The pilot for the “Supernatural” spin-off, “Wayward Sisters,” was everything I hoped it would be

There was a huge amount of hype behind the backdoor pilot for the Supernatural spin-off, Wayward Sisters. After the failed spin-off attempt with Bloodlines, and the fandom’s intense cries for a series following Sheriff Jody and her home for the — for a lack of a better term — supernaturally orphaned, expectations were high for this episode.

And friends, let me just say it absolutely delivers.

One of the huge strengths for Wayward Sisters is that the story is still very much set in the Supernatural universe, and it feels like it (unlike Bloodlines, which intentionally tried to feel like a different world). They show this in big ways, like the show’s inclusion of Donna, Jody, Claire, Alex, Patience, and Kaia in Supernatural, but also in more subtle ways. One of the very first lines of the episode hearkens back to one of the very first lines of Supernatural, the infamous, “Dad’s on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days.” Of course, only this time Jody calls Claire to say, “Sam and Dean were on a hunting trip and I haven’t heard from them in a few days.”

Starting off the main arc of the episode with that line really drives home that this show is a show set firmly in the Supernatural universe. Though the main players might be changing, it’s still focusing on the main hook that has kept fans coming back for over a decade — family, which, as the fandom knows, isn’t limited by blood.

Of course, this is Supernatural, so while the heart of the show is family, it’s also about killing monsters. We’ve seen all of the women on the show square off in different ways against things that go bump in the night, but they were usually accompanied by Sam or Dean Winchester. It’s absolutely amazing to get to watch them fight monsters and kick ass on their own. In short, this isn’t a “girl version” of Supernatural. No, it’s a story about monsters just as fierce, and with stakes just as high as we see with Sam and Dean in Supernatural. And Donna, Jody, and her girls manage to kick just as much ass as the Winchesters.

While I won’t spoil the big reveal at the end (but seriously OMIGOSH y’all!!!), the episode wraps up with those classic elements that make Supernatural so much fun to watch: a desire to make the world safe, a love and loyalty to family, and a dash of revenge. The episode did such a good job representing Donna, Jody, and Jody’s girls as a true family unit. They made the characters loving and empathetic while also making sure they were shown as fierce, capable hunters, and they even celebrated the different strengths each woman brought to the group.

Wayward Sisters has opened up this whole new world, and a group of hunters who take on the supernatural in their own unique, powerful ways. This is the spin-off we deserve, and it delivers in the best ways.