Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hemlock Grove: Season One, Episode Five: Hello, Handsome

This episode opens with an advertisement for the Godfrey Institute.  We get a flash back to 14 years ago with Nathan and Tom rushing a casket into the institute saying that "Shelly deserves a chance." Price come rushing out and grabs the casket and returns to the institute.

Peter is sitting outside of the school and turns to wave at Shelley, who smiles demurely and waves back.  Letha sits down next to Peter and tells him that there is a rumor going around that he is a werewolf and he asks her what she thinks. I'd like to know on what basis everyone is so ready to believe that Peter is a werewolf?  This sudden belief in a supernatural figure based on the fact that two of his fingers are the exact same length  and Peter is Roma is ridiculous. Letha asks what Peter is doing with Roman and reminds him that they are in highschool and not a Clint Eastwood movie. Letha adds that she is glad that they are getting along because Roman doesn't have many friends and asks Peter to promise that he will stop Roman from doing anything stupid. Peter promises and then asks what Letha can tell him about Olivia. Letha says that Roman's father met Olivia when he was touring biomedical facilities in England. On the day that they buried Olivia's husband, the paper described Olivia as the most beautiful and despised woman in Hemlock Grove. Peter pulls out a prize from the snack he is eating and it turns out be a plastic ring of a snake, consuming it's own tail.  Letha calls it creepy but Peter assures her that it's supposed to be good luck and hands it to her.  When Lentha hesitates he says, "Come on, don't be such a fucking girl," so Letha slides the ring on her finger as Roman watches from a distance.

Clementine is at the lab and meets with Dr. Price.  She thanks him for seeing her because tomorrow is the institutes 20th anniversary. They are standing next to the flower that Price told Shelly in the last episode is not really alive and it's much bigger now. Price says that every genetic test indicates that it is the same as the natural flower but apparently the bees are not convinced. Clementine asks Price if he ever considered planting a garden and he says that it's not in his job description.  Price then asks if Clementine is planning on recording their conversation and Clementine replies no, so Price pulls out a tape recorder and says, "I am, just so you know."

Price moves away telling Clementine to call him Johann.  Really? Johann Price? Are they even aware that the actor who is playing this role is Asian?  Come on now. Clementine asks what they do there and Johann suggests that Clementine is pretending that she doesn't know.  Clementine asks him to talk about his first paper, which apparently is colloquially called, "better reincarnation through chemistry." Joann explains that it's all theoretical but it's possible to create life in a young corpse.  Joann asks how this is related to U.S. fish and wildlife service.  Clementine asks if any of his test animals or human subjects could have gotten out and he replies, "none whatsoever."  Clementine asks if he has any thoughts on their demon dog and Johann says that he is convinced that the murders were the act of a pathological sexual predator. Clementine then reminds Joann that he earlier said that an animal was responsible because no person could do what was done to those bodies barehanded.  Joann then stands up and crushes a piece of metal in his bare hand, saying he suffers from hysterical strength. Clementine tells him that technically it makes him a suspect and he replies, "you should know that the Godfrey's are very protective of the institutes good fortunes." Johann tells her to tread lightly and that it has been experience that the bees don't land on them (read: the Godfrey's) either. Clementine turns and walks away.

Clementine sits in her truck and reaches into the glove box and pulls out flask and has a drink.  Her phone rings and it's the Bishop.  She calls it an unexpected surprise and he says that he's calling because despite assurances to the contrary, he has heard she is still drinking. Clementine is surprised and looks around. She asks, "and if I said it wasn't true?"  He replies that he would believe, or until he had reason not to and then calls Clementine his favorite before hanging up. Clementine stares at the flask on the dash.

We get a flash to five years ago of Clementine struggling with officers and then being thrown into a jail cell.  Her cellmate says that she has a green card and is legal but no one will listen. She grabs her stomach and says that she cannot have her baby there.  Clementine tells her to cry if it makes her happy and the cellmate replies, "God does not want us to be happy, he wants us to be strong. In the present Clementine begins to pray. When she stops, Clementine places the flask back in the glove box. Once again, she pauses and looks at the picture of Peter.

