Saturday, 1 May 2010

Spotlight: Supernatural – Hammer of the Gods

In terms of real world Mythology this is an epic episode in the Supernatural canon. Many of the Old World Gods will clash as we take a good hard look at last week’s Supernatural, Hammer of the  Gods.

The episode opens with Sam and Dean checking into the Elysian Hotel in the middle of a thunderstorm. (In Greek mythology, Elysium was a section of the Underworld. The Elysian Fields, or the Elysian Plains, were the final resting places of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous.) The Hotel is filled with people trying to get out of the storm, people who are now all pigging out on an all you can eat buffet… It’s almost as if they are being fattened up for some reason…

And so the Winchester brothers tuck into a slice of pie and settle down for a calm night off from the usual monster Mercuryhunting fun that runs their lives.

Only… of course… we know that that’s not going to happen. Pretty soon things start to get weird. First the young couple in the room next door almost come through the wall. But when the brothers check it out there is no one to be found. When they check in with reception the concierge says the couple just checked out.

Obviously Sam and Dean can’t just let it go at that and so the snooping begins. Quickly Dean surmises that something is definitely going on after he spots an elephant in one of the rooms. 

Not long after that we realise that we are dealing with Gods… plural. Their ring leader is Kali (played by Battlestar Galatica’s Rekha Sharma) who casts a binding spell to keep the Winchesters in the Hotel. Her other companions include: Mercury (the Kali concierge), Ganesh, Baldur, Zao Shen, Odin, Baron Samedi among others.

After realising all the other guests have vanished Sam and Dean begin to suspect they were led to the hotel. Heading into the Kitchen they quickly discover the rest of the guests locked up in the freezer. But before they have time to rescue anyone the brothers are dragged before the council of the Gods.

The Old World Gods are just as worried about the apocalypse as everyone else, so they have banded together to come up with a plan to avert it. Capturing Sam and Dean to use a bargaining chips with Michael/Lucifer. After some rather amusing infighting (Odin mocking Zao Shen’s belief in a giant turtle that carries the world Ganeshon it’s back), Loki turns up and asks “Can’t we all just get along,” in his musical-eske Trickster manner. 

Of course, we all know that The Trickster is none other than the Archangel Gabriel, but the other Gods have no idea. Gabe quickly zaps Sam and Dean from the room so he can talk to them privately. “Those guys are either going to dust you or use you as bait, either way you’re uberboned!”

“And why do you care?” Dean asks indigently. “I don't care.” Gabriel protests. “But me and Kali, we had a thing... Lucifer is going to turn them into finger paint, so lets get going while the going’s good.”

Gabe explains that first, however, he must break the spell that is binding them to the hotel. Dean insist that they get the hostages out before they run, when Gabe protests Dean Odin threatens to let the other God’s know Loki’s secret identity.

So Gabe wines and dines Kali in the hope of changing her mind about going after Lucifier. “Screw this marble, lets go check out Pandora.” (It’s one of Saturn’s moons… as well as that planet in Avatar… not sure which he means.) “It doesn’t have to be that way.” Kali insists. “What if we fight?” “You die.” Gabriel replies. “I’ve tussled with those winged ass-monkeys once or twice. I’m begging you, don’t do this.” But Kali isn’t listening, she cuts Gabe and adds his blood to the binding spell, trapping him just like Sam and Dean.

Downstairs Sam and Dean stake Zao Shen as he tries to stop them taking the hostages. Once again the brothers are dragged in front of Kali, only this time she is really mad. She knew that Loki was actually Gabriel and she had brought him to the hotel for one reason only… to get her hands on an Angel knife. Without warning Zao Shenshe whips it out and I sat bolt upright and screamed at my TV…. “NOOOOOOOOOO!” as she killed Gabriel.

For a long time I’ve thought of the Trickster as one of the best Supernatural characters, when he was reveal as Gabriel I was ecstatic but to kill him off like this with no rhyme or reason.. Why, damn you, why?

