Why The Winchesters' Latest Supernatural Callback Just Made Me Sad For Sam And Dean

meg donnelly and drake rodger on the winchesters.
(Image credit: The CW)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 10 of The Winchesters Season 1, called "Suspicious Minds."

The Winchesters is just a few episodes away from its first season finale with no current guarantee of a second season, so it's fortunate for Supernatural fans tuning in that the prequel has been packing in some nods to the original series, not the least of which is Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester himself. Dean didn't get more than a photo cameo in "Suspicious Minds," but there was a callback – or call-forward? – to SPN via a scene between John and Mary, and it just made me sad for their future sons. They could have had normal childhoods, if their dad had just stuck to what he told Mary in this episode!

Sam and Dean of course spent fifteen seasons quite literally going to Hell and back, with plenty of deaths and resurrections between them, and a whole lot of heartache before a divisive finale that was kind of a downer. Supernatural even forced them to face that not only was John a pretty bad father to them, but the marriage between John and Mary was far from perfect.

In that sense, seeing John and Mary grow closer and closer in The Winchesters (including their first kiss in the fall finale) has been bittersweet, although I won't even try to make complete sense of this show's timeline in relation to Supernatural's own somewhat messed up timeline. The callback in "Suspicious Minds" was much more bitter than sweet to me, as it featured John and Mary agreeing that they should never lose their humanity even if the other dies, after watching somebody do just that in trying to bring his wife back. 

It's a lovely sentiment and made for a nice scene between the future spouses, but as anybody who has seen even just the first season of Supernatural knows, John definitely didn't accept his grief with grace and go on to raise his sons as normally as possible. Dean did more to raise Sam than John did, and the older Winchester brother had a lot of habits ingrained in him from following in his dad's footsteps. He had revenge on his mind above all for most of his episodes before he was killed off SPN

Jeffrey Dean Morgan was great and his return was a fitting way for the show to celebrate 300 episodes, but he just wasn't a good dad. He gave up his humanity in pursuit of revenge against the Yellow-Eyed Demon. Of course, Supernatural's Mary was no saint, and viewers saw some questionable decisions from her both in her sons' trips to the past and after her resurrection. Still, she was the one in "Suspicious Minds" to insist that giving up humanity to save somebody isn't love, but selfish.

And if John had realized that after Mary's death in the original Supernatural timeline, then Sam and Dean could have had about as normal of childhoods as possible for two kids whose mom died in a fire. Granted, John and Mary may never have had this conversation in the original timeline, so it might not be a case of John going back on his word to Mary for the sake of revenge. 

Again, I truly don't know what to make of what The Winchesters means for the Supernatural timeline (or vice versa), so this little exchange might not really matter as anything other than a callback in the grand scheme of things. Whether or not it's undone or never officially happened or John just forgot his quiet moment with Mary since it was immediately followed by him being framed for murder, it had me flashing back to Supernatural and just feeling bad for those Winchester boys. 

As for whether either of those Winchester boys appear in The Winchesters' remaining episodes, only time will tell. Three episodes are left, and showrunner Robbie Thompson did promise some payoff to all of the Dean Easter eggs, but fans will just have to keep tuning in. Thompson also shared back in the fall that the show would mess with Supernatural fans' expectations!

The next new episode won't air for a couple of weeks, however, with The Winchesters returning to The CW with Episode 11 of Season 1 on Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. ET. In the meantime, you can always revisit the adventures of Sam and Dean (with John and Mary played primarily by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith) with all fifteen seasons of Supernatural available streaming with a Netflix subscription.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).