Bloodlines how do you fail – let us count the ways… (9.20 episode review)

Wow, when I predicted this would be bad, I was apparently optimistic.

Failure as Supernatural

  1. Remember how shapeshifters had to shed their skin and stuff?  True the alpha didn’t have to but then being the first shapeshifter and having thousands (millions?) of years of practice goes a long way to explaining why.  How do these Chicago shifters get around this?  We need an explanation.  See, as I’ll point out below, shifters shedding their skin and stuff provides a very much needed balancing and restraint on the “species”.  Without it shifters have a huge advantage in that it would be impossible to find one unless they allowed it.
  2. Remember how shapeshifters could read the minds of who they were “wearing”?  You know it added an extra wrinkle to the hunt as you couldn’t just trip them up with questions.  So why did David fail this twice?  Again, we need an explanation.
  3. How does a shifter die of old age?  Shouldn’t they be immune to natural death like other monsters?
  4. So that guy had a silver Kruger glove.  Great!  Against werewolves and shifters (and that maybe wraith).  Not against djinn, ghouls, or vampires.  So… this “villain” was going against the families of Chicago with a weapon that wouldn’t hurt 3/5ths of them.  I guess he was lucky all this time.
  5. Also, even if you have night-vision goggles, why shut off the lights in a club when a lot of occupants in there will have natural night vision?  Why not bother with a flash-bang grenade or two? (which I could see affecting some of those creatures worse than humans)
  6. Why did the fiance die hitting a metal door when Sam & Dean (and probably our new stars) suffer equal or worse head blows daily? (Kids – make sure you drink your milk!) They couldn’t give her a death with a smidgen more impact or meaning than Mary or Jessica?
  7. “Monsters killing monsters?  That’s new” – Really Dean?  You don’t remember PURGATORY?  Or the LEVIATHAN?
  8. If you’re true identity is revealed by mirrors, why would you live in Chicago?  I don’t live there, but in even in the smaller metropolis I reside there’s so many reflective surfaces that there’s no way you’d ever be able to hide.

Failure as a Story

  1. So we here all through this episode that “there’s no way a human could do that” or “it wasn’t human” only for, SURPRISE! it was HUMAN ALL ALONG!  So way to break continuity within your own premiere.  Seriously though, why do these “disbelievers” never propose that the attacker might be a human in a costume?  Have they never watched Scooby-Doo?
  2. And how is the guy a villain?  Yeah, the audience feels some sympathy for the guy & girl in that scene but that’s only because WE have seen them mistreated and they’re young + good looking.  As far as Ennis should know, they could be as guilty as the hunter who at least didn’t intend to kill the fiance and allowed Ennis to grieve. (what about the family of “Susan” – the girl who’s remains were in the bag? will they ever know?)  We saw that episode David do some minor illegal acts and we know nothing about Violet.
  3. Speaking of which, remember how when dealing with Gordon the boys at least got him arrested?
  4. “The streets will run red with blood.”  Umm… THERE ARE BODY PARTS IN CABINETS!  In my book, this is when you quote the Sisko: “We’re losing the peace, which means a war could be our only… hope.”  Really that could be a fascinating debate: whether humans would prefer more of them to die fighting, or let fewer die, but without a fighting chance.  Still, this episode demonstrated all the subtlety of a carpet bombing so I’m not holding my breath for them to examine this issue.
  5. WHY DO THE SHIFTERS HAVE GENDERED NAMES?  No really, think about it: they can go from male to female and back at a whim, so why would you call one “david” or “margo”?  Why not show them as “other” by giving them names that could apply to either gender or even something weirder like “Oldest” or “Second”?
  6. So Sal is apparently famous & important enough in Chicago to have his picture on a website (I guess they photoshopped out his eye flare).  …  Why then don’t the shifters have someone “take over” as him to continue business?  Really shouldn’t the shifters have a shell-game-esque system set up where if one of them that’s important dies, another takes over as them?
  7. “Police are on the payroll.”  Umm… if you’re a family of shapeshifters, WHY AREN’T YOU THE POLICE?!?!  Seriously, why bother with bribing anyone (which makes them loyal only as long as they’re not made a better offer) when you can just BE them?  In fact, given that they don’t need to shed their skin or anything, why aren’t shifters running the city?  They can BE ANYONE?  Anyone in charge, with power!  Again, if any other family tried to take out the shifter posing, you can just send a new shifter in to continue to charade.
  8. If you’re a shifter, why would you change your face while you’re where you aren’t supposed to be – and your back is to the door?  Even though you have no reason to and could wait until you’re back outside?
  9. Although given that vampires & werewolves can “reproduce” far more easily than the other 3 families* what is keeping them from taking over?  That head of that one restaurant just needs to bleed into all of drinks he serves for a night and *bam* dozens if not hundreds of new vamps available.  Werewolves nibble on a few and then they have an army to match.
  10. Shapeshifters need nothing from humans, they just like our stuff – our vices without restraint.  We know vamps & werewolves can eat without harming humans (and ghouls can opt to eating already dead ones) so the only family that really NEEDS humans as food (as far as we know) are the djinn (no word on if they can survive on the blood of other things) with shifters on the opposite side as at least a parasite/symbiotic relationship to us.  Of course the djinn are the hardest to kill of any of the families, and conceptually can handle silver which the wolves and shifters can’t.  Then even if the other families tried to close into melee range, the djinn can incapacitate them with their touch (unless monsters are somehow immune, again the show needs to establish that).  This means if the djinn turned on everyone, they would be highly likely to win even if it was 4 families against 1.  So really, why aren’t the shifters the city’s peacekeepers with the djinn being the agitators and the other 3 playing the side they need at the moment?

