The penultimate episode of Supernatural had a montage of important characters. Here’s a few they missed.
The latest episode ended with a tear-jerking Supernatural montage to commemorate the show’s fifteen year run. Set to “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne, we get a glimpse at all the characters we’ve come to know and love over the years. But as I watched it for the third time, tears streaming down my face, I realized that there were a few of my favorite characters missing. There’s only so many face you can fit into two minutes, after all.
This article is dedicated to those extended members of the Supernatural family. You may be gone, but rest assured, you were not forgotten.
At the top of my list is Benny. Benny. Benny, my favorite vampirate.
I spent years hoping that Supernatural might resurrect this character. He was so fun, and understanding, and so good. Benny might have been a vampire, but he was the good kind—one who strives at every turn not to become the monster everyone thinks they are. And even when he was achieving that mission, he was willing to die to repay his debt to Dean. He shook Dean’s hand and willingly went back to Purgatory to save Sam, even though Sam hated him.
What makes me even more sad is that I know how often Ty Olsson talked about returning to Supernatural. He did make a brief cameo earlier in the season. I screamed in delight, only to be heartbroken when they killed him again. Honestly, I had to watch this Supernatural montage three times to ensure I hadn’t missed him. Benny deserved better. We love you, Benny.
Lisa and Ben
I’m lumping Lisa and her son together, but that doesn’t mean that I love them any less. When Dean said, “You ever mention Lisa or Ben to me again, I’ll break your nose,” I assumed he was talking to Sam, not the CW. What gives, guys?
Honestly, Lisa and Ben are a touchy subject for me too. They were meant to be Dean’s happy ending, his happy ever after. Maybe he’d lost Sam to Lucifer, but he gained a new life to try again. Lisa knew everything about Dean’s job and still took him. Ben knew the reality of monsters and still went to school. Dean got a chance to balance hunting and normality, the way he’d always wanted. He got the chance to be a better dad than his father.
But Supernatural didn’t end after Season 5. And instead of dealing with Lisa and Ben, they decided it would be better to erase them from the story. So Dean had Castiel wipe their memories, and they were never mentioned again. Never mind that the rest of the world knew about Lisa. Never mind that forgetting about monsters and demons wouldn’t protect her from the monsters and demons that knew about her. It wouldn’t stop demons from coming after her, or Dean from loving her. Dean made the decision that it was for the best, and that was all the explanation we ever got.
I maintain that this is one of the worst exits Supernatural ever wrote. It was a complete disservice to Lisa’s character, and the fact that they legitimately never mentioned it again is outrageous. This is a character they tossed out because they couldn’t think of a compelling storyline. There were so many other possibilities. Lisa and Ben Braeden both deserved better.
We can’t forget our greatest villains. This is another one that gets me. Most of the demons that appear in the montage only have their most popular incarnation. We only see Meg as Rachel Miner, Ruby as Genevieve Padalecki. (Respect to Katie Cassidy and Nicki Aycox, while I’m on the subject.) But I’ve watched this Supernatural montage multiple times, and at no point do they pay homage to Azazel.
Azazel, formerly known as Yellow-Eyes, is arguably one of the most important characters in the entire series of Supernatural. He was the original villain, the original enemy, way before the Supernatural writers decided that God and Lucifer were real. Azazel is the demon that killed Mary Winchester, that started Sam and Dean on this momentous journey. I simply do not understand how he couldn’t be included.
For the record, Azazel is one of my favorite villains in the entire run of Supernatural. His mission, his dry wit, his cadence, were all things that really appealed to me as an early viewer. He was played by multiple actors, but every time I see Fredric Lehne, I still say, “Oh, look! It’s Yellow Eyes!”
Perhaps not quite as important as Azazel, but still a turning point villain. Alastair was essentially the dungeon master of Hell, the torture expert that everyone else looked to. He was also one of the few that had white eyes, which showed us just how powerful he was. To the Winchesters, he was Dean’s torture mentor, and one of their main enemies in the battle to prevent the Apocalypse.
I happen to love Alastair, for the same reason that I love Azazel. Every single actor that played him was just so incredibly good at their job. Christopher Heyerdahl was especially mind-blowing, and made a real impression in the role. He was important to Dean as the demon who broke him, and important to Sam as the demon that was broken, killed by Sam’s growing powers. I really would’ve loved to see homage paid to his character.
Business up front, party in the back! Even the most casual fans will remember Ash, who made a real impression as the genius of the Roadhouse. While Ellen and Jo Harvelle both got a shoutout in the montage—and rightfully so, it was my number one priority—Ash was noticeably missing.
Ash was one of the Winchesters most helpful, and most fun, allies in the initial quest against Yellow-Eyes. He developed a program to track Azazel, and put the pieces together about the “special children” long before anyone else. Ash was killed before he could pass his message to the Winchesters, but it wasn’t the last time he helped them. He also made an appearance in Season 5, saving them from Zachariah when they were stranded in Heaven.
Ash was only around for a few episodes, but he and his mullet certainly left a lasting impression on long-time fans.
