Review

Review

TV Recap: 'Cult' Episode 102 - 'In the Blood'

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cultCult Episode 102
“In the Blood”
Written By: Rockne S. O’Bannon
Directed By: Sam Hill
Original Airdate: 26 February 2013

In This Episode...

Skye and Jeff pay Miriam’s husband, Jimmy, a visit. Not only won’t he talk to them, he warns them off with a shotgun. Miriam’s funeral happens to be scheduled for later in the day, so they go in hopes of talking to friends. When they get there, Jimmy and the preacher are the only two people at the gravesite. Jimmy receives a call in the middle of the service and walks away, leaving a befuddled preacher behind. Jeff and Skye follow him to his car, where he hands a messy roll of crumpled paper to... detective Sakelik. She tells Jimmy that his wife’s suicide puts them in a “difficult position,” then kisses him and leaves.

Now that they know they can’t trust the detective, they have to dig in deeper. Jeff enlists the help of a tech-savvy friend, EJ, to help with his computer and the mystery disc. Whatever it was was impressively sophisticated - it wiped Jeff’s hard drive and replaced it with micro images that, when compressed together, show a trio of spiraling arms holding swords. She also manages to trace the general location that Nate’s last call came in from. EJ has it narrowed down to about four city blocks. Skye recognizes the area as a place the show filmed at once: a kids indoor playground.

Skye and Jeff travel to the playground, befuddled by what Nate could have been doing there at nearly midnight. They look through the surveillance cameras and discover Nate was in fact there, with two other men. Nate makes the call - I assume to Jeff - and then one of the men rips the phone away. It is Jimmy. Then the video cuts out. Back to Jimmy’s trailer, Skye and Jeff find it abandoned. They sneak in to look for clues, and find the wallpaper has been scraped off - that was what Jimmy delivered to the detective. Some of the writing had seeped through to the wall, and they see the same three-armed symbol. Jeff hears noise coming from a kitchen cabinet and discovers Jimmy tied and gagged inside. He is terrified and spouting gibberish: that he should have never let Miriam watch “Cult,” that she did it to get closer to him. A hooded figure runs by outside, and Jimmy is even more scared. “I knew they would come back. The true believers.” Whoever it was must have opened up the gas lines. Skye and Jeff get out of there - Jimmy wants to stay, and says, “Well, hey, these things just snap right off.” A smoke bomb lands in the trailer and blows the whole thing up.

At some point during the episode, Jeff becomes very paranoid and suspicious of Skye and her eagerness to help. To gain his trust, she tells him the real story of why she took the job on “Cult.” Her father. The story that she and her mom had been fed, that he disappeared while reporting on a union story was an easy, safe thing to believe. But two months ago, her father’s attorney died, and a box of her dad’s papers were sent to her. It looks like her dad was actually working on another story when he disappeared, one on a then-unknown TV writer just starting out: Steven Rae. One word seemed to be the focus: “Cult.” This was 10 years before the show came on the air.

Other things that may (or may not) prove important later on:
--The “Cult” room at fan.dom_ain had to be locked up after the barista found someone carrying a concealed knife - and not the first time.
--During a “Cult” table read, “Billy” stops them in the middle (everyone seems bored and eager to get home) because he wants to discuss the direction of his character with the temporary studio exec. She patronizingly tells him that is between him and Segal (the kidnapped exec) and Steven.
--Kirsty is holding Segal in what looks like a taxidermist’s work room. His lips are sewn shut and she leaves him with a faceless man with a big knife.
--Kirsty bumps into “Billy” at the gym and immediately fawns over him, swearing she is his biggest fan. “Billy” puts up with her chatter because she is super hot.

Dig It or Bury It?

I’m having a hard time getting past the characters on this show. Skye is a little too wide-eyed and innocent. What kind of production wouldn’t even notice her gone most of the day? I worked in television production for years, and she would have been fired before she could even get out an “I’m sorry.” And I know that the show is trying to set up Jeff and Skye as some sort of soon-to-be romance, but I can’t help but see Matt Davis’s Jeff as “too old” for her. In my mind, he is Alaric (from The Vampire Diaries) and she is one of his students. I’m not saying that he is old; I’m just saying that I know him as an “authority figure” so that automatically ages him. Plus Skye has an entry-level job, and that damn naivety, which ages her down a bit. 

By the way, I am not sure if I ragged on this last week, but the detective’s name is Sakelik? Really? That is the worst surname ever. Yes, I also have the humor of a 10-year-old boy.

Would it be too easy if Steven Rae turns out to be Skye’s father?

Life Imitates Art

In the show, Kelly discover a body, buried upside down. Seven years prior, she was pulled out of a similar hole, an initiation into Billy Grimm’s “family.” Not only is it an initiation trial, but it is also a punishment for betrayal.

Later, in the scene shot in the indoor playground, a big beefy guy goes to Billy with a human finger wrapped in tissue. He is to deliver that to Kelly. It will allow her to “solve” her case - or at least enough for her superiors to be happy. He can’t think of a better gift to give her on the anniversary of her induction.

Prophecies?

In the show, Billy pulls an old-skool villain move: leaves a girl tied up in a car, in the path of a speeding train. Naturally, fans start imitating this in real life.

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