Yes some of this stuff could be explained later as the show goes on but given the way everything’s been going with the show runners, are you that hopeful?

*In my headcanon I like to imagine that shifters can’t actually create a working womb when they alter shape and so in order to “breed” must use human females and can’t breed with each other.  It provides a nice bottleneck limitation on why shifters haven’t completely replaced humans as the dominant species on the planet.

In summation: this is “Dylan Dog” the series.  While it had some charms to it, the movie was still ultimately a failure for many of the same reasons above (well that and Brandon Roth failed my action hero test so badly he flunked out of Superman Returns).  This isn’t a completely hopeless premise but they’ve handicapped themselves so much it’s going to be an uphill battle for them to get it to even the quality of Supernatural S1 (which, while it had its charms, did have some flaws until they found their footing)


7 thoughts on “Bloodlines how do you fail – let us count the ways… (9.20 episode review)

  1. It badly falls short of Supernatural S1 because it has no compelling characters, and the eye candy doesn’t even compare to Sam and Dean. What made the premiere season of Supernatural interesting was the relationship between Sam and Dean and the chemistry between the lead actors. Bloodlines clearly doesn’t have that, which is part of the weakness of an ensemble show, particularly since they chose to introduce so many characters in one episode. Ennis and what’s his name, Daniel? are the two most interesting characters but they are retreads of Sam — Ennis with the dead girlfriend he needs to avenge and Daniel the college matriculating black sheep returned to the fold. Yaaaawwwwwwn. I know fans who actually fell asleep during Bloodlines. That doesn’t speak well for the future of the show. Even Sam and Dean looked confused and annoyed. It’s shite and I hope the CW has the brains to dump it where it belongs — the crapper.

    • Very true. I wish they had made Ennis not unlike Henricksen where he learns about the world and is driven to deal with it because of his sense of morality (maybe even have him alone because he’s so driven to be a cop there’s no room for love in his life).

      Then again now that he got revenge on the “thing” that took his girl, maybe they are going to go for that motivation, but then you have to ask why bother with the dead girl in the first place if she’s going to mean **** all in the long run? With Jessica it at least had wider implications for Sam and stretched far beyond the first episode where she died.

      • Henricksen. Man, I miss that guy. He would have been a great addition to the hunter world.

        Bloodlines isn’t worth talking about anymore, especially since it’s been cancelled. Surprise, surprise. Maybe now the Supernatural powers that be can concentrate on the show they have and quit futzing around with with that Frankenstein monster they tried to birth.

  2. “8.If you’re true identity is revealed by mirrors, why would you live in Chicago? I don’t live there, but in even in the smaller metropolis I reside there’s so many reflective surfaces that there’s no way you’d ever be able to hide.”

    This is a wonderful observation Nick, as were your others, but this hadn’t even occurred to me. Which also makes a happy accident for early-season SPN shifters living in the sewers and all. God, I wish they could remember what made SPN compelling in the first place. Yes, the characters were immediately relatable, but I also think they used to care that it made sense. It just doesn’t feel that way anymore.

    Anyway, good points here why this sucked not only as an episode SPN, but as a pilot also.

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