In episode 3, Victoria becomes more lucid than she’s been in years, which causes Daimon and Ana to work more closely together. With Gabriella’s help, they search for their father’s final victim, who they learn may have survived his attack. Taker and Louise spend some long overdue time together. Louise shares a secret with him that she hasn’t told anyone.
We begin with a pile of dead bodies in a college frat house. The thing that Spivey has become has been snacking. His final victim is begging to be spared, promising that his parents will pay a hefty ransom.
As if the demons couldn’t just possess his parents and take the money on their own.
When Spivey is done eating, he sits in a
throne chair and waits as the lone survivor pushes his way out from under the pile. Once free, the newly possessed man says that Helstrom the Traitor has been warned that they’re coming. Spivey tells his minion that he wants a specific woman brought to him.
As Ana brushes her teeth in her hotel room, she suddenly vomits up black dirt. Oops, nevermind, it’s a nightmare. She wakes up to a call from Daimon, telling her that their mom is “back”, by which he means that she’s speaking as Victoria instead of Mother and semi-lucid. Obviously this means Ana should drop everything in her life to rush to Mommy’s side.
As always, Daimon is wildly dismissive of Ana’s needs, telling her she can easily skip her “pilates class”, instead of acknowledging that she runs her own business, which she’s already been away from for a couple of days. I’d like to be friendlier toward him, because I think he thinks of himself as a nice guy, but he’s just terrible with people. Especially women and especially toward his sister. He’s never met a backhanded comment he didn’t voice, yet he doesn’t seem to realize how insensitive he is.
It’s bizarre that the show acts like Ana is the difficult one simply because she’s sarcastic and stays away from her extremely dysfunctional family, when those can be two useful coping mechanisms in her situation- she’s subject to passive aggressive gaslighting from all sides who are connected to the Helstroms. Even Taker treated their visit/crypt adventure like a business appointment then disappeared. In contrast, Louise is firm but respectful and motherly with Daimon. Not so much with Ana.
Daimon deserved to be punched in the face, or somewhere lower, when he told Ana she could skip her pilates class, as if her carefully constructed life is just a frivolous annoyance to him.
Daimon continues, saying that he doesn’t know how Ana helped Victoria and he doesn’t want to know, but he needs her to do it again. Anything she has going on is irrelevant. Ana explains that she didn’t do anything special and has nothing more to say to their mother.
She still lets Daimon talk her into helping. She’s not as cold and heartless as the image she projects.
Let’s note that Daimon doesn’t ask what she did so that he can try doing the same thing. He wants her to do this dirty work for him, even as his language continues to send the message that she’s a troublesome woman he needs to control. He pushes the correct buttons and Ana agrees to help out of guilt.
Ana finds Taker waiting for her in the lobby of her hotel. When she asks if he’s following her, he says she skipped town without telling him. Now let’s recall that he disappears for months at a time without telling her where he’s going. He says he thought she must be avoiding him, so he tracked her down in Portland.
Ana tells him she learned from Mother that the demon who was set free from the crypt was her father. She plans to find him and kill him. She doesn’t think it will be that hard. Taker warns her that her father is one of the most powerful demons ever and it will be more dangerous than she thinks. She tells him to back off. He asks if she’s told Daimon. She hasn’t, and she doesn’t intend to tell him.
While her instinct to do this alone is totally understandable, an exorcist could be hella useful in this fight.
Taker: “You know, you’re the closest thing to family I have, so I’m going to tell you something my mother told me. Don’t ever let pride get in your way. Not here.”
Ana: “It’s not pride. It’s rage. There’s a difference.”
It’s good advice and it applies to both pride and rage. They both can blind you to what’s in your best interests. Daimon’s fault is arrogance and an inability to put himself in someone else’s place, leading to insensitivity, but Ana’s is stubbornness, leading to pride, anger and inflexibility.
The two combined cause the siblings to bounce off each other like oil and water. He can’t figure out what she needs and she won’t tell him, because she thinks he should already know. He thinks she’s just being selfish, because if it was him, that would be his motivation for acting the way she does.
