Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams – Season 1, Episode 5: “Real Life”

Channel 4’s Electric Dreams
Season 1, Episode 5: “Real Life”
Directed by Jeffrey Reiner
Written by Ronald D. Moore

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Crazy Diamond” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode “Human Is” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 7.48.19 PMWe meet Sarah (Anna Paquin), she’s a Chief of Police. She and Mario (Jacob Vargas) are out patrolling the city. They’re looking for someone who committed a massacre, a killer. She’s obviously obsessed with finding him. Everyone wants her to move on, saying it’s “in the past.” But she can’t just move on, not when she constantly goes back to the day of the massacre, waiting to be next.
Her partner introduces her to a new fad, something beyond simulation. A virtual experience that convinces you it’s real. You have a new life, a new self, drawn out of your “own subconscious.” She agrees to go for it, only a few hours to test things out. A vacation from oneself.
Sarah wakes up in the mind of a man named George (Terrence Howard). He’s disoriented, in some place with a man he knows named Chris (Sam Witwer). Then there are men with guns, taking them to see a few rough cats. Seems George hasn’t done something these lads want him to do.
But George and Chris, they aren’t going down without a fight. Their target gets away, though. His name? Colin. Same as the killer Sarah’s been chasing. The two men get away. George is having trouble with reality, things are a bit “fuzzy” and he can’t even drive.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 7.55.11 PMThey go to see Paula (Lara Pulver), she checks George out, advising to stay awake in case of concussion and steer clear of any booze, or drugs. He’s slowly feeling better, remembering reality. Yet behind his eyes is a whole other thing going on. He can remember bits and pieces, not everything. Not right away. It comes back to him. He runs Avacom, he’s a billionaire, a visionary sort of software designer.
He designs helmets for those vacation simulations. The “neuronic pulse maps” of the helmet are specific to each person. He puts one on. Afterwards, we’re back with Sarah, lying in bed. She wakes up and now it’s her turn to feel disoriented. Food doesn’t exactly taste right. She’s distracted, still partly on vacation.
Sarah and Mario get a lead about Colin and his associates, some still may be in the city. They head to an old building, creeping in to spy on several men meeting inside. There’s mention of “nuking City Hall.” Sarah gets caught by one of the men, they take her down.
And elsewhere, George falls to one knee. He shakes it off, then heads upstairs. He’s being questioned about seeming like a “real life Bruce Wayne.” In three months, he’s been doing some vigilantism. His wife was murdered the video of which went viral. Devastating. Soon, George vomits from the memories. His memory centres are all fucked up in general. Wonder why?
Oh, and George’s wife Katie (Rachelle Lefevre), she’s the same woman we’ve already seen as Sarah’s partner. Is it dissonance in his mind? Or is this other reality genuine? Are there two Katies? Paula advises him not to do any more of the VR, it could irreparably harm his brain, not in just a mental capacity, a physical one, too.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 8.03.23 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-20 at 8.14.29 PMHe chooses not to listen. Back to Sarah, waking to Katie and Mario. They’ve won: caught Colin. Things are all okay. The wives go home together, have sex, get back to normal life. Sarah tells her wife about the vacation, that her wife was killed, she was searching for the man who got away. Katie finds it all a bit strange. Too many eerie parallels. Sarah wonders if it’s all an “ancient male fantasy” out of the sci-fi genre.
Is her life real? Or is it a simulation?
Please stop saying both worlds. Theres only one world, Sarah.”
Back to George’s life. He and Chris go to their usual diner, sitting for a chat. Chris tells him that Colin’s left the country. The diner’s a mirror of where Sarah and Mario sat, the same music, the same people, the same food. Everything’s too familiar.
At home, Paula finds George is getting worse. She doesn’t want him going back into the VR world again. He’s detached now, seeing himself fully as Sarah, wanting to go home, seeing Paula and everything around him as fantasy. She tells George his brain will be ruined. However, he believes he’s only in the real world as Sarah. He has memories, though. About his history with Paula; they had an affair when his wife was taken. He experiences genuine reminiscence, of a past.
Ultimately, what will he choose? He smashes the headset.
But on the outside looking in, Katie watches as Sarah’s neural pathways shut down, she disappears into the simulation as George. She is the real one, not him. She chose a punishment over happiness; “for her sins, real and imagined,” Katie says.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 8.36.31 PMAmazing. Now my favourite episode of the series, thus far. Terrence Howard and Anna Paquin were both great. The story itself was so compelling, really enjoyed it. Love the whole concept of simulation, Jean Baudrillard’s theories on simulacra, so on. Very well expressed here.
“Human Is” comes


Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams – Season 1, Episode 3: “The Commuter”

Channel 4’s Electric Dreams
Season 1, Episode 3: “The Commuter”
Directed by Tom Harper
Written by Jack Thorne

