I remember back in 2002 taking an afternoon off work to go check out the new Star Trek film, Nemesis. I’m a huge fan of the Next Generation franchise having seen all the episodes countless times and loving the three films up to that point. Yes, I even liked Insurrection. Two hours later, I left that theater like my world had fallen apart. They managed to destroy in two hours the years of joy they had given me by killing off my all-time favorite Star Trek character, Commander Data. The death was pointless, had zero purpose and was a slap in the face to every loyal fan out there. I have never seen that film again and it’s the only one that is not in my Star Trek DVD set. I often pretend it never happened.
I couldn’t figure out at first why I didn’t like “Hammer of The Gods.” I didn’t even do a re-watch until four days later, which is unheard of for me. Then it dawned on me. Gabriel’s death left me as empty and broken as when Data died. He was my favorite character outside of the leads and he brought us three of the most memorable and my absolute favorite episodes in the series (“Mystery Spot” still being my all time favorite). I understand character deaths are all for the sake of drama, but like before I found myself devastated, asking “Why??”
I know many liked this episode, so my sentiments are in the minority. Let’s take away the senseless killing of one of our most beloved characters. What are we left with? It’s still a mess. I’ll at least give points for a decent premise. I’ve read on the boards the complaints about how the apocalyptic story line should have impact on other religions and faiths. This is a great chance to address those. Too bad it fails.
Instead of me feeling sorry for the rest of the world becoming the victims of angels and their pissing contest, I was actually rooting for a total scrubbing by the end. These so-called Gods are unsympathetic, barbaric, and just plain petulant. Lucifer actually has them pegged beautifully. “You know, I never understood you pagans. You’re such petty little things. Always fighting, always happy to sell out your own kind. No wonder you forfeited this planet to us.” When the Devil looks like the righteous one, these characters are either meant to be shallow or someone makes a tragic error. Plus they’re all cannibals? Either way, I don’t think the episode did the worldly view justice.
The episode isn’t a total waste. If there is one major plus, it’s the return of Dean Winchester in classic form. No, he’s actually better than ever. He’s funny, sexy, brilliant, tough, and all the things that make us fangirls swoon. Welcome back, Dean! Also, I tend to use the season one episode “Bugs” as my yardstick for bad episodes. “Hammer of The Gods” isn’t that low because the guest acting of Richard Speight Jr. and Mark Pellegrino is through the roof. Both are so amazing, so dynamic in their roles and their standoff scene together is sibling rivalry at its most intense, despite the less than satisfying outcome. Lucifer is truly broken up over having to kill his brother, but as Gabe so skillfully pointed out earlier, “No one makes us do anything.” Luci missed that memo and that sets him up to be the truly scary nemesis he should be in the showdown to come.
Overall, I give “Hammer of The Gods” a D+. I’m sad to say it too since I’m such a huge fan of Gabriel/The Trickster, but even Richard Speight Jr.’s brilliant turn here couldn’t save this poor episode. Just like Nemesis, I doubt I’ll ever watch this one again. It’s going to take far more than a bad episode though to turn me away and I’m anxious and eager for the rest. In honor of Gabriel/The Trickster, I close with an appropriate tagline for what’s to come. “Let’s light this candle!”