Three more weeks! Three more weeks! The countdown to Supernatural’s sixth season is slowly coming to an end and I’m becoming even more impatient with the wait. At least on Tuesday, we’ll have the fifth season DVDs to keep us preoccupied for a little while, reliving the apocalypse and all of the misery that came with them (and the fun moments like Castiel in a whore house and being locked in TV land). Until then, here’s week 3 of our Supernatural countdown. Last week was about my favorite angel Castiel, this week we have another angel.
Over the course of five seasons, the Winchesters have come up against some dangerous adversaries, but none were quite like the Trickster. Eventually retconned into the fourth archangel Gabriel, the Trickster took an early interest in the Winchesters, particularly Sam. Though his technique was often cruel, he intended to teach lessons to the pompous and arrogant. When he wasn’t figuring out how many different ways he could kill Dean, he was planting alligators in the sewer or chasing men around in the guise of the Hulk. Here are three of his best tricks.
Note: Click on the trick names to see video on YouTube.
In general, “Changing Channels” was some of Gabriel’s best work. He locked the boys inside of Dean’s favorite guilty pleasure television show, “Doctor McSexy MD”, then into a Japanese game show, and even in a “Full House” like early 90s sitcom that resulted in that awesome set of title credits. Sam even had to record a herpes drug commercial, all in the name of learning a lesson that they should “play the roles [they’d] been given”. The best of his pranks in this episode by far was turning Sam into the Impala, a “Knight Rider” homage waiting to happen. It allowed such interesting moments as learning that having the trunk open with Dean rummaging around in it feels weird and, when Dean is trying to get Gabriel’s attention, the giggle-inducing moment of Sam’s innocent “Should I honk?”
Eventually learned a lesson, but not the one Gabriel meant to teach. They learned his true identity and taught him the meaning of standing up for what’s right even if it means fighting within your family. It took a half a season before the message stuck, but still, he eventually came over to their side of the fight.
Our first introduction to the Trickster involved a series of weird urban legends coming true around a college campus. With alligators in the sewer, ghost students causing mock suicides of unfaithful and cocky professors, and his existence turning Sam and Dean into an old married couple, it was hard to choose just one moment, but in the end, the aliens won. The distraught frat boy learned a lesson – that aliens just want to be romanced too. Even without the slow and steady description of being probed “again and again and again and again… and again and then one more time,” this trick would have won us over by the mood lighting and choice of Chris DeBurgh “Lady in Red”. Oh frat boy, humiliation is a bitch.
In the end, Gabriel came through for the Winchesters, showing up to save the boys when they’d been trapped by a bunch of disgruntled gods. When he came face to face with his brother Lucifer, he made a valiant effort at stopping his rampage, but sadly, ended up dead on the banquet floor with the rest of his god-friends. Yet still he provided crucial information to the Winchesters’ fight against Lucifer – in the form of a porn movie. Only the Trickster/Gabriel find that the perfect was to provide clues to how to defeat Lucifer best fit inside of a badly written porno with him in a goofy waiters outfit. At least he had fun making it before he made one sacrifice for the side of the humans.
In the end, Gabriel died too soon. Even after putting Sam through the hell of watching his big brother die hundreds of horrible deaths and locking them into a fantasy world of bad television, he was never really a bad guy. He took an interest in the Winchesters because he knew where their paths led them. He could have been a very valuable ally in the fight against both heaven and hell, and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him just yet.