Sam and Dean help Gabriel seek revenge while Jack and Mary try to stop Michael in Apocalypse World

By Samantha Highfill
April 26, 2018 at 09:00 PM EDT
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Dean Buscher/The CW

If you have ever considered yourself a Gabriel fan, tonight was the episode for you. After years of thinking the character was dead, his return was met with a lot of questions: What did he do after he faked his death? And how did he end up in hell with Asmodeus? Well, all of those questions — and a few more from back in the day — were answered when Sam and Dean caught up with the archangel, who was in the middle of a revenge-fueled killing spree.

Thanks to a spell from Rowena — so I guess she agreed to be helpful? — Sam and Dean are able to locate the town Gabriel is in, and the archangel pretty much does the rest. After an intense battle with a monster, he shows up at Sam and Dean’s motel room in need of some patching up. He’s hoping that the boys still have some of his grace to help him recharge. Only, they used that grace to open the rift to the Apocalypse World, so it seems Gabriel is going to have to heal the old-fashioned way: with rest.

Of course, as far as Dean’s concerned, Gabriel is going to stay put because he needs to help them save the world. But as Gabriel puts is, he’s “not a big joiner.” But thankfully for him, Sam and Dean are, because the brothers of the monster that Gabriel killed at the start of the hour just busted down the motel room door.

Sam and Dean fight them off, and Gabriel ultimately uses his sword to kill one of them. The other escapes, at which point Dean makes sure Gabriel can’t do the same: He’s got handcuffs. And he wants answers.

Gabriel gives them the full rundown of what’s going on: Right after he faked his death back in season 5, he needed to lay low. So he found himself a crew that would hide him away and offer him a life filled with booze and porn stars. (You already know Dean’s favorite part of this story.) However, their little arrangement came to an abrupt end when they sold Gabriel to Asmodeus right around the time of the first apocalypse. The odds had Lucy winning, which is why Gabriel’s friends figured they needed to get rid of him before Lucifer found out that they were hiding him.

And now, all these years later, Gabriel wants revenge on the very people who sent him to be tortured. The kicker? Gabriel is out to kill all three brothers — two of whom are already dead — but there are four swords: because the fourth is for their father…LOKI.

Dean asks the obvious question: Isn’t Gabriel Loki? Well, that takes us even further back in Gabriel’s story. It seems that a few thousand epochs ago, Gabriel saved Loki’s life, so when Michael and Lucifer started going at it and Gabriel wanted out, Loki owed him one. So, Loki helped him ditch Gabriel and assume his identity. In the meantime, Loki went off the grid.

So when, in season 5, Gabriel needed to hide again, he went back to Loki for help. And now, what he went through in hell has changed him and he won’t rest until everyone who had a hand in his torture dies. Dean doesn’t think revenge is the answer, but Sam pulls his brother out into the hallway.

There’s a chance that Gabriel’s revenge kick is a waste of time, but what if it’s not? Dean tells Sam this probably has something to do with Sam’s own revenge fantasy with Lucifer, but Sam keeps the conversation focused on Gabriel. In the end, Dean agrees to help Gabriel if he’ll return the favor.

And considering that Gabriel knows exactly where Loki and his last son are staying, Gabriel is ready to mark the final two names off of his — literal — kill list. Long story short, Gabriel kills the final son fairly easily, but that’s when he and Sam realize that Dean ran after Loki on his own.

Cue Dean’s meeting with Loki — who’s literally identical to Gabriel (also played by Richard Speight Jr.) — where Loki explains why exactly he sold Gabriel to Asmodeus: Gabriel was responsible for the death of his father, Odin. (It might’ve been helpful to rewatch “Hammer of the Gods” before this episode.) Dean reminds him that Lucifer killed Odin, but Loki explains that his father never would’ve been in that room if it weren’t for Gabriel. When Loki gave Gabriel his identity, Gabriel agreed to leave his family affairs behind, and when he entered that hotel in season 5, he broke that deal and cost Odin his life.

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Dean tries to take out Loki, but reminder: This guy is the real Trickster, so it’s only fitting that Dean’s fighting a hologram. Outside in the hallway, the real Loki comes face-to-face with Gabriel for a final showdown. And for a bit there, it looks like Loki is going to win…until Dean slides Gabriel the sword, which he puts through Loki’s chest.

And you know what that means: The boys helped Gabriel, and now he’s going to return the favor by helping them take care of Apocalypse World Michael. As for his tricks? He says, “If I’m being perfectly honest, tricks are for kids.” With that, he hops in the backseat of the Impala. (Next: Kevin makes a bold move in Apocalypse World)

While all of this is going on, Jack and Mary are dealing with the ongoing war in Apocalypse World. It seems Jack has won multiple battles, and now, the angels are leaving. With the angel headquarters emptied out, they head over to investigate, but all they find is Kevin Tran left in the dungeon. Kevin tells them about the spell and Michael’s plan to open a rift and invade their world. Jack wants to go after him immediately, but Mary convinces him to wait a day for Bobby’s return.

But that plan only lasts for a few hours before Jack tells Mary he’s going. She sweetly tells him that she doesn’t want to lose another boy, but he promises he’ll come back for everyone. And now, Kevin’s the only thing standing in his way. That’s when Kevin reveals a sigil carved into his chest. Michael told him to wait for Bobby so that they’d all be together, but there’s no time. It seems Michael promised Kevin he’ll get to see his mom again in heaven, and that’s enough for him to sacrifice himself. The spell won’t kill Jack, but according to Kevin, Michael isn’t interested in killing Jack. “He wants to break you,” Kevin says to Jack. “He said for me to tell you that even if you win, you still lose.” Just then, Kevin touches his chest and kills everyone in the room aside from Jack and Mary (Jack wraps her in his wings to protect her).

Back at the bunker, Cas helps Gabriel settle in while Rowena works with the demon tablet. And once Gabriel’s grace levels are back up, they should be good to go back to Apocalypse World. But first, Sam has a question: Why did Dean go after Loki alone, and why does he seem determined to sideline Sam in battles lately? Dean, refusing to apologize for protecting his brother, reminds Sam of what happened during the last apocalypse: “You died and went to hell,” he says. “I don’t care what happens to me, I never really have. But I do care about what happens to my brother.”

But Sam’s not having any of that. They’re going to save Jack and mom together, Sam says. And if something happens, they’ll deal with it together. “And if we die, we’ll do that together, too.” Sam says. And Dean can’t help but grin as his brother walks away.

And with that, we’re one step closer to what’s shaping up to be a massive finale. Overall, I really enjoyed getting more of Gabriel’s backstory in this hour, and I’m never going to hate an emotional brother speech. As we build toward the season’s ending, it definitely feels like the stakes are getting higher, and that’s a good thing in my book.

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