The Winchesters – Season 1 Episode 9

Feb 1, 2023 | Posted by in TV

“Cast Your Fate to the Wind”

The Winchesters deals with John and Mary figuring out their fledgling relationship as a gang of vampires roll into town.

Vampires were a common threat in Supernatural with a wide variety of stories being told featuring them. It’s easy to see why; they’re relatively easy to make use of, innately threatening and conceptually simple. They can get involved in almost anything in some capacity and can be a compelling perversion of Humanity. It was only a matter of time before The Winchesters made use of them.


Who is that handsome Hunter?

Unfortunately, this is far from the most engaging use of this classic Monster. They exist as a physical threat to keep the characters on their toes and fulfil that purpose well but there’s very little beneath the surface so they are never engaging as antagonists. They are so indistinct that they could be replaced by a number of things with no difference.

This isn’t necessarily a problem if the rest of the episode compensates for this. In some ways, this episode feels very much like a holding pattern between the events of the previous episode and what the rest of the season will bring but it’s at its best when focusing on the core relationship between John and Mary.

The previous episode ended with them agreeing to give a romantic relationship a try and see where it goes. This one picks up with them going on dates in the morning in order to be together without the others finding out. John makes reference to sneaking around and states that he’s fine with it for now but still wonders why Mary feels that it’s necessary. She talks about taking things slow and maintaining a distance between their relationship and the work that they do. Her rationale is that “office romances can mess up dynamics” which indicates that she’s concerned that their relationship will upset the team dynamic in some way and make them less effective. In the world of Hunting being less effective may result in death so they have to be careful to remain focused on the life-and-death fights they routinely engage in.


It’s early days!

Mary is ultimately kidding herself and has to learn that it’s impossible to separate business and pleasure. Learning that lesson involves almost losing John and receiving a visceral example of how impossible it is to separate her emotions from the job they do when she’s in a romantic relationship with him. Meg Donnelly plays the panic and desperation as she and Millie fight to resuscitate John wonderfully. As a moment of realisation for her it’s a powerful one and it marks the moment that the relationship becomes real for her. It’s a very brief character arc that takes place within the confines of this episode but it builds organically and the resolution is excellent.

In general, the portrayal of the early days of John and Mary’s relationship is handled well. They’re both on the same page in terms of not rushing things as they try to figure out what it is they have together. Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly’s chemistry is excellent and their scenes together are endearingly written. This feels like the calm before the storm with the inevitable angst that will come with trying to be a couple when routinely in life-threatening situations and it’s a charming period to witness.

John’s conversation with Millie serves as a reminder of how positive an influence Mary is in his life. Millie will always worry about her son and is concerned about the PTSD he is still dealing with but recognises that what he’s doing now is working out for him, at least for the time being. The conversation ending with them agreeing to stop talking about their feelings was a nice touch. It serves as a comedic reminder of the recent changes in John and Millie’s dynamic with them getting used to being more open with each other.


Betty wasn’t born yesterday

The possibility of John’s death is something they have hanging over them for a lot of the episode. John sees a vision of his death early on and the team work to try to prevent it despite being told that it’s an impossibility. A common aspect of stories where a vision of the future is involved is the assertion that it’s impossible to prevent those events from coming to pass and those involved being in denial as they work to change the outcome. Typically, this includes several signs that they are hurtling towards the inevitable. However, those are largely absent in this case other than the reveal of the red carpet confirming that John had wandered into the setting of his vision.

John’s upcoming death acts as motivation for the team to work quickly to solve the problem. This involves fairly standard investigating and taking steps to ensure John is out of harm’s way while the others put themselves at risk. These scenes allow the characters to interact and highlight how important John has become to each of them which gives the episode additional emotional stakes beyond Mary’s romantic connection to him. One thing this show has struggled with is developing a meaningful and natural team dynamic. The approach to storytelling limits the possibility of the characters gelling as well as they could so spending time highlighting that Carlos and Lata are personally invested in John’s survival. This goes some way towards developing a close team dynamic though it doesn’t make up for consistently failing to deliver on this over the course of the season.

Ultimately, this experience becomes a lesson in connection for Carlos as well. It’s mentioned that he has been keeping Anthon at arm’s length with the implication being that the life of a Hunter is a lonely one and he’s worried about getting close to someone which may either result in putting them in danger or putting strain on the relationship because he constantly risks his life. This experience seems to be instructive for Carlos and he opts to push the risks aside.


