Monday, July 14, 2014

Hemlock Grove, Season 2, Episode 3: Luna Rea

Do you know what this season of Hemlock Grove needs? Another completely unconnected storyline! So we have Christina, the vargulf, the big bad of season 1, raising from the grave. A wolf that looks like Christian chases a girl through the woods – but when she leaps at her she falls with a yelp. It’s only temporary before she gets up and starts chasing again – and we see under the girl’s hood. It’s Shelley.

Peter goes to scout the Caravan Park Andreus told him about and finds it very quiet – except for an angry woman with a gun (she’s not a fan of the park’s old reputation as a hook up spot for sex). And Roman. Why is Roman there?

Seems he’s having the same dreams, just as in season 1. Well, different versions of the same dreams. And the guy and his son who died in the gorge who Peter was so transfixed by last episode was also a premonition from his dreams, just in case there’s any doubt about true dreaming (or about Destiny being right that they should just leave this alone). Roman refuses to listen though because he’s Roman.

Peter leaves only to see emergency vehicles going back the way he came. He goes back and a resident tells him it was a murder suicide – the woman who challenged him and her daughter. More headache visions strike. He goes home to have Destiny warn him again about how bad it is to turn on a non-full moon day and he must must must not do it.

Meanwhile the Vargulf catches Shelly and she beats it’s head in, rips its head into pieces and the damn thing’s still twitching. She goes into an abandoned house and meets a small child who gives her an apple. This is likely an artistic comment on something.

Olivia sees Norman and Marie (Norman’s ex-wife) together and gets all passive aggressive and jealous. Norman wants to get her out of Johann’s care because he thinks she’s being manipulated. He also drops in on Roman to encourage him to make up with his mother. That doesn’t work.

Roman goes on to eat his meet increasingly rare and even videos of surgery make his hunger bite. He decides to distract himself by going to Johann’s super creepy lab and gets confused when Johann and Russian doctor disappear without him seeing where they went

Miranda and Peter go to get parts for her car, she so she can avoid the creepy butler and he so he can avoid creepy Andreus who gives impromptu massages in his underwear). Miranda picks up the tension between Peter and Roman but Peter won’t explain it even after bringing it up. He also gets a call from Lynda – who he calls Lynda – so Miranda gets entirely the wrong idea about their relationship. Rather than let it fester, she asks him who Lynda is and he tells her – that helps.

We need MOOOOAR characters! To a priest who wants Roman dead, and Michael Chasseur (Dr. Clementine Chasseur, the dead hunter’s brother) who wants more evidence that Roman needs to die and is responsible for his sister’s death than the old priest declaring Roman a psychopath. Especially since the priest’s order are trying to buy a huge chunk of the White Tower genetics company. Michael is going to do things his way – the priest warns Michael if he leaves he will lose all of his support. Michael doesn’t even hesitate in leaving

More complications – Peter conned two guys last episode, they take the product to their boss (who is a pig farmer. Hey everyone needs to make ends meet – but mainly so we can see him kill a pig for ATMOSPHERE) and he is very not happy. I really don’t see how Peter expected to get away with this, especially since he used Destiny’s house to do the deal.

Marie’s lawsuit is served on Johann while Marie herself goes to Olivia to, basically, give her blessing to any relationship between Olivia and Norman. Yeah this doesn’t go nearly as well as expected, when Marie forgives Olivia, she rejects she did anything wrong or any blame for breaking up Marie and Norman’s marriage (adding that, had she wanted Norman to leave Marie, he’d have done it much earlier). So Marie lets loose both barrels on the state of Olivia’s family

Johann  and Roman continue to snarl at each other – it’s another round of “you expose my secrets I expose yours”. For more complexity, Johann then calls the priest, yes the hunter priest, about how uncooperative Roman is. The priest is happy with a “pact” he made with Olivia but he talks about their insatiable appetites (Olivia nearly killed Johann during treatment) and “leashing” then. With an implication that Roman needs to be put down

So Johann goes to see evil Russian doctor and asks her to create a substance that will cause acute haemophilia – and remind her she’s there for results, not to ask questions.

Miranda and Peter go back to Destiny’s for card reading (yeah, that’s what we’ll call it. Though Peter insists he’s being honest even though Destiny isn’t there). But that’s fine because Miranda wasn’t interested in Peter’s… cards anyway.  Television sex follows (and this is a perfect example – I think the camera tried to film this sex scene without Peter being in shot at ALL). During sex her eyes water, but she dismisses it. They have a post sex ex-talk which is really depressing since she’s clearly sad about hers and he is really cut up about his dead ex

To a random woman and child coming home and meeting a policeman – who has a silver mask and a cohort in his car – these killers seem to be targeting families or at least a parent and child.

To the actual police station where the police are suspicious of their new sheriff who apparently works late. Given everything else going on in Hemlock Grove, this is what they get suspicious about? The sheriff is Michael Chasseur and he’s definitely investigating Roman and Olivia and the deaths from season 1.

Peter and Roman have another psychic dream and Roman checks on his crying daughter. How goes quiet and points seconds before Peter rings the doorbell. Before.

KILL IT WITH FIRE! Creepy babies are high on the NO! list.

Peter has made a connection between the dreams and deaths and thinks the latest predicts another death made to look like an accident like all the others. Peter also apologises for abandoning Roman. Roman thaws a little and tells Peter his part of the dream so he can track it down.

Shelley continues to bond with the odd kid who brings her supplies. He has a deformed toe which he shows her to reassure her he’s not put off by her appearance. He unwraps her hands which have many sores on them and long, sharp nails.

Olivia texts Norman and he arrives to find her in tears and she kisses him. They have sex. Tearful sex seems to be a thing this episode. His post sex talk is very very boring and mundane so Olivia very pointedly ignores him. When he doesn’t take the hint she goes to the bathroom – where Marie is dead, face down in the bathtub. Actually, body down, her neck has been twisted so she’s face up. Let it be known that one does not let loose both barrels at Olivia.

We have a lot going on now, with the hunters and Christina and Shelley – I would say too much but these storylines are also likely more interesting than the main ones, they certainly have characters I care more about (which isn’t saying a lot).

My complaint about the last episode needs repeating. Waaay too much attempt to ram atmosphere – not establish atmosphere – RAM it. Lots of tiny mini-scenes (like Shelley finding the house and a child giving her an apple) which don’t seem to add an awful lot. We’re creeping along with lots of atmosphere and ten bajillion storylines all of which are sloooowly inching forwards. Since this is only a 10 episode seasons I rather think that each storyline can’t be meaty.

For that matter, stylistically, these tiny 2 minute scenes, cut to the next, 30 second scene, cut to the next is annoying.

In the police station was either a trans woman or a man in woman’s clothing - it wasn’t made clear, the clothing suggests that they’re a sexy worker arrested for taking a dump in the street – they’re there for “background colour” in the police station and clearly just to be mocked or some sign of the things the police have to deal with. It hardly counts as LGBT representation. It also reminds me of the two women kissing while Roman looked on, not because that was nearly as offensive as this scene, but because again LGBT people are being used as… background characterisation. Not only background characterisation but characterisation in some very tropey and offensive ways