Monday, April 22, 2013

Hemlock Grove, Season One, Episode Three: The Order of the Dragon

Christina is  walking through the woods, when she comes across an oddly shaped tree with a hole by the root. Christina drops her things when she comes across a dead body with it's stomach ripped out.

Norman is sitting with Mr. Pullman and he wants to know exactly what Pullman meant when he said they brought him back.  Pullman replies CPR. Pullman asks where the souls go and suggests that they were killed to find the answers. Pullman adds that it's not right that now they have to see these things and that he doesn't want to see.

Christina approaches the body and calls out, "nice one jerks, you gave me a real scare there."  She sits on the ground next to the dead body and says, "you sure look a little pale. Do you need mouth to mouth?" Who sees a dead body in the woods and even thinks about giving it mouth to mouth?

In the office, Pullman tells Norman that he sees things and Norman says that he is having a little difficulty understanding and wants to know what he sees. Pullman answers who else is going to die.

Christina leans forward to kiss the dead body and realises it's real when she sees maggots crawling all over the body. 

Peter is returns  to the trailer after his night as a wolf and he finds his mother and Roman waiting for him. Roman sits up and lights a smoke and Peter goes into a back room to get some clothes. Roman asks Peter how it was and Peter replies that something was out there and that he smelled it.  Peter adds that it was something bad and adds that he and his mother are the only ones who know about him being a werewolf. Roman asks who he would tell and then promises to keep the secret. Roman grabs his jacket and says that he is going home to change and asks if he should pick up Peter later but Peter is fast asleep.  Lynda says that the change really takes it out of Peter and asks if Roman would like coffee.  Roman replies that he has school and Lynda reminds Roman of his promise.

Later that day, Peter is standing on a bridge and Roman meets him.  Roman asks what he thinks brought them there. Peter notices blood on Romans shirt and Roman pulls down his shirt and the blood forms into a pattern.  Peter asks if Roman is okay and then he replies that they are in this together before changing into some sort of creature.  Roman jumps and wakes up on the couch.

Tom and Norman meet in the woods, where Tom informs Norman that he got a strange call this morning from the state psychiatric board.  Apparently, they inquiring about Pullman's condition and jurisdictional questions about his transfer to Hemlock Acres.  Norman asks why this is odd and Tom points out that you don't get that kind of call without a push and that the only ones around there with that kind of clout are Norman's friends at the White Tower. Norman replies that he does not have friends at the White Tower. Tom says that he is probably over thinking it but Norman did him a favor and he thought Norman deserved a heads up. Norman gets out of the car and dispatch informs Tom that they have found another body.

Clementine wakes to the sound of an alarm clock and clearly she is not a morning person. Clementine says, "he wants you to be strong and starts to get dressed.  It seems like Clementine spent the night with a woman, who asks why she does this to herself because all Clementine knows how to do is take. Clementine does not answer and leaves.  

At a church, Clementine is walking with a priest and apologizes for not returning his calls. The priest says that he heard Michael is in town and asks if Clementine has seen him. Clementine answers that she has not seen him and that if anything were wrong,  the priest would know before anyone else did. The father hands her the paper and Clementine reads the story of the girl who has been mauled to death. As he walks away, he tells Clementine, "this one is going to be tough even for you."

Clementine approaches Tom and his deputy badge and claims to be with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Tom introduces himself and says that he heard she was headed their way and that he wishes it were for fishing season. Tom admits that this is out of their jurisdiction.  Tom is driving Clementine to the scene and he tells her that people in town are scared.  Clementine asks if Lisa was found in the same condition as Brooke.  Tom replies that the bite pattern indicates that it's the same animal but that the body had been left out there for too long to tell if its the same species. Tom adds that based on the condition of Brooke's car that it had to be a big one.  Clementine is puzzled by the lack of animal tracks at both scenes.

At the high school, Shelly is sitting on the ground crying because she is surrounded by boys asking who she ate first. They ask who tasted better and if she ate them quickly or slowly. They ask Shelly who is next and then Roman approaches and comforts her when he sees that she is surrounded. The boys claim that they don't know what is wrong with Shelly and that she just started crying. Peter tells one of the boys to kiss the other and when he does, Peter tells the to get out of there.  Peter has to pause to wipe the blood running from his nose.