In reality, she’s in immense pain and is protecting herself by becoming a creature with a hard external shell. Chris Yen understands that about Ana and I think Taker does, too, but his motivations are murky.
At the hospital, Daimon tells Ana to follow his lead with Victoria.
Because what he’s been doing has worked so well for the last 20 years, OMG.
Ana says, “whatever”, because she’s learned that there’s little point in arguing with him, unless she really needs something. This is why Daimon thinks she only shows up when she wants something. He perceives every desire of hers as selfishly detracting from himself and Victoria.
When they enter the padded cell, Victoria is excited to see Ana. She calls her daughter by the nickname “Button” and asks Daimon if he closed the door so the rain and snow don’t get inside. She says, “All my children are safe now.” She continues talking about a snow storm and them playing in the snow, as if it’s happening now, just outside her room. Daimon plays along as if it’s real, while Ana barely cooperates.
Daimon suggests that the three of them could build a snowman, but Victoria says there isn’t time. And it would be the four of them. Their father will be home soon. He’ll be VERY ANGRY if he catches them outside. She starts crying inconsolably.
Daimon wants to distract Victoria from her sadness, but Ana realizes that this is the important part. She pushes her mother to explain what she means. When Victoria doesn’t respond, Ana begins to withdraw, her usual way of dealing with family arguments.
Ana: “She’s not back, Daimon. I don’t know what this is. I’m out.”
Mother drops the act and grabs Ana’s arm. She says that He’s back, back to catch the only rat to escape his trap. “He always catches them in the end. You know that, don’t you, girl. No stone unturned.”
Mother lies back and laughs. She says that Victoria insisted on warning them. Daimon doesn’t understand. Ana is forced to tell him that their father is back. Daimon says that’s impossible, because their father was cremated. Ana starts to say something, then stops. Mother tells them he was determined to deal with his unfinished business.
I don’t understand why Daimon thinks their father couldn’t come back. According to the rules he’s given us, the death of Papa Helstrom’s body would set the demon free, not kill it. It would be able to possess another body. Taker just told Ana her father is old and strong, so he should be able to choose his new body at will, rather than waiting for another demon to mark a body for him. My guess is that Daimon is stubbornly using the information he had as a child and hasn’t thought this through again as an adult, with what he knows now. His denial runs deep.
Daimon and Ana meet with Hastings and Gabriella after Gabby does some research. She discovered an article about Zoe Richards, a woman who claimed to have escaped from Papa Helstrom. If it’s true, Zoe would have been his final victim. Ana doesn’t think anyone got away alive. She’s sure she’s the final victim her father is after and is certain that fire wouldn’t kill their father.
Daimon still refuses to believe their father survived. He’s sticking with his “demons lie to cause conflict and it’s definitely not all about you instead of me, Ana” explanation.
Gabriella says the article about Zoe is 20 years old, but she thought Ana and Daimon might have read it.
Ana tells Gabriella that she avoids her mother’s files because they’re too triggering. Her voice is laden with sarcasm, but this is truth. Daimon says he doesn’t believe in picking at old scars, which is not the truth. We watched him pay the tattoo artist to poke at his old scar. He never stops picking at scars. He just wants to control the process. Ana hides from the truth but eventually faces some of it in her own way. Daimon denies and reshapes it. Neither is adequately dealing with it.
Hastings: According to the police, Zoe Richards claimed she was abducted, tortured and nearly killed around the time your father left home. Most of the details were withheld at the family’s request. They wanted their privacy. But it was the last possible attack before your father died… Your father was still out there. The timing fits. The methodology.”
Gabriella and Hastings convince Daimon to look into Zoe Richards’ case. Gabriella says if her story is true, they should warn her. Ana says Zoe might become bait.
After the youngsters leave, Hastings returns to her office, putting her prescription pills in her pocket as she opens the door. Taker is sitting in her chair, feet up on her desk. He greets her with, “We’ve got a problem.” About a hundred pounds fall off her shoulders as she enters the room and shoves his feet off her desk, saying, “It’s lovely to see you too, Henry. And what, pray tell, is our problem?”
