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    22 TV Villain Introductions That Were *Chef's Kiss* Perfection

    "Sorry I'm late."

    You know when a TV character comes on screen and you can just immediately tell they're going to be amazing?

    ABC

    Well, it's even better when a villain gets on screen and you immediately know they're going to shake things up in the best way. Here are some of my favorite TV villain introductions!

    WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

    1. Katherine Pierce from The Vampire Diaries (Season 1, Episode 22, "Founder's Day")

    Katherine cuts off John's fingers, and he realizes she's not Elena. She says hello and then goodbye with her face revealing her to be a vampire
    The CW

    This isn't *technically* Katherine's first scene, as we learn she was impersonating Elena in the scene where she kissed Damon. BUT this comes directly after, and is the first time we actually realize that we're meeting Katherine. It's absolutely iconic and probably my favorite character intro/plot twist ever. It's perfectly violent and manipulative for a character we have been told for a full season is violent and manipulative, yet its timing is still shocking.

    2. Kilgrave from Jessica Jones (Season 1, Episode 7, "AKA Top Shelf Perverts")

    In the police station, everyone points guns at each other. Kilgrave stands to reveal himself and tells everyone to calm down, then remarks Jessica isn't surprised to see him
    Netflix

    Kilgrave is one of the most terrifying TV villains of all time, and he was built up perfectly in the first few episodes of Jessica Jones, where he was only seen in flashbacks. Finally meeting him in person after his looming presence has been felt the entire series provided the perfect payoff — he was as terrifying as we wanted him to be and more.

    3. Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 1, Episode 1, "The Bad Beginning: Part 1")

    Count Olaf's eye is seen through the peephole then he opens the door and says hello to the kids and to come in, but not to forget their enormous fortune
    Netflix

    The iconic children's literature character is played to perfection by Neil Patrick Harris, who just has so much fun with the role while still being slimy and creepy (something I felt the Jim Carrey version lacked). His introduction is no different — fun, larger-than-life, but still creepy.

    4. Billy from Stranger Things (Season 2, Episode 1, "Chapter One: MADMAX")

    Billy steps out of his car while "Rock You Like A Hurricane" plays, and three of the popular girls wonder who he is
    Netflix

    Billy doesn't even need a single line of dialogue to make an impression here. His car, the music, the camera panning up to him, and Dacre Montgomery's pure screen presence do all the work for him. You can tell he's going to be a lot of fun but also dangerous.

    5. Georgina from Gossip Girl (Season 1, Episode 15, "Desperately Seeking Serena")

    Serena asks what Georgina is doing there, and Georgina says she sent gifts to tell Serena she was coming. She then asks her to drinks and says if Serena doesn't go, her feelings will be hurt
    The CW

    Georgina is one of my favorite characters of the series. She's extremely off-kilter and diabolical, despite doe eyes and a faux innocence that suggest otherwise. When she finally reveals herself to Serena, she is subtly threatening and resentful underneath her words, and you get a taste right off the bat of how manipulative she is.

    6. Regina from Once Upon a Time (Season 1, Episode 1, "Pilot")

    Prince Charming and Snow look up in alarm at their wedding. The Evil Queen has entered, saying "Sorry I'm late"
    ABC

    Lana Parrilla was great as Regina/The Evil Queen, because she was able to play a larger-than-life fairytale villain just as well as she played the more layered controlling mother. Her entrance fit her first persona well, and gave an ominous yet classic-feeling beginning for the series that felt almost like a prologue.

    7. The Handler from The Umbrella Academy (Season 1, Episode 5, "Number Five")

    Freezing time, the Handler ays it's a neat trick, then says hello to Five and tells him he looks good, all things considered
    Netflix

    The Handler is cool, cruel, and devastatingly fashionable in every single scene, and she set that expectation right off the bat. Her character really has such gravitas and her appearance while time is stopped makes it even more memorable.

