As expected, Supernatural’s mid-season finale sent emotional shock waves throughout fandom. Plot twists and revelations that have taken days to process. Numbness, disbelief and horror over Kevin’s death. Anger and concern for the desperate situations overtaking Sam and Dean. Relief and celebration yet trepidation for Castiel. Revulsion for Metatron. Confusion, hate and maybe some pity for Ezekiel, now Gadreel. I have watched “Holy Terror” several times to try to forensically dissect what happened, but I have only found contradictions and questions. While the cliff-hanger clearly answered some of our questions, I believe it may also have included intentional misdirection. As we enter the agonizing six week hiatus, which of our theories survived the first half of the season and what clues have we been given for what will happen next?
I copied the threads (shown in italics) that we detected and discussed all the way up to the finale, and have created a “report card” on what we got right and wrong.
What did we get right?
1. No one has yet confirmed Ezekiel is who he says he is, leaving us to wonder if he is being honest with his identity. With Ezekiel being identified as Gadreel, we of course know that “Ezekiel” was lying about his identity since the first minute he met Dean!
2. We have concluded that Ezekiel is not Metatron, Lucifer or God. We get to claim a second victory for this one, since we discussed then eliminated several possible identities for Ezekiel/Gadreel.
3. As Zeke gets more powerful I see a risk that there might be a battle for the vessel, but I don’t personally believe that Sam will lose his identity. You agreed that Ezekiel/Gadreel’s personality was not mingling with or overpowering Sam’s personality but that involuntary, continued possession was the more serious threat. I’d say we got this one right!
4. We theorized that Ezekiel is much more powerful than the “soldier” known to Castiel. This is still a possibility, but it is getting less likely each week. While we didn’t entirely dismiss Zeke being a more powerful angel, we noted that the evidence was mounting that he had only ordinary powers. From what we know of Gadreel now, he seems to only have average abilities. I’ll count that as a win.
5. More than one commenter theorized that Zeke would kill Kevin. Examples of your predictions: “the next step is to rid themselves of the Prophet that is slowly translating the angel tablet.” and “Kevin translating the tablet would probably not be in Zeke (or any angel’s) best interests – maybe he does something to stop Kevin from translating the tablet (sure hope they don’t kill off Kevin…)”. You get the credit for this one! Even with him lying on the floor with eyes burned out, I still didn’t believe Zeke actually killed Kevin!
What did we get wrong?
1. A few people speculated that Zeke was already working with Metatron. While Gadreel has now joined forces with Metatron, it is clear from their first meeting that they had not been co-conspirators previously.
2. Several commenters speculated that Zeke’s motivation was primarily to get Dean as an ally. I think it’s safe to say that Gadreel burned that bridge for all time!
Lingering Threads (that didn’t change at all)
1. “You gotta let [the one you love] go. You’ll be OK. Sometimes you got to do what’s best for you even if it’s gonna hurt the ones you love”. (Dean’s advice to Timmy in 9.07). We probably won’t know the full extent of this foreshadowing until the last episode of the season!
2. Jimmy Novak’s plight? Nothing new on this at all. The only time it might surface is during the fight for Sam’s body, but you have speculated that this is a loose thread we should just discard. I’ll stop posting it, but I’ll keep looking for evidence, just in case.
3. What was Abaddon doing at Castle Storage? Again, you believe this was accidental instead of significant. Bobby never believed in coincidences, and neither do I. I’m going to hold onto it just a little longer, again, just in case.
Our score? Of the threads that had clear developments, 5 right, 2 wrong and 3 unchanged. Not bad for the first round! Our biggest threads, though, were significantly affected by the events of the cliff-hanger, which tells me we are on the right track! Let’s reexamine those threads, in light of what happened in the finale.
Modifying Threads with New Evidence
4. I might go down with the ship, but I still believe that Zeke has good intentions. I still believe he is “one of the good guys”. Be honest. How many of you are screaming at your screens “you have to be kidding me!!”? I am not just trying to avoid placing this theory in the “we really blew it” category. I honestly think the whole story has not yet been revealed.
