|Actor|| Matthew Cohen (5.13)|
Jake Abel (5.22, 15.08)
|Episode(s)|| 5.13 The Song Remains the Same|
5.22 Swan Song
15.08 Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven
God lied to me. I gave everything for him. I loved him. Why? I'm not even the only Michael.
– Michael, 15.08 Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven
God created Michael, the first archangel, the eldest of four brothers: Lucifer (whom he had a close bond with), Raphael and Gabriel. Michael, along with God and the rest of his fellow archangels would imprison the Darkness to maintain the Cosmic Balance.
After the creation of Heaven, its angels, and Earth, God commanded all of the celestial beings to bow before mankind, asking them to love humans more than himself. Lucifer questioned this order, insisting that they are "flawed, murderous beings." Lucifer then sought out his older brother, Michael, for support, but Michael refused to listen. After Lucifer created the first demon, Lilith, Michael would be the one to cast Lucifer out of Heaven into Hell. At some point, God left Heaven and Michael assumed command of the angels, running Heaven and Earth for a millennia.
When demons began making plans to free Lucifer, Michael decided to allow the seals binding Lucifer to be broken. He and a group of other angels, including Raphael and Zachariah, wanted the Apocalypse to occur so that he and Lucifer could battle. Michael expected to be victorious, so as to bring about paradise. To this end, he worked with Lilith as he believed paradise would bring God back. Lesser angels, like Castiel, were not privy to the plan, and were deployed to make it look as though Heaven was fighting Lucifer's release. When Lucifer was eventually freed, in order to confront him, Michael needed his true vessel, Dean Winchester. Zachariah was instructed to get Dean's permission to possess him. To Heaven's chagrin, Dean refused adamantly, and Michael was left to act through his agents. He then decided to speak with Dean in person, when the Winchester brothers were sent back to the year 1978, and used their father John Winchester as a temporary vessel.
Over time, Dean's resolve weakened, and just as he prepared to give his consent, the angels resurrected his half-brother, Adam Milligan, for the purpose of fulfilling the task of being Michael's vessel. This was soon revealed to be a ploy to make Dean give in, but when Dean killed Zachariah, after Michael had been called down from Heaven it forced Michael to take over Adam's body.
According to Lucifer, Michael was driven insane inside the Cage and he was said to be curled in a ball "singing show tunes and... touching himself." God later tells the Winchesters that they cannot call upon Michael to aid them against the Darkness as he is in no shape for a fight.
When God decides to end the world in retaliation for the Winchester's defiance, he throws open every door in Hell, including the door to Lucifer's Cage, giving Michael the chance to escape. According to the demon Belphegor however, Michael is still just sitting there in Lucifer's Cage even though the door is open. However, Belphegor suggests that if he gets out, Michael will want revenge for being trapped in the first place.
Though Michael originally didn't take the opportunity to escape when God opened the door to Lucifer's Cage, he later escapes from the Cage and Hell, still in the body of Adam Milligan. Now sharing control with his vessel, Michael is left directionless with his brothers dead and God gone as far as he was aware. Having learned from the demon tablet that Michael might know something that could help them beat God, the Winchesters and Castiel seek out the archangel's help. Disillusioned by everything he learns, Michael provides the spell to trap God, but refuses to stay and help further.
Michael sees himself as a good and loyal son to his father, and that matters most to him. Despite his love for Lucifer, Michael insists that he is only serving his father by destroying his brother. He seems to think himself magnanimous when he promises to leave Dean whole and not catatonic, after serving as a vessel and by erasing John and Mary Winchester's memories of their ordeal with Anna.
His insistence that his actions only serve God is not entirely true, as he blames Lucifer for the loss of their father, and is angry with him. He also becomes furious with anyone who interferes with his destiny, including Anna Milton and Dean at Stull Cemetery. When Lucifer suggested that they refuse to fight and "walk off the chessboard" Michael considered abandoning his destiny for a moment, before staying steadfast in his resolve to fight Lucifer. It is this stubborn insistence on fulfilling his story as written that lead him into imprisonment in the Cage.