Peter and Roman are leaving the school together and Roman asks Peter if he is sure that it wasn't him and Peter replies that he never goes out on an empty stomach.  Roman suggests that maybe Peter blacked out and that he showed him the transformation because he wants to get caught. They head down into a underground era and Peter hands him a joint and tells him to smoke it. Roman asks for a name and Peter says Vargolf. Peter says that a wolf will only attack if its hungry or provoked and that a Vargolf is a wolf that has gone insane. When Roman asks insane how, Peter replies that it doesn't eat what it kills and that's not the way; it's like a disease. Roman asks if he is sure that's what this is and Peter replies that he could smell it.  Roman asks if it is someone he knows and Peter says that he doesn't know anyone else.  Roman suggests that they find the vargolf to make him stop and they are interrupted when a student bursts through.They wait for the girl to go past and Roman asks Peter if he has ever heard of the order of the dragon.  Apparently, they are a group of the knights from the crusades.  Roman says that his mother told him about them and that he always wanted to be a warrior.  Roman again says that he sees things sometimes and that he hears these whispers but doesn't always know if they are real or not. Roman adds that he needs to do something and Peter says that he doesn't and stands up to leave. Peter suggests to Roman that maybe this is something he should be discussing with his guidance counselor. When Roman asks what that means, Peter yells that it means no and takes off leaving Roman alone.

The cops are walking through the woods and Tom says that Christina is really messed up after finding the body.  Clementine is examining the crime scene and Tom asks if they can be of any assistance. Clementine says that there are no tracks aside from the police tracking dogs. The deputy reminds Clementine that this is what they said and she replies, "no you said none were found and a real tracker can track a man through the city in a helicopter. Clementine points out the direction that Christina came from. She moves along the scene as says that a print was made by a Caucasian male who weighs almost 200 lbs, who at some point had an injury to his left knee.  Tom asks how Clementine knows the man is Caucasian and she simply says it's Pennsylvania. Clementine adds that she cannot tell what kind of animal left Lisa there or what direction it came from but she says that its been more than a week for the tracks to degrade. Tom asks in her experience why would animal drag a body and Clementine says that it goes against the grain of a predator and that the only reason for Lisa to be left there is to be discovered.

Letha has gone to see the OBGYN when Roman calls her but she gets called into the office before they can talk. On the way home, Norman asks Letha to have lunch.  Letha tells Norman that baby has irises and calls it a girl.  Apparently, because she thinks the baby is female, and that's enough for her to declare herself a feminist. I don't even know what to say to that honestly. 

Roman has made his way to a off track betting dive bar. The bartender asks for I.D, serves Roman a whiskey and makes a call asking someone to come down to the bar because he's here.

A couple is sitting on a bed and a mysterious enters the room.  It seems that the couple has paid for a three-some. Mystery woman goes on about how she has lived many lives and served as a priestess etc,.  She encourages the couple and pauses to ask the woman if she is on or near her moontime. A few moments later, the couple is racing out of the moon and mystery is coughing with blood coming out of her mouth. As soon as the door is closed, she calls them suckers.  Clearly, mystery was running a scam on the couple. 

Mystery is making tea and she tells Peter that the Vargof is not his problem and that it will eventually kill him.  She says that this isn't Bruce Banner but Norman Bates.  Peter asks if there is any way to help him. Mystery woman says that they can put a bullet between his eyes before the next turn and wants to know what this is all about.  Peter tells her that there is an Upir at his school who doesn't know what he is.  Mystery is concerned if Peter has asked him but Peter says that he is confused and is sure he wants to be a good guy.  Mystery woman wants to know why Peter is having a heart to heart with the Upir. Peter admits that the Upir knows and was there for the last turn. Peter says that he and the Upir have the same dreams. The cousin realises that Peter has never had a real friend before and tells him to run before it's too late for him. Would it have been too much to tell us the cousin's name? There's already a lot of confusion because there are so many characters.

Roman is still at the bar and he is watching the news about the girls who have died. A patron of the bar tells him to move over to the kids section.  When Roman says he's fine, the patron says that he's too close and would appreciate it if he moved.  Rather than answering, Roman orders a round for the house and puts money on the bar.  The patron says that no one needs his money and that his brother lost his house because of Roman's father.  Roman tells the man that he should tell his brother to be a "fucking man." Olivia enters the bar and dares the patron to hit Roman but he gets up and walks away. Olivia then gathers up the money Roman threw on the bar and the two head out.  In the car, Olivia asks if Roman remembers the story of the Emperor Moth she used to tell him.  Olivia then tells the story and we get a flashback to her talking to young Roman. She tells Roman to hate her if he must but he is an Emperor.

