1.11 - "Room 320” Written by Aurin Squire Directed by Peter Sollett Reviewed by KathM
Just not into it. I thought at first that it was one of those transitional episodes, where things happen that inform the story as a whole but at a slower pace. Nope. It was slow, but not entertaining. I didn’t even feel all that informed.
David got stabbed by a man with the improbable name of Ghana; therefore, David has to go to the hospital. Think the writers, Maybe something could happen there? Let’s see what we can come up with.
David spends his time onscreen being ovremedicated by a nurse called Bloch who may or may not be evil. I mean, she is obviously evil, but whether she's the run-of-the-mill sadistic kind or the Leland kind remains to be seen. He also has a possibly imaginary roommate who appears and disappears depending on David’s level of consciousness, and warns him that Nurse Bloch is coming to hurt them both and that they should carefully listen for the sound of her squeaky shoes. And come she does, taunting and ovremedicating David so that he’s too weak and disoriented to contact his friends and ask for help.
She also takes David’s roommate away more than once, at one point with the help of two demon-like things.
Is most of what David sees an illusion, or real? We’re never told, although I’m leading toward ordinary, everyone hallucinations. One visitor who makes it through his muddled mind that should bring him comfort is our favorite deported psychic, Grace. She tries to help David focus and remain calm, to reassure him that God is with him. Did anyone else think it was tragicomic that David questioned her about whether God was really with him because he couldn’t see God himself? To me, that speaks to the length and breadth of David’s faith.
The introduction of Judy, aka Kristen the Former, filled my favorite scenes. I’d wondered whether Ben and David had someone who worked with them before Kristen joined the team, and I had loads of ideas about where they’d gone: murdered, disappeared, killed someone who was possessed, maybe in a sanitarium? I didn’t think it was that straightforward, and I was right. Judy is, for whatever reason, a paranoid version of Kristen right down to the sass who doesn’t ordinarily leave the house on Fridays. Broken, then, or maybe just cautious. Based on what we've seen in the series so far, it would not be out of the question. She tells Kristen that she’s just David’s type, and asks her questions to confirm that theory until Ben tells Judy to stop being a bitch.
Regardless of why Judy is no longer on the team, she is able to analyze Ghana in a completely normal and extremely logical way. So, what happened to her that made her leave the team? I hope we get to find out next season. And I really hope she and Kristen sit down for coffee and compare notes on David, too.
In the end, we do find out that Nurse Bloch keeps numerous hospital bracelets in her locker, which may or may not mean anything. We’re left with ambiguity, which I don’t mind but wasn’t really interested in by the end.
Bloch seems like the worst kind of person: one whose job is to care for people but likes to hurt them instead. It serves to remind me that there are all kinds of evil, everywhere.
1.12 - "Justice x 2” Written by Dewayne Darian Jones Directed by Rob Hardy Reviewed by KathM
Loved it. Loved.
Lots of interesting things happened in this episode, to say the least. But nearly all of it was amazing, particularly the unmasking of Leland as someone who defies imagination.
David’s story revolved around two people on opposite sides of the Rwandan genocide. Sonia, a Tutsi, captures Lando, a Hutu comedian who she thinks was a radio DJ in Rwanda during the atrocities. She invites him over for a drink after his comedy routine, then drugs him and ties him up in her basement. Her goal: to torture him into admitting that the things he said about the Tutsi people over the radio waves helped incite the crowds of killers and encouraged the slaughter or hundred of thousands of Tutsis. But first she needs spiritual guidance, so she invites David over to discuss how she’s hearing voices telling her to kill and to discuss the nature of evil. This may have been something she should have done before the kidnapping. David tries to comfort her, but when he hears Lando downstairs and goes to investigate, Sonia kicks him down the stairs and chains him up to the wall.
David will now bear witness to Sonia and Lando as they rehash one of the most awful slaughters in recent history.
Full disclosure: I am oddly obsessed with the atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda and have read and watched documentaries and interviews with survivors for years. For this reason I was fascinated by this aspect of the episode and cannot tell a lie: I absolutely understand why Sonia wants to do what she eventually does.
One of the most well-known atrocities occurred in a church. Sonia tells Lando/Jean that she was in the church and as she was repeatedly raped or watched others being killed, the killers often quoted his shows while they were doing it.
But is Lando, now freely admitting that he is Jean, “the funnyman of Radio 2” (after Sonia lops his ear off), guilty of murder just by making fun of the Tutsis, a higher class of people than the Hutus? Isn’t that was comedians do, he argues, make fun of people “higher” than they are? Tutsis had money and power and of course he made fun of them and called them names like "cockroaches". It’s what you did! Unfortunately, it was that kind of dehumanizing talk that helped incite the crowds of Hutus to continue to rape, murder, and torture Tutsis for 100 days.
David tried to help: when Sonia quotes the Old Testament as part of her justification David corrects her, telling her that the New Testament does not advocate what she wants to do. But he is so hurt and most likely in shock all he can do is watch and yell for help. You can hardly blame him for that.
