666 Park Avenue Review: "Diabolic" (Episode 1.06)
For the last few episodes, 666 Park Avenue has had problems with balancing an overarching story and a “Tenant of the Week” format. Too often we’ve been introduced to characters and learned about them, only to have them die all within the one episode. Very rarely are we introduced to a character who will likely stick around for an actual arc. In “Diabolic,” it seems almost like 666 Park Avenue is trying to create a larger story, while utilizing the characters introduced each week, making everything sort of work for the story.
First off, we meet Victor, the man who scared Olivia and sent Gavin on a mission of revenge. Gavin has been keeping secret what really happened to Olivia, so Victor approaches her to find her own answers as to what happened to her on Halloween. Turns out Victor was behind the theft of the mysterious red box in Gavin’s safe. The box seems to have some unknown evil to it that will mess up anyone who opens it up without knowing how to use it. Victor tells Gavin that he wants The Drake or he will open the box.
It’s an unusual choice for Gavin to be the good guy in this scenario, as he is trying to save Olivia, yet he is the villain in basically everyone else’s stories. Really, Victor is somewhat of an anti-hero, telling Olivia that Gavin is evil in a way she is unaware of and attempting to take The Drake out of Gavin’s hands, but he’s still framed as a villain in the show’s eyes. It’s almost like the show wants us to still have sympathy for Gavin, even if he is, as far as we can tell, pure evil.
With the show’s Halloween episode, 666 Park Avenue compared Jane to Tippi Hedren in The Birds, while here there are allusions to another one of Hitchcock’s famous blondes, Janet Leigh from Psycho, at the very beginning. We see her being haunted by Peter Kramer while she is in the shower and then having Henry call him “that psycho.”
As the police investigate Kramer’s attacks at The Drake, Jane starts to look even more insane. There’s no body, no evidence of any attack, nothing. As far as anyone can tell, Jane may have made the whole thing up. Henry sees an old newspaper mentioning Kramer that also makes him question her sanity. Jane now wants to leave The Drake and move back to Indiana, right while Henry’s 15 minutes of fame continue to drag on as he’s climbing the political ladder.
In the end, Gavin puts the pieces together from the last few episodes that seemed like they wouldn’t matter in the long run. The doctor Brian punched last week claims to have school loans that need to be paid off. Gavin offers him $50,000 to help, but the doctor is actually using the money for gambling. Gavin calls him out on this, so they make another agreement, that Gavin will use his services sometime soon. After this, Gavin visits Kandinsky in jail (who thought he would ever come back?) and gets him out of jail after multiple stab wounds. Gavin tells the doctor he needs to help Kandinsky to escape.
“Diabolic” is quite an interesting step in the right direction for 666 Park Avenue, making seemingly useless facts from the past actually make sense in the bigger picture. If it can pull these tricks off, it’ll make the past lackluster episodes more worthwhile. The show has needed an episode like this that pulls everything together. Let’s hope it doesn’t squander what could be a great idea.