It’s 8 AM on Saturday, so of course I have set myself up in bed with lots of coffee, a couple dogs, and season two of Hemlock Grove, the wonderful, terrible Netflix series about vampires, werewolves, and Swedish younger siblings.
Chock full of gore, fucked up sex, and the glorious Famke Janssen in the best outfits ever, the first season was based on the YA novel of the same name, which I also read because it’s not like I have anything else to do. But season one of the show covered everything in the book (and then some), with only a few (but significant!) variations.
So what’s the second season going to cover? Beats me, I avoid spoilers for things I’m psyched about, and the second season trailer, while certainly thrilling
didn’t really say much.
Released at 12 AM Friday, far bigger nerds than I have probably already liveblogged and recapped the hell out of the second season, which, good for them! But being late to the game never stopped me, as you can tell from my wardrobe. So here we go! Spoilers ahead, duh.
8:39 AM Episode One: Blood Pressure
So we have a self-flagellating The Strangers imitator in Massachusetts, a gypsy funeral in Ohio (of course), and apparently Peter’s (werewolf guy) psychic cousin is too classy to change clothes while driving, a skill acquired by pretty much anyone who’s every worked fast food, but she doesn’t wipe off after she pees. Maybe that’s a gypsy thing,
First sex scene (kitchen, standing, against the sink), 10:45. Interrupted by a bunch of asshole Ohio cops who bust in, arrest Lili Taylor on RICO charges because apparently she is Shrimp Boy or something, and she’s been extradited back to, SURPRISE, Hemlock Grove!
Now we’re at a Godfrey (basically if Genentech were run by the supernatural beings with amazing taste in decor) board meeting, where Roman (vampire guy, played by Alex Skarsgard’s brother Bill, yes his name is Bill) is going all Bruce Wayne on the old guys, saying that the biotech firm should do dick enhancement, then goes to pee in a group bathroom, like he wouldn’t have a private throne?! Sure.
Famke! She’s not dead after all (“clinically dead and in a coma for two months”), though you might have expected her to be because it really seemed like Roman killed her last season. She does have some nasty stitches where Johann, the creepy doctor guy sewed her tongue back in. You can tell she’s still not at 100% because her hair’s flat.
Oh, and she says that Roman must be “hungry” by now, so that’s why we get this lovely scene:
Dude, it’s cool, it’s paleo.
Maybe the lack of carbs is why Roman is so crabby when Peter comes to see him in his Rachel Zoeesque modern box of a home. You’ll have to get money for Lili Taylor’s lawyer elsewhere, Peter, Roman’s still weepy because you left town after his cousin/half-sister/baby mama died and his other sister disappeared (after killing a bad werewolf and getting shot, natch).
Ugh I have no interest in the relationship between Famke and Dougray Scott (her brother-in-law, lover, and Roman’s dad), who struggles more to retain an American accent that I do to do a pull-up, and with similar levels of success.
OK, this is actually brilliant! In an effort to get money for Linda’s (that’s Lili Taylor’s) defense, Peter pretends to make a eye-dropper-administered hallucinogenic he pitches to a couple cash-toting thugs. But it’s not really a drug at all: they take the dose, Peter transforms halfway into a wolf (which, on HG, is especially gruesome), the thugs assume they’re having an amazing drug-induced hallucination, and they buy the lot from him.
But, oh no, he turned on the “wrong moon,” which could make him a bad wolf, too. Maybe that’s why he just had weird The Ringish dreams of the The Strangers guy, serpents (the Ouroboros was a heavy season one theme), and an overpass. Infrastructure=scary.
Meanwhile, back at Godfrey, creepy doctor visits a lovely young women encased in one of those Empire Strikes Back/Resident Evil 2/Alien 4 fluid tubes. She’s approaches “extra-uterine viability.” Oddly, we do not see her breasts.
Peter’s getting a job working for Templar’s (like knights of the, I assume?) a bigoted taxidermy/tow truck proprietorship. Roman eats leeches and goes clubbing, then thinks the better of it, so he goes back to his Dollhouse set of a house and, behind two locked doors and past a nanny, visits a baby I assume is the product of his unwitting incestuous relations with his late half sister/Peter’s girlfriend, the same baby Famke wanted him to eat in the finale of season one (and that Dougray Scott thinks is dead).
Then this song plays:
For some reason, Netflix insisted on starting to play season one, episode two, which helped me realize that Bill Skarsgard’s American accent is so much better! IN S1E2, he sounded like a freakin’ IKEA commercial. Good work, Bill.