5. While perhaps not more powerful, I still believe that Zeke is far more important than the average angel… Zeke is a key player in the fight against Bartholomew, and maybe even Metatron. By now you’re slack-jawed, staring at these words wondering if I’ve lost my mind! I believe Gadreel will still play a significant role in the war to regain Heaven. Right now he has aligned himself with the arch enemy (i.e. Metatron) but I think there is evidence that he will come around eventually. Stick with me just a little longer….
6. Consistent with the theory that Zeke is an important principal in the fight for Heaven, I further believe that his mission will always be his first priority. He has a good heart, so he would like to be able to save Sam, but Zeke’s hidden agenda (to defeat Bartholomew and/or restore the natural order of Heaven?) will always be paramount to other good deeds.
Let me explore these three theories together, in light of the new information shared in “Holy Terror”. Emotionally, we are all furious with Gadreel. He deceived Dean, he hijacked Sam and he killed Kevin. Surely he can’t be good, as he claimed. Objectively, though, nothing is that simple. Let’s look at the evidence. We have witnessed several key actions that formed the twists and turns in Gadreel’s story. All of Gadreel’s initial actions could be interpreted as having been motivated by pure, good intentions or they just as easily could have been devious, conniving deceptions:
· Gadreel was the ONLY angel to answer Dean’s prayers. Why?? He already had a vessel. Why expose himself to the lightning rod of trouble named Winchester? I believe the answer was given in this last episode. When Sam, Dean and Cas were working on the case together, Gadreel complained to Dean “Cas is a beacon, pulling every angel for miles down on our heads. When I chose to answer your prayers and heal Sam, I chose sides. That means I am not in good standing with certain angels.” As Muriel confirmed, Gadreel (and every other fallen angel) needed to choose sides in the angel war. His history meant he would not find allies in either Bartholomew, Malachi, or any other warring faction. He needed a port in the storm. Yet he chose to heal Sam. Was he simply paying rent for the vessel he was occupying, or did he have a good heart and honestly wanted to help Sam? Giving Gadreel credit for good intentions here presumes a huge leap of faith – that he, in fact, worked all this time to heal Sam. More on this later.
· Gadreel was honest and open enough with Dean to let him inside Sam’s mind so Dean could judge for himself how close Sam was to accepting death. Gadreel then willingly walked away when it looked like Dean had decided to not to let him possess Sam. He was going to respect Dean’s choice even though that meant Gadreel would not get the allies nor the hiding place he so desperately needed. Again, an interpretive leap of faith: Did Gadreel show Dean what was honestly going on inside Sam’s thoughts, or did he manipulate the vision?
· In 9.02, Gadreel told Dean that he agreed to help Sam because of Dean’s love for Sam. Gadreel didn’t have to say anything at all at that moment, yet he volunteered that heart-felt explanation for his motives. Conversely, was he just playing Dean?
· Gadreel resurrected Castiel and Charlie. Yes, it certainly won him points with Dean, but Gadreel could have just as easily conserved his power and lied that he was not yet strong enough to raise the dead. At its least, it was a mutually beneficial act. At most, Gadreel honestly wanted to help.
· Gadreel also offered to help with the powerful wicked witch. If Gadreel felt he was at risk because Sam’s life/body were endangered, why give Dean the choice of saving Charlie? If Gadreel’s intentions were purely self-serving, he would have chosen to save himself and kill the witch. Yet he used his dwindling power to do something that only benefitted Dean, not himself (aside from currying good will as mentioned above).
· While Sam initially felt energized, the later episodes showed him feeling weak and tired, like he “couldn’t recharge his battery”. Was Gadreel healing himself more than Sam? Conversely, was Sam’s body well enough to start working on its own, thus giving him more honest feedback about his own healing process (we all know how weak we are after surgery, as the body heals itself)?
