Sunday, November 19, 2017

Superstition, Season 1, Episode 5: Tangled Web

Time for a heavy handed flashback and the belief that putting a grown man in a baggy sweatshirt and a baseball cap you can somehow make him pass as a teenager: basically Isaac telling his sons that the ring of solomon is the family’s legacy and how they need to not touch it unless they’re fully committed to using it in ways he will never actually explain. Also stay out the damn woo-woo room.

Ok am I the only one kind of skeeved by the immortal telling his sons that he will outlive them that the family legacy is his personal jewellery? I mean there’s something there, right?

In the present Cal and May do the totally unsubtle hey we ran into each other at the same cafe, what a surprise, we should all have lunch together and share lots of happy memories and pretend to be a family, right Garvey?

Garvey is not playing this game. Nice try. Do not pass go. Do not collect the last-16-years-never-happened card

So he goes home to find they have a house guest. Aunt Nancy who knows Bea (though she doesn’t seem especially thrilled to see her) and is an old friend of the family’s. Isaac mainly. She comes with dire warnings about Dredge, how it’s connected to some bad woo-woo in the past and if she doesn’t bring those memories to the surface, someone’s going to die. She also brings pie

I think more portents of doom would be tolerable if they brought pie. We should mention this to the union

Until Tilly arrives and she really doesn’t like Aunt Nancy - or, as she reveals - Anansi. The trickster god, collector of stories and generally person Tilly doesn’t trust or doesn’t like and should not be let in your home and you certainly shouldn’t eat their pie

To underscore this point Cal collapses after eating said pie. Anansi explains he’s been sent back in his memories to Arlo.

Bea joins the Not Pleased crew since Anansi is dragging up some very painful family memories for her story here but she still trusts her and tries to calm down Tilly - Anansi is powerful but involved in the unique place of this town. But Tilly isn’t easily appeased - asking how many more towns Anansi has left in her wake, broken and destroyed, collateral damage so long as she collects her stories. She thinks Anansi just sees people as characters, sources of drama not actual people. And when Cal gets into distress it’s she who wakes Cal up with a taser and reminds them that in Anansi’s memory visions you’re in danger and can still die

It seems Tilly has a lot of inside knowledge about Anansi and this is confirmed when she confronts her in the woo-woo room. It sounds like Tilly used to live with Anansi, Anansi calls Tilly “her favourite.” But Tilly says “yeah the Artful Dodger had nothing on me” which suggests the relationship wasn’t kind of ethically ideal. I hope more of this is revealed.

Anansi notes that the Hastings treat Tilly as family but Tilly is still keeping secrets - which Tilly insists is her right to do so so there are some revelations coming. Anansi also defends her whole memory game simply because it’s better this knowledge comes from her than Dredge

So what is this knowledge? Step 2 is for Bea to go back into Anansi’s memory spell which explores how she and Isaac knew about May being pregnant but didn’t tell Calvin and how while they were both sure Cal would be a very very very good hunter they were unsure if this is the life they want Cal to go into - especially since they’d also be basically laying this out for Cal’s kids as well. Isaac’s happy with it - yes it’s a duty and yes he’s struggled with it but it gives life meaning

After which the memories circle back around to Arlo’s death: and learning that Arlo had accidentally released an infernal when playing in the woo-woo room: an infernal that planned to release many more and cause mayhem on an epic level

Bea nearly dies - only being woken up by Tilly saves her. She still wants Anansi evicted

But it’s round three - Cal and Bea together this time, aided by Arlo and Isaac’s blood so they can piece the memory together from several angles

And see the truth - the infernal that was going to unleash hell was let out by Arlo and then possessed him: Arlo begged Cal to kill him to stop some terrible devastating future. And Cal did. He killed his brother which is what Isaac and Bea hide from him.

A possible side revelation is that the bones of Isaac’s sons may be made into a weapon which may kill him

When waking up Cal and Tilly show Anansi the door. I’m not sure how this revelation has actually helped them against Dredge but I suppose it robs us of that “you killed your brother!” revelation mid fight because good guys always believe villains when they do that

Cal naturally has problems with this, thinks he’s a monster and wallows in all the guilt; he can’t handle how he failed Arlo and then blamed Isaac. Bea is clear - Arlo and Cal embraced the family legacy, made a hard choice in impossible situations: this is what they do. And as for letting Cal think that Isaac was to blame - well parents make choices to try and look after their kids

Which is the theme of May and Garvey. May’s trying to spend some quality time with Garvey and it’s all going very rough and difficult and Garvey really isn’t opening up. She hates that May calls Cal her dad, refuses to accept him as a father. May can get that - but thinks Garvey still needs to get to know him because she’s getting involved in mysticism and woo-woo and she really needs to run that past the Hasting before something bad happens

To prove this, Garvey has a symbol on her wrist and causes the lights to flicker. Definite woo-woo.

May accepts she made a decision to keep them apart because she wanted May to keep out of that woo-woo life. That hasn’t worked. So now she’s making a new decision - Garvey needs Cal to be safe

This fits well with the whole family legacy conversation Bea and Isaac had: duty, whether to escape it and be safe or whether to embrace it. And, of course, what Bea was saying about parents making hard choices for the good of their kids (and maybe not always being right or maybe needing to make new choices later) but I don’t think it follows that Garvey needs Cal - in whatever capacity - she needs the Hastings. And since she already works with Tilly and Bea is a pseudo-mother to May anyway she HAS the Hastings; her path to them doesn’t need to be through Cal.

Be and May meet to discuss how both Cal and Garvey may need each other. Garvey for guidance on her path, Cal to better understand his place in the family legacy and the decisions people have made

Garvey and Cal meet up, there’s a distinct lack of hostility and admission of unsurety and feeling a bit lost on both sides and plans for pancakes. And she calls him dad

All watched by Anansi and Isaac who is back and thanks very much Anansi but move on please now.

So this episode plugged a few gaps, I’m not sure needed plugging hinted at some more backstory without actually revealing anything and kept Garvey and Cal in the “it’s complicated” box without moving forwards. So there’s a lot of lacking in tangible advance here - but Anansi was awesome and if we didn’t move forwards I think we added texture to where everyone is