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Impossible Planet” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Crazy Diamond” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 3.51.27 PMEd Jacobson (Timothy Spall) works at a train station. He’s a simple man. Doesn’t mind finishing a teabag out of the trash, dusting it off to make a cup. He’s a helpful, gentlemanly-type of fella who does what he can for the people. Also a bit of a nebbish lad. He’s got to deal with a woman named Linda (Tuppence Middleton) – she smokes when she’s told she can’t, she wants to go to a place that doesn’t exist: “Macon Heights.” He still gets through it with a smile on his face. Except all of a sudden, the woman is gone. He passes a ticket to nobody.
He walks away feeling strange, obviously. He tells his friend and co-worker Bob Paine (Rudi Dharmalingam) about it. Ed wonders about Macon Heights, if he’s ever heard of it before. He feels like he has, though can’t quite put a finger on it. He heads home to a bit of a lower class neighbourhood, trash on the streets, loud music pumping from one of the houses. Even worse, he gets back to the house and police are there. He’s got a younger lad at home, Sam (Anthony Boyle), who seems to “scare people“; there’s mention of a young girl. It’s obvious he and his wife Mary (Rebecca Manley) have trouble with Sam, almost as if it’s expected.
At the station, Bob and Ed ask Linda about Macon Heights, they’re curious about it. She doesn’t have much to say about it. Like any other place, I suppose. They show her the computer screen with the map of the train’s lines. And when they turn around, she’s gone. Again.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 4.01.16 PMThe Jacobsons go to see Dr. Simpson (Ann Akin) with Sam. She tells them they have to prepare for his “psychotic episodes” to soon deteriorate his condition even worse. Alone together, Ed and Mary talk about whether their son frightens them; he says that now and then, yes, but she says no. She says that their son reminds her of him: “The true you. Not the one with the fake smile spread across your face.” She says his fakeness is scarier than their son’s psychosis.
What changed Ed? His life seems like a giant routine. Only now it’s been disrupted slightly, by Linda’s appearance, the mention of Macon Heights. So, he decides to hop on the train and go looking for himself.
Out of nowhere, the man sitting across from Ed opens the door and leaps into a field, as do a bunch of others. This is where Macon Heights is meant to be. Everybody walks off through a barren field out over the horizon. As they do, a city is visible not far ahead. Ed finds a beautiful little town, not unlike any other. He goes on into a restaurant, orders a tea. The waitress brings a compliment bit of apple cake. It’s a nice place, indeed.
I think youll find a lot of things divineround here.”
The town is different, though. Very unlike the modern day. People are still friendly, a man and a woman are just engaged and they run through the streets pronouncing their love, someone waves and says hello to Ed as he passes. Sitting on a bench, Ed watches children play, and Linda shows up, remarking this would seem a weird thing in another place. Not here. She tells him he’s unhappy, he isn’t used to happiness, so this is why Macon Heights feels unreal to him.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 4.15.06 PMJust after seven in the evening, the train comes around. All the visitors run and climb their way back onto the train, people helping them back inside. They go back to the rest of the world, back to their various stops at the stations. Ed finds himself back to his life again, the routine, the sort of crushing realness that exists for him. But slowly, he begins believing it wasn’t altogether unreal in Macon Heights.
At home, Mary seems pretty happy. Things have changed. They no longer have a child, it’s just the two of them. This appears to be a life without Sam, without having to worry about him so much. Even the world itself seems a little friendlier than before similar to Macon Heights. Then on the platform, Ed sees Sam going onto a train but can’t catch up with him.
This gets Ed interested in Macon Heights more than he was already. He tracks down Martine Jenkins (Anne Reid), to find further information. “Its a town that almost existed,” she explains. As if epitomising hope; the ideal town “that stays ideal.” He finds out more about Linda, daughter of the man who tried building Macon Heights; she found him dead in the woods after they took away the contract and gave it someone else.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 4.22.32 PMEd goes back to that place again, the restaurant. He basks in that place’s energy, its perfection. Yet it’s uncanny, and unsettling. He sees all the same things, experiencing it as if in a loop. Not unlike his own routine. Just another way of avoiding the real world, real life, struggle, adversity, all the things that make it real.
What couldve been doesnt exist. Theres only what is, and thats you and me.”
One night Ed hears jazz music, like the stuff Sam would listen to, and he winds up in the attic. Videotapes are everywhere, showing the life of their little boy growing up, the good and the bad. In a way, he realises finally the loss of his son, despite the troubles. Losing Sam is losing a piece of himself.
When he gets back to Macon Heights, everything’s fucked up. People stare at him in the restaurant. One man’s face looks half shot off. He needs to find Linda, he wants to get his life back. The residents there want their ideal home back, but he’s tainted it with the truth. Trauma’s leaked into Macon Heights, the horrors of some peoples lives coming back to them.
He finally tracks down Linda. They talk about reality, the brutality of it. Ed argues against Linda’s pessimism, that he and Sam did experience joy, that it’s worth seeing the boy grow into a man. He can’t agree with erasing Sam, despite her believing they’re better off without him, with a new life.
When he leaves Macon Heights and goes home, he finds things as they were, but that it isn’t a desperate, hopeless situation. He can make a change, if he wants it to happen. Linda sees a hopeless world, whereas now, juxtaposed with the unreality of the fake ideal qualities in Macon Heights, Ed can change himself rather than wish for Sam and everything else to change. Seeing his boy again makes him smile, a genuine smile, for the first time in who knows how long.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 4.43.23 PMSuch a fantastic episode. Surreal, creepy, beautiful in ways. Lots of impressive writing in this one, plus Timothy Spall is a treasure.
“Crazy Diamond” comes up next.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams – Season 1, Episode 2: “Impossible Planet”

Channel 4’s Electric Dreams
Season 1, Episode 2: “Impossible Planet”
Directed & Written by David Farr

