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Hemlock Grove 1×09 “Peter’s Hierarchy of Shit He Can Live Without” Recap

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The unnecessarily long title for this one is a lot less weird if you made the life choice I did and read the book (I am not in any way recommending that you read the book by the way), but it doesn’t make the episode any less weird – in an arguably good way. Let’s jump right into the recap, shall we?

The weirdness hits you right off the bat, as Olivia Godfrey traipses around the bed holding her comatose son in a white ruffly babydoll dress looking and acting weirdly childlike and doting. I liked Olivia better when she was vicious, this mothering side is freaking me out.

Back at Peter’s trailer, Peter and Letha are continuing their affair/relationship type thing. Their pillow-talk afterwards consists of the likelihood of Roman coming out of his coma, and family stories about fairies that end up being a metaphor for Peter’s fear of being trapped in a cage.

After the credits roll, we’re back to Chasseur, who seems to be going through some… issues. The stress of the case is definitely getting to her, along with her resurfacing memories of the first werewolf woman she’d killed.

She flashes back to her Order of the Dragon initiation ceremony, and the promise she’d made to rid the world of the “enemies of God.” The enemies are werewolves, really? He doesn’t want you to combat, like, poverty or famine or anything like that? Just to go around killing werewolves regardless of whether or not they actually endanger anyone? Yeah, okay. Chasseur is obviously showing signs of doubt in her faith as well, as she mutters to herself that even though her priest told her the killer werewolf must be Peter Rumancek, she still doesn’t believe it.

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Christina is back in the hospital, once again traumatized. Her best friends Alyssa and Alexa come to visit (they’re really kind of great for not abandoning her, by the way; not everyone would be there for someone no matter what even through all the crazy shit that’s going on) and, seeing how lonely the hospital must be for Christina, ask their father Sheriff Sworn if they can bring her to stay with them. He tells them he understands, but that it might be best if Christina continue to stay at the hospital for awhile longer, at Dr. Norman Godfrey’s recommendation.

Speaking of Norman, guess where he’s been all this time? Thaaat’s right, over at the Godfrey mansion performing cunnilingus on Olivia. The pair awkwardly get dressed afterwards, and then Norman leaves to go back home to his wife.

When Norman gets home, his wife angrily reports to him that she found out about Letha’s relationship with Peter. They discuss what to do about the issue, and Norman promises to talk to Letha about it.

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The subsequent conversation is actually a pretty good example of parenting: Norman tells Letha that she shouldn’t be ashamed and that sex isn’t a bad thing, but that she shouldn’t hide it or lie to her parents about it. Letha tells her dad that she’s in love with Peter, and that people speak badly of him only because they’re insecure and afraid – similar to how people treat her cousin, Shelley.

Cue short scene skip to Shelley Godfrey, who’s being visited by Actual Angel Jenny, who was worried that Shelley was in need of a friend.

At school, Letha is walking down the hallways when Ashley Valentine comes up to her with a Get Well card for Roman. She can’t remember the last time she talked to him, Ashley tells a bemused Letha, and she’s afraid that she was a bitch to him for no good reason. Uh, the audience remembers when the last time you talked to Roman was, Ashley, and any ‘bitchiness’ you may have ever shown him was much deserved and for a very, very good reason. That reason being that Roman is the worst.

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After that run in, Letha meets up with Peter and asks him to come meet her parents at dinner. Peter looks like a deer caught in headlights, the poor boy.

Chasseur, meanwhile, is paying Destiny Rumancek a visit and jumps straight into asking about Peter. Destiny isn’t having any of that, though – she tells Chasseur that that isn’t what she came here for, and that she’s sensing some internal conflict in the werewolf hunter. Chasseur owns up to it pretty quickly, admitting out loud that she’s afraid she’s lost her way and that she’s losing faith.

When Destiny looks at Chasseur’s hands, she sees that Chasseur has been searching, but for what? Chasseur needs to know, and asks Destiny to show her. And then they have sex.

Afterwards, Destiny tries to tell Chasseur that Peter isn’t who she’s looking for, and it’s unclear whether or not her words got through to the hunter.

Elsewhere, Olivia Godfrey goes to the auto shop to check up on the condition of her son’s car, and runs into Marie, her sister-in-law and wife to Olivia’s lover Norman. Later on that night, Marie and Norman host a dinner party for Peter, who looks like he’d rather be anywhere other than where he is.

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A question about how Norman and Marie met turns into an extremely tense situation when Marie alludes to knowing about the affair between Norman and Olivia, and suddenly the meet-the-parents dinner is over.

