Hemlock Grove: “Gone Sis”

(Episode 2.02)

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Hemlock Grove: “Gone Sis”

Roman’s bloodlust is at the center of the second episode of the second season of Hemlock Grove. He can no longer resist the urge to feed on humans. This becomes clear when he chomps down on a pimp, but this desire for blood also appears to disgust him. He later vomits and washes up, purging himself of the longing that he cannot suppress. Roman is deeply troubled over what he can’t control, and this might prove to be especially problematic with the addition of a new character.

Miranda Cates, played by Madeline Brewer (Orange Is the New Black), is the newest resident in Hemlock Grove. She looks to be close in age to Roman—an attractive, young woman with rocker clothes and a ring piercing her septum. She is temptation for Roman, not so much because of her beauty, but because there is blood caked into her hair and stinging her face and clothing. Miranda was just in a car accident. In true horror movie fashion, she escapes the storm and the wreckage by knocking on a stranger’s door. It’s a situation that never ends well, but, maybe, Hemlock Grove will be the exception.

Olivia, Roman’s mother, really wants to get back into her son’s life. After watching the Godfrey matriarch turn the kids against her all last season, she’s showing a newfound sense of compassion. Dr. Pryce says it’s a side effect of her current treatment; she’s gaining empathy. Of course, Olivia still has those moments when she is downright insufferable, like when she barges into Roman’s office. Roman does not want to speak to his mother—but this goes beyond typical 18 year-old angst. He blames his mother for pretty much everything that has gone wrong in his life, most importantly, the fact that he’s not quite human. Olivia, however, does understand Roman’s physical changes and the problems that arise from his new hunger. She’s like him. She’s been through the metamorphosis. She tells her son this, but he’s not listening. She reminds him to come to her before he starts causing problems for their kind. Maybe he will, but that seems doubtful at this point in the show.

Roman’s daughter (conceived from an encounter with his now-deceased cousin Letha) is hidden inside his house. She screams badly. The cries don’t stop and they get worse when Roman is around. An elderly woman looking after the baby girl notes that all of the Godfrey children were like that. It’s another reminder for Roman that they are part of a strange legacy. Meanwhile, he grows closer to Miranda throughout the episode. Eventually she is ready to leave his house, but he asks that she stay with him. They start talking about their pasts. Miranda was heading to California after a breakup. They both have lost loved ones. Miranda mentions that her dad died. Roman explains that his committed suicide years ago. He shows Miranda the horses. Miranda calls him a “Byronic hero.” She has to explain what that means. Roman does, in fact, fit into the model. He broods. He lashes out violently. He also has these deep connections to others and is seemingly in a constant struggle between the good and the bad within him. In the end, he feeds on a horse.

The episode’s title, “Gone Sis,” is actually derived from Peter’s storyline. He’s been having crazy, frightening dreams. His cousin, Destiny, tries a spell to figure out what’s going on, but the results terrify her. Destiny urges Peter to forget about the dreams. He can’t. He draws a sign that reads “Gone Sis.” Destiny’s boyfriend recognizes this as the burnt-out sign from Wagoneer Oasis, a local trailer park. Is it connected to a murder that just happened in the woods?

Liz Ohanesian writes about pop culture from her base in Los Angeles. For updates, follow her on Twitter or Facebook.