Rare is it that I watch something on TV and at the end I jump up, fist cocked, screaming yes!
This episode was one of those rare times, although I was on the edge of my chair for much of it, and in general screaming something, be it a profanity (out of anger/ frustration), exultation or, at one point, gibberish. When I finally got the end, I about fell out of my chair (I did wobble, just didn’t make it to ground, a feat in and of itself). I did shake it up a lot, bang on the arm rests. It wouldn’t surprise me that the chair doesn’t last much longer in my abuse of it, especially during this show.
I love that Mac’s recap included his emotional reaction to Paul’s accident from Episode 3. His “Nanu Nanu” send-off was wistful, since his friend’s life is hanging in the balance. It turns out Paul’s brain dead and now his mother has to decide when to turn the machines off that are keeping his body alive. Once they are off, his chance of survival is a million to one (it’s here that echoes in my head Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber: “So you’re saying there’s a chance”) The worst is when Neil just flat out tells Mac he’s dead, since he can see his spirit, and I’m upset that Neil is being a jerk and not repeating what Paul is saying, since Mac feels responsible for the accident, and Neil agrees as it sounds like his fault. In fact, I had very little sympathy (empathy?) for Neil throughout this episode as he’s acting out erratically. I get it – he’s got the burden of saving the world, and it’s a hard truth to swallow, much less digest. Yes, he’s a loner, and what Paul does is unforgivably naïve, so I did feel for Neil in the end, for all these things. But his letting Mac keep feeling guilt when he could have allayed it? I wanted to kick him in the shin for it.
Oh, also, Uber-Fade (or, as Neil calls him, the Angelic Killer) is now in human form, a ravenous eater, spewing black gunk when he’s not eating (food or people) and his name is John (heretofore be known as).
What I love about this show is just the construction of its story. This is what I learned in this episode, all of which blew my freaking mind:
• The dead spirits age. Sarah plucks off a finger nail, and when John tells his story he talks about how he evolved into this Nosferatu-like creature as he watched his wife marry an abuser, be neglected by her children, and slits her wrists instead of succumb to cancer. His not being able to bear leaving her side, he lies by the bathtub, her blood dripping all over him, and, after a while, where her blood fell created skin. It makes him understand the opportunity of eating people = become flesh again, if not necessarily. So the Fades are, essentially, a vampire-zombie hybrid. When I made that observation, I clapped my hands like a little nerd filled with fantasy happiness.
• If the dead try to touch the living it causes some kind of electrocution sparking pain. Paul feels it when he tries to touch his mother, and Sarah feels it when she tries to protect Mark during his interrogation. They can’t touch anything, so if a door closes in a room, unless a human opens it, they are stuck.
• John was one of the first Fades, died in 1942. Apparently, the Angelics didn’t help them reopen ascension and their weapons carry organic matter, to hurt them (much like touching humans does). So the Fades hate the Angelics. John’s very much like Satan – not born bad, but pushed into Evil because of denial of rights. It doesn’t make him any less dangerous – in fact, it makes him moreso.
• That Anna and Paul are twins is that one in a million shot they needed.
Paul converses with John who only wants to free Natalie from the Angelics. Meanwhile, Neil is torturing her with Maggy and Higgy, but Phil and Alice didn’t agree with the torture and left., even after Neil’s speech that “Superman (meaning Paul) is Dead. God is dead. The Easter bunny is dead.” They are fighting a war and it is going to get ugly. (I’m also not sure what the Easter bunny ever did to him).
John promises not to hurt the Angelics, and Paul is so young that he believes him, so he leads John to Neil, Maggy and Higgy, and between John and Natlaie they kill Higgy and Maggy. Neil shoots a million bullets into John and it only goes to prove what he wanted to know – that he’s immortal.
That’s no matter to Neil, who can’t believe Paul lead him there, and all Paul can do is hollowly repeat that John wasn’t supposed to hurt anyone. He’s still absorbing he’s been lied to. I keep hoping that somehow the emotions he has – such as his lashing out to Anna and sealing her lips shut – somehow that anger, that rawness, can bring him back to life.
Sarah goes to Neil and decides the Angelics need someone on the inside, and that she should start feeding. It’s selfish, really. She wants to be with Mark again, naturally, and this is her only way to do it. I think Neil is so despondent he doesn’t see her ulterior motive and he feeds her the blood of the fallen Angelics.
John brings Natalie to a hiding place and there are a ton of cocoons, which means a few more immortals are about to come to fruition.
Meanwhile, Mac is coming to grips with losing Paul, but fighting against it. He asks Paul’s mother not to shut the machines off. He goes to Paul’s house and tries to speak to him, and the flickering lights he thinks is Paul trying to communicate is Phil and Alice who ambush him. Mac gives them a speech that they have to be able to heal Paul since they are like him, and that he needs him, his mother needs him, his twin sister needs him, his girlfriend needs…oh wait, he has a twin?
Mac gets Anna and they all go to the woods where the spirits ascend. Paul’s beacon has turned on when they come upon him and they light all these candles and set a mirror up between him and Anna. They wait to somehow capture his reflection, and when the mirror does, Phil reaches and grabs some of Anna’s essence and shoves it into Paul’s light (aka his chest). During all this, Paul’s mother and Jay are sitting at his bedside giving the go ahead to turn the machines off. I’m holding my breath.
Nothing seems to happen, and Alice tells him that he tried, and it’s ok. Then…
Paul’s spirit disappears, the machines all start freaking out around Paul, a million dead birds fall from the sky in the woods, and Paul’s finger moves, then he starts to spew a crap-ton of moths and butterflies before he shoots up in bed, awake, alive, and able to touch his mother’s hand.
(Insert Sonia yelling, stumbling, wobbling chair, unable to contain her relief here).
I don’t believe John and the soon to be Uber-Fades are immortal, or invincible. Paul has to be a key in all this, and he must possess the ability to, if not kill them, figure out a way to kill them. I admit that could be wishful thinking, but I still believe a Big Bad has to have a weakness, a way of being stopped. And, I believe in Paul, like Mac does. There has to be a reason for all this, and we’ve only got two more episodes left (!) in this season to know more. I’m not sure my chair will be able to handle it.