Then...Season 1 Supernatural
"Saving People, Hunting Things. The Family Business."
*SPOILER ALERT* This is an overview not a review
Season One consisted of twenty two episodes, mostly filled with monster of the week type episodes, that aired during the 2005-2006 time frame on The WB. The show started with an ambitious pilot and had some early scares. It starts with the two main characters as children, Dean Winchester around the age of 4 or 5 while Sam Winchester was a baby still in his crib and they have a normal family life with a white picket fence. All of it comes crashing down within the first five minutes of the show, as their house is mysteriously burnt down by an unknown man that seemed to have a fixation on Sam. Their mother was also pinned to the ceiling in Sam's room and died in the fire. John, the boy's father who had a military background, becomes obsessed and dead set on finding the mysterious thing that killed his wife and the mother of his children.
Skip a couple years forward and you find Sam going to law school, living with his girlfriend Jessica, all the while he is doing his best to leave his family in the rear view mirror up until he gets a late night visit from Dean. Dean explains how Dad is missing and he needs his younger brother's help to find him. Sam at first assumes that maybe his father had just gone on a bender, but once Dean explains that "Dad's gone on a hunting trip, and has not come home in a few days." Sam that understands the severity of it all. In the years between their house burning and their mother's brutal death, John realized there was a whole other side to the world filled demons and other monsters. He was trained by hunters who would fight back the things that go bump in the night. He soaked up everything he could in hopes of one day finding the demon that killed his wife, meanwhile teaching his children how to be hunters as well. Sam then decides to go with Dean in search of their father. The two travel to Jericho, California the last place that the father was known to be.
Upon arriving they notice signs of their father being there previously and that he was working on a case that involved the Woman In White (the spirit of a woman who drowned her children and then herself). When Dean gets pinched by the local police for some bogus charge they throw in front of him his father's journal. The journal was their father's most prized possession, it had in it everything that he knew about all supernatural entities. Upon sight of the journal, Dean realizes that their father has left Jericho.The brothers put the Woman in White to rest and continue on to the next town. The pilot ends with Sam saying how he does not want to go looking for Dad with Dean knowing now that he is okay and goes back to his apartment with Jessica. Not even a few moments later after closing his eyes and laying down on his bed he begins to feel some blood drip on his forehead. He opens his eyes to see his girlfriend Jessica pinned to the ceiling (ala his mother) and she begins to burn before Dean comes charging in through the front door pulling Sam out just like he did in the beginning of the episode.
From here on out the show mostly consists of X-Files like monster of the week episodes. It has maybe a handful of episodes that further the plot.
Most of the monsters, spirits, demons that the brothers run into throughout the entire series are based off of some sort of legend. This season the run into and deal with a Wendigo, Bloody Mary, Shapeshifters, Hook Man, poltergeist, Reapers, a killer ghost truck and bugs ( yes two of the dumbest episodes ever), a daeva (Shadow spirit), tulpas (Tibetan spirit seal), a vampiric witch known as a shtriga and lastly vampires.
It is revealed also that Sam has some sort of ability to see things before they happen. While all of his visions mostly correlate to the demon that killed their mother in the beginning of the season, it still scares the brothers. He even mentions how he had dreams of Jessica's death days before it happened. He also has a vision of a family being tormented by a poltergeist in their childhood home in Lawrence, Kansas.
At one point midway through the season of episode 11 entitled "Scarecrow", Dean and Sam have a fight and Sam walks away. Dean goes to a town in Indiana to work a job, while Sam hitchhikes and meets another hitchhiker by the name of Meg Masters. Sam shares with her how he is alone because of an argument he got into with Dean and later he goes back to help Dean fight the monster in Indiana. Meanwhile, the episode ends with Meg being picked up on the road by some man. She slits his throat and brings out a cup for the blood to pour into. She begins to speak Latin and speaks to what she calls her father.
On episode 14, "Nightmare", Sam's visions bring him and Dean to Saginaw, Michigan as he sees the death of a man even though it was made to look like a suicide he knew it was more then that. They talk to the victim's son Max dressed as priests and fail to find anything supernatural about the case. However when Max's uncle mysteriously dies the brothers begin to believe that the Miller family is cursed. A further investigation into the Miller family reveals that Max was physically abused by his father and uncle as a child. Sam then has a vision once more of Max just about to kill his stepmother for standing by watching as he was constantly abused, she never once even tried to stop the abuse. Sam and Dean show up right before Max kills his stepmother and Dean takes the stepmother to the upstairs bedroom while Sam sits down alone with Max to talk. Max was able to control things with his mind, and that's how he was mysteriously killing his family. Sam knew that they were one and the same and realizes that Max's mother died the same way as Sam's, he knew that the demon obviously wanted something from them. The episode ends with about to kill Dean but a few words from Sam drove Max to end it all for himself.
