Beware: This article contains season 15 spoilers of Supernatural.
Arthur Ketch is one of those rare gems in the Supernatural world that starts out as a bad guy and transitions to a friend and ally on who Sam and Dean Winchester call for help in a pinch. He is a controversial character that some fans love, some fans love to hate, and some just plain hate. It’s no wonder considering the excellent portrayal by David Haydn-Jones of the arrogant yet charming character. Though he started out as an adversary, Ketch eventually switches sides, and we watched as his redemption arc was filled with heroic moments including saving both Sam and Dean’s lives (multiple times) often just in the nick of time and with a ‘new toy’ from the British Men of Letters, aka classic Ketch.
It’s a testament to the writing on Supernatural that his death in the most recent episode had many fans sorry to see the ex-BMOL turned hunter get his heart ripped out (literally) by a demon. Ketch might have started out a foe, but by the end he was a true friend of Team Free Will, refusing to give up their whereabouts “at any price.” We are celebrating the character of Ketch with his top 10 moments on the show!
Season 13, Episode 17: “The Thing”
My favorite Ketch moment happened in this episode where he ends up rescuing Gabriel from Hell. Ketch is already working with Asmodeus, a typical Ketch move, but he has a sudden change of heart and decides he needs to get out of the arrangement. This time, however, he at least takes the archangel blade and Gabriel (who everyone thought was dead but is being held prisoner by Asmodeus) before he bolts. Sure, he hands over the blade and the archangel to the Winchesters basically in exchange for their protection, but I feel like his moment of realizing he should save Gabriel started an entire redemption arc for Ketch. The episodes following show him doing more to help and also leave him with the realization that he’s done some awful things for which he needs to be held accountable.
Season 12, Episode 8: “LOTUS”
My favorite Ketch moment is when he is first introduced to the Winchesters and Castiel. Why? Two words – grenade launcher! The soundtrack that goes along to this scene (him exiting his car and destroying the Secret Service’s car) makes it seem like it’s just another day in the life of Mr. Ketch. This introduction also includes a little humor when he asks the boys whose fire hydrant they have been tinkling on. I love everything about this scene.
Season 12, Episode 14: “The Raid”
I like Ketch’s character in this episode for different reasons than most of the other moments in this list. He doesn’t do anything particularly ‘heroic’, but I loved watching Ketch show his cunning, strategic side when he goes hunting with Dean. He knows that the typical ‘let the British Men of Letters help you’ pitch isn’t going to work with Dean, so instead he goes for old fashioned bonding. We get to watch Ketch analyze Dean and then adjust his own behaviour in an attempt to win his trust. It’s one of the first times we learn just how smart, and devious, Ketch really is.
Season 13, Episode 18: “Bring ‘em Back Alive”
I have a few favorites, but my absolute favorite Ketch moment is when Dean and Ketch are in the Apocalypse world AU in search of Mary and Jack. It is a huge turning point for both his character and his relationship with Dean. Up until this moment, Dean did not trust Ketch. It was reasonable. It always seemed Ketch went bad at a moment’s notice. He was looking out for himself only. That changed the moment Ketch saved Dean. He, thanks to his knowledge from the Men of Letters, knew exactly what was happening with Dean’s wound and how to heal it. During a moment of rest, Ketch and Dean have a heart to heart on the topic of loss. This conversation was one of the most redeemable moments for Ketch. It was like a switch had flipped. No more ulterior motives would appear, and Ketch learned to work well with the hunters and be there when they needed him.
Season 12, Episode 22: “Who We Are”
One of my favorite Ketch moments has to be the first hour of the season 12 finale. After locking Sam, Dean and Lady Bevell in the bunker in the previous episode, Ketch finds out they’re still alive and returns to the bunker and kills Lady Bevell. There’s a great fight scene between him and Dean with Ketch mocking Dean about Mary. Ketch gets ready to shoot Dean, but Mary shoots him in the shoulder which surprises both Ketch and Dean. Ketch tells them both that he knew they were killers and accepts his fate of “dying” before Mary shoots him in the head. I had a love-hate relationship with Ketch in season 12. Was he good, was he bad, did I like him, did I not like him? All he cared about was the British Men of Letters and ridding the world of American hunters. But in this moment where he just accepted his fate of dying after everything he had fought for and everything he had done, it shows a side of him that we rarely saw in that season; it shows a vulnerability to him.
