[For Fargo “Before the Law” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Before the Law The Gerhardts get a surprising offer; two unlikely murderers do their best to clean up their mess.

Dodd Gephardt asks a guy strapped to a chair if he’s listening – seeming to forget that he just cut the guy’s ears off. It’s symbolic, really, of how Dodd’s machismo gets in the way of his ability to see what’s right in front of him. Another good example of what Dodd can’t see is his own mother, Floyd, who tells Dodd what he missed while out in the barn carving body parts. It seems Kansas City just offered to buy the Gephardt organization meaning the family would report to Kansas City but earn about the same or more than ever. Dodd doesn’t like the idea of Floyd being boss, making decisions, etc. and takes a seat at the head of the table where his father, Otto, usually sat. But the unaffected Floyd just lectures in front of shelves stocked with a variety of bread loaves and forces Dodd to eat Challah. Dodd nibbles baby bites in rebellion as she explains that he has to stand by her now and then once this crisis is over she’ll hand him his legacy. His time will come. Then Floyd sends him off to bring Rye back home. Dodd enlists the family’s muscle onto his side, noting that his brother, Bear already has sided with Floyd. They gotta get Rye on their side. But first they have to find him.

Back at the Blomquist’s Ed ponders Rye’s wallet and his daunting cleanup job, dread dripping from every facial movement he makes. Peggy trots off to work, though and covers for him at the butcher shop with a story about bad clams from a can before heading to her job at the hair salon. Then Ed turns on the radio. He scrubs and wipes out the garage before burning Rye’s and his own clothes in the fireplace. Ed stands before the blaze in a dreamy state – his Winnie the Pooh naked belly glows in firelight because he wears just tube socks and tighty whiteys. The camera closes in on the fire to show Rye’s badass metal belt buckle among the logs and flames. Ed gazes into the blaze but remains unaware of this evidence.

Then we’re introduced to Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine), the profound and fearless voice of Kansas City. He shows up with the Kitchen Brothers at the electric typewriter guy’s place looking for Rye Gerhardt. Mike asks him pointed questions before creatively choking him with one of the typewriters. Typewriter guy tells Mike about setting Rye off to meet the judge. So, Milligan leaves him tied into the typewriter ribbon, appearing to know more about what happened between Rye and that judge then his informant does.

Lou’s wife, Betsy and daughter Molly ride along with him in the police car as he stops at the Waffle Hut with a “wild hair.” Betsy and Molly build a snowman outside while Lou investigates the evidence in the diner. He spots the roach killer can the judge sprayed in Rye’s face and picks it up. Meanwhile outside, Betsy finds a gun in the bushes and calls to Lou. Grateful to her for locating the murder weapon, Lou stands next to Betsy clutching the gun as the Kansas City crew drive by in slo mo. Hence that old familiar feeling of Fargo dread arises again. Offscreen Lou calls Hank and tells him to check that ominous car, so Sheriff Hank blocks the street in front of the crew. You shall not pass! But Hank’s authority soon falters, shunted by Mike Milligan’s seemingly fearless nonchalance in the face of law enforcement. He gets a peek at their IDs, shoes sizes, and plate numbers but little else. Since the Sheriff has nothing on them but a hefty handful of suspicion, they drive away unscathed. If anybody is flustered by the interaction, it’s Hank.

That night Ed watches from his truck as Peggy gets a ride home from her boss, the salon owner and conveyer of late 70s personal-achievement-seminar wisdom. Don’t be a prisoner of “We”, she advises. At the drop off Peggy’s infinitely all-knowing boss drops in to the Blomquist’s to use Peggy’s bathroom where she snoops and finds stolen toilet paper that’s been missing from the salon. She’s flirtatiously suspicious of Peggy right to her face then, saying she’s not mad about the TP “Just ask next time,” and calls Peggy a bad girl before catching her in a lie about the cut on her forehead. Who knows what her boss suspects but either way, Peggy is at great disadvantage trying to hide anything from her.

At the butcher shop, Ed eviscerates Rye’s body through the meat grinder in a wretched spectacle of churning red and grey. He then returns to the steel table to chop the fingers from one of Rye’s hands and they scatter across the floor like mice. Before he can retrieve them Lou, who’s apparently got another “wild hair” – for bacon this time – taps on the butcher shop front door. Unbearable tension escalates in the following scene as Ed spies a finger on the floor. Lou drops some change paying for the bacon and then they both scrounge around the nearby finger to pick it up. Luckily the phone rings to save the day and Lou takes his bacon while Ed takes a call from Peggy on the butcher shop phone. She wants him to come home. She misses him. She’ll make oatmeal. She loves him and he loves her too.

This phenomenal episode then concludes with a voiceover and view from above. A sonorous narrator tells us that nobody could have imagined back then that far superior creatures were scrutinizing every human action on Earth while plotting envious plans against us. Thus we find out that Rye wasn’t a dope but rather was a prophet of sorts – seeing the UFO as real before we did. The true prophesy lies, though, in what we already know as we watch this period piece about our human way of life thirty five years ago. The aliens needn’t bother to measure our limits or plot our demise. They aren’t even obliged to think very much about our destruction. We humans will take care of all that. The aliens can just sit back with their version of popcorn and watch as we burn our planet down all on our own, Fargo-style.

–Katherine Recap

[For The Leftovers‘ “Off Ramp” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Off Ramp Laurie and Tom’s work to rescue lost souls takes a toll on them; Tom infiltrates the cult.

The episode opens hyped up at a car wash with a beating drum solo right out of the movie Whiplash as Laurie (Amy Brenneman) cleans a car, finally returning to The Leftovers. Then she types angrily on a laptop in a cafe, purchases infinite packs of nicorette, pours them into a jar, and vacuums a big empty conference room. Offset scenes show Tom all in white at the Guilty Remnant eyeing new recruits, especially one named Susan whom he takes to the big empty room where Laurie and some others await in a circle of chairs. After their therapeutic group Laurie gives Susan a cellphone and tells her she’s the only number programmed in it and the phone doesn’t text so, Susan will “have to talk.” Laurie promises she can help Susan come back and says that she did it herself. Then back at their hotel room Laurie watches a youtube video of Holy Wayne when he was a prophet – alive, and preaching to the people. In the video Holy Wayne asks, “Who wants a hug?” and holds out his arms to the crowd. Meanwhile Tom’s getting drunk on the couch. He asks Laurie if she ever misses the quiet of the cult and she says “no,” without hesitation.

Susan wakes up and starts talking. She asks Laurie what she’s writing and Laurie tells her a book about the Guilty Remnants. Viktor, the guy renting Laurie the office space and conference room, busts her for overuse citing that he knows people are sleeping and pooping there at night. Not only is she late paying him but he’s gotta charge her $200 more for using it nights. She finagles more time at the same price, promising payment soon. Then at a Laurie’s next group therapy session two Guilty Remnants barge in and give Susan the hairy eyeball before Laurie puffs out her chest at them and tells them to go mama bear-style. Susan is definitely shaken by it.

Tom goes back to Remnant HQ where a lady holds up a note to tell him your pain doesn’t matter. Then he’s peeling potatoes and sees that same lady confiscate a watch of another member – his next rescue, Howard. Meanwhile Laurie takes Susan to see her husband and son at their home. Susan crosses the yard and her son rushes to her arms. She’s a person again and starts wearing colors in the very next scene. Susan then talks in a group session about not believing her son wants her back home again even though he asked her to come home. She says he must be angry. Laurie says maybe he just wants you home. Susan says he has to be angry, “Like you,” to which Laurie retorts that she’s not angry. But we all know that’s a lie… and we’ll be even more convinced later. Then Tom breaks in with a new member from the Guilty Remnant, Howard.

That night Laurie asks if she can drive Tom to see Jill and can she write a letter to her? Tom says Jill’s not ready but she does it anyway. Then Tom’s coming out of the diner and getting in the car with Laurie. He tells her Jill’s happy then lies and said she took Laurie’s letter too. When they get back to the conference room and office space Viktor has thrown all their group’s stuff onto the sidewalk. Presumably Laurie never paid that late money she owes him for renting the space. They are without a space. But worse than that, Viktor took her laptop and (dummy that she is) Laurie didn’t even email her book to herself. The only copy is on the laptop. She confronts Viktor and he claims not to have it. She says, “Keep it, just give me the one file with my book on it,” to which the non-dummy Viktor replies, “Then I’d be admitting I have the laptop.”

