The Tuesday, April 29 episode of "Supernatural," 9x20, "Bloodlines," introduces a potential spin-off about Chicago and its monsters – and this city is ruled by five monster families. Ennis gets pulled into the hunting world when his girlfriend is killed just because he chooses the wrong place and time to propose to her, and after that, plus what we see at the end, he's not backing down.
Because there are so many more characters in "Bloodlines" than "Supernatural" – we get introduced to multiple members of two monster families, plus Ennis just in this backdoor pilot – it's no surprise it's an episode without a lot of Sam and Dean, but honestly, there's less of them in it than expected. Most of the episode is spent introducing these new characters and this new monster-ruled world of Chicago and setting up the relationships that would play out if the CW orders it to series. In fact, we only get a couple of lines about what's been going on all season for Sam and Dean, as Cas gets a line on Metatron, so they have to leave.
As stated above, Ennis is almost immediately pulled into the monster world, as first he gets a look at a monster thanks to a mirror at the fancy restaurant he chooses for his proposal and then when a fight in the back room monster bar spills out onto the street after he takes his girlfriend to the ferry stop because they met on a ferry. After shapeshifter Sal and werewolf Julian exchange a few barbs – "And I want to eat Taylor Swift's heart, but we can't all get what we want," the latter says – and Julian leaves, a clawed figure attacks. Sal stumbles over to the two humans outside, says he's sorry to David and he didn't have a choice, and Tamara pays the price with her life.
Shapeshifter David may be living life as a human and may have left the family business behind, but he still uses his abilities to his advantage to get test answers and sell them – until his sister calls him home about their brother's death. Margo's ready to go to war, while David is the one to suggest that Julian might not be responsible. Margo's response? To tell him that his ex is getting married to seal a deal with New York wolves – and from what we see of her relationship with her brother Julian, that's all he thinks Violet is good for when she catches him meeting with a djinn.
Sam and Dean enter the scene as FBI agents who don’t want to go into detail about why they're interested in a stabbing, and when Ennis tells them the thing that killed his girlfriend wasn't human, Dean tells him there's no such thing as monsters…only to then later save him from one in the monster bar. Sam gets to be the one to give him the talk while Dean explores the cabinets of the bar (blood, meet, bag labeled Susan), and then they tell Ennis to stay out of it while they take care of business.
Ennis does not leave it alone, and besides finding silver bullets with etching on them in his father's belongings, he uses the little knowledge he got from the Winchesters to be able to tell that Freddie isn't Freddie and is a shifter (David, to be specific). "It's kind of all in the name," David says to explain what he is, and so begins their attempts to out-one-line each other as the shifter explains about the monster families and how a war would mean both human and monster blood. David escapes, but he, Ennis, Sam and Dean all convene when the clawed figure attacks the shifter when he's visiting Violet – and takes the werewolf.
Sam and Dean too get the rundown on Chicago, and while they're busy tracking Violet's phone, she finds out that it's just a guy who made himself some Edward Scissorhands claws whose son was "killed by an animal attack." He's trying to start a war so the monsters kill each other. Then, as if the parallels weren't clear enough, the two guys who lost their girlfriends to the supernatural world and the two guys with one-liners ready partner up to search for Violet, and because of their forbidden romance, David is taken and hung up next to his ex. She wolfs out when the guy attacks David, and David then stops him from killing the human. However, when the guy then tries to get Ennis on his side, the newbie says, "I only see one monster here" and shoots him, getting off to a great start in his new hunting life.
David brings Violet home, and when he comments on Sal's last words Ennis told him, we get a flashback. See, a few years ago, when David left the monster life behind, he and Violet were supposed to run away together, and it had been her plan. However, what he doesn't know is that Sal found her when she showed up to meet David and gave her the whole "he's my brother, it's my job to protect him" (hey, it's "Supernatural," what did you expect?) and talked about keeping bloodlines pure. Either she could leave alone alive, or he'd kill her if she tried to stay. Love doesn't matter in their worlds, not for Sal, at least. After he and Violet part with a kiss, David returns home and his ailing father tells him that he has to stop Margo from starting a war, so David returns to the family.
Although Sam and Dean drop Ennis at home and promise to send hunters to take care of the monsters, Ennis doesn't walk away, and as the episode ends, he receives a call from someone warning him that if he starts hunting, monsters will kill him. "Dad?" Ennis asks in disbelief, as his father was supposed to have been killed in the line of duty.
So would this work as a series? Right now, there are just too many similarities to "Supernatural," from Ennis and David as the new Sam and Dean, to Ennis' girlfriend being killed, and then with Ennis' father calling him. It seems too much like the ending is setting up Ennis' search for his father being the storyline of the first season, with a side of monster families doing business/starting a war and Ennis teaming up with David sometimes to protect the city/stop a war. However, while the storyline seems a bit iffy, some of the characters are entertaining, especially Nathaniel Buzolic's David, and Lucien Laviscount's Ennis seems to be a good fit for the hunter role. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem like something that would be a weekly success, at least not with what's in the episode "Bloodlines."
"Supernatural" season 9 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of "Bloodlines"? Do you want to see it as its own show?