TV Review: Cult Season 1 Episode 4

Cult puzzle septic tank UV light

Hey, every show has to be good at something.

I think it’s time to accept that Cult is one of those shows that will take forever to build up to an acceptable level.

I mean, even TVD started off a bit bleh, and look how good the second half of season 1/all of season 2 was?

I still don’t see this making it that far, though.

TL;DR The world building continues, but it’s just going too slow. And ironically, the introduction, then quick exit, of several new characters is not helping.

Not even when they’re scary, competent black men who will probably turn out to be evil? No, not even then.

The plot introduces a couple of new characters. Jeff connects via Cult chatroom with a woman whose husband is missing under similar circumstances to Nate. They meet up, and she brings her big, scary black associate who is a cult deprogrammer. With help from Skye and EJ, they track down a True Believer who, under “persuasion” from senór deprogrammer, leads them to a secret testing room for True Believer hopefuls. It’s hidden underneath a location that Skye knows from shooting the show. They find the woman’s husband, but Nate is gone (though they find evidence to suggest he passed the test and is now one of Them). Meanwhile on Cult, Kelly turns to an author who has profiled Billy (not in a good light, yo) for help finding her sister. The author is kidnapped and traumatised by Billy. He then refuses to help Kelly once she removes him from the cult.

Eh, I don’t know what more I can really say about Cult at this point. This episode is an improvement on the first 2, but it’s still suffering the same symptoms as the last one.

Namely, that a bunch of characters are introduced that provide insight into a face of the cult, but they’re all gone by the end of the episode, and Jeff and Skye haven’t really learned anything.

Hurry the fuck up.

I don’t wanna have to sit through 22 episodes of this shit, only for it to be cancelled when it just starts getting good.

Get good now.

Why I hate this episode:

You know, the usual: Skye isn’t involved enough, Jeff isn’t working fast enough, blandness.

For an investigative reporter, Jeff seems to be pretty inefficient. He only happens upon Wifey by chance, and she even says that she sought him out. Get on your shit, already. God.

Similarly, the in-universe Cult plotline is coming off as really slow, and Kelly is looking like she isn’t too great at her job. Also, if she can just waltz around the cult compound whenever she wants, why doesn’t she just go in there and torture Billy or some shit? Get proactive, bitch.

Skye is a bit of a party pooper when it comes to heir deprogrammer. After they track down a True Believer at a hacker hostel, the deprogrammer wants to kidnap the dude so they can squeeze him for info. Skye gets all moral about it, but reluctantly goes along with it. But although she’s okay with kidnapping, she completely flips her shit when drugs get involved. Have you stopped caring about finding out what happened to your dad? Also, Jeff’s brother and this chick’s husband are missing. You saw college kids get killed last episode. I think you can handle this.

Oh, and master deprogrammer has a line that’s supposed to come off as chilling, but is actually naff. He’s going on about how a cult formed from a TV show changes things. Jeff asks him why, and he’s like “there’s a TV in every home.” So observant.

Reasons to watch:

At least something’s happening. The missing husband plot may be distracting, but any forward movement is welcome.

We do get some deets on Nate, though. FemCop (the female cop. It’s not hard) gets a call saying that Nate has been moved, which confirms he is alive. And when our heroes find the septic tank/test chamber, they find a picture of Nate on the wall indicating that he had passed the test.

I liked papa deprogrammer’s ruthless attitude. Dude gets shit done.

We get a little bit more time with Marti this epsiode. A gossipy make-up artist makes fun of Skye’s relationship with Jeff, so Marti shoos her away and offers some words of encouragement for Skye. She’s cool.

Also, Skye is starting to develop romantic feelings for Jeff. Yeah, I’d usually be against that kind of crap, but this is a trash show on The CW. Bring that shit on. I’m ready.

Although it’s eye-rollingly trite, the “everything connects for the sake of the plot” stuff is really cute. As in, the location Skye is shooting on at the start of the episode happens to be exactly where the mystery leads them back to. That’s some tight writing.

During EJ’s hacking of Wifey’s disc (similar to the one Jeff found of Nate’s), she comes up with a sequence of numbers. She seems very proud of her work, but before she can explain what they mean, Skye butts in and recognises that it’s an IP address. EJ is annoyed. I lol’d. Everybody wins. Except EJ. Because she’s a nerd.

Oh, and Billy has a cruel but effective way of capturing the author’s attention.

Cult nailed hands to table

Manners matter.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

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