Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hemlock Grove, Season One, Episode Eight: Catabasis

After raping Ashley, Roman pukes on the front lawn, then gets in his car and rants to himself. "fucking gypsy, fuck him. fuck him, fuck you fucking little fucking faggot." Anyone else notice how Hemlock Grove is comfortable using an anti-gay slur but cannot seem to include an actual gay character?  The insult doesn't even make sense because he is calling Peter a "f@ggot" for sleeping with Letha.  Roman then crashes his car and unfortunately survives, though he is unable to restart it.  When he gets outside of this car, he finds himself starring at the White Tower.  Instead of calling for a tow, he drops his phone and heads straight for the building. 

Roman walks into the building and when he is stopped by the security guard, he tells him you know who I am and then uses his powers to force the man to sit down.  Roman uses the security guard's access card and heads to the labs. When he reaches a restricted area and cannot access it, Roman grabs a blow torch and heads towards the door but is stopped by Price before he can use it.  Price asks him to hand over the blow torch claiming that he doesn't want to explain to Olivia how Roman lost a hand. Roman asks if aura boras is behind the door and Price responds that he doesn't have to give him the blow torch but that he would be more comfortable if Roman would extinguish it.  Roman asks again about aura boras and why the snake is in his dreams.  Price tells him that the question is fascinating and Roman suggests to Price that he could make tell him what aura boras is.

Price uses his card and takes Roman into the secured area, explaining that he is being passed a great mantel. There is a wooden box with a window in the front and when Roman asks what it is, Price tells him that it's project aura boras.  Roman looks in the window but when he turns around, Price grabs Roman by the neck, lifting him off his feet. Price then injects Roman with something and says, "you can see why we're rather sensitive about it."

Peter wakes up and has a huge breakfast.  He tells Lynda that it's like having a toothache and not know how bad it was until the pain is gone.  When Lynda goes to pour Peter some juice, she notices lipstick on a glass and comments that Peter is making all kind of new friends.  Peter simply says that he is a friendly guy, so Lynda asks for a name. Peter tells her that the friend is Letha Godfrey.  Lynda asks if he is doing this on purpose and Peter says that it has nothing to do with Roman.  When Lyda asks if Roman knows, Peter says that he could care less. Since when could he care less? One of his objections about getting into a sexual relationship with Letha in the first place is that it would hurt Roman's delicate fee fees.  It's only been a few hours since that declaration according to the story.

When Roman appears to wake up, he is in a giant White basin but he keeps hallucinating and having visions.  Olivia arrives and finds Roman unconscious and  Price tells her that he was very upset and that he was afraid Roman would hurt himself.  Price says that he only gave Roman a sedative and that there is no physiological reason for Roman's condition. Price adds that he thinks Roman has had some sort of mental break and that they are in Norman's territory now. Olivia tells Price that Roman is coming home, even after Price says that he advises against it because Roman's condition needs to be monitored.

Clementine is looking at the wreckage of Roman's car.  Tom approaches and asks if road policing is in her jurisdiction now.  Tom adds the professional curtsey goes both ways and that her trip to the Godfrey house didn't go unnoticed and that he had to hear about it after the fact. He finally tells Clementine that if the issue involves fish and wildlife she should have it but otherwise stay out of police business. It's about time Tom gave that speech to Clementine. 

Shelly carries Roman upstairs and when he's in bed, Olivia says that the first thing he will feel when he wakes up will be the sun on his face.  Olivia leans in and kisses him, then leaves Shelly by his bedside.  Shelly uses her machine to say "come back, you promised you wouldn't leave me. I need you."  Roman is continuing to hallucinate that he is trapped inside some sort of tunnel. He yells that they could at least have left him his cigarettes. A girl approaches Roman and says that she took his cigarettes because she hates how much he smokes. Roman again asks who she is and she answers "oh please."  Because Shelly is no longer disfigured, he doesn't recognize her as his sister. Roman asks where they are and she says that they are in her room and he is breaking her heart yet again.  "Roman can hear me? Come back," Shelly says in the read world. Roman tells Shelly that Price drugged him and she shrugs it off saying that his system has been through worse and that's not why he's there.  Roman asks why he is, and Shelly tells him to ask his razor next time he has a question.  Roman says that he's a scorpion and she tells him to be careful about what he says he is.  Shelly then tells Roman that he needs to destroy the dragon that's ripping him apart before it eats him alive. 