    8. Villanelle from Killing Eve (Season 1, Episode 1, "Nice Face")

    Villanelle tries to get a little girl at an ice cream shop to smile at her. Noticing she's smiling at an employee, she tries copying his smile, getting the girl to smile back. Then she cleans blood off her watch and knocks over the girl's ice cream
    BBC America

    Villanelle pulls you in from her first scene, even though it has nothing to do with our other main characters (unlike many entries on this list). It perfectly introduces how manipulative yet childlike she can be in a notably nonviolent way, and primes expectations for how we are not going to be able to predict this character's actions.

    9. Moriarty from Sherlock (Season 1, Episode 3, "The Great Game")

    Moriarty asks if Sherlock has a gun in his pocket or is just happy to see him. Sherlock says both and points his gun, and Moriarty walks forward and says hi
    BBC

    Like Katherine, this isn't technically his first appearance, but this is the first time he actually introduces himself and we realize who he is. It's one of my favorite scenes from the series, with some of the best dialogue ("People have died" "That's what people DO!") and setup for the next season. Andrew Scott is so unhinged yet smooth in this scene, and he completely steals the show.

    10. Michael on The Good Place (Season 1, Episode 13, "Michael's Gambit")

    NBC

    Okay, this might be cheating, because we've already known Michael for a season. But this is the first time we're introduced to him as the villain, and it's absolutely iconic. That evil laugh!!

    11. Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 2, Episode 3, "School Hard")

    Spike runs over the Sunnydale sign with his car and then gets out smoking a cigarette, saying "Home, sweet home"
    The WB

    Spike changes vastly throughout the series, but in the beginning of Season 2 he's a dangerous, badass, smooth, and unpredictable villain who provides the perfect shake-up after a weak Season 1. The second he runs over the Sunnydale sign, you know he's going to be fun to watch.

    12. Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender (Season 2, Episode 1, "The Avatar State")

    Azula asks if the tides command the ship — her subordinate says no, so she asks that if she threw him overboard, if the tides would think twice about killing him. He replies no, so she says he should worry more about her and less about the tides
    Nickelodeon

    Azula's tides speech is iconic. She is so cruel right off the bat, and she never lets up throughout the entire run (though she certainly becomes less calculated and cool). She is completely commanding here, and we know we're dealing with a serious threat to our main characters (unlike Zuko, who, let's face it, is more prone to angry outbursts than actually succeeding in his goals).

    13. Twisty the Clown from American Horror Story: Freak Show (Season 4, Episode 1, "Monsters Among Us")

    Twisty approaches a girl at a picnic, who asks who he is and where the rest of his mask is. Her boyfriend returns, asking who the clown is, and the girl gets scared, thinking her boyfriend had hired him
    FX

    Maybe it's just that I'm terrified of clowns (who isn't?), but I still think Twisty is American Horror Story's most horrifying villain. He was terrifying in all of his scenes, but this was, in my opinion, his scariest kill. He was just so creepy and I still to this day do not understand why the girl did not immediately run upon seeing him.

    14. Mr. Yang from Psych (Season 3, Episode 16, "An Evening With Mr. Yang")

    Shawn asks Mr. Yang to let his mom go, and she reveals she could've killed his mom hours ago, but hasn't because she wants Shawn to like her. She isn't sure what to do, because she knows her and Shawn will work together again
    USA

    Mr. Yang is absolutely the best villain of Psych, and this is such an amazing episode. When Shawn finally finds her, she is even creepier than you imagined, and her dialogue about how she and Shawn are matched and she wants him to like her is so chilling. You have absolutely no idea what she is going to do, and you can't help but look forward to when she and Shawn will meet again.

    15. Gus Fring from Breaking Bad (Season 2, Episode 11, "Mandala")

    Gus says he thinks Walt has the wrong person, but Walt continues, saying they're alike and are both careful. Gus says Walt isn't careful because Jesse was late and high
    ABC

    This is definitely one of the more understated intros on this list, but that matches his character. The way Gus so subtly shifts from cheery, formal owner of Los Pollos Hermanos to commanding drug empire owner is so fun to watch, even though he remains the same careful, polite, understated man. Even though Walter has taken him by surprise, you can just tell Gus is the one in control of the situation.

