An unexpected and violent thunderstorm combined with a series of aggravating detours drives Our Intrepid Heroes off the Interstate near Muncie, Indiana, and into the forecourt of The Elysian Fields Hotel, a surprisingly tony establishment featuring both a cheerfully efficient staff and a remarkably cosmopolitan assemblage of guests. Sam and Dean, deeply grateful to find this luxuriously appointed haven after the stresses of recent weeks, get ready to settle in for their first peaceful evening in God-knows-how-long when something large and loud apparently absconds with the honeymooning couple from the suite next door to their own. So, with a pair of bone-weary sighs, the boys set off to investigate, and quickly discover that something's not quite right about The Elysian Fields Hotel, especially down in the deserted kitchen, where the chef's left an eyeball stew simmering on the range and a score or more of people locked in the meat freezer. Ooops.
You see, that cheerfully efficient clerk they met out at the front desk is actually Mercury, the messenger of the gods, and that remarkably cosmopolitan assemblage of guests is made up of the gods themselves, specifically, Odin, Baldur, Ganesh, Baron Samedi, Zao Shen (and his World Turtle), a mute blonde I'm guessing is Angerona, and our main gal for this evening's festivities, Kali. Seems these old-school pagan gods and goddesses -- all of them, of course, little more than ancient monsters who have been preying on the human race for thousands of years -- are pretty pissed off that the "Judeo-Christian Apocalypse" is about to start any day now, and they've decided to set aside their own differences in favor of conspiring to lure Our Intrepid Heroes to The Elysian Fields, whereupon they intend to use Sam and Dean as bargaining chips in the negotiations they intend to hold with Michael and Lucifer. Because old-school pagan gods and goddesses are morons, and think they can negotiate with a couple of righteous archangels who would have absolutely no problems rending them limb from limb, which is exactly what Lucifer does when he drops by for a visit. Idiots. Though I have to admit, that Baldur was pretty hot before The Foul Fiend jammed his fist through the guy's chest.
The one surprise is that Gabriel -- a.k.a. The Trickster, a.k.a. Loki -- shows up and decides to join Team Free Will after an especially rousing pep talk from Dashing El Deano. Of course, Lucifer just ends up gutting Gabriel with Gabriel's own angel-smiting scimitar, but Gabriel did manage to embed a farewell message to Our Intrepid Heroes in a copy of Casa Erotica 13, and what he tells them could alter the way this whole Apocalypse thing plays out. Remember how Lucifer was imprisoned beneath that convent in Ilchester? Well, the physical prison still exists, and if Sam and Dean can figure out a way to get Lucifer back into it, they're golden. Problem is, the four keys to Lucifer's prison are actually the rings worn by The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, and while the boys did manage to swipe those rings from War and Famine, Pestilence and Death are still stomping around out there somewhere, so Sam and Dean have quite a bit of smiting to do before they can even think about luring Lucifer back into his cage.
And in the end, Pestilence himself rides in on a pale green Pinto to hock up great big death loogies on everyone, which means that next week's episode is going to be completely disgusting.
Rattle, Rattle THEN! Loki is Gabriel and Zachariah is dead. I love it when the THEN! is so uncomplicated. Though I should probably point out that it took the THEN! a full minute to impart the above information. Between that, the 45 seconds they wasted on a web series no one asked for, the 30 seconds they blew on the set-up for the fake porn movie, and the twenty-one and a half minutes of commercials, the actual episode's only 36 minutes long. Ooops!
Rattle, Rattle NOW! The NOW! dissolves into a cross-fade almost before it's begun its menacing advance towards the front of the screen, and we end up gazing down upon the cracked and decaying ruins of The Elysian Fields Hotel for a moment before the crane shot starts settling down into the debris-strewn parking lot next to the hotel's long-unlit front sign. Barely visible in the blurry foreground, by the way, is a "CONDEMNED" notice affixed to the darkened "L" in "HOTEL." And as the location card appears to inform us we've landed in Muncie, Indiana, a late-model four-door pulls into the lot and parks adjacent to the ruined lobby entrance. The camera leaps indoors to examine a dingy, cobwebbed call bell abandoned on the front desk for a moment before scurrying around to examine the middle-aged and somewhat doughy rent-a-cop who's unlocked the door and is now attempting to peer around in the lobby gloom. The lobby interior is, of course, a wreck, with ancient boxsprings rotting against the walls, broken furniture remnants littering what remains of the carpeting, and the wiring for long-gone chandeliers dangling from above. The Rent-A-Cop flicks on his flashlight and starts poking around until he hears a sudden harsh clanging noise coming from somewhere deeper within. "Hello?" he calls out. The camera scuttles behind a rusting decorative screen to watch as The Rent-A-Cop warily picks his way across the room -- almost as if, oh, you know, some malevolent supernatural entity is marking his progress! DUN! The Rent-A-Cop finally disappears down an adjoining corridor, passing as he goes an extremely dead potted plant that had been left behind with a bunch of other junk on the concierge station. The instant The Rent-A-Cop's vanished, however, the plant's desiccated leaves quiver and jitter to life, and five unnaturally dark blue blossoms emerge to stretch themselves towards the ceiling in the lobby shadows. DUN! Again!