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Hemlock Grove – S3E9 – Damascus

Previously on Hemlock Grove, ‘Dire Night on the Worm Moon’

As we approach the end of the final season of Hemlock Grove it is, of course, natural to assume storylines will begin to wrap up. This episode is proof of that, but the simplistic way it ties up some of the storylines leaves a lot to be desired.

Alex Hernandez’s portrayal of Isaac / Chango has been one of the most enjoyable parts of season 3. He exudes charm and he’s done a great job of playing two distinct characters. As the perfect mirror image of Olivia’s subconscious, he continues to show the viewers the parts of her decision making process that we do not always get to witness. Such as what outfit one wears on the day they’ve finally decided to kill their son. And we see all that complexity boiled down when Chango replies “This is not a moral dilemma. This is survival. Your life or his. What’s the question?”

olivia and isaac

Questions? How does Olivia continue to know where Shelley is at any given time, especially without the use of a P.I.?

Olivia arrives at Roman’s and upon seeing he’s on his way out, she shifts to Shelley as a temporary host until she is able to pin down either Roman or Annie. Poor, poor Shelley. This season started with her at such a low point in her life with Norman’s death and new Shelley’s destruction, she was one step away from broken. With Aitor leaving she finally breaks. After allowing herself to feel safe, she is left more vulnerable than ever and at that moment, Olivia digs in her claws to get her to consent to being her host body. Pryce draws the line, thankfully, as his affection for Shelley has been a true constant since season 1.

But regardless of Olivia’s machinations Shelley is still broken and no matter what Pryce says to her after her suicide attempt she remains unconvinced that ending her life is not the right answer. Pryce shows her the tape of Olivia ripping Norman’s heart out of his chest. Almost choking the life out of her mother (long overdue), Shelley releases Olivia, who hurls epithets at Pryce and Shelley, is dragged away by guards. Very reminiscent of the scene when Andreas curses Peter as he too is dragged to his death.

For once the big bad dragon has been slayed, but that is when things take a left turn. Pryce gets ready for his date and we are about to see who he’s been talking to on the other end of the phone when he’s interrupted by Blinksy’s announcement that the Russian delivery guy is – once again – in the lobby. While in the examination room, Pryce’s consciousness again takes hold of the delivery guy. Between their closeness to the medical instruments and the tension in the scene itself, when he ends up stabbing Pryce over and over again, although terrible to watch, it was expected from the buildup throughout the episode.

pryces end

And as Pryce lays dying, Shelley discovers him, and later delivers his last words to Randolph, who was the biggest surprise to me this episode. After a season with seeing him surrounded by pretty boys, to see that Pryce was in love with this age appropriate gentleman with great style just made his death ten times sadder.

And as if Pryce’s death wasn’t sad enough, we add one more death by the end of the episode at the hands of Roman. Peter continues to be haunted by the loss of Dee, but Roman channels that grief into helping him find Spivak – luckily for them and for us as an audience, as I’m sure we are all tired of the search for Nadia. With a well-placed phone call from Pryce (before his death) instructing Roman that Spivak could be destroyed using the toxin from his tonsils, Peter extracts a vial full. This scene is one of the many coincidental scenes that moved the plot along, but did not elevate the plot to a scene worthy of a final season.

But in one of the creepier scenes of the season, we see a man frozen by his skin to the edge of a shallow pool being used as an incubator for Spivak’s spawn. Which reminded me of one of the reasons I love Hemlock Grove: the unexpected mental frightfests. In an anticlimactic scene immediately following Spivak exposing all his plans and his goals, Peter runs around like a chicken and pours the extracted serum into the pools hosting the spawn and Roman bites Spivak in the neck, destroying him and his semi well laid planes.

They finally find Nadia and all is well, and with everything presented on screen, I know I should be happier, but the deaths and resolutions did not hit a high note for me. They just seemed like easy resolutions to multiple story lines from season 1: from Dee, Isaac, Pryce and Spivak. It feels like leaving any of these characters alive would have been the harder choice, of having to explain how they might have survived this overly convoluted storyline from the last couple of seasons. So instead all we have is a trail of bodies with no victors.

nadia is saved

Mystery Solved: Spivak kidnapped Nadia for her saliva in order to procreate? Yuck.

And with all being well with the world, Roman immediately shifts into normalcy with Peter and starts a search for babysitters. The scene that follows with Peter questioning Roman’s motivations for hiring said babysitter could have been from a comedy. Well, until Peter encounters Annie outside as he leaves and she confesses about Dee’s death and shit hits the fan. They come up with the insanely stupid plan for him to kill Roman. So stupid I almost believe that Annie wants Roman and Peter to kill each other, but I don’t see the pros of that move for her. But all this stupid planning does is lead to Peter’s death in such a lackluster fight scene between the two friends.





Hemlock Grove S3E9
  • 7.5/10
    Plot - 7.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Action - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10


This episode wasn’t as exciting as the previous episode, even with the death of Pryce, who I was hoping would make it to the end along with Shelley. After growing so much as a character and as a person, I just hoped he would be able to apply it. The way Peter died left me feeling frustrated because it just seemed so unrealistic that after everything he went through, Roman he would turn around and attempt to kill him at the say so of Annie. It didn’t even seem like it was for Dee, just that he was trying to eradicate the evil Annie said Roman was. I do wish Olivia had died earlier this season as I would have liked to see the show not rely so heavily on Famke Janssen. But with one episode to go the only characters left are Olivia, Roman, Annie, and Shelley. Along with the elusive detective who has been calling everyone all season. I hope I’m not disappointed by the series finale, but from what I’ve seen so far, I think it will be a lackluster – but efficient – series finale.

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About Moji Fagbemi (98 Articles)
Moji is geek who is not afraid to let her geek flag fly. She's an avid reader of comics and every genre of fiction - yes, this includes romance novels. When her nose is not buried in books you can find her watching TV, hanging out with friends, checking out new restaurants, or whipping up new recipes as a self-proclaimed foodie.

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