Working the problem

The episode covers the concept of fate to a limited degree. It’s heavily featured but very little is actually said about it. Dean’s narration talks about his father saying “fate is what you make it”; something also said by Millie to indicate where John got that from but there is far from a definitive stance on whether the characters accept that certain things are meant to be. When he finds himself in the very place he’d tried to avoid, John seems to accept that there’s nothing he can do to prevent what he saw but there may be wiggle room in the lack of context. All he saw was himself being bitten by a vampire and falling down dead. He decides to kill himself to trick the vampire into stunning itself by feeding on Dead Man’s Blood. It works and allows Mary the chance to decapitate the final vampire but there’s no real commentary on whether John’s fate was actually sealed or not. The characters won’t know either way but the episode was driving at fate as a theme for the episode so some sort of concluding thoughts were warranted and never came.

Other characters discuss what’s “meant to be” as well, mostly in the context of relationships and whether they could ever work out or are doomed to fail because of the lives they’ve chosen. Conceptually it was all very thought-provoking but the writing doesn’t ever allow it to be fleshed out into something more meaningful than a join-the-dots type story leading John to the point where he’s supposed to die. It’s a missed opportunity and leaves the episode feeling incomplete.

Another threat is on the horizon courtesy of Betty becoming suspicious of Mary and concerned about John’s affiliation with her. She’s smart and has noticed she has a habit of appearing at crime scenes. A little investigating uncovers a criminal record which prompts her to go to Millie to express her concerns. Millie tries to steer her off the trail but Betty is too tenacious to give up when she thinks she has something. The end of the episode reveals that she is working with Kyle who has his own suspicions and that they will collaborate on an investigation.


It’s Morbin’ time!

The idea of Sam and Dean’s exploits being noticed by people unaware of what they deal with cropped up frequently in Supernatural and it’s natural to explore it in this show as well. The team are different to Sam and Dean in that they operate out of a small town so their suspicious behaviour being noticed is far more likely, especially for someone as sharp as Betty. It’s obvious that this will eventually lead to Betty -and possibly Kyle- learning the truth and having to deal with that in their own way but it makes it no less compelling as a distant threat that is rapidly gaining on them. The marks on the back of Kyle’s neck resembling the mark on John following his vision suggests that he’s marked for death or has more of a reason to be invested than he’s letting on. Kyle isn’t much of anything as a character at this point but Betty is engaging and has a history with John that could make the ongoing development of this plot very interesting.

After the tease of Dean in the previous episode, there is a reminder of the mystery surrounding him in a conversation between John and Mary. John compliments the car and Mary speculates that he looks like a Hunter in the way that he dresses. Dean’s involvement in these events such as giving John the letter from Henry sets up a few interesting questions. Why is he in the past? Is this set post-Supernatural with him coming down from Heaven or somewhere during the run of the show? What is he looking to achieve? Signs are pointing towards this being an alternate universe or timeline but there are so many things to be answered and it’s interesting to contemplate.




A good episode that presents an early challenge in John and Mary’s relationship while touching on the problems associated with long-term connections for Hunters in other characters. The coverage of John and Mary’s fledgling relationship is engaging. Her arc beginning with trying to separate her romantic relationship from the life of a Hunter and ending in her realising that it’s impossible is brief but builds organically. The early days of their relationship is handled well thanks to the excellent chemistry between the actors as well as their scenes together being endearingly written. John being marked for death hanging over the team for a lot of the episode works well in terms of highlighting how important John has become to the other characters. It doesn’t make up for failing to deliver on an engaging team dynamic over the course of the season but it goes some way towards making it believable. It also becomes a lesson in connection for Carlos as well as shown by his decision to ignore the risks for now and try to build something with Anthon. The coverage of the concept of fate is far more limited than it could be. It comes up frequently but isn’t explored to any meaningful degree which leaves the episode feeling complete. Betty starting to become suspicious of Mary and actively investigating her was perhaps inevitable but definitely interesting. It seems obvious where this is heading but her connection to John brings a lot of potential and it works as a different threat rapidly gaining on them. The mystery surrounding Dean’s involvement in the ongoing story is referenced and serves as a reminder of the questions raised around the photograph and him giving John the letter from Henry.

  • 7/10
    Cast Your Fate to the Wind - 7/10


Kneel Before…

  • Mary’s brief but organically developed arc
  • the chemistry between Jake Rodger and Meg Donnelly
  • John’s upcoming death acting as a motivating factor for the team
  • Carlos learning a lesson in connection from this experience
  • the accelerating threat of Betty investigating Mary
  • the mystery surrounding Dean’s involvement


Rise Against…

  • the vampire’s being poorly used
  • incomplete coverage of the idea of fate despite driving at it as a theme


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User Review
7.5/10 (1 vote)

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