Who needs a random Friday when you just had a Thursday like that one? Last night’s episode of Supernatural had some good stuff in it, but it was nothing compared to the mind-blowing last ten seconds. The show just tossed a grenade into the room and then ran away.
*Spoilers for the 2/8 episode of Supernatural (and everything leading up to it).
I have to admit, I’ve been a bit peeved with Supernatural lately. Killing Crowley wasn’t the last straw — I’m very far from having a last straw — but it irked me. A lot. And just why is it that having a moment of redemption always seems to end like that? “This person finally stepped up to the plate… and now they’re dead. Whoops.”
Hmm, who does that sound like? Crowley, yes — and he has long been one of my favorite characters — but also Gabriel. A.k.a. the Trickster. A.k.a. Loki. A.k.a. Guy who helped the boys, stepped up against Lucifer, and promptly died. Or so we thought. And maybe he did, but there are so many unanswered questions…
Don’t get me wrong. I like Sam, and Dean, and Castiel. (Side note: Why is it always “Sam and Dean” and rarely “Dean and Sam”?) But I really like Crowley, and I freaking loved Gabriel, and I wish they’d quit killing off my favorite characters.
This is Supernatural, so of course dead doesn’t necessarily mean gone for good. People come back all the time. Crowley is particularly good at pretending to die while actually managing to escape. Even if he is really-most-sincerely dead this time, he could still be brought back. We’ve even gotten a glimpse into how that might happen. Rowena is back (from the dead), and she wasn’t at all happy to learn that her only child bit the dust while she was gone. Now that she’s all juiced up again, casting one of those resurrection spells probably wouldn’t faze her. She planned to do it for those two annoying witches, after all. (Or, at least she pretended she would. You never know what she’s actually going to do.)
Gabriel, though. Gabriel is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.
Way back when, Gabriel decided to skip out, because (according to him) he couldn’t bear to take sides when his brothers started drawing lines. He went underground as a trickster, and that’s how he was introduced to us (and to Sam and Dean). We later learn that he’s actually Gabriel, and we also discover along the way that not only was he pretending to be a trickster, he was known to other gods as Loki. Yes, that Loki.
Something that was never really addressed, and that I’ve always wondered about: was Gabriel the original Loki, or was there another Loki and he just took the guy’s place? Is Loki Gabriel’s meatsuit?! That would explain why it’s lasted so long. Would that mean that Gabriel’s personality was originally Loki’s personality, and Gabriel pretended to be the guy for so long that he just became him over time? Or is Loki still alive and trapped inside, and Gabriel used him to perfect his imitation? And if Gabriel is wearing Loki, did he have to get Loki’s consent, or could Gabriel have forced his way in somehow? If he needed consent, how did he trick Loki into it? (Is there an epic story about out-tricking a trickster that I’m being deprived of?) For that matter, is Gabriel wearing a meatsuit at all, or did he figure out how to create a body for himself? Doesn’t particularly matter, I suppose, but I’ve always wondered.
I also wonder if we’ve been misled about Gabriel’s true motivations. Dean figures out that the Trickster is worked up about Lucifer and Michael because they’re family, and Gabriel confirms it during that Big Reveal. But is that really all there is to it? Or was there another purpose behind Gabriel’s centuries-long absence from heaven? I’ve often wondered if the whole big-brother thing was just a cover story. What if, for instance, Chuck/God actually sent Gabriel away to prepare for something he’d foreseen? What if Gabriel was reluctant to get involved in the fight against Lucifer because he was afraid that it would interfere with his true mission? It’s just speculation, but Gabriel is very good at deception…
Ahem. What was I saying? Right. So, Gabriel did step up against Lucifer, and was killed. Later, he reappears to Castiel, but we find out that it wasn’t the real Gabriel — just an illusion created by Metatron. Or was it?
Sadly, yes, it apparently was. Chuck confirms later that Gabriel is truly dead. He also tells us that while resurrecting a minor angel like Castiel isn’t all that tough, bringing back dead archangels is something else entirely. The boys needed help pronto, and Chuck was saying that bringing back an archangel to assist them wouldn’t work for the current situation, because he couldn’t do it in time.
