The pilot was a very slick introduction to the Supernatural universe but we don’t really get a good feel for the show until after the first couple of episodes. It falls on Wendigo to keep up the strong start to the show and it handles this task with an assured confidence.
PLOT: It’s been one week since Jessica’s death and Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) head to Black Water Ridge after finding coordinates hidden in John’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) journal.
It seems as though John has lead them to the middle of nowhere but after discovering three teens are missing in the forest Sam and Dean realise their father wants them to continue hunting. The Winchesters accompany Haley (Gina Holden), her brother and a skilled tracker named Roy (Callum Keith Rennie) into the forest to find the missing campers.
After finding a destroyed campsite the brothers know that they are not hunting grizzly bears but it isn’t until they are tricked by a voice calling for help that they realise they are dealing with a Wendigo.
There is friction between the brothers as Sam wants to get the hunt over with as quickly as possible however Dean reminds him that it is their duty to help and protect people.
Roy is sceptical of the brothers’ explanation and shoots at the Wendigo who takes offence at this and Roy is promptly killed.
The Winchesters attempt to track the Wendigo back to its lair and Dean and Haley are taken. As Dean leaves a trail of M&M’s Sam quickly locates the lair and gets Haley and her brothers to safety whilst Dean kills the Wendigo.
Sam and Dean decide to continue hunting as many evil sons of bitches whilst continuing their search for John. END PLOT
Wendigo is probably one of my favourite standalone “monster of the week” episodes however it doesn’t brush the events of the pilot under the rug.
Sam is angry that they left California and impatient during the hunt as he wants to get on with his personal search for answers. Sam’s desire to find John grows and in later episodes it does start to have a negative affect on the brothers’ relationship.
Although Dean has the reputation for being reckless it is he who emphasises the importance of the Winchester’s family business of saving people and hunting things. This speech is played constantly in recaps throughout the show.
The Winchesters aren’t the type of family that embark in long and emotional conversations but Wendigo shows they know when something is wrong. Dean asking Sam if he wants to drive shows his worry and he is called out on this by Sam. The episode neatly comes full circle with Sam's closing line of “I’m driving” after agreeing to continue hunting until they find John.
The performances are again very strong with Padalecki showing Sam’s impatience and Ackles showing Dean’s quiet worry without openly stating it. Dean's easy charismis obvious to see and although his trail of M&M borders on silly the show already has enough charm to pull the idea off.
The guest stars in early episodes rarely feature more than once. I have always liked this as it meant that the first few episodes focus solely on getting to know the Winchesters. It isn’t until Meg shows up in Scarecrow that we start having recurring characters.
This week’s monster of the week is a Wendigo which is a human who resorted to cannibalism. The human flesh increases speed, strength and provides immortality with the idea that the more human flesh you eat the less human you become.
We see very little of the Wendigo but we don’t particularly need to. The Wendigo is fast and hunts at night which saved the expense of having to produce a supernatural creature. We do get to see it just before Dean kills it and does look suitably grotesque.
Wendigo is the first of many episodes that keep the main Winchester story arc bubbling away in the background whilst focusing on a particular hunt. In a lessor show they would be considered filler episodes but the dynamic between the brothers is already so strong nothing about the episode feels like filler.
Wendigo is a good character episode and lets us get to know Sam and Dean’s thought processes and attitudes towards hunting. Despite being a very early episode it has always been one of my favourites. It gets a 9/10.
Dean line of the week: “I think he wants to pick up where he left off – saving people – hunting things the family business”This line has been played to the death and it sums up Dean and his never ending compassion towards people perfectly.
Sam line of the week: “Let’s get these people back to town and hit the road. I mean why are we still here?”
The line is spoken before Dean’s speech but it shows that Sam is quite prepared to leave the hunt and ultimately let the missing teens die.
Guest line of the week: Roy: “inside the magic circle”
The sceptic always dies.
Musical cue of the week: the original score
Classic rock is the main soundtrack to Supernatural but occasionally the shows score becomes very noticeable. It plays very several times during the episode especially when they are running through the forest
Monster of the week: Wendigo
Originally a human who has resorted to cannibalism. The human flesh has given them super speed and immortality. They can only be killed by fire.