Clementine is walking around Peter's home and she is carrying a gun.  The bishop comes in and she aims her gun at him but does not shoot. She asks him what he is doing there and he says that he was concerned after their last call.  He takes a seat.

Letha is sitting with Marie and Letha brings up J.R. and asks why Norman never talks about him.  Marie says that Norman is very good at his job but could stand to use that powerful psychiatric microscope on himself once and awhile. Letha puts on Norman's glasses and then starts to do an impression of Norman, as he returns home. Norman comments that it's a good thing that he leaves the office from time to time, or he would mistake himself for a respected man. Norman kisses Marie and has a seat next to her. Norman's phone goes off and it's Olivia and he promises to go right over.  Marie asks what's wrong, Norman tells her that Roman is in a coma.

Roman is still hallucinating and in bed when Norman and Letha get there.  Letha asks Olivia what happened and she says that it was a drug overdose.  Norman then asks to speak to Olivia downstairs. As they head downstairs, Norman tells Olivia that Roman should be in the hospital but Olivia says that Roman will stay there. Norman asks what drugs and Olivia says a number and that Roman was causing a scene at the hospital and that Joann sedated Roman. Norman says that it's not sedation and that Roman is in a coma and is surprised she left Price still breathing. Norman asks why Roman was there and Olivia says that she doesn't know, so Norman asks if Olivia knows anything about project aura boras.  When Olivia replies that she doesn't know anything more about what is going on at the institute than Norman does, Norman says that something is happening there and she cannot act like it's not. Norman kisses her hand saying her name repeatedly, then wraps his arms around her, as Shelly watches.

Norman is driving Letha home and she tells him that he doesn't need to protect her from the truth because she knows Roman.  Letha asks if Roman is going to wake up and Norman replies that it is up to Roman.

Clementine tells the Bishop that Roman is in a coma now and he sarcastically says "the heart breaks."  Clementine points out that there are better places for them to talk but he says that they have time.  The bishop then adds that Clementine seems to have exhausted the patience of the local law enforcement. Clementine says that Roman had quite the night and that something is going on at the tower.  She adds that she believes Francis Pullman saw what Price is up to. The bishop then asks about Peter, so Clementine says that they were at the mill and found what was left of Lisa.  When the bishop suggests that they left Lisa there, Clementine says that she is not sure.  She adds that Peter and Roman seem to have done the Hardy Boys break up but now Olivia and Lynda are spending time together.  Clementine adds that Olivia was at the mill too but the bishop counters and reminds Clementine that Olivia owns the building. Clementine says that she believes J.R. is not the first man to lose his head over her and that Olivia might be Opir. The bishop is not interested in talking about Olivia and reminds Clementine that he sent her there to hunt a herd. The cardinal believes that Olivia is just a diversion and demands that Clementine clear her head and bring him Peter. Clearly, the order has a thing with the Rumancek family.

Norman drives back to the Godfrey house and Olivia thanks him for coming back.  They profess their love for each other.  Roman is still in his coma and he is taken to a room. He walks through a door which leads him to Clementine.  Clementine says that all cultures have a blood ritual for women as they pass from childhood to adulthood and young males have an ordeal at puberty, which separates the boys world from the mans. She tells him that it's not his fault that he is weak and Roman asserts that he is not weak.  Clementine then dips her hands in blood and instructs Roman to kneel and pulls a silver spoon out of Roman's mouth, adding that the dragon does not give a shit about his nobility and will eat him alive. Okay, the silver spoon represents Roman's privilege but this is something we already knew about.

