Helstrom Season 1 Episode 8: Underneath Recap

Helstrom S1Ep8 Daimon & Gabriella Shiny Happy People

In episode 8, Daimon and Gabriella visit the Helstrom family home to find the missing piece of the knife. While there, Daimon relives old memories and The Blood make a nuisance of themselves. Ana and Louise have a heart to heart, then decide to do a little demon hunting together. Mother organizes her plans to relocate herself and Basar into new hosts.

Both Daimon and Ana confront their childhood trauma as they confront their enemies and come out stronger afterward. Unfortunately, their enemies are growing stronger as well.

Recap

As Daimon and Gabriella arrive home after the attack by The Blood, he calls Ana to warn her she’s in danger. Gabriella wants Daimon to go to the police, but he doesn’t think they’d take his side in the dispute. Once they’re inside, she insists on examining the bullet wound in his shoulder, which is already healing.

Gabriella assures Daimon that he acted on reflex, so what happened wasn’t his fault. Daimon thinks he still deserves to be punished, maybe put down, for losing control. Gabriella argues he acted in self defense after The Blood shot him and attacked him, so what he did was justified.

Daimon remembers that she still has the stone knife. He tells her that the knife is what made his scar and that it’s the only thing that’s ever left a mark. He says that its energy is old and violent- it feels like his father. Gabriella says they should get rid of it. Daimon says that it has another piece and they still need it.

Mother is singing to her baby boy in Icelandic when Demon Crow returns without whatever he was meant to get. Mother fusses at him, but says another, more loyal demon will be there to help soon. Crow asks about Basar, referring to him as a “thing”. Mother tells him to shut up and respect her son’s sacrifices and suffering. “Respect the sacrifices my son has made. The suffering he’s endured. It’s important to remember that. No what what forms we take, where we move on to. Respect the suffering.”

“Rest, Basar. We’ll meet again soon.” As she continues her lullaby, Mother turns Basar on his side, reaches into his back and pulls out a palm-sized version of his Abdomen Dentata. Spivey’s body goes limp. Mother tells Cross to find the other two and take care of her boy.

The travel-sized horror mouth must contain Basar’s energy, which then emanates a full size version in whatever body he’s squatting in. Showing a demon mother removing her demon son’s mini horror mouth with her bare hand while singing an Icelandic lullaby is one of the most amazingly demented things a Marvel show has ever done, right up there with Electra being reborn out of her blood bath in The Defenders and virtually everything Harold Meachum did in Iron Fist.

In a role reversal, Daimon waits in the car outside the hospital while Gabriella brings the knife to Louise to keep in the office safe. He remembers when his father was cutting his chest and he hit his father’s hand and the knife away, breaking the knife into 2 pieces in the process.

Interesting that he has the power to break the knife, which is powerful enough to kill very old demons. Daimon is much more powerful than the average demon, even though he’s a hybrid. He only has trouble up against the oldest, strongest demons. I wonder how much of that is the lack of confidence that holds him back.

Back in the car, Gabby explains to Daimon that the Archbishop warned Louise that the Church can’t guarantee her safety if she continues to work with demons. Gabby realizes now that the Archbishop was sending her reports to The Blood and she feels terrible about it. She tells Daimon that she had no idea the information would be used that way. Daimon takes this new information pretty well, for him, telling her she should know better than to trust a man, even if it’s a man of faith.

Ana returns Daimon’s call, letting him know that she’s at St Teresa’s and so far The Blood have left her alone. They apologize to each other for their most recent argument. Daimon says he thinks she was right. He’s on his way to their childhood home to get the other half of the knife. Ana argues that the knife is evil and they don’t need it to fight The Blood. He thinks they can also use it to kill Mother. Ana says it will kill Victoria as well, but Daimon is ready to let her go. He wants to stop Mother before she hurts anyone else.

He asks Ana to promise she won’t go after Mother without him. Instead, Ana asks why he needs to go after the second piece. When she gets to Louise’s office, she asks to see the knife. As soon as Louise unwraps it, Ana is affected by its toxic energy and tells Louise she shouldn’t be near it either. Louise starts to say that Ana is being superstitious, then she has a coughing fit and coughs up blood on the knife.

