Cult Season 1 Episodes 12 and 13 – TV Review
Well thank god that’s over.
But then again, in true CW style, the final episodes give us a taste of tastiness.
TL;DR Jeff and Skye locate the Moon Hill parents (they’re dead), Stuart Jonestowns some of his True Believers arbitrarily, things begin to come together.
The plot sees Jeff and Skye still on the run from the True Believers/Stuart. They get some tech support from EJ and manage to track down Stuart’s “reading” facility (where he has the Readers search for clues in Cult). They rescue Allegra (the TA from last episode), but all the other Readers except for Nate are killed (and the building is fire bombed). She passes on a message from Nate which leads them back to the dilapidated church, where they find the bodies of the Moon Hill parents hidden in the walls. Meanwhile, Stuart becomes increasingly strung out by events, especially when Jeff offers to trade Nate for the info on where the Moon Hill parents are. Nate also cracks the code from the book, which leads Stuart to speak to Cathy (Meadow’s actress’s mum). And over on Cult, Billy allows Kelly’s parents’ murderer to commit another crime (under Billy’s imprisonment) to lure Kelly.
Okay, so cool. Things are getting a bit clearer.
We get an answer on the Moon Hill parents mystery, Nate finally gets some work done for Stuart, and Jeff and Skye manage to actually help someone. I guess I should apologise for bitching them out over putting Allegra in danger last episode.
I’m sorry, fictional characters of a middling, now-cancelled show.
Why I hate this episode:
No major complaints on this one. I mean, it’s still Cult, so it’s still dull, only tolerably intriguing, and shallow (despite its plot convolutions). But hey, this was a good one.
I don’t understand why Stuart spared Allegra’s life. He killed all the other Readers, and she was way more useless than them.
Nate’s message to Jeff through her seems unnecessarily complicated. The message tells Jeff to review the scene in Cult where Kelly finds Meadow’s husband in the wall. This leads him and Skye to find the Moon Hill parents. Why didn’t he just tell Allegra (remember, nobody was listening to their conversation): “Hey, the Moon Hill parents’ bodies are in the walls of that church we went to”? Maybe he was worried that Allegra would be interrogated? But still. I know it’s a little thing, but it’s the little things that make life magical.
I can’t get a read on what Kirstie’s up to with Roger. She seems genuinely interested in him, but she’s being slow in making her move (if she has one). Hurry up, bitch.
Oh, and there’s still that undercurrent of “ermagherd, TV is sooo powerful, yo” going on (it gets exponentially worse next episode). Do Cult’s writers not realise the Internet is, like, a thing?
Reasons to watch:
Jeff and Skye find a shitload of bodies in the walls. That was fun.
And as unnecessarily silly as Nate’s method of tipping off Jeff was, Nate has proven himself to be commendably efficient at sneaking signals through the True Believers’ cracks. Good work.
Stuart proves himself no pussy when it comes to trimming the fat. He doesn’t give a fuck about killing the Readers and burning the facility down. That’s a man who knows what he wants.
Points to Jeff for offering a trade for the “whereabouts” of the Moon Hill parents, but not mentioning the fact that they’re all dead and rotted. That’s cold. I approve.
Fake Steven Rae makes a sensible point to Stuart. He begins to oppose what they’re doing and suggests that maybe Cult isn’t so profound and answer-riddled after all. Well, it is a CW show, so he’s almost certainly right.
EJ’s back. Bitches.
She rigs Skye’s computer to be able to spy on the Cult servers. This intentionally allows Stuart to backtrace her location. Jeff then puts some GPS dog collars on the True Believers’ car so he can find out where they’re returning to. #resourceful
Stuart ambushes Cathy (after Nate cracks the book code and finds repeated references to her). She tells him that Philip, shortly before the disappearance in 1987, changed his mind about TV. He said it was marvellous, not frightening. Intrigue.
Jeff buys a gun off a street rat and uses it to rescue Allegra. It’s the closest to Alaric‘s level of badassery that he’s ever been.
Roger receives an envelope from Steven Rae that informs him of a live scene that will be part of Cult’s season finale. Cool.
Oh, and Jeff and Skye talk about how coincidental their first meeting was. But they don’t regret knowing each other. Aww.
TL;DR Nate and Jeff are finally back together, Cult goes live and Roger gets shot, and it turns out the Moon Hill cult was wiped out by a bigger, older, meaner cult.
Schoolyard bullies: now in cult form.