Next we see Laurie skulker-extraordinaire slipping into Viktor’s house late at night, climbing the stairs while his wife chitchats in Russian on the kitchen phone, and then running back down the stairs as a child shrieks after her. She’s got the laptop. Driving away from crime scene number one Laurie runs down two Guilty Remnants in the street with her car, possibly killing them. Then she’s at the carwash cleaning off whatever remnants of Remnants might remain from crime scene number two. The next day Laurie confers with Susan and her husband, comforting him that Susan’s going to stay with him and that it’s not his fault she left, it’s the cult’s. Her certainty in this scene parallels the certainty Nora and Kevin had in their adoption interview. No breaking up on the horizon. No way.

Speaking of the cult, Guilty Remnants take Tom to a shed where they hang him by his wrists and then Meg enters in a white nightie (Liv Tyler) to immediately take off his pants. She removes her white lace undies and straddles him seductively then has her way on his lap for a bit. He’s loving the feeling and it’s going great until two buff Guilty Remnants come in and ruin the lapdance party. They douse Tom in gas, drag him outside, and throw him in the gravel. Meg then threatens to light Tom up with her zippo but instead just lights a smoke. She says, “Tell your mom Meg says ‘hello’.” Talk about the ultimate buzzkill.

Next Laurie buys a handbag she can’t afford and returns home to a crazed Tom who’s freaking out about Meg – telling her she’s forgotten how effed up it is in the Guilty Remnants. They make sense! They know something! She tells him he doesn’t have to go back to the cult to get rescues anymore, that what they’re doing is working, that her book will be published, and it will all be over soon. Nobody’s convinced by her words – not even Laurie.

Then we find Susan at a boring dinner with her boring husband. Susan sleepwalks through her boring day. She fondles a note from the Guilty Remnant with longing then nearly drives the car with her husband and child into oncoming traffic, she’s in such a daze. Meanwhile Laurie’s at the publisher when she gets a phone call. Sounds like Susan got into a car accident BIG TIME. But then the receptionist tells her “They love your book,” and it’s exciting but the phone call makes Laurie want to leave until the publisher comes out to greet her and starts wheeling and dealing right away. Throughout the meeting her phone keeps ringing and she puts it on silent. They tell her Laurie needs to explain the cult’s smoking and reveal their the rulebook, the story behind the Guilty Remnants. “We know what the Guilty Remnant does but what do they believe?” Laurie says they believe the world ended. They seem unsatisfied with this answer.

The publisher relates the story of the fire, bringing us back there with visual remembrance but then says that from her telling of the story he doesn’t know how she feels about it. Laurie loses her shit and attacks the publisher, flying across the room reaching for his throat like a vampire in flight. Remember how Susan said Laurie was angry before and she denied it? Looks like Susan might have had a point. In the next scene Tom bails a contrite Laurie out of jail. Another publishing deal bites the dust.

Tom and Laurie discuss how Susan’s car wreck represents a failure to their process of trying to heal the ex Guilty Remnants. Why isn’t it working? They decide they need to replace the cult with something, give these people something to hold onto and believe in. Then we’re back in a group session and Laurie tells the story of the fire and how Jill will probably never speak to her again. She has Tom tell his story of Holy Wayne. Tom explains how Wayne healed people with hugs, took their pain away, and taught Tom not to be afraid anymore. He implies that he’s been holding back the same ability – that Holy Wayne passed it on to him- and he can restrain the power no longer. Tom’s a giver. He stands up, asks who wants a hug, and opens his arms to the group.

Mysterious Incident List:

What’s up with Meg? Blue balls and then threatening to light a guy on fire are pretty harsh for someone she’s never met before. Looks like Laurie’s not the only pissed person in town.

When Laurie’s convincing Tom her book will be published soon she says it will all be over soon. This implies that Laurie thinks her book will end the Guilty Remnant. What’s in the book? The publisher made it sound like it had gaps.

Can Tom pull off the Holy act? Seems like he was just so damn sick of being a fake Guilty Remnant he’d do whatever he had to not to have to go back there.

This was the best episode yet for season two and had surprisingly few mysteries, especially given that it was focused on the Guilty Remnant – one of the most enigmatic of phenomenon in the show. The scene with Meg was astonishing and powerful. She’s a force and probably the new leader of the Guilty Remnant given her strength and confidence. Her cruelty and coldness really brought Patty to mind – a ghost in every episode it seems – even the ones where she’s never appears onscreen.

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel “Chutes and Ladders” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:

Chutes and Ladders Will Drake brings couture to the Hotel Cortez; John learns about the hotel’s sadistic first owner.

This extra long episode begins as Hypodermic Sally rips apart the sewn up slit of a mattress to chide Gabriel for trying to cheat death then squeezes him back inside. The swedish blonde then dies in her neon lit cage with a vampire child biting her wrist. Ewww. It tastes gross. “That’s because she’s dead now,” Iris, the voice of reason, explains. The body gets dumped into the dusty basement down a trapdoor chute – reminiscent of Sweeney Todd. Then Iris drains the vampire child blood into a crystal decanter she delivers to The Countess and Donovan. They drink. The Countess wants to go out and hunt but beautiful Donovan wants to stay in and watch House of Cards. So Gaga glams up and goes alone. Surprise surprise… it’s just like every other relationship in the world.

Then we’re back at the Hotel Cortez where John Lowe wakes to see his little boy and chases after him crying “Holden” while running all the way to the lobby. Sally awaits at the bar there and immediately recognizes John as a recovering alcoholic. She explains that she ended up a junkie yes but used to be a poet – even wrote one for Patti Smith. John drinks ginger ale and listens. She asks John the story of his last drunk, so he regales a tale of woe. He was on a wretched case – a whole family killed in their home in a scene that wrecked John so much he boozed for two days straight while his family waited at home for him. Then Lowe tried to make amends taking them to a carnival and his son, Holden, went missing the next day. So, he stopped drinking because he, “Can’t afford to get lost.”

Next John’s at the police station where he immediately assumes a package addressed to him from the Hotel Cortez is a bomb. but when the bomb squad check it out they just find a bloody Oscar statue inside. Detective Lowe sends it to the crime lab, seemingly unmoved. Meanwhile, Back at the Cortez Will Drake throws a fashion event that inspires a visit from Claudia (Naomi Campbell) of Vogue Magazine in a fur bolero, nerd glasses, and the hots for Detective Lowe. During the runway show Scarlett, John’s daughter meets Lachlan, Blake’s jaded son. The model of the moment is a douche named Tristan Duffy (Finn Wittrock) and The Countess falls in love with his rage and drug-filled bod. After he hits the runway Tristan carves a slash into his cheek and declares he’s done with modeling. Then Lachlan shows Scarlett the child vampires in their day coffins. “Nothing wakes them,” Lachlan says right before vampire Holden opens his sapphire blue eyes.

Douche Tristan is on a rampage then, scavenging the hotel for coke in The Countess’s suite. He’s got a real nose for it, apparently. Donovan’s about to choke Tristan dead but then The Countess saves him instead. Tristan then saunters down a timewarp hallway that transports him to another era. It’s the 1920’s with FDR on the radio and the art deco designs of Hotel Cortez are fresh and new. Tristan starts to steal from one of the rooms when he’s discovered by James March (Evan Peters) who’s got a healed-over mortal wound on his throat and a propensity for murdering young, tied-up girls. Tristan then runs out of the room and right into the arms of the Countess.

Then we see Scarlett ride a city bus by herself into town to the Cortez where she returns to the child vampire coffin room and finds them empty. Winding her way through back hallways Scarlett finds the secret room with the child vampires playing on floor-to-ceiling video consoles. Holden sees her and says, “What took you so long?” and he even knows who she is. Scarlett asks why he hasn’t grown up. He doesn’t answer and doesn’t want to leave with her. Scarlett tries to take a picture with him but then he almost bites her neck and she runs away. In the hallway on her way out Scarlett passes Hypodermic Sally who chews her own teeth down to bloody nubs while laughing. This arouses deeply embedded archetypal terrors for anyone who’s had a tooth-crumbling nightmare. Scarlett, of course, runs away even faster.

Next thing we know it’s late at night and Scarlett walks down her street toward home where cop cars are a flurried collection of sirens outside. They’re all about her because she’s missing. John and Alex are all a twitter with terror. She tries to calm them saying she saw Holden at the hotel and wanted to surprise them by bringing him home. They’re understandably still upset and tell her Holden is dead. Back at the Cortez The Countess has made Tristan a vampire now. So he’s excited to sex it up with her out of gratitude while she explains all the vampire rules to him in between banging. Don’t suck on the dead, no sun, blah blah blah. She warns him not to get caught or fall in love. He pretends to listen.