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Hood Maker” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Commuter” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 1.26.57 AMWe see a group of people with visors on watching the “Hermagon aurora.” A man named Brian Norton (Jack Reynor) narrates, as everybody witnessing the spectacle oohs, aahs. We’re on a space ship, deep in the midst of space in some distant star system. There’s also Ed Andrews (Benedict Wong), who watches the “rats in a sewer” enjoying the trip. They’re space tourism agents, essentially, for Astral Dreams.
Someone shows up knocking incessantly on the door. An old deaf lady named Irma Louise Gordon (Geraldine Chaplin). She wants to go to Earth. She’s 342 years old, from a planet called Rega-2. And she has a lot of money to offer, a cash transaction. The reason the lads don’t initially want to go is because a while back a solar fire brutalised the planet, it’s said to no longer be inhabited.
So, why go, Irma Louise? Can Ed and Brian even get there safely?
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 1.31.53 AMBrian gets talking to Barbara (Georgina Campbell), she mentions a transfer. Then he gets a video message from Linus Primo (Justin Butcher), denying him a transfer. He’s applied fifth times. Rejected. Now, Barbara isn’t happy with being there so long. She’s disappointed in his lack of social status, it seems. Ah, though things change with technology, it’s all still the same. Money’s the bottom line.
This prompts Brian to consider the old lady’s offer more seriously, and they’re on the way now. Irma Louise has a drink, talks about her own grandmother, who lived to 279, whose own father lived in Carolina on Earth, a “logger.” She told Irma Louise about a place where her grandparents skinny dipped together, a place she always wanted to see – “Elk River Falls.” Where she wants to go.
Brian finds out from Ms. Gordon’s robotic friend RB29 (Malik Ibheis; voiced by Christopher Staines) that she is actually going to die in a couple months, a heart condition. Afterwards, they use a bit of technology to actually talk without RB29 communicating between them. He talks about Barbara a little, though he seems a bit apprehensive; he second guesses himself when his words are coming up Ms. Gordon’s little screen. He begins questioning the divergent desires between him and his girlfriend. Reoccurring is an image of the spokes of a red bicycle, spinning and spinning, he’s seen this a couple times now.
RB29 is sneaking around, too. I don’t trust him. Neither should you. Or Ed, or Brian. He’s up to something, I’m just not sure what as of yet. They’re getting closer to Earth, and the closer they get the less I trust the robot. Although I guess he’s only looking out for Ms. Gordon’s interests, worried that these guys are scamming.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 1.34.46 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-20 at 1.50.29 AMEd: “I mean, me, Im trash, got no illusions. You, you got class.”
Brian feels bad because he and Ed are con artists, that they sell “predigested happiness” to people. Now they’re ripping off an old woman so they can do what they want for the rest of their lives. This starts putting the two lads at odds, Ed certainly doesn’t like the way his friend is talking.
They’re supposedly about to orbit Earth. Brian gets closer with Irma Louise, who gives him a kiss for being so gentlemanly. She shows him a picture of her grandparents – he looks exactly like her grandfather, Bill Gordon. Eerie. Like fate, across space and time.
Later on Brian calls Barbara, wondering if she dreams of him. He says he doesn’t dream of her, not anymore. He’s beginning to reevaluate his life, and all due to meeting Ms. Gordon. Things start going awry for Astral Dreams when she knows Mars is red, not green like what they see outside the ship. RB29 steps in to let her know about an event that broke Saturn from its rings, turned Mars green. Then Brian tells her Earth isn’t the same as it was once. They can’t even get too close to the planet. Nothing’s the same, not like she’d imagined, anyway. Not from what she’d heard, the memories of her grandmother.
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 1.57.55 AMBrian decides they’ll land, they’ll try and take Ms. Gordon to Carolina.
But it’s a rough journey. They fly through a terrible storm, the ship rumbling as space debris flies past at ultra high speed. The old woman holds on for all her life is worth. Brian has flashes of the bike, a couple riding it together.
Then a crash landing. Everybody’s okay, but things are messed up.
At odds with Ed again, Brian agrees to take the old woman out onto Earth, so as to get her money’s worth, to fulfil her dream. One condition: under the suit he wears the clothes of her grandfather. While RB29 and Ed stay behind, the other two head into the “toxic, sterile” environment. Then Ed discovers the robot’s done some nasty business, shagging with the oxygen tanks, leaving Brian and Irma Louise out there to breathe in the atmosphere.
When they take their helmets off, they’re in another place. Back on Earth. There, with the red bicycle; it’s name, Dream Weaver. Irma Louise is young like her grandmother. Brian in the clothes of ole Bill Gordon. They skinny dip together below the falls in a paradise. Or is it merely illusion within death?
Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 2.15.12 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-20 at 2.17.38 AMI enjoyed the first episode; this one was even better! Love these inspired episodes, love the themes. It’s so enjoyable to see Dick’s writing out there more, plus such great actors and actresses involved.
“The Commuter” is next.

Room 104 – Season 1, Episode 5: “The Internet”

HBO’s Room 104
Season 1, Episode 5: “The Internet”
Directed by Doug Emmett
Written by Mark Duplass

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “I Knew You Weren’t Dead” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Voyeurs” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.25.32 PMSummer, 1997. Anish (Karan Soni) arrives at Room 104 in the motel. He got a call from a literary agency, he’s excited. He calls his mother Divya (Poorna Jagannathan) and leaves a message to call him back. He’s taking his time at the motel to work on the book, readying himself for the big pitch at his meeting.
A stereotypical writer, listening to a book on tape about how a “writer just writes” ironically, hilariously. Very ’90s-style thing, especially coming out of a portable boom box. He can’t find his laptop, so he calls mom back, wondering if it’s there. But he has to leave a message again.
He waits and waits, right through until morning. Finally his mother calls back, she doesn’t even realise she has an answering machine. Not all that technology savvy. He needs her to find the computer, that “little black folding machine.” She eventually finds it, even fucking with him before telling him.
So, what will they do? He needs a copy of his book, to work on. She doesn’t see how she can get it to him other than through the mail, she’s not “David Copperfield” after all. This means getting her to e-mail it. Oh, lord.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.34.17 PMAnish goes about trying to explain to Divya how to do everything, starting with opening the laptop and turning it on. It’s hilarious from our perspective, in 2017, watching him go through the agonising process of it all with her, as she laughs about all sorts of things from the double meaning of “windows” to even the working title of his book, Gently Through the Current.
After a while she’s tired, she wants to do it another time. Obviously he’s freaking out, she just can’t understand the reason why he has to get her to send the book. She brings up “Future Dinosaur,” a story he wrote at thirteen. A sci-fi story she suggests pitching at his meeting. Anish is utterly dejected by the whole thing, also believing his mother’s hating on the title of his novel.
He gets her to keep going, she finds the file with his novel. They move through the process, step by little step. When they get to her trying to copy the text, she accidentally deletes the whole thing. He gets real angry, trying to get her to undo it rather than the novel disappearing forever. Never knew this could be such a tension filled moment, watching somebody explaining the copy and paste function.
She does the wrong thing, again. And it’s all gone. He tells her to take it to the store, to the Mac people, so they can restore it. She belittles his writing, calling him down for believing his novel as his “lifes work.” She can’t possibly understand, she only laments that he didn’t become a lawyer, a doctor, or something else desirable.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.45.44 PMThis sends them into a huge argument, he yells at her. “I just want you to be somebody,” she yells back. Divya says he’s “just like her” out of nowhere. He doesn’t understand. She immediately tells him not to worry, apologising, offering to take the laptop to get it restored.
After that she reveals the truth about a girl named Heather, nineteen years old. She had a troubled life. A smart girl. She got pregnant, her family turned their backs on her. Divya took her in, looked after her and the baby. Then the girl ran away, she was left with the boy.
That boy is him.
He’s shattered, quite a bit. Also still upset about his novel. She says she loves him, that she’s sorry for everything about the book. He confesses now he’s worried it won’t be any good. The whole phone call has exposed so much, from family secrets to his own inner thoughts. He has to find a way to move on from this moment.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.50.26 PMThis prompts him to use his imagination. He lies in bed, seeing his words written across the ceiling. In a way, cutting himself off from technology, as well as off from the rest of the life he thought he knew, is a way for him to get back to himself, to the art of writing, using his mind. Somehow, the revelation of that phone call changed his life, for the better.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.54.25 PMI loved this episode. Best Room 104 yet! Amazing, just a strange way to bring out these themes, and it’s totally unique. Mark Duplass with some fascinating work.
“Voyeurs” is up next.

