Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hemlock Grove, Season One, Episode Seven: Measure of Disorder

This episode starts with a flashback to 18 years ago at the funeral of J.R. and Olivia's first child Juliet. Despite the fact that her infant daughter has just died, Olivia is not showing any signs of mourning. When J.R. comments on this, Norman simply says that there are many ways to grieve.  J.R. however is not buying it. J.R. believes that Olivia should see Norman to deal with this and Norman replies family treating family is not a good idea.  J.R. says that Olivia won't talk to him, so Norman asks him what makes him think that Olivia will talk to him.

When we next see Norman, he is beginning his first session with Olivia.  He asks her why she thinks that she is there and Olivia replies, "some of us at times must be mothers to more than children," and adds that "J.R. implies that you're afraid to be alone with me. Tell me, did he always need so much reassurance?"  Norman asks Olivia if she believes that this is what it means to be a mother and she tells him that she was raised by her father, whose threshold for nonsense was nonexistent.  Norman again asks her what motherhood means and Olivia asks if it would peak Norman's interest to learn that her father was a sever disciplinarian.  Norman reminds her that her daughter just died and Olivia says that there's a gallon of milk in the refrigerator older than her daughter was.  When Norman asks if this diminishes her loss, Olivia replies, "I think my loss is just that, mine."

In present day, Olivia and Roman are driving and he's angry that she's upset and reminds them that it's their property. Olivia turns his head and says, "not ours, and I will cut you off without a cent. You think I won't"  The street light flashes and Olivia starts to get weak and shake." Roman asks if she is okay and then says, "I hear them too." Olivia replies, "all I want in this world is what's best for my baby."

Peter returns home and Lynda is waiting for him, wanting to know where the hell he has been.  Peter says that he has been walking five miles and that Lynda was right. Lynda however is not interested in Peter saying that she is right.  Peter admits that he made a mistake and the two hug it out.

Clementine is walking through the steel mill when two deputes enter and say, hands up and don't move. They tell her that they are within their right to take her in because her badge is not a get out jail free card and she is trespassing on private property.  Clementine tells them to have a look over there and they find the other half of Lisa's corpse. More police arrive and they are securing the scene, when Clementine bends over to examine a footprint.  As Tom is walking Clementine out, he gets a phone call from the mayor's office.  Tom tells him Clementine that the mayor believes that it is in the best interest of the public to withhold this information from the media. Clementine quips that "it's not the first time the first amendment has been liberally interpreted when the Godfrey name might be in print."  Tom asks her how long she has been with Fish and Wildlife.  Clementine says that if  there's something he wants to ask he should. Tom replies that if he thought Clementine would answer he would.  Tom then asks if they are indeed looking for an animal and Clementine responds, "you know the thing people get wrong about the weatherman?  He's usually right." Clementine's phone rings, so she walks away.

Shelly is in the store and walks up to the counter to see Jenny.  Jenny says that she is bored and asks about Roman, so Shelly shows Jenny her bus ticket. Jenny says that she is sure that Shelly is not there for her sunny personality and pulls out the earrings that Shelly had tried on earlier, saying that she set them aside for her. Jenny adds that "the right piece of jewelery can turn a girl into a woman, not to mention a little rebellion," and places her hand on Shelly's.

That evening at the Godfrey dinner table, Olivia asks how everyone's day was.  Roman quips, "every breath a gift." When Olivia asks where Shelly disappeared to, she uses her machine to tell them that she took the bus. Olivia is shocked and Shelly says again that she took the bus.  Olivia asks why Shelly took the bus anywhere and without her permission.  Roman suggests that Olivia give Shelly a break and adds that he doesn't know how to take the bus. Olivia notices Shelly's earrings and asks what she has done to herself, then turns to Roman and asks if he had a hand in this.  Olivia asks if Shelly wants to make a mockery of herself. Olivia then reaches across the table, takes Shelly's hand and asks her if she knows what true deformity is. Olivia says stupidity and tells Shelly to remove them.  The lights flicker and Roman tells Olivia to leave Shelly alone. Olivia again orders Shelly to take off the earrings and Roman stands up and clearly says leave her alone.  Olivia threatens that Roman will end up in the gutter and he tells her that he knows that she is lying because he has seen the will.  Roman knows that he is the sole beneficiary and that on his 18th birthday, he gains control of the entire estate.  Roman adds that this is his house, his money and it always was. Roman lights a cigarette and says to Olivia that all she had to do was leave Shelly alone.  Olivia gets up, kisses Shelly, then walks over to Roman and kisses him as well before leaving the room.