So, Roman meets up with a sex worker who has an abusive spouse/pimp. Roman opts out of biting her, and tears a chunk out of her husband, who tries to staunch his wound with a pillowcase. That seems sanitary.
Then we see a septum-pierced blonde driving through town. Am I supposed to know who this Miranda person is? She looks like Brogan-who-wasn’t on the season finale of this season of Catfish. While heading down one of those slick Hemlock roads, she gets that classic surprise driver ramming her from the side thing, then shows up at Roman’s Human Centipad asking to use the phone…to call a tow truck. I see where this is going!
Linda’s in solitary because she assaulted a guard. so Peter can’t visit her and is pissed. I start to worry that we’re not going to see much Lili Taylor this time around, which would blow.
Oh, no! Famke’s developed empathy, which means she’s not her usual psycho self. She has a nice home gym, from which exposition is exposited.
Damage from Miranda’s collision comes to $3200, we learn as she sits at Templar’s car repair, and she’s been driving without insurance. Peter, who never met a blonde he didn’t want to bone, says some shit about trying to find “used parts” to do the repair, as if the biggest bottom line on every car repair is ANYTHING besides labor.
Famke visits Roman at work, where she tells him the usual shit about “growing thirst,” and he gets mad because the lunch his minions serve him contains cooked, not raw, liver. Then she goes to see what they’re cooking up in the lab, and impales some bad digital crawly thing with her cane.
Back at home, Roman’s baby won’t stop crying, maybe because she has the gloomiest nanny ever. Or maybe the baby is crying because broke-ass Miranda is moving in until her car is fixed, yay! But not really yay, because so far, Miranda is a steaming pile of Hot Topic bullshit. Like, she mansplains Lord Byron to Roman. Come on, junior year abroad, step it up.
Speaking of poor people, Peter and his cousin are renting an apartment with a bathroom the size of my whole house. Which, I guess, makes it a good place to take some psychic drug, hallucinate some snakes, and barf up a bunch of black stuff in an effort to figure out why Peter is having weird dreams. How do you know when your dreams are weird when you’re a werewolf who’s in a quarrel with a vampire?
Drunk Dougray Scott interrogates the creepy doctor on why his daughter died. Kind of a nothing scene, save for the sentence “get ready for a subpoena shitstorm”!
Horrible Miranda’s boobs at 44:42, along with a bunch of shitty tattoos (because she’s alternative!), as she gets ready to take a steamy shower. Roman watches her through the door, because he’s a weirdo, if you hadn’t noticed. Please kill her Roman, please.
The guys in The Strangers masks (remember them?) garrote some random drunk guy in the woods.
Peter goes to this trailer park he’s been seeing in his dreams.Nothing happens. Famke waters her plants. Roman drinks his horse’s blood. This song plays
I let out a cheer at the sight of Shelley (and yet, Roman says he doesn’t know who Byron is?), Roman’s mutant sister and my favorite character in the book. I love Shelley! She’s being chased by a wolf who may be the big bad from season one, a little girl who, by choice, became an evil wolf, was killed, and appears to have just dug herself out of her grave.
So Roman and Peter are both having those creepy dreams, which is why they bump into each other at the trailer park (which appears to be near where the drunk got killed by The Strangers), right after a mom tells Peter to stop skulking around. Bill’s Swedish accent is back. Boo, Bill.
The next morning, Shelley grabs the wolf, and in a remarkably gory scene even for this show, rips off its head then splits it at the muzzle. It’s still not dead, its heart keep pumping. I assume that this will be relevant later.
Elsewhere, Peter goes back to the trailer park, and discovers that the mom he saw last night killed her kid and herself — or did she? Peter thinks it was The Strangers.
Peter’s still having health issues over his badly timed turn. He manages this issue by drinking at dawn. But terrible Miranda wants to hang out with him because she’s getting bored in Roman’s gorgeous mansion. This is why you’re poor, Miranda, you don’t appreciate nice things.
Roman’s at work getting turned on by some surgery videos, then harasses some assistant who’s reading The Story of O at work, cover held proudly aloft. He decides to go visit the lab, which doesn’t seem to be doing anything too weird. Roman seems bummed.
Bad timing! Linda calls from the slammer while Peter’s on his boredom date with horrible Miranda. We don’t even hear Lili Taylor’s voice. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS.
Oh, geez, I totally forgot about the whole Order of the Dragon vampire killing religious people thing. BORING.
In one dilapidated place, Shelley meets a little kid who gives her an apple. In another, the increasingly-comical drug-buying thugs realize they’ve been had. Their boss kills a pig in front of them to let them know he’s a bad guy. Watch out Peter!
