Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 13, 2005 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
2,103 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sam is about to graduate from college and has an interview set up to join one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. His brother Dean, whom he has not seen since he went to college, shows up in the middle of the night and tells him their father is missing while on a hunting trip. Leaving his girlfriend behind to find their dad, Sam joins Dean in an effort to find their father in a little town called Jericho, where unmarried men disappear without a trace.moreless

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  • Pilot

    I had put off watching Supernatural for ages. I knew of its existence, of course (if you're on Tumblr. it is practically impossible to avoid the fandom with a gif for and I had watched a couple of excellent superwholock videos on YouTube, but that was about the extent of my experience. But then my friends got to work on me and one thing led to another thing which led to me starting my journey through the world of the Winchesters.

    And of course I was hooked. There is just something irresistible about this show. The characters are alive and real, the writing is witty and very tight, and it deals with themes of friendship and family and sacrifice - all the sort of thing that I really seek out in my television. I don't have a lot of time to spend watching the I'd better make sure that that time is well spent! Supernatural just kept me watching. It plays to my interests (mythology and legends) and is just so smart with the writing that I have yet to find anything predictable.

    Favourite Moments & Random Thoughts:

    - This episode's title is rather boring. They should have named it "The Woman in White" which would both have been more interesting and descriptive.

    - I wasn't sure at first whenever I started off watching. I'm NEVER a fan of female characters (or any characters, for that matter) being killed off just for the sake of giving someone motivation. Revenge stories tend to get old rather fast, so whenever I saw Mary Winchester getting burnt alive by whoever it was that was standing creepily by Sam's crib, I groaned to myself. Probably not the reaction they were going for...

    - "Dean, take your brother and run outside. Don't look back!" Pay attention to this, folks, because this will become Dean's modus operandi: take care of Sammy.

    - That shot of the family huddled together on the hood of a car while their world literally crumbled around them really got to me. Maybe it was the way John was holding a crying Sam and nearly catatonic Dean so close - like a drowning man reaching desperately for a lifeline.

    - And then the credits began to roll. I was a bit surprised to find that Supernatural apparently doesn't have a theme song. There's just a title card, a bit of static, and then someone whispering "Supernatural" as the words flash away. It took me three listens to figure out what they were saying. It's a bit like the Torchwood less hokey.

    - Flash forward twenty or so years and we get to see Sam, now all grown up and with a full head of hair. I was so confused right here the first time I watched this episode. You'd think that after years of Doctor Who I would be used to time jumps...

    - Notice the picture of John and Mary on the dresser? One thing Supernatural does very well is continuity.

    - So after Sam and Jessica (Hello, Nurse!) get home from a Halloween Party and settle down to sleep, a shadowy figure breaks into their apartment and wrestles Sam to the floor. Oh but not to just big brother Dean come for a visit and a beer. Why he couldn't have just knocked, I don't know, but that's Dean for you!

    - Dean is four years older than Sam and yet he's at least three inches shorter (see the header pic). That threw me off at first.

    - "When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in the closet he gave me a was nine years old!" What the - ?

    - So we're given a bit of exposition as to what happened in the years since the fire. John Winchester took his boys on the road with him as he hunted down the trail of whatever supernatural thing had killed his wife. He trained the boys like warriors, making sure that they could defend themselves against anything they might need to, and gave his youngest son a gun instead of reassuring him that there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark. We also get the hint that John being missing on a 'hunting trip' might have more to do with his life being in danger and less of a stint with Jim, Jack, and Jose (though those have the danger of alcohol they?)

    - I am quite annoyed with the young man who picked up the hitchhiker in white. Haven't you ever read any ghost stories, sir? Seen any horror films? You should NEVER stop and pick up creepy girls in torn, pale dresses by the side of the road!

    - Thank goodness for discretion gore shots. I really don't want to know that the ghost did to have a weak stomach.