At the high school, Peter tells Christina that he heard about what happened to her in the woods and that he is sorry. Christina asks Peter if he is done and when he says yes and moves to walk away, she calls out, "you won't get away with it you know."  Peter and Christina go their separate ways and she heads to a secluded area to cry.  When she touches her hair, a grey lock falls out.

At the Godfrey residence, Olivia instructs Shelly to go up to her room and tells Roman that they have a guest. The deputy says the name Franklin Hernandez and that they found Lisa Willby's corpse dug up and two sets of footprints around the grave.  Roman asks who Hernandez is and Olivia tells him that it their gardener, who has been in the hospital the last two weeks. The deputy asks if Roman knows how a shovel from their property wound up near an open grave. Roman suggests that someone stole it but the deputy is not convinced and tells him that there is a ten thousand dollar reward. The deputy thanks Olivia for her help and leaves. Olivia accuses Roman of doing this with the "gypsy scum" and adds that they chose a moment they knew would hurt her the most. Roman is confused and asks what she is talking about. Olivia reminds Roman that tomorrow they are holding a gala for his father and asks if he hates her so much that he would risk the family's public humiliation. Roman asks, "what if I told you that what I am doing is important?"  Olivia responds by slapping him across the face and when Roman tries to continue, she slaps him again. Olivia tells him to be quiet because she cannot bear the sight of him and warns that if they get another visit from the police that she will collect the reward herself.  Olivia orders Roman to attend and be properly dressed at the gala, then instructs him to get out of her sight.

Peter and Roman are driving and he asks Peter if he had a pleasant lunch with Letha.  Peter tells Roman that Letha pities him and Roman replies that she is all heart.

We are given yet aother flashback to Clementine in bed and she is breaking down the cot in the cell.  Her cellmate says, "you never told me why you're here," as Clementine tries to saw the bars apart.  Clementine strips off her top and continues to file and her cellmate notices Clementine's military tattoo. Clementine says that she has a brother named Michael, who is a marine like her and equally messed up,  as she continues to file away at the bars.  Her cellmate asks why she is doing this and Clementine responds that she is not there on some drunken disorderly and adds that the rednecks are going to bury her black ass, just as surely as they are going to let her rot.  The cellmate figures out that Clementine is making a weapon and asks to go with her, again stating that she cannot allow her baby to be born there. Clementine hands her the piece of metal and instructs her on how to make it sharp, as she sits down for a rest.

Destiny is finishing with a customer, when Peter and Roman knock on the door. Destiny pauses to look at Roman's palm but does not tell him what she sees. Destiny then asks if they have something for her and Roman hands over candy and than the jar filled with intestines.  Destiny grabs a caterpillar and then puts it in the intestine jar. When Roman asks how long this is going to take, Destiny says that it's best if they let it sit overnight and adds that they will need some tequila.  Roman asks if the tequila is part of this and Destiny says no.

Roman and Peter head out to get the bottle and Roman is irked because Destiny did not tell him what she saw on his palm.  Peter assures him that it doesn't work that way and that what he wants isn't for sale because Destiny doesn't trade real magic for money. Roman replies that she trades everything else and Peter says that it's not the same.  Peter adds that "women do what they for the hell of it."

The next day Norman is looking at his chat with Shelly, when Francis is brought in. Francis says that he is all fucked up and Norman tells him that it's the sedative and that he heard Francis had a bad night. Norman asks if Francis can tell him anything more about aura boras  and Francis tells him that this is why they killed them and that Norman doesn't want to see.  Norman says that he cannot help him and so Francis leans forward and tells him to "ask the beady eyed little fucker Price."