    16. Moff Gideon from The Mandalorian (Season 1, Episode 7, "Chapter 7: The Reckoning")

    Moff says "You have something I want...You may think you have some idea of what you're in possession of...but you do not. In a few moments, it will be mine"
    Disney+

    I just had to include Giancarlo Esposito on this list twice — especially because the villains he plays are so different. While Gus is a self-described "careful man," Gideon is a homicidal lunatic prone to lashing out, and Esposito plays both to perfection. Here, the second he steps out of the ship you feel chills go down your spine. He just speaks with such confidence that you know this guy isn't to be messed with, and to take his threats seriously.

    17. A-Train on The Boys (Season 1, Episode 1, "The Name of the Game")

    Hughie has blood all over his face. He looks at A-Train, who's covered in blood and saying "I can't stop" over and over again
    Amazon

    Is A-Train the scariest or best villain on The Boys? No. But does he have the best introduction? 100%. He literally RUNS THROUGH OUR MAIN CHARACTER'S GIRLFRIEND, killing her instantly. The first few minutes of the series make it seem like we're in the world of Marvel-like superheroes — this scene makes it painfully clear that we most certainly are not.

    18. Rachel on Orphan Black (Season 1, Episode 10, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful")

    Rachel introduces herself to a shocked Sarah, telling Sarah that her goal is to transition Sarah to self-awareness
    BBC America

    It was always fun when another clone was revealed on Orphan Black, and Rachel was one of the most important of these clones, and their main antagonist. Her speech is perfectly cold and calculated here, and she is the picture of the detached corporate cruelty that she becomes known for.

    19. Negan on The Walking Dead (Season 6, Episode 16, "Last Day on Earth")

    Negan walks out of the trailer with a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat, asking if anyone is peeing their pants yet. He introduces himself to Rick and demands his stuff or he'll kill him
    AMC

    Talk about an amazing villain that came in super late in the game! The most chilling thing about Negan in this scene is how much fun he's having. His dialogue is so well-written and perfectly introduces him, while Jeffrey Dean Morgan excellently portrays Negan's casual confidence hiding a dark nature.

    20. Sgt. James Doakes from Dexter (Season 1, Episode 1, "Dexter")

    Doakes asks where the hell Dexter has been. Dexter describes crime scene photos as looking like a blood finger painting and Doakes says Dexter gives him the creeps
    Showtime

    Doakes is introduced in the pilot, in a funny first scene where it is VERY clear that A) he doesn't like Dexter and B) that he is not afraid to curse. It's a good intro to him as a foil for Dexter — you kind of know right from this point that Doakes is going to be the one to figure him out. But it's also a good scene because you honestly kind of like Doakes/know he's right — he's really more of an antagonist than a villain.

    21. Stella from Orange Is the New Black (Season 3, Episode 6, "Ching Chong Chang")

    Stella says "Betties" act nerdy instead of owning it. Piper says they don't want to seem stupid. Stella tells her not to be stupid, then says "Women." Piper asks if Stella isn't a woman, and Stella says she is but her options are limited
    Netflix

    Outspoken, confident, and sneaky, Stella is a fun addition to Season 3, both as Piper's new love interest and as a villain. She stirs up some great drama and provides an opportunity for Piper to show her true colors in working against her. Ruby Rose just has such a screen presence from her first scene — plus, it's a lot of fun to see someone knock down Piper for her entitlement and privilege in being an attractive, cisgender, white woman.

    22. And finally, Hannibal on Hannibal (Season 1, Episode 1, "Apéritif")

    Will reveals the killer is eating his victims, and we see Hannibal cutting into liver on a fancy plate while classical music plays
    NBC

    I wanted to get into this show, but it was just way too disturbing for me. Hannibal is absolutely terrifying from the first second he's on screen. You see the meat and his careful way of cutting it before you even see his placid, unfeeling face, and it gives me the chills every time.

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