Poor creepy doctor Johann. First he gets served, then Roman is a shit to him about his lab. Bad day at work! So he calls the head order of the dragon priest, who isn’t terribly sympathetic. Then he heads back to the lab where they keep tube girl, who is still in her tube.
Peter wants to talk terrible Miranda into a tarot reading, so they go back to his place. Awful Miranda jumps his bones as soon as they get in the door, and we get another look at those tattoos and boobs. She cries after sex, which is totally a guy’s favorite thing for a girl to do but does seem very Miranda. Maybe we are supposed to hate her.
Ohhhhh OK, so the order of the dragon guy is also Hemlock Grove’s new sheriff (remember how the old one blew himself up after the bad wolf killed his daughters?). He’s got a big Crazy Wall with, like, a magazine that says Biotech Billionaire with a picture of Roman at his most loony looking, and surveillance shots of Famke where she looks like a million bucks.
Another bad dream for Peter and Roman, The Strangers are going to run over a kid on a trike. Will these bumblers be able to stop it? Dubious.
Shelley’s still in her basement, her little buddy comes back by in the middle of the night to help her with her yucky fingers. It’s cool, he has a yucky toe.
But forget all that, because, earlier today Dougray Scott’s ex-wife stopped by Famke’s to tell her off, and Famke killed her, then texted Dougray to come over and bang her. The ex’s body is in the tub, which, it seems like Dougray could easily find it, but oh well. Then this song plays
Two horny teens (?) stumble across a torn up body. Don’t worry, it’s just the remains of the reanimated bad wolf torn apart by Shelley last episode.
Stupid Dougray Scott storms into Godfrey and accuses Dr. Creepy of disappearing his ex, because she named him in a wrongful-death lawsuit she filed over the death of their daughter. Whoops, dude, you actually banged the doer. Embarrassing!
Miranda walk of shames it back to Roman’s, who is appropriately slut shamey over her absence, then almost drinks the shit out of her. He storms out, and into Dougray, who says bad wolf girl’s grave was desecrated and her body was found mutilated. “They’re saying it’s Shelley,” Dougray said. No shit, Dougray.
The thugs show up at Peter’s, which he should have expected since he originally had them over TO HIS HOUSE when he scammed them. They start beating him up, and he turns by, like, 5% and gets super strong, which, interesting. Presumably this is related to the wrong moon changing thing. But don’t worry, a little booze will cure that!
OH my god, Roman has three washer/driers at his house. Heaven! But even that isn’t enough to prevent him from throwing a Joan Crawford level hissyfit when the Story of O assistant hands him an iPad that’s missing the blueprint for the Secret Lab level. Smashing the iPad, Roman shrieks “I’m running a business here, not a day care for fucktards!” and does this crazy hand thing as he tosses, maybe, a pen at the hapless assistant dude. It’s pretty great.
But it gets him dinged by HR, who tells him he has to leave the building for a “deescalation period” and to take an anger management class. Ha.
Peter’s hitting the road to try to find trike kid, who is set to get creamed by The Strangers in moments. In a well-done sequence of genuine tension (because you know they’d go there!) Peter narrowly stops the bad guys from smearing the kid (riding a very Shining trike) all over the pavement. He tells the kid’s mom they’ve been targeted and that they need to leave town. She, understandably, freaks.
Does Roman’s baby need breast milk? She apparently hadn’t been eating well, and Miranda, who’s been hanging out on the landing outside the baby’s padded cell, starts leaking from the nipple. We get a long scene in the bathroom where we see it all, drip drip. Miranda is freaked out, packs her shit…then walks up to the baby’s room, enters the code, and enters. They both smile. If you don’t knwo what’s coming next you are in Roman’s fucktard day care, that is all.
Sheriff Order of the Dragon visits Famke and Dougray separately, telling them both that Dougray’s ex is missing, and that her car was found wiped clean of prints. We’re reminded that the new sheriff is the brother of the late “fish and game” woman Famke killed last season. He also takes Peter in, bitches him out over scaring trike kid’s mom, and leaves him to stew in the interrogation room.
The bumbling thugs return to Evil Boss HQ, where the evil boss is watching classic cartoons, as evil people almost always do in TV/movies. He tells the thugs to take their clothes off. Next time we see them, they’re clad only in socks, are hogtied and gagged, and evil boss is laying out torture stuff. He switches to a nature show, and pan to screen as a zebra is eaten by lions and he removes one of each of their balls.
Dougray Scott emails Shelley, warning her that the cops are after her. But she doesn’t have wifi in her basement with weird toe kid, who we realize has crappy parents who are mean to him. I know you’re surprised at this, since he spends all his free time with a mute giant monster girl in an abandoned house’s basement.
