Helstrom Season 1 Episode 4: Containment Recap

Helstrom S1Ep4 Ana & Daimon with Magoth

Episode 4 finds the dream team of Daimon, Ana, Henry, Louise and Gabriella assembling for a strategy meeting at Daimon’s house. Then Daimon and Ana go to San Francisco to pick up the Keeper skull, Henry and Gabriella get to know each other better and Louise learns some of Mother’s secrets.

Chris takes a walk in the park. And then in some underground tunnels. With his skull friend and a bottle of wine. It’s FINE.

Recap

Gabriella lights a candle before the priest calls her in for confession. As she heads to the confessional, a draft blows the candles out. Not a good omen, but she doesn’t see it.

She tells the priest that she was sent to Portland from Rome to observe a man and his family and report any disturbing or unnatural behavior to the local Archbishop. But it’s turned out to be more complicated than she expected. 

Gabriella: “The Church always tells us that our faith is our strength. That it alone will save us from the darkness. But sometimes life has a way of testing our faith through what we experience, what we feel. So if I’m having doubts about what I’ve seen and felt, then, who am I to pass judgement on anyone else?”

Her confessor is confused. None of this sounds like a sin. He asks if she’s had lustful thoughts. Gabriella starts to say he- then says that everyone has lustful thoughts. The priest becomes more specific, as if he knows who Gabriella thinks about. “Do you like the way he makes you feel? Between your legs?”

I don’t think she’s gotten that far yet, but she stood awfully close to the half demon in question in episode 3. Something is brewing between them. 

Gabriella realizes this is not a normal line of questioning for a priest, just as he tells her he can do great things for her. She discovers the confessional door is locked- she’s trapped inside. He’s excited that she’s fighting him. It’s been a while since he had a victim like her.

Nightmare in the Confessional leads into the opening credits.

Flashback to earlier today, when Sister Gabriella supervised the calmer patients at St Teresa’s as they planted seeds in the hospital’s plant nursery. She seems peaceful and fulfilled. Then she gets a text and looks worried.

Ana stayed overnight at Daimon’s and is now fixing breakfast in his kitchen, sans pants. As she works, she’s listening to Baby Huey and the Babysitters on vinyl, because obviously Daimon would only listen to his music on vinyl. Ana is still a little artfully bedraggled from her rough night. Daimon is out for a run.

Helstrom S1Ep4 Gabby Helps Patient in NurseryHelstrom S1Ep4 Photo of Young Daimon & Ana- Broken Glass in FrameHelstrom S1Ep4 Taker Puts Doughnuts in VanHelstrom S1Ep4 Ana Flirts with GabbyHelstrom S1Ep4 Gabby Doesn't Flirt Back But Is Confused then Flattered

Taker puts a box of doughnuts in the back of his van, where a pair of manacles hang from the ceiling. You never know when your guests will get unruly and threaten to wreck the upholstery, okay?

Louise needs to take her pills but can’t get the child-proof bottle open. She throws the bottle in frustration. It opens on impact, pills spilling all over the floor. We’ve all been there.

While Ana waits for her toast, she pokes around Daimon’s living room, stopping to look at a framed photo of the two of them as children. Gabriella knocks on the door. Daimon invited her over, but didn’t bother to mention it to Ana. 

Ana flirtily tells Gabby that she could do so much better than Daimon, clearly offering up herself instead. Gabriella shuts her down, mentioning that Daimon has already told the others that Ana was attacked. She sweeps into the house and says they’re here to help. Ana looks further outside and notices Louise parking the car.

How lovely of Daimon to invite everyone over without warning, the morning after Ana was attacked, without giving her time to shower, pull herself together, plan her insults…

Once Daimon and Ana are both presentable, they all settle at the kitchen table for coffee. Ana is riled up now. Gabriella compliments Daimon’s house. He says he’s put a lot of work into it. Ana adds that he’s spent a lot of Mother’s money on it. Daimon explains that when he got power of attorney, he split Victoria’s funds/the family trust 3 ways so they’d all be taken care of.

Taker and his doughnuts arrive. He says they’re the best in Portland. Daimon is hostile toward him, which means he and Ana both dislike each other’s friends and parental figures.

Louise introduces Gabriella and Henry. They both act happy to meet each other. Daimon starts the meeting by telling the group that he and Ana believe their father is back. He’s been reborn in a new form and is marking people for possession while targeting them. Ana asks how they kill him.

Taker: “We can’t. Simple laws of nature. Energy can’t be destroyed. But it can be transferred or contained.”

Daimon asks what kept their father contained in the crypt for 20 years.

Taker: “Another demon. A Keeper tasked with that very job.”

The Keeper demon is still attached to the skull they found in the crypt. It’s the only thing strong enough to contain their father. Ana abruptly jumps up and puts her coat on, ready to head to the airport so she can pick up the skull from San Francisco.

She calls Chris on her way out the door, but he doesn’t answer. Daimon follows her outside. He says he’ll drive them to the airport, because he’s coming with her. After last night, Ana is worried about involving Gabriella and Louise, or anyone else, really. “He’d shred them like paper dolls.” Daimon argues that Taker, at least, can hold his own in this fight.

Daimon asks if she’s afraid of their father. She says she’s not afraid of anything anymore. Daimon admits that he’s afraid and he wants to be there if their father comes after her again.