The Countess tells Tristan she’s been alive since 1902 but the best days were the late 1970s when she was a disco queen. They’re lounging around the bed enflagrante when Donovan comes in all jealous and pissy. Donovan says he loves her and she tells him he’ll get better from this because that’s what makes us all better – heartbreak. Donovan’s shockingly ungrateful for this news. Then John Lowe comes to the Cortez pretty pissy himself that his daughter was able to roam the hotel halls without anyone stopping her. Iris tries to get him to drink so she can tell him why this hotel is so special.

Iris recounts the tale of James March, the sadistic pyscho original owner and builder of the Hotel Cortez. John has to understand the origin to understand the hotel, she says. In 1925 Mr. March, a filthy rich loon, was obsessed with art deco design and killing. His unquenchable bloodlust was perfectly suited for building a torture chamber with secret passageways, escape chutes and built-in alibis. He loved murdering so much that he even used it for sexual pleasure, much like The Countess. Turns out Ms. Evers, the laundress goes all the way back to James March. She’s been working at the hotel from the very beginning and has all sorts of magical methods for cleaning linens with love, as the eerie Ms. Evers loves to say.

But he was sloppy in murders outside the hotel, Iris explains, and once even left a bunch of bodies out in the road. Thus the police came after him. It was assumed his wife turned him in – the wife role a great candidate for The Countess – but not yet revealed. As soon as Ms. Evers announced to James March that the police were there he “does her the honor” and shoots her before slitting his own throat just as the police arrive. Thus, Iris has now told Lowe the story of how the Hotel Cortez is full of ghosts and ghouls. John sarcastic claps for Iris’s story before saying, “people do enough damage without help from the afterlife.” The man has a point it’s just he’s in the wrong world for making it.

Back at John’s office he’s in the straight world again, posting crime scene photos next to articles on his board of evidence. He points out a pattern and realizes the Ten Commandments are being expressed through these serial murders. Meanwhile Tristan is at the Cortez scamming a sexual conquest on Grindr. He takes the tasty man up to his room to kill him quickly after only a few kisses. The Countess watches and Tristan tells her, “Just cause I’m sucking on this dude doesn’t mean I’m gay,” which ends this extra long episode with the best line of quite a storied evening.

–Katherine Recap

[For Scream Queens‘ “Pumpkin Patch” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:

Pumkin Patch Dean Munsch makes an announcement that impacts Chanel’s plan to throw a pumpkin patch party.

Cliff Wu, the fabulously renowned party planner helps Chanel plan her upcoming Pumpkin Patch party THE Halloween event of the season. Maroon 5 is in. Fergie’s also coming but Led Zepplin can’t make it because apparently one of them died in the 70s or something. Chanel’s beside herself over this tedious technicality because now guys might not show up to “her patch” “Guys need a legendary rock band!” She then decides the Chanels will go to the party as the wives of murdered presidents. Chanel, of course, will be Jackie O. Number Five (Abigail Breslin) has to be Mary Todd because she’s the loony one and then five threatens to leave… again.

Dean Munsch calls a meeting at Kappa and closes the campus for safety. Chad then gives a pep talk about how Halloween is the best night of the year because it’s the sluttiest. Shockingly, the Dean remains unmoved and maintains her cancellation of the sluttiest holiday. Chanel responds with an indignant community letter saying she’s still having the fabulous Pumpkin Patch party but now at 12:01AM on November 1st. So, technically not a Halloween party and within the Dean’s rules. Hester then approaches Chanel 5 about getting back at Chanel, turns out Hester’s a switch hitter… ahem double agent. They go to Jennifer (candle fan and lover of ants) and talk to her about voting for Zayday. This will lead to Hester as VP and thus finally terminate Chanel’s reign over Kappa. When Jennifer resists the idea they show her a stash of Diptyque candles (OMG these are premium grade!) haphazardly piled on the floor of Chanel’s closet. Jennifer cannot resist and agrees to their dastardly plan. Chanel then gets arrested and thrown in prison – presumably from their shenanigans. Let the revenge plan roll.

Meanwhile Zayday stands at the bottom of a basement trapdoor where the Red Devil peeks at her once in awhile in between Culture Club songs. He also sends things down to her in a bucket such as Kiehls products, like an artisanal Silence of the Lambs. Grace and Pete are on a mission to rescue Zayday and try to get Kappa to help them look. But the Kappa girls are too busy being sad about not having their slutty holiday this year and sniffing luncheon air from under a silver dome isn’t helping ease their pain. Then Grace goes to her Dad’s place and walks in on him in bed with Gigi. Grace pretends to get over it quickly and enlists the two of them to help her (and silent Pete) find Zayday. Chanel then gets released from prison by Chanel number 3 and “predatory lez” declaring them her true friends … for the moment.

Back at the Dean’s office, Munsch confides in Denise that she slept with Chad but it wasn’t that good. Turns out Denise also slept with Chad but it WAS good. They high five as Grace enters with Pete the puppy dog, Gigi and Wes, all claiming to care about finding Zayday. Dean Munsch points out that she’s already hired Denise to find the missing girl and Denise is perfect for the job because she remains convinced that Zayday’s the killer. Munsch then appears to have her tender heart crushed at the realization Gigi and Wes are “a couple” now. Chanel then finds Chanel 5 in her closet and confronts her with the dirt she got from the double agent antics of Hester and Jennifer who apparently really are playing both sides of the Kappa drama. She declares number five’s punishment – place candles in the outdoor pumpkin patch lanterns so they’re ready for the party at 12:01. Five says she’s being sent to her certain death because of the curfew but Chanel insists.

Back at the search party Gigi has a suspicious amount of knowledge about the House at Shady Lane but nobody notices. Although, Grace tells Wes she’s fine with him and Gigi hasn’t he noticed she seems a little mentally off? Gigi lets them know she heard that comment just to add fuel to the already blazing bonfire of awkwardness between them. Then Chanel 5 gets frat boy brothers Roger and Dodger to help light the jack o lanterns but who shows up next? Mr Red Devil, of course, this episode has been crying out for some morbidity. He chases them into a snow-filled maze that’s exactly like the one from The Shining. The brothers, Roger and Dodger, choose now to tell Chanel 5 she has to choose one of them because they’re both in love with her and this – signifying their imminent death – is the moment of truth. Then they all use the same trick the little boy in The Shining did and walk backwards into their tracks but, unfortunately, this gets Dodger (the one she didn’t love) killed.

Next we see the search party entering a spooky, dark basement. But, typically, Denise forgot the flashlights so they’re searching in the dark. It turns out to be the Red Devil’s workspace inside – with masks and various red accoutrements galore. Grace discovers the trapdoor to Zayday just as Denise and Gigi find a torture chamber that “smells like booty” filled with a range of red tools. Then the lights shut down out of nowhere and we’re in night vision goggles mode, seeing the two of them struggle as the Red Devil watches and starts up the chainsaw. Somehow Gigi tases the Red Devil. Then a thrilled Denise reports back to Grace, Wes, and Pete – stopping for a minute to sip some red wine in celebration – and while she’s gone the Red Devil somehow gets away under Gigi’s watch. Interesting. Wes then calls the cops and the search party ends up empty handed yet again. No Zayday and no Red Devil, though they did appear to get darn close with that taser.

Back at Kappa house Chanel holds an emergency election for the new Kappa president. It’s the only way she can get her mind off the Pumpkin Patch party cancellation disappointment. Darn that Dodger for getting killed and ruining her party plans. But Chanel’s foiled something fierce when who is coming down that spiral staircase? It’s a perfectly fine Zayday, better than ever, actually because she’s well-groomed and rested from her time away. Zayday tells them how the Red Devil brought her up from the basement, gave her red roses and her favorite snack, Oakland Nachos. Then (apparently ungrateful) Zayday stabbed him in the hand and escaped. Chanel, who’s unimpressed with this tale, announces that they’ll go forth now with the vote for president and we’re left with that Kappa cliffhanger.

