Tonight’s episode opens with Dethklok, having emerged from its underwater labors with a newly completed album, celebrating by performing a concert for some trapped miners. The vibrations set off by the music cause the ground itself to shake and buckle, and the doomed miners are attacked by the elephants that are down there with them, for reasons unclear to me, because I do not possess a degree in mine engineering. This is pretty much par for the course for Metalocalypse, but in just about any other Metalocalypse episode, it would be the final scene, the one that sums up everything and brings down the closing credits with a bang. Since the rest of the show has to be able to follow it, the viewer assumes that either he’s in for a good time or the show will just throw up its hands and spend the next 10 minutes rolling credits in super-plus-slow-mo.
Thankfully, “DethDinner” goes with the former. Last week, both Pickles and Nathan developed an interest in their non-nonsense producer, Abigail. It was Pickles who actually bestirred himself to make a play for her, but it was Nathan who—drum roll, please—was allowed to give her head before she pushed him away and zipped her pants back up. A lot of men wouldn’t want to remember something like that, and they’d be on the right show, considering how many huge and traumatic things happen on this series with no follow-through and next to no mention of them ever again. Perversely, on this occasion, Nathan does remember the events of last week, and so does Pickles, a heartening concession to traditional rules of sequential narrative. Hilariously, Nathan thinks that what happened means they’re now In A Relationship. Abigail might disabuse him of this if she’d return his calls, but they haven’t spoken since coming topside, so his imagination is allowed free reign. “Obviously, we did something down there, and it meant a lot,” he mumbles, adding that they’ll “probably get married and have kids.” Meanwhile, Pickles sits at the edge of the action, working on his sulky face.
Nathan is so eager to carve his and Abigail’s names on the tree of life that, at the ritual credits-negotiation session for the new album, he tentatively suggests that the album bear the legend “Produced by Abigail and Nathan and Dethklok.” This throws a monkey wrench into a process already troubled by the latest unsightly growth spurt of Murderface’s ego. He wants to know why he only gets credited for his bass playing, given that “I show up with an amazing attitude.” After Skwisgaar points out that he always has to redo most of Murderface’s bass parts, the tide turns in the direction of a decision that maybe Murderface gets too much credit already. Murderface, who has taken the trouble of putting on a suit, because “people like us who take their careers seriously wear suits,” freaks out and threatens to starve himself to death if he doesn’t get his way, a negotiating tactic that shows every sign of being a non-starter. Within the tribunal, Orlaag, considerably more wild-eyed than usual, is pontificating about how “the negotiation of show-business credits are a blackened sword that has pierced the heart of many a hopeful soul.” Pondering the situation, Mr. Selatcia intones, “The time to intervene is near.” I love it when he’s a tease!
The title refers to a celebratory business affair that Offdensen promises “will be the most decadent and memorable meal that anyone at this table has ever had.” Things shift into high gear during the third course when the long-absent Toki shows up with Dr. Rockzo in tow, which immediately makes for something more decadent and memorable than anyone would want in their lives, especially while they’re eating. (“Who’s ringin’ that dinner bell? Is it you? Or you!?”) Not much could top that, but Nathan, never one to shy away from a challenge, announces to the assembled diners that he and Abigail are now an item, news that sends both Abigail and Pickles into shock, except that Pickles’ is the noisy kind. With years of swallowed resentments bubbling to the surface (“No! You do not get to have this, too!”), he declares that he is quitting the band. With two episodes to go this season, can this marriage be saved? Considering that next week's episode is titled "Breakup Klok," the signs are grim. Conciliatory gifts of money or chocolate can be sent to the band via this space.