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The Winchesters Fans Hearts' Are Shattering Over John's Trauma In Season 1, Episode 4

While fans of "Supernatural" may think they know the monster-hunting spousal duo John and Mary Winchester, the first few episodes of the prequel series "The Winchesters" turn many of those preconceptions from the original series on their head. Such has especially been the case for Drake Rodger's turn as a teenaged John, who begins the series as a young, PTSD-ridden ex-soldier. From the get-go, it's immediately clear that John is already dealing with a lot of hardships beyond his creature hunting work. However, Season 1, Episode 4, finally blows the door wide open, exploring John's traumatic backstory like never before.

The episode, titled "Masters of War," sees John having to confront his past when a war veteran becomes the unfortunate subject of the hunters' latest investigation. The episode contrasts John's approach to post-war life with his fellow veteran Carlos (Jojo Fleites) as they attempt to solve the case. Whereas Carlos is willing to open up about his experiences and is actively trying to move forward, John stuffs his emotions down as far as they can go and refuses to confront his inner demons. The whole ordeal culminates in a heartbreaking scene where John's grief finally spills over in front of his mom Millie Winchester (Bianca Kajlich), and the climactic moment has many fans buzzing.

Fans feel sorry for John

Following the premiere of "The Winchesters" Season 1, Episode 4, many fans were quick to voice their sympathy for John and his struggles over his past trauma. Several Twitter users replied to a tweet from the show's official Twitter account showcasing the brutal moment where John finally breaks down as Millie comforts him. "Seeing John's downfall little by little is actually so sad," @blissfulmox tweeted in response to the snippet.

While the episode as a whole delves into John's PTSD, some users pointed to John's emotional breakdown scene as the moment that hammers home how afflicted the Winchester truly is. Certain viewers also empathized with the dynamic between Millie and John. "As a mom, this hit HARD," @kookie9200 tweeted. "Seeing your child broken and not being able to do anything but hold them? Nothing hurts worse."

For those hoping that John's life gets brighter as the series progresses, it's probably not worth holding your breath. While some fans think "The Winchesters" is set in an alternate universe from "Supernatural," Drake Rodger affirmed that the prequel is meant to show John's descent into the unfortunate state that audiences find him in at the start of the original series. "It's heartbreaking to the characters in the show because they're gonna want to help, but as much as they want to help, it's like, the canon's there," he told Metacritic. "We know where it's leading."