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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hand of God (Installment #5)

Episode Six: Hand of God

Installment #5: Darkness, Reign O’er Me

On the road again…this time to Estacada, Oregon

In the steady flow of rain, Paul’s car comes out of the dark and drives into what seems… the middle of nowhere. (A little take on Rod Serling here.) Actually, he has arrived at Kenneth Webster’s home. Once out of the car, he confirms Ken’s address by glancing at his little piece of paper. Determined, he walks up to the door and knocks. As the door swings open, Paul believes he is saying hello to Mr. Webster (we know otherwise), so he introduces himself and asks if he could come in.

“There he was…the killer, waiting with anxious eyes!
Different victim, different place, different weapon…same plan.
And now this intruder has come to spoil it all!”

He stands silent and stares at Paul while holding the weapon in his hand.

As Paul enters the house, our young man mysteriously gazes at him in awe. “So, you’re Paul Callan,” he says. Certainly, he must be thinking, “Well, I’m not who you think I am.” But he never lets on that he is not Kenneth Webster. (An interesting thought here...evil certainly has a cunning way of deceiving a person, especially when that person is so close to discovering its identity.)

Suddenly the door opens again. This time, the real Kenneth Webster enters his home and is astonished to see two men standing in his living room. In an instant, like a psychotic employee at a laundromat, our youngster ‘sucker-punches’ Paul in the face with the iron to keep him from interfering with his mission.


Boy, did Kenny come home at the wrong time!

As Paul comes back to consciousness, we see blood gushing from a gruesome gash in his gorgeous face. In the background, the sounds of the hostile attack on Mr. Webster can be heard. It’s one smash of the iron for every word the youngster utters.
(“I- told- you- we- don’t- use- imported- starch- when- we- hand- press- your- shirts!”) (Of course, he really didn't say this.)
Poor Mr. Webster!

Once again, Paul crashes the party for our way-beyond-reach teen by throwing him and the bloody iron up against the wall. In return, Paul gets a knee in the stomach and his face slammed on the stovetop. (Big ouch!)
Too bad for our young man that he infuriates Paul because the rumble turns into a scene from a night at the WWF ring.

(Paul’s thinking, “You’re goin’ down boy!”)

Practically breathless, (hmm…) Paul glances over at Mr. Webster who is struggling to stay alive. Realizing that there’s a chance to save this man’s life, he calls for help on his cell phone.

Once the police arrive at the scene, the guys are cuffed and taken into custody. They sit in the back seat of the police car looking beat up and dejected. The young murderer reveals to Paul that both Tommy and the voice come to him.

(Oh dear, hopefully not his mother’s voice!)

Paul interrupts inquisitively, “A voice told you to do all this?”

Next, he tells Paul that just like him, he saw the words, “God is Now Here” written in his blood. This led him to believe that it was God’s voice telling him to kill these people. In an unconvinced-sounding discourse that attempts to piece this all together and justify the missions, he is now more confused than ever. Afterall, wasn't he one of the “good ones?”

Paul looks horrified as he is told that there were nine people (not six) who saw the words all wrong…they saw “God is Nowhere.” He learns that it was Tommy who referred to those people as “The Darkness.” (How much more can our Paul take?)

In this whirlwind of confusion, the rain looks like red droplets of blood as it falls on the windows of the police car seemingly reflecting the anger the darkness feels for a failed mission.

The sounds of Marilyn Manson follow the boys as they are led into the police station. Everything is happening in slow motion as these *“blood brothers” are photographed and fingerprinted. Having too much pressure to endure, our young man snatches the gun from the police officer’s holster and slurs, “Now it’s up to you, Paul.” His remaining sense of right and wrong, seriously clouded by the darkness of his deeds, only knows one way to end his despair. So, he aims the gun at his head and pulls the trigger.

Perhaps the rain wasn’t red because the darkness was angry.
Maybe it was red because the darkness was hungry.

*There’s a line from the song “No Surrender” by Bruce Springsteen that I played over and over in my mind when I thought of the scene above. Although the song, itself, has nothing to do with the subject matter of this episode; the line, when taken out of its original context, seems fitting when applied to this context. Again… "Now it’s up to you Paul."

Here’s the line…

“Blood brothers in the stormy night with a vow to defend, no retreat, no surrender.”

My Thoughts…

When I first viewed this episode and heard the eerie background music, I had to find out the title of the song and read the lyrics in order to figure out why it was chosen. So, I did some surfing and found the answer on the Miracles HQ message board. The title of the song is “Apple of Sodom” and it is written and performed by Marilyn Manson. (For those of you who are not familiar with this artist, he’s a male. Usually, he has two different color contacts in his eyes, wears black lipstick, and…Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you so go ahead, google his name to find out more, if you dare or even care.)

The parts of the song that are played in this episode are below:

Take this from me, (hate me, hate me,)

Take this from me, (hate me, hate me,)

1, 2, 3, he is a speed bump mannequin,

1, 2, 3, he can't move just stand still,

1, 2, 3, he is a speed bump mannequin,1, 2, 3,

he can't move just stand still,

I've got something you can never eat,

I've got something you can never eat,

I've got something you can never eat


I also found the following information on the site mentioned below:

Apple of Sodom is the fruit of a medieval mythical tree. In the Manson song of the same name it’s a symbol of despair. The Apple of Sodom is also an idiom that means “appearances are deceitful; a beautiful but rotten fruit.”

Your Thoughts…

As we come to find out in later episodes, the young man’s name is Chad Goodwell. He’s a 19-year-old college student who lives away from home. (Gee, I have one of them, too!) As a parent, I know that once my son is away at school, he’s pretty much on his own. How he manages his time and deals with all the pressures of coursework and the outside influences that surround him are issues he is up against. (All parents hope for the best.)

Keeping that in mind…

  • How do you think Chad got involved with all this? Is he on a spiritual journey just like Paul? Was he “chosen” as Alva puts it? Did he join some cult on campus?

  • More importantly, do you think there is some inherent relationship between Paul and Chad throughout this episode? Why would his character have such a prominent role?

  • Finally, how is it that Chad knows all the hemography information?