Monday, September 15, 2014

Intruders, Season 1, Episode 4: Ave Verum Corpus

Madison flashback to when her parents first bought the beach house and Madison, possessed by Marcus, can play the piano despite never being taught. This is a dream along with some unpleasant flickers of Marcus’s death before she wakes up in the back of a car. And she’s Madison again, confused and lost. She doesn’t even remember where her home is because of Marcus; the confusion only a little time before Marcus is back in charge. She goes to a library, seems to remember the name “Allison Crane” (which may be Amy )before getting frustrated and reading from her book again – which talks about areas of the world where it’s easier to come back from the dead.

She continues to try and prompt her memory – and remembers Alison is her mother, and her phone number. She begs her mother for help to get home but “the man” (Marcus) wants her to find someone called Crane. She passes out by the pay phone.

Meanwhile, Gary is telling Jack about the shadowy organisation. He tells Jack about a client of his firm called Joe Cranfield (very rich man who became that way by, we can infer, being resurrected, meaning he already had practice at life). Gary worked for him for 15 years (being apparently creeped out by the guy but never being asked to do anything dubious) but last year he randomly decided to start dispersing his money in  preparation for death despite being quite healthy. In addition to leaving his family very very comfortable he also left the bulk of his fortune to an obscure charity and $10 million to the illusive Bill Anderson – who keeps sending he cheque back to Gary. He also put a building in trust – a building Amy visited when she disappeared. For extra connections, the building has been owned by Todd Crane (Amy’s boss – and the person Madison/Marcus is looking for) for over a century and the Crane family has also been running the obscure charity for a century or so. The trustees for the building are Todd Crane, Marcus Fox (the guy possessing Madison) and the now deceased Jo Cranfield – his trusteeship has passed on to Amy, Jack’s wife Amy. The building’s also eerily empty. Jack makes excuses and Gary finds the whole thing very suspicious and decides this is all behind the attempted murder of Bill Anderson and the actual murder of his family.

Jack agrees to look at all the evidence Gary has – and then Gary needs to do nothing and leave Jack alone. Jack leaves planning to visit Bill Anderson’s house (I’m assuming by the police tape) –and gets an ominous distorted call basically saying “stop it or we kill you”. Honestly if they didn’t do this on a regular basis Jack would probably get bored and wander off. Inside he finds some burned out electronics (Richard Shepherd burned the building down) and a guy who holds him at gun point

Said guy is the police and takes him back to the police station for some snarking and convenient info-dumping about Tim Truth and the conspiracy people on the radio. Also a bit more hinting at the nefarious past that made Jack quit the police in LA.

Since Gary bails him out, Jack pokes Gary into asking Cranfield more questions. He calls and just gets a weird, distorted noise over the phone

Over to Amy who is watching a documentary about Bix Beiderbecke, being  all emotional over it and having odd dreams of a stomach wound (or possibly a pregnancy gone wrong?) which prompts her to break the television. She also gets a call that seems to make nothing but ominous sounds – which makes her smile. It’s the same noise Gary got when he called Cranfield.

And to Richard Shepherd who gets his own call from the distorted voice that threatened Jack. Distorted voice is not pleased with Bill running around and not being dead; Richard calls the distorted voice Rose and it sounds like there are more Shepherds out there.

Back to Madison who drops in to see Todd Crane posing as a school mate of his daughters – and is creepy, paedophilic, creepy, odd, creepy and just plain disturbing. She demands to see Cranfield (though Todd is apparently somewhat out of the loop since she describes him as “somewhat of a civilian). Marcus generally rants about how the book is useless and how being stuck in Madison’s head with Madison screaming in the background of his thoughts is very not fun. Todd finally realises he’s talking to Marcus and tells Madison/Marcus that Cranfield is sick and Marcus won’t get what he wants. Madison thinks aloud about who they’re getting rid of and mentions Rose – the woman who contacted Richard Shepherd. Todd calls in his secretary to chuck Madison out, and she tearfully accuses Todd of touching her. They get rid of her but not before she throws out her “what goes around, comes around” line.

When she’s gone he looks very worried and leaves a message for Rose.

Gary and Jack, listening to Tim Truth conspiracy guy on the radio, decide to go to Cranfield’s house in person. Unsurprisingly a lackey turns them away. Jack finds it suspicious that a really rich man, apparently holding a private function, doesn’t accept a visit from his lawyer and a random stranger in the middle of the night. Shocking, I know.

So, of course, they jump over the wall, sneak through the grounds to watch this gathering and record it. Through the window (which, conveniently, no-one thought to close the curtains) they see Richard Shepherd and a man, Cranfield, wrapped up in mummy wrappings with just his face bare which they wrap while they watch. Amy is also part of the proceedings.  They have to run to avoid security and manage to escape with many frantic questions and temper tantrums. This is ridiculous, why are they screaming and ranting?

Next step involves calling in to Tim Truth’s little radio show to try and contact Armstrong through code. Whether it’s heard by Armstrong, it’s definitely heard by Richard Shepherd.

Their message gets through and the elusive Armstrong meets them at a restaurant and he reveals he refused the money because a condition of it was to stop his research. His research is into very low frequency infra-sounds which do weird things to people with which he apparently made a ghost machine. A machine that sees ghosts – while he’s explaining this, Richard Shepherd enters the restaurant. Jack is suspicious because… because… has he ever met Richard? No, I don’t think so. This show just uses random inclinations to hold the plot together.

Richard shoots Armstrong – in the middle of the restaurant; he walks out and Armstrong dies.

Ok... what exactly does Gary suspect? So far Joe Cranfield has a semi-eccentric will – but it’s not even that exccentric. And part of it concerns an obscure, empty building worth a teeny tiny fraction of his vast fortune. It seems like he’s making a series of leaps to connect this building to Bill Anderson’s family’s death.

For that matter, they seemed to have very little in the way of motivation to sneak into Cranfield’s estate. After all, they wanted to talk to the man – did they think that was likely if they were caught trespassing? Because that generally makes people talkative, right? And what do they have – a rich older man is preparing his estate? That Amy, a lawyer, is a trustee? All they have is that Cranfield wants to give Bill Armstrong money – and they only thing they know about Bill Armstrong is that his family have been killed! Why are they investigating? What are they investigating?

Marcus is a terrible, awful, misogynist and paedophile it seems as well as being an arsehole. And hearing Madison, a 9 year old, say everything remains one of the creepiest and most horrible things I’ve seen on TV. Her acting is scarily good and deeply disturbing and just plain wrong

And, frankly, it’s the only real thing about this show that is keeping me engaged simply because of the horrendousness of it. And even then I think that’s pushed and contrived, they’re making Marcus an almost caricature of awfulness so they can have a 10 year old say such horrifying things.