Archive 81: The Circle
February 10, 2022 6:06 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Panic grows when Dan learns about his predecessor and Melody tries to track the source of the Visser's dangers.
posted by chavenet (3 comments total)
Mark visits Dan at the compound but can't come in. Mark has discovered Dan's predecessor, Thomas, who died in a single-car accident after his work at the compound scanning old soap operas. Mark buys a collection of books and a film from the William Crest collection. Melody wakes up in Sam's apartment. Dan restores the tape his father made for him. Virgil checks in. Annabelle's in the hospital. Melody confronts Cassandra, there's something in the Visser ... could be the mold. Melody finds the source of the mold, confronts Sam. Dan finds mold in his VCR, and something very very scary coming out of his screen.

I found this episode to be mainly expository, a hurry-up to explain what's going on, or seems to be. It seemed like they were rushing through the discovery work.

Spoilers: the "snuff" film in the Crest collection features a ritual murder. Sam says Melody's a Baldung, though her mother wasn't. Jess is in the frame to be the next human sacrifice. The "altar" exists in 3 places: the old mansion that stood before the Visser, in the Visser basement, and in the compound. Don't stand in ... the circle.
posted by chavenet at 6:15 AM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Hey, look! A numbered list!

1.So, I think William Crest is the Oscar Waters of the show, which is... I mean, I like the William Crest scenes, they are very convincing, but the "Golden Age" episodes kick off the best part of the podcast, and I don't think we will ever see them.

2. Show Dan treats Mark way worse than podcast Dan treats Marc.

3. The answer to "can Samuel get worse?" is "yes." Not only do we get gross "date rape vibes" (note: I don't think Samuel raped Melody, but he took her to his apartment and then filmed her sleeping, which is, ugh), but the guy who jumped landed right below Samuel's window, which is kind of a coincidence.

4. I think they are going for a "Rosemary's Baby" vibe with some of the Visser scenes, but it doesn't really gel for me.

5. Not loving that they are making Annabelle into a complete victim. Making one of the most charismatic people in the series inert isn't a great move.

6. I still think Cassandra and Samuel have very different goals. I kind of hope she shanks him at the end of the season. In a very dignified way, of course.

7. Dan, wear a goddamn dust mask.

8. Is it just me, or, when Thomas Bellows goes all Heather from "The Blair Witch Project," doesn't he look like George R. R. Martin?

9. Is Patricia a cultist or collateral damage?

10. This show leans really heavily into the "cryptic people giving half answers" trope, and it's weaker for it. Find a diffeent way to dole out information. Much of the problem is caused by all the extra backstory and the need to explain things, but we've had so many scenes of Melody and Dan cornering people and saying "tell me!" and those people going "no," and then something interrupts. It could be a drinking game. On the other hand, I like Bobbi, so, whatever.

11. I liked the scene with Mark and Jill. Mark really rises to the occasion, and you get kind of an oblique look at Dan's past (hinted at in episode 1). It also gives us an excuse for some exposition that doesn't feel forced. However, that used bookstore has way too much space.

12. Ruins of a mansion! Weirdly, I am kind of into this.

13. chavenet , you are totes right that this is all exposition, but I kind of like all the ways they deliver it.

14. Melody asking Samuel "what the fuck is wrong with you?" is like the thesis statement of this show. The only weak point is that she didn't beat him to death right there.

15. Pouring the blood over the statue is a really good punctuation from here on out.

16. I don't get this vessel business, but we shall see.

17. Melody needs to leave the Visser or stop trying. This is getting kind of silly.

18. John Smith is really menacing, which is great. I am not sure I feel about him being Latino.

19. I like Melody being carries off. It's kind of fresh! And Dad's shitty dad is there, that will be good.

20. OK, look, Ringu reference. If you come at the king, you'd best not miss, and I am sorry to tell you....

21. Another secret underground room?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:33 PM on February 12, 2022

I like the identical mansion subbasements in buildings however many miles apart.
I like the idea of conveying horror through architecture.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:46 AM on February 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

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