Then Gigi and the Red Devil have a meeting in a quiet corner on quad and she tells him “That got outta hand,” and, “He’s gotta go,” then, “Do you understand me?” all to which the Red Devil nods obediently. Gigi leaves him to go on a “salad date,” which was how she described her pre-sex date with Wes. So, we don’t know if this gentleman that’s “gotta go” is Wes or if the salad date is with him this time too… but there are few other contenders. Pete’s barely a character and more like Grace’s binky or pet at this point. Who else could Gigi be talking about? The only guy we pretty much know it’s NOT is Chad because he was absent the whole episode after his failed slutfestival pep talk.

So, tonight’s guess for who the killer is: Chad Gigi just might be the only woman on campus he hasn’t slept with yet – a perfect motive for him to do her bidding. Chad is all about the wiener, after all.

–Katherine Recap


[For The Bastard Executioner‘s “Thorns/Drain” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Thorns/Drain Wilkin and Toran get a new timeline for their revenge and a surprising ally visits Lady Love.

All this stuff happens before opening credits roll for “Thorns/Drain” …

Wilkin wakes up to [fake] wife Jessamy basically staring at him asleep. “You are lovely when you sleep,” she declares creepily. The pair disagree about whether son Luca will end up a punisher like dear old dad (and now fake dear old dad).

The reeve brings a proclamation to Vampire Bill’s room to post. He doesn’t want to be disturbed but is admonished that the proclamation came overnight, and from the king himself. Out comes one of the twins, then a heretofore unseen little person, then after a moment the other twin… bearing a wooden cage filled with squirming rats. “It is best left to the imagination,” says Vampire Bill. Ew.

The proclamation, posted by deadly priest Father Ruskin, tells the world that Love is pregnant with the heir to Ventrishire (you know, what she spent the last two episodes convincing her enemies of [that is also not true])

In the wilderness caves, Annora is at work… Until a strange thorn emerges from her hand, as if by magic. Confirming something that has never really been addressed head-on on The Bastard Executioner, Annora’s wound, presumably overtly evocative of the stigmata, heals almost instantaneously.

Wilkin and Toran leave the castle with a cache of stolen weapons earmarked for the Wolf; remember in “Effigy/Ddelw” Wilkin cost the Wolf some supplies that he is meant to replace? Unfortunately, the weapons rattle in an obvious way, alerting a knight who volunteered to help get Wilkin and Toran where they are going. It seems Wilkin is beloved of the castle folks, as the knight says [he gives] “more delight than the whores and the minstrel.”

The knight goes to check on their wagon, discovers the illicitly procured weapons… And is immediately murdered by Wilkin.

And then the opening credits roll.

That guy probably killed someone Wilkin and Toran love.

Since another knight saw this one ride off with them, there is almost nothing that can be done. Wilkin and Toran resolve to free their friends (and Wilkin’s fake family), take what limited revenge they can, and get the hell out of dodge Ventrishire.

Wilkin and Toran meet up with the Wolf to deliver the weapons and negotiate a place to hide for after they quit the castle. The Wolf says they are very brave, etc. etc. but before anyone can pat himself on the back too much Wilkin forces the Wolf to promise not to hurt Love. He is specifically citing that Love was attacked on the road before, but she shouldn’t be a target. “No prob bro,” says the Wolf. “I will not attack the Baroness.”

… Cut to Isabel and Love being thrown in sacks and captured.

Cut to commercial.

Of course!

Unreal truth bomb: The Wolf and Love are brother and sister! The Wolf is an illegitimate bastard son of the former ruling Baron’s mistresses. They grew up together and seem to get along quite well [She repeatedly calls him “Griffy”].

“An independent Wales is my wish as well,” says Love. So the Wolf gets Love to fund his revolution. Love will bust into the castle crypts and give the Wolf something expensive, which he can use to pay / feed soldiers or whatever.

Back at the castle Wilkin is having no luck penetrating the mind of fake wife Jessamy Maddox. She is 100% all-in on Wilkin actually being Gawain Maddox and doesn’t want to flee in the middle of the night. Little Luca Maddox knows what’s what and is more worried that Wilkin won’t be his dad any more if they flee Castle Ventris. In a particularly touching moment, Wilkin assures Luca that even though he will never truly be his dad, he will never leave him.

Annora meets up with Ventrishire’s deadly Priest (remember his being a badass back in “Effigy/Ddelw”); she presents him a handful of thorns and says that evil is coming to Ventrishire; he is incredulous at first but then Annora pops a new thorn out of her breast… Which once again magically heals instantly. Good enough! Father Ruskin is on board.

Speaking of evil, the Archdeacon of Windsor arrives, looking for Seraphim to torture. Evil it is! Father Ruskin is on alert.

Elsewhere in the castle, Wilkin and Toran are figuring out how to get out; only they aren’t. Jessamy has betrayed Wilkin to Vampire Bill, which sets up the most interesting truth bomb sequence in The Bastard Executioner history (and this is in context of an episode that just revealed that the rebel leader is the Baroness’s illegitimate brother and that she is going to fund the revolution).

Vampire Bill lays all the cards out on the table. He knows who they all are. He knew “Wilkin the warrior” long before “Wilkin the barley farmer”. He is in need of loyal soldiers and will barter to make Wilkin and his friends into loyal soldiers. Vampire Bill hands them that other knight. Assuring both that he was one of the ones who burned down their village and murdered people they love — and is the only witness to their riding off with a knight they killed — Vampire Bill essentially gives them the guy to torture, get their revenge rocks off, etc.

I need smart and capable men who will serve me beyond the boundaries of manor law.

Essentially Vampire Bill hands our protagonists a measure of vengeance, but explicitly instructs them to leave the rest of the knights and nobles who might have been at the village burning a pass. This is despite his assurances that most of the knights are “soldiers of fortune” driven by profit, not trustworthy, and not ultimately worthy of his time.

An exceptionally long episode — over an hour and a half — winds down with no decrease in density:

  • Love gives the Wolf an ancient pearls-encrusted bauble to help fund his revolution. The Baroness and the bandit are officially partners in crime!
  • Toran tortures the knight into a bloody mess, deliberately driving himself to a kind of peace in madness. All their other bros (including a similarly crazy-eyed Ash) look on in horror but let him go about his business. Toran gets many names out of the mutilated knight before Wilkin puts him out of his misery.
  • The Dark Mute opens up an ancient closet and reveals his working gear from presumably another time: a knight’s armor and weapons, all marked with the red cross.
  • Wilkin and Love share a final scene (again) where he basically cries on her shoulder and she tells him what a great guy he is. You can almost see the gears turning in Love’s head (well I do need to get a baby inside me sooner rather than later and this guy is pleasant enough…)

We learn that — for want of a better word — magic is real and meaningful in the universe of The Bastard Executioner. This isn’t just herbs or proto-science. We don’t know how powerful Annora is quite yet, but she was able to heal the thorn wounds instantly, and sway the Priest to her side.

The Archdeacon of Windsor is in Ventrishire; and probably ultimately on the hunt for Annora.

Vampire Bill speaks openly about what he knows, and what he is ultimately going to expect from his new “soliders”

Toran, at least, gets some of the information that he has wanted since the Pilot. Whether he can act on it given Vampire Bill’s vantage point is another question entirely.

And yes, Jessamy Maddox is assuredly off her rocker. As loving and devoted to Wilkin Luca is, his mother may prove to be a problem, and has already betrayed her so-called-husband to the enemy at least once now.

Still soul-crushing throughout, though.


[For Fargo “Waiting For Dutch” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Waiting For Dutch an unexpected turn of events at a diner disrupts lives of the citizens in a small town.

For those of you who watched Fargo season one, you know the character of Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) from when he was played by Keith Carradine as the knowing owner of the local diner and father of Deputy Molly. In this 1979 prequel story he’s a Minnesota State Trooper, Vietnam Vet, and hottie McHotterson. If you aren’t familiar with season one you can still watch season two as it makes sense and stands strong on its own as exceptional television. But get on Netflix and watch season one already. Seriously, what are you waiting for? It’s amazing.

But back to business with season two. It’s 1979 in Minnesota. Jimmy Carter talks thoughtfully on TV and clothes are radder than hell. After a brief stint on the movie set of a Ronald Reagan flick where we find out he’s the “Dutch” in the episode title, we’re introduced to the frustrations of the Gerhardt crime family. Rye (Kieran Kulkin) embodies the lowest tier in the Gerhardts while Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) holds the position of oldest son but is quite a crank about it, responsibilities and all. Soon we see that Floyd (Jean Smart) runs the family as the all-knowing head bitch from their kitchen. We find the Gerhardt family flummoxed about slim takings. They suspect there’s another outfit affecting their numbers “some pissant crew from south of no place.” Their big daddy, Otto gets so upset at this prospect he has a stroke and dies at the mere mention.

