So.. I did no research on this show. I am a firm believer that a show should be able to stand on its own merits and though a show can be compared, it shouldn’t be solely judged on its adaption of said material.
With that little disclaimer out of the way, Netflix’s new show is based off of the graphic novel series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. The show had some really rough goings, from Fox trying to pick up the series back in 2010. Hulu attempting it in 2017 only for it to be passed around with no one taking a chance on it.
And now here, with Netflix taking on the task with a new director and new case. (Fun tidbit, Bode is the only surviving actor from the Hulu pilot.)
So… how was the welcome party?
Pilot episodes are really tough because they have to do so much and it is usually the episode that I pay the most attention to because it sets the tone for the rest of the season and I have to say that starting off the show with someone shoving a key inside their chest and bursting into flames is certainty a way to get my attention. I mean… how cool was it? Not necessarily the death but the idea of having a key hole on your body!? Already, I am question what type of key was that and did he destroy it in the fire? Can they be destroyed? Are there more? (Of course it is but still… you have to ask.) And what was cause him to ultimately commit suicide like that.
After arriving at the beautiful but oddly creepy Locke house and being introduced to not only the house but to Uncle Duncan who comes off just a tad bit too shady for my taste we a short glimpse as to what prompted this seemingly impromptu move. We learn extremely early on that the Locke family are dealing with loss and the way they convey how each of them experienced it and how differently it affected them was something tragic and beautiful.
One of my favorite moments of this episode is the moment between Tyler and Kinsey when they decide to take a selfie and send it to their dad. It speaks volumes to their personalities and is really a touching moment. Tyler doesn’t seem to be doing so well, resorting to smoking as a coping mechanism and Kinsey though dealing with the lost, seems to be more optimistic though they both seem to loathe the idea of having to move. (And I love the piano piece that played during this scene. I know I’m a sucker for piano but it was really fitting score to put here and added to the scene immensely!) We find out just how deeply rooted this trauma effects the two of them later on in the episode but this was perfect way to set them up.
It is here that we get to see what happened to the Locke family through Nina and it truly gut-wrenching. I wasn’t expecting NOT expecting Nina to get shot in that scene. Nope. Couldn’t handle it. What was even more screwed up was the fact that Tyler had to watch from outside, having lost his key to get in while his father struggled and ultimately was shot… helpless to be anything other than a bystander.
The youngest sibling Bode and one of my beloved characters so far, finds himself at the well as he explores the house and discovers that there is someone at the bottom of the well and takes off to tell everyone like a smart person! God, I love the fact that he flipped his shit and ran to warn everyone. You don’t know how happy that made me. And after everyone address the well and think Bode is crazy, this is where our story begins. (Mind you, I hated how Duncan played off like it wasn’t someone down there. I’m calling it now, he knew!)
So… I find myself wanting to go over the episode play and play, but we are going to try something different here. I want to just highlight the things I noticed about the episode. I’m not editing this out as a reminder to myself to NOT do this. Trying to break a habit here and find a different voice. (Don’t look at that way!)
- Was Echo always able to leave the well or was she only able to leave the well after Nina entered the Mirror realm?
- How the hell did Scott know where to find Kinsey for lunch? Do you think he was just watching her with his tray in hand from the shadows?
- As a parent, would you have just ignored the fact that Bode flipped you off like that? Or would you have corrected him
Should this have played more on the horror dynamic?
I find myself torn with the episode at the end and I think it might be a trend of the series. The show doesn’t really know what it wants to be so it tries to cater to all while not being true or authentic to one.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like the show. The Magic of the keys and the potential they have on the rest of the show is enough alone to keep me invested. The Anywhere Key is absolutely wonderful key! Where would you go if you had that key? On the opposite in of the spectrum, the Mirror Key is screwed up. I love how your reflection is always like “Come on… it will be fun? See this smile? Join me.” The final scene with them having to save their mother from the prison of mirrors was awesome and Nina’s response is priceless after the ordeal.
But it is here, where I think the show confuses itself. That would have been a much more powerful scene had it been rooted in horror elements and not just whimsical ones. Especially, playing off both scenes with Tyler and Kinsey which highlighted their PTSD. (Which in my opinion, gave the horror vibe.) Hell, they even have a horror club group basically that touches on horror and it would have been surreal to have element driving the narrative. Kinsey’s breakdown while watching the movie was powerful and what she said was quotable. It touched me because I know exactly where she was coming from. Tyler’s scene was truly fucked up and man… I can’t tell you what I would have done to look over and see my father’s killer next to me. He handled it a lot better than I would have. Nina’s denial to the idea of magical keys and supernatural things going on in the house despite having experienced it first hand was oddly expected.
Perhaps it is because I just got finished seeing The Invisible Man and that movie showed me what horror can truly look like when it focuses on the unknown and plays with our senses as the audience. I feel like that would have been perfect here in executed right.
But we shall see what the later episodes have in store. I’m definitely interested to see how show unfolds with Echo trying to obtain the keys from the Locke house after freeing herself from her prison.
With everything going on, this had been a long time coming. I had actually scrapped and rewrote this several times and I still don’t like the results but thou cannot get better without taking the first step so I am going to post it as it is and improve as I go.
I want to thank everyone who stops by the read this. More is coming soon.
To all those who have family and friends who has been affected by the pandemic, I send all the positive vibes I can muster to you and your loved ones. I have several who are in the hospital or dealing with it at home so I know the strain it can cause. It is one of the reasons why this is and other stuff is so late.
Until the next post…