“If something happens, we will deal with it…together. And if we die, we’ll do that together, too.”
Everyone’s favorite trickster/archangel returns to the screen as the newly revived Gabriel goes on his revenge tour while, on Alt-Earth, Jack and Mary continue their bloody campaign against Michael the Mad.
Let’s get the truth of “Unfinished Business” out of the way: this was a fulcrum episode. It’s primarily filler but with one or two salient resolutions that will play a major role as the season nears its conclusion. Unlike the “Scoobynatural” episode, there really aren’t any memorable moments that viewers will look back on and smile at. While Gabriel’s quest for vengeance is a fun one, capturing the vibe of revenge flicks like Death Wish and Kill Bill—including the cheesy, synthesized music—there’s nothing inherently important about his journey.
Or is it?
After killing Fenrir, a Norse demigod, an injured Gabriel tracks down the Winchesters as he seeks to complete his kill list. His whereabouts these last several years are finally laid out: faking his death after Lucifer “killed” him (and the majority of the Pantheon of gods), Gabriel shacked up with the Norse brothers of Fenrir, Narfi, Sleipnir, and their father Loki. Whether this is a retcon to what we originally discovered about Gabriel or not, the story works. While Gabes wants his pound of flesh from the Norse for them selling him to the now-deceased Asmodeus (and years of torture), Loki has his own legitimate reasons for wanting Gabriel to suffer, indirectly blaming the latter for his father Odin’s death. As low on Grace as he is, Gabriel can’t go about his tour de revenge alone. So what better way to get what you want than to make a deal with a pair of brothers that need your help? To paraphrase a line from the recent Venom trailer…so they have a deal.
“We can prepare and we can fight. And sometimes things happen we’ll never see coming.”
On the other side of the coin, Alt-Earth is put into frame as Jack and Mary continue to gain ground in the struggle against Michael. While his armies aren’t faring well on Alt-Earth, holding onto an already-conquered world is the least of his concerns. He wants to get to the Winchesters’ Earth, a new world to subjugate. He even leaves the well-liked Kevin Tran behind as a celestial booby trap, one that kills all the resistance fighters present save for Jack and Mary. As with Gabriel’s quest to take down Loki and sons, the Alt-Earth plot line doesn’t offer much in the way of excitement. Like many successful and inexperienced people, Jack’s overconfidence is something that, at first glance, looked like it was going to be a major issue for the resistance. As it stands, they lose some good fighters but his hubris doesn’t cost them like it could have if they had run into a supercharged Michael. It’s a learning experience, one where Jack realizes that, as powerful as he is, he can’t save everyone. It’s a hard lesson, learned through loss but at the same time, learned early enough that it may not cost them in the end.
Maybe it’s the emotional fallout still experienced from seeing Infinity War but despite “Unfinished Business” being a decent enough filler with some stylish moments and hints at future payoffs, this week’s Supernatural is one that falls by the wayside.
The Good, The Bad, The Supernatural
- No matter what I think of the episode itself, Richard Speight Jr is such a treat to watch as Gabriel. The swerve presented—that he’s actually riding around with Loki’s face and, in a way, his persona—was a nice retcon. Better still was the story he weaved of his time in Monte Carlo. It played well though ultimately does nothing for our story going forward.
- Gabriel’s story was one of revenge and whereas Dean tried convincing the archangel such things are trivial, Sam can relate. Spending years trapped in Hell, tortured by Lucifer, he’s never really gotten over that trauma. It’s debatable whether anyone could get over something so horrid. Still, Sam latches on Gabriel’s quest for vengeance, holding out hope that if the archangel is able to find solace in revenge, then maybe he too can do the same. Unfortunately for Sam, revenge doesn’t work that way.
- It’s been disappointing how little screen time Jack and Mary’s campaign against Alt-Michael has received. Even though a good portion of “Unfinished Business” touches on their fight, we don’t get anything substantial from the Alt-Earth visit. Jack learns a vital lesson in humility and loss in war but in regards to this episode, the foray into the apocalyptic world is nearly wasted.
- The best moment has to be Sam and Dean’s conversation at the end. Tired of Dean being a bit dismissive of his ability to help, Sam lets his brother have it, reminding the elder Winchester that they’re in this fight together. It’s a moment very similar to Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Tony Stark is under fire from the team for keeping the Ultron thing secret. He challenges the group with answering how they’ll face the threat. Captain America’s response is “Together”. And similar to Dean’s fear of his brother going down. Sam channels his inner Steve Rogers, pronouncing that, whatever happens, they’ll “deal with it together”. A powerful moment where, despite his fear, Dean can’t help but feel proud for his brother’s conviction.
Supernatural: “Unfinished Business”