October Faction: Season 1 - all episodes
January 27, 2020 6:18 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

I've been having a great time watching this! Sure, it's not the best tv ever, but it's very entertaining. We burned through most of it in two nights and have one episode to go. It definitely feels like it wouldn't hold up through a slower and more considered viewing, but it was a great binge-watch. I highly recommend yelling at the tv and making lots of on-the-fly predictions about what's going to happen.

One thing I noticed was that the show had a tendency to under-explain things, and then later, usually an episode or two after I'd already put the pieces together and figured things out, over-explain them. I wonder if the kind of odd pacing of the exposition in that way is a remnant of its comic book origins.
posted by aka burlap at 6:40 PM on January 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I also have been enjoying it, despite all the flaws. Tamara Taylor is always wonderful.

It's the little character conversations that make the show.
posted by KaizenSoze at 11:57 AM on January 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

It lost me at the final episode with the kids’ reactions to their origin revelations. I could buy that they’re in shock, but they just seemed way way too calm and flipped over immediately with no mixed feelings about their adoptive parents. It felt incredibly unrealistic when that should be a huge explosive pivotal time, not a single plot beat. That and the whole sudden “I love you and if you don’t love me instantly” teen romance out of nowhere with Philip which was just - what the hell? The teenagers were written with blank shallow feelings, plots rather than characters.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:26 AM on January 29, 2020

I kept noticing Megan Follows' name in the director credits, completely didn't realize that was her playing Edith until I was poking around the show's imdb page.

I was semi-entertained by this show, but, it didn't really wow me ultimately. I feel like they didn't give me anyone to root for wholeheartedly. Revealing Fred as an adulterer made me less invested in Fred/Deloris. And in the whole humans vs. monsters & monsters vs. warlocks conflict, nobody seems to come out well. The October Faction/humans are very 'we have to destroy this village to save it', the warlocks (well, mostly just Alice I guess) are willing to bodysnatch human bystanders, and the monsters are presumably killing humans for sustenance.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:43 PM on January 29, 2020

Partway through the season and the various reactions by most of the characters, even the monsters, just seems off. The kids upset that their parents are monster killers, might've been a more interesting conversation than many other scenes but I expect that the writers just couldn't get it to work. I'm not one to decide not to watch something but could just not bother to play another episode.
posted by sammyo at 6:55 PM on January 29, 2020

I highly recommend yelling at the tv and making lots of on-the-fly predictions
I made predictions, and it was indeed more fun that way!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:07 AM on January 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Overall I liked that the world of the show became more complex (although this did happen rather suddenly in . . . Episode 5, I think?) where the monsters are not just monsters, there are factions within and between the various "monster" species, The Presidio are likely far more the bad guys then not, and there are factions and power plays within The Presidio itself. (Maybe a little too complex, though - it certainly feels like the revelation that Allen Sr. is still alive and that the mute guy with the cyborg eye is his creation and that Mute Guy is also a reincarnated Seth Allen is the kind of thing that really could have been saved for the end of Season 2 to drive the main plot for Season 3.) Not having read the comics, it certainly seemed like the show could have just been "ZOMG Mom and Dad are Monster Hunters!!" with some minor clichéd teen angst about it and then the kids just join the "family business." I like that pretty much every character and group is flawed to at least some extent.

The ending kinda failed for me, though - maybe I missed something and should rewatch it, but it felt like there was too big of a jump from "We're in the middle of big battle over the survival and status of the town of Barrington and The Presidio and the Allen family!!" to "Welp, besides Fred being dead, everything's back to normal!!" Quoting a review from The Cinemaholic:
"‘October Faction’ definitely redeems itself as it progresses, with its initial episodes probably being its weakest. At the same time, the finale takes it a step backwards. Just like the season premiere, it feels a little too out of place. More importantly, the finale feels rushed. In an attempt to tie all ends, we don’t spend enough time on any of them. Gina and Nader team up but we don’t see much of them actually working together. Similarly, we don’t see Alice even once after she goes to kill Edith. The same happens with the twins, who spend most of the episode finding each other, and ultimately just touch their hands and restore their power. And lo! The town is saved. But how? That’s the question the finale sadly doesn’t answer.

Apart from this, the season finale also leaves certain things hanging completely. The town is apparently saved, but we do not learn about what happened to all the people whose bodies were possessed by warlock spirits. Do all the spirits leave? It especially doesn’t do justice to Madison’s character, whose name is brought up twice during the episode, only it doesn’t take us to her. Similarly, we do not learn much about Fred’s death. We never even see his death take place. However, he was stuck in a limbo where Omari tells him about the window that could bring him back to life. But this never quite materializes as we have Deloris at his grave in the present. Maybe, the limbo scenes were introduced for the next season. But its too soon to say if there will even be a second season."
Yeah, this ^
posted by soundguy99 at 6:11 AM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, it felt like there was a lot sort of left dangling on the hopes it would be renewed for a second season (lookit all these plot points we can carry on with!) and, well - COVID.

It was enjoyable enough, although the kids were awfully ready to abandon their parents and go with the weird lady who just showed up, and some of the teen drama was... ugh, ok ultimately sort of necessary I guess but it was laid on pretty thick in the first few episodes. Like, while I'm usually willing to tell people that it gets better after the nth episode, hang in there, I wouldn't blame anyone for bouncing off this thinking it was more arrowverse teen drama.

I ultimately sort of liked the scope of the show, but yeah there were bits that ultimately sort of felt tacked in. Like I guess the whole Seth Laser Mr. Bojangles plot was there to explain why pops was on the outs with Presidio? Or not, because Presidio was surprised to discover what pops had done?

And yeah, I guess Fred just died. He had a chance, but I guess nah he had had enough.
posted by Kyol at 8:05 AM on March 1, 2021

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