Supernatural Wasted Its Best Henry & John Winchester Reunion Moment

The winchesters john henry supernatural

The Winchesters finally reunites John Winchester with his missing father, Henry, but their reunion misses the point of this Supernatural reunion.

John and Henry Winchester’s long-awaited Supernatural reunion skips over the most important missing chapter of their relationship. In Supernatural continuity, John Winchester died believing his father, Henry, walked out on the family when John was only a young boy. As Sam and Dean later discovered, Henry actually belonged to the Men of Letters paranormal speakeasy, and only disappeared after traveling into the future to avoid the villainous Abaddon. John never learned the truth about his father’s fate, and even though Sam and Dean explained everything when John accidentally returned in Supernatural season 14, the laws of time forced him to forget once again.


In The Winchesters, a younger John discovers Henry’s Men of Letters association thanks to a man with a letter. The father-son bonding escalates further in “Reflections” when John’s The Winchesters Scooby gang conducts a séance based on instructions Henry left behind. The ritual allows a ghostly apparition of Henry to appear before his son and widow, and while this Supernatural reunion is brimming with emotion, it misses the whole point of bringing the father and son back together.

Related: The Winchesters Creates Another Supernatural Problem (Not John)

John Still Doesn’t Know The Truth About Henry’s Disappearance

Gil McKinney as Henry in The Winchesters

Henry Winchester’s posthumous conversation with his son will certainly ease John’s pain. Not only does the absentee father affirm his love for both John and Millie, he makes a point of expressing pride toward his son. Despite opening the séance with “I need to explain why I left,” however, Henry never does address the truth behind his disappearance, and John walks away none the wiser as to why his father vanished, despite that topic being the biggest talking point of their relationship by some distance.

Henry failing to tell John the truth of his disappearance makes their reunion largely pointless. In Supernatural, the tragedy of John and Henry Winchester‘s relationship came from how the son died never knowing where his father went. John likely would have understood had he known the circumstances around his dad’s final days. Although John can at least now be assured he was loved, his haunting doubt over why Henry vanished will remain. The Winchesters had a fantastic opportunity to square off a big unresolved Supernatural storyline, but played a cheap “get out of explaining Henry got killed in the future free” card instead.

The Winchesters attempts to excuse this omission by reiterating how John and his friends need Henry to explain how the Ostium box sends Akrida back to their parallel universe as soon as possible, since séance time is dangerously limited. This forces the pair to sacrifice discussing each other in order to discuss saving the world. Realistically, however, John and Henry Winchester’s reunion contains ample time to do both. If Henry can ask, “Who’s your friend?” in reference to Mary, he surely has time to explain to John about Abaddon and traveling to the future, clearing up their biggest misunderstanding.

Why Henry Doesn’t Reveal He Went To The Future

Gil McKinney as Henry Winchester in Supernatural

Before John abruptly cuts him off, Henry does try to explain why he left. This confirms The Winchesters‘ time-traveling Man of Letters clearly remembers his experience in the future, and has no reservations that telling his son the truth might mess up history. As such, The Winchesters season 1 leaves no convincing reason for such a big elephant in the room to remain unaddressed during Henry and John’s reunion. The real, behind-the-curtain reason for Henry’s lack of explanation has more to do with protecting what little remains of Supernatural continuity.

Related: The Winchesters Should Reveal A Forgotten Supernatural Character

Any nugget concerning why Henry Winchester disappeared would completely change The Winchesters‘ complexion. If Henry told John he traveled to the future, the prequel’s Scooby gang would realize they can move through time. If Henry mentioned Abaddon wiping out the Men of Letters and killing him, that creates a problem because John would suddenly want revenge on the demonic Knight of Hell. And, most importantly of all, if Henry told John he met Sam and Dean, that generates a whole heap of temporal paradoxes. The Winchesters is fairly loose with Supernatural canon, but there is no way Henry can divulge why he disappeared without completely shifting the spinoff’s course.

Henry & John’s Conversation Breaks Supernatural Canon (Again)

Supernatural Young John and Mary meet Sam and Dean

The very premise of The Winchesters, in which John begins hunting immediately after returning from the Vietnam War, is a deviation from Supernatural canon, and Jensen Ackles has promised answers are coming in the second half of season 1. Henry and John’s reunion cleaves yet another huge continuity chasm. Supernatural made abundantly clear that John Winchester resented his father for disappearing on his family without explanation. Even though their reunion doesn’t let Henry reveal the reason for his departure, however, the young John in The Winchesters does learn that his father loves him and is proud of the man his son became.

Even if the specifics go unspoken, John must also realize by now that Henry did not abandon his wife and child out of choice. These developments make it very hard to imagine why John would still hold a grudge against his old man during Supernatural‘s era. Any paternal hatchets are surely buried by this tender séance between father and son. The disconnect between John’s angst toward Henry in Supernatural and his closure in The Winchesters surely means the latter is taking place in either an altered history or a parallel universe.

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