Cult Season 1 Episodes 8 and 9 – TV Review
Though I’d still be hesitant to say it’s worse than Beauty & the Beast.
And at least they’re finishing it off. A mercy Cult didn’t deserve.
TL;DR FemCop dies. Nothing else of value occurs.
Cult: giving you a single shred of action, and nothing else.
I can’t believe we’re back here. Okay, so our IRL plot this episode follows Skye and Jeff as they dig deeper into that actress’ murder from several decades ago. FemCop starts to unravel as our heroes gain some serious ground on her (they find video evidence and everything, yo). Stuart eventually has enough of her shit (she’s murdered a lot of people) and guilts her into killing herself. Aww. Her partner, having gotten to know some of her skeletons, shuts down the investigation into Nate’s disappearance to protect her reputation. Sucks for Jeff and Skye. Meanwhile, Stuart continues to schmooze Roger. And over on Cult, Kelly manages to trade the evidence from that car last episode for her sister. Billy agrees.
He’s such a sweetie.
Look, I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t watched Cult since fucking April. Or if, having just suffered through all 22 episodes of Beauty & the Beast, I’m ready to be impressed. Or if Arrow has given me back that CW loving feeling. But in any case, I have to admit that I had a bit of a good time this episode.
Hell, we had a main character dying. If that’s enough to make me praise Revenge, then it’s enough to make me praise Cult.
I am objective, first and foremost, in all things.
Why I hate this episode:
A single moment of main character suicide doesn’t mean most of the rest of the episode isn’t a boring trudge at a pace even a snail with fetal alcohol syndrome would be embarrassed by. I just feel so talked down to when watching Cult. I know The CW is probably catering to their younger, less attentive audience by spelling everything out so laboriously, but God. The Following, a far superior show featuring a cult, while not the most pensive show on earth, at least kept things snappy. Get moving, CW.
This absence of speed makes Skye and Jeff look very incompetent at their investigation. Which they are. They only get their break this episode because Skye’s mum suggests she go talk to some skank her dad had an affair with, which magically lands them ridiculously good video evidence.
I don’t like the whole “we’re family and we love each other and we’re so emotional despite the fact that we straight-up murder people all the time for a TV show” thing that FemCop, Stuart, Wheels etc have going on. It diminishes their impact as villains. And considering the lack of dimension Cult is affording its fucking protagonists, I don’t think they should be wasting any time giving their villain posse a Freudian excuse.
Like I bitched about last episode, FemCop does an even worse job of being incognito. She flips shit right in front of her partner at the slightest whiff of trouble. Then she goddamn kidnaps Wheels from the police station, in full view of everyone. I thought you were supposed to be a pro, bro.
Why the fuck would Billy give Kelly her sister back?
There is no Marti this episode. Again.
Oh, and FemCop’s partner burying the Nate investigation is fuckin’ rude. He knows that Skye and Jeff aren’t bullshitting, but refuses to help them to protect his friend-who-turned-out-to-be-a-serial-killing-cultist-freakshow. Dick move.
Reasons to watch:
Some deets do flow, though. My favourite was Skye and Jeff seeing the video footage of young FemCop murdering the shit out of that actress. Anything solid in this show is a good thing.
We also learn some proportion to FemCop/Stuart/Wheels’ group. Apparently there are 13 surviving members of their My First Cult group (from an original 20). Not sure how they connect to the True Believers yet.
Stuart also says that they’re close to “the answer,” which is why he gets so mad (and orders the death) at FemCop for fucking things up. Nate is apparently vitally important to the cause, too. Vital enough that he will let FemCop die to secure him.
And lastly, Evil Waitress is Stuart’s daughter. My soap opera sense is tingling (to be fair, it is in overdrive).
I’m glad Kelly finally has Meadow (her sister) back, too. Maybe we can finally move on with some other plot line in the Cult sub plot.
Skye’s dad had an affair with a coworker (the one who points Skye and Jeff in the direction of that super convenient evidence). I lol’d.
Kelly is pretty badass with the whole trade thing.
I have to eat my words from last episode’s review where I slagged off Roger for being too accepting with Stuart. This episode he said he has now done his research. Good boy.
Roger also enjoys a bowhunting jaunt with Stuart and some dudes. I still can’t pick if Roger is sane or batshit. It’s a good thing, now.
Best line goes to Jeff, who says this to Wheels while they’re on their FemCop evidence hunt: “Listen, we’re not intrested in you.” Nobody is.
Oh, and the opening of the episode is a Cult scene where Billy hunts down and kills 2 cultists who were responsible for the evidence not being cleaned from the car. Dat brutality.