I don’t think we’ve seen her cough since Mother left the building.

Over at The Blood’s secret headquarters, Esther checks in on Ahmad, who is carving ancient symbols into a new anti demon tool. Then she moves on to Finn, her latest captive coworker, who’s locked in a cage. He begs her to free him. She says she can’t because Basar marked him, so he’s probably Mother’s next host.

They intend to trap Mother in Finn and put him in a coma indefinitely. Finn is against the practice, now that he’s the one who’ll spend the rest of his life stuck in a perpetual nightmare. Esther reminds him that he took an oath to hunt down Mr Helstrom and “his little demon brood” after they killed her husband and daughter and his son. Esther gets a text- they’ve found whoever they’re hunting today. She leaves Finn in the cage, telling him to remember what they’re fighting for.

To Esther, he’s now just another soldier with a mortal wound whose death she can leverage into something more.

Time for some real talk between Ana and Louise. Ana tells Louise to be more careful, especially with the knife. Louise says that everyone gets older and is eventually betrayed by their bodies. As is typical of the young, healthy and beautiful, Ana doesn’t believe it will ever happen to her. Then she takes a good look at Louise and asks if she’s dying. Louise admits that she has lung cancer but Daimon doesn’t know. And she doesn’t want him to know.

Ana wants to know why Louise is waiting to tell him. Because they both hate confrontations. Louise figures he’ll notice when she dies and then Ana can tell him her cause of death. That way he can’t argue with her about her refusal to get treatment. And she won’t have to see the pain in his eyes and know she caused it. She loves him deeply, but Daimon is a lot. Loving him is a big job and doing it on her own has worn her out. She needs to share the load with the rest of the family.

Louise uses the excuse that Daimon already has enough to deal with. OMG, he literally just told her he’d rather deal with more stuff than feel left out because she thought he couldn’t handle something. Ana rightfully tells her that Daimon will never forgive her for leaving him out of the loop again.

This is why Daimon and Louise needed Ana in their lives all along.

Louise says that Henry is the only one she’s told. He said he would be there for her, then disappeared. Louise looks so sad and sweet when she confesses this to Ana, who’s probably the only other person who’s close enough to Henry to understand. And Ana does. She says he’s always been like that with her, too.

Louise explains that Henry has always been torn between two worlds- The Blood and Ana. He wants what’s best for Ana, which would be for her to reconnect with her family, but The Blood want the Helstroms dead.

Louise doesn’t mention to Ana that because Henry was torn between two worlds, he’s had nothing left to give her, so their relationship has remained a loving but distant friendship rather than becoming more.

Ana reveals how worried she is about Henry now that her father’s knife has appeared. She knows that he wouldn’t have given The Blood the knife willingly. Louise thinks that he might have, if they convinced him they were going to use it on Mother.

We already know that isn’t what happened. But I think this also shows that Henry has protected Louise from just how toxic his relationship with The Blood was. Henry would never have trusted The Blood to stop at Mother once they had the knife. The deal he made with Esther was always based on The Blood’s perception that they couldn’t force the issue because they were weaker than Henry and the Helstroms combined. Henry cultivated that perception.

Helstrom S1Ep8 Daimon with Knife & GabriellaHelstrom S1Ep8 Mother with BasarHelstrom S1Ep8 Young Daimon Looks at Broken KnifeHelstrom S1Ep8 Ana & Louise Talk

At the Helstrom family home, Daimon tells Gabriella that his father always picked houses that were a bit isolated, because of his “business”. They debate who should approach the house first, until a realtor puts out an “Open House” sign. Since the house is for sale, they don’t need to make up an elaborate story to get inside.

Finn becomes possessed, as expected. Ahmad assumes it’s Kthara and tells the demon that the new implement he’s carving is for her, as soon as they find some Keeper blood to charge it up. Finn tells them he’s Magoth, escapes from the cage, and ironically uses the carved tool to kill Ahmad and another Blood goon. He also tells them they got Mother’s name wrong.

Magoth has style and a sense of humor, you have to give him that. But I already miss Bryce as his host.

