Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 1, Episode 6: Lost and Found

So, Renee and I were taking, as we do, about whether to watch a show, keep watching it or whether we can drop it. We base this on whether it’s in our genre (so, no matter what, we’re always stuck with Vampire Diaries and since it’s a dystopian Renee has 2 wonderful series of Last Ship to look forward to. LUCKY HER!) and whether we like it (so Killjoys stays, so there).

By the end of the last episode we’d agreed to drop this series because the closest thing we have to the supernatural was Marlott’s hallucinations and we weren’t especially enjoying it

And then this episode happened. This is because I taunted Renee about Last Ship, isn’t it?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So John Marlotte has become more and more worrying in this episode, which everyone puts down to syphilis dementia since pretty much everyone knows. As John makes more accusations – against Sir William, against Sir Peel, Nightengale becomes more concerned, insisting on taking his gun back and making sure Flora doesn’t stay with him because she will be unsafe with a man with Syphilis.

Marlotte lays down the law and invokes his authority, Flora cannot leave! I’m not sure where this authority comes from beyond his white maleness.

Flora also tries to talk Marlotte around but he rants and raves and decides to lock her up. Marlotte is looking more and more out of control and worrisome. When Flora mentions, to try and make the ranting Marlotte back off, that Lord Hervey actually kicked her out and she never actually wanted to return to Marlotte.

Marlotte, who I would say is not making good decisions right now, but let’s be honest never really made good decisions, now decides that Lord Hervey is actually the big bad. He rants at Lady Harvey who, shockingly, doesn’t find slightly unhinged ranting and raving a very persuasive reason to betray her brother – though she seems to know something is terribad wrong with her brother. Also Marlotte totally wants her to marry him. His ranting is really not making a really good case for matrimony.

He does decide to go check out Lord Hervey and runs into his servant (who has been dubbed the Beast because someone randomly ranted about the Beast earlier in the season and everyone kind of forgot that reference to now) who I really do not understand why he deserves that but hey let’s stretch that. Anyway, beasty servant is currently holding Alice prisoner.

Yes, Alice, the Butcher’s missing daughter who has finally turned up after being forgotten for a little while. Marlotte tries to intervene and is promptly captured by Lord Hervey who pretty much confesses to everything. He is the evil Frankenstein creator who made the child body and he has been murdering all the kids for his he’s been experimenting on

Marlotte is then drugged – and wakes up at home, covered in blood, making random comments about the calendar pictures from Blake before finding Flora’s body and a big knife. Yup, Flora, victimised and used for the entire season is now thoroughly dead to advance the pain and storylines of the menfolk. Which leaves Lady Hervey (since Mary Shelley hung around briefly before running off) – the official Good Lady of Purity – as the only real female representation on this show. Oh yay.

Nightengale finds Marlotte covered in blood and holding a blade over the body of his fiancĂ©e and is rather upset by this. Marlotte is arrested and tries to convince Sir Peele and Lady Hervey and everyone else of his innocence by ranting in a slightly unhinged manner. Since Hervey is there letting everyone know he has syphilis and isn’t rational, it doesn’t convince many people. Even his appeal to Boz doesn’t actually achieve anything

After a very brief trial, Marlotte is sentenced to death

And Hanged. Yes the protagonist is hanged. He dies

And comes back!

Yes, Lord Hervey has succeeded and brought back Marlotte to be his Frankenstein’s monster with the help of aborted foetuses (dear gods don’t do this – don’t link Frankenstein monsters to abortion, please, we were approaching an actual sensible narrative there). He’s all very proud of this and doesn’t realise that undead Marlotte is really not a fan of being the undead. He refuses food and water and is really really not wanting to continue his unlife.

Lord Hervey also decides to tell Lady Hervey about this. This deeply moral, religious woman who was against the surgeons dissecting bodies is, not surprisingly, really really really really not happy about Frankenmarlotte. She does convince Marlotte to eat though – so they can both unite to find… redemption or possibly to stop her brother doing more evil things to bodies.

So yes he eats. And stabs the beasty servant (who really doesn’t deserve to be a beast) in the eye with a fork. Lady Hervey walks down the aisle in her wedding. And Alice turns up at her parent’s home.

And so ends The Frankenstein Chronicles with definite supernaturalness.

As I mentioned in the opening lines, I’m not a huge fan of this series. It has been very distracted. We’ve had a whole lot of weird tangents – the beast, Blake’s pictures, Mary Shelley (which went nowhere) and endless guilt and hallucinations of Marlotte. For a show that is only 6 episodes that’s a lot of distraction and a lot of very under-developed characters. Honestly the number of times I mixed up Sir Bentley and Sir William was embarrassing, especially when I actually have seen both actors in several other shows.

This lack of development also led to Nightengale being the token sidekick. I love that he actually developed a relationship with Flora for a little while because for one brief moment he was more than an actual tool. But it was brief – and we saw so little of him. With Flora’s death and Shelley’s only too brief appearance, we equally saw women not really get the attention they deserve, leaving us with Lady Hervey who is a pretty shallow, love interest character. And I’ve already spoken about the single depiction of LGBTQpeople which is such a hot mess.

So it looks like we’re in for a second season and… I can’t say I’m super enthused but now we actually have Frankenstein’s monster at last we can see the supernatural.