Season 13, Episode 7: “War of the Worlds”
Ketch is dead. We’ve seen his body. So, why is someone who looks exactly like him killing witches? In one of my favorite Ketch moments, the Winchesters capture and start to torture Arthur, who informs them that he is NOT Arthur, but actually Arthur’s twin brother Alexander who abhors the violence that his twin perpetuated prior to his demise. He is quite convincing, even telling anecdotal stories about the two of them growing up, how Kendricks changed Arthur, and how he wished Arthur could have been different. Dean isn’t buying it (shocker), but the audience is left to wonder. Wonderfully nuanced by David Haydn-Jones, the ‘I wish he had been different’ wistfulness comes across as true and real, not just a way out for Arthur. We begin to really see Ketch questioning his all-or-none loyalty to the British Men of Letters as he starts to realize what they turned him into. Put in that environment, did he stand any chance at all? He let the façade drop near the end of the episode and does help the boys out of a jam, but it also helps him. Is he changing or not? Only time will tell.
Season 13, Episode 22: “Exodus”
One of my favorite Ketch moments happens when they are in the Apocalypse world. Ketch and Apocalypse world Charlie are caught by Michael’s execution squad and subsequently tortured. Rather than try to bargain with the angels to save himself, Ketch withstands the torture rather than give up the resistance camp location. In typical sarcastic Ketch style, he tells the angel to “go to oriental avenue and take the B&L railroad straight to hell” then proceeds to laugh at his own joke. He even manages to joke about Dean rescuing him for once when they show up and save him and Charlie just in the nick of time.
Season 12, Episode 12: “Stuck in the Middle with You”
This episode helmed by the ever-talented Richard Speight Jr. is one of my favorites of the entire series. Although it is Ketch light, Ketch’s appearance is the reason things go haywire in the first place. If he didn’t send Mary on this mission, nobody would have died and Castiel wouldn’t have been (almost) mortally wounded. The episode begins with Ketch and Mary’s meeting, and he tells her to fetch an ‘item.’ Mary enlists help from Sam, Dean, Cas and another hunter, Wally, to take down a demon. She doesn’t tell the boys what her specific mission is and Ketch doesn’t tell her what she is really walking into; the home of a Prince of Hell. Mary sneaks off to find the hidden ‘item’ she was tasked with retrieving. After Wally gets killed by a demon and Cas gets pierced by the Lance of Michael, things seem dire to say the least. The gang finds out they are dealing with Ramiel, a Prince of Hell, and he is more powerful than they expected. Mary feels guilty for bringing the boys into this mess, but she still doesn’t tell them about the object. Luckily, Crowley appears and saves the day (surprisingly) by destroying the Lance of Michael thereby healing Cas. After, Mary delivers the item to Ketch who unwraps it to reveal the one and only Colt. Mary’s alliance with the Men of Letters is the reason everyone was in danger, and Ketch’s feelings for Mary are evident in the slightest twinkle of guilt. Does Ketch really care about Mary, or is he just using her?
Season 15, Episode 2: “Raising Hell”
This episode had Ketch doing one of my favorite Ketch things, showing up just in time to save the day (or at least a human or two). In this episode, Ketch gets Sam’s call for help when a town nearest the tear between Earth and Hell is in danger. Not only does he show up to help, something an older iteration of Ketch wouldn’t have bothered with, but he does so with a new, stolen toy from the British Men of Letters. We also see quite a bit of flirty eyes between Ketch and Rowena, which made their deaths in episode three all the more painful. Ketch’s character arc has gone from assassin to someone willing to show up and help save the world, even if it puts him in harms way.
Season 15, Episode 3: “The Rupture”
In this episode, we see Ketch in a rare light where he volunteers to help the brothers and gang. Ketch has quickly become one of my favorite characters because you never quite know what he’ll do. In this episode we see him and the demon Ardat go head to head after looking for Belphegor (who is using Jack’s body). Ketch refuses to give up where the Winchesters are, “at any price,” and ends up paying the ultimate price at the hands of Ardat. This is a favorite moment because we have never seen Ketch have a moment quite like this, fully devoted to protecting the Winchesters and gang. He’s always had some motive but this time he’s willing to risk everything and ultimately does.