CBS Strange Angel
Season 1, Episode 8: “Evocation of the Elders”
Directed by Steph Green
Written by David Wiener
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Glorification of the Chosen One” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Sacrament of the Ancestors” – click here
Out on a date at the movies, Richard (Peter Mark Kendal) and Marisol (Veronica Osorio) are watching The Wizard of Oz. He’s busy trying to make a move. Just as the colour changes over and Dorothy lands in the land of Oz, Richard and Marisol grab each other’s hands. He’s got himself a big day in the morning— they’re heading to Washington, D.C. I can’t help but feel this will be the biggest divide between Richard and Jack (Jack Reynor). It’s all of Jack’s perseverance and raw smarts which got them to where they are, and he won’t be getting all the credit or any of the recognition from the government.
At home, Richard finds Jack waiting to give him info to bring to Washington. He doesn’t think any of the men that’ll be listening to him talk are “men of imagination,” rather bureaucrats/warmongers. The imaginative Mr. Parsons merely wants him to bring a bit of new science for the world and their country. He even finds the fact Richard will take a plane to Washington is impressive, whereas Richard doesn’t think much of it. This little moment shows the difference between the two men, so subtle and yet so important.
Jack’s sleeping in the garage, as things with him and Susan (Bella Heathcote) haven’t worked themselves out. She’s very unhappy with her husband and whatever he’s been up to with Thelema. He also notices the decay going on at the Donovan house, indicative of Maggie (Elena Satine) having left— festering milk bottles on the porch surrounded by flies. He then gets a call from Ernest (Rupert Friend), who’s off on a bender in Point Dune, not doing too well. He rushes off to help. This makes it awkward when Susan believes he’s at work, calling only to discover Jack is elsewhere. Makes her even more paranoid than before.
“We’re thumbing our noses at the Almighty Himself, hurtling through the sky in tin coffins. Black magic’s what it is.”
Susan goes to the Agape Lodge asking for her husband. She winds up talking with the Grand Magus, Alfred (Greg Wise). He manages to calm her a little, though she only ends up leaving when she realises Jack isn’t anywhere to be found.
At Point Dune, Jack searches for Ernest, finding nothing but the man’s clothes and shoes on the beach. Then he sees him out amongst the waves. Soon, Ernest comes back in. The two men sit around a fire in the nighttime, drinking, talking about the deeper aspects of life. Ernest starts putting a little doubt in his friend’s mind, despite Jack trying to remain positive about the “true path” of his will.
Arriving in Washington, Richard finds a whole new world. One perfect shot shows a young man who looks nearly identical to him pass by. A quiet way of saying big fish in a small pond discovers he’s simply another fish in a massive pond. Stepping into a bigger world doesn’t entirely suit Richard. Quite clear Jack ought to be there instead. When ole Dck gets too nervous he calls collect back to Los Angeles, so he can talk with Marisol a minute.
Susan finds a picture Jack drew of his father, which leads her to talk with Ruth (Hope Davis). They look at old Parsons family pictures. The two women sit, looking through photo albums, talking about the family history. Susan sees Ruth doesn’t really like to talk about her former husband, Marvel. Other than to say he was “born with the devil inside him.” Later, Susan returns to the Agape, to see the Grand Magus— she asks to be “fixed.”
Soon, Richard has to go into a room full of government and military officials, including General Braxton (Karl Makinen). He’s really out of his element, on several levels. Nevertheless, he speaks confidently about “the future.”
“Collision is the only crime in the cosmos”
Ernest knows Jack wishes he could’ve flown like Richard did on his trip to Washington. So, he tracks down a plane flying over the fields out in the countryside. Ernest gets them both into the plane, then, before Jack can do anything, he starts the machine up and they’re heading for a flight of their own. Turns out he’s flown before— not that he tells his friend beforehand.
When the two get back home, Richard is waiting for Jack. He tells him the men in Washington were impressed with his presentation. However, Richard used an “alternate proposal,” not the one Jack gave him. More divide, yet again. What Jack sees is that he’s all but totally alone in his “obsession.” And both of them are ready to let go of the other at this point in time.
Again, another episode that’s truly excellent! I love this series. The pacing, the character development, and certainly the visuals are all utterly extraordinary. This show hasn’t gotten enough love. Some criticise it for being ‘too tame.’ I’d rather it be less explicit like this, instead of getting outrageous. I feel there’s a build up leading to something fascinating. “Sacrament of the Ancestors” is next time.