“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
We return to Hemlock Grove’s second episode right where we left off: Roman Godfrey (Bill Skarsgard) and Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron) facing off in the middle of the open field where Brooke Bluebell died. Peter answers Roman’s question – “How did it feel when you killed that girl?” – by saying that he didn’t, but that he was under the impression that Roman had. Roman also denies it.
He then starts talking about werewolves, because in this town, gossip about high school students being supernatural creatures is treated as a valid and believable thing. Their conversation is cut short when a police car rolls up and two officers (they’re referred to both in the book and in the show credits as “Neck” and “Nose”) start menacingly towards them.
Peter panics, but Roman’s got it all covered. He fields the cops’ questions easily, and when they get frustrated with his smart-alecky ways and try to arrest him, he gazes deep into their eyes and uses some sort of mystical vampire spell to get them to fuck off.
Despite Roman’s admittedly nifty magic trick, Peter looks more unnerved than impressed, and leaves soon after.
Once the intro credits roll, we briefly see Letha Godfrey (Penelope Mitchell) in a creepy dream sequence, where she’s approached by a shadowy figure with angel wings.
The scene then changes to Shelley Godfrey (Nicole Boivin), who is typing out an eloquent email to her uncle, Norman (Dougray Scott), telling him a story about a recent experience at a restaurant. Apparently Norman has been encouraging Shelley to stand up to her controlling mother, Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen), and Shelley has finally managed to do so.
In a flashback, we see Olivia ordering “the usual”, a slab of meat for Shelley at a fancy looking restaurant, despite Shelley having indicated several times that she wants a salad. With the encouragement of her brother, Roman, and Jenny, a sweet waitress at the restaurant, Shelley stands her ground and asserts herself to her mother as an “intelligent, autonomous individual with valid desires.”
In his own home a little ways away, Norman is reading Shelley’s email with a fond smile, until his wife and daughter come in with some news – Letha is pregnant.
At school the next day, Roman exhibits his bloodplay kink again by cutting class so he can eat out and/or finger a fellow classmate on her period. Peter overhears the pair’s… activities… as he walks by the girls’ restroom, and listens in like a gigantic pervert, until Letha passes by and gives him an “are you kidding me” look. Not a good first impression, Peter.
Meanwhile, Norman and Olivia meet up at a hotel bar, where Norman angrily demands answers from Olivia concerning his daughter’s pregnancy, asking if she or Dr. Pryce (Joel de la Fuente) had anything to do with it.
When Olivia expresses confusion as to why he’d even come to that conclusion, he explains that Letha told him she’s still a virgin, and that she was “visited by an angel” over the summer and that it had gifted her with a child. However, Norman believes Letha had been raped and has subconsciously come up with this story as a way of coping with her trauma.
After confiding in Olivia, the two of them go upstairs to a hotel room and have sex. Afterwards, it’s revealed that they’ve been having an affair for quite awhile – even after J.R. Godfrey’s death – but that Norman had tried to end it with Olivia the last time they met. Before he leaves the room, he tells her again that it’s over. She pretends that she’s unbothered, but later on, during a tryst with another man, Olivia starts to cry, showing that she actually does care.
Back at Hemlock High, everyone is preparing for the Halloween Homecoming dance later that night. When Peter runs into Shelley in the hallway, he cheerfully strikes up a conversation with her that’s interrupted by some uncreative assholes who call him a “wolf fucker” and smack his books to the floor. Roman sidles up shortly after to help Peter pick up his stuff and offer him a ride home.
On the way to the Rumancek trailer home, Roman and Peter bond over fucked up family stories and the awesomeness of Roman’s car. When Roman tries to talk to Peter about his ouroboros dreams, and the feelings he gets sometimes that “something really important is about to happen,” Peter completely shuts him out even though it’s obvious he feels the same way. He ditches a dejected-looking Roman and spends the rest of the night hanging out with his mom, Lynda (Lili Taylor), instead of going to the school dance.
