If you’re still reading this, congrats, you have a decent attention span. This also means you either a) like my writing or b) want to know more about Olivia, Price and Shelley (I forgot to mention her earlier.) I suppose there is an option c which means you’re just a glutton for punishment and love reading overly elaborate reviews about a well acted but poorly written horror show but I digress.
Let’s start with Olivia, Roman and Shelley’s mother. After the events of season 2 Olivia manages to regain custody of Shelley and takes her home. Olivia tries to convince Shelley that she needs all those pills (which are for her anxiety and depression,) when we know she’s just trying to keep her daughter drugged up so she can control her. Heaven forbid she gets any independence.
Olivia gets occasional reports from Isaac who she hired to find her granddaughter and keep tabs on Roman. While not a whole lot of progress is made she does feel uneasy because Isaac suspects something weird is going on.
Next up is doctor Price who is Hemlock Grove’s resident mad scientist. He has helped keep the Godfrey’s in constant supply of blood and in exchange has been given nearly unlimited money and resources for his various experiments. His character has always been a bit of a mad genius but this season it gets taken to the extreme because Price becomes addicted to drugs. Some sort of stimulant more specifically though I don’t think they ever say what it is beyond that. The one person Price cares for is Shelley and once she is safe he can return to his work. This includes experiments in mapping people’s brains onto other bodies and figuring out why Olivia can’t feed without getting very ill.
Last up is Shelley Hemlock Grove’s resident monster. While her face is definitely not a pretty sight she proves to be the least monstrous of anyone. She manages to run away from her mother and finds a new place to live in one of the old Godfrey properties, namely an old mill nicknamed Rooster Coop (or poop I couldn’t tell.) She finally gets a chance to be herself without any drugs clouding her system or a control freak of a mother telling her she’s doing it wrong. She finds a community of other homeless people including Aitor, a middle-aged man who ends up wooing her with fantastic stories and doesn’t seem to care about what she looks like.
There’s also a new monster in town that kills any vampire it comes into contact with, including Roman and Annie. After visiting doctor Price for help, Price keeps the dead monster in his lab to figure out what it is and why it’s going after other vampires.
He discovers a large tumor in the brain of the monster. Further research reveals some disturbing experiments with rats who had the same tumor. They eventually start eating their own kind. Not wanting to end up like the rats Roman convinces Price to start working on cure, or at least a way around the deadly side effects.
This new monster also affects Olivia or rather her inability to feed. She goes to Price for answers and he finds that she is turning into one of the monsters, albeit at a much slower rate. Not wanting to end up like the rats, Olivia convinces Price to continue his research into mapping someone’s consciousness onto a new body. Price is reluctant to do the experiment on her because the hosts either end up going crazy and dying or having trouble differentiating between their old and new self.
Speaking of Price we get to see a different side to him this season. He’s always been claustrophobic and we finally find out why. When he was younger he had a tyrant for a father who would lock him in a huge cupboard in the living room whenever Price misbehaved or didn’t do something to perfection. Getting this background information adds more depth to Price’s character and while the content isn’t original it’s still done well.
We also get to see Price come out as gay and start dating which is kind of fun. Mostly we see him being even more crazy as his addiction to stimulants grows so bad that his trusted lab assistant locks him in a decontamination chamber to force him into a detox. While it can be amusing to see him high I don’t know that it does much for the character in general as it’s not that different from regular Price.
Getting back to Olivia we see her try and fail to develop a romantic relationship with Isaac which ends with him leaving (or so we think.) We’re lead to believe he leaves and comes back; telling Olivia he wants to pursue a relationship and that he’s sorry for running away. We also see them spend the day together and their relationship blossoms. It’s revealed that all of this was in her head and that her memory is seriously fucked up. We get a series of flashbacks that show previous scenes in a very different light. The day they spent together was really just Olivia running around by herself after she killed Isaac and stuffed him in a closet to hide the evidence.
Overall episodes 1-6 were fairly entertaining. The acting was pretty good though the scenes with Olivia did get a bit thin towards the end. The writing was all over the place. While the ideas were good and I enjoyed the character arcs some of the ideas were either not needed or written in such a way that they weren’t very believable. Despite the uneven writing the overall story and the characters were enough to keep me watching.
If you’ve read this far congrats again for sticking with it. Hopefully my overly long post has intrigued you enough to read part 2 which includes episodes 7-10. Stay tuned for more gore, violence, scenery chewing and weird monster babies (that’s mostly at the end of the series but hey it got your attention didn’t it?)