Cult Episode 103
Written By: Megan Martin
Directed By: James L. Conway
Original Airdate: 8 March 2013
In This Episode...
A trio of boys are watching a clip from “Cult” for the “millionth time.” Then, in mimicking the episode, they kidnap a coed, tie her up in a car, and leave her to be hit by a train. Only this is a prank; the train is just car headlights and a train sound effect CD. The kids laugh, even the girl, Jill. This is “Being Billy,” a game played on college campuses. After the prank, the kids join their friends in a party where they screen the prank. Jill loves being the center of attention. Unfortunately, when she leaves the party, she is hit by a car for real and dies instantly.
Jeff discovers a girl named Laura rifling through Nate’s apartment. She was Nate’s girlfriend, and used to live with him there. They were together almost a year, but hadn’t seen each other in a month. They ran the “Being Billy” game together, until they began to fight over it. They were both obsessed with “Cult,” but when Nate started seeing a “deeper meaning” in the show, he backed away; he didn’t like the casual way in which she approached the game, like it was making light of the show. Laura did not set up this round of “Being Billy,” which meant that Nate had to have done it - he was the only other person who had access to the list of players.
EJ had hacked into Nate’s email so that whenever there was any activity on the account, Jeff got a message. He gets one going to Laura, telling her to meet him - alone - in some basement classroom. When Jeff and Skye go there, neither Laura or Nate show up, but Jeff finds evidence that suggests Jill’s hit-and-run was staged. They also find a hard drive. They take it to Laura’s apartment. She isn’t home, but Carrie, her roommate and “Being Billy” player lets them in. While they wait for Laura, they check out what is on the hard drive. There is a single video file on there, one that combines the scene from “Cult” where Kelly pulls Douglas from the wall, followed by the prank pulled on Jill - including the less-hilarious hit-and-run accident, followed by what appears to be a place holder. In both the Jill piece and the placeholder, a series of numbers appear on the screen. At first they look like dates, but Skye soon realizes that the numbers are time code, relating to an episode of “Cult” and the approximate time of the scene that is being pranked. The placeholder code matches up with a scene set in a greenhouse. Jeff and Skye race to the campus horticultural center. Inside, they find Carrie in the process of burying Laura alive. Laura is rescued - this wasn’t part of the game. Carrie was teaching her a lesson for being so cavalier about “Cult.” Carrie was also the last person to see Nate, about a week ago. He claimed to have “made contact.” It is not clear if he made contact with the hidden messages in the show, or with the True Believers. Either way, she was killing people and recording it as a sort of “audition tape” for the True Believers. Carrie escapes, only to meet up with a van. The door opens, and an arm with the “Cult” logo tattooed on it helps her in. This has to be the True Believer van.
Meanwhile, Kirsty is deep into her seduction of Billy Grimm/Roger (Roger being the name of the fictional actor who is playing the doubly-fictional Billy). He invites her to set on a day that they are shooting on location, and the two have an especially naughty tryst on the taxidermy set (we’re talking shackles and daggers) and again in Roger’s trailer. As she leaves the studio, she places a mystery phone call: “It was perfect. It went exactly as it was supposed to.”
Also: Steven Rae sends down a note to production that he wants to add some graffiti to the walls in the show: the trifecta of swords that Jeff and Skye had found with several followers.
Skye does some hardcore audio manipulation to the show clip found on the hard drive and with the right tinkering, she can make it sound like it is saying “true believer” and “kill for us” within the soundtrack.
Dig It or Bury It?
This show has me so torn. On the one hand, it’s not particularly good. But on the other, there is enough mystery going on to keep me saying, “Well, just one more episode....” The biggest problem is that they keep piling mystery on top of conundrum and don’t give anything back. The way that Skye warped the soundtrack to get it to say “true believer” and “kill for us” almost lost me for good. Thank goodness Jeff had the sense to say that you could get audio hits to sound like anything if you manipulate them properly. If he hadn’t, I might have had to bash my head into the wall - and that helps no one. Of course, after that scene, you can hear the audio hits on the soundtrack, and I just know if you started fucking around with them, you could discover secret messages.
Life Imitates Art
The episode opens with Billy in the car with Libby. He accuses her of betraying him. “As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end,” he says to her before he steps back. She is in the car and the train comes and smashes it heartily. (Side note: that phrase is what gave Skye the idea to blend the first few words and last few words of that episode to get “true believer.)
Later, Kelly reveals that Libby was getting ready to expose Billy and tell her where he was hiding Meadow. She never got the chance. We also learn that Kelly was the one who brought Libby into the fold - Kelly even conducted her initiation.
Jeff finally gets his act together and calls in a guy whose profession is getting people lost to cults.