Tuesday, November 13, 2012

666 Park Avenue, Season 1, Episode 7: Downward Spiral

We’re introduced to a new character (again) – Melanie, a heavily pregnant woman whose mother lives on the 10th floor. She meets Gavin in the elevator who guesses her child will be a girl.

This doesn’t please Melanie’s mother who wants her to stay away from Gavin and thinks it’s a bad idea her coming to the Drake while she’s pregnant. She doesn’t want Melanie around the bad things in the building. Melanie objects – if it’s dangerous her mother shouldn’t be there either. She says she can’t leave and hustles her out the door as fast as she can – she must keep baby Nona safe. Melanie leaves, gets in the lift – which acts up, cutting the lights and stopping between floors. Which is when she goes into labour.

Cut to the present – yes that was a flashback – to Nona (yes, the Nona), the psychic and her catatonic grandmother.

Henry and Jane are going to get a commendation from the mayor for Henry being such a hero – and of course the Dorans are giving them a lift. Jane is still troubled after last week though. She protests again that she doesn’t feel safe there and though everything’s going great for Henry, she doesn’t want to stay. He counters that she was the one who encouraged him to come to New York – and everything is going great for “them” not just him.

They go to the award and the Dorans are there to push him towards becoming mayor. And Olivia has some red meat for Jane – she knows someone who needs an architect. She tells Olivia she’s planning to leave New York and Olivia plants her barbs – running away just when you get an opportunity?

Henry in turn talks to Gavin about Jane’s concerns and Gavin suggests he propose to her. And he’s not going to get another shot at becoming mayor so he has to do what he can to keep Jane – Gavin volunteers Olivia as a perfect person to advise him to make his proposal perfect. Yeah, y’know what would make it perfect? Not proposing marriage to try and tie her to a city where she’s terrified. That would make it a whole lot more perfect. Gavin tells Olivia he’s not letting Jane or Henry leave New York.

So it’s off to go ring shopping with Olivia – and Henry worries about the astronomical price of the fabulous rings in Olivia’s chosen shop – except it seems all of them are priced in his budget. Or they are when Olivia nods to the nice salesman.

And our most pointless residents return – Brian and Louise. Brian has been staying with a friend but returns for some of his things; Louise is on a photo-shoot in Miami. Brian goes jogging with Henry to tell him what a bad idea marriage was and how Louise probably cheated on him because he’s no longer a successful playwrite and is not “providing” for her (uh-huh). Then he learns Henry’s going to propose. Awkward. Brian goes home more flirting with Alexis and they have sex, finally.

That night Nona’s grandmother manages to walk out into the hallway, despite being wheelchairbound and catatonic. Nona follows her and her grandmother says “don’t let Jane leave”. The next day she hurries downstairs to talk to Jane and beg her to stay – that she is a part of the Drake. But Jane is scared of the Drake and is determined to leave. Nona tells her if she leaves she’ll lose the one person in the Drake she can trust. Jane refuses – so it’s time to turn up the spooky!

Jane gets in the elevator but it doesn’t move. Nona appears in a corner and tells her they are moving even if she can’t feel it. The doors open and there’s a girl skipping across the tiles. Nona calls her a child to the Drake – like her – which gives them a special connection to the building. She says Jane is special too – she denies it but Nona asks how she’d get into Jane’s dream if she weren’t? And Jane wakes up. Ok, as far as tactics convincing her to stay go, this ranks a little behind leaving a grizzly bear in her room with a ribbon round its neck.

The next day Jane goes to talk to Nona and ask her if she’s been dream hopping – and Nona repeats that Jane is special and introduces Jane to her grandmother. Jane is shocked to realise Nona has been looking after her catatonic grandmother for 2 years and thinks she should call social services. Nona rejects it – she doesn’t want to go into care and no doctor can help her grandmother, because she changed in the Drake when her parents disappeared. And she was looking for answers, like Jane – as to why so many people in the Drake die or disappear. She takes Jane to a cupboard where there’s a huge number of newspaper clips and stories about the Drake. Jane realises Nona is the one who sent her the old newspaper but Nona has an extra bombshell – she has a picture of the girl they saw in the dream, playing in the Drake. On the back it says it’s Jane – in 1992. Except Jane remembers nothing about being there.