At the Open House, Daimon and Gabby pose as a couple who are house hunting. The realtor has just gotten a roaring fire going in the living room fireplace with real wood. She tells them about that and the nursery upstairs. Daimon pulls Gabby close and says they plan on having a ton of kids. A couple from The Blood are already lurking across the room.

Magoth heads straight to the boat to confer with Mother. He greets Demon Cross as Raum. Mother is happy to see him and praises his previous work. She instructs him and Raum that there are alternative hosts to replace the ones the Helstroms ruined, but they have to get the timing right to secure both.

Louise finds Ana lying on Victoria’s bed in her hospital room. Ana says the room is saturated with Victoria’s energy- not Mother’s. She muses on how Victoria was trapped in a marriage she was tricked into, then trapped in her hospital room for 20 years. “So few moments of freedom in a long life.”

Louise says Father Crow just called Gabriella’s office asking for the local exorcist. He reported a disturbed woman at the docks. Since they already know that Crow was the possessed priest who attacked Gabriella in the confessional, they assume that he’s hoping to lure Daimon to the docks. Ana decides to go in Daimon’s place, figuring that she, Louise and the knife have a pretty good chance against Mother.

Louise argues that Ana and Daimon should go, but Ana reminds her that there’s no way Daimon will be able to help kill Victoria. She and Louise, on the other hand, agree that it’s time, right? But she really will need Louise’s help with the knife.

Daimon and Gabriella hang around the open house, debating what to do about The Blood. Daimon asks the realtor about the neighbor’s barn and tells Gabby he has a plan.

Ana explains that when she touches the knife, she feels the pain and death of every crime her father committed with it. She can help control Victoria/Mother, but Louise will have to be the one to kill her. Louise doesn’t think she can bring herself to take a life.

The stone knife is a demon killer that will “dissipate the energy forever.” Ana argues that Daimon shouldn’t have to do it and if Victoria dies any other way, Mother will be set free to possess someone else. Louise says killing someone would haunt her for the rest of her life, but then realizes that won’t be much longer anyway and gives in. Ana is impressed with the dark path Louise’s thoughts just took.

See, they’re bringing out the best in each other already.

Gabby finds Daimon in the basement, reliving memories of his father using the knife to carve the scar on his chest while Ana hid in a corner where they could see each other.

Strength derived from his psychic connection with Ana may have helped Daimon survive the excess pain and trauma caused by contact with that particular knife. Ana felt the pain Daimon felt when it was used on him, then she felt it again when her father handed her the knife to use on one of his victims. She’ll feel Daimon’s pain all over again every time she holds it, in addition to the pain of her father’s other victims and probably whatever was in her father’s twisted mind as well.

Gabby tells Daimon that The Blood are leaving the Open House. She realizes that it must be difficult for him to spend so long in a house full of painful memories. He says that the memories connected to the main part of the house are basically normal. This house was the place that they lived that felt the most like their real home. His father mostly behaved like a typical dad when he was around, until it all changed.

Gabby feels bad that he has to go through this, but he’s more worried that she’s in danger. She thinks he’s the one that’s in danger. He tells her he’s not in danger- he has his father’s gifts.

Gabby: “But you’re not him. You’re different.”

Daimon: “Part of me is. Part of me isn’t. He knew that. That’s why he left it behind. My scar was a reminder that I was his son. And that I always would be. But the blade was for the future. One half for Ana. One for me. To fulfill our potential.”

What does that mean? What are they supposed to use a demon killing knife for in their work as demons? Can it be used to mark hosts?

Gabriella tells Daimon that he has fulfilled his potential, by understanding the difference between right and wrong and teaching it to others. He replies that he’s also used his abilities on people. She reminds him that he acted in self defense, but he doesn’t think that matters. The Blood attack him because they know he’s dangerous to humans.

Gabriella tries to change the subject. Daimon says he won’t leave without the other half of the knife. If the Blood try to stop him, he’ll show them who he is.

After dark, he digs up a small metal box in the neighbor’s barn. As he works, he remembers a bullying incident that happened at school when he was in Sister Louise’s class. The other kids teased him about his family until his powers accidentally exploded out of him, throwing them across the room and setting a backpack on fire. Young Daimon looks mortified.

