Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Superstition, Season 1, Episode 3: Half Truths and Half Breeds

New character time - we have a bar and it all looks so old fashioned, I assumed it was a flashback for a while. We have a couple looking nicely pleasant and a man with a scarred eye and a lot of slurring and not-quite-racial commentary looking very ominous

They refer to each other as extended family - and then the scarred man, James, killed them both most brutally. And he manages to disarm the barman’s gun with a knife before sitting down, drinking and waiting for the police

The police arrive and May has James arrested before interviewing him because he gives everyone the extreme willies. He doesn’t have much to say, only chanting “they are coming” and demanding to speak to Calvin.

Calvin arrives and gets more cryptic from James, lots of “more are coming”, talking about the Herald’s call and how he drinks all the booze to try and dull it and then a cryptic poem about immortals which is clearly all about Isaac.

Clearly he’s supernatural, but since Calvin wants to keep all of this from May he plays ignorant after basically telling James if he wants to get out he has to free himself. Calvin then goes on to interview the barman after claiming everything is fine - oh and stands May up in the process.

She is not amused

James does release himself - with violence - and goes to Calvin’s house to hide out and he openly lies to May about him, challenging her to get a warrant.

All of this rather sours May on Calvin. She started this episode defending Calvin to Garvey, willing to meet with him to give him some tips and, when Garvey revealed the background info she’d dug up, assuring Garvey that that level of secrecy is common and understandable for a Marine (and I do like to see Garvey and May together) to officially being fecking done with Calvin and his secretive ways. Isaac worked with her, included her, shares information with her - and Calvin is just stonewalling.
Another family conflict is the briefly appearing Tilly who has a lot of questions about Isaac. Because finding out Isaac is an immortal makes her wonder how many more secrets he’s keeping and he keeps poking Bea about it. Bea is firm - Isaac has no secrets from her, yes she knows everything. She even used woo-woo with a goose tongue to prove it. Whether that works or not, Bea is clear, Isaac may be secretive with everyone else but he’s an open book to her

So, James. With much talk back and forth, partially in Spanish since James is Hispanic, we learn that James is basically half-infernal. And he and Isaac have been friends for a while - he even knows where Isaac keeps his hidden booze from their prohibition days. He says Isaac sent him to help look after things and kill Infernals while he’s away.

James also makes it pretty clear he’s not a nice guy. His Infernal side does drive him to kill people - he just channels that to kill Infernals. He doesn’t even try to claim he does it for the sake of goodness - just that he likes killing, loves killing.

Calvin is peculiarly trusting of James. Which is weird. Bea is super suspicious of James because he’s an Infernal which is also slightly weird

It’s weird because neither of them actually try to test James’s authenticity. I mean his clear knowledge of Isaac and his home means Bea - with her apparent encyclopedic knowledge of Isaac - should suspect he’s on the level and be able to ask questions to confirm that. While Calvin should hear “half-infernal” and “I’m drunk all the time to stop the demon voices” and “killing is fun!” and be at least a little suspicious of his motives and want Bea to sit down with him for some checks.

And why is Calvin the one with the last word here? Bea has been doing this for years, knows more about the family business, more about Isaac’s history, more about the supernatural - why is she overruled by Calvin, a man who has only come home for a hot minute. Because I can only picture what would happen if I went to my mother’s home and started overruling her on acceptable house guests.

In between all this drama and conflict which I’m not sure I follow any of it, Tilly and Bea also confirm that the Dredge is the king of Demons and the Worst Thing Ever. Tilly autopsies the people James killed and concludes that, yes, they are definitely Infernals. And more demons arrive in town, plotting to eat babies and kill everyone, just in case there was any doubt.

So time for James to give us some exposition. The handmaid of Persephonie, a demon siren that now works as the Dredge’s Herald, basically unleashing a loud noise and summoning all the Infernals everywhere. Cal would like to kill this Herald to make sure the threat to the town is removed. James however is going for plan B - let the herald some all the demons so he can kill them all because he loves him some killing. His scarred eye also allows him to track them

So they go for plan B and, in between more stories of James and Isaac’s glory days centuries ago and track down 6 infernals. Which isn’t great odds - they manage to kill a couple and get James stabbed in the eye and are only not dead because the Infernals looked at Cal’s ring of Solomon and decided they have no business hurting a man with such poor taste in jewellery.

James is mildly irritated over the eye since it damages his infernal tracking abilities, but is mainly pissed because Cal didn’t use the Ring’s Deus Ex Machina powers. He then proceeds to try for maximum arseholery by saying Cal is racist against Infernals (oh noooo let’s not go there), telling cAl about all the many families Isaac had before and how all his sons were warriors and what a disappointment Cal was and throwing in that Cal is responsible for the death of Arlo. To which Cal hits James and the ring of Solomon comes to life. Either it requires righteous anger, or it doesn’t but it hates an arsehole as well

Duly proven that Cal can use the ring, it’s time to go take down the Herald in her cave. And they need the ring because James is utterly unable to move in the face of it’s call and Cal is captivated by a naked demon lady and almost enthralled before the ring does it’s thing and she… melts?

Wow, that’s one hell of an anti-climax. Seriously this big fight comes to this?

James claims one of her eyes to replace his stabbed one and heads off to kill more Infernals and buy Cal some more time while Cal goes home and Bea confirms that the graveyard is indeed full of Isaac’s many many other families.

May also reads Calvin the riot act about sidelining her and demands he work with her in future… he accepts he will. But she decides to dig further into his military past

And we come to an episode of Superstition I’m not a fan off - because the conflicts didn’t ring true

I think it’s bizarre, given the events of the first two seasons, that Calvin would decide to completely sideline May rather than share knowledge work with her. Beyond sexism, I cannot imagine a reason why he wouldn’t work with her, use her contacts resources and knowledge and why he would go so far as to actually antagonise her like this. Even aside from the whole battling the supernatural thing, he’s supposed to want a relationship with Garvey. How does this achieve it?

I also find it bizarre that May would respond to this with “well I’m going to get access to some ultra top secret military paperwork” and I’m not going to even ask how a small town sheriff has those kind of contacts

I find it bizarre and annoying that Bea is so sidelined, that Cal can overrule her despite being home a bare minute and that, between Bea, Tilly and May the female characters of this show were completely sidelined so Cal and James could have a guys’ day out.

Also, Tilly has reasonable questions and deserves more than to be dismissed.