Inside, Sister Gabriella is having a hard time with the idea of someone coming back from the dead.

Taker wins the episode: “The irony of the whole Jesus thing is lost on you, isn’t it?”

Gabriella doesn’t think a soul can be contained. Henry says that in his experience, it can. He says Louise knows that’s true. Louise tells him not to speak for her.

Call me crazy, but isn’t the human body a container for the soul? Sister Gabriella needs to read a little further outside church sanctioned texts.

Gabriella argues that it would be immoral to capture a soul, even if it was possible. Louise agrees. Henry points out they’re discussing demons, evil Papa Helstrom in particular. Unlike your average demon, he’s a monster whose soul is dead. What’s left is now made up of pure evil. Gabriella asks what that means for his children. Henry looks uncomfortable.

Does Gabriella think that parents’ souls split apart like amoebas to provide new souls for one’s children? Wouldn’t Ana and Daimon each have their own unique souls that were called into their bodies the way any other child’s soul enters the body, with maybe a little extra demon piece?

This is an important question to demon hunters, because they think that only those with pure human souls deserve any consideration at all. If you have demon in you, you’d better be prepared to die or devote your life to fighting your own kind.

Helstrom S1Ep4 Gabby Lights Candle & PraysHelstrom S1Ep4 Gabb Gets Attacked by Father CrowHelstrom S1Ep4 Henry Conquers DemonHelstrom S1Ep4 Father Crow Subdued by Keeper Talisman

Back to the candles from the cold open.

The possessed priest’s hand breaks through the screen in the confessional, ready to grab Victoria so the demon can have his way with her. But the attack is interrupted when Taker yanks the priest out of the confessional and almost effortlessly subdues him. By the time Gabriella comes out of the confessional, Taker has the demonic priest on the floor. He tells her to hang back while he tosses a disk the size of a coin onto the demon’s forehead, which freezes it in place.

Gabriella asks if he followed her. Taker says he needed to do his homework on her before they do business. Does that mean he helped this demon find her as a test? Taker wants her to come with him so that he can show her something. 

Based on what we’ve seen before, Taker took that demon down easier than Ana or Daimon could have. Fighting experience helps, but he’s much stronger than a mere human. He’s something more.

Ana and Daimon arrive at her antiquities warehouse, where Daimon insults and demeans her and her business some more, even though the business is clearly thriving and she’s distracted by her attack and her missing friend. She asks if he’s always so insufferable. He claims it’s only with her, but that’s not true. It’s with every woman so far. Just now, outside his house, he insulted Gabriella and Louise in favor of Taker. Ana voiced justified concerns about their welfare, while he made a sexist comment about people he hardly knows and a demon he hasn’t encountered.

Chris isn’t at the warehouse or answering his phone. The place is in disarray, a condition Chris wouldn’t normally tolerate. When she remembers that the alarm wasn’t set, Ana becomes worried. 

She checks the vault, where she finds the dead body of the man who was with Chris the last time we saw him, at the end of episode 2. It’s lying in a large puddle of blood that someone will have to clean up. Daimon acts like he’s never seen a body before. Or heard of demons. Ana is more worried about the missing Keeper skull and her missing partner. 

Chris takes a walk through a playground full of children with the Keeper skull hidden in a cloth sack. Trick or treat. Then he breaks into a locked utility access tunnel.

Taker brings Gabriella to a hotel with a No Vacancy sign out front. On the way in, she asks about the disk he used to subdue the demon. He explains that it’s a talisman, made from the remains of a Keeper demon. Keeper demons are a rare bunch who rebelled against their own kind. The talisman will only subdue the demon for an hour.

Taker rings the bell on the hotel’s desk a few times. Finally, a man Taker calls Finn arrives. Taker is surprised to see him. He notes that, “They finally let the jack out the box, huh?” Finn says it was their mistake.

Best guess is that this means Finn was possessed, so Taker didn’t expect to see him again. But he was successfully exorcised, which is rare. But it could just mean Finn was in prison or some other kind of trouble.

Taker tells Finn he needs a 2nd floor room with a view. Finn asks if Gabriella has the proper clearance to enter the facility. Taker says being with him is clearance enough. Finn asks if Taker will be escorting the new guest inside on his own or if help is required. Taker hands over the keys to the van and its manacles so that the hotel staff can move the priest upstairs.

Gabriella puts her fancy Vatican degree to good use: “I take it that this is not a regular hotel.”

Ana checks the murder victim’s wallet and uses her psychic powers while Daimon asks annoying questions. He points out that they can watch the security camera footage. The camera recorded Chris becoming a pretty competent ax murderer, then leaving the building with the skull. Ana explains that the warehouse is full of millions of dollars worth of artifacts, so her partner had to stop the robbery. But she can’t figure out why he stumbled out with the skull.

It does seem unlike Chris to leave without disposing of the body and tidying up. The Keeper skull must have urgent business in the utility tunnel. Maybe it needs to meet up with Scooby Doo and the gang.

Daimon once again loses the thread and acts like he’s Mr Super Normal White Bread Suburbanite, insisting she call the police. I don’t recall anyone calling the police when Aubree got eaten by Spivey/their father last night, but maybe Daimon’s concern for Zoe’s twin just wasn’t shown on camera. I bet he cried into his pillow all night over the way she was manipulated then murdered. Except he hasn’t shown real concern for a victim or their family yet. I don’t know what the F— this faux moral indignation is.

