One of the past characters that tried to eradicate our Winchester boys was Dick Roman. He was a multi-billionaire and leader of the Leviathans, an evil race of monsters who escaped from purgatory thanks to some fumbling efforts by Castiel in his quest to end the war in Heaven. Supposedly, the Leviathans were the oldest creations of God and just too violent and evil to be allowed to roam around the universe free and unfettered. Dick, played by John Patrick Stewart, made his first appearance in “Slash Fiction” where his abrasive manner did nothing to endear him to Crowley, as Dick felt demons were lower than human meat puppets. Here we see Crowley and Dick coming face to face for an “evil-off”, where Crowley is clearly the winner in the charisma department. I am not sure if it was the story line of corrupt corporations and a morally bankrupt CEO, or the fact that Dick Roman fell short in the depth Stewart brought to the character, but the whole story line did not work. While there were plenty of nefarious goings on and plans against our boys and plot lines galore, we could not warm up to his paper-chase villainy. Stewart does have experience playing the bad guy such as the smarmy Deputy D.A. in “The Closer”, he just did not measure up to the wicked ways of past Supernatural adversaries.
He returned in “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters:” where he attempts to make the people of America fat (didn’t fast food already do that?) by introducing a combined fowl (and foul) product called turducken, which has the effect of becoming addictive, increased weight gain, listlessness and in a few cases, can induce cannibalism. Sounds just like every Thanksgiving I have ever attended. Getting fat and lazy is just not depraved enough for us to really take him seriously as an instrument of destruction. The whole plan he has for people and his shades of iniquity were just too sterile to feel any real sense of threat to our boys or Bobby. Despite the fact Bobby gets shot in the head by Roman as Dean and Sam drive away from one of the installations of Richard Roman Enterprises, our attention turns more toward Bobby over feeling animosity toward Dick. His presence is almost like those multitudes of sunglass and suit wearing henchmen of any cops and robbers show, that get off a lucky shot but no one ever really knows who they are or really cares. He showed up, he did something bad then he went away… not leaving much of an impression. Even when Dean confronts Dick in “Death’s Door”, there is no real threat that comes across in this episode as we are focused on what is going to happen to Bobby. If one of the past villains, those with more depth, had shot Bobby, there would have been more of an emotional investment in the story line. Here, not so much.
The only time there is the tension of doom on the horizon, is in “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”, but this is due to the work of Charlie Bradbury, played efficaciously by Felicia Day. Her quirky portrayal of the damsel in distress in this episode made the plot and threat to her person reasonable and a more challenging quest for the Winchesters. The now- deceased-but-remaining-on-earth-in-the-form-of a ghost Bobby rescues Charlie and again our boys save the day. Dick’s part in all of this is minimal and seems to be only a threat due to the skillful machinations of Sam, Dean and Charlie. In “There Will be Blood”, Dick tries to use the media to promote his ongoing plans to make humans fat and juicy. But this episode also introduces the Alpha Vampire along with Kevin Tran, with his wimpy attitude, and re-introduces Edgar the Vampire. Let’s face it; if Dick were this great calamitous force, there would be no need to supplement the evil with Vampires. Both Edgar and the Alpha Vampire play their parts well enough to induce the “cringe effect” Supernatural has been famous for all these past seasons. Dick just looks limp in relation to the blood sucking foes of righteousness. But, just to top it off, Crowley returns and solidifies the evilness established by the undead.
Making a deal with Dick in “Survival of the Fittest”, Crowley agrees to accept Canada in exchange for tricking the Winchesters and not being wiped out by the Leviathans when they assume the ultimate power over the earth. This kind of deal is uncharacteristic for Crowley as no self-respecting demon would ever consider Canada as a perk. It is just too wholesome. So we feel he may have a pitchfork or two up his sleeve. This multileveled deviousness is what Dick Roman has been missing in establishing his ruinous character development. We somehow root for Crowley even though we know he is evil and yet has the charm and fascination missing from Dick Roman. But with Castiel’s help, Dick is sent packing to purgatory in an explosion of black goo. Unfortunately, Castiel and Dean are caught up in the shock wave and are also transported to purgatory and a new story line. There Dean meets Benny and we are treated to someone that we are interested in as a character and tormented Vampire. The whole Dick Roman character and story line was the weakest of all the seasons and did nothing to pull in new fans or satisfy old ones. I almost feel that the show had committed to Roman and they had to play the story line out even though it was just not working. Overall, this is more of s stumble instead of a trip (like jumping the shark) as Benny redeemed our faith in tormented evil. Hopefully, the writers will have learned from this misstep and will work tirelessly in creating more interesting foes for Sam and Dean and the fans so we can develop our own love/hate relationship with denizens of evil.