There’s a light in both their eyes that we haven’t seen before now, which is lovely to watch. They tease each other and flirt a little as they talk, comfortable old friends who maybe could have been more.
Henry has a list of issues. He hasn’t heard from her for months and feels like she’s hiding something from him. She agrees to communicate more often. But right now, she needs to check in on Victoria. Henry’s totally up for a peek at Ana’s mom.
On the drive to Zoe Richards’ house, Gabriella decides they need a plan rather than just showing up. Predictably, Daimon agrees, while Ana wants to wing it. Ana’s more interested in figuring out why such an attractive woman became a nun. Daimon apologizes for Ana’s nosiness. Ana says that Daimon is as wild as her, he just hides it. Daimon doesn’t deny it. In fact, he smiles a little.
That was interesting. Can that Daimon come out to play?
Gabriella says most nuns are refugees from the world. She partied, but it didn’t fulfill her the way her faith does. Ana: “So how celibate is celibate?”
Taker: “Victoria’s getting weaker, but Mother’s only getting stronger. The longer we wait, the more uncertain things become. Let me take care of Victoria. It’ll solve all our problems.”
Louise: “Daimon has conservatorship over her and power of attorney so that’s a non-starter. Even if it weren’t, we, Daimon and I, continue to believe the best approach is a holistic one, treating Victoria’s situation in a pragmatic way.”
Taker; “This is me you’re talking to. You and I both know you’re just putting off the inevitable.”
Louise says that she understands where he’s coming from, but she and Daimon have it under control.
Taker: “Look, ever since the day I brought Ana in, it’s been an issue for all parties involved. The risk of them being together, it just scares people.”
Louise: “For good reason.”
Taker: “If word gets out that the Daimon and Ana show has a new status quo, there will be blow back.”
Louise: “With all due respect, we’re not there yet.”
Note that Louise defends Victoria, who is violent, but was born human. She agrees with Henry about how potentially dangerous half demon Daimon and Ana are, even though both have their lives under control. And she knows who the “people” are who feel they should get to decide whether the Helstroms live or die or are close to each other. Is she involved with the same threatening organization as Henry?
They reach the door to Victoria’s room. Louise tells Henry to take a look. The cover over the view window on the door slides open on its own, courtesy of Mother. Henry takes a peep, then the cover slams shut in his face.
As they approach Zoe’s house, Daimon and Ana argue over who should do the talking once they’re inside. Daimon obviously thinks it should be him, because he always thinks it should be him, but also because Ana doesn’t exude enough warmth. Which he tells her. Gabriella strolls past them and knocks on the door, then does the talking when Zoe answers.
Zoe has a gun in one hand, which she keeps hidden behind the door frame. She has issues with warmth, too.
Gabriella introduces herself, then says they’re doing research on survivors of violent crimes and the resulting psychological trauma. They’d like to ask Zoe a few questions. Zoe reacts badly to them showing up without warning, asking to talk about the worst day of her life. She slams the door in Gabriella’s face, but then she changes her mind and invites them in. Spivey’s minion watches the house from a parked car on the street.
Mother influences another patient by mentally moving game pieces to spell out Kill Him and to point an arrow at Taker.
Zoe still has the gun when they all sit down in her living room. She explains that since her attack, she doesn’t feel safe without it. She looks over at Ana in particular. Gabriella thanks Zoe for dredging up her bad memories to speak with them.
Ana: “I know I’m still haunted by my experience. I can’t remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep.”
Daimon turns to look at her, face impassive. This is more new information. Or he thinks she’s lying.
Zoe describes what happened. She was going to the library when a little girl came up to her and said she’d lost her father. A while later, a man came came looking for the girl. As Zoe speaks, Ana has visions of someone tied to a chair, gasoline pouring out of a container and a flame. She asks to use the bathroom. Zoe sends her upstairs.