Ana reminds Daimon that Spivey is the real issue here and if they get caught up in a murder investigation, he’ll still be out there killing and marking others. Daimon hurls some more insults at her until she confesses that she knows who the victim is, even though she’d never met him, and he was an accessory to his brother’s multiple murders. She tells Daimon he can leave or he can help her with the clean up, but he has to stop lecturing her. Now he’s horrified at the thought of disposing of a body.

WHAT KIND OF DEMONIC EXORCIST IS THIS GUY? IS HE AFRAID THE BLOOD WILL RUIN HIS MANICURE?

Ana tells him to F—- off, she’s fine on her own, just like always. Since his entire ego is based on women NEEDING him, he does a quick U turn and decides to stay. Ana smiles a little. Family is important to her, too. 

Helstrom S1Ep4 Chris Inspects CaveHelstrom S1Ep4 Keeper Skull 1Helstrom S1Ep4 Gabby & Taker at HotelHelstrom S1Ep4 Demon Father Crow Gets DruggedHelstrom S1Ep4 Chris on Surveillance FootageHelstrom S1Ep4 Daimon Talks to Derrick

When Louise does her rounds, Victoria’s security guard says the ward has been quiet, even their star patient. Victoria looks droopy and lethargic through the peephole. Louise decides her patient needs some fresh air and sunshine to perk her up. They strap her to a wheelchair and take her out to a courtyard.

Upstairs in the hotel, there is a comatose patient in each room. Taker explains that they are all possessed/marked. The priest, Father Crow, is wheeled into an empty room. Attendants start the process of putting him into a medical coma.

Taker says the facility is run by an organization called The Blood. “For centuries, they’ve been fighting and keeping track of different things that move in and out of this world. The most dangerous ones, we find a way to contain.”

Gabriella: “You’re treating demons with drugs.”

Taker: “We put them in comas. Over the years, we found that the best way to deal with these people is to keep them safe and asleep so they won’t suffer. It also strands the monster inside them. This is the most humane way to deal with them.”

He confirms for Gabriella that he’s a member of The Blood and they keep possessed people in medically induced comas for the rest of their lives.

Well, that’s horrifying.

The coma keeps the demon trapped in the body so it can’t possess someone else. The human hasn’t had the demon removed, so they aren’t available to be possessed again. The Blood says it’s humane because technically the human is still alive, instead of dead, the way Daimon leaves people after an exorcism. And they are unconscious, so they can’t tell anyone they’re suffering. But they are still possessed, so they are still suffering. And a coma is hard on the body, so they are experiencing physically unnecessary suffering.

But this arrangement suits the point of view of The Blood, not the victims of possession or even their loved ones. It’s not humane to force someone into a coma with a demon inside them for decades. There’s no consent going on here on any level. They’re only keeping each demon under control for a few extra years, unless the demons keep the bodies alive for a long time against their wills. But they’re torturing an innocent person to do it, while pretending a drug induced coma, shared with a demon, is the same as natural sleep. It just feels really repulsive and wrong on a lot of levels.

Meanwhile, Ana rearranges the body into a more disposable shape while Daimon paces and disapproves. He comments that she’s gotten stronger. She replies that she had to. It was survival of the fittest. He says she’s the toughest person he’s ever met. None of this sounds like he’s complimenting her on surviving the unimaginable circumstances she’s been through. He sounds like he means she survived because there’s something wrong with her.

No one says this to a man who survives torture, like a prisoner of war.

He asks if she’s ever “talked” to anyone about her experiences on the road with their father. She tells him, “Memory Lane is a dead end for me.” Then he goes on to notice how unemotional she is right now. He makes sure to use a quavery voice when he says this, to show that he’s a real human boy with real emotions, unlike Ana. She gives him the side eye, then tells him to do more cleaning and less talking, so they can finish up and he can run home to Mommy.

Who does he think a teenage girl in foster care would talk to about her experiences with her serial killer dad and their demon powers? Even as an affluent adult, that’s a great way to end up in a padded cell next to Victoria or on unnecessary antipsychotic medications that would wreak havoc on her half demon system.

The levels of privilege, self-righteousness and insensitivity that ooze out of his pores practically every moment are infuriating. She’s controlling her emotions because she’s working. That’s what people who are good in a crisis do. Act now, put your feelings aside for later. Right now, she needs to protect her best friend, a gay Asian man who also grew up in foster care, because her demon heritage got him in serious trouble.

It’s called taking responsibility. This is what taking care of someone looks like. Doing what they need, when they need it, not forcing what you think they should need on them.

Her brother’s cluelessness is apparently one of the things she needs to protect Chris from. once again he’s  standing around, complaining, rather than being of any use when someone needs him.

Louise asks Mother how the outdoors affects her, even though as a demon her senses are somewhat numb. Mother says she remembers what it was like to feel the elements. She hasn’t felt them in a long time and thinking about those sensations is calming. 

Louise asks Mother about the last time she truly felt the breeze and sunshine. Mother says it was a long time ago. She was with her lover at the lake, eating strawberries and playing with her children. Her own beloved, dutiful children, not Daimon and Ana. Then her children were taken from her. She says that memory is too painful to talk about. She’d rather think about the sun. 

Louise: “Something is different about you today.”

Mother: “They say death’s a release. And it is. But there is nothing in the world like being alive.”

