Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...
With Castiel searching for Gabriel in Texas, the boys are picking up the slack in Colorado after Rowena's spell pointed them to Colorado. Just then, they get a knock at the door and it's none other than Gabriel himself. He's badly hurt and looking for more of his angel grace but the boys are fresh out after using it to open a rift. He tries to leave but Dean isn't having any of it and demands an explanation. Back in bizarre world, Jack's victories against Michael's armies have made him overconfident and he wants to take the fight directly to Michael's doorstep. Mary understands Jack's desire to finish the battle but based on her experience, she suggests that they wait and make a plan. This leads them to Michael's stronghold but no one is home - except for the prophet Kevin Tran. Back on earth, Gabriel tells the Winchesters how he was captured and sold to Asmodeus by the children of Loki: Fenrir, Narfi and Sleipnir. His wounds were from his battle where he killed Fenrir but that still leaves two more on the list and their father Loki. Gabriel assumed Loki's appearance and he will not stop until he exacts his revenge on the Norse god of mischief and his children for what they did to him. Sam and Dean can either help or get out of his way.
In an attempt at the classic revenge tale, Unfinished Business felt like the episode that wanted to be cool but forgot that it needed to stay simple and not contradict itself. To start, Gabriel's arc over the episode of what happened to him before he was sold to Asmodeus was an interesting story but the tone constantly shifted between the stylized revenge story and the ark torture that Gabriel went through. This wasn't helped when Dean outright called it stupid. Even then, Gabriel's kill list made it seem like he was living out his own fantasy to evade the truth as much as he could have. Unlike Rowena, Gabriel's character didn't need to end up in the same place and just know that he has to help but he could have also shifted from the trickster personality he had before to a darker, more jaded version that could no longer see the humor in everything. While Gabriel's final confrontation with Loki is a great throwback to season five, we had never seen the two of them together before that moment. The flashbacks should have established the deal that they made years before rather than us hearing about it in the final moments of the episode.
Where the episode immediately faltered was in splitting time between the bizarre world and the normal world. Jack, and especially Mary, have had very little attention this season and their newfound relationship has had even less time to develop; as a result, it lacked any chemistry or believability. Though they travelled with a band of rebel's to Michael's stronghold, I can't remember the names of any of them which made their deaths only matter to Jack and Mary without context for the audience. Kevin Tran's attack as a suicide bomber for Michael wasn't handled much better either. Tran's motivations were solid but Jack already mentioned that he was defeating Michael's men and freeing more people all of the time. Losing five people in a church didn't seem as dire as it was made out to be when you consider that the humans were being slaughtered at will before Jack showed up.
All in all, Unfinished Business wasn't a great episode for Supernatural. With only three episodes left of the season remaining, I'm cautiously optimistic that Supernatural might just be able to finish this season on a high note amongst a slew of weak episodes. We'll see what happens on this week's episode, Beat the Devil.