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Hemlock Grove 1×03 “The Order of the Dragon” Recap

christina

“I’ve always wanted to be a warrior.”

So you know how Netflix gave that viewer’s warning for violent content including, among other things, mild fornication, heavy cocaine usage, and lesbian necrophilia? That last one comes into play in this episode.

Christina (Freya Tingley) is traipsing through the forest when she comes across the body of a girl torn in half. There are several courses of action that she can take here. For example, she can (a) scream very loudly, or (b) call the police and then scream very loudly. But instead, she decides to stick her tongue into the corpse’s mouth because… Lesbian Necrophilia.

Okay, so she’s doing it because she thinks it’s fake and that someone’s just playing games with her, but I still don’t understand how her brain can jump from “this scarily realistic prop is part of a prank” to “let’s make out with it!” Or how she couldn’t smell the stench of rot from ten feet away.

Anyways, she realizes her mistake when she looks down and sees maggots eating away on the dead girl’s fleshy bits. And then she screams. Very loudly. (You’d think she would have noticed the maggots a lot sooner.)

Meanwhile, we also find out that the man Roman (Bill Skarsgard) and Letha Godfrey (Penelope Mitchell) found writhing about on the street in the last episode is named Francis Pullman (Ted Dykstra). He’s much more coherent in this scene and is undergoing a psych eval with Norman Godfrey (Dougray Scott), who is civil to him if not very understanding (on the real, though, I don’t think psychiatrists are supposed to be giving that much attitude to their patients. Not very professional.) Norman asks him about ouroboros, but Pullman only talks about how “they” brought him back to life, and how he doesn’t want to “see these things” anymore.

Peter (Landon Liboiron) comes back from his werewolf excursion to find Roman crashing on his couch waiting for him. Roman asks him how his night was, and Peter tells Roman and Lynda (Lili Taylor), his mother, that he smelled something while he was out there… something bad. I’m assuming he means ‘bad’ like a terrible thing happened, and not ‘bad’ like a fart.

He also makes Roman promise to not tell anyone about the transformation that he saw last night. Roman promises, then offers to pick Peter up later on the way to school, but Peter’s totally knocked out.

As he sleeps, Peter dreams that he and Roman are standing together on top of the abandoned Godfrey Steel Mill, and that Roman has a bloodstain shaped like ouroboros on his shirt.

Elsewhere in the town, the Sheriff (Battlestar Galactica‘s Aaron Douglas) asks to meet with Norman so he can ask about a jurisdictional call he’d recently gotten concerning Mr. Pullman’s transfer to Hemlock Acres, the town’s psychiatric hospital. According to the Sheriff, that call wouldn’t have even been made if there hadn’t been someone with a relative amount of power and a personal stake in the case.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

As far as he knows, the only people who have that kind of power are the people up at the Godfrey-owned White Tower, and the only person he trusts to help him investigate is Norman – despite Norman protesting that he has no clout in that arena.

This turn of events definitely means something fishy is up. Maybe there’s more truth to Pullman’s story than Norman would like to believe.

As Norman exits the car, a call comes in on the Sheriff’s police radio: another girl’s body has been found. The top half that Christina had discovered in the beginning of the episode has been identified as that of Lisa Willoughby.

We then cut to Kandyse McClure, also of BSG fame, playing character Clementine Chasseur. She wakes up in a daze, pulls a pendant with a cross on it from around her neck, and whispers to herself, “He wants you to be strong.” She then drags herself out of bed to get dressed and go to morning mass, leaving behind a girlfriend/lover.

As Chasseur is walking out the door, the girlfriend/lover says in a sad tone of voice, “Why do I do this to myself? All you know how to do is take.” Looks like Chasseur’s got commitment issues.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

Chasseur goes to meet an unnamed, but likely very important priest. He asks her about someone named “Michael” – who we haven’t yet met – then shows her a newspaper article about a fatal mauling in Pennsylvania.

We next see Chasseur approaching the Sheriff of Hemlock Grove, holding a badge proclaiming that she’s from Fish & Wildlife Services. He updates her on the case as they drive to the crime scene.

Chasseur looks through the forest floor and easily identifies several tracks, but can’t figure out what it was that killed Lisa Willoughby. When she somehow figures out that the body was left there as a fucked up version of a trophy, though, she determines that whatever or whoever is responsible must be a creature capable of higher thinking and empathy.

Back at Hemlock High, a group of asshole freshmen surround and torment a crying Shelley Godfrey (Nicole Boivin), asking her which of the girls she killed first and who tasted better. When her brother Roman happens upon the scene, he’s understandably pissed. Using his mind control powers, he forces the two ringleaders to kiss in front of a jeering crowd before shooing them away.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

Roman and Peter hide out during a break to talk about what’s happened. Peter reveals that he knows what killed the two girls: a vargulf, a wolf that’s gone insane. Apparently a normal wolf or werewolf will only attack if it’s provoked or hungry, but a vargulf will attack regardless, and it doesn’t eat what it kills.

