BY PAIGE WESTBROOK
Season 2 of Hemlock Grove debuted on Netflix early last month, and after watching it all, I can safely say the show has become a thrill-ride of blood and guts, beautifully illustrating the nuances of Eli Roth’s disturbed cinematic style.
With his mother in a heap of trouble and an unplanned return to Hemlock Grove in his future, Season 2’s Peter has visions of snakes, white masks and the slaughter of innocent children that lead him to believe things in the troubled town are about to take a turn for the worst. His relationship with Roman is shambles too, and a new visitor in town catches the interest of both men in a twisted love triangle. Miranda, an out-of-towner who finds herself stranded in Hemlock Grove, stumbles upon Roman’s mansion in the middle of the night and impresses the dark and blood-thirsty millionaire. Things get further shaken up when smart and sweet gypsy mechanic Peter is on the job of fixing Miranda’s vehicle, and finds his affections taken by this remarkable stranger, whom I found to be quite an interesting addition to the Hemlock crew.
With Roman’s Upirism finally beginning to muster and his unquenchable thirst for blood driving him crazy, he has to find an alternate means to satisfy his ungodly craving. As his character develops, his plot thickens and I just can’t help but wonder what Roth will think of next, especially as Nadia, Roman and Leitha’s incestual lovechild, comes to light. The Upir baby’s cry for a mother is answered when Miranda begins to care for the child as though it is her own (and quite literally).
Just when it seems like that things in Hemlock Grove couldn’t get much worse, Olivia is seen at a rehab centre, staying there until strong enough to take care of herself once again. Her bloodthirsty ways and short-fused temper remain alive and well, and for some reason, she continues to try and pursue a matronly relationship with Roman (this, after he horrifically ripped out her throat out in the first season!). She makes every effort possible until her obsession with her granddaughter intensifies to the edge of a psychotic break.
Peter’s gypsy cousin, Destiny, meanwhile, plays a much more developed role as the season progresses. Her ability to use magic to see the future and connection with the dead help Peter and Roman find the path they seek, leading them to their calling. As expected, Peter’s nasty habit of turning on the improper moon finally lands him in a load of trouble as well. His sanity is threatened as he is pressured to become a Vargulf.
Shelley’s storyline is further developed nearing the end of the season as she is offered a host body to take over her consciousness so she may finally lead a normal life like any other young girl. I found it very interesting they went about the story this way, as Shelley felt very underdeveloped in Season 1. And it was just made more tragic when a hate-filled Olivia took things to a whole new level with the slaughter of a lamb, the innocent life meant to bring happiness to her daughter. What. A. Bitch.
The turn of Roman, with him finally coming to terms with his Upir instincts, really impressed me as well. The rage and thirst for blood he felt was evident and they played off his protective instincts for his child, which was almost touching. And the battle between him and Olivia continues as she makes more advances and weasels her way into the picture. Oh, and just in the nick of time for an epic gunfight. Yeah, that’s where things really start to get interesting.
In addition to that showdown, Miranda takes a dive off the deep end when she decides to kidnap Nadia and leave town, although things don’t end up going exactly as planned (no surprise, considering the circumstances). In that moment, she encounters an unexpected creature, which will be another monkey wrench for the next season.
In general, Season 2 progresses in a truly fascinating manner. The roles of the characters and futures they hold become much more evident nearing the finale, and yet many doors are left open, offering a ton of options for the direction of the third season. Although many found the first season a little slow and hard to follow, I found this season helps redeem these qualities with brilliant advancement in the storyline and an action-packed ten episodes. Prepare for a year of bloodlust, as you anticipate the arrival of Season 3.
Catch all of Season 2 of Hemlock Grove right now on Netflix.com and Netflix.ca.