SPOILER WARNING: This article may contain spoilers for "Supernatural."
Supernatural is a TV series that follows two brothers, Sam and Dean, as they hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings. Throughout the many seasons, Sam and Dean have made allies and enemies with humans and creatures they've met. One such creature is Gabriel, an archangel, who has done many different things in his time on the show, some good and some bad.
When we first meet Gabriel, he is posing as a janitor. We don't know who he is, but eventually, they and the audience, learn he is a Trickster. Bobby explains that tricksters are immortal demigods that can create anything out of thin air and tend to play deadly pranks on the high and mighty. Bobby also mentions that tricksters need a diet high in sugar. Dean deduces that the janitor is the trickster because they find candy wrappers in his locker. Since he is a supernatural being, Sam and Dean, with Bobby's help, figure out how to kill the Trickster. At the very end of the episode, we learn he isn't dead, and that Dean only killed a duplicate creation of him.
The next time we see the Trickster, he traps Sam in a seemingly infinite time loop, where Dean continually dies in increasingly strange ways (once by Sam's own hand), with Sam continually failing to save him. The Trickster eventually gives up and tells Sam he was only trying to prove a point. That that the two brothers continually sacrificing themselves for one another would bring no good, and when people die, they just have to learn to accept it and live with it. His idea is that there will come a point where Sam will need to learn to live without Dean and he was trying to prepare him.
We finally learn that the Trickster is really the archangel Gabriel in his own form of witness protection. The Trickster traps Sam and Dean in TV Land and they are forced to play along with characters in parodies of common TV Shows. We learn about why Gabriel has been doing what he has. He wants his brothers to stop fighting and just be done with the battling. There is a ton of information Gabriel gives Sam and Dean about their situation (the Apocalypse) for the season.
Gabriel comes to save Dean and Sam after they are captured by a group of Pagan deities. We learn that he has been hiding from the other Angels by taking on Loki's persona and aligning himself with the Pagans. While at the Elysian Fields Hotel, Lucifer kills Gabriel and warns the Winchesters he will be coming for them too. Gabriel ends up leaving Sam and Dean a message hidden in a DVD of his favorite porn, Casa Erotica, explaining how the brothers could potentially defeat Lucifer.
We later learn that Gabriel deceived Lucifer by creating a copy that Lucifer believed to be the real him with the true Gabriel watching the scene from afar, faking his own death at the Elysian Fields Hotel. Gabriel approached the Shaman Sergei for a cloaking spell and supplied him with his grace as payment. He later met with Loki to help him hide once again.
Though the four originally agreed, Loki and his sons betrayed Gabriel, bound him and sold him to the Prince of Hell Asmodeus in revenge for the death of Odin at the hands of Lucifer, something that Loki blamed on Gabriel. Held captive, Gabriel was subjected to torture by Asmodeus who would routinely steal his grace to fuel himself in order to obtain more powers. The archangel eventually kills Asmodeus and leaves the Winchesters to face their problems on their own.
Then, Gabriel tracked down the Deities that sold him to Asmodeus and decided to get his revenge for the suffering he endured. After finding and killing Loki's sons, he heads for Loki himself, eventually killing the Pagan God he stole his look from. Gabriel decided to move on from his past as a Trickster and help the Winchesters.
While Gabriel has been dealing with his own issues, Sam and Dean have been trying to figure things out that have gone wrong for them. Their mom, Mary and surrogate son Nephilim, Jack is trapped in an alternate reality. Sam and Dean are planning to bring them home, but to get there they need an archangel's grace. Unfortunately, after his time with Asmodeus, Gabriel doesn't have enough grace, so a plan to trap Lucifer and use him is enacted.
Once in the alternate world, Gabriel selflessly confronted the far more powerful Michael in order to buy the Winchester's time to escape, despite knowing Michael will certainly defeat and kill him, an act that cost him his life.
As the second half of the final season gets ready to begin in a few weeks, I can't help but wonder if Gabriel is really dead this time. He has proven time and time again that he has tricks up his sleeve and is willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Countless times throughout the series has he been able to fake his own death. Perhaps he is still trapped in that alternate reality. Perhaps he left that world once he was powerful enough is once again in hiding. Considering that no one is ever really dead on Supernatural, it is fair to assume that Gabriel might still be alive. With everything Sam and Dean have gone through, I happen to believe that Gabriel is an important part of their story. His character has been used in a way to establish how much the brothers need one another. As much of an impact as Gabriel has had on them, and the fans, I believe we need to see him one more time before the series ends.
What do you think? Is Gabriel still alive or not?