Archive 81: Through The Looking Glass
February 8, 2022 10:29 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The past blurs into the present when Melody visits a forbidden floor in search of an inspired Anabelle; music leads to lost souls and revelations.
posted by chavenet (7 comments total)
This episode takes place almost entirely in the past. It focuses on Melody in the aftermath of the seance. She visits Dr. Turner, and learns that he was discussing her a message board because she showed signs of being "sensitive." She sends him a tape of the seance. At the Visser she finds out Annabelle's been moved by Cassandra up to the [secret] 6th floor, where's she's painting frenetically. Cassandra says Melody "smothers" Annabelle. Father Rocco has died, he fell in front of a subway train. Melody goes to the church, finds out that Sam has many names, and that the things she has come across -- her mother's ring, the statue in the basement -- are related to a coven of witches, the Baldung. At the end, Dan finds out Sam's secret, or maybe it's Virgil's secret. Virgil accuses Melody of setting the Visser fire.
posted by chavenet at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2022

OK, OK, a numbered list:

1. I know Melody is seriously obsessed by this point, but I feel like sleeping in Beatriz's room and badgering her is kind of out of character.

2. I still don't like the Dan - Dr. Turner - Melody connection, which seems too pat for me. In the podcast, Dan and Melody both get drawn in kind of by accident. They have particular aptitudes and they want the money LMG offered them. It seems.. more organic?

3. Jess continues to be awesome.

4. Does anyone get a "white savior" vibe from Melody toward Jess? Melody is so awkward that it's hard to tell what the showrunners intend.

5. Oh no! Bargain basement demonology in a priest's office! I'm sorry, this could be weirder. Father Russo should have been awful in a different way. Although we do get proof that Samuel is the worst.

6. Did I say Samuel is the worst? Why isn't this show everyone punching the shit out of Samuel the whole time? He's so oily!

7. The stuff at the gallery is hokey, but it's also really tense. It's like Annabelle and Melody are having completely different conversations. And who is the women in the paintings? It's another layer! And Tamara is the sane one now? Yeesh? Also, while Cassandra is probably evil, she is very right about Melody smothering Jess. Samuel, as usual, is stinking up the gallery. Why does no one punch him? There is a Jim Carroll bit about accidentally bursting an abscess at an art show and showing people with puss. That's Samuel at this gallery.

8. Junkie falls to his death, I'm not impressed, that is old hat, but, hey, it's Virgil? What's he doing here?
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:41 PM on February 8, 2022

I'm finding the junkie / lost boys story a bit of a sidetrack. We really don't need any more evidence that Sam's a creep.
posted by chavenet at 6:21 AM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have to agree -- there is a drug subplot in the podcast, but it's handled in about 10 minutes (more or less, group of partiers fall in with a guy who lives at the Visser and has distilled a drug from some mold he found. They try to set up a lab to make more to use and sell and Samuel isn't happy. The end.)

The show, as a whole, has a lot of additional stuff added, none of which really matters -- Melody and Dan's pasts, the Spirit Receivers, the expansion of the Vos family, Samuel and Virgil's connection, etc) -- some of it is fun and textured (the Spirit Receivers and the Vos family are good additions) and none of it is awful, but I feel like the series could ahve been 6 episodes and a bit tighter overall.

Still worth watching, though.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:15 AM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I guess I will have to check out the podcast now. [I hate podcasts]
posted by chavenet at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I didn't expect any of these episodes to remind me of both "Orange Is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity" and The Girl with all the Gifts, yet here we are.

I'm liking this well enough to keep watching it, but I have complaints. It's good enough, but I feel like it could be much better.
posted by johnofjack at 6:04 PM on February 17, 2022

I would like to register a complaint, and here is as good a place as any.

Dan was supposedly hired because of his expertise and meticulous care at restoration, but nothing is shown that requires him to use that knowledge. Each time he grabs a burnt, mangled tape, cracks it open, extracts the magnetic ribbon, puts it into a new housing, maybe rubs it with some sort of cleaner, and then hits play. Seriously, I could do as good a job on the tasks he is shown performing with a half hour of training. In a visual medium there needed to be some kind of further challenge to show that Dan is the only one who could have done this work.

Other than that I am enjoying it very much, thanks.
posted by five toed sloth at 10:49 PM on March 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

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