Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Messengers, Season One, Episode Eight: A House Divided

The Messengers wake up groggy and hung over after their night celebration.  Josh is in the kitchen and is joined by the other Messengers.  Vera reads off a letter from Rose, saying that it's all over and she's off in search of her ex fiance in Seattle.  The Messengers start to talk about what they want to do now that there's no threat hanging over them anymore.  They all talk about the possibility of a fresh start and a life without the devil troubling them.  Suddenly a red wave hits them and it's clear that another seal has been broken.

The Messengers watch the news and learn that Leland Schiller engineered a massacre at the hospital. Joshua is the first to say that this is all hopeless and that the apocalypse is a done deal.  Vera argues that people have to fight and asks what Rose would say if she were there.  Joshua is the first to leave the house, as Vera pleads for the Messengers to have a little faith. That's an odd statement coming from the atheist isn't it?

Raul and Erin both agree that there's still time for them to find a place and bunker down for the worst. They leave together.  Koa Lin moves to leave and Peter asks her for a ride.  With tears in her eyes, Vera says that this cannot be happening.

Joshua is deep into pills and booze when he gets a vision of two boys on a small tractor.  There's a knock on the door and it's Vera with the news that everyone is splitting up.  Joshua is adamant that he is done, so Vera tells him that Rose is coming back.  Vera argues that Joshua is their only hope and asks if he has had another vision.  Joshua lies and reiterates that prophecy is prophecy and there's no changing that. Joshua starts to swallow some pills and Vera knocks them away and asks Joshua if he is going back to the church to lie.  Joshua fights back reminding Vera that she hasn't told the father of her child that Michael exists.  An angry Vera storms out.

The doorbell rings and this time it's Jeff, who's an attorney at Joshua's father's church.  It seems that Jeff wants Joshua to come back to the church and be its new leader in the wake of the controversy surrounding Joshua's father.  Joshua is resistant and is about to close the door when Jeff promises a pay day in the seven figure range.

Back at the house, Erin and Raul are packing their things.  The plan is to go to Alaska because it's far away and they can reinvent themselves.  Raul adds that the bonus is that when the apocalypse happens, it will take awhile to reach them.  Erin asks about Nadia and is told by Amy that Nadia is outside with some lady.  Raul heads outside and finds Nadia arguing with her mother.  Nadia is not impressed and doubly so when Raul admits that he called Gabriela to take Nadia to Tulsa.  Nadia storms off saying that she can take care of herself.  Gabriela questions if Raul could have handled this any worse. Back inside, a frustrated Nadia looks up the G.E.D.

We get a flashback to Nadia asking her mother if she is going to get the computer she wants for her quinceañera.  Gabriela smiles and tells Nadia that when she was fifteen, she wanted high heels.  Clearly, the relationship between mother and daughter is good.  When Gabriela leaves the room, Nadia decides to search for her computer and comes across a strip of pictures of Gabriela and Raul.  On the back is written a declaration of love.

When Cesar enters, Nadia tries to hide the photos but she is not fast enough and her father asks to see what she is hiding. Later, the party is in full swing with a Mariachi band playing away, Cesar stops the music and accuses Gabriela of sleeping with his brother.  Cesar yells for Gabriela to get out and never come back.

In the present, Jeff sweetens his deal by offering complete control of the church, a company car and of course, use of the church jet.  How big is this church?  Really? He couldn't just fly coach?  Jeff then asserts that he believes that Joshua had a vision and that there are many who believe in him.  Joshua takes another drink, clearly starting to warm up to the idea. 

Kao and Peter are driving together and he holds his birth certificate in his hands. Kao points out that Peter will never be able to go back  after what he learns today and Peter points out that there's no going back to the Messengers because none of them are thinking of each other. Do you catch how Peter isn't including himself in that statement as though he isn't actively driving away with Kao. Peter is adamant that what he wants is a real family. When they pull up at the address Peter has for his mother, it turns out to be a run down former asylum.

Kao and Peter make their way into the asylum because it's the last known residence of Anne Moore, Peter's mother.  They are stopped by the caretaker and Peter explains that he is looking for more information on his mother.  When he says that his mother is Ann Moore, the caretake starts to listen instead of trying to shoo him out the door.

Raul goes to see an upset Nadia and explains that he believed calling Gabriela was the right thing to do. Nadia however believes that Raul called because he wants to finish what he started with Gabriela now that Cesar is dead. Raul however says that if he didn't call Gabriela, Nadia never would.  Nadia however feels that Gabriela ruined her life.  Raul admits to the affair and says that after Nadia came along, Gabriela ended it and stood by Cesar and Nadia.  Raul makes it clear that Gabriela chose Nadia because Nadia is the most important thing in Gabriela's life.

Back at the church, Joshua is informed that he has a full house waiting to hear what he has to say.  Joshua points out that his father ruined his reputation but Jeff is adamant that a lot of people believe in Joshua.  Jeff again reminds Joshua to think about everything he has to gain, as he walks him to the pulpit, professing that the kingdom is Joshua's now.