Michael's relationship with Lucifer is stated to mirror that of Sam and Dean's. While talking with Dean, Michael professes love for Lucifer, even after all that his brother has done, having raised his younger sibling much like Dean raised Sam and even admits that killing Lucifer would be hard for him. Despite his anger at Lucifer, when they meet again in Stull Cemetery, Michael admits to being genuinely glad to see his brother again in a softer moment before he and Lucifer prepare to engage in battle. The formerly close relationship between the two can be seen by Lucifer's furious reaction to Castiel's subsequent attack on Michael with holy fire. However, despite this, at some point Michael created the Lance of Michael, a weapon he intended to kill Lucifer slowly and painfully. After his escape from Hell, Michael only truly snaps when Castiel accuses Lucifer of being the smarter of the two archangels for knowing that God can't be trusted, using Lucifer against Michael. This results in Michael, who had previously remained relatively calm despite his anger and frustration, physically attacking his younger brother.
Though Michael cares about humanity in general, he was willing to potentially sacrifice half of the population of the world to defeat Lucifer like he believed God wanted. When talking to Zachariah about his final plan to get Dean to say "yes," Michael showed little care for the humans who died in the bar Zachariah was drinking in as a result of Michael appearing in his true form. However, after a diner full of people witnessed Michael smite Lilith, he simply erased their memories of the incident rather than take more drastic measures, showing that he is not needlessly cruel nor does he needlessly take human life if he can avoid it.
After being trapped in the Cage, Michael is stated to have gone insane by both Lucifer and God. After God's betrayal, Dean suspects both were lying and Michael is in fact shown to retain his sanity.
Following his escape from the Cage, Michael is left directionless and unsure of his place in the world. However, he remains as stubborn as ever, refusing to accept the truth about his father. When pushed by Adam, Michael admits that if he doubts God, he feels it would be a betrayal of all that he is. Michael's refusal to hear the truth goes so far as Michael behaving like a petulant child and relinquishing control to Adam just so that he didn't have to listen to it. After seeing Castiel's memories of his father and learning that he is not the only Michael as he had believed, Michael becomes disillusioned with his father and provides the means to trap God. However, he refuses to help further, not wanting to be directly involved in fighting his father.
Due to his time in the Cage alone with Adam Milligan, Michael has developed a unique relationship with his vessel for an angel. Whereas most angels and archangels in particular only view and use their vessels as tools to manifest on Earth and don't appear to think of them as anything more than that, Michael has begun actively engaging with Adam, even on Earth. Having reached an agreement with each other in the Cage where all they had was each other, Michael is willing to share control with Adam. Michael states an intention to use Adam as a guide in the changed world where they are both adrift, having been gone for so long that neither Adam nor Michael truly know what to do with themselves anymore. Michael appears to have become protective over his vessel, angry at Dean for abandoning Adam in the Cage while letting Lucifer go free and Michael and Adam even appear to have become friends. Notably, Adam is able to argue with Michael fearlessly who responds back with more sincerity than he showed with anyone else, even opening up to Adam about his fears that doubting God would mean Michael betraying everything he has been and believed in.
Like most angels, Michael has an extremely low view of demons. When encountering Lilith, whom he had previously worked with to bring about the Apocalypse, Michael is incredulous at the idea that God would send "a speck of infernal bile" to retrieve him and smites Lilith when she gets on his nerves too much.
Powers and abilities
- Healing – Michael, like all angels, can heal any wounds or injuries. After being hit with a Molotov of holy oil, Michael was able to heal the injures sustained from contact with holy fire.
- Mental manipulation – Michael is capable of erasing specific memories from a person's mind, as he does with John and Mary Winchester. He later erased an entire diner's memories of his encounter with Lilith simply by commanding it and then snapping his fingers.
- Portal creation – With just a snap of his fingers, Michael opened a portal to Purgatory. This is a feat that even his fellow archangel Raphael couldn't accomplish, requiring a powerful spell procured by Crowley instead.
- Resurrection – Michael can revive the deceased as he did with Sam Winchester.
- Sedation – He can render people unconscious.
- Super strength – It is presumed like Lucifer, he can over-power pagan gods and lesser angels with little or no effort. Even while restrained by the Angel Cuffs, Michael was able to effortlessly overpower and strangle Castiel.
