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Hemlock Grove 2×01 “Blood Pressure” Recap: Roman and Peter Reunite

Peter returns to Hemlock Grove in search of money to afford a lawyer for Lynda while Roman tries to satiate his newly found appetite.

Well, well, well, the time has finally come for my barrage of overly sarcastic Hemlock Grove recaps! I wish I could say I was excited about this, but my feelings would more accurately be described as “latent dread.” I’ve got my fingers crossed season two will vibe with me better than season one did – there’s a new showrunner/team of writers and Eli Roth promises a truckload of blood and gore so that’s a possibility, however slim – but if not, at least I can take solace in the inevitable eyeball-popping werewolf transformation. Because that shit will forever be awesome, no matter how lame the show ended up being.

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We begin in Easthampton, Massachusetts, with a shadowy figure entering a house and creeping around while its occupants sleep blissfully unaware. The shadowy figure ghosts its way to the kitchen and lights a candle, which illuminates its mildly terrifying silver mask – maan, why’s it always gotta be masks – before turning up the gas, setting the candle on the floor, and leaving as the house presumably blows up behind him. Next we see of The Silver Creep, he’s kneeling in the woods self-flagellating. Well, HG certainly didn’t wait around to make good on its usual flurry of disclaimers.

Now in Ohio, we’re thrown into the middle of a large and festive wake for a recently departed Romani man named “Papa Joe”. Destiny Rumancek rolls up in her car and heads in to pay her respects, as well as accost a brooding Peter Rumancek, who has regrown his hair since we last saw him. The reunited cousins catch up, with Peter mentioning plans to go to Seattle in a few weeks with his mother and inviting Destiny along for the ride. Too bad that plan is gonna be a no go, because the town of Hemlock Grove is a-callin’.

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Destiny extricates herself from the conversation because she “hasn’t peed in 200 miles” – eloquent was ever, this gal. Shortly afterwards she’s approached by a Hottie McLeatherHotPants (at a funeral, for SHAME) who apparently knew her when they were little. His name is Andreas Vasilescu. They flirt, and then bang. AT A FUNERAL, FOR SHAAAME. Still, I hope we get to see more of Andreas (and his glorious beard.)

Cut to Lynda, who is comforting a still-grieving Peter and gently encouraging him to let Letha go. I’m sitting here hoping against hope that the dramatic way she pronounced “Letha’s gone” means she isn’t actually gone at all.

The funeral is broken up when the police roll up and start tackling everyone in reach including doddering old grandmas – ok, really, first they pull a gun on an unarmed teenage pregnant girl while on a racist witch hunt for a teenage murder suspect with no evidence besides “he’s different from us,” “he showed up and then people died,” and “this unstable and traumatized girl says he’s a werewolf so he’s obviously a werewolf” (see season one recaps for more info and ranting on this topic) and now they’re body checking random people at a funeral? What the hell is up with the PoPo in this show and not giving a rat’s ass about laws and shit?

Anywho, Peter manages to avoid being tackled and runs around looking for his mom. He finds her inside the house, being arrested by an FBI Agent and carted away.

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Peter and Destiny go to a lawyer in an attempt to bail Lynda out. After hilariously listing out a list of ridiculous crimes, including animal-napping a baby elephant, the lawyer informs the Rumanceks that the FBI is making a case that the Romani is an organized criminal enterprise. What, like, the entire ethnicity?

Lynda is being made an example of, so she’s going to be sent back to Hemlock County to face charges. Peter’s look of absolute horror is both amusing and sad. Destiny kindly offers to let him crash at her place so Lynda has family nearby for support, but it might end up being for naught because the lawyer’s upfront fee is $20,000. Holy shitballs.

On the drive back to Destiny’s house, Destiny suggests Peter ask a certain dirty rich ex-buddy of his to spot him the money, and perhaps take the opportunity to “mend fences.” As they cross into Hemlock Grove, Peter has a vision, one of the same kind he and Roman shared in season one. If it wasn’t assured before, it’s definitely a sure thing now that there is Bad Shit To Come.

Zoom on into shiny Godfrey Institute, where a sleekly dressed Roman Godfrey is attending a board meeting. And when I say “attending”, I mean in body, not really in spirit, because he swiftly interrupts the presentation with pictures from his recent vacay in Maui. Nice to know he’s not any less of the richy-rich douchebag I remembered him to be. Dr. Johann Pryce and his suspicious ass face is also at the meeting, and he’s even less impressed with Roman than I am.

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Still, Roman brings up some good points: the company’s current target demographic with organ printing is going to die out soon, and they should focus on making repeat customers out of the youthful. Johann doesn’t like that. He really, really doesn’t like it when Roman points out some discrepancies in the Institute’s earnings. Roman tells Johann that he’s the head of the company now, and he’s not going to stand for shit like this. GODFREY OUT. [drops mic]

Alright, so he’s a douchebag, but he’s a capable douchebag.

In the next scene, there’s a slow fade into Olivia’s dead body aaand SURPRISE OLIVIA’S ALIVE AND WELL. Maybe not that much of a surprise, since she was in all the promo material and the actress’ name was billed in the opening credits, but still.

