Monday, January 25, 2016

Hemlock Grove, Season 3, Episode 4: Every Beast

After last episode having relatively little attention to Roman, this episode has only a relatively brief appearance. He and Sophia have fled from the vampire hunting monster disease thing and roman is all kind of torn with angst since he told Sophia all his terribad secrets.

They deal with angst by, naturally having sex in the weirdest blood bank on record (I’m sure this isn’t the proper medical storage of blood) which is messy. They get found by a security guard who is promptly killed and eaten by Peter – nomnomnomnom. Sophia is consumed with angst over this. Peter considers this a simple case of self defence – but Sophia is in full self-hate mode. She sees the death as an inevitable result of their species – their brutal, selfish, greedy, rapacious species

Actually I kind of like this thinking – the whole question of morality beyond a simple “I had to do it.” Her thinking about more detailed consequences – about how their actions led to that point. That they carry some responsibility for the more long term consequences of their actions than a simple “We had to kill them.”

But that’s far too simple – so we also have Sophia visit Olivia to say she is Olivia’s daughter. Because this show needs more incest!

Also, time line snafu – she didn’t hold any grudge for Olivia leaving her as a child because Olivia couldn’t have been more than a child herself. But didn’t Sophia say she was less than a century old? And isn’t Olivia much much older than that?

Anyway, doubtlessly this will be more pointful later when Olivia is less distracted by both Shelly and by the fact it’s confirmed she’s clearly infected with the vampire killy virus that was clearly designed by Spivak to kill Upir. This would be more interesting if more time were spent on it – and if Olivia hadn’t already had an entire season of succumbing to cancer. Honestly there’s a limit to how many times you can play the “uber-evil powerful woman is brought low by disease” plot line. Can we just have a woman be powerful and awesome and, yes, evil without her having to be brought down several pegs?

Johann’s storyline doesn’t exactly continue so much as circle – he keeps going off the rails and we learn that he’s not just suffering from mental illness but he’s also addicted to his “medicine”. Other than his spiralling to melt-down not much added to his, for want of a better word, storyline.

Shelly’s growth is more interesting. As she continues to live with Aitor in the homeless shelter, she gains more strength and confidence. It’s interesting that Olivia, while clearly loving her, equally regards her with utter condescending contempt. Shelly is weak, ignorant, helpless, sheltered, useless and needs a keeper. While we see Shelly stand up against hecklers attacking her as a murderer (in an awesome fashion), using her strength to be useful and even being willing to stand up in public to recite poetry. All the time without covering her face, without hiding – Shelly is finally growing and is free to grow into herself and see her own worth. I still suspect Aitor’s motives, but her storyline has definitely become more compelling

Even if she does oddly pass out at the end

While Shelly was, I think, the better storyline we also draw something of a close on Andreas and Peter’s storyline. After a number of their men are slaughtered, Peter and Andreas naturally assume it’s the consequence of one of their deals gone wrong. Andreas wants to kill all the people, including lots of collateral damage – while Peter continues to sense, logic and restraint to not get into a very unpleasant gang war.

His investigation leads to the real reason they were targeted – Andreas slept with a woman which apparently enraged one of the gangs

This involves a hot mess of misogyny, with a woman beaten and slut shamed as property, a sex film in which Andreas talks about his “fat gypsy cock” (because of course he does) and Peter hands Andreas over to be, apparently, shot while Andreas yells homophobic slurs.

Why? Honestly this whole damn storyline could easily have been covered by having Andreas go through with his drug deal and getting over his head? The whole plot line here is Andreas being selfish and short sighted and getting in over his head and, inevitably, Peter having to sacrifice him to save the rest. This could have been one of the gangs that Andreas has conned or the drug deal gone wrong – or a dozen different ways Andreas could have got them in trouble. All of this could have skipped the misogyny. Skipped the gross anti-ziganism and skipped the homophobia. There was literally zero point in including any of this except to be “edgy”.

Of course, Destiny being psychic, knows Andreas is shot. Shame her psychic powers were on the fritz earlier