In last week’s Supernatural, “The One You’ve Been Waiting For,” Sam and Dean kicked Nazi ass with the help of a fan favorite character who’s only appeared once before. Who else is it time for the Winchesters to touch base with?
Supernatural’s most recent episode “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” featured the return of the Thule Society, a fun group of guys: Nazi necromancers with plans for world domination. In their first appearance in season 8’s “Everybody Hates Hitler,” the remaining members of the society were tracking down a lost ledger that recorded the practices of their predecessors, including every member who’d become an undead immortal. This time around, they were hell-bent on resurrecting the soul of Adolph Hitler which had been stored in a pocket watch at the moment of his famous suicide – yes, like a horcrux, and yes, the Harry Potter reference is made within the episode itself.
Someone a lot smarter than me could write a poignant think-piece on the relevance of this episode airing the day after the U.S. election, how it felt to see this mixture of flippancy and terrifying reality play out on screen, how different it might have felt with an alternative president-elect on the horizon, and how, this season, Supernatural is apparently choosing to shout their worldview through a megaphone, but I’ll note that once again, Supernatural revisits season 12’s theme of humanity at its worst and most totalitarian. Yes, the Thule are using supernatural power, but, I mean, come on… it’s Nazis. Not a metaphor for Nazis, real Nazis and real Hitler, with no punches pulled in the confronting imagery or language or attitude.
Once again, Sam tries to comfort a young character – Ellie, the Hitler descendant whose blood allows for his resurrection – by comparing the truth of his own cursed history, and once again the Winchesters allow the freedom of choice to a character that may not have got a pass from someone less compassionate – in this case, Christoph, the put-upon son of the Thule ringleader, is allowed to walk free and make a new life for himself. Also, Dean gets to kill actual Hitler, or at least Hitler in a new body, an achievement he will be bragging about for the next seven thousand years. All in all, it’s not very subtle, but apparently America needs reminders this blunt that fascism is, you know, evil.
This episode also saw the return of the Winchesters’ biggest ally when it comes to the Thule. The most significant aspect of “Everybody Hates Hitler” was the introduction of Aaron Bass, an unwilling descendant of the Judah Initiative, a Jewish secret society dedicated to fighting the Thule, who inherits a golem from his grandfather. Everything about Aaron was infinitely memorable, from his choice to go undercover by making a pass at Dean (a scene that, according to writer Ben Edlund and director Phil Sgriccia, Jensen Ackles played “right down the middle,” probably the closest the show will ever come to confirming Dean as something other than straight) to the fact that he used his grandfather’s ancient handbook to roll joints, to his incredible relationship with the golem and acceptance of his legacy.
Last week’s Supernatural saw Adam Rose return as Aaron Bass in “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” — but unfortunately he didn’t play as much of a role as one might have liked him to. He and his golem have apparently spent the past few years using the ledger to track down Thule members and eliminate them, and Winchesters touch base with him from Berlin about the movements of the Thule Society. It’s interesting to me that they’d bring in a guest actor as a throwback and only have him do a solo scene on the other end of a phone call – no face to face interaction with Sam and Dean – but given that the episode didn’t actually rely on him being involved (they could have gotten the same information from him via email, not requiring a re-hire of Rose) it was really nice to see him there and just have a little reminder of the breadth of the Supernatural universe and all the people the Winchesters can count on.
Supernatural has always had a host of secondary recurring characters over the years — many now deceased, but all playing their part as a regular feature in the lives of the boys, people they consider “family,” or people they’ve introduced to hunting. The current ones who are actually alive include Sheriffs Donna Hanscum and Jody Mills, Jody’s teenage wards Alex and Claire, and the hunter-turned-innocent-werewolf Garth. Many of these characters are promised to return — both Jody and our new resident Reaper, Billie, will actually appear in this week’s episode “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox,” about a hunter’s wake.
However, every single week the boys meet someone new who ends up finding out a bit about what’s really out there and who Sam and Dean really are. Sometimes, we see characters who the Winchesters already know – people they’ve worked with in the past, which helps paint a picture of what their lives have been like off-screen, and sometimes they add new names to their phone book, promising to keep in contact with a new friend that they’ve helped. Aaron Bass was very much one of these, but there are a bunch more people in similar positions who I would love to see the Wincesters catch up with.
In order to keep this from becoming an essay about how both Sebastian Roché’s Balthazar and Richard Speight Jr.’s Gabriel deserved better (though I pray we see one, or both of them, return in the Speight-directed Castiel backstory episode this season) or an itemized list of reasons why I would watch a Linda Tran spin-off, I’ve been very strict about who makes the cut here – the characters in question must be currently alive out there somewhere in the world, there must be a plausible way to fit them into the current overarching plot, and they have to have appeared in one episode only. Here are twelve single-appearance characters who should make a return to Supernatural sometime soon.