- Telekinesis – Michael was able to close the door to the Green Room when Adam attempted to escape.
- Pyrokinesis – Michael can incinerate lesser angels by touching them, as he did with Anna Milton.
- Terakinesis – Michael's mere presence in his true form can cause the earth to shake. When distressed by the revelation of God's betrayal, Michael caused the bunker to shake, even while bound by the Angel Cuffs.
- Teleportation – Michael can teleport himself and groups of people, and is capable of banishing angels with a snap of his fingers. After his escape from Hell, Michael was able to bounce all over the globe in a matter of seconds before settling on Cairo.
- Time travel – Michael can travel through time and transport others, such as Sam and Dean Winchester from 1978 back to their present in 2010.
- Smiting - With just a flash of his eyes, Michael smote Lilith, who along with being the first demon was one of the most powerful, causing her to vanish in a flash of white light and leave behind a pile of ashes.
- Angel Cuffs – The angel cuffs, after having been upgraded to hold the alternate Michael, were able to contain this Michael as well. However, he retained the use of some of his powers, causing the ground to shake when distressed and opening a portal to Purgatory.
- Archangel blade – Wielded by another archangel, the blade can kill Michael.
- Enochian warding sigils – Michael is susceptible to Enochian warding.
- Holy fire – While holy fire can kill regular angels upon contact, it can only temporarily banish Michael. The Winchesters and Castiel were later able to trap Michael with a ring of holy fire.
- Ma'lak Box – Can contain any archangel no matter how powerful.
Father Reynolds: That's right. The archangel Michael, with the flaming sword. The fighter of demons, holy force against evil.
Sam: So they're not really the Hallmark card version that everybody thinks? They're fierce, right? Vigilant?
Father Reynolds: Well, I like to think of them as more loving than wrathful; but yes, a lot of Scripture paints angels as God's warriors. "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, the glory of the Lord shone down upon them, and they were terrified." Luke. Two nine.
Upon Lucifer's rising from the Cage, Zachariah reveals to Dean that the angel's plan is for Michael to use Dean as his vessel and kill Lucifer once and for all. However, Dean needs to give his consent to be the vessel. Dean refuses and Zachariah tries to torture the consent out of him before a resurrected Castiel intervenes.
Michael first manifests when Sam, Dean and Castiel have traveled back to 1978 to stop Anna Milton from killing John and Mary Winchester in order to prevent Sam’s birth, and thus his use as Lucifer’s vessel. Michael comes to John while Anna is attacking, and John consents when Michael says he can stop Anna from killing Mary. Michael incinerates Anna with a touch, and banishes Uriel back to Heaven, and sends Mary to sleep. Alone with Dean, Michael explains that while Dean is his true vessel, he can use others from Dean's bloodline. Michael also tells Dean his view of the Apocalypse, and the need to have a final battle.
Before departing, Michael insists that everything is pre-ordained, including the need for Dean to serve as a vessel. He says that Dean has no choice, that "free will is an illusion," and that is why he will eventually consent. He then heals Sam, and returns the brothers to the present. He removes all memories of the events of the day from Mary and John.
Zachariah has been dismissed from his position and is drinking in a bar, awaiting his destruction, when Michael makes contact. The brilliance and sound of the archangel kills the bar patrons and Michael offers Zachariah a last chance to secure Dean as a vessel.
Meanwhile, seeing no other way to defeat Lucifer and save the planet, Dean is prepared to consent to becoming Michael's vessel when it is discovered that his half-brother Adam Milligan has been resurrected. The angels hold Adam as bait, and Sam and Dean attempt to rescue him. Zachariah tortures Sam and Adam in front of Dean, and Dean tells Zachariah he will consent on one condition. Zachariah utters an incantation that summons Michael to their location, Dean kills the distracted Zachariah with an angel blade. Sam and Dean manage to escape before Michael descends, but Adam is trapped inside the room and vanishes with Michael. Adam is technically a vessel, if only a temporary one, for Michael, being of the Winchester bloodline.
Castiel tells Sam and Bobby that Michael is currently using Adam as his vessel.
