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Supernatural - Unfinished Business - Review



Supernatural “Unfinished Business” was written by Meredith Glynn and was directed by Richard Speight Jr, who also guest stars as Gabriel – and Loki! – in the episode. I did love the central homage to Kill Bill in the episode. The action is actually split between Gabriel’s quest for revenge and what’s happening in Apocalypse World. While I really liked the central Kill Bill motif, the actual structure of the episode, splitting between the two storylines really didn’t mesh thematically for me.

First let’s look at the Gabriel storyline. It begins with Gabriel accosting Fenrir Odinsbane (Sandy Robson) in an alley. Gabriel appears playing a kazoo, which is a nice shout out to Louden Swain – Rob Benedict’s (God/Chuck) band as that’s their signature – and of course, Speight and Benedict are close friends. The special effects in this opening fight were not great. I also found the camera and direction of the fight left me cold – too many cuts and odd angles for me. However, at the end, we see Gabriel pull out his kill list and cross the first name off in blood. So, that makes Gabriel The Bride, right?

Meanwhile, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are settling into a hotel room in Central City, Colorado, hot on the heels – they hope – of Gabriel. Dean is not happy about how long it’s taking – though he takes some comfort in the bed having magic fingers! And of course, as soon as Dean bitches about “looking for some dumbass Arch-angel who doesn’t want to be found” there’s a knock at the door and there’s a very injured Gabriel.

It’s funny that Gabriel knew the moment Rowena cast her location spell because it tasted like Haggis! Gabriel has only come to them to see if they have any more of his grace – he’s used up most of his killing Asmodeus and ditching the brothers. He’s ready to leave again when they says they don’t have any, but he’s too weak.

Gabriel finally wakes up and is going to leave as soon as Dean asks for his help, but the door is broken down by Narfi (Michael Adamthwaite) and Sleipnir (Fletcher Donovan). Gabriel mostly lets Dean and Sam fight the Norse “demi-god-monsters,” slipping in to deliver the killing blow to Narfi with one of the special wooden katanas that he has for the job.

Dean isn’t letting Gabriel get away and handcuffs him with the special Arch-angel handcuffs. Gabriel finally tells them exactly what happened and why. Many millennium ago, Gabriel saved Loki after finding him chained in a cave with a snake dripping venom in his eye. When Lucifer started stirring, Gabriel had Loki put him in “witness protection” after Gabriel promised to stay out of his family’s dramas. However, Loki blamed Gabriel for Odin’s death because Odin wouldn’t have been there if Gabriel hadn’t asked him to be.

After Lucifer “killed” Gabriel, he asked Loki to hide him – and he did for a time – because it suited him. I loved Dean being interested in the Porn stars – and then Sam insisting Gabriel skip to the end – the look Dean shoots Sam is priceless. Eventually, with Lucifer seeming a lock to win the Apocalypse, Loki sold Gabriel to Asmodeus for a tidy sum – and so that Lucifer wouldn’t come after him for Gabriel.

As Gabriel talks about Asmodeus torturing him, he gets increasingly furious and Speight is great in this scene. He tells the brothers that he has more important things to do than join their “merry band of brothers” – which is an obvious shout out to Band of Brothers that Speight was also in. I did have to wonder as Gabriel railed about his seven years of torture why neither Dean nor Sam brought up the years – much longer – that they were tortured in Hell? Dean does try to point out that revenge won’t make Gabriel feel better.

Sam drags Dean outside to talk. Dean continues on the theme that revenge is pointless. He also accuses Sam of being “hopped up” on the Kill Bill fantasy. Sam, whoever insists that this is about Gabriel, not them. Gabriel needs their help.

Sam and Dean go back in, and Sam offers to help Gabriel if he will then help them. Dean is reluctantly on board. I did love Dean calling Gabriel “Uma” – as in Uma Thurman, star of Kill Bill. It turns out that Gabriel has known where Loki was all along – but you never kill the big bad first – you work up to it! Gabriel shows Dean his kill list and Dean is mystified. Gabriel tries to explain – you kill all his sons first, so that Loki then has nothing left, and then you take him out.

At the hotel, Gabriel lays out the “rules” in the elevator – he gets to kill Sleipner and Loki. When they actually get into the fight, however, Dean takes off to take care of Loki himself. Dean sees the entire exercise as wasting his time. Loki tells Dean that selling Gabriel to Asmodeus was payback for Odin’s death. Loki admits that Odin was a disagreeable bastard, but he was his father. He hits the nail on the head when he asks Dean what he would do for his father. And we all know the answer to that.

