This post will be a giant mess, because I didn’t have any time to think about the episode, so I’m coming up with things as I go :P
My God, 209 was perfection.
I’ll talk about Gabriel, because these scenes were mostly about him. He has been tortured, drugged, and electrocuted. We’ve seen him alone, abandoned, and scared. He was mocked, and belittled, and spent days as a prisoner of a sadist. And throughout all of this, these endless days of imaginable pain, he never stopped fighting, never lost his hope.
There was one thing that kept him sane, one thing that gave him strength. And it was the knowledge that, among those thousands of people who either hate him or left him, there’s a single person who loves him, and it’s his twin brother Michael.
Because, as kyrilu pointed out, for Gabriel, there are two things he believes in: God’s plan and his bond with Michael.
And this week, we’ve seen one of those things shaken.
The writers did an amazing job with the portrayal of Gabriel’s loss of sanity. We’ve seen his initial faith in Michael, the convinction with which he told Julian his brother loved him. The moment he started to have some doubts is when Julian talked to him about Michael’s abadonment. Because of course Gabriel was afraid it was true. Otherwise, he’d never let Julian break him. Of course there’s a small voice inside of him that keeps telling him that God might not be coming back, that Michael might not love him, but he’s dismissing it, the same way he dismissed Julian’s comment. He’s the Heart, so he’s choosing to listen to his own heart. That’s the only thing left for him.
And, my God, his love for Michael is astounding. Throughout the episode, Julian kept goading Gabriel, calling him a messanger boy, trying to paint Michael as the only relevant brother, their Father’s favorite. Two weeks ago he called Michael the greatest of the archangels, and Gabriel didn’t even flinch, he didn’t react to it. Because he loves his brother so much, he trusts their Father so damn much, he’s fine with it. Duh, he’s proud of it. He might be horribly jealous of Michael’s relationship with Alex, but he’s never been jealous of Michael himself, even though he’s his twin, and should be his equal.
Another moment that truly broke me was when Julian tried to blame Michael for David’s death. It never even occured to Gabriel that he could hold it against his brother (rightfully so), but instead, after thousands of years of experience, he’s still blaming himself. And that’s Gabriel in a nutshell. Unwavering faith in Michael, great love for him, and self-loathing. That part is also interesting for another reason. It’s that much more clear that Gabriel’s hatred for humanity is a projection of his own feelings towards himself. He started hating the humans because they killed his David, while, in fact, he still thinks he’s the one to blame for his son’s death. He’s not only waging a war on the humans, he’s also fighting himself, which might explain while he’s so reluctant to form any permanent bonds. It’s his own form of punishment.
Coming back to #ArchangelTwinFeels. The pivotal moment for Gabriel was when he started hallucinating Michael. That’s when, for the first time, we’ve seen the full extent of his anguish. He’s been hiding his pain for so long now, the very sight of Michael made him break down. He was sobbing, because, with Michael in there, he thought all would be well. He was crying with relief, because he thought that he had a proof that he never had any reasons to doubt what he believed to be true. That’s also when Gabriel allowed himself to feel the pain he spent weeks fighting, because he knew he didn’t have to hide it from his brother. He was like a little kid, who runs into his parent’s arms and expects all the worries to go away, because Michael’s that kind of person for Gabriel. He trusts him so much, believes in his strength to such an extent, he’s Gabriel’s strength and his light. And his sanity.
Which makes sense, given how the very thought of Michael not loving him broke him.
He exposed his heart to Michael, and that’s why he was that hurt when he got manipulated. If Michael doesn’t love him, then everything he thought to be true’s wrong. Father might not be coming back, too. That’s a classic case of disillusionment. What’s the point of everything in his life, everything he’s done, given how his sole purpose is to reuinte his family? A family that might not even want to be reuinted? And we know that Gabriel needs Michael. Badly. Their relationship is horribly codependent, and he’s incapable of funcitoning as an individual. He’s Michael’s other half, but Gabriel himself is not whole without his brother.
Moreover, when he thought that Michael didn’t love him, he lost all hope, because he was the only person who could rescue him. Because Julian’s right, Gabriel has no friends, he only has his brother. And most of the time, he’s fine with it, because his brother’s all he needs. Too bad Michael doesn’t feel the same way (well, good for Michael, not so good for Gabriel).
So Gabriel broke. Succumbed to the darkness inside of him, his greatest fear, the fear of not being loved by the person he loves the most.
And now, he’s trying to trun this nightmare into his reality.
I hope that Michael’s love for Gabriel, and not Alex and his talent for eviction, will bring him back. And, hopefully, it won’t be too long until Michael realizes that Gabriel’s not fully himself.
Personally, I’m a bit scared of what’s to come, because I love Gabriel for his complexity, and the thought of seeing him as a fullblooded villain is a bit frightening. But, hopefully, it will shed some light on his fears and insecurities, and the writers will make it fun.
And, when all of this is over, I need Michael to hug him. Or at least visibly express his concern for Gabriel, because God knows he needs it.
“’M afraid your attempts t’flirt with me aren’t gonna work. You’re a bit, uh, young for me. What’re ya, thirteen? Yeah, no, sorry, lass, not gonna work,” Mitchell informed the girl, chuckling to himself as he kept an eye out for his other siblings.
No-no-no, I mean that it serves him well. Yes, he had saved their lives. Well let. But if you think about Ruki always does everything well. Good cooking. Well served. And strong. Just ... well, Kou asked to make vongole bianco, Ruki. And he does, because he's a great Daddy!
Ruki: I accept the fact that you believe that I am great. I put with so much with my brothers.