    - Can I just say right now how much I appreciate the fact that Dean still listens to his music on cassettes?

    - Dean pretended to be a federal marshal. And yes, I'm quite certain that he did look too young for the job. Both he and Sam are so young and adorable here, now that I'm jumping back from their Season 9 selves. It's hilarious the way Sam stomps on his foot to shut him up and he cuffs the back of Sam's head in response. If that didn't blow his cover, nothing will.

    - Dean called the officers "Agent Moulder" and "Agent Scully". I looked it up and there are a bunch of X-Files people working on this show. That can't be anything but a good thing.

    - Dean also uses the names of rock stars for his alias'. How hasn't someone called him out on that yet?!

    - Daddy Winchester's hotel room is awesome. I'm assuming that the salt and shells mixture spread around is to ward off ghosts? I'm not quite certain why Sam and Dean are so alarmed by it, though. If I was a hunter I'd be spreading salt everywhere I went. its a bad sign that there is a ghost who can come and get you in your hotel room.

    - Of course the ghost of Constance Welch possesses Dean's beloved Impala. I'm not sure what's look of horror or Sam's laughter at his brother's mud-caked state.

    - No chick-flick moments!

    To a Winchester that's practically a declaration of affection!

    - And Dean gets arrested. Have I mentioned that half of the fun with this show is listening to the Winchesters snark and banter? I'm beginning to notice a pattern in the shows I watch. They're usually sci-fi/fantasy genre shows and tend to contain sarcastic, reference-filled writing. That probably says something about me...

    - So Constance Welch killed her children because her husband cheated on her. Overreacting, much?

    -- Fun Fact: There is a real-world ghost story that fits the description of Constance. La Llorna is a Mexican folk tale about a woman who drowned her children to be with the man she loved, but when he was unfaithful and rejected her she was consumed by grief and guilt and drowned herself in the Rio Grande. It is said that forever more she wanders the banks of rivers and empty roads, searching for her children and unable to return home. The tale is used as a cautionary one for parents to tell their children to be in before dark because La Llorna isn't picky about which child she picks up and takes home with her. One little boy was nearly taken by her, escaping at the last moment when his mother called for him. Folk didn't believe his story until they saw the five bloody fingerprints on the shoulder of his jacket where La Llorna had gripped him tight.

    - I love the way that this show takes mythology, folk tales, and urban legends and plays with them. I've always been a bit of a geek about that sort of thing (blame my mother for buying me a cleaned-up kid's version of The Odyssey & Other Greek Myths as a child) and so it is such fun each episode to see what new piece of that rich cultural heritage from around the world they are going to delve into next.

    - I'm not entirely certain why Constance thought that she could make Sam unfaithful by forcing him to snog her (to be honest, I don't know why she didn't go for Dean) but maybe that's just proof that a vengeful spirit doesn't play by the rules of logic we humans subscribe to.

    - "I can never go Every time I hear that, Gollum's Theme starts playing in my head.

    - So Constance is taken home by Sam (who dramatically drives the Impala right into her decrepit farmhouse) where she is confronted and destroyed by the ghosts of her dead children. The first time I watched this, I was horribly confused. I had missed Sam's comment earlier about Women in White having killed their I didn't know where the creepy kids came from. Fortunately, on the second viewing for this review, I was able to say that it was not in fact a plot convenience like I had originally assumed. Props to the writers for tying up all loose ends! Except for the missing John Winchester, of can't clear that up because if they did we would have no story arc!

    - Dean takes Sam home and sets off towards Dad's coordinates. Sam finds some home-baked cookies in the flat and hears the shower running, flopping down on the bed with a contented sigh. And then the dripping blood starts. As soon as the drops hit his face, I knew what was coming. I'm a know about the use of symmetry, and so I knew that he was going to look up and see Jessica pinned to that ceiling just like Mary.

