Helstrom Season 1 Episode 2: Viaticum Recap

Helstrom S1Ep2 Ana in Hospital Hall

In episode 2, the Helstrom siblings begin to hash out their long standing differences, with Hastings as mediator. Ana spends some quality time with Mother while Chris and the Keeper skull get to know each other. Daimon performs an exorcism after a demon causes a fatal car accident. Gabriella and Daimon work together with new understanding. Taker meets with the leader of a mysterious group that’s hostile to the Helstroms.

Maybe we need to keep an eye on Taker.

Recap

Twenty years ago, Young Ana sat in the car listening to the Cranberries “Ode to My Family” while her father dragged the body of one of his victims from the trunk of the car to the hole he’d dug for her burial. Anna was facing the other way, but she could see what he was doing in the car’s side view mirror.

Yesterday, in San Francisco, she glimpsed a man dragging a checked blanket down an alley. It reminded her of her father and the checked blanket the body was wrapped in. She was on the phone with Yen at the time, who said the client gets to have a say in their business because he has money and now his “incredibly pretentious installation on ‘trans-generational trauma’ will be a week late…”

She hangs up on Yen because she gets a call from Taker, who asks when she last spoke to her mother. He tells her that the bodies in the crypt were from St Teresa’s Hospital. Ana is standing in front of a floral display. The flowers all instantaneously shrivel and die.

Speaking of transgenerational trauma, Ana’s triggers are coming at her fast and furious this week.

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Helstrom Season 1 Episode 1: Mother’s Little Helpers Recap

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Review of Entire Season HERE

It was a dark and stormy night…

Okay, it’s Portland, so that’s not a unique situation. We’re starting this show by staring straight up at the exterior of an imposing stone hospital during a thunderstorm, so someone’s brushed up on their horror tropes. This is the Saint Teresa Center for Mental Health, an honest to goodness mental asylum where a demon lives in a woman who lives in an empty padded cell that’s basically a vault, like it’s 1920 instead of 2020. As soon as the Trump era is over and we have some standards again, someone should report this place.

TV World does love an outdated mental ward. For the sake of telling a dramatic story, let’s pretend that isn’t offensive. To some extent, this show mirrors the look and feel of the Netflix MCU’s gritty, worn, slightly retro style, even though it takes place on the West Coast rather than NYC. Theoretically, Helstrom is not in that universe, but I caught a few visual references. Others caught newspaper references to the wider MCU.

Thematically, Helstrom also follows in the footsteps of the Netflix MCU by examining the Helstrom family’s trauma, loss, mental illness and ongoing recovery, but also, more subtly, focusing on the complicated nature of privilege. As opposed to the MCU’s broad methods, Helstrom uses subtle, quiet methods to show how characters who were born with their powers, but are passing as humans, can inadvertently use them to take advantage of others, regardless of their intentions. There are no Tony Starks here.

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Helstrom Season 1 Review

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Marvel’s Helstrom is about a dysfunctional family with certain issues that run in the family. These issues are serious and sometimes spread to those around them, so various authorities and agencies have been involved with the family for decades. Thanks to these interventions, the younger members of the family are doing better than their elders. The kids struggle with a weaker version of the same issues, though, which can become harmful to those around them if everyone involved doesn’t keep their guard up.

What are the Helstrom family issues, you ask? HIV? Or perhaps alcoholism/drug addiction leading to violent abuse?

Not exactly.

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Movie Review- Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror

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Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror * 2019 * Not Rated (Suggested 16+) * 1 Hour 23 Minutes

😸😸😸😸😸 5/5 Happy Lap Cats

Horror Noire is a documentary feature film that traces traces the history of African-American people in horror settings, starting with the 1915 film Birth of a Nation, which used white actors in blackface to portray the African-American characters. Horror Noire continues to cover the history of African-American involvement in horror films in front of and behind the camera up to the time of the film’s completion, including the 2017 film Get Out, which was written and directed by Jordan Peele, who went on to work on a Twilight Zone reboot and HBO’s Lovecraft Country.

Though it had a theatrical premiere, Horror Noire is normally available exclusively on the Shudder network. It’s currently included free with Amazon Prime membership until 10/31/20. The film is based on the 2011 book Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman, PhD. The documentary was directed by Xavier Burgin, produced and written by Ashlee Blackwell and Danielle Burrows, with cinematography by Mario Rodriguez, for Stage 3 Productions.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 10: 994 Cars Long

Snowpiercer S1Ep10 Layton Till & Ruth

In episode 10, we reach the end of Snowpiercer’s season 1 revolution. The train hasn’t completed a full revolution across the Earth’s surface this season, but maybe we’ll make it the rest of the way in S2. S1 began with Snowpiercer somewhere between Alaska and Vancouver, BC, CA, then followed the train down through South America. It ends as the train approaches its own Mile Zero in Chicago. The train slows down and marks this moment on every revolution, because it’s where the passengers lives were saved but at the same time many, many other lives were lost.