We also have to consider the possibility that Chuck was lying because there were things going on that he didn’t want Sam and Dean to know about (read: interfere in). Maybe Gabriel was unavailable because he was alive and off working on something else, but Chuck needed to obfuscate that fact. (What? It could happen. Do you SEE what this show DOES to me?!)
Ok. Deep breath. Let’s focus on what’s important, here, because oh my fucking Chuck, Gabriel’s back!
The first big question is — how is Gabriel back? Was he never really dead? Did Chuck start the process to resurrect him at some point? Did Asmodeus use a spell or object to resurrect him? I’m guessing the latter. If Gabriel was always alive, or was raised by Chuck, then Asmodeus had to a) figure that out before anyone else knew, and b) figure out a way to capture him without anyone hearing about it. That seems overly complicated. But if Asmodeus was pulling the strings, he could keep the whole thing quiet and would have been prepared to subdue Gabriel immediately. Why would Asmodeus resurrect an archangel? Because he’d been searching for the long-lost archangel blade, and he needed an archangel to wield it.
Our brief glimpse of Gabriel implies that he’s not cooperating willingly, but we can’t be sure (yet) exactly what the situation is. It’s entirely possible that Asmodeus just isn’t taking any chances. Heck, for all we know, he just chucked Gabriel in a cell without even telling him the plan.
The other big question: is this the real Gabriel? It would seem that it is. Asmodeus laid it out very clearly. Here’s the only blade that can truly kill Lucifer. I need an archangel to wield it. And, ta-da, I have an archangel on ice. Makes perfect sense.
Except… why did he reveal the whole plan to Ketch? That seems completely stupid of him, which argues that maybe it’s all a setup. Which means he might be lying. But about which parts, exactly? And if it is a setup, then who’s being set up?
Say the archangel blade is a real thing, and you really need an archangel to wield it… but everyone “knows” it’s lost. Asmodeus even tells Ketch that he thought it was lost. But, wow, he found it! And nabbed an archangel to wield it! If the archangel blade is really a thing, Lucifer should already know about it. That means that it would look like a credible plot to kill him. Lucifer can’t let that happen, so he’s lured into a preemptive strike, and bam! Asmodeus ambushes him. Probably to stick him back in a cage, since killing Lucifer is so gosh-darned hard.
In this scenario, Asmodeus would have told Ketch at least one lie. The blade could just be a replica (because the real one really is lost). The Gabriel in the cage could be real, because the best lies always contain some truth (if Asmodeus has the real Gabriel, then the blade must be real, too, or else why bother resurrecting the real Gabriel? Right?) Conversely, the blade might be real, but the Gabriel-in-the-cage could be a fake. Or both could be fake, just a bunch of smoke and mirrors designed to lure Lucifer into a trap.
Or maybe it’s a trap for Sam and Dean. When they hear about it, they’ll probably want to a) take the blade for themselves, and b) rescue the hell out of Gabriel. They’ll want that blade for themselves no matter what, because it’s shiny and can kill shit that can’t otherwise be killed. And given that Dean harassed Gabriel into helping them — which promptly got him killed — you’d think that the boys would feel an obligation to help him. Especially if they hear that he’s a prisoner and his mouth is all sewn up. I mean, ouch. There’s also that bit where you supposedly need an archangel to use the blade in the first place, and who else are they going to work with? Crazy-ass Michael?
It’s also possible that this Gabriel could be alternate-universe Gabriel, but given how focused everyone is on not opening portals that Michael could use to get through, this seems less likely. Not impossible, though. It would definitely be less satisfying.
Sure, I’m probably reading too much into everything. Yeah, that’s it. Except NO. The show is deliberately devious and conniving, and it’s taught me to second- third- and fourth-guess everything. Want proof? Just watch the teaser bit. Do you see Gabriel anywhere? Anywhere at all? Those bastards threw a grenade into the room and ran away, and now they’re laughing at us. And guess what? The show won’t be back until March. Stupid Olympics.
It should go without saying (but it won’t) that I’m in favor of whichever scenario means that the real Gabriel is alive. I’ve spent the last however-many-seasons-it-is watching Supernatural while chanting, “Bring Gabriel back! Bring Gabriel back!” so… yes. Bring him back, dammit. For real. And give us lots of episodes in which to bask in his return, because it’s About. Damn. Time.