Meanwhile Rye has an opportunity to get in on the wave of the future, by one of the gamblers that owes his family money. All he has to do is get a lady judge to unfreeze some company funds on a legal case so that Rye will be privy to big money. Rye’s on a mission. He tails the lady judge driving a deserted snowy road behind her all the way to a Waffle Hut diner. In the parking lot Rye does some coke in the car for courage before going in to sit at the counter, jumpy as fuck. The music in the diner is the same song that played in his car. Remember when radio reminded us it was a small world? Well, this is the smallest world ever. The waitress literally offers him humbleberry pie. Once the place clears out a bit, Rye slips into the booth with the judge but she’s in no mood for his small time shenanigans and sprays roach killer in his eyes. Then Rye shoots her. The cook comes out of the kitchen brandishing a cast iron frying pan. So, Rye shoots him too. Then the judge, who’s still kicking, knifes him in the back. So, Rye shoots her a few more times – her blood pools and blends with the spilled milk on the table. Rye takes the money out of the register before chasing down the lone waitress to shoot her in the snow outside. Looking off into the distant trees he sees pale blue lights circle and lift into the night sky, a UFO, Rye probably thinks. Mesmerized by his idiotic conclusions, Rye doesn’t see the car coming right at him so it hits him dead on and then drives away with Rye’s body laid flat out on the windshield.

Next we’re in Lou Solverson’s (Patrick Wilson) home where Handsomepants McGee reads a bedtime story to his daughter and gets the phone call about the Waffle Hut killings. His sarcastic wife, Betsy (Cristin Milioti), seems jaded past the purview of a typical Minnesotan though we only encounter her briefly. Later we find out Betsy’s doing chemo and that’s why she’s got the haunted eyes and wry remarks. Once at the Waffle Hut, Lou’s taking notes when Sheriff Hank (Ted Danson) enters and recognizes the cook right down to his high school touchdown record. Hank doesn’t know the judge, though. She’s got North Dakota plates, Lou explains. The Sheriff clearly knows Lou’s wife, whom they both agree is a terrible cook, but it’s not clear until later that Hank is Lou’s father-in-law. Lou takes Hank through his crime scene deductions including a robbery and getaway driver theory. Then he reminds the sheriff to come over for dinner the next night.

In the following scene Ed (Jesse Plemons) leaves his job at the butcher shop after a long day’s work and goes home to his cheerful wife, Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) for Hamburger Helper and tater tots. Turns out it was she who hit Rye outside the Waffle Hut but Peggy makes no mention of it. They’re chatting at the dinner table when a ruckus emanates from their garage. Peggy then admits to Ed that she “hit a deer on the way home.” But we know it wasn’t a deer. It was Rye and the sense of dread that shrouds Fargo like a black cloud starts to form in our collective audience consciousness as Ed enters the garage expecting to see maybe a broken headlight, at worst. Instead he encounters a bloody, desperate, and cornered cokehead. So, wishing to continue his life on Earth, Ed does what he has to and kills Rye with a gardening tool. Peggy explains that she initially thought Rye was dead. Ed’s like, OK but that’s not a fucking deer, dude. Peggy claims she panicked to explain her lie about the deer but the scenes of her during that “allegedly panicked” time show a calm Peggy, eerily ensconced in her dinner prep habits. It’s hard to believe she’d felt much at all beyond numbness and shock. Peggy then convinces her terrified Ed to “clean it up and pretend it didn’t happen.” He nods in a daze and agrees.

In the final scene of this wondrous introduction to season two, we’re listening to a concise business discussion of the Gerhardt crime family as part of an overhead projector slideshow presentation for the Kansas City Northern Expansion Strategy. This is serious business, folks. Joe Bulo (Brad Garrett) explains that “They” need to absorb the Gerhardt family syndicate because the Gerhardt’s control all the trucking business across the midwest. Somehow “They” already know about Otto’s demise, and are unafraid of Floyd “because she’s, ya know, a girl.” This is their opportunity to acquire or absorb the entire Gerhardt operation. Out of the smoky conference room haze a question comes up, “What do we do if they won’t fall in line?” a co-conspirator inquires. “We liquidate,” Joe replies. Approval for the whole operation is then granted.

All the glorious detail and charming absurdity from season one shine through with the beginning of Fargo season two. We’re home again. But even better is how the story sweeps us away with invigorating new trajectories even if it is the same world in many ways. The characters are cooler than ever and somehow setting it in 1979 makes it feel more modern than season one. A refreshing phenomena that could only happen in an incongruous place like Fargo.

–Katherine Recap

[For The Leftovers‘ “A Matter of Geography” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
A Matter of Geography Nora makes an impulsive choice; Kevin becomes entangled in the Murphy family’s problems.

Leftover? More like a do-over. This second episode of The Leftovers season two is all about starting over in a new place and even begins with a storytelling reset. Episode two opens back in Mapleton as Nora finds baby Lily on the Garvey porch. Then we shift to the Garvey living room where Nora and Jill are feeding Lily. Kevin enters to say he called the FBI and the baby’s not reported missing or abducted. He asks Nora if she’s staying. She says her luggage is in the car. He says they don’t really know each other. She replies, “What do I need to know?” Then Kevin tells her all his weird secret underpinnings, the sleepwalking, his medications, and the whole Patti’s-death-and-burying-her-body-thing… along with the deepest secret of all – he smokes. Nora tells Kevin she hires prostitutes to shoot her and then apologizes to Jill for her lie about the gun in her handbag. So, with these contentious-but-unexplored details abruptly out on the table they all decide that, “It’s OK.”

Flash forward two months later and Kevin’s at the laundromat (the washing machine at home is busted) where he finds out he’s late for a meeting with social services about adopting baby Lily. So, he rushes to meet Nora at the appointment. The two are harmoniously in concert with sincere and honest answers including that, though unmarried, they aren’t going to separate. The government worker behind the desk stamps their papers and congratulates them. Lily is theirs.

Then Kevin tries to fix the dryer in his basement in between flashbacks of Patti’s death scene and the horrifying aftermath of burying her bloody body with Preacher Matt. Suddenly, Kevin can’t take it anymore. He drives out to the woods, digs up Patti’s body, speeds in order to instigate getting pulled over, and then tells the cop about her body in the back. When asked about the body at the police station Kevin explains that Patti killed herself. The investigating detective says, “Good riddance, Patricia, we hardly fuckin’ knew ya,” then asks him if he wants to blow his life up. Kevin says no. So, she tells him to go home. Unfortunately, the ghost of Patti is waiting in the truck to ask Kevin what the hell his deal is. Apparently digging her up was more than just a physical event. She’s stuck in Kevin’s head now. Then his Dad is waiting at his house, now released from the institution and, apparently, headed off to Australia. They have a walk and talk outside and his father tells him the way he got released was to finally started doing what the voices told him.

Jill meets her brother, Tommy, in a diner. She tells him their Dad adopted Lily with Nora. Jill knows Tommy was the one who left Lily on their porch and reiterates that she’ll keep her promise not to tell their Dad about it. Tommy also says, “You can’t tell him I’m OK because nobody’s OK,” but Jill says she’s OK and Dad is and Nora and Lily are. Subtext: Why can’t he be part of this whole being OK thing? He’s just sorry, Tommy says then gives her a note from her Mom that Jill rips in half without reading. He leaves and Jill sees him get into a car their mother drives away.

In the next scene Nora gets a call that there’s a 2.7 million offer on her house, four times her asking price. Her buyers are MIT scientists studying locations of multiple departures, like her kitchen table. This is to give people peace of mind that they can possibly prevent a repeat departure. It seems to be “A Matter of Geography” the scientists explain to Nora. Then at the dinner celebrating Lily’s adoption Kevin proposes they move to the town of Miracle. In the next scene they drive into Miracle, passing through a gypsy camp trailer park just outside the border before encountering all the red tape entrances to town. Unfortunately, the Garvey dog has to live in kennel quarantine outside town for sixty days and Kevin’s bummed about that. The ghost of Patti offers to stay with the dog but that’s no consolation.

Entering Miracle feels like a high security airport with metal detectors and a visitor’s center resembling a museum of marvels. As Kevin seeks the proper line in the chaotic visitor center the (possibly grandfatherly) guy Michael Murphy visited in episode one approaches Kevin and offers to help “with his situation.” He explains that he can always be found in the Christmas lights trailer in town. Just then Kevin hears Nora yelling. It turns out their rental house burned down and the emotional screws are tightening. Perhaps the honeymoon phase for this family is now on a descent. Also worth noting here: apparently Nora and Kevin were the incoming renters at the Prophet Isaac’s house, burned down by John Murphy – their eventual next door neighbor.

