Limetown: Episode 6: Cost-Benefit Analysis (Season 1 Finale)
December 14, 2015 9:33 AM - Subscribe

APR reporter Lia Haddock receives the answers she's been seeking in the season one finale of Limetown.
posted by Cash4Lead (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Hot.
Diggity.
Damn.
posted by Tevin at 10:26 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Season"?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:41 AM on December 14, 2015


Yeah, the title seems to imply a second season, and based on where they left off there damn well better be one. They cut this season short by an episode, but I'm totally cool with that if we get another season out of it.
posted by noneuclidean at 11:24 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK well.

I was a little put off at first that this was going to be the end of the first season because I got the feeling that things were pretty far off from being revealed and I didn't want to be dragged along.

But, uh, this didn't drag at all and just ripped through most of the questions I had and some I didn't know I did. Like the "magic" behind the disappearances ... man. I love how it was addressed.

Comparisons to Limetown and The Black Tapes aren't exactly fair, but the former beat the pants of the latter which felt like it was spinning its wheels while trying to figure out where it wanted to go next. This episode wrapped up a lot of questions from season one and still presented a compelling new mystery going forward. No mean feat.
posted by Tevin at 12:56 PM on December 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can someone remind me who Sylvia is?
posted by noneuclidean at 2:55 PM on December 14, 2015


Sylvia was Winona's daughter. I kind of want season 2 to be teenage Sylvia coming for revenge with her creepy implant superpowers now.

I dug this so, so much. What a great episode.
posted by a hat out of hell at 5:31 PM on December 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I kind of want season 2 to be teenage Sylvia coming for revenge with her creepy implant superpowers now.

Didn't Sylvia have to be singled out for rescue by... (I have already forgotten her name, Lenore?) because she didn't have an implant?
posted by Etrigan at 7:24 PM on December 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Magic is what people invent because reality is awful. This was money, brute force, and Excel spreadsheets."

God, what a great 25 minutes of radio. Absolute chills. The last time a podcast gave me chills was... well, the Napoleon episode of Limetown. But other than that, maybe never.
posted by Itaxpica at 8:31 PM on December 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


JEEBUS H MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST ON A CRACKER OMFG.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:09 AM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved this ep, but it suffers from a touch more of the Mystery Disease that afflicts these sorts of stories (and kind of has to, but still) -- Lenore (is that it? I seriously don't remember) has no apparent reason not to tell Lia more than she's telling her, especially about what's going to happen in 12 minutes and why she knows and suchlike, but she does it anyway to move the story along and ratchet up the tension.
posted by Etrigan at 9:56 AM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was a really gripping episode, holy shit. Limetown is really good at making a truly chilling final minute or so. I loved the sound design throughout, with the scratchy lo-fi record playing in the background, and then the ominous ticking of the timer, which felt kind of contrived but damned if it didn't work to ratchet up the tension.

And yeah, this is how you do a finale. You answer the questions your first season raised, and then introduce a whole new set of questions for the next season to tackle (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, THE BLACK TAPES). It was all kind of exposition dump-y, I suppose, which is unavoidable given the format. Ultimately though I think the pacing worked pretty well. Nothing in this episode came out of nowhere, but it was all still just surprising enough. I usually hate cliffhanger endings because they're a cheap tactic to keep the audience engaged, but I think Limetown earned this one.

One thing that stuck out to me: the phrase "you were the apple of his eye," regarding Lia and her uncle. It seemed like it was given weird significance.

Also, there's an update from the APR president on the Limetown soundcloud, which wasn't pushed to my iPhone's podcast app.
posted by yasaman at 11:32 AM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


you were the apple of his eye

Something something apple pig roast...

This episode didn't do it for me, especially after the last one. When Lenore was still monologuing at the 12 minute mark I actually yelled at the car stereo. It felt like they were stalling until it was time to ratchet things up toward the obligatory cliffhanger - which I had been afraid would happen when this was billed as the final episode of season 1.

"Magic is what people invent because reality is awful" was worth the price of admission, though. And thanks to Lenore's disposal techniques we now have a meaning for the name "Limetown".
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:21 PM on December 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


And thanks to Lenore's disposal techniques we now have a meaning for the name "Limetown".

I thought the exact same thing, and reading it there just gave me the chills again.
posted by Etrigan at 12:27 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really think you would prefer the pill.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:54 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The passage that Lenore has the "hooker" read to Lia is a (very nearly) direct passage from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. This is the second reference to Vonnegut's work in the podcast (at least that I'm aware of), following the brief mention of Mother Night in episode 3.
"Hello," he said to me, sleepily.
"Hello," I said. "I like your painting."
"You see what it is?"
"I suppose it means something different to everyone who sees it."
"It's a cat's cradle."
"Aha," I said. "Very good. The scratches are string. Right?"
"One of the oldest games there is, cat's cradle. Even the Eskimos know it."
"You don't say."
"For maybe a hundred thousand years or more, grownups have been waving tangles of string in their children's faces."
"Um."
Newt remained curled in the chair. He held out his painty hands as though a cat's cradle were strung between them. "No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's..."
"And?"
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle."

— Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, ch. 74. Ellipsis and italics as in the book. The two struck words appear in the book but not in the Limetown reading.
Lenore then references the cat's cradle at 24:13: "I told you that your uncle and I spoke a lot in Limetown. And we did. He knew what I was. Who I was. But he wanted me to be better. But I wasn't then. I didn't know it was nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands and we look and look and look at all those X's. No damn cat, no damn cradle. So when your uncle spoke to me recently and told me to tell you my truth, I knew it was what had to be done."