There were also several remarks that revealed what Gadreel was thinking and feeling, but not why he was thinking it:
· Gadreel to Dean: “… Which means I will have to stay in your brother longer than you want…longer than we both want” (9.04). Why would Gadreel want to get out of Sam as soon as possible? If he was hiding, wouldn’t he want to prolong the possession? Was Gadreel lying about not wanting to stay or did he truly have something else he felt he needed to do?
· Gadreel told Metatron that he picked Ezekiel as his alias because “They say he is a good and honorable angel” to which Metatron replied “everything they say you are not” (9.09). Gadreel admired the virtues of honor and goodness and wanted people to look at him that way after being falsely imprisoned for millennia. Alternately, this was a perfect ruse to trick Dean.
· Gadreel said two things to Metatron that seem important, but I don’t yet know why (isn’t that the definition of a thread?): “You intend to be the ruler of this new Heaven, am I correct? Then does that not make you God?” This statement either showed incredibly naivety, or Gadreel was baiting Metatron to reveal his intentions. Secondly, “No angels are in heaven? None at all?”. Gadreel was totally shocked when Metatron bragged that he was the one who made the angels fall. Gadreel was also shocked when he learned there weren’t any angels left in heaven. I don’t know what this indicates, but it seems significant. What do you think?
· In “Holy Terror”, Gadreel claimed “The stories about me are not true!” and when talking about the evil getting into the Garden “It was not my doing!”. We don’t yet know what happened at the dawn of creation, so we can’t yet judge Gadreel’s innocence. We do know, however, that Castiel is also defending himself with these exact same claims. He repeatedly tried to get April, Muriel and Malachi to believe that he was not responsible for Heaven’s latest disaster. Since we believe Castiel, are we also supposed to be similarly sympathetic to Gadreel?
· The lynchpin moment I believe came in 9.09 when Gadreel was trying to clarify Metatron’s request to “prove his fidelity”. Gadreel said “Slain? That is not who I am”. In that moment, Gadreel had absolutely no reason to lie, so I believe his statement is the one declaration that must be taken at face value. He does not view himself as a killer. If that is our cornerstone, an argument can be made that we backtrack and believe everything else Gadreel said up to that point.
The evidence weighing against Gadreel:
· He accepted a dubious consent for possession of Sam.
· Gadreel wouldn’t let Dean tell Sam about the possession, for fear that Sam would prematurely eject him.
· Gadreel was quickly and easily swayed by Metatron’s arguments. In relatively no time, Gadreel abandoned his values and followed a culpable angel who promised him a position of power.
· Gadreel killed an innocent young man, after professing he didn’t want to slay anyone.
· Gadreel broke his word to Dean about not overtaking Sam.
· Gadreel stole Sam’s body.
Damming evidence for sure.
We have been testing three theories about Zeke/Gadreel. First that he is a good guy. Second, that he is an important angel, key to the fight for heaven and third, that he will do anything for his mission, whatever that may be. I believe all three possibilities are still open, but need to be amended with the mountain of evidence delivered in the finale. Here are my amended theories about Gadreel:
· Gadreel was and is nothing more than a coward. He thought the Winchesters would “protect” him when he had no other allies. When the most powerful player in the game (Metatron) offered him a safe place, he jumped at it, forsaking his friends, his promises and his own values.
· Gadreel is a good guy, but he is gullible…in fact, just as gullible as Castiel. How can we condemn Gadreel without condemning Cas? Metatron is a master manipulator who convinced both Cas and Gadreel of his altruistic purpose. They were/are both (in Malachi’s words) “dupes”. Let’s look at the parallels. Gadreel killed a prophet, who was supposedly a danger to Metatron’s plan to restore an ordered heaven. Cas also killed an “innocent” – the Nephilim (who by definition was half human), and was poised to kill a Cupid because Metatron told him it was necessary to close the gates of Heaven. Both Cas and Gadreel are professing they are innocent of the crimes the angels presume they committed. If the show is intentionally developing parallels between Castiel and Gadreel, will Gadreel redeem himself in the end, as Cas always does? Cas always looks to Dean as his moral compass. Is it possible that Sam will help Gadreel turn away from the “dark side”, thus completing the parallel between Dean/Cas and Sam/Gadreel?