Roman then suggests finding it and stopping it from killing any more girls, fancying himself as some sort of warrior knight, but Peter is more than a little reluctant. Roman does not take hearing ‘no’ well.

Depressed and rejected, Roman calls his cousin Letha, but she doesn’t have time to talk because she’s at the gynecologist finding out her angel baby’s due date. Rejected again, Roman.

Dude makes a beeline straight for a bar and, with an obviously illegally-procured fake ID, buys himself shitloads of alcohol. The bartender knows he’s underage but slides him the booze anyways, though he does call Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen) to pick Roman up – just in time, because Roman looks like he’s about to get sucked into a bar fight.

Peter, meanwhile, goes to visit his cousin Destiny Rumancek (Kaniehtiio Horn), who’s shown swindling fuckloads of money from fancy rich couples who’ve gotten bored with their fancy rich lives. I love her already.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

He tells her about the vargulf, and she warns him it will likely kill again. Destiny wants him to be careful and stay out of the way; nature will take its course and the vargulf will destroy itself in time. When Peter haltingly questions if there’s any way that he could help it, Destiny seems surprised, but says putting a bullet in the vargulf’s brain before the next moon cycle would probably work.

Then Peter tells her about Roman – that the guy is an upir, that he knows that Peter is a werewolf – and his cousin freaks. She tells him to run before it’s too late.

Dr. Chausser goes to meet with Christina and ask her if she can remember any other details about stumbling upon the body. Christina avoids the subject by waxing poetic about being a novelist (again), before getting to the point and saying that she didn’t see any marks because “he didn’t leave any.” Why do I get the feeling that she’s about to point her finger towards Peter again?

Oh, that’s right, because she does. As Peter and Lynda pack their things into their car, about to take Destiny’s advice and move the hell out of dodge, Chausser drives up and starts to question Peter about being someone afflicted with “clinical lycanthropy”. That’s when a human believes that they’re a werewolf or some other non-human creature and then acts accordingly.

Though Peter answers all her questions cheerfully and amiably, the look on her face shows she’s not convinced. There’s definitely more to this girl than “Fish & Wildlife Services.” Either way, now that Peter’s on this lady’s radar, he and Lynda are unable to leave.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

Peter eventually comes calling at the Godfrey estate. Olivia’s face when she sees him standing at her door is the most hilarious thing.

Once they’re alone, Peter tells Roman about Chasseur’s visit, and that he’s worried she’s going to put him away “in a cage”. He’s now on board for Roman’s initial plan of finding the true killer and stopping it, if only to keep himself out of prison.

First item on Peter’s agenda: find out where Lisa Willoughby’s going to be buried, and dig her up.

The last scene of the episode is of Norman worriedly watching over his daughter as she sleeps and flashing back to a conversation he had with Francis Pullman earlier that day, where Pullman had frightened Norman by saying that he had “seen the thing inside your little girl,” referring to her pregnancy.

Rating: C

Memorable Quotes

Peter: Everyone’s scared shitless.
Roman: Are you sure it wasn’t you?
Peter: I never go out on an empty stomach. Also, fuck you.

Chausser: This print was made by a Caucasian male, approximately 200 pounds; at some point suffered an injury to his left knee.
Neck: How do you know ‘Caucasian’?
Chausser: This is Pennsylvania.

Chausser: Does Roman Godfrey think he is a werewolf?
Peter: I don’t have his power of attorney.

Olivia: So, tell me then: gypsy orphan Heathcliff. Byronic hero or proto-Marxist class warrior?
Peter: …I’m still on chapter one.
-Olivia looks him up and down with distaste-
Olivia: Yes, I suppose you are.

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  • Who is the guy with the bad knee, who left tracks around Lisa Willougnhby’s body? He comes back up when (spoilers) Destiny channels Lisa’s last moments– there’s a dog (who would be white, because that’s Christina as a wolf), and then a man, who the girl describes as “big and black”. By which I take it OooOooOoooh creepy evil darkness black.

  • And why in the hell did Christina get all PTSD over Willoughby’s body? Or act like it was a prank? She knew damn well what was up.

    • I seriously have no idea why Christina does any of what she does. The book goes more in depth into her mindset at the time, but it wasn’t any less weird – she thought it was a doll and that there was some sort of “You’re on Candid Camera” type situation goin’ on. So… she decided to stick her tongue down its throat? I dunno, man, I dunno.

      As to your other comment, I totally forgot about the guy with the bad knee! I haven’t quite gotten to the end of the series yet, so maybe it’ll be revealed who that was before then. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Ok, I won’t give out any more, but when you get to episode 12, for the love of god, please pause at 37:45 and check out Peter’s expression. I died laughing. And then resurrected off camera for no apparent reason and laughed some more.

  • Lemme guest write on your blog. I promise Hemlock Grove ranting.

    • Hi! Thank you for your interest in guest posting with us. If you would like to submit an article for consideration, please refer to the guidelines under the “Submit a Post” button on the left sidebar and then email us at popinsomniacs@gmail.com.