Peter is back at Destiny's and she asks where his extremely tall Upir friend is.  Peter replies that Roman is at a party but expects a full report. Destiny tells him that if this goes wrong that Roman will go home to his mother and that he could end up in a cage. Destiny says that this is going to be messy and she takes the lid off the intestine jar and the liquid foams and goes over the top.  She then picks up the caterpillar from yesterday and downs it with a shot. Peter uses a belt to secure Destiny to a chair and she says, whatever you need, get it fast because this goes by fast." He sits in front of Destiny and then she throws her head back and when we see her face again, it's the face of the dead girl.  Roman asks what she can tell her about her death.  The girl talks briefly about her death until Destiny rares back and throws up.

Price is dictating into a recorder about his meeting with Clementine.  He says that she is oblivious of what awaits her, if her inquires lead to the Godfrey's door.  Price is forced to stop when Norman bursts in asking to know about aura boras. Price says that it's one of their spaghetti project - as in they throw something against a wall and see if it sticks. Price adds that aura boras is about pit vipers and testing to see if there is a human application to their heat sensitive organs, to perhaps aid the blind. Norman asks why the homeless man he is treating has been raving about pit vipers and Price admits that Francis was a volunteer for one of their drug trials and that they noticed that this sedative could cause hallucinations.  Norman is not appeased and says that none of that explains why both Pullman and Shelly reference something they call the dragon. Price then offers to show Norman.

They walk to the Herpetology Lab, which has a flaming dragon on the door, with a sign that says, "Today I have seen the Dragon - Confucius." Apparently, this lab is right near the sleep lab where Price takes Shelly to monitor her REM sleep and so Price claims that "sometimes the most obvious explanation, is the most obvious explanation." Peter is still not convinced and replies, "a clever thief learns to cover his tracks."  Price changes the subject and says that Norman is under a great deal of stress and that he will be getting an offer from a company wishing to buy him out.  Price adds that Norman had made it clear that he would easily disavow the whole institute. Price advises Norman that this is his chance to relieve himself of his burden but Norman asks, "my burden Price, or yours?" As Norman moves to walk away, Price asks if he would have rather she had died and Norman turns and responds that Shelly did die. Price tells Norman that his brother understood the ramifications and Norman counters that he was mourning the death of his child and Price exploited that. Price asks if Norman would care to tell Shelly that Norman sees "her conception as the result of emotional incompetence?"  Norman replies that that's the only thing about her that's normal.  Norman then brings up Letha and says that he is taking her to the OBGYN tomorrow and that if he finds out that Price had any involvement in her condition, that he will have him killed. Price is speechless and Norman finishes by telling Joann that he can tell the proposed investors to go fuck themselves.  Price pulls out his tape recorder and starts recording again.

When Destiny comes back from the bathroom, Peter is just about finished cleaning up the mess on the floor and he tells her that next time she needs to lay off the tequila.  Destiny says that Peter needs to be careful around Roman and his mother.  Peter sighs and replies that "the little prince has no teeth and the queen's an actress; she' just bored."  Destiny tells Roman that she saw a conversion of Roman's fate line and heart line, which means he is going to face the hardest choice of his life and whoever is in his shadow, is going to share in the consequence. Destiny adds, "bored is just one mask, who knows how many more that crazy bitch is wearing underneath." Peter stands and says that he has to leave because it's a school night.  Destiny reminds Peter to never forget what Roman is, especially if he has. Before leaving, Peter turns and asks Destiny what she can tell him about angels.  Destiny replies that angels are messengers who help them better understand about God.  When Destiny asks why Peter wants to know, he says that there is a girl at school. Destiny asks in frustration, "what is it with you and crazy girls?"

Price enters what looks to be Shelly's private room and she greets him with a hug.  In her room, Olivia is looking desperately through the vials to find one which has some of the potion in it. She begins to tear apart her room in frustration and manages to find one vial at the bottom of a drawer. Price sits down with Shelly and says that he understands that she has a certain relationship with her uncle Norman and that he isn't upset, but there's something he has to do. Price asks Shelly if she has ever shown her mother her poetry and says that there's no shame in hiding things.  Price then takes Shelly's hand and tells her that aura boras is that important and then says that he is in his "best girl's debt" and even more deeply, if she would favour him with a smile. Of course, Shelley smiles for him.