Loki turns out to be a mirage – that Dean can’t stab but who can beat Dean up as much as he likes – “Get the real trickster – get the real tricks!” Sam rescues Dean by coming in and shooting the mirage which dissipates.

Meanwhile, Gabriel has the real Loki – and no sword. Loki takes great pleasure in beating up Gabriel, but Sam and Dean show up, and Dean slides him the sword so that he can get his revenge. But not before Loki tells him, “You’re a joke. You live for pleasure and stand for nothing and that’s what you’ll die for.” Gabriel then kills him.

I hope everybody noticed that Sam added the norse-demi-god-monster-killing-katanas to the Impala’s arsenal! Gabriel thanks Dean and Sam for their help, and Gabriel plans to honor his commitment to help. “Tricks are for kids…”

Sam takes a minute to check on how Gabriel is doing now that he’s gotten his revenge. Gabriel tells him he feels great, but his face falls as Sam turns away – looks like Dean was right after all…

In Apocalypse-world, Jack (Alexander Calvert) is riding high on a string of victories. Mary (Samantha Smith) is struggling to keep up with looking after all the new refugees that have joined them. When news comes that Michael and the angels are leaving his fortress, Jack psychically checks and it seems to be abandoned. He insists on leading an expedition to investigate. Mary warns that it could be a trap, and Jack promises to keep her and everyone else safe.

When they get to the fortress, Mary mentions how much she hates the place. They find a map conveniently laid out with the position of Michael’s armies. They also find Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) in the dungeon! The others all call Kevin a traitor, but he tries to defend himself, saying he’s a prophet and has to serve God. He thought Michael was trying to save the world – not hurt people. As always Osric Chau is just terrific in both his much too brief scenes. I was really hoping they’d find a way to keep him more permanently – or at least set up a way for Dean to save him in this world.

It’s Mary who asks what Michael is planning. Kevin tells them that Michael has taken his armies to a place where the barrier between worlds is thinnest and is planning on using a spell from the angel tablet to open a rift and invade Mary and Jack’s world. Again, Jack wants to leave immediately, but Mary urges him to wait for Bobby to come back – and Kevin agrees.

Jack finally can’t take it anymore and insists that he’s leaving. Again, Mary urges him to wait. She tells him that they don’t know how strong Michael is. She also tells him that she was just like him with hunting. She warns him that he can’t think he’ll win all the time and rush in blindly – that’s how you make mistakes. She’s worried people will get hurt, but Jack insists that he’s helping people. Mary insists that she won’t lose another boy – aw! She thinks of Jack like one of her sons. I actually didn’t think that we got the best performance from Smith here, but it is nice to see her and Jack bonding. Jack puts his hand on her shoulder and assures her that he’ll come back for all of them.

At this point Kevin intervenes and gives away his real purpose. He tells Jack he can’t go and reveals a sigil carved into his chest. Michael has promised Kevin that he’ll get to see his mother again in Heaven. Mary tries to tell him that Heaven is just memories – nothing is real. But Kevin has been driven past the point of reason. Jack points out that the spell won’t kill him, and Kevin tells him that Michael knows that. He doesn’t want to kill Jack – he wants to break him. Kevin explodes himself, and Jack protects Mary with his wings – and this effect was good – and cool!

The final scene is the brothers back at the bunker. Sam wants to know what’s going on with Dean – going after Loki on his own and taking Ketch to Apocalypse-World without him. Sam is seeing it as a “thing” and isn’t happy suddenly being treated like a child again. And really, this is a big step backwards for the brothers as Dean seemed to have accepted Sam as an equal.

Perhaps Dean is backsliding because the circumstances are so similar to the last time. Dean refuses to apologize for trying to protect Sam. He asks him if he remembers what happened last time they went up against Lucifer and Michael – Sam went to Hell. Dean says that at least this time they are chasing the Apocalypse rather than the other way around. But he also tells Sam that he doesn’t care what happens to him. Dean says that he never really has cared about himself, but he does care about Sam. Hadn’t we gotten past this too? This feels like treading a lot of the same old ground.

Sam, however, insists that they’re going to Apocalypse-World and they’ll save Mary and Jack and they’ll do it together. And if something happens, they’ll deal with it together. And if they die? They’ll do that together too. Dean seems to accept it and smiles as Sam leaves the room – but does he? Ackles face is difficult to read here.

If we can drag any mutual threads out of the episode maybe it’s not to run off on your own or be consumed with revenge, but to rely on those around you to work for the greater good. Let’s go with that. I did like the Kill Bill theme – and that works well… except the Bride did get her revenge in the end. What did you think of the episode? Are you enjoying Mary and Jack bonding? Looking forward to more Gabriel? Sad to see the end of another Kevin Tran? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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