The Archangel Michael’s conversation with Jack in Supernatural’s 14.9 “The Spear” was, on the surface, the big revelation of Michael’s grand plan for his global domination. Looking at it more closely, however, it is actually a referendum on Jack. Why is he being allowed to live? Will he be corrupted by power over time? Is he more akin to humans or God?

Jack: Why am I here? Why didn't you just kill me?

Michael: In your present, powerless condition? Why would I bother? Are you familiar with Kansas City -- the people, the terrain? Back in my world, I enlisted a garrison to invade it. We leveled it. Death from above. But there was human resistance. Things got messy. I'm trying something different this time -- an insurgency from within. My monster army turning every last man, woman, and child -- a wave of transformation. Vampires or werewolves -- it won't matter which. Everyone they turn will be mine. No muss, no fuss.

Jack: Why would you think I want to hear any of this? I hate you.

Michael: Oh, but, Jack, we're family. You know, in fact, we're the only kin each other has left in this world.

Jack: My uncle's in the Cage. And you -- you're not family.

Michael: Well, not literally, no. Our connection, our relation is more a matter of scale of power. Haven't you learned yet? In this reality, monsters, humans, even angels -- they are insects, atoms compared to us. But you [chuckles] -- you're just a child, a mere infant. For you, the past two years -- the entirety of your existence -- feel like eons. You don't even know what time is. But you will. Real time, the time that makes mountains,that wipes out species. You'll see it all with me.

Jack: No.

Michael: Year by year, century by century, and as your power returns and grows, we'll only become more alike. Oh, I know. Your loyalty to Castiel, the Winchesters, the rest of humanity? It will fade. And so will the minor differences -- angel armies versus monster armies, this Kansas City or that Kansas City, one world from another -- they'll fade, too.

Jack: Sam, Dean, and Castiel. They'll come for me.

Michael: Mm.

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This is a fascinating glimpse inside Michael’s mind. The megalomaniacal antagonist of the story spouts his quest for power and his delusions of grandeur. He truly is more powerful than all other beings in this universe, though, so is he really delusional, or does his view of his and Jack’s future have merit?

His monologue also includes the common “we’re not all that different” taunt to a protagonists of the saga. Are Michael and Jack really like beings because of their potential for limitless power?

Before we tackle the question that most intrigued me in Michael’s long sermon to Jack, let’s look at two of his leading suppositions.  

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  1. Michael wants Jack alive.

Jack: Why am I here? Why didn't you just kill me?

Michael: In your present, powerless condition? Why would I bother?

Why wouldn’t Michael kill Jack? The contrasting event within the episode was him ordering the deaths of helpless humans at their Christmas party. To foreshadow Jack’s challenge, Michael’s werewolf specifically asked the question “Why?” to which Michael gave the uncaring answer that he liked their view of Kansas City. He “bothered” to eliminate "powerless" beings in that case, but yet he spared Jack? Jack’s questions are very relevant.

Why would Michael risk keeping Jack alive, especially when Jack had previously proven he could kill Michael, yet is now uniquely vulnerable to being killed?

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Michael predicts that keeping Jack alive for millennia until his power regenerates and his allegiance wanes will bring them closer together. Does the potential power make this a worthwhile risk? Is this a smart move on Michael's part? 

  1. Michael and Jack are “family”.

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Jack: Why would you think I want to hear any of this? I hate you.

Michael: Oh, but, Jack, we're family. You know, in fact, we're the only kin each other has left in this world.

Jack: My uncle's in the Cage. And you -- you're not family.

The question of who constitutes Jack's family has been raised several times. The end of season 13 focused on this question prominently as his closest blood kin fought for "custody" of Jack with his adopted family.

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Jack has constantly been torn between his human side and his angelic side. Since all angels refer to God as their Father, and Castiel refers to every angel as brother or sister, even the archangels, Castiel is technically also some kind of distant uncle of Jack's. Michael doesn't see it that way, though. Michael states clearly that he regards angels as “insects” and “atoms” compared to himself and Jack. In far greater numbers, his alliance with the entirety of angels in his universe didn’t result in victory, so he now sees them as a species separate and apart from himself and Jack, unworthy of being their “family”. Is this hubris or reality?

Perceived strength isn’t usually a criteria for defining family ties, so should Jack consider himself a brother to every angel ever created regardless of his power potential, or is he truly more closely related to Michael as an archangel?

Could Michael’s strategy of convincing Jack they are “family” more closely align them, over time? It is, after all, a bond that Jack has been taught should be taken very seriously.


  1.  Jack’s power will ultimately corrupt him.

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Michael: Year by year, century by century, and as your power returns and grows, we'll only become more alike. Oh, I know. Your loyalty to Castiel, the Winchesters, the rest of humanity? It will fade.

This is the most interesting theory of all. Sam and Dean will inevitably die (and stay dead, as in their permanent rest), and Castiel’s fate is very uncertain. He can be killed too, since this has happened several times already, and the Empty’s Shadow is determined to keep him dead now.

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Eventually Team Free Will's wise and loving guidance of Jack’s values, views, personality and choices will be gone. After eons without their influence, do you think Jack will succumb to the temptations of power? The archangels all started out as beacons of light and goodness but three out of four of them turned evil after millennia. One was from jealousy (brought on by the Mark of Cain’s influence according to Death). The other two were corrupted by power once the guiding benevolence of their Father was gone. They all strove to “lead” and take on God’s role in His absence but their ambition took over and they forgot their purpose of nurturing and caring for all his creation - lesser beings included.

Why would Jack be any different from them? Michael’s point about time is very valid. Two years versus the millennia of existence isn’t a basis upon which Jack can predict his view of things. Michael has seen humans destroy each other for centuries. When Jack has seen the same thing over and over again, why wouldn’t he consider their lives just as disposable as they themselves do, and as Michael now does?

Michael’s vision of Jack’s future also isn’t entirely unfounded. What would make Jack any different from Michael, Raphael or Lucifer? God saw the archangels as guardians and soldiers for good, just as Sam, Dean and Cas see that in Jack, but what makes their judgement and vision of Jack (who is even more powerful than the archangels) more accurate than God’s vision of the archangels? Will he be the world savior his mother envisioned or are our heroes raising an all-powerful entity that millennia might turn into the enemy?

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These aren't rhetorical questions! Despite being the hated villain, Michael's point of view is worth considering, given his unique perspective on eternal, powerful entities! Jack's fate could mean salvation or damnation for humanity. As season 14's story looms closer, Let’s Discuss!


Some Screencaps courtesy of http://www.homeofthenutty.com/supernatural