She goes to a bedroom door instead of the bathroom. Daimon follows her and asks if she’s okay. She says she thinks there’s someone else in the house and that something isn’t right with Zoe, but she adds some sarcastic comments in as well. Daimon thinks she’s just being influenced by what Victoria said. They descend into an argument.
Downstairs, Zoe says she blamed herself for what happened. She felt like other people judged her for being a victim and she had a hard time talking about it. She’s still afraid it could happen again.
Ana comes downstairs and asks if anyone lives in the house with Zoe. She says she lives alone, which seems unlikely for someone who’s so afraid. Ana doesn’t believe her. She touches Zoe’s arm, asking what her attacker was wearing and what he smelled like. Zoe yells at them to get out. Daimon drags Ana out while Gabriella apologizes.
The argument continues outside. Ana insists Zoe was lying. She didn’t read anything from her when she touched her arm. Gabriella is confused, so Daimon explains that Ana can psychically read certain people. Ana says that no one ever got away from their father, ever, but Daimon doesn’t want to believe her, again. She asks him to just believe that she knows what she’s talking about for once, but he flat out refuses.
Ana: “I know her story isn’t true because I was there. Dad burned that girl alive!”
She walks away and probably calls an Uber, because no self-respecting person would get in the same car with Daimon right now. He knows her powers and experiences are as real as his, but he decides which ones he takes seriously and treats her like a lying demon when the truth is inconvenient for him.
Sending something hard toward his nether regions was really in order right then. Ana was holding back part of the truth, but she might have had an easier time sharing it if she wasn’t with three hostile people who increased her feelings of guilt and shame. Stockholm Syndrome is a real thing and she was a kidnapped CHILD. She literally had no choice about anything that happened when she was with her father. That needs to be hammered into her head and those of everyone who blames her. Even if her father made it seem like she made choices, we’ve been shown that adult Ana and Daimon are no match for Mother. Child Ana was lucky to have survived her father with her sanity and life.
Louise and Henry decide to visit a local taco truck for lunch. Mother, who is currently floating above her bed, mentally sets off an alarm, which sends Louise off to check on the situation. That gives the patient from earlier a chance to try to kill Henry. He’s unarmed and half Henry’s size, so the attempt is unsuccessful. Louise tries to intervene and gets pushed down, knocking her pills out of her pocket. Henry picks up the pills and reads the label.
My guess is that’s the outcome mother wanted from the fight.
Ana remembers her father’s stone demon knife and Mother saying, “No stone unturned.”
Daimon and Gabriella sit at a coffee shop and wonder if they should go back to Zoe’s house. Gabriella asks if he knew Ana had witnessed her father’s crimes. He admits that he suspected she’d been involved in some terrible stuff, but neither of them ever wanted to talk about it. Gabriella tells him that he was a kid, he couldn’t solve any of Ana’s many, huge problems, so he shouldn’t beat himself up over it.
He probably falls in love with Gabriella right there, for absolving him of ever having to be an emotional adult. It’s true, he wasn’t responsible for the family’s problems or for saving Ana as a kid. But he is responsible for his lousy behavior toward her as an adult.
He admits that he doesn’t know how to talk to Ana. Gabriella tells him to try empathy- put himself in her shoes. He decides Ana will want to solve her own problems and prove him wrong, which means she’ll go back to Zoe’s house. They leave to go catch up with her.
That was Daimon thinking about himself again. His inclination was to go back to the house and he told Ana she had to prove herself to him. She doesn’t actually care all that much about his opinion of her. He just wishes she would.
His mother and Louise’s lives, and now Gabriella’s life, may revolve around him, but Ana’s doesn’t. She has her own issues to work out that don’t involve him and he can’t guess her moves because he’s never gotten to know her. That’s partly due to outside influences keeping them apart, but it’s also because Daimon wants to be the special one and doesn’t want to face how much worse Ana’s experiences were.
Neither he nor Gabby paid attention to Zoe herself the way that Ana did, even when Ana was observing Zoe’s house rather than Zoe herself. Ana isn’t just psychic. She learned to be aware of her environment to survive her chaotic childhood. Gabriella and Daimon both see what they expect to see.