Louise, kneeling down to speak to Mother as a friend: “Who or what in the world are you?”

Mother: “My name is Kthara. And I am just like you, Louise. A woman betrayed by all she held dear.”

This is an extraordinary conversation which shows Louise’s gift for connecting with others. She saw what Mother/Victoria/Kthara needed and gave it to her, then continued to listen and communicate in a way which showed empathy and respect for Mother. Kthara was drawn out and told Louise something real almost despite herself, because she couldn’t resist the moment of connection either.

We saw how much Kthara suffers as a demon and longs to simply be human again. She gave Louise the gift of the warning that she will be betrayed by all she holds dear. But it’s a warning from an ancient demon, so it needs to be interpreted carefully. It’s probably hyperbole, at the very least. It might come true in a symbolic rather than an obvious way.

Ana is still figuring out body disposal when Chris’ boyfriend, Derrick, a cop, shows up looking for him. Daimon takes charge and goes out to greet him. Daimon gives his name but doesn’t tell Derrick anything else about himself, so Derrick is immediately suspicious about what Chris has been getting up to during all of his late nights and unpredictable hours at work. Daimon tells Derrick that Chris isn’t cheating on him, but he’s also not at the office.

Ana joins them so that Derrick can complain to her about Chris’ long and unpredictable work hours. Ana takes responsibility for being a bad boss, then tells Derrick she sent Chris on a last minute overseas appraisal trip. Derrick notices some blood on her shirt, which she explains away by saying they were moving an antique weapon that slipped. Derrick lodges one more protest about the way Ana’s demands interfere with his relationship with Chris, then leaves.

Ana returns to cleaning up- this time she’s mopping up blood, with a bucket of blood? That bright red mop water is a total distraction. As always, Daimon doesn’t do any work, but does judge her. Now he knows she can make up excuses when she needs to!!! He’s all intense, because discovering that Chris works all ours is super suspicious and his delicate sensibilities are even more offended. He wants to know what Chris’ job is, exactly. He pushes Ana until she admits that Chris helps her kill people. 

You mean the way Gabriella and Louise help Daimon find and kill people when he does exorcisms? It seems almost exactly like that to me. Except the actual humans that Daimon kills are innocent, whereas Ana stops verified serial killers. 

I thought for a minute Ana might use either the mop or the blood as a weapon to start a fight with Daimon and got excited, but no such luck. The fight would probably be disappointing anyway and he’d win because he’s a man, even though she’s clearly more powerful and experienced.

He needs his attitude slapped down so badly.

Finn asks Taker if Esther knows what he’s doing. Taker tells him that he doesn’t answer to Esther or him. Finn says the hotel is his castle and his is its king. Taker says that won’t last forever.

Geez, the white men are out of control in this episode. The equipment is right there to put them all in medically induced comas. Just sayin’.

But what is it that Finn thinks Taker is doing wrong? Letting the Helstroms fraternize? Indoctrinating Gabriella?

Gabriella has been going through the hotel’s patient files and has discovered that the patients have lives and families. She wants Taker to let Daimon take the demons out of each patient so their loved ones don’t have to miss them anymore.

Taker and The Blood don’t see Daimon’s exorcisms as a cure, because he doesn’t kill the demon. He sends the demon to another place for a while, then the demon can return to possess someone else. Gabriella argues that at least Daimon frees the human from possession.

Once she has the body packed in a small crate, Ana explains that Tate’s brother helped him hunt and murder women. “They were brutal. And they had enough money that they could buy their way out of it if they ever got caught. I’m careful. I do my research. I make sure every person I take out deserves it.” Daimon pouts. He doesn’t want his baby sister to be capable of killing someone. Ana tells him everyone is capable of killing, given the right circumstances. But he thinks she’s killing the way their father did and putting a gloss of social justice over it. She tells him that’s not what she’s doing at all. She stops people like their father.

Daimon: “And with that logic you give someone else the right to hunt you.” 

Ana: “Let them try.”

Unlike Louise’s conversation with Mother, where Louise’s openmindedness and warmth provided emotional support for the demon despite their difficult relationship, Daimon judges Ana’s actions based on his own fears about himself and his fears for her. He doesn’t absorb her words or feelings as a supportive brother at all. Instead he turns her life and experiences into a logic argument that he needs to win to validate the fears and judgmentalism that he uses to hold himself back.

As with the previous episode, he treats Ana like she’s on trial. She has to provide extensive outside evidence to prove that her emotions and experiences are what she says they are. He judges her, but doesn’t provide the practical or emotional support she needs. (Inviting her to stay at his house was what he needed.)

Ana has been criticized in every single conversation she’s had in this episode, while she’s done her best to take care of her people. She didn’t hesitate to go after the skull when Taker said that’s what they needed at the morning meeting, even though she was coming off a rough night. She covered for Chris with his boyfriend and she’s disposing of his murder victim. She hasn’t actually made Daimon help clean up the body, but she’s trying to explain herself to him, despite his attitude. She even ate one of Taker’s doughnuts when no one else touched them.

Chris has made his way pretty far into the tunnel, where the really big spiders live. He complains to Keeper skull that they could have hung out at a day spa instead of the tunnel, but Keeper skull remains silent. They settle in, then Chris makes the skull bite his arm again.

