Monday, January 18, 2016

Hemlock Grove, Season 3, Episode 3: The House in the Woods

Roman isn’t dead from the monstrous attack – and not only has Annie saved him by bringing him to Johann, but she also brought the monster that attacked them for some fun autopsy. Yes, Johann has some fun hobbies. He pretty much concludes that the monster that seeks out and attacks Upir is an Upir – only one possessed with a freaky tumor/parasite thing that controls them and makes them hunt and eat their own kind.

While Roman continues to check in with his detective, Annie conveniently runs across his sketch book of Spivak in his scary manta-ray-lizard-thing for and she recognises it. Apparently it’s a Omul Negru, a scary upir bogeyman that Roman would have known about if he hadn’t been so completely ignorant of all things upir

Including the local upir community that roman knew nothing about. Nice, suburban people with pretentious blood tasting and tawdry little love affairs. They have some useful info about the Omul Negru – or Jormungandr as they’re also known as basically big scary rivals to the Upir which are supposed to be extinct, though clearly not quite

The nice civilised upir who so kindly want to take Roman under their wing don’t do well when a whole pack of infected upir show up and begin slaughtering all the nice suburban upir. Roman, being considerably less civilised and a whole lot more brutal is less easily taken down and he and Annie manages to escape the whole gutting and slaughtering thing.

All this slaughter and angst causes Roman to tearfully tell Annie about him raping his half-sister-cousin Lethe and her having a baby: though he blames the whole thing on Olivia and says he was raped as well… that’s not quite how I remember it and it feels a little like a redemption/retcon to be honest. Annie pretty much knows all the secrets now

That detective keeps looking into Spivak and sharing the whole info about him being super-old but no-one really cares any more because being super-old is pretty much mundane by now and everyone has other worries. Even Olivia is far more focused on the missing Shelly – to say nothing about why she can’t feed any more (possibly she’s infected?)

Shelly’s found a homeless commune in one of her dad’s old buildings where she meets Aitor Quantic (he'll always be Sketchy to me) who feeds the homeless, spreads random facts and parables and is generally quite eccentric. He seems genuinely intrigued by Shelly, though she’s not even slightly inclined to accept that she’s beautiful, no matter what he says. I’m going to assume he’s a weremole or something.

While Johann Pryce continues to grow more… worryingly eccentric. He seems to spirallying towards breakdown, becoming obsessive, careless (wiping Upir venom into his eye) taking up the drums and having dishevelled hair (the universal symbol of a break down everywhere – mentally ill people are allergic to combs, it is known). His insight into Spivak does, through a series of odd clues, lead to an ominous depiction of experiments on rats with what looks like the upir virus

And over to the Romanceks whose storyline is all about criminality with a smattering of woo-woo because they’re Rroma and this show absolutely loves grossly stereotyping them. Peter is growing every more disappointed in Andreas – especially since his new heist involves stealing drugs which is where Peter draws the line (something he declares all Rroma draw the line – drugs are a super-no-no). Andreas is enraged at Peter playing “no true Rroma” with him, and insults Peter’s Rroma-ness before turning on the charm

I think I’d be more intrigued with them arguing over Rroma identity if this show had spent even 10 seconds in the last three seasons depicting the Rroma AS an identity rather than a criminal gang with a sideline in fortune telling

Despite said fortune telling prowess, Destiny is completely unable to divine that Andreas is an arsehole and is still heading down the aisle with him

Is it just me or is the main storyline – the upir, the virus and the jormungandr – really interesting and I want to see a lot more of it – but everthing else is kind of… lacking? I’m not sure I care about Olivia any more, she’s too abstract. Shelly is, again, a little too separate and in a very odd situation. Johann’s devolution is going to go nowhere good and Peter, Andreas and Destiny already started in a bad place and there’s no way it’s going to get better