One take on the significance of the cat's cradle in Vonnegut's book can be found in this essay, starting about halfway down with the paragraph beginning "Vonnegut's problems with religion and his beliefs about truth..."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:12 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Did anyone catch Lenore's last words about the parachute? I listened a few times but Liah shouting in the background drowned out the final word for me.

Also, terrific finale - I extended my walk home with a big loop so I could listen to the whole thing and it chilled me to the bone.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:19 AM on December 16, 2015


Did anyone catch Lenore's last words about the parachute? I listened a few times but Liah shouting in the background drowned out the final word for me.

I had trouble understanding at first, but on relistening I think it was "I pulled the parachute, because my truth was important."
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:59 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, on further reflection. This was an AMAZING episode. Possibly the best dramatic podcast episode I've ever heard, and up there with the best episodes of any format. I really wasn't expecting it, to be honest. I've been a bit disappointed with Limetown as the season has gone along, and my feelings about why are largely confirmed by this episode.

For a dramatic podcast, the "journalism" framing device is an easy and obvious choice, but the problem with it is that it introduces distance between the dramatic events and the listener. At least the distance caused by inserting the "reporter" and usually also the distance created by having the characters in the drama recounting past events. This has been mostly the case in Limetown, and while I have enjoyed the podcast overall, the best moments have been the ones where that distance was reduced because Lia was reporting on events that happened to her - the man at the motel, the phone call with her mother - and here in this episode she wasn't even reporting on events, the events were just happening and we were hearing it. Even though it was hard to hear, and not exactly clear just what was happening, it was happening first-hand, and so much more effective because of that.

The writing in this episode was also excellent. I actually didn't enjoy the Napoleon episode all that much - it was a bit too maudlin and manipulative for me, but this was different. That line about "money, brute force, and Excel spreadsheets" will stick with me for a long time. The matter-of-fact tone with which Lenore explained that they had built time into the schedule for sluicing the remains of their victims down the drain, seemingly at odds with her friendly persona, but revealed near the end to be her true cold and heartless character. That chilling line I've already referenced above, "I really think you would prefer the pill."

I'm going to listen to this episode again (and maybe the whole series again, based on the strength of this episode) and I've never done that with a dramatic podcast before.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:47 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


That line about "money, brute force, and Excel spreadsheets" will stick with me for a long time.

I loved that because 1) so much evil the actual world is like that and 2) I loved that she was incredibly defensive about how hard it was. It was essentially sure what we did was evil, but damn it I'm good at my job. It felt very real and weirdly satisfying.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:44 AM on December 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


I really loved everything about Lenore. Including the Spreadsheet line and the one about Magic is something we made up because reality is awful.

I'm really impressed with Limetown because in that school of horror podcasts (black tapes, and Tanis) it was always kind of second rate. But I think from the Napoleon episode on, it's really been upping it's game. And that episode might be my favorite bit of audio of 2015.
posted by KernalM at 5:03 PM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Finished this eight minutes ago and I am still 100% jumpy.
posted by mochapickle at 2:54 PM on December 17, 2015


Just incredible.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:20 AM on December 23, 2015


I just listened to this last night.

Agreed that the body disposal method adds to the creepiness of the Limetown name, but I also realized just before falling asleep that Lime is Emil (Lia's uncle) backwards.
posted by Jorus at 5:35 AM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh jeez, that was awful and wonderful. Hell of a season finale!
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:35 AM on February 25, 2016


I kept picturing Lenore as Nina Sharp.
posted by schmod at 11:55 PM on March 25, 2016


I just came across this which has some updates on the future of Limetown.
posted by noneuclidean at 6:50 PM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I would be super down with a Limetown prequel novel/TV show. Even more than the podcast, really.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:50 PM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just listened to this thanks to GenjiandProust's recommendation in the creepy podcast thread and holy shit was it worth it. In that thread I said Limetown toys with cliches of the genre only to subvert them, and I was thinking exactly of the mysterious disappearance that turns into "money, brute force, and Excel spreadsheets" in this episode -- it's not only depressingly realistic but also, ultimately, more terrifying to me than some Lovecraftian horror being responsible for sucking people away. The Panic itself felt similar to me: as it turns out, nobody channeled any ancient evils or loosed demons on the world, it was just a drug-withdrawal-fueled riot, and one that may have even started with pretty righteous intentions before spiraling out of control. Emotionally, despite the cliffhanger, this season felt complete to me in the way that it used a supernatural device to tell a story where the real villains were realpolitik, neuroticism (compare the experience with Napoleon vs. the sea of hidden human thoughts made legible by the implant), and human nature.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2017


My WAG theory going forward is that Lia has inherited some of Emil's gifts and she's too valuable an asset to just be summarily executed or assassinated by the Hummingbird Company. But I would kind of love it if the narrator next season was someone else!
posted by en forme de poire at 10:08 AM on October 16, 2017


Man, why'd you have to go and bring this back to my recent activity and remind me that season two is nowhere in sight!
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:03 AM on October 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


🙃
posted by en forme de poire at 12:08 AM on October 21, 2017


Season 2 coming 2018 this is not a drill kermit.gif
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:54 AM on October 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


Season 2 premieres on Halloween 2018! Also there's a Limetown book prequel available for preorder.
posted by yasaman at 11:12 AM on March 23


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