While he’s in the zone from the bite, he picks up a large dead spider, waves it past Keeper’s mouth, then puts it in his own mouth and starts chewing. After a moment, he realizes what he’s doing and frantically spits the spider out. He tells Keeper that this is where he draws the line. Keeper can do his creepy stuff, but no dead spiders.

Spiders were probably a delicacy back in Keeper’s day. This is a clash between two cultures, ancient and modern. 😉

Mother/Kthara refuses to be taken back to her room. She feels like something has changed inside her  and accuses either Louise or Taker of doing something to her. She offers to take away the cancer she gave Louise if Louise fixes whatever was done to her. Louise has the guards carry Kthara back to her room screaming while she tries to cope with the realization that her cancer might not be naturally occurring.

Louise noticed something different about Kthara before they went outside. Whatever it is, she was exposed to it before Louise saw her.

Daimon follows Ana into the backroom where she keeps her box of trinkets from her father. She’s sitting with them, upset, trying to recenter herself. She probably frequently goes through the same thought process within herself that she just went through with Daimon. Am I still doing this for the right reasons or am I turning into my father?

Daimon sits down next to her and asks her to talk to him.

Ana: “I don’t take pleasure from this. Just pain. That’s what these things give off. So I take it in and I use it to put a stop to the people who spread that kind of pain. What kind of person would I be if I didn’t?”

Daimon takes the piece from her hand and puts it back in the box: “I thought that all of his things were gone.”

Ana: “They’re not his. The box was a gift from Mom, actually, for little girl things like earrings and toys. But I started using it for Dad’s presents that he would give me when he came home from his business trips. Of course I had no idea what they were. I just thought it was his weird way of showing me that he loved me. Giving me things like a bracelet, a necklace, a watch. Mom hated it. She hated everything about it. And because I was a little kid, I thought that meant that she hated me.” 

Daimon: “She didn’t.”

Ana: “I know. When you and I went back to clean the house out after all those years, I found the box in the basement. She never got rid of it. No matter how much she hated it or what it stood for, she was too crazy, too weak, to throw away all the horrible sh– that monster gave her little girl.”

Daimon: “Did you ever think to try to find the families and return their items?”

Ana: “You think anyone wants to find out their loved one was murdered by a serial killer? I’ll bury the box with him when I kill him.”

Daimon actually listens to Ana for the first time, but he refers to the items in the box as belonging to their father, then wants to give her presents back to the previous owners. He still can’t face her pain and let her own it.

He misses her final question completely, “What kind of person would I be if I didn’t?” She stops killers like their father from killing anyone else because she couldn’t stop their father and had to witness his crimes. This is how she lives with and atones for the crimes her father forced on her. The trinkets in the box are hers now because she earned them through her pain and her witnessing. Now she’s earning them again and preparing to let them go through her atonement. 

She’s feeling the pain and working through it in her own way, rather than denying it. She’ll dispose of the objects when it’s time, in a way that gives her closure. Her plan might need to be altered, but at least she’s doing something honest, rather than shutting down negative and inconvenient emotions like Daimon does.

It seems like he’s just going through the motions of his life, with no strong emotion allowed to break through other than maybe resentment. Maybe his hero complex won’t let him enjoy life until he thinks Ana and Victoria are okay. Ana could stand to have someone ground her, but Daimon needs someone to bring him back to life.

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When Gabby checks on Father Crow, the Keeper talisman is dissolving and losing its effectiveness, allowing the demon inside him to propel a syringe filled with sedatives into the face of one of the members of The Blood standing next to his bed. Finn and others work to restrain him as the real Father Crow momentarily surfaces and begs Gabriella to help him. Taker drags her from the room.

She’s deeply shaken. Even Taker is upset. He tells her he knows this looks cruel and he doesn’t like doing it. She tries to convince him to stop them, but he says he can’t and neither can she. He says she seems like a good person and she still has a choice. She tells him he has a choice, too.

Taker: “No. My family’s been part of this for 7 generations. It’s in me. There’s no running from it. And believe me, I have tried.

Gabriella asks if Louise knows about the horror hotel. He gives her a look. She walks out.

Even a fancy degree from the Vatican doesn’t teach you everything. 

So. What does “It’s in me” mean? Is “Caretaker” a hereditary position, is he part demon or does he have a helper demon inside him? Because he definitely isn’t a normal human from an especially religious family. He just told us he’s essentially bound to his work, whether he wants to do it or not. He becomes more intriguing with every episode. His talk about choice made it sound like he was auditioning Gabby for something, either membership in The Blood or something more.

He and Gabby both also showed compassion for the people in the beds. Whether Father Crow was a human or a demon at any given moment, neither of them could stand to linger there and watch what was done to him. Taker talks tough, but he knows the demons are trapped and tortured beings and The Blood is treating a complex situation as if it’s black and white. Taker, like Ana, thinks for himself. Gabby still believes in the wisdom of the Church as an authority figure.

Ana and Daimon contemplate the folded up body in a box. Normally Chris is in charge of garbage disposal. Ana suggests dumping it in the bay, but Daimon says it’s too risky. 

Gotta side with him there.

He says there’s another way and slowly moves to the box. He uses his fire power to cremate the body until it’s nothing but fine ash. This creates huge black circles under his eyes and drains him so that he collapses onto the floor when he’s done. 