Room 104 – Season 1, Episode 4: “I Knew You Weren’t Dead”

HBO’s Room 104
Season 1, Episode 4: “I Knew You Weren’t Dead”
Directed by So Yong Kim
Written by Mark Duplass

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Knockadoo” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Internet” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 10.27.11 PMDaniel (Jay Duplass) gets a message from Diane (Jennifer Lafleur) asking him not to text or call anymore. “Youre a child and youre a broken person,” she says. They can’t be married anymore because of it. The guy’s attempts at throwing an empty chip bag in the garbage are almost like a microcosm of his own life, it seems. Failure all but hangs from his face.
Suddenly, Patrick (Will Tranfo) shows up. Daniel acts like he hasn’t seen him in a long time, yet Patrick reminds him he lives there. They’ve got tickets to see Soundgarden, The Melvins. There’s a strange atmosphere, something isn’t quite right.
Then Patrick’s face starts changing.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 10.26.35 PMSo Daniel wakes up still in his motel bed, no message on his phone from Diane. It’s clear that Patrick died, they were best friends for years and years. He talks as if Patrick can hear him, asking him to hang out and hoping he’ll get some advice. He’s in a bad place, needing that old, close buddy again.
Soon enough, Patrick’s back. It’s clear when they’re together why Daniel is still not grown up enough in Diane’s eyes. He was obviously traumatised by the loss of his friend. Also, his first son’s name is Patrick. So now he’s asking for his buddy’s advice, he had an affair with his boss and his wife found out. He fucked it all up. Diane doesn’t want him to come home. What does he do now? His dead friend has no answers, he’s only twenty-one, he doesn’t know a whole lot about the adult world.
Just because Im dead doesnt mean Im like, this angel that can just see everything about your life, yknow?”
Soon, they get into questions about Patrick’s death. He was out in the water. He wonders if Daniel could’ve saved him, or if he was out there too, would he have died? He’s mad that his friend didn’t do more, that he essentially let him die. He wishes Daniel had called him out, told him not to go out in the water. This leads to them fighting one another. When Daniel punches Patrick he shatters like glass onto the floor.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 10.39.04 PMThat night, the old Patrick (Frank Ashmore) arrives to tell Daniel: “We cant be friends anymore.” This is the last time they’ll see one another, he’s going away. He sees the brutally painful limbo his friend’s been caught in, all these years. Ignoring the rest of his life because of what happened.
Now, Daniel apologises, lamenting what he did letting his friend down. He misses and loves him. He’s reeled in the guilt all this time, wishing he could be with his friend; dead. Patrick relieves him of the guilt, asking him to come back in from the figurative beach shore where he’s stood ever since that day.
Daniel wakes the next day to an empty room. He sends Diane a text, trying to tell her he’s willing to change to make it work. Perhaps he’s gotten past his guilt, all he needed was the good advice of his friend, the last advice he’d ever need.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 10.48.56 PM (1)Beautiful episode. Love the mix of themes and stories on Room 104.
Next, “The Internet.” Should be interesting!

Lore – Season 1, Episode 5: “The Beast Within”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 5: “The Beast Within”
Directed by Darnell Martin
Written by David Coggeshall

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Passing Notes” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “Unboxed” – click here

