We’ve been reviewing early episodes of TV shows for 15 years, both here and in other online magazines. So when a Network offers a second review cut of a pilot before a show airs, we expect the usual improvements over the first rough cut: sound, ADR/looping, visual effects, editing, music and other small changes that we know will enhance viewers’ enjoyment of the final product on premiere night.

Imagine our surprise when we were offered a second cut the the pilot episode of upcoming CW series The Winchesters last night, featuring not only a BRAND NEW opening sequence but several key additions.

If you’ve already caught our post-embargo thoughts on the new series, you may now like to know the following:

Dean’s narration monologues have changed. Think less wholesome and romantic. More practical. Feels a lot more like the Dean we know. If you liked our inclusion of some of his thoughts on family, and how looking for their [John and Mary] families brought them together, then you are now sadly out of luck. Or in for a new treat, depending on how you look at it. Either way, the new sequences feel more in tune with the defining spirit and mood of the show.

RELATED | The Winchesters Pilot Review: How John Met Mary

We’ve been specifically asked not to reveal how John met Mary, which is a tough thing to write about when you are previewing a show about how how two characters meet. Regardless, as careful as we have been in our original review, this particular key moment has now also changed. No, we’re not going to tell you where and how, because we’re still not allowed to do that, but we can reveal their meeting now feels more organic. The pilot episode now gives more time to John and Mary’s first and subsequent encounters, and allows space for both characters to learn more about each other in those crucial scenes. Overall, this feels like a thoughtful addition that serves the show’s leading characters, and the actors who play them, rather well.

Tiny edits and additional lines now make each of our quartet’s motivations easier and clearer to understand. We’re always amazed how small changes like these can alter the tone of an entire scene.

Practical effects have vastly improved, from simple things like being able to see the ring of salt on the ground around a trapped demon to the appearance of a deadly [REDACTED] that [REDACTED] from the shadows in the [REDACTED]. You get what we mean.

Overall, this new cut of The Winchesters is tighter, sharper, and serves its main characters very well in key scenes.

We are aware, as we write, that it is still not the final version that will go to air on Oct. 11. Nevertheless we are impressed at the attention to detail that has gone into this new revised cut.

The Winchesters airs October 11 at 8:00 pm ET. on the CW.

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