In the end Sonia tells Jean that his confession has cleansed his soul, then kills him. After that she straightens her dress and calls 911, telling them what she has done and asks for an ambulance for David, who is hurt (more so for having fallen down the stairs and having some of his recent wounds reopened). As she walks up the basement stairs to await her fate, David watches as a cockroach slithers out from the crack in the wall where Sonia said she heard the voices coming from. I still see that in my dreams.
At Chez Bouchard, Andy can be found in the backyard meditating. He he’s exploring Buddhism, he explains to his wife. It’s not a religion like Catholicism, he tells her defensively. It’s a practice. I really hope Kristen doesn’t care, because I don’t. If he spent as much time in the Himalayas and around Nepal as he does and wasn’t interested in exploring Buddhism I’d be surprised.
Andy reminds Kristen that there’s a meeting about the trek to the Himalayas that she gets to lead, but she tells him that she can’t go due to her commitments in New York (the girls, her job, her possessed mother, etc.). Andy offers to have someone else lead the climb, but she tells him to go instead. And so it seems that Andy, who is not credited in the season finale, may climb out of his family's lives yet again.
Kristen is at the courthouse today, to testify in a trial that may overturn Orson LeRoux’s murder convictions. You remember Orson: he’s the truly creepy guy that Kristen helped put away in the first episode of the season, when she also met David and Ben.
Now she’s in court again because someone else has confessed to Orson’s crimes. Guess who it is? Dwight Farrell, the man who only a few episodes ago tried to frame his (possibly possessed) wife for murdering three young boys. Dwight is able to talk about the crimes attributed to Orson in detail, and was able to lead the police to trophies from each of the kills. Kristen is called to the stand and is kind of squashed by Orson's lawyers, who badger her about how she threatened Orson. That, along with a mediocre and incompetent-appearing prosecution case, means that Orson is set free, sending another psychopath out into the world.
Nobody is happy about this (his wife thinks Orson will kill her) aside from his lawyers and the loyal forensic psychologist who stood by Orson through it all: Leland Townsend.
Leland’s been gone for a couple of episodes, and I find that I miss him. However, I don’t miss his creepy diatribes about how he’s going to kill Kristen’s family and she’ll be left alone having watched everything she loves destroyed and blah blah blah.
But Kristen has had enough of this: “God, you talk too much,” she sighs, then almost casually goes for the jugular.
In some cultures it’s said that if you know a demon’s true name, you have a kind of control over them. And Kristen has a name: Jake Perry, a twice-divorced guy from Des Moines who worked as an insurance adjuster. Not Leland: Jake. Not a font of evil, just a third-chair tuba player who can’t get it up. So yeah, it’s Leland’s turn to lose the power of his words, and I wonder how Kristen will end up paying for that.
But that’s all irrelevant because Laura is cured. Hurrah! It seems that out of nowhere, as she’s being moved from one type of monitoring equipment to another at the hospital, her heart trouble magically healed itself! Here's what happened: Andy gets a call from Laura’s doctor earlier in the episode telling Andy to bring Laura down to the hospital immediately, The girls, Including a completely healthy-looking Laura, don't want to go, but apparently ice cream is somehow involved so they change their minds. Which, huh. Problem is, he has no idea where Kristen is, and of course she'll want to be there. But calls keep going to voicemail. Desperate he calls Ben, whose number he has stored in his phone for some reason. Because Ben might know where Kristen has wandered off to, right? Well, kinda.
Andy asks Ben if he knows where Kristen is, and tells Ben that it’s okay if Kristen is “with” him. Implication=obvious. Looks like Kristen didn’t have the boys over for Andy to meet and greet. What does that say about Andy and Kristen and the state of their relationship? Nothing good, unless they’ve suddenly become swingers. But really, Kristen isn’t with Ben, she’s going down with the rest of the the former prosecution team who convicted Orson, watching Orson go free. Ben, however, offers to head to the courthouse to grab Kristen and take her to the hospital, which is what he does best. Schlep David and Kristen around the city, waiting for a storyline.
When Ben and Kristen arrive they are smothered by Bouchard girls, all except for Andy (see photo).
But the important thing is that Kristen is there when Laura is pronounced cured. Yay! Except for one small thing: when Andy was praying, he’d offered up was his life for Laura’s, he tells Kristen. I thought she was going to lose it. While it is normal to ask God to take you instead of your critically ill child, it is not acceptable in the Evil-verse. You just don’t go casually tossing your life around, Andy!
Does that mean Andy's demise is inevitable? He’s not scheduled to appear in the season finale next week, so he may in Denver or he may be six feet under. Maybe he comes back next season? It remains to be seen.
And now for the scene we didn’t know we needed: Leland/Larry is chatting with his therapist, who happens to be the Devil.
Did anyone else find it hysterical? I mean, visually. It may have been the hoof/boot/chunky heel combo it was wearing, I don’t know. The content of the conversation, however, was not to my taste.
So, next week is the season finale. In episode descriptions one of the things mentioned is that Kristen considers whether one of her children has the capacity for evil. Who do you think she’s talking about???