5th century. A man, Patricius, walked by himself on a lonesome road spreading the gospel. Pagans weren’t particularly “receptive to the teachings of Christ.” They had their god: the wolf. So nobody in Ossory cared. They even attacked Patricius. But suddenly one of the pagans changed from a man to a beast. The “unnatural metamorphosis” spread around the village. However, when all the men became beasts they didn’t kill Patricius, they killed their leader. The Irishman ran off, spreading word of what he saw. This is the man we now know as Saint Patrick.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe thought itself plagued by the werewolf in certain places. Late 1500s in Bedburg, Germany, townsfolk were vanishing, never seen again. Everyone feared the worst, going on about their days however they could so as not to think about the threat always lurking. Jens Hetfelderz (Clark Moore) and his daughter Greta (Callie Brook McClincy) lived in fear awaiting the day they might encounter the mythological creature. Soon enough, the daughter was attacked, though escaped and lived.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.43.25 PMClinical lycanthropy” is a rare psychiatric disorder. It makes sufferers believe they’ve turned into an animal: howling, clawing, et cetera. There’s also the folklore of men who turn into wolves, attacking the unsuspecting. Werewolves, in many tales, didn’t have tails, identifying them as such a beast.
And of course, Red Riding Hood herself, the story everyone knows. Certainly as we go back further and further, the story gets more gruesome than the sanitised version we’ve all heard or told to children.
When Greta (Cassady McClincy) grew a little older, the town was still feeling the wrath of the fabled werewolves. One town leader Peter Stubbe (Adam Goldberg), tried to keep people vigilant, as he worried for the safety of everyone around him. Believing the werewolf a “creation and servant of the Devil.”
That night, Greta’s friend Celeste (Chloé Aktas) comes upon an injured man calling from the woods, her lover Nils (Colton Medlin) running to check on him. But she finds only terror after he doesn’t come back: Nils is impaled, and she’s slashed across the chest by a hairy claw. The girl’s screams alert the villagers.
In Gévaudan, a French province, during 1764 and 1767 killings occurred that were inexplicable. Women and children had their heads crushed, they were decapitated. Descriptions said it was a large wolf, a “dogdragon hybrid,” and other things. Naturally the Church said it was God’s punishment, just like the Republicans tell you today when a hurricane hits. You can read more about the hunt for the beast here.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.51.05 PMBedburg all came together, trying to keep their strength as a community in the face of grim deaths, especially of people so young. Jens was intent on killing the beast, and Stubbe only wants the families to take care of one another, to survive. The father worries deeply about his daughter, so Stubbe extends an invitation to let the girl stay with him while the beast is hunted.
Only problem was that Stubbe was the beast himself. Now with the girl all alone. He brought her to the cellar, where he kept the skulls of victims, where he cooked and ate a bit of human meat, boiled heads. All that stuff, and pre-Dahmer by a long shot. Lucky for Greta, her father showed up in time to fend off the wolfman. The village figured out his awful secret.
New York. Summer of ’77. The .44 Caliber Killer was out gunning people down in the streets. Killing relentlessly, mainly women in parked cars with brown hair. Yes, the “Son of Sam.” The one we know now as David Berkowitz. He wrote to police, taunting, threatening, crazy as hell. People were terrified of the monster stalking them. Great inclusion of a clip involving a night of a full moon, when people saw the killer, and were able to identify him. A demon living in his neighbour Sam’s dog commanded him to kill, he said.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.53.46 PMIn late October, 1589, the townsfolk watched the torture of Stubbe in the town square. They ask for his confession. He tells of a deal with the Devil as a boy. He was given the power of the wolf. He fed on animals, then later men, even his own son. Operating much as a modern day serial killer, approaching as a “kind man” and luring people in, many of them women. Like a werewolf Ted Bundy. Stubbe was sentenced to death – tied on a wheel, flayed a little, his arms were broken, his legs, and after all that he was decapitated. His head was fixed on a pike.
Skip to Paris in 1937. Eugen Weidmann, a German in France, was arrested for murder. He was accused of killing six people. He was plastered across the newspaper, his trial known around the world. They sentenced him to be killed via guillotine, out in public. This was a way to supposedly deter criminals (see: Michel Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” for an amazing historical look at public execution, et cetera). So, people turned out in front of the prison to watch, everyone eager to watch a man get his head lopped off. It’s said women dipped handkerchiefs in the blood as “mementos.” Guillotine executions happened in France until 1977, but inside the prison instead of outside. People have viewed the execution over 1,000,000 times in the last decade online; yes, there’s an old recording.
Still, no matter how many they kill, people still kill, people are continually sentenced to death. Because the beast is within man himself (and I say man because women rarely do horrible shit like men).
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.01.47 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.06.10 PMAnother of my favourite episodes in this series. A great Season 1, with a bunch of amazing stories. Truly a special series.
“Unboxed” is the finale, coming next.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 4: “Passing Notes”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 4: “Passing Notes”
Directed by Nick Copus
Written by Glen Morgan

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Black Stockings” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Beast Within” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.07.02 PMIn 1921, Feburary 5th, Thomas Bradford wrote a book about what happens after death. Then “tested it.” He’d recently put an ad in a Detroit newspaper, seeking people involved with spiritualism and science. Ruth Doran responded.
What followed was his “great adventure” – he committed suicide, planning to communicate back with Ruth after his death. When reporters caught up with her, she said he spoke to her. But what she actually heard is a mystery.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.07.08 PM1843. Reverend Eliakim Phelps (Robert Patrick) lost his wife Elizabeth, challenging his beliefs. He lived in a time where people were trying many methods to contact the dead, from seances to all sorts of other techniques. Rumours even say Mary Todd Lincoln had one in the White House. All these techniques and the interest gave birth to the Spiritualist movement.
Rev. Phelps eventually remarried, to a Sarah Nicholson Phelps (Bethany Anne Lind), taking her children as his own. Yet he couldn’t let go of his wife’s memory. Longing perpetually. Things were fine, for a while. One day, the family returned home from church to find their house ransacked, plates and vegetables on the floor, chairs overturned and stacked on tables, everything a mess. Looking like somebody robbed them. Only they found no one. Save for a dress and some carrots on the bed. An eerie scene.
Eliakim passes it off to his family as “a bluff.” However, it’s very clear they’re all unsettled by the event. The Reverend keeps an eye on things, waiting for any of the troublesome visitors to return. He hears a booming knock at the door in the night. He hears other noises, someone in their dining room at the silver. When he goes into the room he finds only clothes, shaped like people standing and sitting around the table. He touches them and they fall to the floor. More noise draws him away, but he can never find the source. He began believing he’d let bad spirits into his home.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.08.43 PMDr. Isaac Bristol (Tom Thon) was a good friend of Rev. Phelps, bringing word of Austin (Daniel Thomas May) back from the seminary. Father and son aren’t as close lately, due to dad marrying a much younger woman. Eliakim reveals to his friend he’d thought of attending a seance; Isaac advises against it. In that day and age, many were interested in trying to communicate beyond the veil of death.
Aaron Mahnke takes us back to Franz Mesmer and his “animal magnetism.” Yes, this is where we get hypnosis, from those who were mesmerised by his practice. He did all sorts of mad shit, some involving metal rods. He didn’t claim to be able to conduct seances, though they grew out of his mesmerism, the unconscious, revelatory state, and so on.
No matter what anyone said, Eliakim was willing to risk everything to “hear one last word” from his wife. Dead set on contacting her, at any cost to his personal or professional life/reputation. Isaac believes it’s all “liberal Christian theologies” in the big cities. The Reverend is convinced theology and science will cross over into one unifying theory, essentially.
In 1848, we hear of John and Margaret Fox. Their daughters Kate and Margaret (The Fox Sisters) supposedly contacted the dead. A spirit of Charles Rosna, a peddler; he was buried in the basement, they said. His spirit spoke to them through “clicks and knocks.” They went on to attract other spirits with which to speak. They quickly became famous, conducting seances for others using the click-and-knock system. People were thrilled.
And so, Rev. Phelps had his friend Dr. Bristol help him conduct his own seance. The grieving widower calls out to Elizabeth, asking if she’s there with them. Nothing actually comes of it all.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.12.53 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.18.25 PMMahnke talks about Houdini, whose interest in the afterlife found him as spiritualism’s biggest sceptic in the public sphere. He’d lost his mother in 1913, devastating him. He stopped performing. Spiritualists wanted to do a seance for him. He immediately knew it was a fraud, the message from beyond coming in English when his mother did not speak it. This put him on a sceptic’s warpath. He left his widow with a message, that if she should ever hear it from the afterlife that it would truly be him. She never heard it, denouncing “spirit communication in any form.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, friend of Mr. Houdini, never gave up hope himself. He read of the Fox Sisters, as well. In 1919, he saw a psychic and had portraits taken. In one of those appeared the ghost of his dead son.
On went the search of Phelps. More strange events at home. After word spread, Austin and uncle Abner (Steven Sean Garland) arrived to speak with the Reverend. Everybody’s talking of hauntings, a supposed witch haunting the home. Parishioners had already left Eliakim’s church. But he never wavered. And something weird WAS happening, no matter what anybody said.
It all got worse, and more dangerous. The haunting of the Phelps home became clear to Austin and Abner while they stayed. Inexplicable noises from all around the house, from the cellar, everywhere. One night, they found young Henry down in the cellar, asleep in a cupboard with a noose around his neck: “Like they hung the witch.” It was, they believed, Goody Bassett, a free willed woman branded as a witch in the 17th century. This preceded the Salem Witch Trials. Not far from where Phelps would come to live.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.37.21 PMEven with some inklings, Austin and Abner left Eliakim. The Reverend would not leave. He continued in his belief that theology and science were able to co-exist. He performed another seance in order to hopefully expel Goody’s spirit. He called out to the hanged witch, trying to help her go home, away from there. Some knocks and shaking come when he asks. Eliakim figures out it’s not Elizabeth, but somebody else entirely; a damned soul. The air becomes oppressive, everyone choking, a couple vomiting. Followed by furniture flying.
And so the Reverend decides they’ll leave, rather than face any further evil forces. The story blew up. In 1888, the Fox sisters confessed their own story as a hoax. They had strange physical quirks, able to crack and pop joints and knuckles in such a way to trick others. People “continued to believe.” In 1930, Arthur Conan Doyle’s voice was apparently recorded at a seance.
So, is there life after death? Or do we merely want to believe in it so badly that we MAKE it become real? Will we ever actually know, for sure?
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.47.37 PMAnother solid episode, this one I’d not actually listened to on the podcast before. So a nice treat! Robert Patrick is an underrated actor, so his performance here was a wonderful addition. So much history packed into a single episode, too. Impressive.
“The Beast Within” comes as the next instalment.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 3: “Black Stockings”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 3: “Black Stockings”
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Written by David Chiu & Patrick Wall