Missouri Moseley from ‘Home’
Missouri, brought vividly to life by the legendary Loretta Devine, was the first natural psychic we encounter on the show. Sam and Dean meet her on a mission in Lawrence, Kansas to exorcise their old family home for the new owners, and her single appearance way back in season 1 resonated deeply with audiences, because she’s absolutely integral to the Winchester mythology — it was she who introduced John to the truth about the paranormal world after Mary’s death. Given the trifecta of relevant circumstances — her innocent supernatural abilities making her a Men of Letters target, Mary’s return and the many questions she has about her husband’s life as a hunter, and the fact that the boys are now based back in Kansas, there is no better time to bring back this wonderful woman.
Deacon Kaylor from ‘Folsom Prison Blues’
This one is, again, mostly here for the potential it would give for some Mary Winchester drama, because Deacon Kaylor probably knew her while she was alive, and would potentially be one of the very few people besides Sam and Dean who’d be mentally equipped to deal with the fact that she’s back from the dead. Deacon, now a prison warden, knew John in his Marine days — pre-Mary — but also knew that he and his sons were hunters of the supernatural. This suggests that he’d been close to the family for a very long time, and in his episode, Sam and Dean are pretty much willing to do anything to help him out in John’s name, including getting themselves arrested. He lied to the (real) FBI on their behalf and promised to see them again one day in better circumstances. Only on Supernatural would an undead mom count as “better,” but, you know, swings and roundabouts.
Jesse Turner from ‘I Believe the Children Are Our Future’
As an immensely powerful being with the potential to do serious damage, Jesse, an Antichrist (well, actually some sort of odd demon/human hybrid due to the pregnancy of a demon-possessed woman) is a perfect example of a supernatural character to whom the Winchesters gave the choice of personhood — exactly the sort of character who, like Magda in “American Nightmare,” Sam and Dean consider worth saving and the British Men of Letters consider worth killing. This kid would canonically be about 18 or 20 (depending on if you count Supernatural’s “missing years” or not) nowadays, and if the BMoL get ahold of the Winchesters’ case history, you can bet he’d be on their hit list. He’d be an ideal candidate for another murder that makes Sam and Dean realize that their task right now may actually be to protect the supernatural.
Jacob Pond from ‘The Girl Next Door’
I have no particular affection in my heart for this frankly rather unpleasant kitsune child, but he also fits the bill for a BMoL victim. However, there’s more to this one – it’s some of Supernatural’s weirdest unfinished business. After Dean killed Jacob’s mother Amy — funnily enough, Pond is not their real last name — a childhood friend of Sam’s who turned out to be a kitsune, he carried the guilt for a long time, causing an ongoing rift between the brothers. Amy’s murder was painted as a very bad moment for Dean, especially juxtaposed against the empathy he’s had for other supernatural creatures — like his best vampire buddy Benny — since. Not only that, Jacob left the scene of Amy’s death with a promise that he’d kill no humans — except Dean. As in, “one day I’ll come back and end you.” This episode was directed by Jensen Ackles and written by current showrunner Andrew Dabb, so it’s not much of a reach to wonder if this is ever going to come up again.
Krissy Chambers from ‘Adventures in Babysitting’
Whoops. I’m breaking my own rule for this one, because Krissy’s actually got two under her belt. In her first episode she seeks out John — but ends up with Sam and Dean — to help rescue her dad, another hunter. She proves incredibly resilient, and the boys advise her father to retire so that she isn’t drawn into hunting. Dean and Krissy have some of the best and most immediate chemistry between any two characters in the whole history of the show — no, not like that, thank you very much. Quite simply, Jensen Ackles and Madison McLaughlin were born to share screen time with each other, and this is why she’s a must-have for me — Krissy does not give Dean an inch, she sees straight through him, and their relationship is instantly something special. However, her father ultimately does die, and in her second episode, Krissy and some other teens were being housed and trained by a rather corrupt hunter. They’re currently living alone, looking after each other as part of the next generation of hunters, and it’s about time we checked in on them.
James and Portia from ‘Man’s Best Friend With Benefits’
Let’s not sugar coat the fact that this episode — about a witch and his shapeshifting animal familiar falling in love — was weird as all hell, and that even in-universe, the relationship between the characters was seen as incredibly taboo. However, James has a really interesting history — as a cop, he worked with Sam and Dean on a case sometime in the past, and it was his exposure to them that got him interested in the occult. He ultimately became a very powerful witch, got himself a familiar, and, well… fade to black. James and Portia are the victims in this episode, and, with Sam and Dean’s support, drive off together to find a safe place for a new life. Not only do these two have not-evil powers that could make them allies on a case in future, they’re also next-level BMoL victims — the Winchesters are pretty much responsible for the fact that James is now a witch.
