‘Hemlock Grove’ recap: Season 2, Episode 1, ‘Blood Pressure’

Famke Janssen in a scene from Netflix's "Hemlock Grove" Season 2. Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie for Netflix.
Famke Janssen in a scene from Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” Season 2. Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie for Netflix.

The second season premiere of “Hemlock Grove” featured more corruption from the Godfrey family, gypsy con artists and creepy masked men. This is one of the few crazy towns that will make you more grateful for your own dysfunctional family.

Who is the creepy dude with the mask?

We open the episode in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where a hulking hooded figure walks into a house and gazes upon two children and an older couple in their beds. As the figure hides in the shadows while a young boy goes to the bathroom, we learn the creepy hooded figure also has a creepy white mask.

The figure then goes downstairs into the kitchen and lights a pillar candle on the gas stove. After opening the oven doors and leaving the stove on, the figure simply places the candle in the middle of the kitchen floor. A close-up of the candle reveals an illustration of an angel playing a horn.

We then flash to the woods where the hooded figure is on his knees with no mask and no shirt. We don’t see his face but we do see his bloody back as he whips himself violently.

Who is this hooded figure and what role will he play this season? Is he a religious monk practicing self-flagellation to punish himself for blowing the house up? What is the significance of the candle in the middle of the floor? And the most important question is, why do people do stupid things like leave their doors unlocked in horror shows?

Times are changing for the gypsies

The next scene opens at a gypsy funeral in Conneaut, Ohio. Here, we learn that these types of funerals include an outdoor barbecue along with the body of the deceased sitting upright in a chair as people whisper kind words to their loved one. We also learn times are changing and that these funerals are no longer attended by thousands but are instead attended by hundreds as most gypsies are slowly becoming “American” and trying to move on from their loved ones — and we thought the way we watched TV was changing with the times.

Peter, Lynda and Destiny (played by Landon Liboiron, Lili Taylor are Kaniehtiio Horn respectively) in attendance at the party where they reminisce about their lives in Hemlock Grove. This proves difficult for Peter as he remembers the death of his girlfriend, Letha. Lynda tells him to “let her go” and to move on.

Destiny also confronts her past when she sees the hipster-looking Andreas Vasilescu (Luke Camilleri), who she vaguely remembers sharing a campsite with as a kid. It doesn’t take long for him to charm her since they immediately have sex on the kitchen sink. But Destiny’s sexcapades do not last long.

Lynda, you’ve got some ’splaining to do

The party is interrupted when the FBI shows up and arrests several people with Lynda being one of them. It turns out Lynda was charged with credit card fraud, check kiting, manufacturing counterfeit handicap placards, selling muskrat meat as USDA certified ground beef, trespassing as a circus clown and stealing a baby elephant for who-knows-what purpose.

This immediately turns Peter’s life upside down as he now has to move back to Hemlock Grove, where Lynda was extradited, and live with Destiny. He also has to pay $20,000 up front to get a lawyer for his mother, something that will not come easily for the poor gypsy.

Bill Skarsgard (L) in a scene from Netflix's "Hemlock Grove" Season 2. Credit: Steve Wilkie for Netflix.
Bill Skarsgard (L) in a scene from Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” Season 2. Credit: Steve Wilkie for Netflix.

Godfrey Industries is still completely insane

At a meeting with the Godfrey Industries staff, Roman (Bill Skarsgård) has taken a leadership role with his corrupt family business, something Dr. Pryce (Joel de la Fuente) is not happy with. It’s likely his mother won’t be happy either. Yes, Olivia (Famke Janssen) is not only alive but also able to speak thanks to the new tongue Pryce sewed into her mouth. Chances are that she’s probably not happy with her son for biting the tongue out of her mouth either.

Roman has clearly gone off the deep end after his cousin died and his sister went missing. Our favorite upir walks into a small apartment where he gives an old man some cash. As the old man unbuttons his shirt, our mind goes into the gutter immediately but it turns out Roman was just going to eat blood-sucking leeches off of the man’s body. Kids do crazy things these days but they probably do crazier things if they recently developed a hunger for blood.

Additionally, Roman refuses to lend $20,000 to his old friend, Peter. He is still angry with his friend for running off when he needed him most.

In other Godfrey family news, Norman (Dougray Scott) spread the ashes of his daughter, Letha, across the Allegheny while also mourning the loss of what would have been his granddaughter. He pours out his thoughts in an email to Shelley, his missing niece.

Norman then seeks solace with Olivia, who he says is the only thing he has left, when he brings her flowers at the Hemlock Acres Rehabilitation Center. Will this couple ever end up together again? It may not be the healthiest relationship but it would surely bring more entertainment to this crazy family.

Peter comes up with an awful (yet totally cool and smart) con

After being denied a loan from Roman, Peter meets up with two drug dealers to sell them eye drops called Saint Sebastian’s Arrow, or Sebzilla. Peter describes the eye drops not as a drug but as “a biomorphic portal into another dimension.”

After administering the eye drops, Peter turns on some music and undergoes his sick and disturbing werewolf transformation. The dealers, who thought they just went on a drug-induced trip, quickly handed over the $20,000 for the Sebzilla.

But wait! Peter forced himself to change into a werewolf during the crescent moon instead of during the full moon. Destiny warns him that he could get hurt and possibly turn into the vargulf if he continually does something like that. Peter assures her that this was a one-time thing and that it would never happen again. We’ll see if he keeps his word.

Luckily, Peter tries to get money in more legal ways by the end of the episode when he accepts a job as a driver at Templar’s Towing and Repairs.

Bill Skarsgard in a scene from Netflix's "Hemlock Grove" Season 2. Credit: Steve Wilkie for Netflix.
Bill Skarsgard in a scene from Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” Season 2. Credit: Steve Wilkie for Netflix.

Lingering thoughts

The premiere introduced several questions that will hopefully be answered by the end of the season.

Why is Peter having visions and dreams about the masked man?

Peter has several visions throughout the episode of the white mask, a bridge and a snake. The vision of the bridge becomes all too real though when Peter sees the bridge on a TV news report, where a hiker and his infant son supposedly fell from.

Who is the girl in in the tube at Godfrey Medical Center?

We catch a quick glimpse of a young blonde girl being held in a tube, a project that Pryce calls “beautiful.” Who is she and what does Pryce have planned for her?

How far does Roman’s hunger go?

Toward the end of the episode, Roman goes to a club where he picks up a girl and even attempts to bring her home, after punching and ultimately knocking out her date. While driving down the road, Roman is clearly hungry for her blood but kicks her out of the car before he has a chance to feast on her.

Roman and Letha’s daughter is alive and cute in a creepy way!

I know that’s not a question but Roman somehow kept his daughter secretly alive and judging by the child’s hypnotic blue eyes, it doesn’t look entirely human.

Only in Hemlock Grove.

Grade: A+

Follow Jeremy Rodriguez on Twitter: @RodriguezJeremy



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