Ana goes to his side and we focus on how weak and serious he is. He’s done her a huge favor by compromising his morals for her. That’s why he couldn’t take care of the body when they found it, before she spent hours unnecessarily futzing around with it. He hasn’t shown compassion for anyone, all day, other than himself. He’s performative and rule oriented.

Gabriella returns to St Teresa’s and walks in on Louise as she’s finishing up with a patient. Gabby is upset and needs to confront her mentor this minute! Louise has had a trying day, and holds herself as if she’s in pain, but she’s still patient with Gabriella. The woman is a saint. Gabriella asks if Louise knows about the hotels and all. Of course Louise does. She explains that The Blood are an ancient order with their own methods and ways. Louise can’t control them and they have nothing to do with St Teresa’s work.

Gabriella accuses her of defending them. Louise starts to explain that she doesn’t agree with The Blood’s methods, but Gabby interrupts her to say she has to report what she’s seen to the Vatican. Louise tells her the Church already knows all about The Blood and reminds Gabby that the Church is a large, old institution with many competing factions. That’s part of why she left.

Gabriella is disappointed in her for leaving instead of fighting to improve the Church. She asks if the lessons they were both taught meant anything to Louise. 

Louise: “Of course they did. They had this saying when I was a novitiate: Our faith is…”

Gabby: “Our strength.”

Louise: “That much is still true.”

Gabriella doesn’t want to let the people in the hotel die. Louise says that when they save a human host, the demon is free to come back and hurt someone else. But if they leave the demon in its current host, everyone else is safe from that demon for now. 

Louise: “The question is, at what cost? What do you think is the answer? This isn’t simple, Gabby. We save who we can, how we can. The Blood have their way, and you and I have ours. We can disagree on methodology, but at the end of the day, there is only one enemy. Remember that.”

Coming from Daimon’s beloved replacement mommy, that was chilling. No wonder he thinks he needs to be perfect at all times. If he’s not, he’s afraid she’ll send him to the horror hotel for a living death that’s even worse than Victoria’s fate. He may not know about the hotels consciously, but somewhere inside, he understands this possibility.

I’m not clear on what the Louise-Gabby way is, exactly. Leaving Kthara in Victoria, with Victoria in solitary confinement for decades, but keeping her conscious so they can question her? Keeping Daimon and Ana separated, depressed and unable to access their full range of power because they were prejudged as children? That’s not necessarily any more honorable than what The Blood does.

When Daimon and Ana return to Portland, he tries to convince her to keep staying with him, but she wants to return to her hotel. She’s worried about Chris. He says he thinks they’ve done pretty well together over the last couple of days, but he’s still awkward and she’s got her guard back up.

He finds Spivey’s college student minion waiting for him at home. The minion turns out to be possessed by Magoth, the demon who caused the fatal car crash in episode 2. Magoth is eating Taker’s doughnuts and mentions he heard they’re the best in Portland.

Another connection between Taker and evil demons. Is Taker a spy or is there another psychic mole? Finn seemed suspicious. Or did Magoth pull the comment from Daimon’s brain?

Magoth is back from the underworld faster than the usual turnaround. Is it me or are these two a little flirty? Maybe Magoth has a thing for Daimon, the boss’s son.

The demon confirms that Daimon is aware of Ana’s vigilante murder activities and proposes a deal. Apparently Ana is now a possession to be passed between men and “He” wants another turn with her, since “He” only needs one of the siblings. Magoth doesn’t confirm Daimon’s assumption that “He” is their father or tell Daimon what “He” wants from his child. Daimon doesn’t ask.

Daimon also doesn’t tell the demon that his sister isn’t property or a bargaining chip. Instead he refers to Ana as “something” his father should come get for himself. He not only goes along with the idea that Ana is the property of the men in the family, he actually tells Magoth that their father didn’t treat him with enough respect in proposing this deal. 

Reader, I’m trying very hard to give Daimon the benefit of the doubt, but this is wrong on so many truly deep levels. We’re talking about human trafficking. The hotel was bad enough, but can almost be justified as saving lives. This is the attitude that rape comes from. There is no excuse for the writers writing the scene in this way, I don’t care what their intentions were for the characters.

Daimon and Magoth might as well have been discussing how easy it was to grab her genitals because if the man has enough power over her, she won’t fight back. Spivey couldn’t take Ana on his own, so he wants her brother to deliver her, in exchange for Daimon’s own life. 

Daimon called his sister a thing while demanding more respect for himself from his criminal father who wants to buy his sister. While boasting that he’d kill the messenger, too. No where in there did he defend Ana in any way. Without even trying, Daimon is savvy enough to negotiate a trade for more respect for himself and the life of someone else he wants. 

Magoth offers to trade Ana for Daimon’s mommy. Daimon drools over the idea. But Jiminy Cricket Louise would be Very Disappointed in him if he took it, so he pouts and throws something at Magoth’s head instead. The fight is on. For a minute. Until Magoth drops a bookcase on Daimon and traps him underneath it.

But wait. It’s Ana to the rescue. She easily frees Daimon and sucks the life out of Magoth’s body. Daimon comes up from behind and exercises the demon. Just before he collapses, the human thanks them for saving his soul. Ana is impressed by Daimon’s ability. He asks her why she came back, then asks for help with the clean up. She tells him her hotel room wasn’t available. He insults her shoes. She says she’s not cleaning up anything else today.

