Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hex: Season 2, Episode 1: Cursed

When we left our intrepid heroes, Azazeal had just used his demonic pro-life speech to convince the doctor to preserve his evil evil baby by Cassie. Cassie was vapid and annoying. Thelma was awesome and stole the show. Troy was mopey and Azazeal was criminally hot. And everything was very very spooky. Oh and the baby is causing the barriers between worlds to fail, causing ghosts, demons and other badness

With that summation, we now move on to Season 2

Flash back to London in 1849 where a woman in white net curtains is levitating a jar (it looks like the Cunari – the spooky jug), watched by Azazeal. He pays a man to sleep with the levitating woman (clearly looking to produce the magical world breaking child), but he is watched by another woman. She goes to see the levitator, looking very sad and sympathetic – the slits her throat. It’s really well acted, without a word being spoken this was all conveyed, including the murderer’s grief and sadness about having the murder the woman. Kudos.

This is, of course, all Cassie’s dream – and she’s woken abruptly from this by Thelma and a glass of water. Cassie has been trying to stay away for 3 days to avoid her dreams, including taking dubious wakey-wakey medicine. Anything is better than her dreams, she says. Oh yes, says the creepy moving gargoyle who has clearly heard her and is now setting out to prove her wrong – and appears on the other side of the window to scare her. In a bemusing show of fortitude, Cassie not put off my demonic entities leering through windows – and goes to steal some cake from the kitchens (I do admire someone who is single mindedly determined to have cake). But, there is something in the kitchen as well (interrupting her cake stealing!), to which Cassie responds by battering it with a ladle (I quite agree, nothing should be allowed to interrupt cake). Unfortunately “it” in this case is Felix, another student (who is already cursed with the name Felix and doesn’t deserve more abuse).

Another normal day at school – the presence of the ugly gargoyle (assumed to be a nephilim) means Cassie and Thelma are aware that Demonic Child survived (and think torturing Azazeal is appropriate). It seems Troy and Gemma have both left this season – but Roxanne and Leon are still very much present. As is wet teacher Jo – who is awfully distracted. Oh, and Cassie is still not-flirting-honest with Thelma.

Cassie goes to see Dr. Surtees, her anti-choice doctor who has been avoiding her, for obvious reasons. He runs from Cassie, trying to fob her off – and ends up in his little room with… the murderous girl from Cassie’s dreams of 1849 London.

Back at the school, Cassie recounts all this to Thelma over sausages with promises to do said Doctor harm. And we see Awesome headmaster with Jo who is very very distracted again – but she does call out Awesome Headmaster on his condescending sexism. So go more distraction!

Time for a night-time raid on the hospital, Thelma is disappointed by the lack of nurses in PVC, and vaguely worried about the morgue, being a ghost and all. They discuss avoiding the whole issue and just trying to live their lives (not happening) and whether they can go to the police (not really, the whole devil child and all) . After much exploring, they find the Doctor’s dead body – his throat has been cut. And the 1849 murder woman leaves the scene in clothes designed for awesomeness (leather leather and more leather) rather than subtlety.

Not to be put off by a simple dead doctor, Thelma steals a pork pie and goes clothes shopping – in the morgue. Turns out that she can only wear clothes the dead have worn. And Cassie has nightmares about a blood-feeding demon child – which causes her to wake up vague and talk to Felix about Thelma as if she’s still around.

Cassie keeps hallucinating and seeing the nephilim about – and every time she manages to freak out Felix (personally, I’d be suspecting Felix of shenanigans if he was always around when I was seeing and hearing things. Especially since he has such a transparent crush).

Thelma goes on to see the distracted teacher Jo and follows her – especially after seeing her take a large sum of cash from the school safe. Hitching a lift in her car, she goes to a church to meet – Azazeal. And a toddler (demon babies grow so fast!) that can see Thelma – she runs but not before Azazeal can stare menacingly at her. Back to the dorm where she tells Cassie (which also includes the line “I thought he was going to kill me, which is stupid because he already has” which really needed saying, in the last seasons we completely brushed over that Azazeal murdered Thelma).

Cassie goes to visit and meets Azazeal – and wonderfully tells him it was not his decision whether or not she had that baby – that it was arrogant and shows her zero respect. I just wish she had been fiercer and pushed it more. Instead she goes on about her nightmares and Baraquel (one of the Nephilim) stalking her. He also brings her her baby, Malachi, which completely distracts her from her complaints.

And there’s a new girl in school, Ella. Yes, leather & corset clad, 1849 murderer girl. Thelma rhapsodises over her looks – and the new girl seems to hear her. Leading to debate between Cassie and Thelma over whether she is nephilim. Cassie, being in a bad mood, feels free to lash out at Thelma over it.

Party time – where we meet Leon’s new room-mate Tom and Ella offers the Mean Crew a green drink I take to be absinthe. And we have confirmation – Ella, in between snorting some white powder, confirms that she can see Thelma. Felix keeps following Cassie, puppy-like – and finally builds up the courage to ask her out and she lets him down, pretty gently – to which he goes into an emotional crash of despair. Cassie comforts him and, in frustration, he pushed her – leading to her bodyguard/stalker nephilim Baraquel slicing him open.

Baraquel crawls menacingly, and all kinds of nastily towards Cassie, being ugly and revolting and with very large claws – until Ella appears. The demon makes a dramatic, roaring leap at her – and all the lights are pulled free when Ella looks at them – and they tangle the fallen angel in their wires, electrocuting him. Ella reminds Cassie that Baraquel was there to protect Cassie, as the mother of Azazeal’s child (doesn’t explain why he was looming over her and stroking her with his claws)

The next day there are many rumours on Felix’s death (Thelma has the best take “by the time it reaches the local papers he will have been murdered by the local paedophile who is an asylum seeker from Wales”). Thelma assures Cassie it wasn’t her fault – but Ella arrives to shake the reassurance. Azazeal has tried to have a son for centuries, but Ella has always intervened, but was too late this time. Ella blames and slut-shames Cassie – and has the solution; kill Malachi.

I did not like Felix – I think we were supposed to consider him cute and sweet and a little pathetic – but his constant following Cassie around was vaguely creepy. I particularly don’t like the emotional melt-down when she says no – it’s understandable to be upset and need some time alone, but these displays often feel guilt-inducing.

I disliked Ella’s attack on Cassie as well “can she keep her knickers on.” Ok, first off, she had sex – and? Linking the demons and their murders to sex is yet more sexual shaming that is so common. And secondly – Cassie only had sex with Azazeal because he possessed her, that isn’t sex, that is rape – and blaming Cassie for it is a double load of wrong.