After Lucifer joins with his true vessel, Sam, Michael appears in Stull Cemetery outside of Lawrence, Kansas, to confront Lucifer for the final battle. Lucifer tries to convince Michael that they need not fight, but Michael is adamant that he be a "good son" to their Father, and is determined to kill his brother. Before they can begin, however, Dean arrives and demands to speak to Sam. Michael protests his presence, telling him he no longer has a place on the field. But before he can do anything about it, Castiel hurls a holy oil Molotov at the archangel, forcing him to vanish for several minutes. When Michael returns, Sam has managed to regain control of his body and has opened the gate to Lucifer's Cage. Michael demands a fight but Sam throws himself into the portal. Michael grabs hold of Sam to stop him from falling, but is dragged down into the pit along with him, the portal closing behind them.
Subsequently, in Heaven, Raphael informs Castiel that he wants to release Lucifer and Michael so that the Apocalypse can be re-started. While talking with Dean, Castiel speculates that Lucifer and Michael are probably abusing Sam's soul, as they see their imprisonment as his fault, of which Balthazar makes a similar assumption. Dean explains to Death -- who already knows -- that Michael, still inside Adam Milligan, also fell into the Cage, and requests that the Horseman retrieves both Sam's soul and Adam's body. Death forces him to pick one, and Dean picks Sam, leaving Adam with Michael and Lucifer.
In order to get Sam to say yes and become his vessel again, Lucifer takes Sam on a trip through his memories. One of these includes a stop at Stull Cemetery during the big fight with Michael. Later in the holding cell, Lucifer tells Sam he's the only hope left to stop the Darkness, as Raphael and Gabriel are both dead, God is MIA and Michael as it seems hasn't taken well to his confinement as, according to Lucifer, Michael is usually just "sitting in a corner singing show tunes and... touching himself."
As God, Lucifer and the Winchesters formulate a plan to take the fight to Amara. God mentions that Michael is in no state to help them in the fight.
Upon meeting the Apocalypse World Michael, Lucifer comments that he'll buy that Michael is the counterpart of the one he left behind. However, Lucifer comments that the alternate Michael seems like a cheap knockoff of his brother "and he's a hot mess."
After learning that Lucifer has become super-charged, Dean recalls Zachariah and Gabriel trying to convince him to say "yes" to Michael because of his destiny as Michael's vessel, the Michael Sword. Dean reminds the Apocalypse World Michael of this while making a deal with him to become the alternate Michael's vessel and finally kill Lucifer.
Belphegor tells Dean that every door in Hell sprang open all at once when God started the end of the world. Dean realizes that this means Lucifer's Cage as well and asks about Michael. Belphegor tells Dean that the last he heard, Michael was still just sitting in the Cage, but suggests that if Michael got out he might hold a grudge against the Winchesters.
From the demon tablet, the Winchesters learn that God has a secret fear that he only shared with his favorite which they realize means Michael. Though both God and Lucifer claimed Michael to be insane, Dean suspects they might have been lying and the Winchesters and Castiel travel into Hell to search for Michael. However, they quickly learn that Michael is nowhere to be found in Hell.
On Earth, Michael allows Adam to have control as his vessel enjoys a burger in a diner. Michael, manifesting as an identical duplicate of Adam, admits that he doesn't know what to do now with the other archangels dead and God is gone from Heaven. He tells Adam he sees him as his guide in the new world and the two commiserate over having difficult families. As they discuss what to do next, Lilith arrives looking for Michael on God's orders. Instantly taking control, Michael is skeptical of the demon's claims and intentions and smites her in a flash of white light when she insists. Noticing that the entire diner witnessed his actions, Michael erases their memories with a snap of his fingers.
After getting rid of Lilith, Michael begins bouncing all over the globe, finally ending up in Cairo, Egypt with prophet Donatello Redfield sensing his movements. Castiel reaches out to Michael through prayer, asking for him to come, acknowledging their past and the greater war that is taking place against God. Michael agrees to meet with Castiel in a factory, but is less than pleased to see his brother, as Castiel called him assbut and set him on fire before helping send Michael to Hell. As Michael speculates if Castiel has come to beg forgiveness, Castiel surrounds the archangel in a ring of holy fire. The Winchesters soon enter with the angel cuffs, Michael angrily demands to know what Castiel has done.