Ana’s stress MO is to always have one foot out the door. She’s an escapist and that’s what she’s doing now. She’s in a club looking for someone bad to do bad things with/to. She runs her hand across various dancers until she finds a murderer, Jake. Just as he agrees to join her in a back alley, she sees Zoe across the room. She sucks the life energy out of Jake until he collapses, then follows Zoe.
Louise tells Henry that the patient who attacked him isn’t normally violent. He already knows that Mother was the instigator. He says she a master manipulator who can make anyone violent, including her children. That why he and Louise need to work together and be honest. He’s worried about her. Louise says she needs to beef up hospital security.
Henry asks if she has cancer. She confirms that she has lung cancer. She tells him he doesn’t have to worry. She’s hired Gabriella, who comes highly recommended, as her replacement. When Henry balks, she repeats that Gabriella comes highly recommended, as if that will make up for her absence when she’s gone.
Henry sits next to her and says he doesn’t care about the job. Louise admits that she should have told him about her diagnosis. No one else knows, except her doctor. She’s not doing chemo and she doesn’t want to justify her choice right now. She just wants to finally go get lunch.
Zoe doesn’t answer the door when Daimon and Gabriella arrive at her house, so they go inside to search for her. Gabby picks up a candlestick in the hall to use as protection. (It was the nun in the hall with the candlestick…) Daimon goes upstairs to the room Ana was drawn to, which has been trashed, but there’s no one in it. The closet door leads to the attic, which has been turned into a hidden bedroom for the real Zoe. Daimon finds photos of her with her identical twin sister.
Meanwhile, Gabriella takes the basement stairs and discovers the real Zoe, whose face is half covered in burn scars, pouring out gasoline on the floor. As she flicks the flame on a lighter, Zoe asks Gabby where her sister Aubree is. She says that her sister was trying to protect her from a world that wouldn’t accept her. She sobs as she blames Gabby for bringing Ana to her home. She says Ana looks the same as she did when she was a girl.
Gabriella realizes that everything Aubree told them earlier happened to Zoe. Zoe repeats part of the story: the girl said she was lost, then led her straight to the killer. “She knew what he’d do to me.” Gabby offers to help Zoe, but she already feels suffocated by Aubree’s attempts to help her. Suicide by burning down the house with herself in it, finishing the job Papa Helstrom started 20 years ago, is her new way of helping herself.
You have to wonder if there’s some demon influence on this decision.
She tosses the lighter into the puddle of accelerant, creating another ring of fire. Gabriella yells for Daimon, who comes running. This is his 3rd episode in a row surrounded by fire.
They try to talk Zoe out of suicide, but she says this is the only way to release her burden. No more guilt. No more pain. “I should have died in that fire.”
She’s not concerned about the guilt on Judgement Day caused by murdering Gabriella and Daimon, only the guilt caused by the kidnapping, something she shouldn’t be guilty about. Maybe she feels guilty for the way her sister’s life got caught up in taking care of her. This feels even more like demon interference with her mind.
Daimon and Gabriella refuse to leave without Zoe and after a minute she gives in, taking Gabriella’s hand. The stairs have already collapsed in the fire, so Daimon locates padlocked storm doors that lead directly outside. It takes him a moment, but then he blows the doors away with his power and all three escape.
Daimon doesn’t put the fire out, but no one gets burned.
Zoe: “The college kid came right after you left. He told us we could get revenge. I’m so sorry. I just want the pain to stop.”
Gabriella tells her she can start doing that work now. Daimon asks where Aubree is.
Zoe: “Leading your sister into a trap.”
Daimon: “Trust me, Ana can handle herself.”
Zoe: “Yes, but Aubree won’t be alone… He said there’d be someone else there. Someone strong enough to ‘finish the job’.”
Argh. Daimon didn’t even ask Zoe about his sister. He still trying to avoid helping Ana or taking her needs seriously, even with everything that’s going on. He finally looks worried when a third party tells him that a direct death threat was made against Ana and stresses that it’s serious and happening now.