But then Nora notices that there’s an auction for a house in Miracle happening right now in the visitor center. Nora has the money from selling her place and thus wins the house for three million dollars. They’re now completely broke and owners of a property they’ve never seen before. It’s a capital V for victory. What could go possibly wrong?

As a temporary stay for the night, they visit Nora’s brother, Preacher Matt. He’s living in the cottage/shed next to the church. So, he offers them a tent given that he barely has room for his wife and self. In the process of raising the tent Matt finds out Kevin told Nora about them burying Patti together. He raises an eyebrow and Kevin matter-of-factly says they “tell each other everything” but we know that’s not true and not just because nobody ever actually does that but also because Kevin hasn’t mentioned the ghost of Patti to Nora. He’s still haunted and using headphone hard rock to drive Patti out of his skull but she’s not going anywhere.

The next morning Nora and Kevin check out their new house. It has a southern gothic feel with to-the-roof columns, a long front porch, and lots of space inside. Also, though, it’s kind of a wreck with ancient and peeling wallpaper, zappy electricals, and the ghost of Patti causing a ruckus. She blasts Kevin with gas flames from the wonky stove so he hits his head. Then, while she’s got him vulnerable, Patti proclaims that she exists. Right at this moment John Murphy comes to the door and invites them to the party that night – just like in episode one. Except this time we see it from Kevin’s POV inside the house.

After the Murphy BBQ Nora and Kevin agree that they like their new neighbors. But once inside their new house Kevin gets all rage-against-this-new-life. He punches the wall and yells about how it was just supposed to be a trial thing until Nora went all fucking in. She leaves him to stew and Jill asks her dad to please not fuck this whole thing up. Jill says Nora likes it here because she feels safe. So, Kevin apologizes to Nora and she tells him if there’s something he needs to tell her she can handle it. He doesn’t tell her about Patti’s ghost in his head.

In the final scene of episode two Kevin wakes up next to the flopping fish on the waterfall rocks where the girls disappeared. He’s covered in mud and Axis -Mundi-grade confused with the headlights of the teenage girls’ car shining on his tight bod. Then Michael and John Murphy drive up and Kevin hides. He hears Michael say that the water’s gone and then John calling for Evie. Patti, hiding right beside Kevin, whispers, “Uh oh.”

Mysterious Incident List:

Kevin’s father moving to Australia is the second mention of the continent/country for The Leftovers season two. In episode one that letter the mysterious man living atop the tower sent through Michael was addressed to “Sydney Australia.” What’s up Down Under?

The dog quarantine reminds us that animals play an extraordinary role in this world. Remember how all the dogs went rabid in Mapleton? And birds seem to never die in Miracle. So what happens to dogs here?

What is Matt not telling Nora about Miracle?

Speaking of not telling stuff, that conversation Nora and Kevin had where they laid everything out on the table completely lacked probing. If someone told you they hired prostitutes to shoot them there does seem to be an inevitable next question… at the very least.

How did Kevin end up awakening at the waterfall right after the earthquake? It seems like another anomaly and thus could perhaps also be “A Matter of Geography.”

–Katherine Recap

[For American Horror Story – Hotel‘ “Checking In” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Checking In Detective and family man John Lowe investigates a chain of gruesome murders in Los Angeles.

If the fact that Lady Gaga plays a bloodsucking fashionista doesn’t make you want to watch American Horror Story – Hotel, the fifth installment of this macabre series, probably nothing will. Unless it’s the hot perfection of Matt Bomer, or towhead child vampires in british school uniforms, or a fascinating mystery involving murder, missing children and pretty much every other terrifying thought you’ve ever had. In other words there are many reasons to watch this sexy, weird and playful romp into a horrorland hotel. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously but it does tap into all the hidden terrors deep in the crevices of our grey matter. American Horror Story makes it fun to face our fears thanks to all the glossy glamour and movie star magic. Solid storytelling helps too. It’s only episode one and this watcher is hooked.

Right away the show provides an impeccable sense of place. Luciously decorated in art deco style and located near LA, the hotel echoes with sensual, spooky mystery. Iris, played by Kathy Bates, explains to an immediately dissatisfied blonde duo fresh off a plane from Sweden that their deposit is nonrefundable. Welcome to America. Mare Winningham plays Ms. Evers, a maid steaming what appears to be a bloody bedsheet in the hallway. Their room smells like dead animals too but then it gets even worse when a zombie climbs out of their bed. Welcome to the Hotel Cortez! An unflappable Iris then threatens rather than comforts the blonde duo while finding them another room; this one bigger, nicer and yet somehow scarier too. One of the blondes falls asleep then awakens to find her friend on the floor, being bitten bloody by two child blonde vampires in british school uniforms. Some days it’s better just to stay in bed.

Next we see Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley) solving a gruesome murder mystery, seemingly unaffected by the horrific scene as he untangles deductions out of a bloody mangled mess. Then he’s at the office face-timing with his adorable daughter and reading her “Little Women” in between looking at bloody corpse evidence photos. The man compartmentalizes like a pro. That night as he’s leaving the office, John gets a call from the Ten Commandments Killer, who tells him he’s going to kill again this very night at the Hotel Cortez – room 64. We then see Gabriel (Max Greenfield) checking into room 64 gussied up like a rockstar and ready to shoot drugs. The eminent Sarah Paulson, playing Hypodermic Sally, instantly lays claim to him, not that anybody else was interested. But then a creepola encased in what appears to be wet papier-mâché and wearing a drill bit dildo rushes in and beats her to it. Sally sits by to watch and tells the writhing Gabriel to say “I love you Sally” and the pain of the drill bit up his tuchas will go away. So, he says it and drill bit dude disappears at once. Poof.

Next thing you know Detective Lowe shows up at the Cortez, led to room 64 by a bald “Liz Taylor,” played expertly by Denis O’Hare in flowy drag. But when John gets there the room appears empty so he lies down on the bed for a moment of reflection. Detective Lowe wakes up hours later to see one of the blonde vampire children next to the bed. The kid runs away and John chases him through the mesmerizing hotel hallways until he’s lost in confusion.

Next we see a neon sign on one of the hotel’s interior walls that says, “Why aren’t we having sex right now?” It’s a good question given the level of hotness in this particular suite. Gaga, The Countess, gets dressed with the stunning Matt Bomer, Donovan and snorts coke. The pair then head out in sublime evening wear to sit on a blanket among beautiful people at a sort of drive in movie without cars. Nosferatu plays on the screen as The Countess and Donovan silently seduce a sexy young couple back to the Hotel Cortez with them. Next we see the quartet in an enormous circle bed enraptured in fourway nakedness all but for The Countess’s black thong, glittery pasties, and silvery spiked glove. But Donovan also has a glove, this one black and beaded with claw-like nails.Turns out these gloves are crucial because the couple uses their spiky sharp nails for slashing throats.

In the following scene Detective Lowe gets home to find Alex, Chloë Sevigny, his quinoa-cooking wife, headed out to her late night job – whatever that is. She leaves him with his young daughter who agrees with John that quinoa blows and they should go out to eat. Then Iris tortures the blonde duo (now caged) with threats of oyster smoothies until Hypodermic Sally rudely interrupts. Iris then leaves Sally to finish the oyster smoothie ritual so she can “feed that thing in room 33.” Sally lets the girls out “to entertain her” which means one of them must move her with their tears while the other attempts to escape. The escapee makes it all the way to the lobby before The Countess slits her throat with a razor sharp golden fingernail. She seems a bit cranky then and tells Iris “This can never happen again,” before sweeping out in an elegant wave of white silk.

Detective John is out with his elementary school-aged daughter when he gets a text from his wife with an address, 911 and “Help me!” So, he races to the location, gun-ready, and tells his daughter to wait in the car. Once out and about at the address, John’s phone rings, seemingly his wife, Alex calling but it turns out to be the killer. Then John’s daughter walks in before he can stop her and she sees some disemboweled gentlemen strung up and hanging from contraptions. He rushes to comfort her. Honestly, that’s what you get. He told you to stay in the car, kid.

