Appreciating Arthur Ketch of 'Supernatural'
Arthur Ketch is a character in the television series Supernatural, who is played by the actor David Haydn-Jones. Ketch is first introduced in Supernatural at the beginning of Season 12. He’s described as a psychopath by Lady Antonia Bevell of the British Men of Letters, who states at one point that she doesn’t “want that psychopath anywhere near (her).” The major impression as that Ketch should only ever be called in as a last resort because his methods are… questionable. He’s portrayed as being cold, ruthless, and in favor of generally harsh and bloody solutions to any problem he may be faced with.
"I've been cleaning up after them for months. I took care of those federal agents they stupidly allowed to live. I killed a psychic girl who they thought was... human. Honestly, they're damn sloppy."
Ketch, Episode 20 of season 12
He pops up in America and promptly kills someone that the Winchesters had recently allowed to go and carry on with their life. He reports his success here by saying that he had done his duty and “cleaned up (their) mess.” He starts to show up mysteriously and at just the right times to either help the Winchesters or to tie up loose ends that they have left in their wake. Often with an awesome, overpowered arsenal. One example is his grenade launcher, which he uses in a surprisingly nonchalant manner.
Over the course of season 12, Ketch maintains his pompous and heartless attitude. At one point, with little to no warning at all, he even kills a well-liked side character and colleague of his without so much as a slight change in his facial expression. He does however, over time show that he develops a soft spot for Mary Winchester, which allows us to see that there is indeed a bit more to him than just his acute and proficient blood-lust.
"I know you think I'm a monster... But even I must draw the line somewhere.”
Ketch, Episode 13 of season 13
Later on, with the help of some witchcraft, he fakes his own death and lives under the alias of Alexander to avoid detection by the British Men of Letters. He claims that if he were to be found, he would be executed for desertion, so he stays in the United States and works as a sort of supernatural mercenary. I must say, a good way to put his particular skill set to work without the British Men of Letters in command, sicking him on people like their personal attack dog. Which he apparently never minded all that much.
Aside from being one of the most debonair badasses I’ve seen on television in a long while, his wit is probably his most endearing trait. He spares no opportunity to make mocking remarks toward the Winchesters. Knowing that they don’t trust and really actually hate him, provides him with many chances to irritate them. His sense of humor may not be of the common sort, but it’s definitely an appreciable aspect of his personality. Even if it only shows itself when used at the expense of Sam and Dean.
"Someone special wants you. Whose hydrant have you lads been tinkling on?"
Ketch, Episode 8 of Season 12
He is a complicated enemy. An executioner under the thumb of the hated British Men of Letters, or later Asmodeus. Ketch always seems to manage to make things more difficult for the Winchesters. He does veer from this territory sometimes in the way of being an unexpected and honestly unwanted ally. Maybe it’s just that there is a special place in my heart for manipulative, cold-hearted psychopaths, but Arthur Ketch quickly became one of my favorite new additions to the Supernatural series. I would like to think that my adoration is more because of his determination, dutifulness, wit, and endearing character development. It may be best to just say that it’s a little bit of both.
How do you feel about Ketch?
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