Saturday, April 28, 2018

Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 20: Unfinished Business

So the archangel Gabriel, who has moonlighted as the trickster god Loki, is now being decidedly untrickster-ness. And deciding to stab someone with some magical wooden sword.

He wins, but is injured in the process. So what is prompting the trickster archangel to go all murdery? Well the dead man is Fenrir - one of the sons of Loki. And yes he’s a man but he kind of has a wolf effect to him and big claws so I can kind of see it - but he dies too quickly to develop this massive wolfy-murderer of Odin-ness to us. Gabriel has a list of more people to kill: he crosses off Fenrir leaving Narfi and Sleipnir. That would be two more spawn of Loki.

Injured, he turns to the only people he knows who can help - Sam and Dean (since Sam and Dean are in town following him since he’s still the only source of Archangel Grace they know of). He hoped they may actually have some of his Grace left but they don’t. Which is a shame since after being so tortured and drained by Asmodeus and then frying Asmodeus he is now running on empty which is why he has resorted to stabbing people.

Fenrir’s brothers, Sleipnir and Narfi decide to hunt Gabriel down for their brother being murdered and we have a god fight. And while Dean seems able to fend off a not-really invested Sleipnir but Sam is nearly strangled by Narfi before Gabe stabs him in the back. At which point the horseman flees

And, yeah, ok I’ll buy sort of werewolf Fenrir - but Sleipnir being a dapper prettyboy? I could get behind this is there were some development of Loki’s children instead of it just kind of not wanting to be bothered with CGI or monsters or special effects.

So with two of the brothers dead, Gabriel wants to kill the last one - and then kill Loki. And he explains why in a long exposition that Dean really really really doesn’t care about. Way back when, Gabriel was tired with all the Archangel stuff so he decided to go undercover - he ran into Loki (who owed him after he freed him from his cave where Skadi’s snake was dripping poison into his eyes) who agreed to teach him how to be a trickster and take his identity. Which worked for Loki as he was kind of in the outs with his family anyway and needed to go a little low key

They don’t specify why Loki needed to hide from his family but even a cursory reading of the Eddas says yes yes he does.

And when Gabriel decided to go into hiding AGAIN, because Lucifer was coming in, he decided to turn to his good friend Loki and sons so he could hang out with them. Until they betrayed him, captured him and delivered him over to Kentucky Fried Asmodeus for lots of money and now he wants revenge

And Dean is not impressed. Dean doesn’t think revenge is helpful - because he’s been there and done that over and over. Lots of epic revenge and it never actually made Dean feel better. Also Gabriel’s revenge plan is so theatrical and nonsensical that Dean can’t help but mock its nonsense.

Dean is a professional - he may be a brutal emotionally co-dependent killer, but he IS a professional. And this nonsense of killing someone’s kids first to make them suffer is just dramatic nonsense.

But Sam realises they can make a deal and recruit Gabriel to their side if they help him with their revenge. And this is where the rather sociopathic killer part of Dean comes in. They hunt down Loki and Sleipneir - with Gabriel brutally killing him even as he begs for his life. And Dean makes a play for Loki who explains why they betrayed Gabriel - because when he gave Gabriel his identity back in the day, he also had Gabriel agree to stop getting involved in all the big bad dramatic angel stuff. Because it always ends badly

And instead he got involved in the whole summit that had Odin (his dad - which isn’t any version I’ve seen before) murdered by Lucifer. I think it’s a bit convoluted to blame this on Gabriel, but then I think holding a grudge for Gabe just opting out of all of that is fairly reasonable

Dean doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if Gabriel is right or Loki -he’s here to kill Loki to complete the deal. Of course Loki is kind of THE trickster so isn’t easily murdered and he and Gabriel get to fighting bare handed - and Loki is winning until sam and Dean show up with his magic wooden swords and tip the balance. But Loki spits some savage home truths before he dies.

And I think this is why Gabriel is now willing to join Team Winchester. Not necessarily because he made a deal. But, as he says, Tricks are for Kids - I think the immortal Archangels decided to grow up and take things more seriously and recognise his responsibilities with Loki’s scathing words

Which is going to matter because in the evil realm Michael is gathering his armies in one place, having been helped by Kevin the prophet to find a place where the world is naturally thin

Mary’s worried because even though Jack is winning a lot of battles, he’s also getting really arrogant, wanting to run off alone and confront Michael and not really considering his human allies or reinforcements. Mary is terrified of it all falling apart - and losing another boy. Yes it looks Like Mary has half adopted Jack

A lesson that is brutally brought home when Kevin (who has been massively traumatised by his time with Michael) sets off an angel bomb that has been carved into his chest.

Mary and Jack’s relationship has definitely evolved a lot - and I think this super powered being could do a lot worse than have a Mary advisor.

In fact, one commentor already suggested Jack as the new leader of Heaven. I see this more and more - and double it down with Mary being his advisor and grounding force

We also have Dean doing some analysis - Sam confronts him about being sidelined all the time and Dean reminds Sam that the last time they faced Lucifer and Michael, Sam died and went to hell. Dean can't do that again - and we have another of those glimpses at how broken Dean is: he doesn't give his own life any value at all. He doesn't care about dying... and hasn't for a long time

Of course Sam isn't letting Dean sacrifice himself on his own but Dean definitely needs some therapy. Which isn't news but still