An Alluring Psychopath: Arthur Ketch

I don’t know what you’ve been up to lately, but I’m hip deep in season 13 of Supernatural right now. Netflix dropped it last week just in time to avert a serious case of withdrawal after I finished season 12 the previous weekend. When I was watching the show in real-time, I stopped watching around the end of season 9 (2013). I didn’t exactly lose interest in the show, but my life became a bit more complicated and I had to direct my need for narrative toward finishing my own novel and completing the other assignments required for graduation from my MFA program. It was also around this time that I gave up cable for streaming services and when I did have time to watch TV, I opted for things I’d never seen before and caught up on movies and BBC favorites.

Back in March I decided to start watching Supernatural from the beginning and religiously binge-watched every episode through season 12. I know, it was a real hardship to spend all that time getting reacquainted with the Winchesters and all the amazing characters that series has given us. As I watched my favorite episodes again and episodes that were new to me in seasons 10 – 12, I considered writing about several characters who have had almost the same impact on me as Sam and Dean. Castiel’s strength always surprises me no matter how many times I see him stand up for what he believes to be right. Crowley’s humanity endears him to me whether he’s shining in a moment of kindness in the name of friendship or doing something obscenely craven because his feelings have been hurt, or he’s tired of being treated as a non-threat. I did write about Lucifer a few years back, but Mark Pellegrino was only one of many Lucifer’s I’ve loved over the years.

I’ve always been attracted to Dean, but I am definitely Sam-curious. In fact, and I’m almost ashamed to say this, I realized I was attracted to Sam around the time he returned from Hell without a soul and allowed his Id to take over.

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“It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism.” ~ Carl Jung

Actually, if I’m really honest, I became interested in Sam when he was drinking demon blood, having sex with a demon, and becoming what other hunters considered a monster. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that since I do find monsters sexy as hell sometimes…okay, a lot of the time.

And, like I said, Dean has always been hot, but there are certain seasons that I find him hotter. When he bore the Mark of Cain and allowed his inner-psycho to come out and play his hotness ramped up considerably. Speaking of Cain…wow. Yeah, I considered dedicating a post to the Father of Murder. I mean, you don’t get much darker than that.

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The Power of Cain compels you!

And, while I find Tom Welling’s portrayal of Cain on Lucifer interesting, Timothy Omundson’s Cain on Supernatural left me weak in the knees. He’s somehow more believable, sexier for being a Knight of Hell and wielding so much power. It also helps that he was deeply in love with a human and suppressed his desire for murder to settle down with her. What can I say? Romantic monsters just do it for me. Monsters who never quite lose touch with their humanity no matter how hard they try.

There are lots of characters in Supernatural I could devote a blog post to, but recently, while watching season 12, I met Arthur Ketch. Initially, I wasn’t sure I liked him. I mean his introduction is subtle, he’s only mentioned almost as a cautionary tale, a boogeyman to be feared by the already seemingly evil British Men of Letters. When we next encounter him, we don’t see his face. He’s simply packing a case of weapons in a non-descript bedroom decorated in dark colors. And then, we see him executing a young woman, a psychic Sam and Dean rescued from her ignorant and abusive family. Still, not even a glimpse of his face. But we do know that he’s an assassin and kills without mercy. And, because his approach to dealing with monsters is shoot first, ask questions later, we also know that as a British Man of Letters, his motivation for doing things will differ greatly from Sam and Dean’s. Of course, once we get to know Ketch, we realize he’s a lot more like Dean than Dean might like to admit about himself.

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The enemy of my enemy…

It took me a few episodes to realize that Arthur Ketch is in fact a hottie. But, I have always been a sucker for a well-dressed man with a British accent…who murders people for a living.

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James Bond taught me that well-dressed murderers are sexy.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched seasons 12 and 13 of Supernatural, turn back now. Spoilers galore ahead.