TL;DR Skye and Jeff finally show some proactivity and go undercover for some juicy, juicy deets. The results are middling. This is Cult, after all.
Also, I think you should give me some points for not using “I’m back, bitches” anywhere in this post. And the situation really did call for it.
The plot this time, now that the FemCop/Kiddies Cult drama gets to go on the backburner, is about Jeff and Skye going after info on Cult’s creator, Steven Rae. Spencer Locke is back in the picture, and she tells our heroes how to get in touch with him (for selfish reasons, natch). Skye goes in while Jeff accidentally ends up at a different location. Jeff runs into our missing executive from a while ago (see pic above), who is a little hollow. Luckily, he gets back to Skye in time to save her from the ditch she’s dug herself into (the new recruits meet a fake Steven Rae. Real Steven Rae is still a mystery). Meanwhile, Marti takes some self defence classes due to that run-in she had, and Roger continues to get his ego stroked by Evil Waitress. And on Cult this episode, Meadow acts a bit cray. Kelly flips shit when Meadow’s son disappears, awkwardly accusing Billy. Turns out the kid is as freaked out by his mum as we are and just tried to run away from her.
It’s nice to be back to an episode where all 4 leads contribute.
Between the 2 episodes from this week, I’d have to go with this one. While episode 8 had FemCop’s death, this one has much better forward momentum. It touches on the Steven Rae enigma instead of wallowing in FemCop’s one-time-she-murdered-that-actress.
Still, I’m a little unimpressed with how easily Skye slips into the new recruit meeting. I though the True Believers were supposed to be omniscient blah blah blah. But Spencer just gives Skye a URL, she pops in a fake name, and that’s it.
Why I hate this episode:
Also, you’d think one of the ultra-fanatical new recruits, or one of the supposedly diligent cult members, would have recognised Skye as someone who works on the fucking show. Fake Steven Rae even has a photo of her in a pile on his desk. Do your homework, people.
Spencer’s return is a bit wtf. I thought she was just a one-off. She’s been captured by the police, and refuses to talk to anyone but Jeff and Skye. She tasks them with tracking down Steven Rae so they can tell him Spencer is still committed to the True Beleivers’ cause and totes won’t spill any beans. I know she’s nuts, but why the hell would she trust the 2 people in the world who know she’s a murderous psychopath and who are actively trying to fuck up the cult to do this for her?
We still haven’t seen Steven Rae. #impatient #iwantitNOW #genY
I’m so over Meadow.
Oh, and Skye doesn’t even complete Spencer’s request. Rude.
Reasons to watch:
The best moment is easily when Jeff bumps into the taxidermied body of the executive. Jesus fuck, Cult. Way to ramp it up. That’s some Jeepers Creepers shit. It was awesome.
The little TVs in his eyes are just icing on the horrifying cake. And I’m glad the show didn’t forget about him.
I’m proud of Jeff and Skye for actually getting out there and putting themselves in real danger this episode. Skye goes straight into a horde of cultists, and Jeff willingly travels in the boot of a car to get stuff done. Keep it up, guys.
Skye puts her “I work on the show” thing to good use. She decides to be the one to meet the True Believers because she knows more about the show. And she’s able to figure out Fake Steven Rae’s fraud due to a line about his writing habits that she recognised from a bogus PR statement. Nice.
We get a little bit more Billy this episode. Early on in Cult, we see him caressing a clay (wax?) sculpture of Kelly. He then flies into a rage and scrapes/mashes her face into pulp. Later, when Kelly confronts him about Meadow’s son being taken, Billy seems genuinely upset for Kelly. Could this be… love?
Marti not only gets her self defence training done, but also puts it to use. She beat the shit outta some guy she sees leaving her trailer. It turns out to be a sticky-fingered extra, but either way, I’m happy to see her be competent.
Roger compliments Marti on her talent when the two share a cute scene together. She also notices how he’s become nicer. They make a good duo.
Roger’s good mood is the result of Evil Waitress’ ego stroking. She also gets a scene with her dad (Stuart), where he reassures her that her relationship with Roger is just a means to an end.
Best line goes to Roger, with this jokey, Spiderman-inspired response to Marti’s question about dealing with the fans: “With great fame comes great responsibility.” And, for Roger anyway, sex.
Jeff finds an old photo of a man wearing Billy’s costume at the Moon Hill (Kids Cult) property. He and Skye wonder whether that could be Steven Rae.
Oh, and seriously, Jeff and Skye need to get out amongst the cultists more often. We now have proof they can do it, so no more wussing out, hey?