The CW’s The Winchesters is following the tried-and-true formula of the monster-of-the-week. The show is a prequel to the popculture phenomenon Supernatural, which ran from 2005 to 2020 – the longest run of a fantasy show in TV history. Receiving cult show status, Supernatural told the story of the demon hunter brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, garnering passionate fans all over the world to this day.
The Winchesters takes the story back to 1972, this time telling the tale of John and Mary, who would eventually become Dean and Sam’s parents. The prequel shows how the pair met when Mary was already a demon hunter and John had recently returned from fighting in Vietnam. Finding a common goal, they join forces to investigate both of their fathers’ mysteries.
Now in episode 3, The Winchesters seems to have found its groove and its formula for a successful show. In the latest episode, the show delivers its scariest monster yet, while providing teases about the big bad of the season, Akrida. Showrunner Robbie Thompson recently talked to EW about what he hopes the season will look like, and how he feels the show has found the key to success:
Often times with your pilot, the second episode is sort of a re-pilot. So this was an opportunity to do a little bit more of a traditional, early-seasons-of-Supernatural creepy monster. For me, episode 3 was proof of concept of where I would love us to live, which is a monster-of-the-week episode that touches on larger character arcs for the season and the big bad of the season as well. That’s eventually what we settled in on Supernatural. I watched the first cut of this episode and was like, ‘Okay, this is the spot that we can live in for hopefully many, many, many years to come.’
The Winchesters made its debut on October 11 to mixed reviews. With a premiere that was considered predictable, the show introduced the world of demons, monsters, and demon hunters to new viewers, but didn’t bring a lot of fresh information to long-time Supernatural fans. Critics have considered that The Winchesters is a show primarily made for Supernatural fans, since the show now puts the spotlight on characters that were introduced in the original series.
Now withThe Winchesters episode 3, it seems that the show may have found its sweet spot. Following Supernatural’s formula of having a monster-of-the-week can bring in new viewers, who don’t necessarily need to follow the show week to week in order to be entertained. That doesn’t mean that the show won’t appease to serialized television fans, as showrunner Thompson says that each episode will touch on bigger arcs and tease other major storylines, so there is something to please a broader audience. As Supernatural ran for fifteen seasons, the formula is already proven to be successful.