Well, not much happened and yet a lot happened. There was serious ratcheting up of the tension, as friends and rivals circle closer and closer to each other, and to a final showdown, of some kind. This episode takes place in the immediate aftermath of last weeks episode.
Everyone gets up the next morning and, right away, they start working on the culmination of all this drama. Mme. Kali takes a lock of Sir Malcolm’s hair, so she can finish up her voodoo doll of him. She’s taken his blood and hair, so he’s pretty much her beeyotch for the rest of the season. I wonder what is the outcome of all this maneuvering? Is she just doing this for her own entertainment? To hurt Vanessa? So, its dolls all around, I guess. Meanwhile her daughter Hecate makes her own quiet plans to usurp her mother’s authority.
Malcolm wakes up smiling, happy and complacent, exactly the way Kali wants him, and then continues to behave like a brain removal patient for the rest of the episode, leading all of the other characters to question his mental status. Especially after he remains completely unbothered by the news of his wife’s horrific suicide, only remarking on how he’ll need to change the carpeting in the house. Now, that’s some cold shit and all the characters seem to understand that, especially Sembene, who was present at the death of Sir Malcolm’s son, and knows this reaction is just all kinds of wrong.
Victor, after sleeping with BronaLilly, realizes its a bad, bad thing he just did, and that John is going to beat his ass, when he finds out about it. Not if. When. Because that’s how this show rolls.
Dorian wakes up and decides to throw a grand ball, as a coming out party for his new paramour, Angeligue. I can’t help but think that the only reason he is so smitten with her is because he has a fetish for her uniqueness, and as soon as Angelique’s novelty wears off, she’ll be kicked to the curb. I think Angelique knows this, having been kicked to the curb, after use, several times before. And I think we’ve already established that Victorian Englishmen are not gentlemen. Will she find out Dorian’s secret? How will she react when she does? Not if, but when.
Vanessa confronts Victor about his love for his “cousin”. She mentions her friend, John Clare and Victor puts two and two together and realizes just how little she knows about what he gets up to when he’s on his own. Victor’s got nothing but secrets. I guess that makes up for his lack of character. If he engaged in less deception or had better people skills, maybe he wouldn’t have so many.
Dorian stops by the house to issue an invitation to the ball and Vanessa says yes. She attends, unescorted, when Ethan, who has much larger issues to attend to, turns her down.
Ethan ran into Rusk at the Wax Museum where John Clare works. The Museum has put on a showing of the massacre at the Inn, where he used to live, and Rusk confronts him about it again. They do that little verbal dance, that I enjoyed so much in the last episode, where Rusk keeps throwing chum in the water and Ethan keeps nimbly dodging the bait.
John Clare and the blind sculptress at the museum are edging closer to being friends, when she realizes that there’s something very wrong with him because he has clammy hands. This frightens her and she confesses her misgivings to her employer.
Ethan is also visited by the bounty hunter who survived the massacre, and he threatens to slit the throats of all the members of the household, late one night. I just had to raise my eyebrows at that because part of me was saying, “I wish he would! He don’t know who he’s messin’ with.” If he tried something, he’d be in for a surprise. Nobody in that house is a pushover. Okay, maybe Malcolm is. But, as far as I can tell, Sembene never sleeps and Vanessa could probably make him burst into flames with a sharp look. So, yeah, right dude!
So, everyone who is anyone, is invited to the ball. Ethan and Sembene are the only ones who don’t attend. The two of them have bigger concerns. For a household that’s supposed to be under siege, everyone is very lax in their safety. It’s like they’ve completely forgotten about the recent home invasion, and the house battening and sage burning of the last episode.
Victor and Lilly show up and Lilly thinks she remembers being in that house. Dorian meets her and is intrigued by his own feelings of déjà vu. He’s had so many sexual partners, what’s one long absent, consumptive, whore. Of course he can’t remember her, but he wants to. This exposes the first chink in Angelique’s armor. She’s very jealous of Dorian’s attention to this sweet, shy, fragile looking, and cis-gender, blonde. How is this jealousy going to play out later, if at all? The writers keep introducing new plot threads and resolving none of them.
Lyle tries to talk Hecate out of whatever she plans to do to Vanessa that evening. And then tries to talk Vanessa into going home. I’m pretty sure Vanessa knows about Angelique’s gender status. Her reaction to meeting her was very interesting. I didn’t see that coming and I wonder if it will have any meaning in the future. Or maybe she was reacting to something else about Angelique, that we don’t know.
Hell, if I know.
Mme. Kali arrives with Mlacolm and she and Vanessa exchange some sugar coated barbs. Instant antipathy between the two of them, was not at all surprising. Before she can leave, Vanessa is approached by the other witches and hallucinates a blood rain before losing consciousness. It’s one of the most striking scenes I’ve ever seen in the show. I’m not sure if this is a result of Vanessa’s precognitive abilities or if the witches sent her this vision.
That evening Ethan approaches Sembene with a request. He tells him he needs to be locked in irons and watched carefully. That no matter what happens, he is not to set him free or leave. Puzzled by this request, but willing to go along, probably becasue Ethan is one of the few people I’ve actually seen speaking to him, he is surprised and horrified to see Ethan turn into a werewolf.
We’re halfway through the season and the plot is moving so very slowly. I have no clue where any of these plot threads are heading, although I can see the slow convergence of all the characters. I’m starting to suspect that the writers are either stalling for time or just winging it. Do they have any idea how they’re going to wrap all of this up?
Stay tuned to find out.