Roman walks over to his sister and strokes her face. Once again we see a purple streak when he touches her.  He picks up the earring and puts it back on for Shelly and then kisses her. Later that night, when Shelly is in bed, Roman heads upstairs to her room and pauses to look at her painting.  We get a flash back to a dream sequence between Roman and Peter.

Norman is lying in bed when his phone goes off. He says, "calm down, I'll be there." Marie asks if it's Olivia and he says no, gets dressed and leaves.  Letha is sitting in Norman's office and she is remembering the conversation she had with Peter about Olivia. Letha starts to go through the desk drawers and then picks up a picture of J.R. and notices a letter behind the photo.  It's J.R.'s suicide letter.  In it he writes to Norman that Olivia will bring out the worst in you and that by the time you realise it, it's too late because she has already destroyed the rest.  He writes that he could see the look in Norman's eyes the last time they talked and hopes that Norman will not allow Olivia to destroy him.

Olivia is walking around in a silk nightie and heads to Roman's bedroom. She gets into bed with him and says, "you're stronger than I'd ever hoped." Just eww with the incestuousness of the dynamic between Olivia and Roman.  I don't know what they are trying to achieve beyond nauseating the viewer with these scenes.

Norman talks to a nurse and tells her to take a couple of days off and then meets with Tom in front of Francis' dead body.  Norman says that he was thinking about releasing him but didn't know where he was going to release him to.

At the highschool, Peter sees a note sticking out of his locker and it appears be just a blood stain on it.  Roman walks by him and makes a signal for a cigarette, so Peter follows him outside. Roman says that he has a lead and that he thinks something is going on at the White Tower and though he doesn't know if it's connected, he can get them in.  Peter says no and that it's over. Roman asks what he is talking about and Peter replies, that they are done.  Roman says that Peter told him to get rid of the cop and that he did. Roman says that he is sorry and asks Peter to think about what he is doing. Peter tells Roman that he should go because it's not good for him and that he needs to get away from all this death, this town, his name and make it all clean. Roman says that Peter would find that very convenient and calls him a gypsy piece of shit. Roman then says that if Peter fucks Letha that he will kill him and adds that Peter is not better than him.  Peter simply walks away.

Lynda is cooking when there is a knock on the door.  When she opens it, she find Olivia standing there and invites her in.  Olivia tells Lynda that their sons are friends and says that she knew Lynda's cousin Vince. Olivia adds that she and Vince had an arrangement because of a condition she has, which doctors are unable to help her with.   Olivia says that the treatment is far easier for Lynda's people to procure and though she doesn't need it, it certainly takes the edge off. Lynda asks how much she has left and Olivia says that she will have to check, trying desperately to look nonchalant and failing.  Lynda continues to make the meatballs and tells Olivia that the price will be five thousand dollars per bottle.  When Olivia balks at the price, Lynda says that the stuff she is looking for means knocking on doors that were a part of her life way before she had Peter. Lynda makes it clear that she will not accept less. Olivia looks down at the raw meat like she just wants to stuff it all in her mouth.  Olivia then asks if Lynda can get it and Lynda says yes and Olivia starts to devour the raw meat as Lynda tells her to go easy.

Lynda heads over to see Destiny, who pops open a champagne bottle at the news that Olivia has agreed to five thousand dollars per bottle.  Destiny says, "I hope you know what you are doing because these people are not to be fucked with." Lynda replies that this is a business. They toast each other and start discussing Roman. Destiny admits that she saw Roman's hand and Lynda says that Roman "hasn't lifted anything heavier than his pecker since the day he was born." Destiny says that Roman is capable of a lot more and Lynda responds that Peter now knows that the only person Roman is interested in hurting is himself.  Destiny asks about the Varwolf and Lynda says that it's simply nature taking it's course.