Roman takes off running and runs into Norman, who is cutting up what looks like a heart.  Roman tells him that he is looking for the dragon, so Norman opens up his laptop and consults with another doctor abut Roman's condition. Roman leans forward to listen and learns that his sister has appeared to him in the form of a guide.  The doctor says that the dragon is clearly Roman's shadow and the repression of his inner thoughts. Norman asks what's the worse thing that can happen if this is all in Roman's head.  The doctor tells him that too much culture makes an sick animal.  Roman stands up and says that this is has been helpful as always full of sarcasm.  Norman says that it seems that he would have more to say to his mother.  Norman then instructs Roman to sit and J.R. informs him that he was the one who brought back the steel mill, which was close to insolvency and wasn't much older than Roman at the time.  Roman being Roman says, "fuck your legacy and calls his father a coward." J.R. then brings up Juliet and says that Olivia had about as much interest in holding her as a wet towel, but when Roman was born with a cowl, she aggressively demanded to hold him. J.R. says that he knew he couldn't protect Roman from her.  Roman points out that J.R. left him alone with Olivia and J.R. tells Roman that half of Olivia is in him and that's his only chance. J.R. points out that Roman has never met anyone from Olivia's side of the family and suggests that he was better off alone, than with a wasted father.  Roman replies, "fuck you for making that decision for me." J.R. says that he was better off and that he should talk to Norman about his feelings because Norman is his real father anyway. I suppose this was meant to be a bomb shell but considering how long Norman and Olivia have been sleeping together, for me it was kind of expected.

In the highschool, Peter tells Letha that Roman might just stop pulling this shit, if they stopped letting him. Letha says that this isn't Peter and he tells her not to make this his problem, before walking away.   In Roman's hallucination, he enters the school and sits at a desk and watches a black and white movie of Letha.  Lynda shows up and screams at him to pay the money and Roman runs into the hall, where he sees Brooke standing with her intestines hanging from her body.  Francis then appears and says, "it was you and I don't want to see that."  Roman runs away again.

Peter is at the steel mill and Roman meets him there.  Peter asks if he is okay and Roman says that they are in this together.  Peter tells him to say what he has to say and Roman again says that they are in this together.  Peter asks why Roman needs this to be true and in return, Roman asks why Peter can't admit it.  Peter tells him that they are both scorpions. Roman asks if there is anything he can do to fix this and Peter replies, "it's like the hottest, wettest pussy on earth.  That's what fear smells like."

Lynda comes outside and hands Peter a beer saying that she heard about Roman and never wanted Peter to get mixed up with the Godfreys in the first place.  Peter tells her that he and Roman had the same dreams and that he thought it meant something.  Lynda grabs Peter's hand and says that he is exactly the man Nikolai knew he would be. 

Clementine shows up at the Godfrey house and Olivia answers the door. The two go for a walk on the grounds and Clementine asks Olivia's opinion on the discoveries at the mill. Olivia calls her a "remarkable cunt," and points out that though her son is upstairs in a coma, Clementine is coming to her with questions about  a dead body.  Well, we all knew that Hemlock Grove couldn't make ti through an entire episode without some form of anti-woman comment, or slur. Clementine apologizes and says that she didn't know that Roman was there. Olivia tells her to say something worth her time, or find her animal and head back to what Ohio tragedy birthed her.  Clementine asks how Olivia knew she was from Ohio and adds that she will pray for Roman. Olivia tells her that she will do no such thing, so Clementine asks if Olivia is afraid Roman will be saved.  Before turning to leave, Clementine says, "we're all just animals."

