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'Hemlock Grove' recap: A well-dressed predator

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “Bodily Fluids” | Released July 11, 2014

If there is one representative scene in Hemlock Grove’s grotesque-laden fourth episode, it is the hapless drug dealers having their testicles removed by their insane boss as scenes of lions devouring a zebra play out on the television in the background. Like Darrell Roodt’s Prey, which contains a similar zebra disembowelment, “Bodily Fluids” is largely concerned with the art of the hunt. From Roman’s predatory stalking of potential human meals to children being preyed upon by masked killers, the intersection of the hunt and horror is readily evident.

We open with a young couple making out in the back of a pickup truck in the dead of night. And because we are conditioned by horror tropes to know that wandering off alone in the woods at night never leads to anything good, it isn’t a surprise when, upon disentangling herself for a solo pee break, the woman lets out a bloodcurdling scream. What is a surprise is that she stumbled across the mutilated body of Christina Wendell. It’s a horrific sight, complete with decapitated corpse and maggots, and one worthy of our Big Bad from season 1.

Two men who easily qualify as Keystone Cops, had the Keystone Cops been raunchy and not a little creepy, investigate the crime scene. Not far from the body is a larva-infested piece of a white pelt that is clearly the only remaining vestige of Christina in her Vargulf state. In a sense, this moment signals a conclusion to the murder mystery of the first season and is a welcome addendum to some lingering questions about Christina. The scene also increases the odds for Shelley, who is now being sought on suspicion of desecrating Christina’s grave.

If there is one lesson to be gleaned from Roman’s descent into blood lust, it is that life is hard out there for an Upir. We first get a glimpse that Roman is coming off the spool when he stares longingly at Miranda’s neck and grows dizzy. He is able to withdraw before attacking her, but the experience leaves Roman shaken. A similar situation occurs when the carotid artery of his assistant captivates Roman. After said assistant makes a mistake with the blueprints Roman requested, Roman takes the opportunity to funnel his lust into rage and rants to his employees that he isn’t “running a daycare for fucktards.” Never let it be said Roman Godfrey doesn’t know how to turn a phrase.

At the White Tower, a distraught Norman attacks Dr. Pryce and demands to know what he did to Marie. Because of the impending lawsuit, Norman is convinced that the unscrupulous doctor silenced Marie. But Pryce’s warning to be careful peeking into corners (because you never know what will come crawling out of the woodwork) gives Norman pause. He is further upset by a visit from Michael, who, just coming off of a visit to Olivia, reveals that Olivia was with Marie the day she disappeared. And although Norman questions his beloved, he allows himself to be seduced by Olivia.

Also at loose ends is Peter, who is still trying to deconstruct the meaning behind his visions. He is busy scribbling the numbers “047 048” on a piece of paper while calling around to airports in order to figure out where the impending murder of the boy on the Big Wheels is set to take place. His reverie is interrupted by the Laurel & Hardy of the drug-dealing world. Although Peter tells the truth about what happened to the money, he still receives a bat to the gut for his duplicity. Unfortunately, the abuse triggers something in Peter, and he begins to turn into his werewolf form. But before that happens, he is able to run the two men off before tending to his wounds with the aid of straight liquor.

It appears Roman’s outburst prompted a number of his employees to file grievances against their temperamental boss, and Roman is visited by Human Resources. After she tells Roman he must leave for the day, we finally get a chance to see him pull some of his patented eye voodoo. It’s a welcome reminder of Roman’s mind-control abilities, as well as one of the funnier moments in the episode.

Peter manages to piece together where the impending murder is to take place, and intervenes just in the nick of time. He then terrifies the mother into running and, while his threats have the desired impact, they also land Peter under arrest by Sheriff Chasseur.

Back at Roman’s home, Miranda grows more curious as to what is behind the locked door. Her interest is further piqued by the appearance of a pink bunny in the laundry. As she prepares to leave, Miranda starts to express milk. She also finally gives in to temptation and enters the locked room to find Roman’s crying infant. As if the baby expected her, she stops crying and greets Miranda with a smile.

Increasingly desperate, Roman takes to staring at bloody cuts of meat in storefronts as well as bloody pustule on the face of a homeless man. He finally succumbs to his desires and follows a panhandler back to his camp. After telling the man his daughter will be well cared for, Roman attacks. Groups of people from the camp descend, but Roman manages to escape by throwing a wad of cash into the air. Yet one does see his presence at the camp: Sheriff Michael Chasseur.

As things come to a disturbing close, Peter is assaulted with a new array of visions—this time involving water, a dog, masks, snakes and blood. Our last image of Peter is of him banging against his jail cell and screaming that more people are going to die. As for Roman, he returns home with his shirt covered in blood. Clearly traumatized, the night has one more shock in store for Roman when, upon entering the baby’s room, he finds Miranda breastfeeding.

Comments, Gripes & Observations

  • The scenes between Shelley and her young friend continue to be strong, even if they’re creating new questions for the audience. Questions such as: When did Shelley learn to speak?
  • I was impressed to see that the woman in the beginning thought to use her phone light as she traipsed through the woods. She’s still dumb, but not quite as dumb as characters in slasher flicks.
  • Does anyone else wonder how secure Norman’s emails to Shelley actually are? I’d think that if the sheriff were tracking Shelley, all communication would be monitored. So isn’t Norman actually putting Shelley at risk?
  • Here’s hoping that we see more of Pryce’s assistant. I get the sense that she could give the doctor a run for his money when it comes to being medically unscrupulous.
  • The music for this episode was on point. Kudos to those involved in the sound direction!

Hemlock Grove can be viewed on Netflix.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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