I finally got around to watching the 3rd and final season of Hemlock Grove. Yes I realize I’m out of the loop as it originally aired back in 2015 or was it 2016? Anyway I’m up to episode 6 and I thought I would share my thoughts on season 3 thus far.
After having been away from the show for so long I was kind of bummed there was no recap available. Sure you can look up plenty of stuff on Wikipedia but it’s not the same a seeing all the blood, guts and gore on your screen of choice. Lucky for me Netflix did have a trailer for season 3 so I wasn’t totally lost.
So far I can say I still like the show. I still love the characters (though if Famke Janssen weren’t playing Olivia I’m not sure I’d like watching her nearly as much.) I do miss Uncle Norman but he had a good run. Doctor Price is still the same crazy mad scientist and Shelly is still a tragic character, but she seems to be gaining some independence and even a boyfriend.
What hasn’t changed is the writing. I couldn’t figure out what was missing this season until I re-watched the trailer (for season 3) again. While season 1 and 2 weren’t always good per se, they had definite thru lines. What I mean by that is there was an overall story arc throughout each season. Season 1 you have the murders taking place throughout Hemlock Grove. Season 2 you have multiple character arcs but overall it’s about deciding who you are (or in this case what you are) and either embracing it or rejecting it. Season 3 is about finding Nadia and Miranda, Peter’s further adventures with his wolf pack and the emergence of a new type of vampire that feeds on its own kind.
At least that’s what the trailer led me to believe. In reality it’s still about those things but the writers decided we needed more to chew on (which isn’t always a good thing.) We also get some new characters, Annie and Isaac. Annie is a great addition to the show, she’s mysterious but not too much so, she provides Roman with some new knowledge and potential new friends. Plus she’s not yet another blond-haired girl who needs to have sex with Roman.
The other new character is the private investigator named Isaac. He’s hired by Roman to find Nadia and Miranda. He was also hired by Olivia to keep tabs on Roman (or anyone else she gets suspicious of.) The actor is decent enough but I don’t know if the character adds much to the story. I get that you need someone to be looking for Nadia and Miranda but what else are Roman and Peter supposed to be doing? Given the cliff hanger of last season shouldn’t episode 1 be about how mad with grief Roman is and how desperate he is to find his daughter?
To be fair we do see that, though not right away. In episode 3 Roman and Annie end up being trapped in a barn together after narrowly escaping a monster attack on a party they were at. At this point Roman has only told Annie that Nadia is his daughter but nothing about who her mother is. He confesses to Annie that Nadia’s mother was his cousin Litha (pronounced Lee-tha) and he’s worried about how his daughter will eventually react to the news.
The fear, anxiety and sadness written on Roman’s face says it all. He doesn’t know how he will tell his daughter the truth about her mother and what that will do to their relationship. Annie’s reply is perfect. “You’ll do what any good parent does, you’ll lie.”
Meanwhile Peter is up to his usual tricks. By which I mean trying to stay out of trouble and dealing with his cousin Destiny’s new fiance Andreas. Big surprise trouble finds him. This time in the form of a drug deal between the Croatians and the gypsies. Andreas decides to try to double cross the Croatians, reassuring Peter that he won’t get caught. If you’ve watched any of the show you know how this ends. IF you haven’t well, let’s just say Andreas ends up paying way more than he bargained for, and Peter gets to clean up the mess.
We do catch up to Miranda, Nadia and their captor Spivak. We find them holed up in a cabin in some mountains where they’re playing some twisted version of house. There’s a botched escape attempt by one of the other people Spivack has captured which temporarily discourages Miranda from trying anything. While he disposes of the body Miranda hatches a new plan leaving Nadia behind while she tries to run for help. She manages to find a young family with a cell phone but only manages a short text before Spivak comes to take her ‘home.’
Can we all agree that this guy is deranged? I mean sure, it’s not like you’re going to find a bunch of people who like him. Though being a regular old doctor one minute and a giant flying menace the next would be kind of cool. The actor does a good job playing equal parts knowledgeable doctor, happy host and enraged mad man. While I liked Miranda well enough in season 2 I think she’s just okay here. I’m only about halfway through the series but I wonder if she will be relegated to a much more minor role considering all the other stuff going on this season. There’s not much to say about Nadia as she’s still a baby and half vampire or not, she’s still cute and likeable.
While there’s a bit more to cover I don’t want this post to end up reading like a novella. I’ll go into Olivia and Price’s issues and what I think in part 2. Hopefully you’ll stick around because this is where things get interesting. Assuming you like some scenery chewing and people with daddy issues that is.