The brothers then travel to Chicago to investigate brutal deaths where the brothers find a symbol of blood which Dean connects to a daeva. Randomly at a bar not to much later Sam runs into Meg Masters. Due to how smart Sam is, he found it to be suspicious and followed Meg only to realize she was behind the murders and summoning the daeva. The brothers turn the daeva against Meg by destroying the altar she used to summon it and see her tossed out a window several stories up. They believe her to be dead and retreat to their hotel room to find their father waiting for them. After a heartfelt moment between them all, the daeva breaks up the family reunion as you see Meg watching from the street and seemingly fine. Sam uses a light flare to get rid of the daeva as the Winchesters leave town. Sam wants to leave together with their father, but Dean and John feel that they are weaker together and that the demons will also use them against each other. The brother's leave and John Winchester leaves in the opposite direction.
On episode 20, "Dead Man's Blood", the brother's hear of an old hunter, Daniel Elkins, that was brutally murdered in Boulder, Colorado. They head there in a hurry because Dean recognized the name in the paper and found the hunter's name in his father's journal. Upon arrival, the brother's find that Elkins was murdered by a group of vampires that also stole Elkins prized possession, a colt pistol that could kill any supernatural entity. The brothers run into their father in Boulder and he explains to them that if the legend about the Colt is true then he feels they can use it against the yellow eyed demon that murdered their mother. The Winchesters work together to talk to the vampires and kidnap the leader's girlfriend Kate. The Winchesters tell the leader, Luther, that the only way that they get Kate back is if the do a trade, Kate for the Colt. During the negotiation, Luther attacks John and the boys intervene. John gets away for a second and uses the Colt against Luther killing him and proves the legend.
In the final two episodes, Salvation and Devil's Trap, in Salvation all the Winchesters are working together to bring the fight to the yellow eyed demon with the Colt in hand. John however is getting phone calls from Meg as she is going to any hunter that ever helped him in any way in his years killing them. Meg will stop killing his friends if he simply hands over the Colt to them. John gives in to their demands but goes to them with a fake, while Sam and Dean take the real Colt to Salvation, Iowa which is where the demon is seemingly headed. That suspicion is confirmed when Sam has a vision of a woman being pinned to a ceiling in the town. Sam and Dean save the family, but Sam wastes a bullet on the demon as he evades the shot. John did not have as much luck as he was kidnapped by Meg and another demon.
In Devil's Trap the brothers manage to trap Meg as she comes after them at their friend Bobby Singer's house. They trap Meg in the key of solomon, a devil's trap. They ask her for the location for their father's location and promises to let her go if she spills any information she has but if she does not give any information they will exorcise the demon that had been possessing her for so long (which explains how she survived the fall in Nightmare). Meg does not give the brothers the information that they want and begin to exorcise her, Bobby stops them explaining that the demon is the only thing keeping the human body alive. Dean feels the only way she can be free is to be exorcised so they follow through with it. As the demon is sent back to hell in a good use of special effects as the demon is flushed out of Meg's body through the mouth as black smoke comes out. The human Meg is badly hurt and the Winchesters and Bobby do their best to accommodate her last few moments of life. Meg gives them one thing on their father before she dies and says, Sunrise. Sunrise turns out to be a hotel where their father is being held. The brothers break him out but are attacked by the yellow eyed demon's son before they reach the car. Sam is pinned to the ground as he is constantly getting punched in the face while Dean gets the Colt out of the trunk of his car and kills the demon with it.
The Winchesters retreat to an abandoned cabin in the woods. Sam is recovering in the other room while Dean and his father talk. John tells his son that he is proud of him, and in that moment Dean realizes it isn't his father and that he is possessed. If it were really his father, his father would have ripped him a new one for using a bullet from the Colt as it already has limited ammo. Dean pulls the Colt out on his father believing he is possessed by the yellow eyed demon. Dean can't bring himself to kill his father in the process and lowers the weapon. The yellow eyed demon revealed himself and pinned both Sam and Dean against the walls. He tortures Dean and tells Sam that he has so many plans for all the children just like him.
Sam breaks free from the demon's hold and grabs the Colt and shoots the demons knees. John is able to regain control and urges Sam to finish him off which would kill both the yellow eyed demon and John. Just like Dean, he could not pull the trigger as it would kill his father as well. The demon manages to escape and Sam gets his family back into the car to run once again as they are all weak. As they are escaping to a nearby hospital, a truck driver who was demonically possessed blindsides them ending the season with the Creedence Clearwater Revival "Bad Moon Rising" song playing in the background as Sam, Dean and John are motionless.
Overall, it was a fairly good season, a bit dated now considering how great the show is now. The backbone of the show lies within the chemistry and acting between Jared Padalecki (Sam) and Jensen Ackles (Dean). Eric Kripke and company do a great job of using legends of monsters to populate the shows mythos. I will do a look back at season 2 within a week so keep your eyes out for it.