Arthur Ketch is like a nightmarish James Bond who specializes in killing monsters for Queen and Country. At 44, Mr. Ketch has killed a lot of people – human and otherwise – at the behest of his superiors. He takes his job very seriously and simply does what he is told. A highly trained “company man” with access to an arsenal of weaponry designed for the annihilation of all things supernatural.

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Fire gets the job done.

His toys impress Sam and Dean, and Ketch’s less-murderous counterpart, Mick Davies, helps to convince the Winchesters that joining ranks with the British Men of Letters might increase their chances of eliminating the monster population of North America.

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Bless my crumpets!

Mary Winchester is the one who decides to join forces with Ketch and the two make a formidable team, racking up an impressive kill rate. In the process of becoming murder buddies, Mary and Arthur develop an attraction toward each other, or perhaps it might be better to say that Mary recognizes Arthur’s attraction to her and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to have sex with someone for the first time since dying and coming back from Heaven. As far as we know, John Winchester is the only man she was ever with, because we assume John was her one and only true love. And, hey, let’s face it, John Winchester is a tough act to follow.

But, 30 years is a long time to go without sex…although, if Mary has been in Heaven reliving the brightest moments of her life as a wife and mother in the Winchester house, then maybe she hasn’t technically been going without sex all that time. Who can say? Is there sex in the afterlife? We’re led to believe that angels have zero libido and only become interested in sex when they become human. The exception to this would be the archangels, given the fact that Lucifer fathered a Nephilim and Gabriel loves porn. Demons are another story, and seem to have varying degrees of desire which may simply be a matter of personality and drive.

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Office romances rarely end well.

At any rate, after 30 years of being in Heaven and then dealing with the reality of coming back to Earth, reconnecting with family, and accepting her true nature, Mary has an itch and Ketch is more than happy to help scratch it. The problem is, Ketch seems genuinely taken with Mary and seems to think that he’s found his true match – a woman who is as ruthless and skilled at killing as he is. True love, right?

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It takes a real man to get his ass whooped by a woman.

Mary has other ideas, though. Despite their good working relationship, Mary makes it clear that she’s not interested in forming a lasting romantic relationship with Ketch. She wants their night of sex to be a one-time thing. He nearly hides his disappointment, and accepts her terms. At least to her face. You get the sense that Arthur hasn’t had much luck in love, and that’s most likely because his extra-curricular activities involve murder. Until we see his feelings get hurt by the fact that Mary essentially rejected him even though she agrees to have sex with him, he appears to be a textbook psychopath.

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Is this picture overtly phallic and sexually arousing? Asking for a friend.

Yes, he’s an assassin who kills without mercy. That’s his job. He was trained to be that, and he apparently gets paid well for his efforts. He has to appear scary in order to scare things that should only exist in nightmares. When your job is to kill monsters, you had better develop a persona that is frightening enough to not only scare your fellow humans, but possibly the Devil himself. Or, at least a Prince of Hell.

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White is the new black.

However, we soon begin to realize that this life path Arthur has chosen has also made it impossible to form lasting relationships with humans, and especially women. Ketch has no trouble swearing loyalty to the British Men of Letters, but he has a crisis of conscience when he betrays them and ends up on their most wanted list. In many ways, he envies Sam and Dean’s relationship, and he still carries a torch for Mary even though she shot and killed him. To be honest, he probably feels like he deserved to be treated that way after the way he treated her.

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We always hurt the ones we love.

Like I said, I’m only a third of the way through season 13, so I don’t know what lies ahead for Arthur Ketch, but I hope he gets a shot at redemption. Even a psychopath can find his way out of the darkness. Especially when they want to do better, be better. I’m hoping this monster can redeem himself and who knows, find true love.

Fuckable Fictional Characters: The Winchesters

If you’re anything like me (a slut), lusting after one character in a fictional universe just isn’t enough. This is especially true if those characters are well-developed, have strong voices, plenty of conflict, and interesting plots to follow. Fighting monsters is a bonus. It also doesn’t hurt if gorgeous actors with fun personalities inhabit those roles.

