In our latest interview, Richard Speight Jr. has a lot to say about Gabriel’s appearance on Supernatural.
SheKnows spoke with Speight Jr. at the recent Supernatural convention held in Burbank, California, and he gave us his theory about what Gabriel’s latest appearance meant.
When the Trickster first appeared on the series back in Season 2’s “Tall Tales,” he quickly won the hearts of the fans. That love only grew when it was discovered that the man known as the Trickster was actually the archangel known as Gabriel and had just been chilling out on Earth in a Trickster disguise after running away from the insanity of Heaven. As is the fate of many beloved characters on Supernatural, Gabriel died in Season 5’s “Hammer of the Gods.”
Or did he?
In Season 9’s “Meta Fiction,” Gabriel showed up to give Castiel (Misha Collins) some sage advice, but it was revealed that the whole thing was a trick by Metatron (Curtis Armstrong). Does that mean Gabriel is really and truly dead and Castiel only saw an image projected by Metatron?
“One theory is that obviously Metatron is controlling the whole thing and that I’m really just a projection of what he wants Metatron to be and do say,” Speight Jr. said about the scene. “But that makes you wonder why he doesn’t just appear. Because there’s no other time where Metatron does that, where he doesn’t just come out and be Metatron. Secondly, little clues like snapping in and out the sequence and very specific language that is very, very Gabriel. It seems, if you don’t know the guy, a little too nuanced [to be Metatron projecting an image].”
At the end of the pivotal scene between the two brothers, Castiel asked Gabriel if he was really dead. Gabriel didn’t answer the question, which Speight Jr. called “a very loud answer” as to whether the angel is still alive.
Also, there was the fact that Robbie Thompson (who directed the episode) had some important instructions for the actor during the scene. “We met beforehand and went over the scene pretty specifically. To be honest, we were more focused on making sure that Gabriel seemed like Gabriel, not that Gabriel seemed like he wasn’t Gabriel.”
“I played it as if it’s Gabriel,” Speight Jr. continued. “I didn’t play it as if it’s somebody else’s projection. Because even when he comes out of the thing and he’s like, ‘Aw, damn it,’ he snaps away the scenery and then he explains why he’s doing it. He doesn’t speak in Metatron’s voice. There’s no reason for him to speak as Gabriel at that point unless he’s Gabriel.”
But why would Gabriel have been trying to talk Castiel into working with Metatron? Speight Jr. had an explanation for that, too.
“He’s like, ‘Look, here’s the deal: I don’t read the whole thing, I just know that [Metatron] wants to do this thing, and you should follow suit.’ And Castiel kind of outs him for not having done his homework, and he’s like, ‘Eh, you’re right.’ And so he just disappears back to where he was. That, to me, seems very in character. There are certain elements that seem very in character to me.
“One is his desire to sort of help his brother — even though it’s a failed attempt and a thinly researched attempt. [He wants to] help his brother because when we last saw him he was sort of trying to realign his way of thinking. To me, there are a lot of X factors that indicate it is Gabriel, and [Thompson] was trying to sprinkle the bread crumbs [in] that direction as well. So that’s why it played out that way.”
In the 200th episode, fans were ecstatic to see the return of Chuck (Rob Benedict). It was a surprise that Speight Jr. was aware of and happy to see as well. Now many fans want to know what both of their appearances could mean for the futures of their characters.
“[The writers have] tee’d the ball up to do what they want to do with some characters [that] they could definitely bring back. It’s interesting because there’s no question about Rob’s return, whether that’s Rob or not. That’s Chuck, there’s no gray area. For mine, it’s a conversation, and I actually love that it’s a conversation because that’s going to drive people nuts to know whether it is or whether it isn’t. That’s just good drama, that’s just good storytelling.”
What do you think, Supernatural fans? Is Gabriel definitely still alive?