So the episode starts off with Stuart handing Nate over in exchange for the whereabouts of the Moon Hill parents. While investigating the remains, the cops (led by FemCop’s partner) raid the place and arrest Stuart. The True Believers turn their backs on him now that they’ve got their answer. The younger ones are also mad about being used, but whatever. Meanwhile, Nate goes nuts on looking for Quentin, Skye’s daddy. Jeff and Skye go in search of Nate at the Moon Hill house. They team up with him and Stuart to find a hidden bunker. Philip’s remains are in there (he died by accident), as well as some creepy, centuries-old TV remote. Journals reveal the fate of the Moon Hillers: they were killed by another mystical group. Then Quentin arrives and is apparently a member of this group. Then the end. Meanwhile, Cult intersects with reality at the live show filming. Marti Brandon Lees Roger when Kelly and Billy struggle over a gun. He lays bleeding as Cult (the real one. Our one. You get it) comes to a dramatic, bizarre close.
Yes, it introduces some shit that could actually be worthwhile.
And that’s my major problem with this episode.
They waited until fucking 13 episodes in to actually start really giving a crap. Instead of Jeff and Skye just fluffing around for eternity, they should have been hitting this kind of stuff right from the beginning.
Cult’s whole premise, that people take a CW show seriously, is so fucking ridiculous that they should have just ran with it. What we got instead was a boring, overly-emo drip feed of soap opera bullshit that was trying way too hard to be unsettling and internally meaningful.
I mean, there’s a fucking ancient TV remote in this episode. Which points to an even ancient-er cult. That’s amazing.
Needed (so much) more of this, guys. Seriously. What a wasted opportunity.
Why I hate this episode:
It reminded me a lot of The Secret Circle’s final episode, which had a whole evil, rival gang of characters being introduced at the last second. I get that these kind of things are sequel hooks, but when the rest of your season is so bland that it gets the show cancelled, sequel hooking is kind of redundant.
Continuing on that theme, Kirstie’s true colours aren’t shown, so I still don’t know what she was up to. When Roger gets shot, she has a look on her face that could pass for lack of surprise. But then she plays the wailing woman when she has to. Why? What were you doing? Was getting Roger shot (killed?) part of Stuart’s plan? The badder cult’s plan? Your own plan? What? Tell me.
After the shooting, Cathy stealthily steals the gun away and legs it. What? The show is cancelled. I need some answers (not badly enough to suggest a revival. Good god no. But still).
Marti and Roger never become proper characters, which sucked, because they were way more interesting than Jeff and Skye. They kinda just floated around until the plot needed to remember they existed, then disposed of them again. What was the point of it all?
What was with all the graffiti saying “do not watch this” on Cult’s advertisements?
We never saw Steven Rae.
Skye sees a news update about a possible storm flooding event. This is apparently arbitrary. Missed some drama points there, guys.
Nate still communicates with the True Believers to help his research into Quentin. What an idiot.
Oh, and that “hey, sometimes these things just snap right off” phrase comes back when Quentin says it instead of answering any questions. That was a lame fucking arc phrase.
Reasons to watch:
It’s done. Congratulations on suffering through it with me.
The best part of the episode is the live scene stuff. It’s just a great premise. Of course some shit was gonna go down, but it’s theatrical, dammit. I love it.
The situation is that Billy has successfully lured Marti onto his trail. He confines her in a room with just her, Billy, and the guy who killed her and Meadow’s parents. Billy gives her a gun with only 1 bullet, and she has to choose who to shoot. So. Fucking. Good.
All 3 actors are rigged with squibs, and only shown the script right before they go live, to ensure nobody leaks anything. So tacky, so satisfying.
Kelly shoots Billy after she decided she’ll never kill for him and tries to shoot herself. Melodrama done flippantly is melodrama done right.
Marti’s horrified reaction and then immediate attempt to help Roger are great, too. Marti’s a cool chick. She even gives Skye kudos on her budding relationship with Jeff.
Speaking of Skye’s relationship with Jeff, they kiss (without drugs), and then Skye leads him off to presumably fuck him. They’re both hot, so that’s alright with me.
I lol’d that Philip died because a shelf fell on him.
Fake Steven Rae tells Stuart that the True Believers are done with him now that they’ve got their answers. That’s not enough for Dustin, though, who shows up at the Moon Hill house and drags Stuart away. He rightfully accuses Stuart of having ends that weren’t about the show, and lying to them. I think they’re probably going to kill Stuart, too, which is cute.
Jeff and Skye teaming up with Nate and Stuart was hilarious. It was great.
There’s a fucking relic TV remote. Like, seriously.
Oh, and if nothing else, it’s an episode of Cult where something actually fucking happens. It’s a shame they left it so pathetically late.