Tuesday, December 4, 2012

666 Park Avenue: season 1, Episode 9: Hypnos

 Last week Nona took Jane to someone who could help her remember. So now we open with Jane in Maris’s apartment. Maris hasn’t left her apartment in 20 years because it’s safer. Maris is a psychiatrist, though she now “opens minds” (isn’t that brain surgery?) and repeats the doctor’s diagnosis about Jane’s amnesia. Maris takes Jane’s hand and we get a series of confused visions. Maris tells her to come back tomorrow and Jane asks what she saw, where was she. Maris says she never left the Drake and forget about were – think when.

Jane wakes up to find Henry failing to make her breakfast in bed. And he’s working from home – which is all touching and kind. But he’s also hovering and extremely protective, almost smothering.

Which is when Gavin arrives with some more hooks for Henry – a councilman has been a naughty boy and his seat may be coming vacant. And he’s arranged a meeting with Phillip Perez (a political consultant) to get his backing for Henry’s candidacy – but the meeting is in 2 hours. He also shows Gavin the press kit that Laurell has developed for him (hmm, I always assumed Laurell was one of Gavin’s tools).

Meanwhile Olivia is using Tony to take Vincent Shaw for a little walk to an abandoned warehouse (owned by the Dorans of course) to find out more about his claim that Sasha is alive. Olivia dodges Gavin’s calls and gives Vincent an hour to show her Sasha. They have him call Sasha’s voice mail and arrange for a meeting.

None of his calls going through, Gavin tells Kandinski to kill Shaw and bring Olivia home. Olivia warns Victor that Sasha better arrive before Gavin’s minions arrive. Vincent continues to work on Olivia, convincing her Sasha is alive with reference to a Cartier bracelet she bought her and saying she faked her own death because she hated Gavin, like Victor dowes

Back at Maris’s Jane drinks tea, talks hypnotism and remarks on her weird clock. Maris tells her there’s a presence from beyond in the Drake that opens the door between past and present and life and death. Her memories are locked deep in her mind but she can unlick them in a trance – with the help of the weird clock.

Jane enters a trance staring at the clock and she – and her chair, appear in the lobby of the Drake. And in front of her is a big red door. She opens it into bright white light, she goes through and joins a ritzy birthday party (666 Park Avenue has to have a ritzy party every week) for young Jocelynn (her grandmother) where everyone calls her Libby Griffith – and she even looks different in the mirror. Also at the party is Peter Kramer, the murderer from Hallowe’en, such fun!

Jocelynn takes Jane upstairs to find her doll – and in Peter’s office they see various occult paraphernalia. When they hear his voice they hide. Peter argues with a man about whatever they’re doing but the hook is that, after tonight, they get whatever they want. Jane also sees him hide a book behind a loose stone in a fireplace.

Then Maris wakes her up. She tells Maris everything and they assume she has some kind of bond with this Libby woman. As she returns to Henry in her apartment she runs into Gavin and acts all suspicious and nervous. She goes to wish Henry good look at the meeting. The meeting falls apart though because Jane’s medical records have been leaked – no-one will support his candidacy while he has a mentally ill girlfriend.

Gavin goes to see Maris and they greet each other carefully. She has a symbol carved into her doorframe which is apparently a problem for Gavin entering. He wishes they weren’t at odds and she says he didn’t know who he was dealing with all those years before and won’t talk about Jane. She finally says that if he promises to let her leave her apartment and the Drake safely she will tell him about Jane. He agrees – and she says she’ll think on it and closes the door on him.

Jane consults her friendly, open minded police detective Cooper tells him what she saw and he digs up that Libby died on the night Jane went back to. Consulting the blue print of the Kramer’s apartment, Jane pinpoints where the fireplace was. Detective Cooper picks up a hammer and starts smashing. Jane questions why Cooper is helping her but he points out the sheer number of disappearances, disturbances and strange noises coming from the Drake makes it his job.

They dig out the book and, recognising some of the symbols in it, Jane takes it to Maris and misses, in the cracked mirror, Libby’s face appearing. The journal talks about them summoning something terrible, something Peter thought he’d regret until the end of his days. With the help of Maris’s clock, Jane returns to the past in Libby’s body – with Peter pushing her to take Jocelynn out of the Drake as soon as possible. They run, complete with a packed suitcase but the front doors won’t open. Jocelynn and Libby hide when a crowd of men appear in the lobby with Peter. They demand to know where his daughter is, that it’s what they agreed on, they can’t stop now. Jane comes out to distract them and they say they can use her instead – blood is blood. They grab her and drag her downstairs. They tie her to a chair and someone in the shadows with a shiny ring tells them to shut her up – they put an ether soaked rag over her face.

She wakes up and tells Maris, who concludes that Jane’s family history with the Drake is why she is there and why she is special. Jane asks Maris if Gavin knows about it – but then sees a starling knocking on the window and avoids the question.

Maris lets her pet dove go out the window and takes a book from her shelf. Slowly, carefully, she leaves her apartment and goes down to the lobby where she runs into Gavin. She hands him the book with a page marked with the answers he wanted – it’s the guest book for Jocelynn’s party when Jane signed her name Jane Van Veen rather than Libby. She leaves the Drake and, once outside, transforms into a cloud of doves that fly away.

Olivia and Shaw have some more back and further, he tries to escape, he points a gun at him, she calls and gets to speak to Sasha – and demands Victor take her to see him, or it’s back to the Drake. He takes her to her apartment, she goes up alone and finds it empty, recently cleared out. Then she hears a gunshot –Kandinski has shot Victory and he dies without telling them more.

Henry, angered by Jane’s leaked medical records, calls Laurell the PR woman and she digs up some dirt on Perez about some taxes he evaded. But she warns him that blackmail is illegal, leaving him in a quandary. He goes to confront Perez with the file and tells him using Jane’s medical file was unacceptable and he expects Perez to make them disappear.

Perez goes to see Gavin to say how impressed he is by Henry having the guts to fight back against him using Jane’s medical records. He’s surprised Henry has an enemy powerful enough to get the files, but Gavin thinks it’s one of his enemies. As he leaves, Gavin realises that the documents on Jane and Henry’s press portfolio are in the same kind of folder.

Jane, getting out of the shower, sees the bathroom mirror ripple. She touches it and sees an image of Libby there, asking for her help. Henry interrupt sand she leaves the bathroom.

Gavin goes to a bar, stands next to a young woman and greets her, “hello Sasha”. It’s Laurell, Henry’s PR expert.

Maris – the magical insightful advisor to Jane. Following Nona the magical insightful advisor to Jane. Whyyy 2 Black people giving mystical advice to a white protagonist, I do believe that’s a tope, I do. Even the catatonic Lilly is focused on Jane.

I don’t know whether it’s because I know the show has been cancelled but I’m still finding it hard to care about it. And it’s reached a point where I should – with Sasha and Victor and the plots around the Dorans and Jane getting some answers.

But it feels like it’s just been so long developing, we had so many empty episodes with no direction or plot, it didn’t hook me in early enough and it’s far too late to set its hooks now.

They seem to be using the stigma against Jane's mental illness as a weapon but at the same time they're not examining it. And, again, whenever we see stigma against mental illness used unfairly in fiction it's always used against people without mental illnesses who are wrongfully diagnosed.