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Echoes” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Passing Notes” – click here
IMG_0390June 2009, Ithaca, NY. A couple were running on a wooded path. Suddenly, the husband started believing his wife wasn’t her anymore, that she was an “impostor” who was trying to “destroy him.” He had Capgras Syndrome. He cut his wife’s throat, killing her. Hearing Aaron Mahnke narrate is one thing, hearing the killer himself and seeing his picture is another thing altogether.
100 years before, that wasn’t so crazy, to think somebody could take another’s place. This takes us back to Ireland for another episode of Lore.
In 19th century Ireland, “magic and superstition” were often the cause. Specifically, the changelings. We go to 1895, Ballyvadlea, a village in Ireland. Bridget Cleary (Holland Roden) was what you’d call a “modern woman.” She lived with her husband Michael (Cathal Pendred) who worked for the local creamery. She sewed, tailoring clothes that helped she and her husband do better than most in their area.
Of course, back then, a woman like Bridget drew rumours. That she was stepping out with another man. Her own husband listened to them, too. But that was no bother, she was her own woman. Michael worries about the changelings, that she’s temping them by going to a place linked with her mother, that they could take her away. Not only that, he’s quite possessive, as men so often get. Also, that’s part of the Irish cultural tradition: a man owned his wife.

However, the changelings are powerful, they can take who they want.
Mahnke fills us in about them. Changelings take abducted humans to places where there exists “fairy rings,” or portals, linking the human world to another realm. They can take on the appearance of their target, sending the real person to that realm. All sorts of symptoms could give way to belief that changelings had taken you off. In addition, methods to try figuring out if such was the case. Like holding people over fire, forcing someone to drink foxglove, and other nastiness. And sure as shit, this led to autism, many illnesses mental or otherwise, all becoming reasons to believe the changelings were at work.
There’s only 9 days from possession until a person is lost forever to the other realm.
Bridget shows up back home to her Michael and her father, Patrick Boland (John Byner), looking sick, falling over. She doesn’t seem to even recognise her husband. When Michael does a quick test with an iron cup, he fears the worst: they’ve got her. So Doc Crean (Darren Darnborough) comes, and other people in the village find out, wondering if a changeling had taken hold of Bridget. Although the doc says “bronchitis and nervous excitement,” others aren’t so sure.
Things don’t go too well. Father Ryan (Mark Ashworth) drops by to offer what comfort religion can in times like these. When he does, Michael asks him to bless a bit of medicine from a fairy doctor. The priest tells him to forget the “Old Irishery” and its folklore; all the while peddling Jesus Christ, sort of ironic. Regardless, the husband believes what he believes. You can see where this is headed.
It also involves the threat of sensual, powerful, strong women. Mahnke talks about Julia Margaret Cameron, a British photographer who took incredible pictures of women; rare for a woman in 1863. We also see, Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond, he took pictures of women, as well. In asylums. Where women could be committed by their husbands, their fathers, the patriarchy who wanted to shut women up. “Moral insanity” a.k.a infidelity was one cause for being committed. Amongst many misogynist reasons. Diamond took pictures believing women seeing themselves in the photographs would have a positive effect. Or maybe it’d only mirror their anxieties.