Tom brings Clementine to see Christina. Clementine tells her that when she was a kid she was more interested in her brothers dinosaurs than her Barbies and that all of this was more interesting than "girl stuff." Christina agrees that "girl stuff:" seems frivolous. Christina and Clementine then go on to have a conversation about evolution and if faith and science are irreconcilable. Clementine then brings up the body and asks if she remembers anything that can help like paw prints or dragging marks in the leaves.  Christina says that he didn't leave anything like that.

Roman is busy packing up his things.  Before he can leave the Tom pulls up with Clementine.  She asks if they are moving in or out and if they can guess what brought her there. Clementine says that she is there about the animal attacks and asks if Peter is a werewolf.  Peter laughs and says no. Tom asks if he knows Christina Wendall and when Peter says yes, Clementine asks what reason Christina would have to think that he is a werewolf. Peter tells them that he told her after she commented on the length of his fingers. Peter then tells Clementine that there are no such thing as werewolf and Clementine asks if Peter has heard of something called clinical lycanthropy.  Apparently, this is something that causes a subject to believe he is a werewolf and then act accordingly. Peter says that it takes all kinds to make the world.  Clementine then asks if Roman thinks that he is a werewolf and Peter says that he doesn't think so. Clementine shakes his hand and says that she hopes they get to speak again soon.  When they get in the car, Peter tells his mother that they can't leave.  Lynda calls it Gypsy racist bullshit.

Roman is washing his sisters feet. When he touches her face, a blue streak runs across her cheek.  Peter shows up at the door and asks Olivia if he can speak to Roman. Olivia tells him that Roman isn't home at the moment but Peter turns his head and sees Roman's car in the driveway.  Olivia opens the door and Roman is standing right behind her.  Peter tells him about his interaction with Clementine and says that she is a digger.  Roman asks what he is afraid that will Clementine dig up.  Peter is afraid that Clementine will dig up the truth about Nikolai, who was an outsider because he killed one of their own. Peter opens up his shirt and tells him the G on his abdomen stands for outsider.  Roman asks if she is going to dig up a body so far away but Peter tells him that Clementine doesn't need to, all she needs is a scent. Peter is worried because his people have been put away for a long time for a lot less. Peter adds that it's too late for him to run now.  Roman asks what now and Peter says that they find the wolf and help him.  Peter adds that they will do what's necessary. Roman asks where they start and Peter says Lisa and that they are going to dig her up.

We get a flash back to the night that Brooke died.  It seems that Pullman was in the bushes the entire time.

Norman comes downstairs and sees Letha sleeping on the couch. He thinks briefly about his meeting with Pullman.  Letha wakes and Norman says that he is not alright, so Letha invites him to sit.  Letha tells him that he does not have to worry about her and that she is going to stay safe. Norman thinks back to his meeting Pullman, who told him that he sees the thing inside of Letha. We get another flash to the angel.

Okay, I have officially decided that Hemlock Grove is all about cheese.  The acting is horrendously bad and the lines these actors are given to say are equally bad.  There is much angst you couldn't cut it with a knife if you tried.

We have sweet innocent Letha.  I am glad that she is able to choose to have the baby despite all of the pressure but it also strikes me as yet another case in which abortion is mentioned but never happens.  I cannot remember the last time I saw a character choose an abortion on television.  That's saying something actually. The authors really need to get a dictionary and look up the word feminist. Letha thinks the baby is a girl and she thinks that makes her a feminist. What about equal rights, or equal pay for equal work?  Yeah none of that is important and you're a feminist if you think you are carrying a girl and not a boy. There's also the conversation between Christina and Clementine which was deeply problematic.  Girl stuff is unimportant?  Why is science or the interest in science so specifically male?  Why cast these two as pioneers for their interest in science? Yeah, that's sexist and I am not impressed.

Am I the only one who find the relationship between Olivia and Roman to be slightly incestuous?  They actually give me the creeps each and every time they are in a scene together.

We know have two GLBT characters.  I find it interesting that they are both people of colour.  I will however say that I am happy to see the representation because far too often GLBT people erased in the media and in this genre in particular. Neither the doctor or Clementine had to this point experienced any racism but it's early, so I will to break this down.  Hemlock Grove however does through around a lot of anti-Roma sentiment.  I most certainly agree that the Roma experience a lot of oppression so I won't attack Hemlock Grove for this representation but it would however be nice if even one character would openly say that this is wrong.  If you are going to show prejudice, there needs to be some kind of counter otherwise, the prejudice is normalized.  I am also not sure how I feel about the idea of lycanthropy as a Roma thing.  They are already a marginalized group and this further 'others' them and suggests that people are right about their bigotry and fear.