in Television

Hemlock Grove 1×06 “The Crucible” Recap

“This isn’t what you think it is.”


The as-always impeccably dressed Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen) pulls her truck up to the last place where we would least expect to find her: the long abandoned and decrepit ruins of the Godfrey Steel Mill. She inspects the insides of the building with disgust, then vomits up a pulpy looking mess of red disgustingness before calling up Sheriff Sworn (Aaron Douglas) to request for more patrols around the place because there are “urban explorers or some such nonsense.”

Olivia’s son Roman (Bill Skarsgard), meanwhile, is still hanging out with Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron) despite his mother’s very strict orders. They’re scoping out the Willoughby household – you know, the family of the second girl who was ripped in half and left in the woods – and waiting for the Willoughbys to leave so the crime-fighting duo can break in and look for the party flyer that Peter’s cousin Destiny told them about.

When waiting patiently becomes too much for Roman, he runs up to the house, pounds on the door, and uses his eye contact magic powers to force the Willoughbys to let him and Peter conduct their investigation in peace.

They go through Lisa’s belongings, but don’t actually find the flyer until her little sister swans up and gives them exactly what they need (for some unknown reason, the girl doesn’t seem all that broken up about her sibling’s untimely death.) The flyer promises “fun fun fun” to be found at a secret party up by Castle Godfrey, which is apparently the town nickname for the steel mill.

Afterwards, Peter and Roman are talking about what to do next when Peter’s phone beeps with a text from Letha Godfrey (Penelope Mitchell) – she “has something for him” and wants to meet up. When Roman asks who it is, Peter answers with a lie (understandable, since a jealous Roman is a pissy Roman) and scurries off to meet Letha at a diner.

Letha, it turns out, has dug up a plethora of information on her aunt Olivia after the last time she and Peter hung out. Olivia had had a baby before Roman and Shelley, named Juliet. According to Norman (Dougray Scott), Juliet died under very suspicious circumstances – suspicious enough for Olivia’s husband J.R. to make some wild accusations about her before he committed suicide.

On the other side of the store, Alexa and Alyssa Sworn are helping Christina Wallace (Freya Tingley) get ready for a date with Tyler. Is this a thing in small towns, to have a line of different types of stores all openly connected to one another? Because there have been at least three scenes in this particular setting and the shops seem to go on and on, with a gift shop doubling as the town shopping mall and then an ice cream parlor/diner across a countertop a few feet away.

Anywho. The twins spot Letha and Peter on their mini-date and start making fun of them, but Christina looks totally unamused, perhaps even jealous, and runs out of the store saying that she needs to go across the street to find her grandmother.

Olivia and her daughter Shelley (Amazon Eve) take a trip down to the local library so Olivia can look at a book on Romany studies, though she doesn’t find whatever it is she’s looking for. She then goes to help Shelley get herself some books when the flashing red lights on a child’s shoes causes her to collapse to the ground.

Norman leaves an appointment with Francis Pullman (who agitatedly tells Norman to find someone named H. Varga if he wants to find the truth about what is happening at the Godfrey Institute) so he can come to Olivia’s rescue. The two of them flirt uncomfortably before and after Norman drops Olivia and Shelley off at their house, and are most likely about to bump uglies again when Roman walks in and catches them holding hands.

Olivia instructs Roman to take Norman home, which he does. Upstairs in the attic of the Godfrey mansion, Shelley is angrily tearing books apart as she stares down at Norman’s retreating back. Though it’s unclear at this time exactly what she’s furious about, I have a feeling it’s something to do with her uncle lying and not telling her about his relationship with her mother.

During their drive, Roman and Norman bond over their love for Letha and acknowledgement of Olivia’s crazy factor. Once Roman drops Norman off, he heads straight for Peter’s trailer – and finds the guy being dropped off at the same time by none other than Letha Godfrey. Oh, man, Roman is not gonna be happy about this. (But is he jealous of Peter? Or Letha? This is the age-old question which may or may not even be answered in the season finale.)

Peter and Roman then go investigating in the ruins of Castle Godfrey, aka the steel mill ruins. After poking around a bit on the first floor, they come across the bottom half of Lisa Willoughby, and before they can come to a decision on whether or not to go to the cops, the cops come to them – and arrest Roman Godfrey for trespassing at the behest of his mother.

Peter hides inside the mill while all this is happening, because fuck if he’s gonna get arrested along with Roman. Once they all drive off, Peter finds that he’s unable to leave the place because Roman took the car keys with him. Also, it’s almost a full moon. Yep.

Peter heads further into the ruins of the steel mill, and as he heads to the deepest parts of the building, he finds the bloody dried prints of angel wings all along the walls and ceiling of the room.

Christina and Tyler’s movie date has seemingly gone pretty well, because we next see them joking about the awfulness of the movie and the awesomeness of each other… that is, until Tyler tries to kiss her. Christina gets a flashback to her unfortunate kiss with Lisa’s corpse and then does her best to scratch Tyler’s eyes out, screaming all the while.

Norman’s drinking alone in his office when he gets the great idea that maybe he should use the internet to search some of these key terms that have been thrown his way for the past, oh, five episodes. He starts with Lod LLC, the company that’s trying to buy out his shares of the Godfrey Institute, but he doesn’t find much on them. Norman eventually searches for H. Varga and discovers that the man’s dead body was recently pulled from a nearby river along with a somehow still legible note reading “Today I have seen the Dragon.”

He calls for Olivia to come to his office to question her about Dr. Pryce and why on earth Letha would want to go to the Institute when she gives birth instead of an actual hospital that isn’t rumored to be experimenting on humans. Since that whole thing was Olivia’s idea in the first place, she’s far from surprised. They have a lot of sex, after which Olivia discovers that her prodigal son has been arrested.

Comments + Verdict

Maybe it’s because this episode followed “Hello, Handsome” – what I thought of as the one actually entertaining episode of Hemlock Grove so far – but “The Crucible” passed by achingly slowly for me.

Rating: D-

Memorable Quotes

Roman: What’s with this guy?
Peter: I don’t know, he’s just old.
Roman: Gross.

Related Articles