At the Bar and Grill, Vera sits with Leo and shows him a picture of Michael, calling Michael their son. Vera explains that she planned on telling Leo the night he broke up with her.  When Leo asks where Michael is, a sad Vera reveals that Michael is gone.

The caretaker leads Kao and Peter through the asylum.  He explains that Anne came from a religious background and was extremely sheltered.  When Ann became pregnant at 16, her family put her through hell and she tried to kill herself. The family put Ann in the asylum and then forgot about her after that. Peter's father tried to visit but wasn't allowed in, nor was he informed that Anne was pregnant. The caretaker explains that Ann really began to look forward to having Peter and she would stare out the window at the lilies dreaming while rubbing her stomach. 

Leo is angry that Vera kept the knowledge of Michael from him and Vera apologises.  Vera then goes into the details of Michael's kidnapping.  Leo starts asking questions about things like security cameras and asks to be walked through it again.  Vera assures Leo that she checked all of the theories going through his head and has proof of that.

Joshua is back on stage and calls for an amen from the congregation, who cheer like he's a rockstar. Joshua asks the crowd if they hear God's message and they enthusiastically say yes.  Joshua says that he hears God's message because he is a Messenger. Off stage, Jeff asks Joshua to tell them his vision.  Joshua gets a quick flashback to Vera calling him a junkie and asking if his plan is to go the church and lie for a living. Joshua tells the congregation that they won't find God in the pews, because God is nowhere near this place, before storming off stage. A frantic Jeff follows, reminding Joshua that he was supposed to share his vision. Joshua however has made up his mind. Joshua says that he is going to follow the real path.  Joshua then has another vision of the two boys but refuses to tell a desperate Jeff what he saw.

Anne was allowed to hold Peter only once because she was deemed unfit.  Anne begged to be able to keep her boy.  Peter asks to know more about what happened to his mother.  After Anne lost Peter, she became catatonic and the caretaker believes Anne realised that she wouldn't ever get Peter back.  Ann hung herself in the garden next to the lilies she loved.  Peter asks about his father and the caretaker asks if Peter is sure he wants to know.

In the house, Raul goes to see Erin, who is still packing her things.  Erin acknowledges that Raul and Gabriela have history but she is determined to make her own decision. Raul says that he just has to make sure that Nadia is okay and then it's Alaska. Erin lists the names of the people who have tried to control her in the past. Erin is determined to do things her way and says that she and Amy or moving on right now.  Erin heads out to the car and Raul is quick to follow, saying that he will leave with her.  Before Raul can get in the car, Gabriela interrupts to say that Nadia is gone. Gabriela begs for Raul's help and reminds him that Nadia is family. Erin sends Raul off with Gabriela, saying that they will always have the apocalypse.  Raul gets into the car with Gabriela and leaves. Erin goes to get Amy, and packs up her drawings saying that it's time to go.  Amy is not pleased that Raul will not be going with them.

In the bar, there's a Plowman commercial on the television which catches Vera's attention.  Vera tells a frustrated Leo about how she has never stopped searching for Michael. Leo says that kids don't vanish and that they have to figure out who took him.  Vera again apologises and Leo acknowledges that he shouldn't be coming down so hard on her and that Vera has been handling the search for years on her own.  Leo vows that moving forward he is there for her.  Vera tells Leo that she didn't mean to bring him down the rabbit hole with her but Leo is determined to be part of this now.

At a soccer game, Michael whose name to his adoptive parents is Brian scores a goal.  Michael goes to see his "mom" Kay to ask about playing laser tag and then runs off to meet with his friends. The devil appears to the Kay and snarks that she is doing a good job impersonating a mother.  Kay begs the devil to leave them alone but he instead reminds Kay of what is at stake, pointing out that he made Michael disappear once and can do it again.  Kay begs the devil and reminds him that he told her husband that he would give them until tonight.

Peter and Kao arrive at Peter's father's house and see him playing basketball with a kid. Kao comforts Peter, saying that though it's scary, Peter deserves the life he always wanted, the life he always had. Peter instructs Kao to start the car and drive away and she complies after pointing out how far they have come.  Kao says that she would do anything to see her father again and that Peter shouldn't give up this chance. Peter points out that he is a fugitive and the family he saw were happy and safe. Peter adds that if he walked into their lives, he would bring all of his problems with him and that he couldn't do that to them. Peter reveals he learned a lot about himself today and that they shouldn't leave behind the family they have.

Gabriela and Raul have been looking for Nadia for an hour and she won't respond to their texts.  Gabriela and Raul speak about the fact that Raul left and he explains that he went under cover with the DEA to catch El Hefe.  Raul explains that it was the only way the government would let Cesar free and that he did this so that Nadia could grow up with a father.  Raul snarks about Gabriela not wanting him around anyway.  Gabriela however says that this is not the case and informs Raul that he is Nadia's father.  Gabriela adds that Raul can do whatever he wants with the information.  Raul finally gets a text from Nadia.