Clementine is still in the prison cell and she is talking baby names with her cellmate. Clementine tells her that God wants her to be strong and she lies down on top of the weapon as the cellmate calls for help and claims that Clementine is not breathing. Suddenly, the cellmate falls to the ground, screaming and grabbing her stomach in pain.  The growls stop sounding human and Clementine attacks. As the woman continues to try and change, Clementine beats her death.  A black man enters the cells and tells Clementine that she wise to kill it before it changed and that the Bishop will be happy with her. The man then welcomes her to the order of The Dragon, as Clementine stares down at her now headless cellmate.

That night, Clementine sits outside and watches as people arrive for the big gala.  Inside the institute, Olivia greets Roman and Letha (yet another incestuous moment for those who are counting). When Roman walks by Theo, he complains that J.R. isn't there leaving that cocky little freak (read: Roman) and his whore mother, as the once and future king to the Godfrey institute.  Roman and Letha have gone to get a drink at the bar and he tells her that she should have her baby at the institute.  Dr. Price just happens to be getting a drink, as well and is listening in. Roman tells Letha that they are opening up an obstetrics unit and that she would be close to home.  Suddenly, Letha throws up and her parents grab her.  Maria tells Letha that if she wants to have this baby that she needs to start acting like a pregnant woman and not a party favor.  Roman is at the bar drinking bourbon (cause that's what all the highschool kids drink today)

Norman is in the bathroom with Theo, who says that "it's been 12 years since that bitch drove your brother to it." Norman tells him that he is drunk but Theo continues on saying that the rugrat is finally off Norman's teat, though he doubts he'd have the fortitude to run a company. Norman tells him to go home and sleep it off and leaves the bathroom, after tipping the Black bathroom attendant. Theo urinates all over the floor saying, "piss on her, piss all over her and her useless brat."  When he leaves the room, Roman comes out of the stall, looks at the attendant and says, "what" and leaves again. 

In the main room, Olivia begins to make a speech in memory of J.R. and while this is going on, Roman gets together with Theo's wife to do drugs in the lab.  Theo enters the main room and tells Olivia that she is giving a hell of a performance.  Norman tells Theo that it's enough but Theo responds, "open your eyes Godfrey, if anyone killed your brother it was fucking her." Norman responds by punching Theo and then security rushes Theo out of the room. Olivia goes back to giving her speech. In the lab, Theo's wife is giving Roman head, when he picks up a razor and slices his chest open.  When she feels the blood on her face, she looks up horrified to see what Roman has done.  Roman simply says, "please tell Theo that the institute will be in good hands."

Okay another wretched episode of Hemlock Grove down.  From the very start the language on this show has been killed with casual misogyny. I don't think there has been an episode without an anti-woman slur. Roman who is supposedly the tragic hero in particular has a problem with feminists and clearly looks down on all women with the exception of Letha.

Also what the hell is the point with Roman and his sex scenes every damn episode? They add nothing to the plot and do absolutely nothing for the character.

A Black bathroom attendant in 2013? Really people?  Okay so we have the devious Asian doctor who is called "beady eyed fucker" and yes that's racist as fuck), the angry Black women investigator, and who could forget Destiny as the weird Babylonian woman? This episode we were treated to a Black male bathroom attendant, who sits there and smiles like sambo no less. I think at this point that I would rather be erased.

I'm about done with Christina and her drama. Who comes along a dead body and decides hey, let me kiss it and see if it's real in the first damn place?  Nearly everything that comes out of her mouth is just beyond irritating and now I can barely stand to see her character on screen.

We did find out just a little bit more about Shelly this episode.  It seems that we should be calling Price, Dr. Frankenstein because he clearly brought Shelly back to life.  This wasn't a really big revelation because the show has been heavily hinting at this from the very beginning.  It feels like it is trying draw out every cheap horror trope it can find rather than attempting to do something original.  Someone should have told them that cheese, even good cheese (which this most certainly is not) only gets you so far.