In the hospital, Dr. Scott fulfils his promise to Henry to get Kandinski out of the hospital. He has implanted a scalpel in the assassin during surgery, which Kandinski pulls out of himself (uckies) and uses to stab the policeman guarding his door.

Dr. Scott calls Gavin, outraged that Kandinski killed 2 people to escape! How could Gavin possibly have got him involved in this?! Gavin has no time or tolerance for that bullshit and points out Scott sewed a scalpel into his patient – what did he think it was for? After putting his pet doctor in his place, Gavin instructs Kandinski in tracking down Victor and retrieving Gavin’s box – by bringing Victor in alive.

Victor, meanwhile, is trading barbs with Olivia trying to get her to betray Gavin, calling her marriage to him a “gilded cage”. I think he’s bitten off more than he can chew with Olivia. She tells Gavin about his offer while helping him shave and Gavin suggests she take him up on the offer – she says she never would – and cuts him with the razor. I still think it’s a mistake to think Olivia’s the weak link

Scott returns to the Drake, he and Brian have a brief moment where he tells Brian he never slept with Louise and Alexis had his phone (is that the sound of a penny dropping?) and Scott runs to his room in pain from his little debt brand – it’s gone up from $50,000 to $60,000. Damn, Gavin, that’s a harsh interest rate –that’s almost as bad as the payday loans people.

To the symphony! Why? Because these people can’t go 3 days without a party or a play or a symphony or concert or something. They arrive and Henry is, obviously, nervous.

Olivia sees Victor and goes to see him with 2 glasses of champagne. Victor, suspecting poison, tells her to go give it to her husband, to convince  him she’s switched sides. She kisses him, asking him if that convinces him (oh, this is after she’s very conspicuously applied new lipstick at Gavin’s suggestion) she walks away and Victor collapses in convulsions. Dr. Scott has pressed a gun into Gavin’s back, demanding to be freed from their deal – and Olivia arrives to tell Scott he’s needed to help the poor man seizing on the floor. Damn she’s good. Scott goes to help and Gavin hands Olivia a handkerchief to wipe her lips with.

Scott gets in the back of the ambulance with Victor and they rush to the hospital – until the driver turns off the lights and the sirens – the driver is Kandinski and they’re going to the Drake. Scott has to keep Victor alive for the journey.

Back to the Drake where Henry keeps reminding Jane how wonderful the parties are and how wonderful the Drake is until Nona arrives to tell Jane her grandmother is missing and asks her help finding her. Henry goes up to their flat to find Olivia’s influence by scattering rose petals, warn cosy fires – all she needs is Barry White playing in the background. She’s good. He fiddles with the ring, waiting

Jane and Nona find her grandmother in the basement. When Jane reaches for her she grabs Jane’s necklace, taking it from her neck and holding it to her eye. Jane remembers the mosaic on the floor – everything is original, except the eye. She takes the necklace, removes the new eye and places her necklace in the hole. The floor falls way in some rather bad CGI revealing a similarly badly rendered spiral staircase – seriously, what should be an awesomely spooky moment is ruined by cheap special effects.

Jane, naturally, goes down the stairs – and they close behind her, also extinguishing all the lights in the building

Let it be known, Olivia is not the weak link, Victor.

I’m trying to get into Jane’s story now it’s developing but it’s so so BLAND. Maybe it’s just been too long coming. Maybe the plot has just shifted so many times, maybe it’s the acting but bland bland bland bland. About the only characters I care about are the Dorans, which means I’m Team Evil again. How can you not be when evil is as cool and classy as these 2? I could also do without the whole “oh Jane you silly girl, being so afraid” theme of the last 2 episodes.