    This is an excellent start to a show. Here we have one of the best pilots I've seen (and, given my policy about picking shows, I've seen quite a few) and a story that draws in the viewer and gets them attached to the characters right away. That is the vital thing for any story. You can have the best writing in the world - the most poetic prose, dazzling plot twists, and vivid descriptions - but if your characters aren't relatable your story is going to bomb. Thankfully Supernatural has excellent characters in droves. Sam is loveable, Dean is wonderful, and even John garners sympathy. Granted I'm never a big fan of killing off female characters just to give motivation to the blokes (and here it happened twice) but something about the rest of the show just kept me coming back again and again, which means that the pilot did its job.moreless
Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki

Jessica Lee Moore

Guest Star

R.D. Call

R.D. Call

Sheriff Pierce

Guest Star

Ross Kohn

Ross Kohn

Troy Squire

Guest Star

Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith

Mary Winchester

Recurring Role

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

John Winchester

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (20)

    • When Constance kills the cheating man, Troy, she clearly splatters his blood all over the windows of the car. But later, when Sam and Dean meet the cops on the bridge as they look for clues in the same car, there are no bloodstains anywhere to be seen. The police even say it's "spotless."

    • In the first shot of the bridge when Sam and Dean go back to look for Constance, they are almost at one end of the bridge while the Impala is parked at the other end with the headlights on. A few seconds later, a shot shows the Impala in the background, but the headlights are off. Sam and Dean are also now a lot closer to the Impala, not to mention walking away from her, like they had just arrived.

    • Trivia: Sam's LSAT (Law School Admission Test) score was 174.

    • At 19:06 the background visible from both Sam and Dean's windows is that of flat land, as far as the eye could see. Yet a second later when they pull over, there is a large slope next to the road, that is thickly covered in trees.

    • At 31:17 the sheriff has both his hands on different sides of the box, as he talks to Dean. Yet when the shot changes, he is holding his hands together at the center of the box.

    • There is no "Jericho" city or town in California.

    • At the beginning, when Dean is walking out of the motel room, he puts the collar of his jacket up, then as the screen flicks between Dean and the officer he is talking to, his collar keeps going up and down many times.

    • After the scene where Sam and Dean are chased by the Impala and jump over the edge of the bridge, there is a brief shot that shows Dean wearing dry, mostly clean jeans even though his shirt and jacket are still wet and dirty.

    • During the 911 call, there should be a police officer watching Dean, not all the police officers need to attend the same emergency.

    • When Mary is on the ceiling, she is bleeding into Sam's crib, but when John is on the floor screaming, he is looking in a direction that indicates she is nowhere near the crib. Looking in that direction, there is no way Mary could have been over Sam's crib. Also, looking in that direction, there is no way John could have been looking at her if she was over the crib.

    • When Sam is telling Dean that he has to update his cassette-tape collection he shows one clearly labeled "Metallica," Dean takes it and starts listening to it. Rather than Metallica, we hear "Back in Black" by AC/DC. Originaly it was supposed to be "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, it was in the review copies sent out before the actual airing of the episode, then it was changed for some reason, probably copyright issues.

    • When Sam and Dean are talking to Amy and her friend, you can see that when the camera is facing Amy the cups of soda have ice in them but when the camera cuts to Sam and Dean the cups no longer have ice. It switches back and forth depending on who's facing the camera.

    • At the end of the episode when Jessica is on the ceiling on fire, Dean breaks down the door and drags Sam out. How did Dean know to come back? He had already driven away. (This is explained in the deleted scenes for the episode on the DVD release, you will see that Dean did in fact drive away, but looked at his watch and saw that it had stopped working at the time that he dropped Sam off, and turned around because he knew that Sam was in trouble.)

    • Trivia: The brothers drive a black 1967 Chevy Impala.

    • Where Sam lets go of the wheel when Constance starts driving him to the place she killed her kids, there is a shot of the steering wheel and you can see that the car is still in park even though it looks like it's moving.