It’s flashback time now and we find Detective John and his wife Alex at a carnival in 2010. At first you think the child with them is a younger version of their daughter but it turns out to be a son, Holden. He went missing at this carnival, on the merry go round with John watching him. Holden has the same impossibly blonde hair as the boy vampire from the Hotel Cortez and we find out in the next scene during present day that Holden is still missing and Alex says she “doesn’t blame John at all.”

The next scene brings Marcy the real estate broker back from American Horror Story season one. She’s showing the hotel to her client, Will Drake (Cheyenne Jackson) and his son, Lachlan. Marcy introduces Will to Iris as the new owner of the hotel. This throws Iris into a chicken little tizzy and she’s utterly convinced this Drake fella signifies the end times for her. Showing the new owner around also arouses the ire of Donovan but merely piques the interest of The Countess because Drake is a famous fashion designer and she’s REALLY into fashion. Lachlan tells The Countess, “People aren’t supposed to live in hotels” and she explains that this place is special. She shows him a hidden room with floor to ceiling video games and giant jars of candy where platinum blonde children in british school uniforms play and eat on shiny black couches. She addresses one of the children as Holden. Sound the trumpets! So, now we know it’s personal for Detective Lowe… and also why he chased the kid through the maze of hotel hallways.

Then we find out Iris is Donovan’s mother and she’s working there just so she can “see him every day.” Clearly it’s time for another flashback – this time to 1994. Donovan enters with Hypodermic Sally and Iris follows close behind to beg the desk clerk (Liz Taylor back in the day) to let her intervene to save her junkie son from shooting up. But Iris doesn’t have the necessary bribery cash and has to hit an ATM. She’s gonna be too late. Sally only has a dirty needle to give the young Donovan for his fix but he uses it anyway before his mom is pounding on the door – a middle-aged bespectacled buzzkill. Sally then leaves the room while Iris coddles and rocks her doped up son. But then at the end of the hallway Hypodermic Sally takes a moment to stop and fondle a curtain – big mistake. Iris is suddenly right behind her and pushes her out the window. Sally’s dead on the pavement many many floors below… but not really – right? The song Hotel California starts to play and when Iris returns to her son’s room there’s The Countess falling in love with her unconscious son.

As the song keeps playing Detective Lowe packs a suitcase and leaves home. He checks into the Hotel Cortez and gets room number 64 where he can check out any time he likes… but he can never leave.

–Katherine Recap

[For Scream Queens‘ “Haunted House” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Haunted House As Halloween approaches, Zayday makes a stunning announcement and Chanel concocts a devious plan.

Off the bat, we’re introduced to a glorious new Chanel concept, Chaneloween. This entails Chanel sending Halloween care packages to her (most pathetic) Instagram fans across the country. Their gratitude is immeasurable and they declare that her foam halloween gifties mean Chanel is clearly the most amazing woman in the world. She’s clearly changing lives one fake bloodied severed head at a time. Meanwhile Grace and Barista Pete have driven out to a trailer in the middle of nowhere to investigate what happened at Kappa house that fateful night of the bathtub death all those years ago. A woman with a baked armadillo warming in the oven brings them back to that night with a story so detailed it’s almost as if she hasn’t moved on at all.

Apparently Dean Munsch filled the fateful night’s sorority girls witnesses with terror. She pillowcased their heads and drove them to bury their dead sorority sister in the woods. Then stood in the glare of her headlights to chaperone their midnight grave-digging before driving them away from the college forever. In the end of the armadillo lady’s story Dean Munsch calls herself their guardian angel. This trailer park former sorority girl then makes a point of telling Grace that the baby was a girl. Of that she’s quite certain.

Back at the Kappa house and to Chanel’s chagrin, Zayday announces she’s running for president of Kappa. Chanel immediately threatens to murder Z right to her face then follows up by sharpening knives in her negligee at three am, like ya do. The other Chanels comfort their leader with promises of wreaking disease upon Zayday, deciding finally on the horrific black hairy tongue as their curse of choice. Meanwhile back in the middle of nowhere the witness to sorority day terrors of yore gets taunted then killed in her trailer by the Red Devil. This seems too obvious a nod toward the Dean, since this woman JUST implicated her in the sorority murder that very afternoon over some warm armadillo.

Chad and madeover Hester (now a semi-Chanel) meet in a graveyard and have a tawdry bizarre talk about dark feelings and body chopping. Hester explains that when Zayday becomes Prez of Kappa, she’ll be VP and thus only one push-a-girl-down-the-stairs away from the top spot at Kappa. This gives Chad a chub. He tells her they’ve got to do it right now and right here but Hester insists their location just isn’t scary enough. She needs him to set up a more horrifying scenario first… Chad is now longing for Hester and subsequently must find a Haunted House for their imminent intercourse.

We then shift to Grace following up her trailer convo with a Daddy confrontation in the film classroom. Grace asks Wes if she was that fateful night baby and it was her mother who died in the sorority bathtub. He says no. She replies that he better not be her mother’s killer or the Red Devil and lying to her because she’ll never speak to him again. Oh snap, you’ll really get him talking now, Grace. That always gets killers to confess, the silent treatment from their kid. Veronica Mars she’s not.

Next we encounter the self-appointed finder-of-all-things-murderish, Denise, security guard extraordinaire. She’s regaling the story of The Hag in the House on Shady Lane while standing right in it with Barista Pete, Grace and Zayday. The terrifying tale just happens to arise from the same year as the sorority bathtub baby – 1995. The story ends with a creepy room in the haunted house where an empty rocking chair surrounded by baby dolls creeks even though its empty. Denise explains that she’s been reading up on urban legends and haunted houses at the library to boot. She then taunts Zayday, who she still believes is the killer but then it comes out that Zayday knows how to look up stuff from twenty years ago too. Z turns the beat around and confronts Denise. She knows how back in the day Denise pledged Kappa. Then after being rejected by Kappa, Denise left their school for community college. So, from that info Zayday concludes that it’s Denise who has motive to kill – apparently not holding a community college education in very high esteem. Snob alert. Maybe Zayday’s right for that President role at Kappa after all. In fact, she then declares her future role as the first black President of Kappa with misty-eyed glance off into the distance….

Next we’re in the cafeteria where the Chanels share a not-food lunch of cottonballs and sauce with Hester. They give up on this lack of nourishment quickly and then, obviously hungry, slam a frat boy for objectifying them on their way out. He ends up groaning and nearly dead on the linoleum. Now it’s time for rendezvous number two between Chad and Hester. But is he man enough to “attack her crack” in a haunted house? At first the horny duo think The Haunted House on Shady Lane is merely a Halloween haunted house but then it turns out to be full of actual dead bodies, including Chanel #2, Ariana Grande. Chad and Hester announce what they found at the local coffee shop resulting in the next scene, a party among the dead bodies. Zayday calls 911 at the party and the police officer says he heard that haunted house was super dope and he can’t wait to check it out. This isn’t an emergency because any haunted house has to be full of dead bodies, silly girl. Just when she’s discussing tax dollars at work who does Zayday encounter? The shiny Red Devil, of course.

In the party aftermath the five bodies finally get discovered by officials at the house on Shady Lane, so then police ask questions at Kappa. Dean Munsch keeps reminding everyone that very few of the dead bodies were her students (only Coney the mascot and Chanel #2) so there’s really not a reason to close the school. Also, Zayday’s merely missing and not yet declared dead. Phew! But the biggest reveal comes at the end of this episode sits in the rocking chair of that Haunted House. The Hag of Shady Lane turns out to be Gigi, Nasim Pedrad, AKA the national president of Kappa who’s got that massive puppydog crush on Wes (Grace’s Dad).

Tonight’s guess for who the killer is: Chanel; We know she’s capable of murder and her threats keep that memory vivid.

–Katherine Recap

Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth

[For The Bastard Executioner‘s “Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth. The King’s right hand visits Ventrishire on royal business; Wilkin goes on a covert mission.

When we left the troubled landscape of Ventrishire…

  • Milus Corbett (aka Vampire Bill) was scheming with a rival Baron…
  • Wilkin (masquerading as executioner Gawain Maddox) was being forced to do things he didn’t want to do, and…
  • Widowed Baroness Ventress (our Lady Love) was telling scumbag French Earl of Cornwall Lord Gaveston she was pregnant (she isn’t) [in order to prove and heir and keep a hold of her little kingdom]

As “Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth” opens, Love is in her chambers with best friend / loyal servant Isabel, handing her some very obviously bloodstained white clothes. She tells Isabel that they must be laundered separately, in secret; I suppose we know what the blood is from! (Love, remember, is supposed to be pregnant.) She is concerned about her lie, what it means, and perhaps most importantly, how to carry it through.