It’s also where Melanie pirated the train from Mr Wilford more than 7 years ago. This is their first time passing through Chicago when everyone on the train knows it. As First and Second are mired in post revolution chaos, Third and the Tail enjoy the freedom to slow down and explore the entire train, rather than just struggle to survive. But a few Wilford diehards haven’t given up hope that their demi-god is alive and out there somewhere.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 9: The Train Demanded Blood Recap

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In Snowpiercer’s penultimate episode of the season, the train’s class war ends and power is transferred to a new regime, but not before more intrigue and tragedy occur, turning the tables around and then around again. Layton and the engineers pull off a daring feat to win the day. It’s a tightly constructed episode that’s one of the best of the season.

Recap

Melanie gets the opening voiceover:

“I thought I could let him go. Over time, with miles traveled, I thought I could strip Wilford away. Shed his rules one by one, and finally, his mask, until he was just a logo on the wall… I thought I could create a kinder, gentler world, but the train demanded otherwise. The train demanded blood… I fed her. And now they will. Until we reach our final destination, everyone the same in pain and doubt. Holding our losses close, on Snowpiercer, 1,001 cars long.”

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Hanna Season 2 Episode 2: The Trial Recap

Amazon Studios, Prime Video, Christopher Raphael

Episode 2 finds Marissa working at an office in Paris while keeping Hanna stowed away in an apartment and making plans to move her permanently to Canada. Shockingly, Hanna makes other plans.

Carmichael brings Clara to The Meadows. She reconnects with Sandy and Jules and figures out exactly who pointed Carmichael toward her mother. With her name changed to Clemency, 249/Clara observes her new environment and takes action, then observes some more. Terri and Leo both step in to help her adjust to her new life.

Jules and Sandy sink deeper into their new personas while also soaking up their political and tactical training. Sandy learns that she enjoys acting as a big sister to the other girls, while Jules delves into literature and philosophy that asks questions about society and identity.

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Hanna Season 2 Episode 1: Safe Recap

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Hanna, the series based on the 2011 film of the same name, returns for its second 8 episode season on Prime Video. Season 2 picks up not long after the end of season 1 and follows Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) and her new sister, Clara (Yasmin Monet Prince), as they try to survive on their own in the Romanian forest without Hanna’s adopted father, Erik (Joel Kinnaman).

S1 Big Bad Marissa (Mireille Enos) is still involved with Utrax and is soon brought back into Hanna’s orbit. She’s also asked to consult in the new school that the rest of the Utrax trainees have been taken to, where they undergo socialization training so they can blend in when deployed as assassins. The trainees are given new identities and carefully managed by John Carmichael (Dermot Mulroney), the director of The Meadows, and his team of operatives.

While S2 still has plenty of action and movement across Europe, it’s focus is on the characters’ struggles with their identities and finding (or holding onto) their places in the world. S1 introduced us to Hanna when she was new to the outside world, as she struggled to make sense of herself  and the urban forest environment she was plunged into, while wars were fought around her and over her.

In S2, Hanna understands her own abilities and history, at least according to Erik’s perspective. Now she’s discovering for her herself how she might fit into the world outside the forest. Marissa goes through a similar struggle as she continues to dig deeper into the truth about Utrax. She faces more decisions about what she’s willing to live with and what she needs to fight for. 

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 10: The Horpus Horrendous Recap

Reprisal S1E10 Queenie & Katherine

In episode 10, the final episode of the season and series, the characters come to terms with who they are and the choices they’ve made, then meet their fates head on. Katherine and Burt have a face to face meeting. Joel and Bru have a violent confrontation with Jukes and the Ghouls over a high stakes hostage. Matty learns the truth about Ethan. As suspected, Johnson figured it out a while ago.

Recap

The finale opens with a flashback to Katherine Harlow’s memories of Burt returning to the family home after a long absence. 12 year old Katherine stands in front of the house as it burns down. Burt set fire to the homestead and murdered their abusive, alcoholic father. With their father’s blood still on his hands, Burt convinces Katherine to come join him and the Banished Brawlers at the Bang-A-Rang, where she’ll be loved and find her true home. 

Cut to many years later, when Burt, Bash and Joel dragged Katherine behind a truck for miles and left her for dead, while framing her for betrayals and murders she didn’t commit. Katherine lies in the grass, unconscious, bloody and bruised. This is the act that began the series.

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