    • Trivia: Dean's car's registration number is KAZ 2Y5.

    • In the show, Dean and Sam's mother dies on November 2, 1983, but on the pilot preview it says she dies on September 13 1985.

    • When the Woman in White gets into the first car you can't see her through the rear window of the car (but you can see the other guy), although her head is higher than the seat. If ghosts can't be seen through windows, then how come Dean saw her and managed to shoot her when she was trying to kill Sam?

    • Although Constance Welch leapt off the bridge on 4/25/1981, when Dean and Sam bring up a website with the information, the URL says "Archive/04-25-1971/", which is off by a decade.

    • For a trained marine, the co-ordinates that their father leaves Sam and Dean are pretty imprecise. 35 -111 are both in degrees and with no minutes and seconds to further qualify them. We're talking about an area of roughly 4000 square miles.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Jess: Sam! Get a move on, would ya? We were supposed to be there like 15 minutes ago. Sam! Ya comin' or what?
      Sam: Do I have to?
      Jess: Yes. It'll be fun. And where is your costume?
      Sam: You know how I feel about Halloween.

    • Sam: I like your necklace.
      Amy: Troy gave it to me. Mostly, to scare my parents with all that devil stuff.
      Sam: Actually, it means just the opposite. A pentagram is protection against evil, really powerful. I mean, if you believe in that kind of thing.
      Dean: Okay, thank you Unsolved Mysteries.

    • Dean: You can pretend all you want, Sammy. But sooner or later you're going to have to face up to who you really are.
      Sam: And who is that?
      Dean: One of us.

    • Dean: You're really serious about this, aren't you? You think you're just gonna become some lawyer, marry your girl..
      Sam: Maybe. Why not?
      Dean: Does Jessica know the truth about you? I mean, does she know about the things you've done?
      Sam: No, and she's not ever going to know.
      Dean: Well, that's healthy.

    • Dean: Whoa, easy, tiger.
      Sam: Dean? (Dean chuckles) You scared the crap out of me.
      Dean: That's because you're out of practice. (Sam pins Dean down) Or not. Get off of me.
      Sam: What the hell are you doing here?
      Dean: Well, I was looking for a beer.

    • Sam: Car all right?
      Dean: Yeah, whatever she did to it, it seems all right now. That Constance chick--what a bitch!

    • Sheriff Pierce: So you want to give us your real name?
      Dean: I told you, it's Nugent. Ted Nugent.
      Sheriff Pierce: I'm not sure you realize just how much trouble you're in here.
      Dean: You talkin' about misdemeanor kind of trouble or squeal like a pig trouble?
      Sheriff Pierce: You got the faces of ten missing persons taped to your wall. Along with a whole lot of satanic mumbo-jumbo. Boy, you are officially a suspect.
      Dean: That makes sense, because when the first one went missing in '82 I was three.

    • Deputy Jaffe: Who are you?
      Dean: Federal Marshals.
      Deputy Jaffe: You two a little young for Marshals, aren't you?
      Dean: Thanks, that's awfully kind of you.

    • Sam: No. Whatever you wanna say you can say it in front of her.
      Dean: Okay. Ummm, Dad hasn't been home in a few days.
      Sam: So he's working overtime on a Miller Time shift. He'll stumble back in sooner or later.
      Dean: Dad's on a hunting trip, and he hasn't been home in a few days.
      Sam: Jess, excuse us. We have to go outside.

    • Sam: So what's the theory?
      Deputy Jaffe: Honestly? We don't know. Serial murder, kidnapping ring...
      Dean: Well, that is exactly the kinda crack police work I'd expect outta you guys...

    • Sam: So how'd you pay for that stuff? You and Dad still running credit card scams?
      Dean: Yeah, well, hunting ain't exactly a pro-ball career. Besides, all we do is apply. It's not our fault they send us the cards.