We haven’t been shown when Ana and Daimon developed their powers. This could be the first time he used them or he could be afraid because he exposed his powers in public.

As Daimon wipes dirt off the metal box, several member of the Blood surround him. They go at him with clubs and a taser until he’s subdued. They put a Keeper disk on his forehead like the one Taker used on Crow, then look inside the box. All they find is an old toy. Daimon absorbs the disk into his forehead and throws them all into the walls hard enough to knock them out. He says, “You should have let it go. Now I have to make an example of you.”

A similar disk kept Father Cross/Raum unconscious for an hour. This one didn’t even affect Daimon- he let them think he was subdued. He is extremely powerful, as he implied in the previous scene. He’s held back for his entire life, because he chose to be good instead of evil like his father. Now, The Blood, in their infinite stupidity, are pushing him to fully manifest his potential.

Ana and Louise find Mother’s hideout on the boat. Though he sent the text that lured them down to the docks, Cross/Raum stays out of sight while they approach Mother. She hears them coming, but thinks it’s Basar in his new host. As they argue, then scuffle, Mother recognizes the demon killer knife. She turns it around on Louise, then forces Louise to stab Ana in the leg.

Ana feels all of the pain she tried to avoid, until Louise pulls the knife out. It seemed like something else happened to her as well- maybe whatever potential her father hoped the knife would activate in her was activated? But they don’t discuss it. Mother taunts them, encouraging Louise to kill Victoria. Then she retreats and lets Ana’s mother come to the surface. When Ana realizes that her mother still has a chance, she takes the knife from Louise.

She smothers Victoria to death with a pillow, since that will force Mother from her body. She hopes that Victoria can be revived and will no longer be possessed. Louise argues with her that this is insane, but Ana figures that it’s time to try something insane. Just like Daimon, she now wants to save Victoria more than she wants to get rid of Mother forever. Once Ana senses that Mother has left Victoria’s body and her heart has stopped, Louise begins CPR.

It takes a couple of minutes for Victoria to start breathing again. Ana yells at her that she can’t die in such a stupid way after everything she’s been through.

Helstrom S1Ep8 Ana with Knife in LegHelstrom S1Ep8 Daimon & Gabby in BarnHelstrom S1Ep8 The Blood in BarnHelstrom S1Ep8 Esther in Barn

Gabriella discovers Daimon in the barn with The Blood bound, gagged and strung up on nooses. Daimon is telepathically holding them up about 6 feet in the air. She begs him to let them down, but he insists that they only understand extremes, so he’s teaching them a lesson. He suggests that Gabriella wait outside, but she won’t leave. When she flinches because the Blood slip a little, he says that he knew she’d look at him negatively eventually.

Then he calls Esther out of her hiding place, because his show is really for her, and asks if she’s going to beg for her people’s lives. She says she won’t, because he’s just like all of the other demons and he’ll kill them no matter what she does. She asks Gabriella how she can stand to work with Daimon. Gabriella tries to convince Daimon to stop. When that doesn’t work, she picks up a shovel and threatens to hit him in the head. He tells her that’s a bad idea, because it would make him drop The Blood.

Daimon: “You think I’m like my father. And as much as I’ve tried to deny it, you’re absolutely right. but unlike my father I’m also human. Which means I have a power that he never had. ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do.’ [He lets The Blood fall to the ground.] I forgive you. For your prejudice. For your treachery. For your complete and utter stupidity. As far as I’m concerned this war of yours is now over. Stay away from me and my family. And count yourself lucky you came after me and not Ana. Hell hath no fury like my sister.”

This is a breakthrough for Daimon’s ability to trust that he can control himself, but it’s also more evidence of how effectively Henry shielded the rest of the family from The Blood. All Esther is getting from this scene is direct evidence of Daimon’s powers and his willingness of to use them on humans. His words mean nothing to her and they never will. There’s no way Daimon can change the mind of blind prejudice like hers. He’s naive to think he can use reason to unilaterally end a war that the other side is willing to die for.

