Whenever you think of Supernatural, certain moments probably stand out in your mind. These predominant memories are likely a mixture of your favorite character's defining moments, the myth arc's pivotal scenes, and the most emotional climaxes of the series' 15 year story. Search the film reel that runs through your mind, though. I bet some of your favorite scenes also include surprise or momentous entrances of key characters. These are the scenes that hit you in the chest, making you gasp and sit on the edge of your seat so you don't miss a single second of a turning point you sense will change everything.
Which entrances were most impactful to you when you first watched Supernatural? Jot down your list then I invite you to reminisce with me as I present the character entrances I believe help make Supernatural the epic drama we all know it to be.
Supernatural's Best Character Entrances
#6 John Winchester's Ghost - 2.22 "All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2"
After crying our eyes out over Dean's gut wrenching confession to his dead brother; after enduring the tension of Bobby learning about Dean's deal; after the suspense of failing to stop the Devil's Gate's opening, "all hell breaking loose" and the Winchesters' arch-enemy getting the upper hand - after an hour of holding our breath during climactic horrors, it is a jump out of your chair welcome relief to have John Winchester's ghost appear to save his boys!
First coming into view as a faint shadow, then slowly materializing as a somewhat corporeal presence that could even the odds in his long sought after fight of humans vs. super-charged demon, John Winchester's ghost brought about the surprise triumph for our heroes.
The ensuing silent reunion, nods of approval, and final reconciliation was our emotional exhale. The Winchesters won - together. Story written by Eric Kripke and directed by Kim Manners.
#5 Billie the Reaper - 11.02 "Form and Void"
This may be an unexpected inclusion on my list, but Billie's entrance made a big impression on me, partly because it reprises Death's entrance from so many years before. Lisa Berry's echo of "O' Death" immediately foretells that this new character will be menacing and formidable, but it is the way that she sings it that is memorable for me. She changes keys twice, with a third minor key change that may either be due to how Sam hears it (his proximity to her) or an intentional musical manipulation to make the song more unsettling.
The shadowy, elongated hand reaching out to claim its victim also provokes dread as it clearly belongs to the reaper in its natural state, versus the embodied Billie that humans perceive.
I wish this clip extended to her conversation with Sam because that's as important to her character's entrance as the preceding music. Lisa's deep voice and slow, authoritative cadence made her nearly as imposing as Death himself. This entrance was written by Andrew Dabb and directed by Phil Sgriccia.
#4 John Winchester Pulled Across Time - 14.13 "Lebanon"
It may have been spoiled by all the 300th episode's marketing hype, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan's return as John Winchester was still a scream out loud thrill.
(The first 1.22 minutes of this clip are John's entrance. The video continues into the family's reunion.)
The boys' fight in the dark was a clever reminder of how Dean and Sam reunited in the series' pilot after Sam's long absence at college. Winchesters don't take well to surprises! The bunker's emergency alert system signaled through red, flashing lights and blaring alarms that reality was shifting into the supernatural realms. JDM's facial expressions masterfully communicated the emotional impact of bridging 256 episodes of story (16 years in his timeline: 2003 to 2019). It meant so much to have the grown-up Winchester boys talk as equals with their father, and the vastly more experienced Jared and Jensen be able to have one more week on set with such a beloved mentor. This emotional treasure was written by Andrew Dabb and Meredith Glynn, and directed by Bob Singer.
#3 Chuck as God - 11.20 "Don't Call Me Shurley"
"We should probably talk."
I love this scene beyond words. Rob Benedict singing "Fare Thee Well" is an emotional powerhouse by itself, but resurrecting Dean's long-lost amulet then making it "burn hot" to signify God's presence on Earth adds to this scene all the emotional narrative associated with that icon since season 3. The excitement and anticipation of learning God's identity is tantalizingly sustained as the brothers walk into the street and find their simple, unassuming friend, Chuck. His response of "We should probably talk" is the understatement of the series. Cinematic brilliance from writer Robbie Thompson and director Bob Singer. This is the way I'll always remember Chuck (la, la, la. Season 15 never happened.)
#2 Death - 5.21 "Two Minutes to Midnight"
Ominous, grave, convincing. Death's entrance is a brilliant combination of music, setting, props, writing, directing and casting.
The foreboding music cue of "O' Death" with the demonic, bass humming that isolates the eerie soprano solo establishes this character's musical signature in both mood and meaning. The entire sequence is perfection, introduced by:
Crowley's dire warning;
a blustery, dark day;
bleak buildings that are left standing way past their prime;
the chilling screech of Chicago's elevated trains;
that magnificent, classic, white Cadillac with metallic "wings" that sleekly deliver Death to our door;
the slow motion step out of the car followed by the disinterested stroll down the sidewalk; and
the brilliance of the rude man's brush against death accentuated by Julian Richings' choice to cast off the dust of the man's existence.
This was the entrance befitting a supernatural entity who was ancient and immortal (or so we thought).
#1 Castiel - 4.01 "Lazarus Rising"
The BEST character entrance ever! Light, sound and a breathtaking, drawn out sequence provide the fanfare to signal a new era in Supernatural. Angels exist, and they will now be a part of Sam and Dean's story. Eric Kripke's writing and Kim Manners' creative direction gave us one the most memorable scenes of the series.
Sparks emulate fireworks.
Alternating bright and dark shots simulate strobe lighting, momentarily profiling Castiel as a shadowy, mysterious figure.
Popped light bulbs provide the bursts of canon fire.
The upward angle showcases the chilling expansion of Castiel's wings against the sigils' visual reminder of his other-worldliness. These historical and spiritual references bear witness to the numerous cultures and religions that believe angels exist, thus encouraging the audience's acceptance of angels as a new reality for the show. Even the curvature of the barn's structure closely frames Castiel, focusing our attention on him alone as someone "above" us, i.e. someone to look up to.
When Castiel speaks, his gravelly voice adds gravitas to his memorable, shocking revelations: "I am an angel of the Lord"
A masterpiece of storytelling in a few short minutes.
I don't think it's a coincidence that these momentous entrances were brought to us by some of Supernatural's best writers and directors. "Epic" doesn't usually happen by accident.
So that's my list. A few fans previously weighed in with their choices for the top 5 entrances on Supernatural via YouTube videos. There are some overlaps with my choices but their other character introductions may surprise you.
Now it's your turn! Where do you agree and disagree? Which entrances did we miss? Please add your thoughts below!
Enjoy all of Nightsky's musings on Supernatural! Check out her Reviews, Top 10's, Books, Interviews and more, all on her Writer's Page!