Season 2, Episode 8: “A Friend of Death”
Directed by Wayne Yip
Written by Brian Taylor
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Arlo and Marie” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Five Chicken Fingers and a Gun” – click here
Police arrive after Nick Sax (Chris Meloni) has taken care of all the inmates trying to kill him. He has to knock out a couple cops. He commandeers their car, calling off reinforcements at his place before taking off to look for Hailey (Bryce Lorezo). Happy (Patton Oswalt) leads his friend to the alley where he saw the girl go into a building with Smoothie (Patrick Fischler).
Inside is the familiar place we saw Smoothie torturing the skinless man, where Sonny Shine (Christopher Fitzgerald) met him early in the season. Sax and Happy find strange things left behind, from cut out tongues to the white mice feeding off a dead dude. They also find a shower room pumping “pee pee.” Nick recognises the pink bunny, from the foot his daughter showed him. He realises now Smoothie’s been manipulating her all this time. The man himself calls Sax to say goodbye, before the whole place begins to explode.
Hailey still believes Smoothie is the only person telling her the truth. She hates her father, and her mother, Amanda (Medina Senghore). It’s making things difficult for all of them— problem is, there’s a kernel of truth to her hate, given that her parents do continually lie to her.
Soundtrack note: “Mr. Rabbit” by Ed McCurdy plays during Nick and Happy’s escape. So perfect!
Across town, Merry (Lili Mirojnick) goes to see the “hungry boy,” Kap Gostynski (Lee R. Sellars) about the blackmail tape. She tries to tell him the Easter special can’t air. She knows what’ll happen with Orcus (Ritchie Coster) and Sonny Shine. She offers Kap the tape. Yet he isn’t buying her “bad acting.” So, she’ll have to take whatever the next step is, and who knows how that’ll turn out.
Hailey and Smoothie are in Upstate New York. There’s a curious story told at a diner that the little girl overhears. Two men talk about a local urban legend from three decades ago, about a boy who cut off his own testicles and displayed him at the Science Fair. Anyone want to bet they’re talking about our creepy, one-eyed friend? In the bathroom, Smoothie runs into Orcus, who’s put on another accent while on the road. The demon’s checking in on their progress. They wanted to use Hailey to kill Sonny. Orcus doesn’t think it’s going so well. Later, the girl’s taken back to Smoothie’s childhood home, where his ailing stepmother lives, and where Hailey’s drawn deeper into the plot.
Elsewhere, Nick’s in a jail cell. He thinks he’s utterly useless to his daughter, no matter what he does. “I‘m a virus,” he tells Happy. He’s seeing the wreckage of his life, all at once. While Happy’s determined to get them help, he leaves his used-to-be cop buddy to face his old colleagues. They’re none too happy about what Sax did to those officers the night prior. Bad news.
We see that Amanda’s kept drugged and happy at Sonny’s place, eating chocolates and watching black and white movies on TV. The thick white substance she’s being fed keeps her zombified, under the watch of inmates. At the same time, Bebe Debarge (Ann-Margret) is out by the pool with some other inmates, telling stories, drinking. Things are interrupted by the arrival of Orcus. He’s only interested in the baby. He gets a face full of amniotic fluid for his trouble, as Amanda’s water breaks.
Smoothie’s trying to use his horrific family history to sway Hailey towards his goal. She gradually finds out more, seeing a newspaper clipping about a supposed “freak accident” that mutilated him as a boy. They go to a restaurant from his childhood. He puts on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tear for Fears and they do a dance together while everybody looks on oddly.
Merry manages to get Sax out of a jail cell. She needs his brand of insanity to fight the insanity that’s happening. At the same time, he needs to save his daughter and his estrange, pregnant wife. Regardless, the’re on the same page. But there’s a lot of shit they’ve got to wade through before it’s all said and done.
The network board of directors at the TV station have cancelled Sonny’s Easter special, the night before the holiday. They don’t want to deal with the Eggtacular after all the horror and terror as of late. Seems Merry publicised the cannibal tape with Kap in it, leading to him committing suicide. No more blackmail.
When Smoothie and Hailey leave the diner they hear something in the woods nearby. They follow the sound of weeping. They discover a man, bleeding. Hailey wants to get him a doctor. Then she recognises him from a picture at the old family home— it’s Smoothie’s abusive father. He convinces the girl she’s “inspiration” for him to take the revenge he’s always wanted, or needed. She’s slowly falling into the mindset required to become a “friend of death.”
Merry and Nick get to the hospital. They’re confronted with the suit-less Wishie that took off after they tried to kill it. The thing’s been hiding in the sewer, following Merry. It knocks her out, then goes for Sax. He’s absorbed by the Wishie’s flesh. Happy’s desperate, so he works his way into Merry’s ear canal and shouts at her brain: “LADY, WAKE UP!” Merry’s able to get Sax the shotgun. He blasts his way out from inside. Well, partly. He slips out from the thing’s asshole once it’s dead, Ace Ventura style.
And upstairs, Amanda is giving birth to one of the Wishie’s children.
Insanity. Pure, wonderful insanity. This season has been a gift.
“Five Chicken Fingers and a Gun” is next time.