So, having run out options Dean offers to bring the Devil to Kali, on the proviso that she lets the hostages go. Kali agrees and Dean releases everyone. But as he is doing so a voce calls to him from a nearby car… I should have known, you can’t kill the Trickster. Baron Samedi

“You think I’d give Kali my real sword, that thing can  kill me.” Gabe explains. “A fake, I made it out of a can of diet orange slice.”

“Hand over the real blade.” Dean insists to Gabriel’s confusion. “Since when are you butt buddies to a load of monsters?” Gabriel asks. “It’s nuts, but it’s the best idea I’ve heard. Unless you have a better one? They are going to die in there without you.” Dean says, appealing to Gabriel’s compassionate side. “I can’t kill my brother.” Gabe insists. “Can’t or wont?”

It’s interesting that Dean, of all people, asks this question, because if push comes to shove and he is forced to kill Sam, would he?

So the Gods have a fake sword, but it’s too late because Satan is already on the doorstep. It seems Mercury called him and for his trouble Lucifer kills him. Mark Pellegrino’s body is beginning to  disintegrate which means Lucy will need a new body pretty Baldursoon… will Sam say yes? I doubt it but we’ll see…

So Lucifer goes on to slaughter everyone, including Baldur. However, just in the nick of time Gabe shows up, thrusts a porno into Dean’s hands and commands him to guard it with his life, then the two brothers go at each other like there is no tomorrow… Gabe and Lucy that is.

Sam, Dean and Kali escape in ruckus. “Lucifer, you are my brother and I love you, but you are a great big bag of dicks. Boo Hoo, daddy was mean to me so I’m going to smash up all his toys. Dad loved you best, more than Michael, more than me, then he brought the new baby home and you couldn’t handle it. So all  Gabrielthis… its just a great big temper tantrum, it’s time to grow up!”

“You, disloyal…” Lucifer begins, but Gabe cuts him off. “Oh, I’m loyal, to them.To People, because dad was right, they are better than us.” Lucifer disagrees. “They are broken, flawed abortions.” Gabe is just stalling now, but his words are kinda beautiful. “Damn right they’re flawed, but a lot of ‘em try… to do better… to forgive. I’m not on your side or Michael’s, I’m on theirs.”

“I know you think you doing the right thing, Gabriel, but I know where your heart truly lies…” Satan says softly as the camera pans to show a second Gabe standing behind him ready to strike. “Here.” Lucy breathes as he stabs his brother with his own knife. For the second time this episode I cry out that it can’t be Lucifer kills Gabrieltrue, but this time I know it’s for real. As we zoom out  the outline of his wings is singed into the floor. Gabriel is dead.

I knew it would end this way, but I’m not sure I see why it had to. Does Kripke not like his best characters, first Ash, then Jo and Ellen, now the Trickster and I’m betting even Bobby will have had it before the end of the season.

The episode concludes with Dean sitting down to watch the dvd Gabriel handed to him before his final fight… Casa Erotica 13. However, of course, Gabe has altered the porno to feature a message about how to defeat Lucy. It seems the Devil’s trap they broke Lucifer out of is still in good condition, all they need to do is cram his ass back in and lock it with four specially designed keys… The Four Rings of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse…


Well not quite. The episode ends with a teaser of just who will be playing Pestilence… none other than Matt Frewer! I would pretend to be shocked but I’d read about it months ago… still I Pestilence can’t wait to see what he does with the role.

Overall the episode was quite heavy, but still enjoyable. I still wish that Gabriel had been used in a better way, rather than dying here. Although God already brought Cas back from the dead so we might see Gabe again before the end. I’m also not a fan of the “put the Devil back in his cage” ending. We all know that Supernatural was only ever supposed to run to 5 seasons, so this just feels like a way to extend the concept after you’ve already told us the ending. But I trust Eric Kripke to do the right thing and I’ll be honest, 22 more episodes of my favourite show of the moment is never going to be a bad thing.

Tune in again tomorrow for more of My Two Cents with the Weekly Round-Up.

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