She did all of the clean up at her place, let’s recall. He demeaned her, then swooped in at the end to play the hero, as usual. This time, she swooped in and saved his butt, then complimented him instead of demeaning him.

He doesn’t thank her for saving him or say anything about her fighting abilities. 

It must have been so humiliating to be saved by her, after Daddy chose her over him, again.

Mother is very unhappy.

Chris and Keeper are still in the tunnel, sharing a bottle of wine and sharing ghost stories. Keeper shows Chris its eyeball again.

You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You, so find yourself somebody to love.

Helstrom S1Ep4 Daimon Preps to Cremate BodyHelstrom S1Ep4 Daimon Cremates Tate's BodyHelstrom S1Ep4 Ana Checks on Daimon After Cremation Because Using His Powers Is Too Much For HimHelstrom S1Ep4 Ana Judges Daimon for Judging Her When he Is a Total idiot Who Is Always Wrong About People & She Is a PsychicHelstrom S1Ep4 Chris Drinks Wine with His New Bud KeeperHelstrom S1Ep4 Keeper Shows Off Its EyeballHelstrom S1Ep4 Chris Looks at Keeper's Eyeball


Commentary

I feel like we’d be having a lot more fun if we spent more time in San Francisco than in dour Portland. Ana, Chris, Taker and Keeper have a much more interesting operation going on there than Daimon, Gabriella and Louise’s House of Moral Judgement. I’m sure we could find a place for Victoria/Mother in the City by the Bay. She’s so unhappy in Portland.

For all that I complain about Daimon, it was such a relief to see Ana and Daimon have a few moments of closeness in this episode. The subtext points to their powers and personalities being complementary, which means they’ll not only be most powerful together- they’ll also heal best together, if they can both let their guard down. 

As adults, they’ve both chosen to spend time with personality types like those of their sibling. Ana’s personality is a more presentable version of their mother and Kthara combined. Daimon and Chris have similar personalities, but Ana doesn’t have a negative family history with Chris. Ana started to open up this episode, but Daimon hasn’t shared his own fears, as opposed to his feelings as a brother or son or what he thinks he should feel.

It might be easier for Ana to open up to Daimon because she has a good relationship with Chris, who is hers alone. Daimon has to remain guarded with both his mother, who is also a demon, and Louise. Louise is wonderful, but the last 2 episodes showed that she still sees him as a dangerous half demon just as much as she sees him as her son. And she’s fighting a war against demons. 

For the first time in this episode, Daimon didn’t end up in the center of fire. Instead he created fire to help Ana. This episode was all about blood and family, with Ana and Daimon arguing while standing in a pool of blood. Blood, which carries the life force and often symbolizes life and family, seems to be one of Ana’s elements. Ana seems to be the heart of the Helstrom family. She is emerging as a protector who is as fierce as a lion when one of her people is threatened.

Daimon told Derrick that it had taken him a long time to figure out who he is, but I think he’s still very lost. It doesn’t weaken Ana to use her powers the way it does him, which suggests he’s out of balance. He’s trying to be something he’s not and trying to turn the women in his life into something they’re not, so that he can keep denying his true self and avoid facing his guilt and pain. Fire is his element, but he hasn’t found a use for it, or even for exorcisms, which are probably an extension of that energy work, that he feels right about, the way Ana feels right about her vigilante work.

Gabriella has some pretty great romantic/sexual chemistry with both Helstroms. I think Ana is attracted to her, but she’s mostly flirting with Gabby as a way of teasing her and Daimon. Ana might also be protectively evaluating whether Gabriella is right for her brother. Gabby was confused that Ana flirted with her, then flattered. She handily brushed Ana’s interest aside and seemed to be all business, but I’m going to dream of her dreaming of Ana. 

Gabriella and Daimon are slowly building chemistry based on their common interests and shared experiences. They’re gradually realizing just how much their styles complement each other- Gabriella does come highly recommended from the Vatican. I know I heard that somewhere.

Please tell me Papa Helstrom has multiple horcruxes and that’s why they never say his name. Totally here for hunting down pieces of his soul and discovering multiple people are his horcruxes. The Harry Potter books really could have done better with fleshing out this concept.

We’re off to a good start with the slash that allows a Demon’s “soul” to enter a new human container- it’s the inverse of Harry’s scar. Then there’s Ana’s box of meaningful trinkets as well, all potential horcruxes (or talismans) from either their father or others. Maybe she can’t let them go because she instinctively senses the pieces of souls inside or they hold some other magic the Helstroms can use, like the talisman with the Keeper demon’s remains. 😱 We need a witch to help out. Bet Henry knows some.

Henry describes five levels of souls, though there are likely more, including whatever Henry is. There are random humans, half demons like Ana and Daimon, Keeper demons, average demons, and Papa Helstrom. He doesn’t comment on the level of evil he perceives in humans, but he has no problem with sacrificing individuals to a lifetime of subconscious suffering in order to take down demons, because demons are evil. That suggests that he believes most humans are neutral, at best.

Papa Helstrom is on a whole other level of evil beyond most demons, having lost his soul completely, at least according to Henry- it could be a metaphor. Keeper demons are still demons, but sound like something akin to the warrior side of archangels such as Michael, who fight intense protective battles against evil. Maybe they are fallen angels who realize their mistake.

