Finch was living outside town with his wife, who was a human and the love of his life. He made sure not to hurt anyone and tried to live a normal life. One day, he and his wife went into town, he left his wife momentarily to go to the bank, and she was almost raped by a deputy. Finch was then shot by the deputy, who also shot and killed Finch's wife. The sheriff heard the shots and then the deputy and the sheriff blamed Finch for the murder of his wife. He was arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced to death.
After being hanged for the crime he didn't commit, he comes back for vengeance against those who hanged him. He first goes after the Judge, then the Sheriff. This in turn, makes Dean the Sheriff. Finch goes after the Deputy who is in jail. Dean confronts him about all the murders and Finch reveals what really happened. He stated he enjoyed seeing the deputy fearful and behind bars, deeming he "saved the best for last".
He questions Dean on his willingness to save the Deputy. Dean is sympathetic, but has to kill Finch, as he knows what he is, and needs his ashes. Accepting this, Finch shoots the Deputy, and turns on Dean. Dean runs away, managing to dodge his shots, and manages to get the Colt from Sam.
Dean then challenges Finch to a showdown accepting this as his way to die, Finch joins, and the two fire, exactly at twelve o'clock. Finch is killed by Dean and goes up in flames, leaving his ashes.
Powers and Abilities
Phoenixes are amongst the strongest and most durable of monsters, they are quite powerful, and almost impossible to kill.
- Touch Incineration - Elias Finch could incinerate anyone with a single touch, this ability was so strong, that he reduced a whole man to ashes in seconds.
- Immortality - As a Phoenix, Elias was immortal, also retaining the appearance of the same age. Elias was immune to death by natural causes and aging. Based on Elias' comments, it seems before the Colt, there was no known way to kill a Phoenix, although the fact it was known that they combust upon death, implies that there exists other ways to kill him.
- Invulnerability - Finch is nearly completely invulnerable: he took repeated shots in the chest and did not even react. Although a significant force, such as being hanged could knock him out for a while.
- Regeneration - He can heal from wounds at an accelerated rate. He healed from being hanged and even being shot multiple times instantaneously.
- Superhuman Strength - Elias was incredibly strong. He was strong enough to break out of his coffin, after he had been nailed down and buried.
- Shapeshifting - Elias could take a human form to conceal his true form, which is bird-like.
- The Colt - Since this gun was created to kill almost anything, Finch can be killed using the Colt, which Dean does in a showdown.
- Iron - Dean figures out that Finch can't touch Iron, as like many creatures, it burns his flesh, he also couldn't escape iron handcuffs.
In order to get the Phoenix ash needed to kill Eve, the Winchesters went back to 1861 to get the ashes of a phoenix supposedly killed by Samuel Colt, that phoenix being Elias. After getting the Colt from Samuel, Dean challenged Elias to a duel. While Elias' shot missed Dean, Dean hit Elias in the heart with a shot from the Colt, killing Elias and causing him to burn to ashes.
- Finch's surname is the same as that of a bird. This is possibly an intended pun as a Phoenix is portrayed in lore as a bird.
- According to the Season 6 Companion Guide, The Phoenix was not created intentionally by Eve. It was also hated by all of Eve's other children and thus has been on the run for thousands of years.
- Until Sam killed the Alpha Vampire in The Raid, Finch was the last being seen being killed with the Colt for the audience. Chronologically, it is first time a Winchester has killed with it.