It seems every teenager in town is going to Homecoming except Peter. Christina (Freya Tingley) is getting ready for the dance with her friends, Alexa (Eliana Jones) and Alyssa (Emilia McCarthy) Sworn, daughters of Sheriff Tom Sworn (Aaron Douglas). She tells them about her crush on Tyler, a boy who apparently went out with Letha Godfrey, the “only bigger prude in school than Christina” – a comparison that Christina doesn’t quite like.
They all get dropped off by the Sheriff, who has a hilarious argument with his twin daughters as he tries to convince them not to use the word “slutty” and to be back by “10 o’clock sharp.” The girls make their promises, then skip away giggling.
That poor dude has his hands full with those two.
Roman picks Letha up at her house before Homecoming, and then spends a good chunk of time glaring as his cousin talks with ex-boyfriend Tyler instead of him. (Like I said in the previous recaps, they are uncomfortable levels of close.)
Eventually, Tyler meets up with Christina, and the two lovebirds leave the dance floor to awkwardly sit in a stairwell not really looking at each other. The dance ends early and everyone is evacuated when Roman (allegedly) pulls a douche move and releases a snake into the school. Roman and Letha drive off, a smirk on Roman’s face. On the drive home, Letha is forced to tell Roman that she’s pregnant when he won’t stop pestering her to drink alcohol. Roman is pissed.
When she tells him that the father was literally an angel, he doesn’t really look like he believes her, but for the sake of their relationship doesn’t question her. The cousins share a moment as they hold hands in the moonlight (seriously) before getting back in the car and continuing home.
And then a man comes out of nowhere, rolling around in the dirt and raving about seeing things. Roman calls for help as Letha bends down to comfort the man, who seems to be calmed by her voice. He tries to tell her about ouroboros, but when the man sees Roman’s face he starts screaming again – this time about the cheerleader who was killed, Brooke Bluebell.
Peter wakes up suddenly from a deep sleep to find that someone vandalized his yard with a Halloween store-bought werewolf mask on a spike. When he goes back inside to wash up and get ready for the day, he remembers something his grandfather told him when he was young: that upir are monsters that look like humans, but that you can always identify them by the darkness in their eyes.
At school, Roman comes up to Peter again trying to be friendly. Peter calls him out on his bullshit – that Roman only talks to him because of the way other people look at him when Roman talks to him – and then casually strolls away as the rich boy stares after him in amusement.
Later on during class, Roman tosses a note onto Peter’s desk that reads, I shit you not, “Can I watch?”
Unbelievably, Peter’s response to this is agreement and not “what the actual fuck, dude.” Lynda is shocked and appalled, but eases up when she finds out Peter’s reasoning – that Roman is the only one in town who doesn’t think Peter is a murderer, and that Peter has never actually had a friend before and he wants to see if he can find one in Roman.
Roman shows up early for the big event, and he, Peter, and Lynda sit themselves down for the weirdest meet-the-parents I’ve ever seen. Roman and Lynda literally share glasses of milk and a tranquilizer as they wait for Peter to turn.
When the werewolf transformation finally happens (because yes, Peter is an actual werewolf), it’s a thing that defies description. You just gotta watch it. In Roman’s words, “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
-Letha catches Peter being a pervert-
Peter: Oh. Uh… This is… this is exactly what it looks like.
Norman: Did you have anything to do with it? … Don’t think. Answer. Were you and that walking god complex in any way involved?
Olivia: Norman, you’ll really have to be a little more goddamn specific.
Norman: Letha is pregnant.
Olivia: Ah. Well, I’m afraid you’ll find me inadequate to such a task. And as for Dr. Pryce, I think we both know his… proclivities lie elsewhere.
Norman: When have you known this family to go to church when someone hasn’t died?
Roman: You know, they say being raised by a single mother makes you more sensitive to, like, chicks and stuff.
Peter: Yeah? Well, I’m a pretty sensitive guy.
Ashley Valentine: So did you want to come here to talk about cute boys all night, or do you want to dance?
Ashley: You’re a real fuckin’ sociopath, you know that? I don’t even know how that’s defined, exactly, but it sounds right. Like, a psycho who doesn’t have the balls to go all the way.