    • Sam: I swear, man, you gotta update your cassette tape collection.
      Dean: Why?
      Sam: Well for one, they're cassette tapes. And two... Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Metallica. It's the greatest hits of mullet rock.
      Dean: Well, house rules, Sammy, driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole.
      Sam: You know, "Sammy" is a chubby 12-year-old. It's "Sam," okay?
      Dean: Sorry, can't hear you. The music's too loud.

    • Dean: (nodding at two agents) No sir, we were just leaving. Agent Mulder, Agent Scully.

    • Dean: Nice work, Sammy.
      Sam: (painful laughing) Yeah, wish I could say the same for you. What were you thinking shooting Casper in the face, you freak?
      Dean: Hey, saved your ass! I'll tell you another thing. If you screwed up my car, I'll kill you.

    • Sam: Dad let you go on a hunting trip by yourself?
      Dean: I'm 26, dude.

    • Dean: So, what are you gonna do? You just gonna live some normal, apple pie life? Is that it?
      Sam: No, not normal. Safe.

    • (Jess walks in, wearing a Smurfs night shirt)
      Sam: Dean, this is my girlfriend, Jessica.
      Jess: Wait. Your brother, Dean?
      Dean: I love the Smurfs. You know, I gotta tell you, you are completely out of my brother's league.
      Jess: Just let me put something on.
      Dean: No, no, no... I wouldn't dream of it. Seriously.

    • Sam: What the hell are you doing here?
      Dean: Okay, all right. We gotta talk.
      Sam: Um... the phone?
      Dean: If I would have called, you would you have picked up?

    • Sam: Hey Dean. What I said earlier, about Mom and Dad, I'm sorry.
      Dean: No chick flick moments.
      Sam: All right... jerk.
      Dean: Bitch.

    • Deputy Jaffe: So, fake U.S. Marshal. Fake credit cards. You got anything that's real?
      Dean: My boobs.

    • Jess: Wait, you're taking off? Is this about your dad? Is he all right?
      Sam: Yeah, you know, just a little family drama.
      Jess: Your brother said he's on some kind of hunting trip?
      Sam: Oh, yeah. He's just deer hunting up at the cabin. He's probably got Jim, Jack, and Jose along with him. I'm just going to go bring him back.

    • Sam: Yeah? When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet he gave me a .45.
      Dean: Well, what was he supposed to do?
      Sam: I was nine years old. He was supposed to say "Don't be afraid of the dark."
      Dean: "Don't be afraid of the dark?" What, are you kidding me? Of course you should be afraid of the dark. You know what's out there!

  • NOTES (18)

    • In the DVD commentary, creator Eric Kripke said that the show was pitched as Star Wars with Dean being Han Solo and Sam being Luke Skywalker.

    • Jensen Ackles cited this episode as his favorite in the premier issue of the Official Supernatural Magazine saying: "I mean, obviously the pilot stands out among all the rest."

    • Injoke: When Sam and Dean enter their father's motel room they see the same article about Constance Welch as they did before. When Dean asks if it says where she was buried the camera zooms in. In the article a neighbor says that Constance was a quiet but very lovely woman. This neighbor is named Deanna Kripke. Kripke is the maker of the show.

    • This episode was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Television Short Form - Sound Effects & Foley.

    • This episode was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.

    • In the original script the reason Welch didn't want to go home was because she had killed her parents, not her kids. They decided to change it to her killing her kids so the character could be older and they could use an older actress. Eric talks about the change in the DVD commentary.

    • International Airdates:
      Denmark: January 8, 2006 on TV3
      The Netherlands: October 9, 2006 on Veronica
      Portugal: October 9, 2006 on AXN
      Germany: October 23, 2006 on Premiere Serie
      France: December 4, 2006 on TF6
      Italy: February 13, 2007 on RaiDue

    • In-Joke: The name of the Woman in White, Constance Welch, refers to the actress Raquel Welch, who starred in the movie Myra Breckinridge. Breckenridge being the name of the road where Constance lived.

