By Tori Preston | TV | March 9, 2023 |
By Tori Preston | TV | March 9, 2023 |
I haven’t seen a single episode of the Supernatural prequel spinoff, The Winchesters, despite sticking with all 15 seasons of the mothership (brothership?) and even covering it for this site. As a staunch defender of the original, I can’t quite explain why I never even bothered to give The Winchesters a chance, other than perhaps because the Supernatural finale did its job a little too well: When Sam and Dean Winchester finally learned how to let go and say goodbye to each other, I learned to do the same. So despite the fact that Jensen Ackles himself was producing the spinoff, which focuses on the early days of John and Mary Winchester (Sam and Dean’s parents), and that he’d be narrating the show as Dean, I just sort of let it, uh, “carry on” without me.
But then something funny happened online. I caught some intriguing glimpses of the first season finale. And specifically, I saw… this.
Yeah yeah, I know, it’s Jensen Ackles. Duh. But it’s Jensen Ackles as Dean with a beard and a peacoat with a large collar. Since I’m still reeling from the cancellation of my be-collared hottie fave 1899, I obviously had to get to the bottom of this. And by that I mean I read some recaps to try and figure out why Dean was in the past and, more importantly, in a peacoat on this show I’m not watching.
So, as near as I can tell, The Winchesters takes place in an alternate reality from Supernatural — one of those other “sandboxes” Chuck used to brag about creating. But this Peacoat Dean is actually Dead Dean from the main Supernatural, and he’s popping over from the afterlife to find a version of his family that could have a happy ending. He decides to break the rules and help John and Mary with some secret monster threat that Chuck left behind, so that it doesn’t wind up ruining the remainder of Sam’s life. I guess that means that this Dean comes from the period of time when Sam is racking up the old man prosthetics but hadn’t yet died and rejoined his brother upstairs.
Dean isn’t the only familiar face the show has brought back: Rowena (Ruth Connell), Bobby (Jim Beaver), and nuGod Jack (Alexander Calvert) all appear as well. Not to mention the fact that Baby, Dean’s prize Impala, makes a grand entrance, and apparently, Dean leaves behind his father’s hunting journal and the special demon-killing Colt to help this version of John and Mary, should they face the same dangers in the future that his own parents did. It’s all a tidy way to preserve the Supernatural timeline while freeing The Winchesters to take some more risks in the past, in this alternate reality. Basically: Just because you know Supernatural doesn’t mean you know where these Winchesters might go from here.
The show hasn’t been picked up for a second season yet, in part because of all the shakeups at The CW, but Ackles told Entertainment Weekly that the plan is to invite back more familiar faces from the Supernatural universe if they get the chance.
And moving forward, God willing, there’s been plenty of interest by folks that are deeply rooted in the Supernatural lore who were like, “Hey, why didn’t I get a call?” I’m like, “Wait till season 2.” Hopefully we can bring those familiar faces. We want to make the most entertaining show we can. That’s what we set out to do in the beginning and what we hope to continue to accomplish.
He also addressed the elephant in the room: THAT PEACOAT!
You really threw fans for a loop with that turtleneck and peacoat look.
[Laughs] Kerry Weinrauch from Supernatural is our costume designer on The Winchesters. When Kerry and I started talking about, “Well, what’s that gonna look like when Dean hands the letter to his dad?” I was like, “What if he tries to pass as a sailor or somebody that’s in the Navy? People wouldn’t bat an eye if they saw somebody that looked like he just got off a boat.” I was like, “I don’t know, maybe peacoat?” [Laughs] She’s like, “Yeah, we can get you peacoat.” And then she had a turtleneck and she was like, “I mean, if we’re gonna do it, let’s do it.” [Laughs]
It was also Dean with facial hair!
Without giving away too much, I’m supposed to do another character, and I needed that kind of facial growth and that hair to stick around. I didn’t know if I should cut all my hair off and shave my beard. And [showrunner] Robbie [Thompson] was like, “Well, then don’t.” I think they did a good enough job of making it look like I’ve been in heaven for a while. In fact, Jim Beaver actually added a line in that scene in the train station where he’s like, “I’m gonna go get the cavalry.” And, I think I say like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “Well, you know, we gotta get some help.” And then just before he walks away, he goes, “Nice try with the beard though.” I think we were just running long on time and we had to shave every little bit of stuff away, so unfortunately that that didn’t make it. But we got to have a little fun.
The good news is, season one of The Winchesters is only 13 episodes long, which is a totally manageable binge if it means getting Peacoat Dean at the end. And that’s how I’m going to sell it to Dan and Dustin, if I win the current Fiscal First Quarter Categorization Challenge Bracket and get to pick our Podjiba Rewatch this summer! (Shhhhh don’t tell them)