He’d look like a total jerk in front of the others if he didn’t check on Ana. Let’s note that he was in the attic while Gabby stood in the metaphorical and literal fire with Zoe to talk her down. He came in and pulled a brief hero move at the end.
Aubree leads Ana to an empty parking garage. Once Ana finds the right floor, Aubree gives a spooky monologue from off camera. She says that she gets revenge on Ana today, since she wasn’t there to help her sister on the day she was hurt. She admits she was lying when Ana visited her, but accuses Ana of lying, too.
Just as Ana asks what Aubree is talking about, since Ana doesn’t know they’re twins yet, Spivey the Giant runs in from the side and head butts her, sending her flying across the room.
She hits a cement pillar, then the floor. He says, “Hello, Button.” She says, “It’s you,” referring to Papa Helstrom and throwing a metal pipe that spears him through the chest. It was a great move, but he’s unfazed. As he removes the pipe, she picks up more debris and rushes forward to meet him. She fights hard, but is no match for him. He repeatedly throws her against the ceiling and floor until she’s unconscious.
Then he turns his attention to Aubree, who’s come out to watch. She reminds him that she followed his instructions and should be spared. He is unmoved. Aubree begs for her life while Spivey removes his zippered hoodie to reveal his evil demon extra stomach mouth.
Ana wakes up in time to see Spivey force Aubree into his demon mouth. It’s uncomfortably like watching a rape-murder. Aubrey was still trying to redirect Spivey to eat Ana instead, right up until the end. Rather than wait to see if she’ll be next, Ana jumps over the side rail of the garage and drops a few stories. Spivey hears her leave, but doesn’t follow.
Probably another game between him and Mother, then. Spivey wants her alive, but scared, not confident. And maybe he wanted Daimon to know he was alive and powerful, too. Believe women, Daimon. Sometimes the only evidence is the witness’s story.
Ana stumbles out onto the main driveway, just as Daimon and Gabriella come looking for her. She crouches in the road as Daimon runs to her.
Ana: “He was different, but I felt it. It was him. It was him.”
Daimon: “I know.”
Ana: “He was so strong.”
Daimon: “It’s okay. It’s okay. I believe you. I believe you.”
Louise and Taker finally make it to the taco truck, but they’re still discussing Gabriella. She’s complaining that he’s not giving her Vatican superstar a chance. He’s not impressed by a fancy degree. It can’t hold a candle to Louise’s heart and experience, which will be invaluable in the coming fight.
Henry: “Lord knows knows why we got saddled with those two kids, but we did. We were supposed to keep them apart and we did. That’s the deal. But none of that matters if you’re giving up. And look, I can’t do this alone.”
Louise: “I am tired of feeling tired, Henry. I’m tired of fighting for everyone under the sun. I don’t have anything left for me.”
Henry: “Then let me help you. Let me in. Too many secrets is not a good thing. I learned that the hard way. You don’t have to carry this alone. I mean it. I’m here for you. ‘Cause our job’s not done. People are going to get hurt. And not just them. There are other forces at play here. The last thing the world needs is a Helstrom family reunion. We light that fuse, and God help us all.”
Daimon helps Ana up and semi carries her to the car. Mother looks very pleased with herself.
Bringing them together has been her goal for the last three episodes. She happy they’re working together for the same reason Taker is worried. Everyone but them thinks their combined powers will turn them to the dark side, though we haven’t been shown any evidence of that so far.
The food might be good, but on a Marvel show, it probably doesn’t bode well for the future when “El Cartel Food Truck” comes to your town. It’s probably Nancy Botwin’s latest illegal venture.
Where was Chris Yen this episode? He is an utter gem and we need him kept safe. It’s not okay to have an ancient skull bite him and then leave him alone with the brother of a serial killer for an episode.
Someone start an MCU version of a GoFundMe to send Louise away for a week at an all inclusive spa with no social media or phones. And no access by psychic half demon adult children, unless it’s to guard the exterior from intruders. Give this woman the break she needs! Louise is a national treasure. She needs to get her will to live back so she can fight her cancer.
