This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 13 Episode 20
I knew right away I would like this episode better than last week’s. Not only was it Gabriel-centric, it was also directed by the man himself, Richard Speight Jr. He always seems to get really fun episodes. I don’t know if it’s determined in a lottery or via throwing darts at a board of episode titles, but whenever I see he’s directing, I haven’t been disappointed.
Gabriel returns and agrees to team up with the Winchesters if they help him in his short-term goals: revenge on the Norse demigods who sold him to Asmodeus. We got some cool cinematic shots out of this setup due to the Kill Bill-style revenge plot, including a dramatic katana fight with the first demigod.
When the boys all enter the elevator in the Ophidian Hotel where Loki is kept, they enter in dramatic slo-mo. The resulting fight is visually cool, because you don’t see half of it. Gabriel snaps the lights out, and snatches of the battle are revealed with the flashes from gunfire. We get just enough to see Dean sneaking off with the final blade to attempt a shot at Loki himself.
If you’re confused, let me clear it up. Gabriel and Loki are no longer synonymous. Turns out, when Gabriel entered his own personal “Witness Protection” eons ago, he made a deal with the Norse Trickster God to take his place in the world. Thus our Trickster was born. I never knew in the history of Trickster/Gabriel-featured episodes that I’d want to see a Loki vs. Gabriel fight, but now I know what I was missing. It was an epic, if not short, showdown between two powerful creatures. Richard Speight Jr. directed and acted as two separate yet similar entities. He truly is a triple threat.
The point of this whole confrontation was two-fold: showing Gabriel’s return and his doubts about his abilities. We see Gabriel officially back in the game, re-energized somewhat after his pyrotechnic display with Asmodeus. Gabriel is also scarred from his imprisonment. Although he prevails in the end, there’s a moment after he tells Sam he’s doing “swell” that speaks volumes. Gabriel is likely disturbed by the coming confrontation with Alterna-Michael.
This episode also gave us some further advancement in what Mary and Jack have been up to in the parallel world. Turns out, they’ve been kicking ass and taking names, but even with their apparent victories, Mary urges caution. She is the voice of reason, very much taking on a parental role to Jack.
When it all inevitably leads to a failure (Kevin, why!?), Jack blames himself. That’s when Mary imparts some wisdom: “We can prepare and we can fight and sometimes things happen we’ll never see coming.” I feel this is very much the Supernatural formula. Seasons build with the Winchesters planning to take down the big bad, only to have something come out of left field to kickstart the next major story arc. Maybe this is foreshadowing for the season finale, which is only a few episodes away.
We also get a continued look at Dean’s issues this week, especially with that nutty decision to take on Loki himself. Sam calls him out on it but this is surely not the end of this. Dean is still plenty disturbed about losing Mom and Jack, and he’s starting to act out. Dude, chill. There’s only three episodes left. And then a whole ‘nother season.