Previously on Hemlock Grove, ‘Souls on Ice’
Episode 3 begins with two contrasting scenes: The first, from Roman’s perspective shortly after waking up from the concussion he suffered and finding his way down to Annie and Dr. Pryce. Then Shelley’s scene waking up on a couch to find her way to the inhabitants of the Rooster Pit. Roman’s scene is filled with a lot of white and grey, sort of fitting of the man himself while Shelley’s scene really drew me in with the vibrancy of the colors surrounding her – asleep on a floral red and cream couch like Snow White, her coat looking like a velvet robe except she’s not in a fairytale. She’s sleeping in an abandoned building with the displaced people of the town.
There’s nothing seriously wrong with Roman; he just requires bed rest, something he ends up not getting this episode although he tries. Roman’s progression as a character these past three seasons have been quite enjoyable to watch, and this episode showed signs of the growth of Bill Skarsgard as an actor to watch for, especially when it comes to his nuanced facial expressions. Outside of Roman’s health we find out that Annie also brought Pryce the dead body of the Upir that attacked Roman, and we find out there’s a cancer embedded with a parasite forcing the Upir community to their own kind.
While attempting to follow Dr. Pryce’s order of rest and relaxation, Annie finds a book of Roman’s notes on Dr. Spivak with a drawing of him in all his winged glory. I love how they are using Annie’s presence this season to educate us more on what Roman is, without making it obvious. Especially since, like Roman, we’ve been largely unaware of what an Upir is due to Olivia’s lack of parenting.
Roman being called a baby Upir when visiting Annie’s friends was not only adorable, but encompasses everything about the afternoon he spends with Annie’s friends. We learn more about Upir lore and how Spivak is a Jormungandr: a creature that represents the coming end of days and a past predator of the Upir. Nate compares the Upir and the Jormungandr to the Neanderthals and Homosapiens – only one can survive. And then Nate takes the info sharing session one step too far and reveals that the Jormungandr’s meal plan includes babies. This immediately puts Roman on edge because of Nadia, but Nate is unaware of this. The lovely afternoon soon transforms into a nightmare when Nate’s ex, Hannah, stops by uninvited and we learn that she and her family have been infected by a vampire tumor introduced to us by Dr. Pryce.
I loved the interaction with the crew while hiding in a barn. Hannah and Nate take shots at each other, because even in the face of oncoming death, exes can be petty. Another thing I loved about this was Roman being vulnerable with Annie and letting her in on the whole Letha/Nadia drama that is his life, something he hasn’t even thought to tell Peter. The funniest moment this episode came when Nate runs away and doesn’t try to help Annie and Roman. He runs away like a coward only to be killed 30 seconds later. I uttered, “Good for him,” but then realized he was the one with all the information on the Jormungandr a.k.a. Dr. Spivak and good for him was quickly followed by, “Fuck.”
Shelley’s storyline this episode, although limited, was effective as she is also trying to find herself in the madness that is Hemlock Grove. She meets a man by the name of Aitor Quantic (That name is a mouthful) One of the only people outside of Shelley’s immediate circle who is not intimidated by her to the point of touching her face and telling her “I find your whole gestalt cool and unexpected” – I have no idea what he’s up to and found it hard to read him. I hope he means well. Shelley is so starved for love and can be easily taken advantage of.
Peter is off dealing with werewolf business and Andreas’ new plan to steal guns and heroin from a police drop site. I’m starting to think Andreas wakes up every morning with a bad idea and plans his day around that. This is something Peter points out as it involves Dee. Andreas flips out on Peter, but quickly puts a leash on his wolf. It sucked that when Peter cautions Dee regarding Andreas, she puts it off as his insecurity and we find out that she’s only been with Andreas for TWO months! And good for Peter for pointing out that Dee is the best at reading people and now I’m wondering if Andreas has blocked her being able to read him, or if he’s just really good in bed.
Dr. Pryce who continues to loose his mind is actually the only character that brings something valuable to the table. We learn more from his autopsy on the vampire and the video Olivia’s PI uncovered in his search history. A pattern is emerging on what is happening, although the who of it remains a mystery, but I do think it is connected to whatever is in Spivak’s basement.
By the end of the episode, Roman’s storyline merges with Olivia, who continues to undermine him for his daughter Nadia through the PI she’s hired. A PI with really bad boundary issues who keeps getting too close for Olivia’s comfort. After she snoops around Dr. Pryce’s search history she finds old video footage of lab rats being used in experimentations akin to the current Upir outbreak – the rats in the video having been engineered to attack other rats until death. And the episode ends with a look on Olivia’s face that we haven’t seen since she thought she was going to die: fear.
Hemlock Grove S3E3
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