UNNATURAL HISTORY “Thor’s Slammer” Review

Unnatural History (Cartoon Network) Thor's Slammer Episode 11

“Thor’s Slammer”, the eleventh episode of UNNATURAL HISTORY, was by far and away the best episode of the show. It was fast paced, exciting and funny (Maggie to a fellow student sunbathing: Ever heard of melanoma? Student: No…why, is she hot?) and had my favourite storyline of the entire series to date.

On an archaeological dig Henry falls into some quick sand and emerges with Viking-esque hammer and a corpse. Cause of death: stabbing, from a switchblade Henry later finds in evidence. The corpse turns out to be a school mate’s father who went missing many years ago when he was part of an archaeological expedition along with Jasper’s father Bryan and several others. This leads to an attack on Henry where he is both blinded and physically assaulted which causes him to phone the police, who discover Uncle Bryan’s fingerprints on the knife that stabbed the corpse. Uncle Bryan is arrested. Oops.

From Columbus to Vikings to Moby Dick and botany, there were so many tidbits of knowledge that were slipped into this episode. Last week I complained that there were too few, and there were. Unnatural History‘s originality stems from its interesting trivia, and there was no shortage of that in this episode.

The scene where the trio divides to search three offices of the three archaeologists they suspect of murdering Gunner’s father was filled with a Hitchcockian suspense and was superbly directed. Henry and Maggie break in deftly to their respective offices, whilst Jasper, comically, crashes to the floor. As one of the suspects returns, passing the office with Maggie and Jasper, Henry is trapped. He escapes unseen.

Eventually, they realize the hammer is hollow and the lenses of the glasses once belonging to Gunner’s father contain the key to unlocking the clue which, thanks to Maggie, they learn is hidden in the stars. This leads them back to the quicksand, where Henry saw a rune on a cliff wall exactly like those in the stars. They are confronted by three archaeologists from Gunner’s father’s team, who conspired to kill him. Then they have the most awesome fight scene ever.

I loved this fight scene because it fit in with the characters: Jasper and Maggie were not suddenly flipping 300 pound wrestlers over their shoulders. I also loved this fight scene because, quite simply, it was amazing. Henry was evenly matched: hammer and his martial arts skill versus gun, Maggie, who has been taking martial arts lessons, just managed to defeat her opponent in a great slo-mo, intertwining with Henry’s fight, but not since Captain Awesome described his daily treatment of his fiancé to Morgan on Chuck have I laughed so hard as when Jasper whipped out something (I thought it was the switchblade) flicked off the cap like Hit-Girl reloading her pistols (I realized it was not a switchblade) and ran forth to meet his opponent…and sprayed the blinding agent in his eyes. It was hysterical. Jordan Garavis is a great comic actor.

I also loved the subplot dealing with Henry’s excitement about finally seeing his parents. Throughout the episode his excitement is palpable, and when they disappoint him it is just sad. Leave it to Uncle Bryan (cleared of all charges) to cheer him up, inviting him to the parents’ presentation and unofficially accepting Henry as a surrogate son.

What did you think of the episode? Were you as impressed as I was? Leave your comments below!

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