Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hex, Season 2, Episode 10: You Lose

 So, after the ground zero light show kiss last episode, it appears Ella’s scabby boils have been cured – and she’s now dressing in white  and considerably more conservatively. Much to Thelma’s confusion – which she can’t express because Ella can no longer see or hear her. When she meets Malachi for lunch we find Malachi has his vision back – and Ella is sickly sweet and completely obsessed with Malachi (to an extent that is vaguely nauseating for their friends sat with them). And Ella’s developing a new tattoo – the mark of Malachi, just like Mia has. The one that marks her as Malachi’s property.

Malachi is disturbed by this and goes to his room to have it out with the eternally calm and suave Mephistopheles. It seems Mephistopheles wanted them together all along (Mephistopheles is a master of manipulation! Who would have guessed? See, this is what comes from skipping a Literary education, Malachi) and because of them getting together Ella is “neutralised”. She doesn’t know she’s an anointed one, her soul is “dead” whatever the consequences of that is and all she wants to do is please Malachi. Which is what she does, happily obeying his every whim. Malachi tests this extremely with lots of nasty crap about her not having to study because she’ll look after him and she should go look for a cookery book

Leon and Thelma naturally notice and both are pretty sickened by the transformation. Raphael drops in to tell Leon how to fix it – Malachi has to die. But Raphael can’t do it – angels are forbidden from interfering, they can only subtly manipulate things (y’know, if you’re going for the manipulate route, Raphael should probably tone down the creepy) – namely Leon who can kill Malachi with the sword of Orichia. Leon passes this on to Thelma and tells her he has to kill Malachi. At Raphael’s instruction he gathers a mass load of St. John’s Wart to disable his powers but he’ll still have to do the killing (urged on by the Archangel). He and Thelma discuss how, if Malachi dies, she will disappear – but she tells him to anyway, it’s best for Ella. Thelma even checks Ella’s dreams and find she is dead inside – dreaming if her own dead body.

The gang of friends are discussing various issues - including Roxanne and whether she’s been punished enough with their ostracism (with Ella forgetting entirely why Roxanne is being shunned), cutting class (Tom is against but Leon convinces him as part of his ingratiation with Malachi) and Malachi pushing Ella further by basically suggesting giving her to Tom to take his virginity, much to Tom’s protestation (and none from Ella). They’re interrupted by awesome headmaster David who doesn’t appreciate them cutting class.

Thelma and Mia find things more settled again since Malachi has removed his mark from Mia’s neck. Time for some clothes browsing in the morgue (still the only clothes they can wear) with Thelma getting both cutely and creepily jealous over Mia’s admiration of one of the corpses. But there is more jealousy from Mia with Thelma constantly leaving to see Ella and Leon (who she knows nothing about) and the worry Thelma has when thinking of them.

Leon continues to ingratiate himself with Malachi and goes searching for the sword while he and Thelma again confront the consequences of Malachi’s death and her conflict over it. She spends some time with Ella, saying goodbye to her though Ella cannot hear her, it’s another touching scene.

Mephistopheles now explains Malachi’s true mission over a game of chess – winning the hearts and minds of mortals. By seducing them with their desires – temptation no human can resist in the same way Malachi gave Thelma Mia. He praises Malachi for his tactics with Tom – and tells him the more humans he claims, the more powerful Malachi will become – he’s already developing some shiny new telekinesis.

That night, Leon and Malachi meet to have a drink, he brings the sword hidden on his back, and a bottle spiked with St. John’s Wart. Thelma and Mia have a deep, moving moment where we see just how close they’ve come and Thelma cries as Mia sleeps, expecting it all to end with Malachi’s death. Thelma finally cracks – and goes to warn Malachi about the St. John’s Wart. So warned, he doesn’t drink – and Leon passes out from the booze. Mephistopheles things Leon can just be dismissed but Malachi is done with him

Leon wakes to find a gribbly Nephilim looming over him – that’s sobering. He smashes the bottle on the creature’s head and runs for the secret passages, trying to hide,.

Mephistopheles goes to see Thelma in Ella’s room, where she is pacing in guilt and worry. Mephistopheles doesn’t really want Leon to die and wants someone to stop Sariel – the Nephilim hunting him. He can’t call him off but says Ella can – and that she can be reached through dreams. Sneaky demon is sneaky. Thelma drops into Ella’s dream and, again, sees Ella dead, on a bed in the middle of a forest. Remembering Ella’s primal phobia about fire (she was burned as a witch, after all), Thelma sets the bed on fire. Ella wakes up, memories restored – able to see Thelma.

Ella rushes to the rescue (well, by “rushes” I mean, pauses to dress in her proper, dark leather coat & corset clothes and stalk dramatically down the halls). Time for a fight scene, Leon is slashed but Ella arrives to kick Sariel in the head (rather than use her boomy stick for some reason) she has announces she’s back – and Sariel knocks her down and she resumes the classic Ella pose of lying on her back trembling again, apparently unable to get up (honestly we’ve seen this scene so many times). Thankfully, like most Nephilim, Sariel has a compulsive need to crawl over any prone human and drool on them a bit before actually killing them, giving Leon chance to throw Ella the Orichia knife. Stabby stabby, dead Nephilim.

Ella is back to herself – and Raphael arrives to congratulate her and make a creepy move on her. He even forces a kiss on her – and Ella shows that a swift knee to the yin-yangs is effective on Angels as well as mortals. She also announces she quits and now works on her own.

She goes to pass on the same message to Malachi – throwing him up against a locker and making it clear that the war is back on – taking pot shots at Tom and Alex while she does. On to a rapprochement with Leon, her warning him its dangerous, he pointing out she needed him – and them both realising only Thelma could have warned Malachi. We cut to Thelma, sobbing.

While Malachi does treat Ella with some sexist tropes (go find a cookery book) it is used as a challenge to show how utterly gone Ella is. It’s expected that she should challenge it – that any woman would (Alex certainly does) and the mere fact such wrongness is tolerated by Ella is a sign of how truly lost she is.

We seem to be past the ridiculously pointless love triangle! Hallelujah! Praise Mephistopheles, can we get back to the plot now.

I have to say, the action scenes, especially with the Nephilim, are pretty awful. The number of times Ella has been knocked down to lay there trembling is ridiculous – and what happened to her telekinesis anyway?

There were a lot of very powerful, well done emotional scenes, especially from Thelma. They were really well acted – she’s extremely good at that.