Taken back to the Men of Letters Bunker in handcuffs, Michael calls their actions stupid and starts to comment on how Sam looks compared to the last time Michael saw him in the Cage. Sam cuts Michael off and insists that they need his help. Michael is incredulous that they want him to trust them when Castiel doomed him to Hell and Dean let Lucifer walk free while Adam was trapped. Sam explains that with what they do, they have gotten too used to losing people and with Adam they said goodbye because they thought they had to but were wrong. Michael then returns control to Adam, surprising the Winchesters that Michael lets Adam have control. Adam explains that he and Michael reached an agreement in the Cage where they only had each other.
Michael quickly retakes control and demands to know why he is there. Sam and Dean explain that they need his help because God is back and while Michael thinks God will bring paradise. Dean tells him that paradise is boring, and God only wants to be entertained meaning they are all his puppets, especially Michael. Michael refuses to listen, claiming that they are lying and returns control to Adam who states that Michael isn't listening. Alone, Adam attempts to convince Michael that the Winchesters might be right, pointing out that while he doesn't forgive them, they always try to be on the right side and maybe Michael doesn't know his father as well as he thinks. Adam finally gets Michael to admit that he won't consider the truth as it would mean that Michael -- the good son, the favorite -- doubts his father which is against everything Michael has been and believed in his whole life. Adam questions if Michael really still believes that after God abandoned him in Lucifer's Cage.
When Castiel returns, Michael has retaken control and refuses to betray his father and everything he believes in. Castiel tells the archangel that he never really liked him, even when he was just another angel. Castiel always thought Michael to be too haughty and "to paraphrase a friend, you had an entire oak tree shoved up your ass." Castiel now pities Michael as he was never God's favorite but just a tiny part of God's story and figures that at least Lucifer knew that God couldn't be trusted. Enraged, Michael attacks Castiel who shows the archangel his memories of God's betrayal, the fight with the Darkness, the murder of Jack and the Apocalypse World Michael.
Disillusioned, Michael later causes the Bunker to shake and agrees to help. Michael provides Dean and Castiel with the spell that can lock God away, but it requires a Leviathan Blossom which only grows in Purgatory. With a snap of his fingers, Michael opens a twelve hour portal, but refuses to come with them and help further. Dean removes the handcuffs and at Dean's request, Michael returns control to Adam so that Dean can apologize to his brother before Adam and Michael depart.
- Michael is the only angel to not appear in a vessel specifically introduced as the angel. All other angels shown have appeared in vessels that were introduced specifically as the angel rather than the vessel; Castiel's vessel Jimmy Novak is the only vessel to be specifically named, and while Nick and Donnie Finnerman initially appeared as themselves, they were immediately selected as Lucifer and Raphael's vessels. By contrast, Michael has only been shown when using John Winchester and Adam Milligan as vessels, both of whom had appeared before Michael was even introduced as a character.
- When Michael speaks through a vessel, his voice is noticeably deeper than that of his vessel. This is best seen in 15.08 Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven when Michael responds to Adam off-screen with a deeper voice than the one Adam just used despite Michael appearing as an identical duplicate of Adam.
Michael in Art and Lore
When Zachariah tells Dean his destiny is to kill Lucifer he stands in front of a painting of the archangel Michael killing Lucifer. The painting is Saint Michel terrassant le Dragon by 15th century Flemish painter Josse Lieferinxe. The Feast of Saint Michael, or Michaelmas, is traditionally celebrated on September 29th. This is, coincidentally, the birthday of his alternate vessel, Adam Milligan.
Michael in Fandom
- 5.22 Swan Song
- 5.04 The End
- 15.08 Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven
- 11.10 The Devil in the Details
- 11.22 We Happy Few
- 14.20 Moriah
- 15.01 Back and to the Future
- 5.13 The Song Remains the Same
- 12.12 Stuck in the Middle (With You)
- 5.18 Point of No Return
- 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much
- 14.11 Damaged Goods
- 6.20 The Man Who Would Be King
- 6.10 Caged Heat
- 6.11 Appointment in Samarra