IMG_0399Lots more superstition surrounding Bridget, driving Michael further into the belief his wife’s been stolen by the changelings. Jack Dunne (Richie Stephens) and the others do nothing to deter that belief. Meanwhile, Bridget’s terrified they’re turning her into a fairy herself. As it is with misogyny, we learn of the man’s prior abusive tendencies, like nearly burning her face with a poker from the fire once. Her husband is sure this is the eighth day, one more to go.
What will he do? Oh, you know.
There are no such things as fairies. And if Ireland is ever going to become a part of the world, they need to go away.”
The men plan to force feed Bridget a cure. They hold her down, even dear ole dad, and Michael asks the changeling to let his wife free. All gripped by folktales and cultural misogyny. When it won’t work, they decide on using a remedy meant to be used on the verge of day nine.
So Bridget pleads with her husband, playing to his superstitious mind, saying anything she can to try thwarting him and the patriarchal plans of the village men. Anything to save herself. Ultimately, day nine came, and Michael had untied her. Father Ryan came around for a bit of mass. They tried relying on faith.
Except the husband wasn’t strong enough to have a strong woman such as Bridget as a wife (unlike Annie Oakley, whose husband Frank was beyond loyal to her and proud, too). He couldn’t handle her free spirit. It wasn’t long until he reverted to the superstitions.
He beat her, slamming her around the house. Then he lit her on fire in front of everybody, burning her while she was still alive. The Fairy Trial put Michael in the international eye, giving way to ugly Irish stereotypes.
Are you a witch? Or are you a fairy? Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?”
IMG_0403Another fantastic slice of Lore! God, they do such justice to Mahnke’s podcast and accentuate the strongest elements of his narration, adding in the scenes, plus those bits of montage from pictures to animations and everything else. One of my favourite new shows.
“Passing Notes” is next.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 6: “Unboxed”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 6: “Unboxed”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Tyler Hisel

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Beast Within” – click here

South of Mexico City there is an island with a “disturbing history” called Island of the Dolls, originally Isla de las Muñecas. In the 1950s, Don Julian Santana abandoned his family to go live on the island. A long while later, he found a drowned girl there. Not far he found a doll, likely belonging to the girl. He thought it was a “curse” because he left his own family. So, he kept the doll like it was his own child. He looked for more dolls, sometimes going into the mainland to find them. They were hung as “offerings” to the girl’s spirit, to ward off her anger.
He eventually drowned in the same water where he’d found the girl, leaving all his dolls strung up on the island, left to the decay of time.
IMG_0379Aaron Mahnke reminds us how dolls become special objects to children, as a “trusted friend” and more. However, many of us are creeped out by dolls, their strange eyes. All a product of the primitive brain. Mahnke speaks of the “uncanny valley,” which is a reason why Tom Hanks in The Polar Express is unsettling, something too close to human yet not quite human. And this is ultimately why dolls, mere objects, hold power of us. Sometimes they won’t relent, either.
We go to 1904, in Key West, Florida. Thomas and Minnie Otto (Joe Knezevich & Kristin Bauer van Straten) lived there with their son Robert a.k.a Gene (J.T. Corbitt). His Aunt Bridget (Sandra Ellis Lafferty) sends the lonely little boy a doll from her trip in German. Because the kid was a bit different, the doll had a quick effect on him, they became best friends. He was like a real boy to Gene, he sat at the table with the family, he had a meal set out for him, as well. Dad doesn’t dig it, he’s upset by the neighbours talking about his son, though mom realises the object is their child’s “only friend.”
One day Minnie believes she hears her husband upstairs. Yet there’s only her son, the doll, whom the boy’s named after himself: Robert. Just the lads, laughing and chatting together. Even dad starts hearing things, someone running around upstairs when his boy’s asleep not far from him in the next room. Things are beginning to turn up broken, and Gene swears it wasn’t him. When he claims the doll did it all, it sounds insane, naturally.
Robert is real. And he doesnt like it when you scold me.”
IMG_0380IMG_0382Mahnke discusses ventriloquism, why it’s unsettling to people. In 19th century America, people were interested and likewise a bit repelled by the act. Some were accused of witchcraft. Others were believed to be mediums, channelling “voices of the dead” into their dolls. A razor’s edge between entertaining and eerie.
Edgar Bergen and his doll Charlie were the most famous American ventriloquist act. Years later, his daughter revealed the doll was treated as a member of the family. It had a room. It even got his inheritance, left behind for him rather than Edgar’s daughter: the very famous Candice Bergen.
Aunt Bridget gets to Florida, upset over Gene’s relationship with Robert the doll. She brings out the Bible to get across her point, lamenting these “new beliefs of the Suffragette.” Everybody’s worried about the kid. Except for mom. Thomas and Bridget want to get rid of the doll, whereas Minnie doesn’t want to do that to Gene.
So they lock the doll away in a crate, nailing it shut to be kept in the attic. Afterwards, things got weird. First Bridget turns up dead. Then Robert the doll is back sitting next to Gene’s bed as he sleeps. Mahnke questions when dolls gain their power over us. He tells us about a woman named Frances Glessner Lee. She made dolls, only to kill them all in various ways. She made forensic science miniature crime scenes based on real cases: “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.” This helped revolutionise the way scenes were thought about, the care for minute details; today, these are still used for teaching purposes.

Aunt Bridget supposedly had a stroke. Wasn’t necessarily what everyone in the house believed. Mom asks her son how Robert got out of the box. He replies he can’t tell, implying the doll has strange powers. This prompted Minnie to break down and send him away to a boarding school.
Mahnke talks about “reborns,” which are lifelike, custom-made dolls. Made painstakingly to look like a newborn baby. This is a truly strange evolution in the concept of the doll. Watching them being made, watching women cradling them like actual children, even how they’re broken out of a bag as if they’ve truly come out of a human, it’s terrifying. This is the power an object can hold over a person.
Just as poor Minnie believed Robert the doll was responsible for everything bad in their home. She nailed him up again in the attic for good. Skip ahead, 24 years later, and Gene (Michael Patrick Lane) is a painter who travelled Europe. Thomas died, and Minnie was left at home with the doll. When her boy returned, he was grown and experienced and their reunion was wonderful – he also brought his wife, Anne (Haley Finnegan).
But Minnie starts warning the new bride, that they’ve offended Robert. He won’t be happy his friend Gene is being taken away by the women in his life. It all sounds nuts to the young woman, of course. A product of those years alone with only the doll in that house. Despite it all, the couple moved into the home, and the influence over Gene began all over again. Terrifying.
Anatoly Moskvin, Mahnke tells us, was a special sort of strange. He had dozens of dolls, whom he dressed, drank tea with, read to; inside their chests, he installed music boxes. See, Anatoly stole corpses for a decade. At home, they were his “companions.” He mummified the bodies and turned them into dolls. He felt they’d, someday, come back to life. Yikes.
One night, Anne took Robert outside, doused him in petrol, and took a match to him. Next day? He’s back sitting at the table with her husband, fresh and clean. Obviously things got especially scary from there on in, decades of Robert living with them. People would say they saw him staring from the window. His legacy lived on, longer than his owner. He went on haunting the house, until a museum took Robert, where he’s become a famous tourist attraction.

