Welcome to motel hell.
The show starts in classic Supernatural style with a cop investigating an abandoned building, for what reason is never made apparent, looks around for a few seconds and notices the motel begin to fix itself when he is surprised by the bellhop. The bellhop tells him "they are coming" and they each have their part to play and he is dinner.
Sam and Dean enter the Elysian Fields motel, a four star hell off of a zero star highway. They check in and the same bellhop from earlier notices Dean has a shaving cut. Later, the Winchesters grab some food and Dean tries to hit on a woman in a red dress but is turned down flat. Sam is suspicious of the nice hotel in the middle of nowhere but Dean wants to take the night off from demons and angels, until the frisky couple in the room next to them disappear without a trace.
The brothers investigate when Sam notices he also has a cut on near his neck. Elsewhere, the bellhop, who is actually Mercury, hands the woman in the red dress a vial a blood from each of the boys who are trapped in the "motel like rats in a maze". After Sam and Dean snoop around a bit more, they find people trapped in the kitchen cooler right before they are forced into the dining area filled with gods from different myths, cultures and religions. They are the guests of honor but the party is crashed when Gabriel shows up and strangely addressed as "Loki."
We find out the gods want to use Sam and Dean as bargaining chips in the Judeo-Christian war which just might end the world. Gabriel warns the gods they can't stop Lucifer or Michael and should just run and also attempts to save Sam and Dean. This plan fails when Kali, played by Rekha Sharma of Battlestar Galactica and V, gets his blood (trapping him too) and already knows he is an angel.
Kali outs Gabriel to the rest of the gods in the dining room when he says "So I got wings, like Kotex, but that make me any less right about Lucifer." After more discussion, she pulls out his angel blade and stabs him in the chest, killing him. At this point, Dean is desperate and strikes a deal with the gods to lure Lucifer to the hotel and kill him with their help on the condition the hostages are freed.
Like a cat with nine lives, Gabriel is still alive. He tries to convince Dean to steal their blood back but Dean wants to take a stand and calls Gabriel out for being a coward. In the dining room, Sam wants Kali and Baldur to remove the markings on his bones so Lucifer can find him but before this happens, Lucifer checks in. In a move to save his own skin, Mercury called Lucifer hoping he would be reasonable. Assuming Lucifer would be rational turns out to be a big mistake as Lucifer snaps his neck and goes on a rampage killing every god in sight without breaking so much as a sweat.
When he finds Sam and Dean with Baldur and Kali, Lucifer quickly kills Baldur and almost finishes off Kali when Gabriel steps and gives the boys "something to guard with their lives" before he saves her. Since Gabriel and Kali used to be an item, he tells Sam and Dean to get her out of there in his last stand. Gabriel tells Lucifer God loved him most but he threw a temper tantrum after dad brought the new baby home (man). Lucifer claims people are "broken, flawed, abortions" but Gabriel is loyal to them because they may be flawed but they try to do better and forgive which makes them better than angels.
Unfortunately Gabriel has the luck of the Winchesters and is killed by Lucifer when he makes his move. The next day, Sam and Dean are watching the sacred item from Gabriel which turns out to be a porno called Casa Erotica 13. It starts with cheesy music and a scantily clad girl when suddenly Gabriel enters and begins talking to the boys. He tells Sam and Dean that with him dead, they have no hope of killing Lucifer. What they can do is trap him using the rings from the horsemen as keys to the cage and with War and Famine down, Sam and Dean have two more to go.
While the episode was not mind blowing, it was very entertaining. My first point being that there was actually a good amount of humour which injected a much needed life into the show; a lot of the past episodes have felt dreary but Hammer of the Gods was well paced even though there were some rough spots. Richard Speight Jr. once again did an amazing job as Gabriel as did Kurt Pellegrino as Lucifer. While Speight brought the humour and vigor to the show, Pellegrino brought the fear and sense of urgency as he has done before but this time it was with his actions.
The chemistry between Gabriel and Lucifer was fantastic. Not only did it feel as if they were just brothers, but that they have a past together. Characters such as Alistair have often appeared on Supernatural before but they never seem like they have a connection with the rest of the story around them but these two actors nailed that feeling. When they spoke to one another, there was a big brother/little brother mentality that seems to foreshadow a lot in the show between Sam and Dean. Unfortunately Gabriel died but his death seemed to have a consequence to Lucifer as they seemed close and that Lucifer did not want to kill his brother. I'm not sure if it was good to kill off another great character like Gabriel, at least his end had gravity and in turn, guides this season on a clear path which was barely visible before.
A definite rough spot in this episode was the gods. For all of their planning and effort to get the brothers trapped and attempt to kill Lucifer, they practically lined up to be slaughtered. It was clear the show was establishing how incredibly powerful Lucifer is, but it would have made them credible if they were at least a decent fight for him. It wasn't as if he only killed a few of them, but Lucifer killed an entire room full of gods with no effort. In making Lucifer appear unstoppable, it made it all seem less plausible by throwing other gods to the side carelessly when only Gabriel (an angel of the Lord), offered any resistance. If it had been anyone besides Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer, the entire episode could have fallen apart on that alone but the show was lucky rather than smart.
Based on last weeks' preview, Hammer of the Gods seemed like mess but was surprisingly quite enjoyable. Not only did the show receive the direction I have been longing for, but it was filled with charm and wit the series had been lacking while it was in a dark spell. With these new revelations in the show, my former apprehension has turned into excitement for how this season will end and I hope next week's episode continues the trend.