Jeff heads home and surprise surprise, it turns out Kay is there with Michael and the boy believes that Jeff is his father. Kay asks about what happened at the church and Jeff explains how close he came. Jeff suggests that they leave and starts to frantically grab things. The doorbell rings and of course, it's the devil. Jeff is insistent that he cannot take the boy but the devil tells Kay and Jeff that they cannot stop him. The devil then brings up Vera and asks if they wonder how she felt the day Jeff take the boy. Jeff begs, promising that they would do anything and the devil points out that is what they said seven years ago when he found them crying after their fourth IVF treatment, reminding them that he is the only reason they can call themselves parents.  The devil agrees to let it all slide, adding that there's just something else that needs to be taken care of.

Gabriela is working at a flower shop area of a supermarket when Raul and Gabriela arrives.  Gabriela says that she is going to finish school online by taking her GED and then go on to college.  Gabriela makes it clear that she is not going to Tulsa because her life is here. Gabriela agrees with Nadia and asks how she would feel if she moved here, adding that she wants to know Gabriela better.  Raul points out that part of growing up is letting go of the past. Nadia agrees to grab a coffee with her mother, leaving Raul behind.

Peter and Kao are in a supermarket ordering subs becuase she is starving. Peter wanders off on his own.  Joshua is in the same market picking up a few things when he runs into Eliza Shepherd, the homeless woman who has been shadowing the Messengers.  Eliza is all cleaned up now and looking healthy.  Joshua moves to excuse himself but Eliza says that knows Joshua is  a Messenger and that she once had his powers. This causes Joshua to pause, so Eliza goes on, adding that in each generation, a group of strangers are tested -tasked with the choice to serve the world or serve themselves.  Eliza says that she was frightened with the visions she was having and that together with the others, they stopped their horsemen and now it's time for Joshua to stop his. Eliza tells Joshua the only thing that can stand in his way is him.

In the car, Amy tells her mother that she has to go to the bathroom right now.

In the supermarket, Kao catches up with Peter, who is looking at the lilies. Raul comes behind them becuase of course, the flowers are in the area where Nadia is working.  Peter runs into Vera by the produce and together, they see the other Messengers.  Erin walks in next holding Amy's hand.  The Messengers all gather in front of the Plowman sign.  They all realise that the brothers must be the next horseman. Joshua gives a rallying speech about them not being alone and not being the first people to be the Messengers.  Joshua is now positive that they are going to succeed.  Amy pulls out her drawing of the Messengers and says that they are together again like her drawing.  In the drawing, Amy has included her friend Michael who likes soccer. This naturally gets Vera's attention.

The devil joins Sec. Richards and Leland who are having a drink.  The devil is surprised to see the horsemen together and Richards says that she and Leland are together now and are doing the devil's job. Richards snarks about them still needing to find Famine and Leland suggests that the devil sent a fool to find out Joshua's vision.  Richards instructs the devil that he should be out there eliminating The Messengers not playing with them. The devil argues they need the Messengers to find the next horseman and after all the seals are broken, they can rule together.  It seems that Leland and Richards have a different idea.  It seems that horsemen have tried to break their seals six times and each time they get stopped. Richards declares that this time they are going to do things differently and Leland tells the devil that he is obsolete and not needed.  The devil's eyes go black and he screams that he is their God.  The devils eyes go red and he manifests red wings. 

The Messengers all sort of went off in their own directions this week.  Peter finally found out about his parents.  It gave him some closure but it also drove him back to The Messengers because he realised he would add trouble to his father's life.  The road trip between Kao and Peter was nice but she essentially played the role of his support staff through the whole thing.  I wish there had been more on how she is dealing with being an angel and what her doubts were, instead of focusing so hard on Peter.

Nadia, Nadia, Nadia.  Teenage girls get on my nerves.  Yes, her mother had an affair and she was hurt but she acted so petulant, I lost my sympathy for her almost immediately. Also, do the writers realise that there's a recession on and even more so in terms of youth employment?  Nadia just runs out and on the spur of the moment gets what appears to be a full time job? Uh huh.  Also, taking the GED is not the easy path to college that Nadia made it seem.  I cannot believe no one called her on that.

And then there's Joshua.  He is clearly tormented by his family, the visions and his drug abuse. He is absolutely a man with demons.  I liked that The Messengers bothered to portray his descent into drugs and alcohol. What I didn't like was how easily Joshua sobered up and saw the light.  It gives the message that if people just surrender unto God, they can easily deal with addiction.  Similarly, take note of how quickly and easily Eliza seemed to clean up.

I liked that Erin stood up for herself and made her and her daughter a priority.  It seems that now that Erin is free of her husband that she is not looking back.  It's a big step to make self care a priority and not enough people do that.

Finally, the devil and his rebellion. It will be interesting to see how he handles the rebellion.  I honestly didn't see it coming but I suppose it makes sense.  For all of his wily ways, thus far, we haven't seen any show of strength from him.  We haven't really seen that the devil can do anything beyond influence people, make his eyes go black and manifest red wings.  Shouldn't the father of lies be delivering mayhem all over the place if he is on earth?