· Gadreel’s “mission” was always personal redemption, consequently, everything he said before meeting Metatron was the truth and everything he did had good intentions. He is working with Metatron now because he believes restoring Heaven will restore his good name. He will be important in the fight for heaven. He will work with Metatron until Metatron betrays everyone and reveals his true nature. Gadreen will then be instrumental in defeating Metatron.
I know that the first theory is obvious and has a lot of support. I favor the second and third theories, though, that Gadreel and Castiel are walking the same path; and that Gadreel’s final motivation will be redeeming himself.
I think there is a lot of room for discussion, though. What do you think?
7. Three of our prior threads still stand, but may have a common explanation!
· Why did Crowley want Kevin’s blood instead of Sam’s?
· Do you believe Crowley that the Angel Banishing spell is irreversible (9.06)?
· Cas theorized…that he was needed alive to reverse the banishing spell.
Cas didn’t get his own grace back, so the theory that his grace is the key to reversing the spell is still a possibility. Kevin made an extremely important comment in Holy Terror that opened up new possibilities, though. When reading the angel tablet, Kevin commented: “This part is nearly indecipherable, almost like when Metatron wrote it down he wanted to keep the words hidden even from prophets” (9.09).
Metatron wanted Gadreel to kill the prophet and to steal the tablets as his first priority. Possible explanations:
· the spell clearly is reversible, and the instructions were in that “indecipherable” part of the table. Metatron didn’t want the prophet translating the fix.
· What if prophet’s blood is key to undoing the banishing spell?? Crowley would surely want that power! It was certainly no accident that he injected Kevin’s blood into himself. The one hole in this theory is that while Crowley injected himself after reading the tablet’s writing, he requested Kevin be the blood donor before he read it.
8. Sam is getting smarter about Zeke. How long before Sam figures this out? Sam still doesn’t know he is possessed by an angel. It looks like that revelation won’t come from Sam slowly piecing together clues!
So it’s starting to get really interesting! The finale opened up a whole host of new possibilities, too, so it’s time to look for those!
9. “I did what I had to do.” These words were repeated by four separate characters in the mid-season finale!
Theo to Castiel: “I do what I have to” about killing angels and trying to find a side on which he could survive.
Castiel to Dean: “I did what I had to. Became what they’ve become…a barbarian” on killing Theo and stealing his grace.
Dean to Sam: “I did what I had to do” in defense of letting an angel possess Sam rather than let him die.
Gadreel to Dean: “Sorry about Kevin, but ultimately it’s for the best. I did what I had to” on killing Kevin.
All these characters used this motivation/excuse to justify abandoning their values and taking a life away from someone (metaphorically, Dean took over Sam’s life when he ignored Sam’s obvious decision to die). What are they foreshadowing?
10. “Here is the FIRST name on your to-do list.” (Metatron in “Holy Terror”). This isn’t so much a thread as it is a blatant foreshadowing. He intends to use Gadreel to do a lot of dirty work.
No one said this was going to be easy!! We have a lot of time to figure out these possibilities and to assign the evidence to them, either pro or con. Help! What are your thoughts on Gadreel? Are you sure he is bad? Will he come around in the end? Are the writers purposely having him parallel Castiel’s character? How about Dean’s guilt and Sam’s new fight? What does Kevin’s discovery in the tablet mean? What will be the effect of Team Free Will losing the tablets? How will Castiel fight all the factions of Heaven with just Dean at his side? What is Crowley up to? So much to discuss!
Screen Caps from www.homeofthenutty.com