Cult Season 1 Episodes 10 and 11 – TV Review
We’re almost there, CW die-hards. After this week there are only 2 episodes left.
Then we can go on to Beauty & the Beast season 2.
At least we’ve still got Arrow.
TL;DR Skye and Jeff get close to rescuing Nate but fail, Billy’s inspiration becomes much clearer. And TV is srs bsns.
Like, “a crucifix made out of antennas in an abandoned church” serious.
So our plot gets its start when Skye follows a lead on the actress who portrays Meadow on the show. Her mum is apparently the inspiration for Kelly, and she reveals the man in the photo wearing Billy clothes last week is Philip Kellian: former friend and colleague of Steven Rae. Something something clues lead to an old church that’s full of TVs and antennas. Stuart, Fake Steven Rae, Dustin and Nate show up at the same time looking for a book. Nate covertly helps Jeff and Skye get the book first, but they fail to save him. Aww. Meanwhile, Roger continues to be schmoozed by Stuart and Evil Waitress (I should probably just call her by her actual name by now, which is Kirstie. So I will). Things go sour when Roger spots Kirstie at Stuart’s place later and thinks she’s cheating on him. And on Cult this week, Billy has some kind of meltdown and frantically writes some book thing. He also meets fraudulently with Japanese investors for a “childrens’ centre.” And Meadow returns to her old job, but her boss is actually one of Billy’s higher-ups.
I was kinda hoping for more morbid taxidermies, but I guess I’ll have to settle for plot progression.
So yeah, I’m happy that we’re getting some answers. Skye and Jeff don’t really earn them, though. Skye just randomly notices that Meadow’s actress is being a bit weird, so she and Jeff are like “let’s go talk to her mum,” and then her mum’s like “I’m Kelly IRL lol, here’s some vitally important stuff that will completely facillitate your investigation. Lucky!”
Why I hate this episode:
Stuart and co’s baffling incompetence when they’re at the church is infuriating. They go to the church specifically because they know Skye and Jeff are headed there. Then when they show up, they don’t even bother looking for them and start loudly discussing everything Skye and Jeff would want to know about. Our heroes are, of course, hiding, so they can hear all of it. What the fuck?
Also, the book is under the totally obvious antenna crucifix. Duh.
The TV stuff is beginning to get overwhelming, too (it gets much worse in the next episode, so see below for that). There’s an emerging conspiracy/mystery thing about Philip that involves the power of TV or something. A CW show is really not that serious, guys. Come on.
And this isn’t Cult’s fault, but holy shit there’s a patron saint of television. Good god.
How much time, money and manpower does Stuart have at his disposal? And he’s never found the book in the church after all this time? And he only goes to look for it because Skye and Jeff are going there? And Nate magically figured out where it is at the exact same time? I’m not buying it, is what I’m saying.
Antenna crucifix. Really?
Still no Marti.
Oh, and what happened to Spencer Locke’s character? They brought her back last week and then just left her dangling?
Reasons to watch:
It’s not as many answers as Melissa from PLL is willing to dole out, but we get a couple. That’s cool, right?
So Billy is based on a real person, as is Kelly. Philip was the leader of the Moon Hill Cult, but was a TV writer who worked with Steven Rae before that. Philip became dark and twisted because he thought there was evil behind the screen or something. Philip is also Stuart’s dad. Woah, bitch.
Skye and Jeff use the script Philip and Steven worked on to find the church. They get its location by cross referencing a detail with Skye’s dad’s notes. Shit’s gettin’ deep.
We also learn that Creepy Coworker is under the same duping that the new members were under last week (thinking Fake Steven Rae is real). I lol’d.
The church has wall drawings similar to those from the testing facility. Unfortunately, they’re not as tripped out.
Roger is gonna finally pull his head out of the titties and realise the hot young thang and ridiculously generous millionaire who are fawning over him might have an agenda.
Skye and Jeff deduced that the box tattoo is a stylised TV set. Billy also opens the episode by using explosives to mark the pattern into a field. It’s cute.
Nate’s ploy is pretty cool. He notices Jeff hiding in the ceiling, so pretends to act frustrated and throw away a page from his notebook. Which actually has instructions for Jeff and Skye to find the book Stuart’s looking for. Nicely done.
Oh, and Skye says there are only 3 more episodes left on Cult this season. So. Damn. Meta.