Peter gets on the bus and Letha takes a seat next to him. Peter asks what Letha found out and she hands him J.R.'s letter saying that "adulthood is just like high school with mortgages." Peter reads over the letter and Letha tells him that Francis stabbed himself in the brain last night. Letha says that Roman seems weird today and Peter replies that Roman is pissed at him.  Letha then brings up Saturday night and wants to know if Peter was there when Roman got arrested.  Peter says that Olivia using the sheriff's department as a time out isn't the same as being arrested. Letha asks him what he is leaving out and says that he doesn't need to leave stuff out just because she is a girl.

Letha heads over to Peter's and offers her some water.  She takes a drink and they have seat. Letha asks Peter if he believes in angels and says that it scares her parents because they don't believe her but adds that she wouldn't either in their shoes.  Letha says that it sounds a little crazy and Peter replies that it sounds a lot like crazy.  Letha asks if he believes her and Peter says that he doesn't know.  Letha then asks Peter if he is going to try to fuck her and he replies, "well here we are."  When Peter brings up Roman, Letha asks what Roman has to do with the price of tea in China? Yet another stunning example of how shitty the writing is on this show, though Letha is right about this not being Roman's business.  Letha asks if Peter likes her and says that she wants to show him something.  Peter replies "that if the dynamite is already on the tracks that you would think twice about stepping on the train." Letha gets all pouty and and asks Peter if he is really saying no.

Roman picks up two iron links and tries to break them apart but finds he cannot.  He does a line of cocaine stares at himself in the mirror and says, "Godfrey steel."  Roman then cuts his face, takes the blood and rubs it all over his lips and says, "shut up and kiss me", to the mirror.  The doorbell then goes off.

Roman heads downstairs to find Clementine waiting for him.  Clementine notices the cut and tells him to keep it clean and that he should live.  Clementine asks if Olivia is home and if she can speak with him.  Shelly comes downstairs and Roman introduces Clementine to Shelly and adds that Clementine is there to take a bite out of a Varwolf. This surprises Clementine.  Shelly leaves and Clementine tells Roman that she wants to ask Roman a few questions, but first she wants him to think about what kind of person he wants to be. Clementine says that she is there because people are getting hurt and the more honest he is with her, the more she is able to do something about it.  Clementine then asks about his association with Peter and if Peter believes that he is a werewolf. Roman replies that people just say those things about him because they're afraid of him and that she should hear the things they say about the Godfreys. Clementine asks if they have reason to be afraid and Roman says that Peter would never hurt anyone. Clementine then asks what he was doing at the site of the first murder and if he dug up Lisa.  Roman replies that he followed Peter and that he didn't unearth Lisa. Clementine puts her badge on the table and asks again if they dug up Lisa and Roman admits that they did and that it was for a gypsy ritual. Roman claims that Peter thought he could help her.  Clementine asks why Roman used the word Varwolf and Roman responds that he doesn't want Clementine to bother his sister and that he doesn't want her to think that Shelly is the vargolf. Clementine asks Roman what the word Vargolf means and where he heard the world.  Roman says that it's a kind of sickness, that it's like hunger with no appetite and that he doesn't know where he heard that word.  Clementine again demands to know where he heard that word, and Roman quickly gives Peter up yet again.  Clementine turns to The Godfrey institute and asks what Roman can tell her about it, specifically aura boras. Roman says that the symbol means something is happening and that he sees things sometimes.  Roman says that he can help and that he can find out what the white tower and aura boras are because his father built that place. Roman adds936 that his name is Godfrey but Clementine says that a name is only a name and though it's good of him to want to help that he cannot.  Roman asks why not and Clementine tells him that "God doesn't want you to be happy, he wants you to be strong."

