Netflix has done some quality programming to compete with network television in the last two years: Hemlock Grove was not critically acclaimed to be among those programs. However, I’m sure fellow audience members – there are apparently enough of us – can agree that there is a cult classic feel to this TV binge brownie that draws us in.
The first season was rich. The acting, the set, the plot–they all came together in a way that landed heavy on the palate. Little Skarsgard – Roman Godfrey – puts himself in his brother’s shadow as a vampire (upyr in the show’s language) with a touch-and-go werewolf, gypsy best friend – Peter Rumancek – that go on the hunt of a murderer and share a romantic interest in an honestly Sookie-like character – Letha Godfrey. The first season ended with the main cast, trio included, splintering, and a variety of cryptic mantras taking root in the supernatural psyche of the townsfolk.
Letha was pregnant in the first season with the child of “an angel,” which, we found was really Roman’s, via rape and possible incest (was it ever made clear if Roman and Letha were siblings?).
Peter, originally the suspect in the string of terrifying animal attacks, befriended the true murderer, Christina Wendall. Eventually, he fought her to protect Roman and Letha, but the opportunity for murder passed to the beautiful and shy Shelley Godfrey – Roman’s younger sister – who, in turn, was shot and fled and has only been seen in visions and dreams since.
Sheriff Sworn, the shooter of Shelley, retired his badge and was last seen working on a bomb to, presumably, destroy the Godfrey Institute. Many townspeople live under the tower of the Institute, which does who knows what. Last we saw, there was mention of bringing the baby back to life (and Olivia and Roman had possession of a live bairn last we saw), they pieced Shelley together, and a weird doe-eyed creature – I refuse to just assume it is human – was waking up in its embryonic chamber. However, the chief doctor of the Institute seems shaken in his ability and purpose, even while smugly “making room” for Olivia Godfrey’s body.
As far as where some of the show favorites ended up, here goes:
- Roman is a co-owner of the Institute – his partner seems to want him out – he killed his mother, and he has a new baby to take care of, perhaps.
- Peter is bald and on the road with his mother, seeing a vision of Shelley on the side of the road.
- Shelley is somewhere; she is confirmed to be in season 2 – spoilers – but could be confined to the realm of visions and dreams, for now.
- Norman Godfrey, distraught at the death of his daughter Letha, finally leaves his wife and moves in with Olivia – he ain’t looking so hot, though.
- Olivia gets to share her story with us before being drained by her newly full upyr son, and getting her tongue pulled out.
- Letha and Christina are the other two confirmed deaths, but Famke Janssen is still on the cast list, so we shall if Olivia wins or not. And apparently Dr. Chasseur’s brother has been brought to town.
Season 2 of Hemlock Grove was recently released on Netflix. With the depth that Netflix can take their properties, which TV cannot, it will be interesting to see where this experimental horror show from Eli Roth takes us with the next season.