One show that seems to have everything I’m looking for in a serialized speculative fiction story that delves deep into Horror and Fantasy, with occasional monster-of-the-week episodes, is Supernatural. The show is currently in its eleventh season and has a seriously devoted fan-base. If you’ve been living under a rock and have never watched Supernatural, do yourself a favor, and catch up NOW! Seasons 1 – 10 are available on Netflix. And, my online stalking…I mean research…predicts a release date for season 11 in October 2016.

Seriously.

Stop what you’re doing right now.

Unless you’re performing surgery or curing cancer, get up, make an excuse, head home, put on pajamas, fix a snack, have a box of tissues handy (for crying or for whatever other use you have for tissues), and binge-watch season 1. If you aren’t hooked by the end of the first season, you may be dead already. Or hate fiction. Or interesting characters. Or fun.

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But seriously, though.

I could watch every single episode over and over. And, I have. But the meta-fictional episodes are always my favorites, with the episodes that deal with urban legends in a close second place, and after those, the season finales when you are guaranteed to hear Carry On My Wayward Son, and shit gets real.

February 4: The Winchesters

While putting together my list of fuckable fictional characters, I initially planned on giving separate posts to both Sam and Dean Winchester. Then I started thinking about their dad, John. And Crowley. And Balthazar. And Castiel…and…well, you get the idea. I would very much like to devote an entire post to Crowley, because who wouldn’t want to go on a date with the King of Hell? Unless, of course, you hate fun. Or fear demons. Or whatever.

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So many flavors, and none of them vanilla.

ANYWAY, the Winchesters are each appealing in their own way. I mean aside from being well-developed characters you can really empathize with; they are each uniquely handsome, interesting, emotionally damaged, and yet somehow extremely funny. So, why just pick one when you can fantasize about all three?

Dean Winchester

Without giving away too many spoilers to people who have been living under a rock, Dean Winchester is the older (and hotter) brother in a family of Hunters. In this fictional universe, Hunters hunt all things supernatural – demons, vampires, werewolves, sirens, rogue angels, gods and goddesses, and even the Wicked Witch of the West…or East…South? Whatever. You get the picture. Dean and his brother, Sam, lost their mom at the hands of a demon when they were young, and were raised by their dad, John, to become Hunters. The death of Mary Winchester changed their lives forever, and put them on the road to Destiny.

Dean is ruggedly handsome, physically strong, an expert at recognizing bullshit (except for his dad’s), loyal to a fault, and sexually promiscuous and adventurous. Dean likes the ladies. So many ladies. He’s a weapons expert, street-savvy, well-versed in the popular culture of his youth, protective of family and close friends, and suspicious of anybody who isn’t human. He can be incredibly sentimental and romantic when given the chance, and he will fight to the death to save his brother, and maybe the rest of humanity. He has a perverse sense of humor and is a connoisseur of pornography, Looney Tunes, Classic Rock, and muscle cars. He could probably benefit from some therapy to deal with his anger issues and fear of abandonment.

Rather than talking things out, Dean likes to solve problems with his fists. Or a shotgun. He spends a lot of time drinking, fighting, and on a good day, fucking. He believes that being a Hunter is the only life he’ll ever know. Life on the road is rough, but he seems to enjoy traveling back and forth across the United States, hanging out in roadhouses, and eating in diners. He lives on cheeseburgers and pie, but would happily sit down and enjoy a family-style meal at the house of a friend. Unfortunately, aside from Sam and a few other important people in Dean’s life – it’s a short list – he doesn’t have many friends.