June Carryl and Robert Wisdom get a chance to shine in this episode, showing off their range and adding depth to their characters. But the ultimate loyalty of both Louise and Henry toward Ana and Daimon was called into question this episode.
I’m not ready to let Taker/Henry off the hook yet when it comes to his true nature and who he works for, though I am glad he finally has a real name. The subtitles refer to him as “Caretaker”. Could he be a Caretaker demon, similar to a Keeper demon? He and Mother are both playing complicated, long games.
Taker pushed Ana to work with Daimon in the beginning of the episode, then spent the rest of the episode telling Louise what a terrible idea that is. He seems to have a weird communication system going with Mother. He told Ana the crypt was open, the skull belonged to a Keeper and something escaped, sending her straight to Mother to reveal how the operation went. Mother repaid him by telling him what’s wrong with Louise. He also tried to get Louise to hand Victoria/Mother over to him for some kind of final solution, or so he said. And we haven’t seen him in Daimon’s presence yet. Would Daimon recognize that there’s a demon in him? Whose Caretaker is he?
Gabriella seems to be settling in nicely. She was a little thrown by the reveal of Ana’s psychic abilities, but she smoothed over some of the emotional meltdowns like the pro she is. She’s also good at making connections between the past and the present based on historical documents, rather than lived experience. That’s helpful when so much of what they have to draw on are traumatic childhood memories.
This epsiode needed a few words to acknowledge the failure to save Aubrey and what that means for Zoe, who became a Helstrom victim for the second time.
Instead they focused on the importance of Daimon believing in what his sister suffered at the hands of their father and Spivey/Daddy getting what he wanted. They used all 3 women’s pain to turn Ana into a relatable present day victim who now has approval from the male heads of her family, like any good Disney princess needs. While it’s great for his own sake that Daimon has seen the light, Ana didn’t need his validation for her story to be true and powerful.
I feel like someone at Helstrom missed the point of what it means to believe women’s stories about their experiences of trauma, violence and abuse.
It’s not so that we can gain male approval or men can gain our approval. It’s so that our testimony can be used in a court of law and we can bring the perpetrators to justice. The reasoning for this is at Level 4-5 on the Kohlberg Morality Scale. These stories are told by adults and you’d likely believe a male adult who told the same story (Level 4). Sometimes you have to allow for extenuating circumstances, because of systemic and internalized misogyny on all sides (Level 5), such as when a woman can’t bring herself to scream or fight the way a man would, because staying quiet and still has been so ingrained in her.
Demon Spivey’s trap was laid for Zoe, Aubrey and Ana. He wanted all 3 women to suffer as the rat that got away. Was consuming Aubrey at the end of the episode enough to sate his need for completion?
Victoria/Mother tells Ana and Daimon “all” of her children are safe, rather than both of her children. The reincarnation butterfly from the bracelet in episode 2 is also in the opening credits. In the comics, Ana/Satana is a succubus who feeds on souls, which are visualized in the form of butterflies. Ana is sucking the life force out of people and feeding on it in some way, but it’s not clear whether she’s a succubus or just drawing demonic strength for that side of herself.
I think Daimon is starving himself of some form of energy that he needs as a half demon. He looks and acts ragged and 10 years older than Ana, while she glows with health, even though the actors are only 2 years apart. Pretty sure that’s on purpose.
This episode shows that Daimon lumps Ana in with his mother and assumes both of the women in his family are unreliable, demonic liars that he can’t trust. He can afford to be kind and condescending to Victoria because she’s locked up in a cell and appears to be completely under his control. It’s also clear, from the way she’s able to control the people and objects around her, that if Mother wanted to escape from the hospital she could do so at any time. This hasn’t occurred to Daimon or Louise, but it wouldn’t take Ana long to figure out.
Mother must have a vested interest in Victoria’s children or else they’d be dead by now. She referred to Ana as the favorite and appeared to mean Daddy’s favorite. Multiple people have said Victoria is cursed, rather than possessed, which suggests the demon was purposely sent into her by Papa Helstrom. Maybe to keep an eye on the kids while Daddy was gone for 20 years?