    • The original plan in shooting the bridge scene where the boys jump off, both Jensen and Jared were planned to go in the river. However, there was a costuming error and they only had enough for one of them to fall in... accidentally adding more humor to the episode.

    • Originally Jensen Ackles was called into casting to read for the part of Sam Winchester, then Jared came in and they liked him as Sam as well. That's when they offered Jensen the more devil-may-care and charming character of Dean.

    • The streets used are the names of streets from Eric Kripke's hometown of Toledo, Ohio.

    • They named one of the missing men after Scott Nifong, the show's property master.

    • When the pilot aired as a rerun, several scenes were cut, including at the end when Sam goes into his apartment to find that Jessica had made him cookies and left him a note saying "Missed you! Love you!" in front of the cookies.

    • Music: Gasoline (Ginger), What Cha Gonna Do (Classic), Speaking In Tongues (Eagles Of Death Metal), Ramblin' Man (Allman Brothers Band), Back In Black (AC/DC), Highway To Hell (AC/DC), My Cheatin' Ways (Kid Gloves Music)

    • Fans of Gilmore Girls might take a while to adjust to the characters' names. On Gilmore Girls, Jared Padalecki's character was named Dean, while on Supernatural his character is named Sam and his brother is named Dean. Fans of Gilmore Girls will also find it ironic that Jared Padalecki's girlfriend in this show goes by the name Jess. In Gilmore Girls, Jess was the guy who stole Dean's girlfriend Rory.

    • This episode premiered on Yahoo! TV on 09/06/2005, a week before its original US broadcast network airing on The WB.

    • The premiere of the Pilot episode ran an extra 7 minutes (9:00 to 10:07 EST), bringing the total run time to 67 minutes. (Time includes commercial breaks.)

    • Screener music: Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day), Disco Inferno (50 Cent), Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer (Jay-Z/Linkin Park), Enter Sandman (Metallica), Highway to Hell (AC/DC), Back in Black (AC/DC), and 867-5309/Jenny (Tommy Tutone)

      Music featured in the broadcast of the episode is different and has been noted.


    • Dean: I told you, it's Nugent. Ted Nugent.
      Ted Nugent, also known as Uncle Ted, is an American rock guitarist. He became famous in 1964 thanks to his work with the rock band The Amboy Dukes.

    • Dean: Dude, 5-0. Take off.
      This is a reference to the popular TV series Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980). It was on CBS and had 282 total episodes. Created by Leonard Freeman, Hawaii Five-O was an elite investigative unit that reported to the Governor of Hawaii.

    • Dean: Okay, thank you Unsolved Mysteries.
      Referring to the TV show that ran from 1988-2002 that explored unsolved cases, some of which included the supernatural and unexplained.

    • Sam: 'Cause we're not exactly the Bradys.
      Sam's Friend: I'm not exactly the Huxtables.
      Sam and his buddy are indicating their families aren't exactly like the more positive families seen on television like on The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show, respectively.

    • Dean: I love The Smurfs.
      Dean was referring to the t-shirt Jess was wearing that featured a print of The Smurfs. The Smurfs were made famous by their long running animated TV series.

    • Sam: Yeah, wish I could say the same for you. What were you thinking shooting Casper in the face, you freak?
      A reference to the animated character Casper The Friendly Ghost. Casper was first developed as a series of theatrical shorts. Casper later appeared in comic books, a few television series, and finally a full length theatrical movie.

    • Dean: You talkin' about misdemeanor kind of trouble or "squeal like a pig" trouble?
      A reference to the sequence from the movie Deliverance, where Ned Beatty's character is physically violated by backwoodsmen.

    • Dean: Agent Mulder. Agent Scully.
      Dean calls two FBI agents Agent Mulder and Agent Scully, a reference to TV series The X-Files. David Nutter, the director of this episode as well as an executive producer, also worked on The X-Files.