TL;DR The conspiracy shit gets weirder, Stuart is through with pulling punches, Roger fails to slip away from Kirstie’s grip.
And only 2 episodes left to go. Thank god.
The plot follows on from the tidbits we got about Philip from last episode. Jeff and Skye investigate some theory stuff about “neural fusion” and “cognitive something something” that leads them to a professor who once worked with him. Turns out ol’ prof is missing, so our heroes take his Teaching Assistant with them for safety. Professor Kimble had a falling out with Philip way back when and has been terrified ever since the professor character was killed in the pilot of Cult. Skye and Jeff use the power of Google to figure out who Stuart is and snoop in his film production office. He sees them and gets pissed off. Nobody is safe. Gasp. Meanwhile, Roger fucks Kirstie off. Stuart forbids her from trying to repair the damage to the plan, but she goes rogue anwyay. And on Cult, Kelly and Meadow recall how their mum was murdered when they were kids. Billy ingratiates himself to Meadow by allowing her to torture the perp.
Don’t let her name fool you.
I touched on it up there, but this episode is really starting to drive home the “TV is super important/crazy” stuff, and I can’t help but scoff. I’ll use myself as an example here: I don’t even watch broadcast television anymore. I watch shows when I want to. A primary component of Kimble’s theory stuff is about how watching TV makes everyone have the same simultaneous thoughts. But what if they’re not watching it at the same time?
And remember, Cult in this universe is broadcast on The CW, whose audience is generally younger and more technologically savvy. So they probably aren’t watching it at the time of broadcast (thanks, TiVo).
I can’t shake the feeling that this is an old pitch from the 90s that’s been reworked.
Why I hate this episode:
“Whatever, whatever. I’ll watch when I want.”
Also, Philip was a TV writer back in the 70s. The current television landscape would be entirely alien to whatever he was thinking of back then. Everything about Cult just feels dated.
If only CW shows had this power IRL. Maybe Gossip Girl would still be on, crawling pathetically into its nth season while Blake Lively’s breasts slowly succumb to gravity. Ahh, one can dream.
Kirstie is shown exiting a club called “Hashtag.” Gross.
Jeff and Skye’s “rescuing” of the Teaching Assistant actually causes her to be at their place when True Believers raid it because Stuart caught them at the production office. Silly billies.
Where the hell is EJ?
Oh, and Kirstie gives up the game to Roger frighteningly easily. She could have just left or whatever, but no. She admits that she’s Stuart’s daughter, and then when Roger asks her if she and her dad have been playing him, she says yes. Dafuq? You really couldn’t find any way to lie about that? What?
Reasons to watch:
On the other hand, she might be playing a longer con. After she reports her failure to Stuart, he tells her not to try salvaging the plan. She betrays him and goes to Roger, begging for him to hear her out and saying that she’s afraid for her life from her father. Either she’s fallen in love, or she’s even more devious than her daddy. I really hope it’s not love.
As dumbass as the TV theory stuff is, at least we’re getting closer to what the True Believers/Stuart might be all about.
At least the Teaching Assistant gets me. She gets best line of the episode: “I still don’t understand how TV fans can be doing all of this.” Even I’m not that rabid.
She’s also puts it in simpler terms: “It’s just a TV show.” Mmm hmm.
Stuart drops one very interesting morsel when discussing his mission with Fake Steven Rae. He says something about how the answers might tell him where the Moon Hill Cultists “went.” Dat intrigue.
The Cult stuff this week is cute. Meadow seems very happy to see Billy, and she ain’t averse to electrocuting her mother’s murderer, either. I feel bad for Kelly, too. Not only because her mum was killed, but because her sister is a whackjob.
Skye is understandably alarmed when Dustin fires on her and Jeff. The True Believers are done with pussyfooting around them, I see.
Roger smashes the windscreen of the car Stuart gave him during his row with Kirstie. I lol’d.
Marti appears briefly.
Skye’s status as a Cult staffer comes in handy for once when she and Jeff break into Stuart’s office.
Stuart is unable to retaliate when he shows up, so instead he does a Regina/Cady bitchy step-past thing (I couldn’t find a YouTube link for this. You know the scene. When Regina passes Cady after informing the principal about the Burn Book? Yeah, you know). It was adorable.
Oh, and Skye and Jeff hold hands when they’re hiding in a motel room. Those sluts!