It’s clear that Ana and Daimon will have to combine their powers and work together to beat their parents. Right now, they don’t trust each other enough to do that and the forces who have ensured they don’t even know each other well are already taking steps to enforce their policy again, which appears to be based only on fear.
It seems as though Ana and Daimon are both cut off from aspects of themselves that hinder them from coming into their full power. Daimon is hesitant and stuck in his own head, while Ana is angry and puts up walls between herself and the world. It could be that their complementary personalities will prove essential to unlocking the potential of each other’s powers. It would be interesting if they have matching scars or Ana’s blood is the tattoo ink that will activate the powers centered in Daimon’s birthmark/Darksoul in the comics and in the process activate something similar in her as well.
The Problem with Daimon Helstrom
I am going to elaborate on the issues with Daimon’s character here and then try not to complain about him so much in future episodes. He is the weakest link on this show, a tired old trope, surrounded by superior women and a couple of other men, who spends his time pouting because they refuse to be controlled by him. While I’m interested in watching the other flawed characters evolve, Daimon is the required traditional
straight white front man whose job is guaranteed so that traditional comic book fans won’t riot.
Chris Yen (Alain Uy) is charismatic and is maybe now a cool demon and deserves all the screen time. Taker/Henry (Robert Wisdom) is mysterious and intriguing and I need to know much more about him to determine if he’s worthy of my precious Ana and Louise or if he’s actually a worthy adversary. Either man could handle being the lead male or sharing the honor.
Despite Tom Austen’s considerable efforts, Daimon often sits on the screen like a wet dishrag, complaining that everything isn’t about him. There is no devilish twinkle in his eye or joy in his heart. There is no righteous anger or fierce power emanating from him. His character is inconsistent: one minute he’s the
limp man in black, the next he’s the dour guy next door in flannel. Even Daimon is unhappy with who he is.
He’s an expert in his field, but whiny and passive aggressive. He withholds rather than taking the lead, even though he wants to be the center of attention. Ana has the same power and she, Gabriella and Louise share expert knowledge. All three women come off as more confident and able to take charge. They effortlessly draw the eye and express a range of strong emotions. Victoria/Mother’s immense power goes without saying. Maybe she’s draining her son like a vampire.
I don’t know if Louise and Henry specifically hindered Daimon’s use of his powers, while Ana freely practiced her powers on her own, or if Daimon is supposed to be afraid of his powers, but it feels like the character is practically spellbound. Whatever is causing him to be so bland, it should be acknowledged and remedied soon, because it’s harming the character and the show.
Helstrom is very much worth watching and I think Daimon, as a character, is worth saving. He just needs to be improved so he’s a powerful, charismatic equal to his sister. If he’s holding himself back, I want to sense his power thrumming beneath the surface. Discovery of Witches S1 has a great take on this issue, with a mild-mannered, spellbound witch who practically glows with her power, but is still very human.
Until now, Daimon hasn’t had a reason to grow as a character and get over himself. Gabriella might alter that equation. Or the fight against Spivey.
Or maybe Daimon will to continue to be written as “nice guy on the surface who’s caring one minute and a controlling misogynist who undermines women the next”. Eventually, the tropish dominating misogynist could become the default male demon personality, making Daimon look like a better, softer version in comparison. We’ll be given to understand that as a part demon male, he can’t help being a jerk, but he deserves credit for trying to be good. We should even find his emotional haplessness adorable.
If this is the way things go, I will join Ana in vomiting dirt and then swear off Marvel forever.
You’d think fierce, wicked, DISEMBODIED demons would either be genderless or appreciate a strong woman who can keep up with them. It’s time to enter the modern world, devil’s spawn.
Imagine a Daimon who lets go of his fear and need for control, setting his full range of emotions and powers free. That’s the Helstrom of the comics. Maybe we’ll see that intensity on our TVs eventually.
Images courtesy of Hulu.