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Pryce is helping Olivia recuperate from her death, and her huge change in accent is explained by “dead body relearning how to speak takes time.” I’m just glad we don’t have to hear that weird awful accent from season one anymore. Pryce updates her on Roman’s comings and goings, musing on how he must be dealing with the “hunger” – which is the perfect segue into Roman eating blood filled leeches off an elderly man who also performs an unsettling striptease beforehand. Sooooo he’s not dealing with the hunger all that well, is what I’m getting from this.

Some time later, Peter rolls up to Roman’s fancy new modern abode. Their reunion is… less than ideal, as Roman refuses to help Peter get Lynda out of jail and calls Peter out for abandoning him, Shelley, and Letha’s memory.

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Down by the lake, Letha’s parents are spreading her ashes as Norman voice-overs an email he’s sending to a missing Shelley. Norman then drives over to Hemlock Grove’s rehabilitation center, where he greets Olivia with flowers (I guess he’s aware she’s alive? Did I miss something? Does everyone know? Is Roman just acting like she’s dead because he’s – rightfully – pissed at her?) and asks her out on a drive.

Oddly enough, death seems to suit Olivia; she’s less cold, more open to displaying her insecurities and emotions… or maybe that’s just Norman’s effect on her. Either way she’s growing on me. I expect she’ll do something awful soon to make me change my mind.

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That night, Peter drives down to meet with two suspicious looking characters – and oh shit, he’s signed on to a job in order to get the $20,000 he needs. Th job ends up being selling a cache of drugs to the men to give to their boss to distribute. It’s the return of the eye drops! And we even get a name: Sebzilla.

Naturally, the drugs Peter gives them are not the real deal. He has to strip down and turn into a werewolf to help the dudes believe they’re really high. GUYS I LOVE THIS SEQUENCE A LOT. Like a million times better than the one in season one. The gangsters totally buy it, along with the stash of drugs.

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They leave, and Peter vomits blood and collapses, dreaming of horrible things to come. In the morning, a freaked out Destiny tells Peter that he turned on the wrong moon, which is apparently terrible for werewolves. There’s a possibility he can turn into a vargulf! Which, speaking of, where the hell is Christina, man, I need her to start some shit.

Back at Godfrey Institute, Pryce and a Russian scientist buddy of his inspects one of his projects, which ends up being LETHA FLOATING IN A BOX I TOTALLY CALLED IT. EDIT: Actually not Letha, it’s another random blonde white girl, my bad. But still. Floating in a box.

Elsewhere, Peter takes a job as a tow truck operator from a man who likes to stuff animals in his spare time, and while there sees a news story on a television that reminds him of one of his visions.

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Roman finishes off the last of his leeches, and decides to go out looking for, er, fresher prey. Naturally he heads to an underground club, because if there’s any rule Teen Wolf and Hemlock Grove both live by, it’s that there always, always, always has to be a scene at an underground rave. That and dubstep.

Roman takes a girl home from the club – after punching out her anger management issues date – but freaks out and kicks her out of the car before they arrive, not wanting to go through with killing and ting her. Good on you, Roman. He drives the rest of the way home, where he dismisses the nanny and stops in to see his plump and adorable product of incest.

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SO CUTE. SO PLUMP. So weirdly quiet, which I’m not used to with babies and thus endears the child to me all the more. Roman, stop staring and pick the kid up, what the hell?

Memorable Quotes

Peter: How’s your life?
Destiny: I show up everyday.

Andreas: To little girls who grow up to be beautiful women.
Destiny: To silver tongued men with sweet, dangerous smiles.

Lawyer: Credit card fraud, check kiting, manufacturing counterfeit handicap placards, selling muskrat meat as USDA certified ground beef, trespassing as a circus clown. What was she planning to do with the baby elephant?
Peter: She knew a guy.

Peter: I don’t have 20,000 dollars. I don’t have 20 dollars. I don’t have shit! [I know that feel, Peter. I share your pain.]

Roman: Quick question. The quarterly earnings report. Miscellaneous R and D, what’s that?
Pryce: R and D that’s miscellaneous.

Suspicious Dude: He that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious.

Final Thoughts

  • Whoa, that was way better than what I remember of season one. It still stumbled in areas, but in all the usual ways (first episode of the season, they have to remind the audience of who everyone is and get them up to speed on what’s been going on since so it gets overstuffed with plot intros and drags a bit).
  • DAT WEREWOLF TRANSFORMATION. Made that much better by the song they used. The power of music, folks.
  • The new writing team shows; this episode’s dialogue is a million times less painful than season one’s. I bet it helped not having to work off the already awful writing in the book (cough).
  • I know Peter is desperate, but selling a batch of fake drugs to a pair of gangsters is a really bad life choice, man. He probably thinks he’s gonna get out of Hemlock Grove with his mama in tow before the guys ever catch on, but we all know that’s not gonna happen. Like golly gee, I wonder if this decision is going to bite him in the ass later on?

Rating: B