Back in Season 6, when Sam didn’t have a soul, he wasn’t working with Dean on his hunts. He was working with his maternal grandfather, Samuel Campbell. Now, maybe you didn’t like Samuel. I know I didn’t, especially when it was revealed that he was torturing monsters under Crowley’s orders. But it can’t be argued that he wasn’t important.
Samuel appeared over several episodes in Supernatural, and certainly left an impact on the Winchester’s understanding of family. He’s also played by Mitch Pileggi, of X-Files fame. Honestly, that alone should have earned him a spot in the Supernatural montage. But if you’re itching to see more content with Pileggi and Jared Padalecki, make sure you tune into the CW this January for their new show Walker. Pileggi will play Padalecki’s father, and you’ll get an added dose of gun-slinging justice as a bonus.
Lilith was important enough to resurrect in the final season, but not enough to earn a spot in the series montage. She made her make as the original demon, hand-crafted by Lucifer and most powerful of them all. She was a major player in Season 3, Season 4 and Season 15, but she didn’t make it to the end of the series. In the end, she was taken out by the archangel Michael with a simple snap of the fingers.
Like many demons, there are plenty of actresses who played Lilith over the years. But I think the two most powerful are Sierra McCormick and Katherine Boecher. McCormick played the youngest version of Lilith in Seasons 3 and 4, delightfully twisted and terrible destructive. Boecher is the iconic “comely dental hygienist” that Lilith took possession of at the end of Season 4. It was this form in which she was killed in the finale, opening Lucifer’s cage and beginning the Apocalypse.
Do we have an award for best villain name? Dick was the leader of the Leviathan, the powerful and incredibly intelligent big bad in Supernatural Season 7. I’ll acknowledge that many fans weren’t…well, fans of Season 7. But in my opinion, it was one of the most interesting seasons precisely because the Leviathans were some of the smartest monsters. Fifteen years, and the Leviathans were the only ones who ever thought to possess government agents and track the Winchesters’ aliases, credit cards and cell phones.
In fact, the Leviathans were so smart, they might have been too intelligent for the show. We haven’t had globally organized monsters ever since. Dick was a leader, a revolting politician, and a pretty funny guy. For that, I would’ve liked to see him acknowledged in the Supernatural montage. Or at the very least, a nod to the headline “The Rise of Dick.” Or Sam’s question to Dean, “Are you strictly into Dick now?” Man, Season 7 had a lot of really good jokes.
Metatron was a given for the series montage, as a major character in multiple seasons. But his right-hand man Gadreel didn’t make the cut. I understand that Gadreel was posed as a villain in Season 9. He killed Kevin Tran, and that was one of the main reasons that I originally stopped watching the show. But he was also one of the handful of Supernatural villains that gained redemption. By the end of the season, he was working with Castiel to overcome Metatron. He even sacrificed his life to the cause.
Gadreel is most recognizably played by Tahmoh Penikett, but he was also played by Jared Padalecki. Gadreel possessed Sam to heal his body from the inside when he was dying from the trials to close Hell. Jared did a lot of fine acting, jumping back and forth between the two roles. Unfortunately, none of those made it into the Supernatural montage. But if you’re interested in seeing some more of Penikett’s work, I’d suggest starting with Hillywood Production’s parody of The Umbrella Academy. Panikett makes a great angel, but he also plays an incredible superpowered gorilla-man.
My tenth spot I’m going to give to another one of Supernatural’s arguably most powerful women. Tessa was one of the first reapers that was shown on the show, and the first to be shown in a flattering light. She tried to collect Dean’s soul at the beginning of Season 2, and bumped into him several more times as the show progressed. Above all, Tessa understood the need for balance. There’s good and there’s evil, but at the end of the day, everyone dies.
Unfortunately, by the end of her story arc, Tessa was painted as an opponent. In Season 9, she nearly became a suicide bomber in one of Metatron’s schemes. She told Dean that the screams of the uneasy souls were driving her insane, since Metatron had closed off Heaven and there was nowhere for them to go. Ultimately, to escape the torture, Tessa impaled herself on the First Blade.
This was another situation where it felt like Supernatural didn’t really know what to do with their female character. The episode where Tessa was killed fundamentally changed the lore on reapers to do it, and didn’t make much sense beyond that. But however the character died, it’s indisputable that Tessa left her mark on the series.
There’s only so many faces you can fit in a two minute Supernatural montage without giving your audience whiplash. I understand that in that timeframe, there’s no way we could have squeeze fifteen years’ worth of thank you’s. I could type for another week thinking of other characters that could have been mentioned. Like Gordon, played by Sterling K. Brown! Are you kidding me? It’s Sterling K. Brown!
But that’s not the point of this article. Good or bad, there’s so many characters on Supernatural that have left an impact on the lives of fans. Hopefully, when all is said and done, the show will be able to pay its dues, and wrap up in a satisfying way. What character did you want to see most in the montage? Let us know in the comments, and share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
The Supernatural Series finale airs at 8/7 c on the CW, after the series documentary at 7/6c.