Daimon breaks the tree of life window on the Helstrom front door so that he can unlock the front door. The knife fragment was hidden up inside the wood burning fireplace, which had a fire in it earlier in the day. Daimon had to wait until evening, when the fire was out and the fireplace cooled off, anyway. It’s an appropriate place for the firestarter to hide this unwelcome connection to his past.

As he and Gabriella drive home, Daimon recalls the aftermath of the incident in Louise’s classroom. He was awash in self-loathing and called himself a monster. Louise said, “No. No such thing,” and hugged him. But from the expressions on their faces it’s clear that neither of them believed her words.

Daimon has probably seen almost any use of his powers, other than exorcism, as wrong since then. The recent fights against The Blood and various demons along with his conversations with Ana might be teaching him that he can use his powers for protection and actively fighting for good more than he realized as a child, without fear of losing control and becoming evil.

Helstrom S1Ep8 Daimon Breaks WindowHelstrom S1Ep8 Sister Louise Hugs Young DaimonHelstrom S1Ep8 Louise Does CPRHelstrom S1Ep8 Victoria Returns

Back at Daimon’s house, he makes sure Gabriella realizes that he was never actually going to hurt The Blood, even if she hadn’t been there. She just wishes he had clued her in to his plan. He didn’t because he knew she wouldn’t go along with it.

He doesn’t say it, but Gabriella’s reactions also added authenticity to the unspoken threat that if Esther doesn’t leave his family alone, he will come after The Blood and he has enough power to make their lives difficult. Daimon tries to make the right choices, but he’s still very much a calculating demon.

Gabriella agrees that she wouldn’t have approved. They relax a little and go over the day, laughing about the things they said to the realtor when they pretended to be a couple. They’re both charmingly shy and awkward when they recall saying they were living in sin and wanted a ton of kids. The nun and the demon aren’t used to considering domesticity.

Daimon wonders what the Vatican would think of her current adventures with a demon. She tells him he’s not a demon and she’s not a nun- yet.

Ana calls to tell him that she and Louise freed Victoria from Mother. Daimon is floored. He offers to come to the hospital, but Ana says Victoria is sedated, so there’s no point in visiting until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Louise realizes she’s freed from the burdens of caring for Victoria/Mother and Daimon’s obsession with freeing her. Mother isn’t around anymore to keep the lung cancer spell up. Now that she’s able to breath again, Louise tells the doctor she wants to go over her treatment options for the cancer. 😂 💖

Daimon tells Gabriella that Victoria is free. He doesn’t know what he feels, because he wanted to be the one who freed her- he thought he owed that to her. Instead, he wasn’t even there. He feels like he gave up on her. Gabby reminds him that he put in 20 years taking care of his mother and never gave up on Victoria or Ana. Ana came back and reconnected with their mother because of him, so he is responsible for saving her. Daimon says that’s a generous way of viewing what happened.

Gabriella continues, telling him that he’s free now, too. He doesn’t have to take care of his mother anymore. The Blood are afraid of him. He can live his own life now. She says she’s happy for him and reaches up to hug him. It turns into a kiss.

Daimon pulls back, saying he doesn’t want to interfere with her vows. She shushes him and dives back in. After another minute, he pulls back again, realizing how he must smell after all that digging in the barn. He decides to take a shower, which will give her a minute to be sure this is what she wants.

Once he’s gone, there’s movement outside. Gabriella gets a headache.

Remember that time, in the hospital hallway, when Spivey/Basar kidnapped Victoria/Mother? But first, he grabbed Gabriella’s head and threw her at a wall? Yeah, that wasn’t a coincidence. Gabriella hasn’t paid attention to the cut on her scalp. Guess she didn’t think it could happen to her, with the Lord protecting her and all.

But she’s naive and has way too much trust that God will protect the faithful. Her positive childhood experience with the exorcist who diagnosed her epilepsy has inflated her belief in their abilities. And now she’s paying the price. To be fair, Mother and Raum played Ana and Louise to get them to free her from Victoria’s body, so she’d be available for this moment.

Mother possesses Gabriella’s body and joins Daimon in the bathroom as he’s finishing his shower.