Just don’t take a picture with him unless you ask his permission. Or he’ll get… angry, and do “bad things.”
IMG_0389My favourite episode of Season 1 as a whole, because there’s so much within the story, true history I never knew (Candice Bergen!), and on top of that the entire tale is macabre and weird and super creepy. Just a fantastic episode.
I’ve not yet heard anything, but I do hope this will be successful enough for a Season 2. Mahnke is excellent, he’s a wonderful narrator. The subjects of the podcast were interesting enough, this show gives it the best possible visuals to add that extra OOMPF. Give us more.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 2: “Echoes”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 2: “Echoes”
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Written by Glen Morgan

* For a recap & review of the Season 1 premiere, “They Made a Tonic” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Black Stockings” – click here
IMG_03471903, Virginia. People didn’t want an insane asylum in their neighbourhood, so they were all transported to a place outside Washington, D.C. Only on the way, the patients crashed. Two went out into the forest. One of the them wound up hanging from a tunnel, a note talking about the Bunnyman. The other man, Bunnyman himself, escaped. More killings followed. But eventually, the man was run over by a train.
However, as Narrator Aaron Mahnke tells us: this story’s not true. No records about any of it, from the inmates, the asylum, to the murders. What is it about “the insane” that fills our minds with dread, as well as fills our horror stories?
IMG_0348IMG_0349Bethlehem Hospital in Europe is one of its oldest, founded in the 1400s. At its front are statues of “melancholy” and “raving madness.” The place’s name got clipped from Bethlehem to Bethlem to Bedlam; yes, that’s where the term originates! And at this hospital, the named Bedlam came out of the torturous methods of supposedly treating the mentally ill.
In 1930, a new facility was built at Bethlehem Hospital, though that doesn’t mean things got a whole lot better. In 1946, we meet Dr. Walter Freeman (Colm Feore), who wanted to get rid of the asylum, to fix both the individual and society’s ills in one fell stroke. We see him treating a patient named Salie ‘Ellen’ Ionesco (Victoria Petrosky). She lies on a stretcher with a guard in her mouth, a bit of jelly on the temples, and then it’s an electroshock. Followed by the prefrontal lobotomy technique, also known as the transorbital leucotomy, the crude severing of nerve pathways in a lobe of the brain. Back then, it was called a cure. Except it was more like making a human zombie. Ah, modern medicine! Scientific advancement! Hope for psychotics to “return to their communities“!
At the cost of what, though?
IMG_0350Dr. Freeman and Dr. James Watts (R. Keith Harris) would go on running with the prefrontal lobotomy. Later, Bedlam was featured prominently in an article exposing the horrific conditions at the their hospital. Yet, on they went with that ole transorbital lobotomy, their term. A cheap, easy method that you can do right at the office with no drugs even. Yikes.
But, you see, Dr. Freeman went a bit nuts. At one point, Dr. Watts found him in the office with two of the medical picks stuck in a patient’s two eyes, like a pin cushion. We go to a scene of Dr. Freeman, his wife Dr. Marjorie Freeman (Kristen Cloke), Dr. Watts and a bunch of other doctors, as the man himself shows off a procedure he’s doing on a man named Allan (Michael Bullard).
With a sinister smile and tone, he reels off his numbers – 400 lobotomies in asylums with only a small number of deaths and other fuck ups. It’s a mad moment. One colleague protests after the electroshock, but the wild doctor goes on ahead with the procedure, and his colleague vomits at the sight. Everyone sees the ghastliness up close for themselves.
The only thing this accomplishes is making it easier for those who are nursing them
In the aftermath of fascism’s death and the end of WWII, people embraced the lobotomy, which sent Dr. Freeman into the stratosphere. People saw it as a way to easily take away the horror of mental illness, to calm those with the mental pain of their afflictions. So much so it reached the rich and famous, such as Warner Baxter, one of the two Best Actor recipients at the Academy Awards. He had brutal arthritic troubles and sought out the lobotomy as a cure.
IMG_0353His most famous case, hidden away, was Rosemary Kennedy. At birth, she suffered brain damage, severely limiting her intellectual capabilities. This led her to acting out, causing trouble. So the Kennedy patriarch went to Dr. Walter Freeman in order to remedy their problem. The procedure rendered her permanently disabled, “silenced by the age of twentythree.”
In 1946, Dr. Freeman took his sons and a nephew camping and hiking. One son fell into the river and went over the falls, drowning, found lodged between rocks a week later. A horrible accident. Certainly did no favours for Walter and Marjorie’s relationship, either. Not that they were doing so hot before. He’s an all around terrible man, as a husband, as a doctor.
Thorazine eventually showed up to “calm patients.” It revolutionised modern psychiatric science. Of course Dr. Freeman doesn’t dig it, he doesn’t believe Thorazine or any other drug will replace the lobotomy. No, sir! At the same time, Dr. Watts wanted to give it a try, to leave lobotomy behind, accompanied with the academic work of others calling the procedure what it is: an abomination.
Cut to 1960. He’s got a patient in for the lobotomy. A little boy named Charlie, his mom can’t discipline him or get him to act like a good boy. Oh, this is ugly. He’s electroshocked. He gets the pick in the eyes. And a few years later, he was booted out of the medical practice.
So, Freeman went around the country visiting his lobotomy patients. Seeking redemption, or some affirmation he’d been their saviour. In 1972, he died. His headstone has a hole at the top, a fitting, if not eerie marking of a life with a hole in it that he was never able to fill, ultimately.
IMG_0354Wow. This episode was even better than the first! Love Lore. Truly, Mahnke does fine work. Really gets under your skin in many ways.
“Black Stockings” comes next.