Peter follows a homeless guy into an encampment, then attacks him, not realizing that ALL THE OTHER HOMELESS PEOPLE would object to this. He distracts them by throwing a wad of bills in the air, then strides out as the sheriff watches. Keep it classy, Hemlock Grove.
Peter, who’s still being detained, has another dream/vision. It sounds bad.
Roman gets home, goes to check on the baby, and finds stupid Miranda nursing it, to no one’s surprise. Then “All Hallows Eve” by The Ultimate Bearhug (non-YouTubable!) plays, and roll credits!
I am disappointed to realize that a cold open in which Roman chews off Miranda’s head is actually a fantasy. Oh well.
“Guest starring Lili Taylor” yes!
So Miranda, which basically seems to never be planning on leaving chez Roman, wants answers about the “baby bunker” and why she’s lactating. She’s freaking out because she thinks she might have “the death gene,” which suggests she never took a science class. (To be clear, I like Madeline Brewer, who plays Miranda, a lot — don’t you remember how great she was on Orange Is The New Black? But Miranda is a goober, which is not Brewer’s fault.) Roman says he’ll pay for her to go to some old doctor, and one of his staff will drive her. Roman, why are you letting this junkbird squat at your house??
Basement kid shows up with a fucking TREO so “we can play a game.” I was going to make a crack like “who still has one of those sitting around” then I realized I have one in my junk closet right now. God I need to have a yard sale. Shelley uses it to email Dougray Scott and tells him that she loves him, but that he can’t help her.
Roman, whose “deescalation period” was apparently only for the afternoon, is back at work and gets a note telling him how to get to the secret lab. He ends up in front of tube girl, which, as I had been idly wondering, Roman apparently briefly saw at the end of last season before forgetting (?!?) about it? You still don’t see her boobs.
But Johann shows up (did he leave the note?) and tells Roman he has the cure for his vampire sickness. He even has a dispenser for the bloody glop (my husband: “so, did he basically just make True Blood?”) then hands it to Roman saying “right now you feel like Jesus’ son.”
Roman fails to acknowledge the Velvet Underground (or Denis Johnson? Who knows what Johann is thinking) reference, and does this instead.
The Hemlock Grove doctor, who is wonderful and nicer than any doctor I have seen IN MY LIFE, tells Miranda there’s nothing wrong with her, she’s just reacting oddly to being around a baby (Don’t scoff, it happens), which Miranda told him about though Roman asked her not to. Miranda sucks!
Jail time! Linda’s getting transferred, and Peter’s a dick, which Destiny (that’s the cousin) attributes to the inappropriate wolfing.
Bad news for Famke! She’s aging at an accelerated rate, says Johann, who also tells her about how Roman went bonkers and tried to drink everything.
Top cheffery! Destiny makes something with frog sweat, right before we see Linda hitting the road with two asshole corrections officers., who start hallucinating digital spiders all over the place. The COs take off, just as Linda’s family shows up to bust her out — Destiny apparently dosed the the door handles and sent the guards on a trip. Which, why didn’t Peter just make that shit for the now momo-balled drug thugs, you know? Anyway, Linda’s out of jail.
Oh my fucking god. Famke’s feeling bummed about getting old, so she goes to a karaoke bar. Please god let her sing. YES! She sings this song about ripping a dog’s guts out (googling lyrics got me nothing, any ideas?), which is disappointing because I was hoping for One Way Or Another, like that one episode of Veronica Mars.
Roman tells Miranda the abridged story of how he ended up with the baby, leaving out the part about how the mom was his half-sister. Somehow, the conversation softened Miranda up, and next thing you know they’re banging. Wow, Miranda sure gets around.
WHAT. Now they’re sending Lili Taylor back to Bucharest. THIS IS BULLSHIT. Lili don’t go!!! And she tells Peter the people of Hemlock Grove need him and he has to stay in this dumpy town. BULLSHIT PART TWO.
Ohhhh no. Here’s trike kid’s mom, in Toronto. We start seeing things from Peter’s most recent vision. This is terrible! And, yes, The Strangers get them, as the sheriff tells Peter, before admitting that he’s familiar with weird stuff. Are they going to pair up? I might be cool with that.
OK, Roman’s really losing it. He shows up at Creepy Dr. Johan’s bedroom at the top of the Godfrey tower, where Johann sleeps in a sparkly gel mask.
Roman’s basically ready to off himself, he can’t take being a vampire any more. Johann has an idea, but it might suck (ha ha get it). Then this song plays