with the new hunter - and debating whether they'd bless him, so to speak - and in the end they decided that the Winchesters would warn him away from the life, that they couldn't high-five him and tell him to go for it, because that would be out of characer - so it's a weird hand-off.
Werewolf brother interrogating Violet about where she's been all night, and her telling him that she's not going to get arrange-married to the other pack because she can "do better."
So, I know that's not a traditional rewatch, but I really wasn't interested in watching the episode again - and since this is my blog and I can do what I like, I'm doing what I like!
I WILL, however, lift my no-negativity ban for the comments - so, if you want to vent all your emotions about this episode, feel free! You don't even have to mitigate it by saying something good for every bad thing.
If you want to say bad things about me, however, the no-negitivity ban is still in effect!! I'm lovely.