Sam Winchester

In the first episode we learn that Sam Winchester, Dean’s younger brother, has decided to quit the family business and go to college. He has aspirations of becoming a lawyer, getting married, having kids, and living a normal life. A life he never had growing up, because being the child of a Hunter means moving from place to place, having a spotty attendance record at school, and never really making lasting relationships with people outside their community of Hunters. Sam’s very book smart, and he often figures out what monster they’re chasing each week and how to kill it. He does a lot of research using old books, their dad’s journal which holds a lot of valuable information about supernatural beings, and the Internet. Sam spends a lot of time hanging out in libraries and coffee shops. Dean constantly teases him about being a nerd, but Sam’s still a kick-ass Hunter even though he keeps denying his true calling.

Sam is also smoking hot, but in an adorable, shy, nerdy way that makes you want to talk about books, movies, and mythology with him for hours before you seduce him and rip off his clothes. He isn’t afraid to show his emotions or be the voice of reason. Despite all the tragedy, pain, and suffering he experiences from dysfunctional family dynamics, the grief of losing friends and loved ones, and dealing with the shame and guilt he feels for killing monsters with human faces, he never seems to lose hope. He still dreams of becoming something other than a Hunter. He wants a better life for himself and Dean.

Sam and I share a phobia in common: Coulrophobia. There are several episodes where he has to confront clowns, including one of my favorites where they have to hunt and kill a Rakshasa, which is both hilarious and terrifying. Okay, mostly terrifying. I go through phases where I’m more into Sam than Dean, but honestly I adore them both. A few days ago I saw a T-shirt that read: “I’m a Dean Girl, but Sam Curious.” And I was like, “That’s totally me!” Of course, a more appropriate T-shirt for me would say something about an empty bottle of bourbon, a cheap motel room, and figuring out how all three of us are going to fit on the bed.

John Winchester

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I’d like to call him daddy.

Sam and Dean’s father, John Winchester, was a normal working class guy, who was happy raising a family, coaching little league, and being married to the love of his life, Mary. But Mary had a secret past, and one night that past came knocking. Their happy family is shattered in a matter of moments when a demon invades their home and kills Mary in one of the most spectacular death scenes ever. Seriously, it is horrifically beautiful. The manner in which she dies causes the house to catch fire, and John hands infant Sam to 4-year-old Dean and says, “Take your brother outside as fast as you can! Don’t look back! Now, Dean, go!” From that moment on, Dean became Sam’s guardian.

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In the first episode, Dean tracks down Sam at college, because their father is missing. John isn’t exactly missing. He doesn’t want to be found. Now that Sam is in college, Dean fears that he’ll be left alone if anything bad happens to John. Dean’s fear of abandonment is justified. Sam doesn’t take it very seriously, because John has a habit of taking off for long periods of time while Sam and Dean are expected to fend for themselves. In fact, in Sam’s opinion, Dean spent more time acting like a father to him than John ever did. Sam holds a deep resentment towards his father because he hated the transient lifestyle they led while growing up. And, Sam has no interest in following in John or Dean’s footsteps. He renounces his life as a Hunter and leaves the family against his dad’s wishes. Where Sam sees an absentee dad, Dean sees a hero. The family dynamic creates an endless source of animosity and conflict, but the Winchesters believe in family and truly love each other. When you’re a Winchester, risking your life to save your family is just the status quo. John Winchester isn’t winning any Father of the Year awards, but he taught his sons to be tough and self-reliant, and to never abandon each other. His parenting philosophy is: Do as I say, not as I do.

It’s no mystery where the Winchester brothers get their good looks. John Winchester is a very attractive man. He was more stable and a better catch before his wife was brutally murdered, but I wouldn’t turn him away if he wanted to share my bed for a few nights while passing through town. I’d be more than happy to help him relax after a long night of demon hunting. Hell, I’d even make him breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Because I wouldn’t want to have to get dressed to leave the house.

Just in case I didn’t make myself clear about why these three men are welcome to rest their shotguns against my nightstand, here is some further clarification.

Here’s Dean in the shower.

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Um, what was I saying?

And Sam without a shirt.

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It’s okay to stare. He wants you to objectify him.

And John worrying. Seriously, he looks sexy laughing, crying, brooding, or fighting.

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It’s a huge responsibility being this handsome.