Ana and Daimon seem to have been judged evil by default as children with the potential to become even more evil if they have the chance to influence each other. They are essentially on permanent probation. Each has a demon hunter guardian who monitors whether they’ve gone over the edge into behaving too much like the wrong kind of demon and need to be permanently taken out. 

It’s confirmed that some demons were once humans and that they don’t fully inhabit the bodies they possess. They control the bodies and can force bodies and minds beyond their natural limits, perhaps in part because they don’t have full access to the body’s sensations. 

Kthara’s story suggests that she became a demon because of the pain and rage in her heart, which might also have led her to make a deal with the devil. It’s unclear whether in this universe souls automatically become demons when they reach a certain level of hatred or a conscious decision is required, though Magoth did call Ana’s victims recruits, which suggests that soul need to make the decision to follow that path.

Among the living, it seems that the best course of action is to openly express positive and negative emotions in order to maintain mental health. As is typical, the demons are most able to exploit those who are steeped in negative emotions or physically weakened and desperate- angry, repressed, in denial, keeping secrets and not taking care of themselves. For example, Louise works too hard and doesn’t put herself first often enough, which left her open to the cancer Kthara gave her and then to letting that overwhelm her emotionally. While it’s unlikely she’d take a deal with the devil, the demons are watching her for more openings to exploit as she physically weakens with her illness and becomes mentally exhausted. 

The Helstrom Family Trust is intriguing and must have been comfortably large if it’s still supporting Victoria’s institutionalization after 20 years in addition to providing an affluent lifestyle for the kids. Daimon put his into a really nice house and maybe a PhD. Ana probably used hers as seed money for her business. But where did the wealth come from to begin with? Is it inherited family money or ultimately money their father stole from victims?

The difference in financial focus between Ana and Daimon reflects their different personalities. Daimon created a family home, with room for Ana and probably Victoria, should she ever improve. He made a space where he can gather his people together under one roof and control protect them the way he couldn’t when he was a child. The walls are made of glass, maybe so that he can see enemies approaching? It’s an odd choice for a man who’s seen so much danger and violence. Is he living in a glass house and shouldn’t judge others? Does he need to see more clearly or be more transparent?

Ana created a business that supports herself, her parent figure and her best friend. In other words, her whole family. We’ve never seen her home, but we’ve seen where her heart is. She and Chris, the abandoned foster kids, made sure they can take care of themselves in high style. She may be accumulating wealth to add to the family trust, rather than drawing down the principle or living on the interest. Her business also provides cover for her vigilante activities, which are a form of activism that mirrors Daimon’s exorcism work.

Daimon’s morals and behaviors are super unstable and generally change according to what he thinks he should do to appear normal or strong or what someone else would want him to do, whereas Ana knows who she is and where she stands. If someone else doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.

Their behavior is gender flipped in some ways, with Ana as the broken but strong bad girl/boy and Daimon as an approval seeker disguised as a morality enforcer. Daimon lives around Kohlberg’s Level 3, looking for acceptance by the group, while Ana is more of a Level 5, someone who understands the rules but thoughtfully breaks them.

Fives can appear to be Level 2s if you don’t pay careful attention to their motivations. Someone like Daimon isn’t perceptive or sophisticated enough to see the difference, even though he thinks he’s an expert. He understands the rules of ethics, but he doesn’t feel the nuances, just as Kthara remembers the breeze, but now she can barely feel it on her face. Since he’s the lead male, if this show gets more than 1 season maybe we’ll watch him evolve to match Ana. Or maybe he’ll always be the Voice of Mainstream Moral Judgement. Depends on the writers’ sophistication and how self loathing they intend to keep Daimon.

Sometimes Daimon appears to be more of a 2 who just wants to stay out of trouble and nothing more, at other times his fumbling attempts to protect others appear sincere. The scene with Derrick is a good example. How much was he motivated to protect Ana and how much was he trying to avoid getting caught at a murder scene?

I’m not sure what the writers intended, but most of what Daimon said in this episode blamed Ana, rather than slowing down and legitimately listening to her the way he finally did in the scene with the box. That suggests that he was only thinking about himself, but putting up a facade of caring about her, until she became more vulnerable. Then her more socially acceptable behavior broke through his walls.

I can’t tell you how infuriating it is for a woman to have to be vulnerable to be accepted by a man who should listen to her simply because she’s his sister and equal. Bad Show. It’s wrong to break women’s spirits so that men will like them. That literally the definition of abuse.

The shot of them killing Magoth together looks cool and shows Helstrom’s potential. But there’s no way an audience can root for these two as a team while Daimon is so selfish. Plus, Sydney Lemmon as Ana commands the screen when she fights or uses her powers or does anything, really. Meanwhile, Tom Austen as Daimon grows more and more resentful that she’s better than him at everything. Ana has worked for everything she’s accomplished, while he’s been handed so much and doesn’t appreciate what he’s got.

My current prediction is that by season 2, or 3 at the latest, Daimon will have voluntarily given in to the dark side. Anna will be fighting for good and he’ll be the Prince of Darkness, maybe kidnapping Persephone Gabriella to spend half the year with him. Maybe he’ll convince himself that he needs to heroically give himself over to Daddy in place of Ana this time. Many of his issues stem from his belief that his father rejected him as the favorite and chose her, which Mother reinforces. He won’t be happy until he discovers what he missed as the demon child and accepts that side of his nature.

Images courtesy of Hulu.

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