Hear me out, ok?
I love Supernatural.
Like, almost Becky level of love it.
(Almost. I know kidnapping is wrong)
And I will 100% watch the Ackles’ prequel when it comes out, and I will always be excited for new Supernatural content on the screen again.
I am skeptical of prequels. There is rarely a need for them- particularly in this case when we’ve seen the story of John and Mary evolve over 15 seasons through the ungodly number of flashbacks I was subjected to, as well as through Sam and Dean’s conversations and even time travel. Plus, they resurrected Mary for 3 seasons and it didn’t add much to their story- though it was one of my favourite story arcs as they shaped her character into a complex woman, not just a mother.
But that was her starting anew and adjusting to her new reality with her grown sons who lived with an idealised version of her. She was not the maternal image that John told them again. She was a flawed, barbed, strong hunter who had only been playing as the domestic mother- down to passing off store-bought meals as home cooking.
A prequel would be going back again on that development.
And the reason I’m worried these complexities might be lost is Ackles referring to the prequel as an ‘epic love story.’
John and Mary’s relationship only became ‘epic’ and a ‘love story’ after Mary died and John took hold of the narrative. We saw this in the episode ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ (5×16) where Dean was reliving his memories of his parents fighting. Dean even said their marriage ‘was only perfect after she died.’
All the more, in 5×14, My Bloody Valentine, the Cupid revealed that John and Mary were not naturally compatible but were set up to fall in love by Heaven in order for Sam and Dean to be born. They couldn’t even stand each other when they first met.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t need an ideal marriage to make a prequel work and I wouldn’t want them to. That’s kind of my point.
The tension added a lovely dynamic to the show and a rocky backstory for Sam and Dean; It was two brothers fighting for a family that is falling apart at the seams. What I’ve outlined above is a story of two people that is wonderfully complex, fascinating and quite tragic. And that’s even before we get into the questions of consent, free will and divine intervention.
But that is only true if the prequel doesn’t reduce it to the ‘perfect marriage’ that it clearly isn’t.
I would love to see a haters to lovers story of two hot-headed, stubborn characters- one a hunter and one a marine; one living a lie, the other oblivious to it- set to 70’s rock music, not knowing that it is destined to end badly.
It could be a tender insight into a family- a young couple who eventually fell in love- and have no idea the magnitude or consequences of their actions. They have no idea who they will become and would probably be shocked to be confronted by who they are.
But that got me thinking… Wouldn’t it be great to see them confronted?
Perhaps now they are all in Heaven- or at least Dean is- they would literally be confronted with their future- they would see in their tired son the repercussions of his upbringing and Dean would be forced to confront his past.
There is a lot of tension that they never worked out and would be so interesting to see!
Then it would make sense why Dean is narrating. It would be a chance for him to get to know his parents completely, beyond idealised stories and his child-like view.
I’d also be interested to see it tie into Sam with his son. Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to be in charge of the narrative? Looking back and trying to understand the family he never knew now he has one of his own? Or, at the very least he’s telling his son stories about Uncle Dean and his Grandparents?
I can only imagine Sam would be struggling with raising a son as a hunter after everything he went through with John.
Or maybe he would finally start to understand John’s motives a little more and feel a bit close to him.
It could technically be the prequel but set after the fact, and offer real-time reactions from the characters reliving old memories now they know how dysfunctional it all ended up.
Regardless, John and Mary’s story has potential, and I know it’s impossible to determine how good it will be from one article. I just wanted to share my initial thoughts and open a discussion.
Let me know what you’re hoping to see in the comments!