The archangel Gabriel — played to the perfect song and dance by Richard Speight, Jr. Some people love him, some people (who are wrong) hate him, but whichever end of the spectrum you’re on, it’s almost impossible to deny he’s unpredictable and entertaining. Joining the ranks of Supernatural monsters back in season 2’s “Tall Tales” as the Demi-God only known as the Trickster, we saw him make two other appearances in “Mystery Spot” and “Changing Channels” (where he was outed as the archangel he is) until his untimely demise in season 5’s “Hammer of the Gods.” And then we moved on (sort of, thanks “Meta Fiction”), only to be drawn back in with his shocking return in season 13’s “Devil’s Bargain,” just to be crushed yet again by another even more devastating death nine episodes later in “Exodus.” To say it’s been a wild ride for advocates of God’s youngest archangel is an understatement, and perhaps it’s that tumultuous jostling of emotions that leaves those loyal few still holding onto a shred of hope that the Trickster is just being, well … tricky, and is in fact very much not dead as the show would like us to believe.
Gabriel has been instrumental to both of the story arcs he’s a part of — a real game changer, if you will. Now it’s fair to say that his death in season 13 seemed a little … sudden, which has only added to the doubt of said death’s permanence (maybe it’s mainly stubbornness) that those hoping to see Gabriel one last time in the show’s final and 15th season are clinging to like a metaphorical life boat. So, as one of those people clinging to that life boat (there’s room for two on this door, as well), it seemed fitting to present evidence collected that Gabriel is possibly, maybe, not dead, and just doing what he does best — avoiding anything that proves irksome or doesn’t have some form of self-benefiting debauchery involved. All of which, let’s be honest, isn’t far-fetched.
Theory #1: All Hail the New King
Michael’s gone. Lucifer’s gone. God’s been absent for a thousand and one years. Honestly, what’s a better place for Gabriel to stay and hang out then a universe that’s basically been wiped clean and is ready for a new leader with a refined taste and a penchant for fun? Is he still kicking it back in Apocalypse Land rebuilding it as the universe’s Bellagio? Maybe? It’s plausible. Because really, Gabe can create his own fun out of thin air, he doesn’t need anyone else, so all that empty space to fill … it’s like a kid in a candy shop.
Theory #2: “Is That a Clone in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?” (He’s Not, It’s a Clone.)
He’s done it once, twice, three times before … so what’s to say he didn’t use the old swap-a-roo once again and send a very fake copy of himself off with the Winchesters he undoubtedly knew were going to get him killed. I mean it worked on Lucifer, so it would definitely work on those two … He’d just freed himself from the burden of Loki’s debt and torture in Hell, the dude has some debauchery to catch up on. Plus, his clones are just as useful as the real thing, not like he was shorting them by sending one.
Theory #3: Knock Knock Knockin’ Up Heaven’s Angels
Castiel did tell him that angels were needed, and that he was the only one who could head on back up to dad’s place and spread enough love around to keep the lights on. It’s not much, but it’s honest work, and it would make sense as to why we’ve heard nothing on the status of heaven since. He may have been a little reluctant to help with that issue last time we saw him, but when has good ol’ Gabe not been reluctant to lend a helping gag to save the world?
Theory #4: There is No Fourth Wall
Fourth wall, shmourth wall, reality is a lie and we’re living in the Matrix. 2020 has been some massive prank at the hands of the Trickster, who’s parading around as an actor/director/musician/podcaster named Richard Speight, Jr. for God knows how long. Who are we kidding … even Gabriel isn’t this cruel.
So whether you think Gabriel is off gallivanting in Apocalypse land, making more angels to keep the lights on, or moonlighting as an actor here in the real world, I think we can all agree on one thing — he’s not dead. After all, it’s been said once before and we’ll say it again, you can’t kill the Trickster.
Supernatural is currently finishing out its 15th and final season on The CW on Thursday nights at 8/9c. Tune in to see the final bow of the legendary Winchester brothers and Castiel on their last ride.
You can catch the legend behind the character, Richard Speight, Jr., on his newly refurbished podcast, Kings of Con: The Podcast, with Chuck/vengeful God gone rogue, Rob Benedict, wherever podcasts are heard. (Also, you can back them on Patreon for extra perks and the ability to be Alec Baldwin.)