Roman is still in his dream state and Shelly tells him that he has to hurry. Shelly tells him that he is running out of him and that people are going to die.  Shelly backs away and he asks her to come back but all she says is grow up Roman.  Roman is now inside his home and he picks up a weapon.  He here's someone screaming, "Roman help me," so he runs up the stairs.  When he gets Shelly's room she is being stalked by a wolf .  Roman swings at the wolf  with his weapon and it disappears.  Ashley appears completely nude and walks towards Roman, and places his arms around her waist. Ashley kisses his face and says, "you are ugly Roman and you're looking for a monster. Look in the coke mirror." Is this supposed to imply that Roman only raped Ashley because he was high on drugs? I most certainly hope not because that is certainly not an explanation or an excuse. Roman pushes her away and yells stop but Ashley grabs his erection and asks, "what does that mean?"  When she backs away, it's not longer Ashley, but Olivia.  Shelly then stands beside him.  Roman asks if he can grow up now and she tells him that he has barely scratched the surface.  Roman asks what the dragon wants from him and Shelly turns it around and asks Roman what he wants from the dragon. Shelly tells him that he is running out of time and must make his heart still.

In the real world, Olivia is crying, stroking Roman's face saying that she was so fixated on the man she wanted him to come that she missed the boy he still is. Olivia says that she is afraid because she has spent so many years building this life for them and that she has lost everything before and adds that that he does not know the meaning of sacrifice.  Olivia tells him that it is not in her to lose Roman, even if it means letting him go.

The doorbell rings and it's Peter.  He has brought something for Roman and says that he believes it will help him.  Olivia asks him to come in and Peter replies that he is actually pretty bad at these kinds of things.  Peter turns to leave, and Olivia says that perhaps if Roman had met someone like him sooner that Roman wouldn't be where he is right now. Peter nods hid head and Olivia says goodbye. Wow so now all of a sudden Peter is a good influence?  What about all her complaining to Roman about him?  Are we going to get an explanation for this about face?

As Peter is leaving, Letha pulls up in the driveway.  They go for a walk on the property arm in arm and take a seat.  Letha points to an area where they had sex and tells Peter not to look so proud of himself.  Peter wraps his arm around Letha, while from a distance, Clementine takes pictures.  Clementine says, "children, they're all just children."

Olivia is by Roman's bedside when Norman appears again.  They embrace and kiss.

Price is at the institute dictating about alchemists.  He says that the sedation for Roman was unfortunate but was necessary, as his witness to the work. Price says that if Roman wakes up, his report of aura boras will never be believed and knowing the truth, Roman will be invalidated.  Price says that they won't stop him.

Shelly is writing that it takes everything she has not to lose it and that others can love without hate. But this does not imply to Roman and that he would rather die first.  Shelly takes off her wig and we see that she is bald.  She continues to write that Roman promised to always be there for her and that he is selfish, though he knows how much she has always loved him.  Shelly adds that she has always defended Roman and that he is not allowed to remove himself from life.

We get a flash of Roman entering the aura boras box and the door slamming shut.

Other shows in this genre have done hallucinations so much better than this. This episode was nothing more than a jumble of confusion.  From the very beginning, Hemlock Grove didn't make a lot of sense but this, this was just horrendous.  Does anyone really need to be in the mind of a racist, narcissistic, sexist, rapist? I am sure that there is some point the writers are trying to make about who Roman is and how the audience is supposed to feel about him, but quite frankly, it went right over my head. I don't think this episode added anything to the conversation and certainly did not indicate what aura boras is, or why we should care.

Olivia is now playing the role of loving and doting mother.  The problem is that Olivia's relationship with Roman has had so many incestuous undertones that her supposed pain at his coma just doesn't work.  I don't believe her.  It certainly did not help that she and Norman made out at Roman's bedside.  Who is interested in sex when someone they love, let alone their child, is in mortal danger? The only thing I can think at this point is that Olivia must be the dragon that Roman is meant to slay. If this is the case, it's completely unoriginal but then that seems par for the course for Hemlock Grove.

Shelly as Roman's guide was quite interesting.  I am far more interested in her story than his.  Why does she appear as physically normal in his hallucination?  Given her appearance, I can completely understand her dependance on Roman.  He has been the one to stand between her, Olivia and quite frankly the world. 

Clementine's new fixation seems to be Olivia which again implies that Olivia is the dragon Roman is meant to slay.  Olivia has been the one person she has not been able to bend to her will since arriving in town.  I am interested in Clementine's relationship with the church, but Hemlock Grove doesn't seem to want to spend any time explaining it's