Who is Gabriel in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning?

Cameron Frew
Gabriel in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 is here, and the movie introduces a major new villain: Gabriel. Here’s what you need to know about the antagonist, who is an old enemy of Ethan Hunt.

The M:I franchise has a wealth of superb villains: Jon Voigt’s Jim Phelps was a brilliant inversion of the original series, M:I3 had the best of the lot with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian, and Fallout came with the two-hander of Sean Harris’ Solomon Lane and Henry Cavill’s assassin-cum-terrorist.

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Dead Reckoning is concerned with an altogether different, starker threat: a malicious, Skynet-esque artificial intelligence that has the power to reduce the world to ash with just one of its quadrillion computations, and every country wants the keys to control it.

Enter Gabriel, a shadowy figure from Hunt’s past who may prove to be his toughest adversary yet – so, here’s what you should know.

Who is Gabriel in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning?

Gabriel is an assassin and liaison for the Entity, carrying out its bidding and pursuing the keys that unlock the AI’s secrets – and killing anyone who gets in his way.

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When Hunt first catches a glimpse of Gabriel in Abu Dhabi, it clearly affects him. When it’s confirmed that it’s him he saw, we’re told that Hunt thought he’d died a long time ago. Benji asks who he is, and Ilsa says he’s a “dark messiah” who “sees death as a gift he wants to share with the rest of the world.”

Gabriel and Paris in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1Paramount Pictures

He is assisted and guided by the AI at all times, carrying out his mission and killings with to-the-second precision and fateful predictions. “I can be anything, and I know everything,” he tells a man before stabbing his hand with a knife. He has the resources to know how anyone’s story ends, according to the AI’s foresight.

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What isn’t as clear is how he became involved with the Entity in the first place; does he know who created it, or did the AI reach out to him personally? If he gets the keys, would he want all of that power for himself, or would he sell it to the highest bidder?

There’s also his past with Ethan: before he became an IMF agent, Gabriel shot and killed a woman named Marie, whom Ethan was close to. He was found at the scene, and it was either prison, death, or “the choice” – aka, pledging to serve as a covert intelligence operative. Details regarding Marie and why Gabriel wanted to murder her are even slimmer; was she an IMF agent, had Gabriel gone rogue, or is there a deeper backstory to be explored?

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Unfortunately for Hunt, Gabriel survives the events of Part 1, so we’ll see them face off again – and hopefully learn a bit more about him – in Dead Reckoning Part 2, which you can read more about here.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 is in cinemas worldwide now. Check out our other coverage below:

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About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, Oscars enthusiast, and a staunch Scot. He earned a First-Class Honours Degree in Multimedia Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University, accredited by the NCTJ and BJTC. He began his career at UNILAD, starting as a Junior Journalist and becoming Entertainment Editor prior to joining Dexerto. You can contact him at cameron.frew@dexerto.com.