Isabel says maybe it isn’t / doesn’t have to be a lie:

“Every fertile field needs a serving of more than one seed to bear a good harvest.”

Love asks if that means she should open up her field for a good seed sowing; to which Isabel says that giving the Baroness advice is above her station (but that she will always be at Love’s service). Love and Isabel really seem as close as sisters [more on the closeness of sisters in a minute] but this being a Kurt Sutter show, I can’t help but be terrified that this is some cockeyed foreshadowing 🙁

Wilkin, with fake-son Luca Maddox, encounter witch / healer Annora at a local market. Annora gives Luca some “sweet calamus*” which lights the lad up like a christmas tree. The sweet calamus basically looks like a stick. But Luca sure seemed happy to be chewing on it!

We learn that Wilkin’s crew has been “lock knee’d” for twelve days in tight cells, but that “oils” provided by Annora (and smuggled in by Wilkin) has helped alleviate their pain.

Back at the castle, Vampire Bill catches Wilkin and Toran sneaking provisions to their imprisoned buddies. He offers to trade their freedom for a task accomplished by the fake executioner / fake tradesman. Just stop a caravan from Baron Pryce to the King (supposedly carrying a rare holy relic) to prevent him from gaining royal favor and your friends will be freed!

Of course the prospect of murdering Pryce’s soldiers and burning down their caravan doesn’t sit well with Wilkin and Toran, but they’ll do it anyway to free their friends. Oh Wilkin! What are you doing buddy? You already know that Corbett is the real “bastard” of this show!

Before we leave the castle we jump to Love, who sees a royal procession arriving. Visitors! That other bastard Lord Gaveston has ventured to Ventrishire to preside over “the declaration of heirs”. Basically, Gaveston, with a “progeny prophet” (“piss prophet”, or the “piss profit” in this week’s title) will test Love’s, you know, piss to scientifically** determine her pregnancy. Gaveston knows — or at least suspects — that Love was lying last week, having heard she is a barren Baroness.

Gaveston echoes the sentiments of Love and Isabel last week, proclaiming he hates the Welsh (remember, they both said, while visiting the King, that they hate the French). Gaveston notices Corbett’s twins, and Corbett notices Gaveston noticing the twins. They are sent on a mission.

Gaveston confronts Love in the chapel:

“Let us hope God will take pity. For when you are found to be a fraud the King will have your breasts cleaved off, your barren womb severed, and your head taken by sword.”
-Gaveston, to Love

What a pleasant visitor!

And then… The twins.

“What brings this horrid display of bacchanal*** to my chamber?”
-Gaveston, to the twins

Gaveston leaves Love to find the twins making love in his chambers. That seemed really weird to me. I mean, it was weird when the twins were making out with each other while menage-ing trois-style with Corbett; but maybe in the moment that was meant to be a turn-on for him in the moment? It is just weird in “Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth” that they would be actively woohoo-ing before Gaveston even got there. No coy seduction. No “check out this novel fantasy experience we are offering up, collectively, to you, big boy” … More “well we were already hitting it incest-like, but there is plenty of room in this bed and our boss told us to so I guess you can join in”.

What might be weirder is that one of the twins openly tells Gaveston that they are there to loosen his tongue… WITH THEIRS (and then she Frenches the Frenchman)

Weird-est? Gaveston declares them “my girls” before diving between the two.

Out in the wilderness, Toran and Wilkin prepare to waylay Baron Pryce’s caravan. Toran starts to say, basically, that Wilkin is being too nice to Love (can’t be too serious about being civil to these nobles after all) but then it is time to get a-murdering.

Wilkin and Toran stick knives and arrows into the soldiers and their horses, then set the caravan on fire. They declare the “dirty deed complete” … Until they hear pained female screams from inside.

Wikkin busts up the wagon, and out pops a mortally burned woman. It is Pryce’s wife!

Oh Wilkin! You knew Knew KNEW Corbett was the wily one already!

Last week we pointed out that one of the barriers to Corbett’s plan was the existence of Pryce’s current wife. Well, I guess that is out of the way now.

Wilkin and Toran are understandably distraught. I mean they knew ahead of time that they were going to pull a drive-by on someone else’s soldiers, but apparently the death of a woman — and being used as assassins rather than regular-old murderers — was not on the planned menu. Wilkin and Corbett get into it back at the castle, which looks violent to us, but is apparently an exhilirating exchange of rasslin’ that Corbett was always in the market for.

The twins attend to the bloodied Corbett, and give him some allegedly uplifting news. According to the twins, Gaveston was not interested in their “wetted slots” but rather the handsome chamberlain only. Which sets up something like the third-of-n huge conflicts of “Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth”.

Gaveston: Sup?
Corbett: Sup.
Gaveston: You sure have risen high for a poor village boy.
Corbett: I’m hitting my head on the commoner glass ceiling.
Gaveston: You are handsome and clever!
Corbett: “You flatter like a highly polished courtesan.”
Gaveston: Well enough small talk. How about you fallate me now? (also make sure you’re on your knees)
Corbett: Um… okay
Gaveston: Just kidding! “You honestly think I would let dirt-born lips tough a rod that knows only the holes of beautiful things? I’m sure there is a shit-scraper in need of a suckling.”

An understandably dejected Corbett takes his rejection out on his servant, apparently beating him to death.

Wilkin hooks Love up with Annora; and Annora figures out how to trick the piss prophet’s test, providing her with the urine of “a very pregnant wolf”

Wilkin has one of his regular hallucinations, which involves a VRERY naked**** Petra transforming into the dead, horrifically burned, zombie body of Baroness Pryce. Love brings him back to reality; Annora conducts a huge foreshadowing moment that seems to imply that there will be a substantial something between the two (which I’m sure no audience members predicted at any point before this).

Annora’s wolf-piss mixture (supposedly Love’s piss) is provided to the piss prophet, and applied to pins (to rust), blood (to swirl), and “the phallic bone of a goat” because science.

“The science arts continue to amaze me.”

So what is up with the twins? Apparently, all that ostensible incest makes perfect sense. The twins are Gaveston’s sisters (or at least half-sisters)! They are loyal to him (and apparently were all raised in a very strange household).

Annora’s magic wolf pee beats the test, which has Gaveston upset. He has to leave Ventrishire in a huff (instead of being put in charge of it and getting to cut up Love) but at least he got to have sex with his sisters.

The episode ends with a grateful, if troubled, Love embracing a still heavy hearted Wilkin in the chapel. Wilkin calls Love “my love” which is only a little bit weird (as her name is actually Love) but is set up as being awkward. They hug it out. Theis warm exchange is witnessed by Toran (already on record REE: Wilkin being too buddy-buddy with the Baroness) and Mrs. Maddox (already upset at the lack of romantic intimacy in her not-marriage, in addition to being possibly unhinged).

What a crazy episode! There is always a lot going on on The Bastard Executioner but there was actually a good bit of mystery revealing and plot resolution in “Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth”; the most important of which has to be the macro characterization of Wilkin. The narrative given to the audience is that Wilkin is a good man driven into terrible but necessary circumstances; but the reality is he has ceased to be a good man (if ever he was one) already. At this point he is masquerading as an executioner solely to get revenge. So far he has executed an innocent man (if douchebag), chopped off the nose of a sweet young girl, choked a man to death with his dinner, and now unwittingly assassinated an infirm Baroness from the neighboring shire via the particularly grisly vehicle of “burning wagon”. We can infer from the descent of Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy that Sutter’s position is that, however he started and whatever his original intentions, Sutter would likely ultimately call Wilkin irredeemable, but give him a glimmer of two or hope, just so he can get a little more leverage on the dagger-twist when his end finally does arrive. Wilkin seems completely aware of all this by the way; he was much more sulky than usual throughout.


* I looked it up and it can be used as a “substitute for ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg” … That is, something with some level of flavor for the medieval palate.
** Not that scientifically, it turns out.
*** “Bacchanal” is one of my all-time favorite high school vocab words; I am not sure that Gaveston used it appropriately here; the twins may or may not have been wild, but there was no indication of drunkenness, no nod, specifically, to Bacchus. And horrid?
**** She was quite naked for basic cable and a lens flare from being well past the median episode of Game of Thrones. The camera came at her from a distance, and there was some weird Instagram filtering going on, but Petra was pretty shockingly full-frontal; heavy, in my mind, for basic cable.