Olivia enters the room and asks Roman if he would like to introduce her to their guest.  Clementine stands up and introduces herself.  Olivia says that she is on the board of the biomedical center and is aware.  Olivia asks what she is doing there and Clementine says, "just due diligence." Clementine adds that she did not mean to intrude and Olivia says that they would be thrilled to be of assistance.  Clementine walks by Olivia on her way out and comments on the size of Olivia's feet before leaving.  Olivia sits next to Roman and asks him what happened to his face. Roman says that it is just a scratch. They are interrupted when Norman calls Roman looking for Letha. Roman says yes and Norman asks Roman to call if he sees her.

Norman sits back in his office and thinks about the last time he was with Olivia.  He looks at a picture of J.R. on his computer. In the flashback Norman says that his whole life he tried to live a certain way. He says that he tried to be a good man and take the hard path over the easy and that he is not a good man.  Norman starts to look through picture of Marie and Letha. In the past, Olivia tells him that he knows exactly what he needs to do and though it feels wrong that it will be right.  Norman arrives home and Marie shows him the positive pregnancy test and so he ends his plans to leave her.

Letha and Peter are cuddled up on the couch and she tells him that he smells sweet like a puppy.  He turns, puts his hand up her top and says that he is not a good boyfriend. Letha asks how a big hairy idiot can smell so good. What hair? People keep talking about Peter as though he is as hairy as bigfoot and as far as I can see, he is no hairier than any other man.  Lynda asks if Peter wants to know the first moment that she knew it would be him and then kisses him.  The two start to make out and Roman the creepy, stands in the rain and watches them.

The next time we see Roman he is driving.  He punches his steering wheel and says, "liars fucking liars."  Roman then heads to the house of Ashley Valentine, a girl from school and she encourages him to come inside. Roman is wearing Ashley's robe and she tells him that he has the legs for it. When he sits, Ashley wraps him in a blanket. Roman starts to cry and says that he should go. Ashley asks him to tell her about it and Roman says that he is an ugly person and that he has an ugliness that is impossible to love. Ashley asks Roman how he could think that, kisses him and says that he is beautiful. Roman suddenly yanks her hair, stands and begins to kiss her.  Ashley strips off her top and the two end up in bed.  Roman ties Ashley's hands to the headboard and she tells him that he is crazy. Roman goes down on Ashley and pauses to look at himself in the mirror.  He is apparently hearing voices now and Ashley is starting to get concerned about him and asks to be untied because she doesn't like this. Roman then rapes Ashley as she begs for him to stop. Roman tells Ashley to tell him that he is ugly and she does so repeatedly.

Peter and Letha are cuddled together and she demands that he makes his stomach growl. Roman says  that he cannot make his stomach growl on command.

Roman is now dressed and he tells the girl to look at him and adds that he was never there.  Roman tells her to dream about something nice and unties her, as blood pours out of his nose. He walks out, closing the door behind him.

Alright, that was probably the most tolerable episode of Hemlock Grove yet and that's not saying much because the show is pretty damn horrible in so many ways.  I kind of like Lynda getting one over Olivia.  It was nice to see one of the Romani's in a position of power given all of the casual oppressive language and suspicion that are aimed at them continually.

Once again there was the suggestion that Letha did not have the ability to consent to sex because of the men in her family.  I am glad that she asked what Roman had to do about it. This one throw away line however does not make up for the constant treatment of Letha as a fragile object to be controlled. Peter was concerned about Letha's consent, he was concerned about Roman's.  To make matters worse, Roman's response to not being able to control Letha's sexuality is to rape someone.

Speaking of Roman, first he and Peter were suddenly bff's for ever and now he willing to throw Peter under the tracks the moment he speaks to Clementine.  What was the point of having him deny anything only to turn around and confirm all of Clementine's suspicions? That's a pretty weak response from someone who clearly thinks that he is all powerful as his discussion of the estate indicates. 

Once again we had a lot of ableism with both Letha and Peter throwing around the word crazy. There are so many ways that they could have phrased this differently.  Also, a werewolf smells like a puppy and this turns Letha on?

Does anyone care about Norman's angst and his relationship with Olivia? We get it, Olivia is controlling and manipulative but let's not pretend that Norman has not had a choice every step of the way.  He just chose to keep going back to Olivia even though he believes she has something to do with his brother's death.