12 Years of Big Boss Battles: Supernatural Villainy for the Ages
“I'm glad, honestly. I'm not saying we bury the thing, I'm saying we just save it for when we really need it. Crowley, Metatron -- the big boss fights.” – Sam, 9.22 Stairway to Heaven
After twelve seasons of Supernatural - including one heck of an intense ending to our most recent finale, Supernatural has had it’s fair share of villains and monsters. Afterall, it is a show about fighting the creatures that go bump in the nights. That said, just how many of those creatures have resulted in, as Sam says, the “big boss” battle?
While we wait to see what season thirteen will bring, let's look back at some of the best of the best of the baddest. First, some criteria for what constitutes a Big Boss – so for our purposes:
- they must have made more than one appearance on the show
- the baddie in question will be clever, diabolical, and/insidious as a foe
- require a special weapon, quest or sacrifice to defeat them
As the inspiration for this list, the former King of Hell just doesn’t meet the criteria for any Big Boss battle (BBB) – even if Sam thought it might have come to that someday. Crowley and the Winchesters had their battles and they certainly fought side by side when the situation called for it too. In the end, happily in my opinion, it was not the Winchesters, who led to the end of Crowley. A Big Boss in his own right, the King just doesn’t merit a spot on this list.
Amara/ The Darkness
Sister of God, Amara troubled me and I struggled with whether to put her on the list or not. Ultimately, I landed with not, simply because Amara was never taken down in any big battle. She simply wasn’t taken down at all and if we’re being precise – she wasn’t evil so much as misunderstood. Ergo, Amara is not a big boss.
Though he died a martyr to the cause, Metatron was a major foe at one point. His tenure as “God” was short but definitely obtained through masterful manipulations worthy of what could have warranted a Big Boss title. Fortunately for Metatron (and again, despite Sam’s predictions) he wasn’t defeated with any special weapon or through a particular quest: it was simply his ego that got the better of him. The monologue to Castiel about what story he’d feed the angels and his plan is broadcast to all the garrisons – and he is God no more.
Another one that warranted some debate, DemonDean is confusing from every angle. Technically, he wasn’t defeated with a special weapon/quest/sacrifice. However if the Mark of Cain and DemonDean are connected then the sacrifice and end of Death that removes the MoC could theoretically mean a special sacrifice was the defeat of DD. For these purposes, lets just say, DemonDean was a badass but not a Big Boss.
Creepy and insidious, Lilith was deeply disturbing as a sociopathic little girl. Possibly the most unsettling child performance is in 3.16 during the family dinner. Later, Lilith is an adult woman with a desire for Sam. Ultimately, Sam slaughters Lilith but it just doesn’t meet the criteria. Lilith may be a big villain – but when her death was her end game, it’s simply too easy to warrant the BBB title.
Boss Battles of the Big and Bad Variety
~These were not listed in any particular order~
Arrogant, self-assured and confident to the very end Dick was without a doubt a BBB and one of the most fun to watch on the path to destruction. The leviathan storyline may have had it’s issues, but the leader of the ancient creatures was one of the best of supervillains. Finally defeated in 7.23 "Survival of the Fittest" with the special leviathan killing bone by Dean and Cas, this cartoon-esque captain of industry underestimated our boys right to the end.
The British Men of Letters (?)
The BMoL are somewhat of an exception to the criteria I suppose. Certainly there was a massive battle and they appeared more than once. For these purposes, I’m going to consider the rallying of all of the Hunters and Sam’s amazing leadership as the “special quest” required – it was a significant plot point and big piece of character development too. Maybe these guys aren’t gone totally – but they are gone enough and it was a hell of an explosion after some well earned punishment handed out by both Sam and Dean – Mary too.
Yellow-eyes. This is pretty straight forward: diabolical to a tee, appeared just enough times to tease and taught and make nasty deals and ultimately: bit the bullet of the special Colt. The original Big Boss Battle in the Supernatural universe.
Lucifer is a tease of wickedness and a clever foe when he first appears way back in season five. The ultimate evil Lucifer requires not only the so-called Michael Sword to be defeated, but also the four rings of the Horsemen to unlock the Cage. Lucifer is defeated in this battle – we all remember this memorable and heartbreaking ending to Swan Song. A battle worthy of this list? Certainly. Will he make it a second time in the future? Only season thirteen can tell!
Queen BadAss amongst many of the villains we’ve seen, Abaddon undoubtedly warrants a spot on the Big Boss Battles list. Not only is she malicious and cruel, Abaddon has style in every nasty thing she does. And in the end Abaddon serves as the catalyst for Dean to take on the Mark of Cain and the Blade as a way to finally kill this Knight of Hell in a-now classic match between Winchester and demon for Supernatural record books.
Over twelve years, there is a huge selection of battles and bad guys to choose from. Is there anyone missing that you think belongs on the BBB list? What will season thirteen bring to this list? I’m speculating that our new friend Jack will end up here in one fashion or another – thoughts?
Let me know below what you think about the list!