The first episode of “The Winchesters,” a prequel to The CW’s “Supernatural,” brings plenty of new ideas to the table. The Acrida, for example, are unknown villains who haven’t been mentioned in the “Supernatural” lore until now, and their desire to eliminate humans, angels, and demons makes them a unique addition to the franchise’s pantheon of Big Bads. Granted, the new menaces have yet to make an appearance on “The Winchesters,” but enough of their backstory is explained to know that they’re dangerous.
That said, this is still a “Supernatural” spin-off, and fans expect some Easter eggs that pay homage to the parent series. “The Winchesters” is not only loaded with references to “Supernatural,” but some of them have informed the story in a big way. For instance, the Men of Letters are significant to “The Winchesters'” central mystery, and the prequel series looks set to delve deeper into their history as the fathers of the show’s protagonists are affiliated with the mysterious organization.
Of course, some of the best Easter eggs in the pilot are hidden and not important to the plot. However, they will be appreciated by long-term fans of the franchise who examine each scene with eagle-eyed precision. Furthermore, there’s one moment in the first episode of “The Winchesters” that brings back an old gag while paying tribute to a “Supernatural” legend.
“Supernatural” saw Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) spend most of their time traveling across the country, saving people, and hunting things. This lifestyle meant that they had to sleep in hotels and motels, which was more exciting than it sounds. These locations gave the show’s creators a perfect excuse to throw in some deep-cut references that most viewers probably didn’t notice right away. Still, that didn’t make them any less humorous or touching.
Season 4’s “Jump the Shark” episode saw the aforementioned demon-hunting brothers stay in a motel called Kelsey Manor, which was named in honor of Kim Manners, who served as a director and executive producer on the series. Their room card also features his picture and some of the objects sprinkled around the motel contain his initials. It was a fitting tribute to Manners, who helmed 16 episodes of the series prior to his death in 2009 (per TV Guide).
The gag of naming motels after Manners made its way into the first episode of “The Winchesters” as well. It takes place during the scene in which Mary (Meg Donnelly) and John (Drake Rodger) rummage through an old bookstore and notice a placard for a place called Manners Motels on the wall. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but fans of Manners’ work will find it heartwarming.