Sonny from ‘Bad Boys’
In this episode, we learnt that Dean, at age 16, spent two months in a boys home after he was caught shoplifting food when John left them alone to go on a hunt. When Dean’s crime was reported to his father, John left him to “rot in jail,” however, as he was a minor, the local county handed him over to Sonny’s place. Dean thrived at the farm, and it’s an example of how much he craved normalcy and structure. Eventually, John decides to come claim his kid, and Sonny offers to fight for Dean to stay, if he wants, but ultimately, it’s the thought of Sam that sends Dean back on the road with John. On one hand, how wrenching to think of Mary learning more about her son’s childhood from this guy — Sonny clearly loves Dean and hates John Winchester, which makes him a hero in my eyes, and can you tell that I really want Mary to also end up hating John? – and on the other, I just want Dean to spend some more time chilling out with a dude that he really likes and who values him. Given that Sonny was able to reach Dean on his cell during season 9, after God knows how many phone changes, it would imply that they’ve been in touch all these years.
Marie from ‘Fan Fiction’
An infectious mix of Max Fischer of Rushmore and Rachel Berry of Glee, Marie — a clever superfan of Carver Edlund’s Supernatural books — was the writer and director of the Supernatural high school musical featured in the show’s 200th episode. Realistic portrayals of fan culture in the media are hard to get right — unpopular opinion: I don’t actually think the show ever did it that well with Felicia Day’s Charlie Bradbury — but Marie is just perfect, in no small part due to the exemplary work of the young actress Katie Sarife. Her conversations with Dean about what Supernatural means to her, and her quiet, un-star-deal realization that he’s the real deal, felt like just the start of a lifelong friendship. Dean and teenage girls, man. I cannot get enough of it. Again, no, not like that. Listen, if wanting Dean Winchester to have totally innocent BFF bunker slumber parties with a bunch of smart teenage girls who constantly call him on his bullshit is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.
Sully from ‘Just My Imagination’
I’ve written in the past about how this episode was one of the show’s most evocative for me, due to Sam’s interactions with his childhood “imaginary” friend Sully, who turned out to real — a creature called a Zanna, an entirely innocent race of child guardians who help and protect kids in need. Sam may be a grown-up, but he still kind of needs a best friend — Dean tends to have more history and one-on-one relationships than Sam does — so as ridiculous as it may be, I’d love Sully to reappear as an ongoing part of Sam’s support network. And again, if my theory about Sam and Dean protecting the supernatural from the Men of Letters proves true, this is a being that the British Men of Letters may deem reprehensible and in need of destroying, if they’re the heartless monsters that we think they are. I’m still very interested in the concept of more “good” supernatural creatures – not exceptions to the rule, but an entirely benevolent species.
Eileen Leahy from ‘Into the Mystic’
During season 11, Sam and Dean met fellow hunter Eileen Leahy while undercover on the same job — tracking down a banshee. Eileen is deaf, an aspect of her character which was both plot-relevant and totally normalized, a nice bit of representation very well-handled by the show. She’s also a Men of Letters legacy — potentially a British Men of Letters legacy, as her parents and grandparents lived in Ireland — which could play nicely into the current plot of the Winchesters and Friends Taking A Stand Against Tyranny. Eileen and Sam had an incredible amount of chemistry, and given the fact that Sam ponders earlier in the same season (in an episode by the same screenwriter as this one, no less) about the potential of settling down with another hunter, if Supernatural is going to endgame a romance for either of the brothers, this would be one that would satisfy a lot of people — he pretty much asks her out at the end of the episode, at the very least opening the door for an ongoing friendship. Better her than Lady Toni.
Jesse and Cesar Cuevas from ‘The Chitters’
In “The Chitters,” Sam and Dean run into another pair of hunters working the same case as them, a same-sex married couple, one of whom lost his brother to the monster of the week twenty seven years ago and and is out for revenge. This time-specific case is to be their last hunt before retiring to the ranch they’ve been slowly paying off, a hopeful example to prove that hunters can get out of “the life” if they choose to, when the time is right. Jesse and Cesar are the first people in a long time that the Winchesters willingly want to invite into their lives — the four men work extremely well together hunting the bisaan, and Dean considers asking them to stick around, to join their team in fighting the Darkness and helping Castiel rid himself of Lucifer. In the end, he isn’t able to bring himself to do it — “Two hunters who make it to the finish line?” “Yeah, you leave that alone.” — so for that reason, I kind of hope we don’t see them again, because if we do, it may mean they’ve been called back in. However, in a dream world, I’d love their fabled ranch to be the destination of one of Supernatural’s few and far between ‘Sam and Dean take a damn vacation’ episodes.
Which one-off character would you most want to see make another appearance?