Previously on Hemlock Grove, ‘Damascus’
We have finally reached the end of the road with Hemlock Grove, and oh boy, was it a sendoff – the culmination of three seasons with angst, torture, gore, and everyone dies. That’s it folks, nothing else to see, you can leave now.
As a complete story, Hemlock Grove falls short, but when seen as individual acts it had good moments. It was never able to transcend into true TV greatness. As one of Netflix’s earliest offerings of original series to binge watch, I had assumed more care would be taken. But with the budget being slashed two seasons in a row, you can tell the effects and writing department took a hit, although I don’t think budget issues should affect the ability to tell a good story.
One of the things I don’t understand about the last couple of episodes of this season is why all of a sudden Peter believes Roman is a danger to all simply at Annie’s insistence. It seems a stretch that even with knowing Roman killed Dee, Peter wouldn’t even try to talk it out. This was more believable in season one when both were unknown to each other.
As Peter lays buried and dying he has a vision of Dee. Later, when Roman discovers his missing body it sets of a chain reaction. The two friends are now mortal enemies, and we have to believe that even though Roman just helped him with Andrea’s body a few episodes ago.
What follows is a lackluster battle for supremacy that ends with Roman pushed out the window. Broken, he begs Peter to end it after pointing out the fact that Peter will now be stuck as a wolf forever. This fight was such a yawn. I enjoyed Peters transformation, but the fact that it was over in less than a minute left a lot to be desired.
Shelley throws Pryce a very fancy Buddhist wake within 12 hours of his death. How were they able to pull it off that quickly? This made me wonder if the intro was added after the fact.
While Shelley says her own goodbye to the Rooster Pit, Annie comes by and drops off Nadia, introducing her to Shelley as her niece. This is followed by Aitor Quantic, who arrives laying his heart bare. And the only people (aside from Blinksy, of course) who deserved to live, ride off into the sunset with a bag full of cash and baby Nadia.
And from this happy little scene people begin to die one by one with Annie being the first to go. Olivia, fully crazy at this point, first tries to kidnap Roman unsuccessfully, and we see his true distaste for her released. Annie is stupid enough to find herself alone with Olivia only to be attacked and kidnapped by her in order to transfer her consciousness. All these beings are centuries old, yet they lack the ability to read people.
After finding out about the recent events surrounding Pryce’s death, Olivia settles for Blinksy by threatening the life of his daughter. Through a combination of heroics and stupidity Blinksy gets Annie away from Olivia, which only delays the inevitability of the situation.
Famke Jannsen’s portrayal of Olivia Godfrey was goddamn beautiful. Between her flashes with Chango, to her time on the stage with the moments of lucidity that peak through, she was mesmerizing. Her interactions with her son leads her to the daughter she never wanted to know and her final act.
It was surprising to see how far Annie took her faith. More time should have been spent time on that, maybe showcasing others like her. Despite it, though, Annie would rather kill herself than submit her body to Olivia, and in one of the coolest / heartbreaking scenes, Olivia Godfrey watches her daughter die in front of her. As she cradles Annie’s charred remains, she peels the skin of her arm with her own teeth. Imagining a room full of people adoring her she bows her head and the curtain closes. We are left with a quote befitting the one thing Olivia could never understand that “Being loved isn’t about you.” Her fears regarding that thought is what we’ve seen manifest through her actions since season one, and while that makes for a great villain it also makes for a pretty shitty person. RIP Olivia Godfrey.
Hemlock Grove S3E10
Overall, it was a solid finale, I can see why some were not happy with it, though. After a long hiatus expectations were high. But I liked a lot of the performances we saw, especially with Pryce, Olivia, and Chango, who all went through transformative experiences that lead to their deaths. I do wonder what the story might been if some of the conflict had been resolved. The little surprise at the end with Spivak’s water baby was a nice touch, but I doubt we’ll see another incarnation of Hemlock Grove any time soon.