Awkward.

Daimon figures out what’s happened and tries to exorcise her, but his power still doesn’t work on Mother. She’s still too much older and stronger than him, plus she’s now in a younger, stronger body. Which she’s quick to gloat about. She pulls out the travel size Abdomen Dentata and shoves it into his back as she explains her plans, albeit cryptically.

Maybe now it’s Daimon’s Posterior Dentata.

Gabriella/Mother: “Possession is only so satisfying. I’m tired of just staring at the meat dummies. I want to truly live in this world again. But that is, as they say, a process. [Inserts demon core.] Just let it happen. [Once Basar possesses Daimon.] Almost done. Just one more sacrifice is required.”

They have sex, presumably strictly for procreation. It doesn’t look like anyone is enjoying it. Daimon doesn’t even look like he’s awake.

Helstrom S1Ep8 Daimon & Gabriella KissHelstrom S1Ep8 Mother & Daimon FightHelstrom S1Ep8 Mother Puts Basar in Daimon

Commentary

Basar’s demon core mouth must be what was in the metal box that Keeper demon was holding in the sarcophagus, in the crypt. When Spivey opened the box, either the demon core had enough juice left to jump into him and then he ate the escaped patients or it jumped out, ate the two escaped patients, then worked its way into him. My guess is the latter, since Demon Spivey didn’t leave remains like the ones found in the crypt. Basar’s core must have worked fast. Or maybe Spivey was just that stupid and waited around.

Henry is still missing this episode, but the others have given up on finding him. The Blood don’t seem to have him anymore, so he’s off in whatever third realm he visits occasionally. Reporting to the wizard council? Reporting to the council of benevolent demons? Wherever he is, he didn’t escape from The Blood and rush to help Louise and Ana. They’ve begun helping each other now.

There goes all of Daimon and Gabriella’s development toward self-acceptance and romance, out the window. 

In the last few episodes, Daimon and Ana have each overcome the blocks their father and their trauma placed in them which were holding them back. Both of them overcame their fear that they’re just like their father and overcame their fear that their powers would control them or turn them into him.

Damon was holding himself back because he was afraid he’d use his full strength and power to dominate and hurt others. He gained the confidence to make decisions. Ana was afraid that she’s unlovable and unable to truly love others or that she’ll only hurt those she loves. She realized that Victoria loved her deeply. 

That window was symbolic of either Mother or of Victoria’s mind in the episode where Keeper came after Kthara/Mother. Breaking it so that the door can be unlocked and the last remnant of Mr Helstrom can be removed is a hugely symbolic act. I think the combination of events from the last few episodes has exorcised the demons from this home and all 3 Helstroms.

Ana, Daimon and Victoria have faced their memories associated with the knife and the house. Mother is gone from Victoria’s body. Ana and Victoria are reconciled. Daimon has realized that though he shares his father’s powers, he can control his emotions and desires. He isn’t his father. He’s freed from the self-loathing he’s felt since his father gave him the scar.

Daimon connected all of that to the tree of life, but he hasn’t been able to get the tree of life tattoo to stick. Maybe because his guilt was blocking the connection, which is now open. Maybe because the tree of life is actually a toxic symbol for him, representing what his father wants him to become.

I wonder if the tree of life actually represented Mother. Finn/Magoth called her Mother after telling The Blood they got her name wrong. She’s old and powerful. Maybe Victoria’s nightmare took place inside Mother’s mind. Remember- Raum was on the boat and could have helped stop Ana. Mother was ready to leave Victoria. She lured Ana and Louise to the docks to help her, thinking she was getting Daimon and Gabriella. She still achieved her goal of being freed from Victoria’s body and entering Gabriella. She just had to go find Gabriella and Daimon when they were together later on.

Gabriella is in a bit of denial over who Daimon really is. He’s a good person, but he is a demon. Chris loves Ana, but he accepts who she is and helps her cope with the ramifications rather than trying to change or suppress her. Gabriella is following Louise’s path of trying to forget the demon side exists, which makes sense, since she’s Louise’s chosen successor. But Daimon needs self-acceptance, not more denial.

Images courtesy of Hulu.

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