Peter’s mother, Lynda Rumancek, is paying Olivia Godfrey an unannounced visit up at her huge ass mansion so she can deal her her drugs. Lynda watches as Olivia takes a hit, and starts musing on how Peter was born. Olivia and Lynda bond over being women, both of them single mothers raising men.

Back at Hemlock High, Peter’s walking speedily towards the bus as a bunch of assholes bully him, hissing insults about his heritage, being a werewolf, his friendship with Roman, and finally a biting dig about Peter’s mother. It’s the last one that makes Peter snap; he lobs a punch into Bully #1’s gut then tries to make a break for it, but it quickly turns into a three-on-one fight that Peter is losing badly.

Letha saves the day, then, by throwing her body in between Peter and his attackers. The bullies leave, unwilling to hit a pregnant girl, and Peter and Letha end up getting a ride home from Olivia. When Peter, Letha, and Olivia get back to the Rumancek trailer, Lynda is beside herself with worry, and jumps straight into fussing over Peter’s swollen face before letting Peter and Letha spend some time together alone.

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In the other room, Lynda and Olivia share a joint (this is probably one of my favorite images in the show so far) as Olivia suggests Peter stay up at the Godfrey mansion for a few days to make sure he stays safe. What happened to “I will not have that filth in my house,” Olivia? Methinks thy ice heart dost thaw!

Peter spends the rest of the day hanging out with Letha and Shelley at the Godfrey mansion. When he goes to look for some snacks in the kitchen, he runs into Olivia, who explains that she’s helping him because her son needs all the friends he can get, and then cracks a joke about his werewolfism.

Peter wakes up in the middle of the night, glances at the near full moon, and runs off to Chasseur’s hotel room, asking if he can talk to her. The woman lets him in, but not without very pointedly showing him her gun. No, that is not a euphemism, get your mind out of the gutter.

Peter paces anxiously around the room and tells Chasseur he has a bad feeling about tonight, and that he wants her to make sure that no more girls get killed – specifically, to make sure that nothing bad happens to Letha Godfrey. Aww, is Peter in love?

Chasseur makes her promises as she stands up menacingly gripping her gun. I wonder what she’s going to have to do to keep that promise…

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Apparently she’s going to get pissed out of her mind drunk, because that’s exactly what’s happening right here. Chasseur has interpreted Peter showing up on her doorstep as a sign from god – that regardless of whether or not Peter is the murderer, god wants her to kill him anyways. She speaks out loud to an empty room, saying that she’s going to do this one last thing for him, and then “you and me – we’re through.” Uh, did she just break up with god?

Meanwhile, at the Hemlock Acres Hospital, Norman goes on a walk around the grounds with Christina. More and more of her hair has gone white from the stress of her situation. She starts talking to Norman about Frances Pullman, the man who had died via needle shoved into his brain, and once again accuses Peter of murder.

Peter finally comes back to the Godfrey mansion, tears in his eyes as he asks Letha to promise she’s going to stay safe as he goes to hunt the vargulf. Letha is angry – she wants him to understand that this isn’t some game where he and Roman are playing at warriors, that this is real life and that someone’s going to get hurt or die, and that she’s afraid it’s going to be him.

When she tells him she wants to come with him, Peter snaps – and it looks like their relationship has been irreparably damaged.

Comments + Verdict

This was actually a pretty good episode to me. Yeah, not much in the way of action happened, as per usual; I signed up for blood and gore and guts and I am barely getting any of that shit. But the progression of story felt natural and legitimately interesting for once. Olivia and Lynda sharing a joint was a pretty great moment, along with a couple other weirdly funny scenes.

I also appreciated the episode’s focus on what I think are the best characters – Chasseur, Letha, and Peter – while leaving out the bits I don’t like – Roman’s everything, and (for the most part) Norman and Olivia’s tired affair.

Rating: B

Memorable Quotes

Peter: One time, Nicolae caught a fairy.
Letha: What do you mean, a fairy?
Peter: …I mean a fairy, what am I supposed to mean?

Chasseur: I’m not sure I can trust myself anymore. I’m afraid I’ve lost my path to God.
Destiny: When you say ‘god’, you mean…
Chasseur: I mean God.
Destiny: Right, I’m sorry. I don’t usually get many big ‘G’s in here. And the ones I do are usually enjoying my other services.

Olivia: Sometimes it’s nice having men around. Nice but… incredibly… stupid. Utterly useless! [starts laughing manically]

Chasseur: What happened to your face?
Peter: I lost a beauty pageant.

Chasseur: This isn’t about whether Peter Rumancek gutted those girls -which I am fairly certain he did not do! No, this is about what he is. And of that, I have no doubt. So I’m gonna do this one last thing for you, and then you and me… we’re through.