Sunday, July 14, 2013

666 Park Avenue

666 Park Avenue
Episode 11: Sins of the Father
Episode 12: The Elysian Fields
By: Carlos Uribe

666 Park Avenue is about the resident managers of a supernatural apartment.

Spoilers Ahoy!

Sins of the Father:

Is it me or did 666 Park Avenue slightly fall off the rails with this episode? The love triangle, that has yet to be relevant to the main plot despite being a plan by Gavin, takes a significant move forward when Louise catches Alex and Brian kissing. This is only after Brian was giving her grief because he thought that she had taken drugs at that party. The two are not in a good place right now. Louise goes home and tries to flush the drugs down her toilet but keeps failing because of magic. She loses her incredible willpower due to emotional devastation and the fear that she's probably going crazy. She gets high, shows up at Patrick Cory's apartment, and sleeps with him. So I guess this love triangle just became a square of some sorts. It's nice that Louise finally found out about the affair but it's very late in the game and I have no idea why this love triangle even matters. Seriously, why does Gavin want to break them up? We have no idea what his master plan in general is so it's hard to see how relevant they are to the plot. I guess sleeping with Patrick makes the love triangle slightly more important as it interacts with the main plot but it's very minimal. This is a sub-plot that has been present from day one but it's always felt separated and I have no idea where this is supposed to even go. If this turns out to go nowhere by the end of the finale, it's going to feel like the biggest waste of time that the show took as it spent precious time developing a plot that it didn't really need. If it does turn out to be important, why keep it from us for so long? 666 Park Avenue keeps it's annoying habit of keeping way too many cards up it's sleeve.

So who is this Patrick Cory fellow? He's Harlan Moore. He has come back to the Drake, moved into Elder's old apartment, and starts renovating the place. The show is still stupid when it comes to the character. He continues to speak old-fashioned, dress like he's out of a time period movie, and fails to adapt to modern sensibilities. Which would make more sense if he had time traveled directly from the twenties or spent the entire time in a coma. It makes no sense when you consider that he had actually been alive since then and thus has had time to adapt to the modern world. His refusal to do so makes him stand out so much that it's shocking that it takes Jane such a long time to figure out who he is. Especially since she had seen his younger self that time she went down the flight of stairs. He claims that he's seeking redemption and does help Jane decipher part of the journal. His motives are cast in doubt as he recreates the mural from the basement, magical powers and all, while killing a young woman. That's right: Louise is sleeping to him while a dead body lies in the next room. That's just disturbing. I'll admit that Patrick is a little fun but his inability to even try to adapt to the modern era is simply perplexing. His real motives don't matter because we know very little about what's actually going on. We get more of the same vague clues we've been fed from the beginning but nothing solid to actually back them up. His intentions are supposed to be mysterious and we're supposed to question him but it's hard to do that when we don't even know what the status quo he's upsetting is. Why does his presence matter? I can't answer that because 666 Park Avenue has continued to defy defining it's universe.

We've covered the love triangle and the main mythology story but it's time to concentrate on Henry's plot. He's running for mayor but the district isn't made up of the one-percent anymore. He's going to have to appeal to the common man which should be easy since Henry is one. They decide that the best way to do this is to have him speak at a church. He can't use the pulpit to actually campaign but he can use it to sell his character to the public. As Olivia puts it: “Sell the man, not the message.” It's a solid plan but it gets complicated by the series mythology. This is because Sasha decides to use her current position near her parents to kill them only this plot is kind-of stupid. The first is that her parents were so willing to trust her after she had spent a significant period trying to weaken them before they figured out she was alive. That was probably the first clue they needed to realize Sasha was a danger to them. I didn't pick this up last week's episode because I had sort-of forgotten it but I remembered this week. The second stupid thing is how she decides to execute it. She knows her father is a powerful being of some sorts so she decides to manipulate a regular catholic priest to do the job. Wouldn't it be better if she was the one to stab her father while the priest went after her mom? She actually loves her mother which would make it more difficult for her to actually go through with it. The whole plan falls apart because Sasha didn't think it through. Her punishment? She gets sent down the stairs where she'll live happily ever after. No...I'm serious. That's her punishment. She acts all sad that she's going to be separated from her parents but it's hard to believe her because she had just tried to have both of them killed.

The Elysian Fields:

I think I have 666 Park Avenue with this episode due it's overuse of Greek mythology. The name of the episode, the reference to the old gods, and it's use of Greek names leads me to believe that what we're really seeing is a show about Greek gods. Gavin is actually Hades, Olivia is Persephone, and I'm actually not sure where to go from here. Now that I think about it, this doesn't make a lot of sense. Why would Hades be making deals with people? What would be his end-game? Why haven't the other Olympian Gods intervened? Yeah, I take it back. I still have no idea what 666 Park Avenue is about and this is the penultimate episode of the show. What do I know for sure? There's a hotel that eats people. It happens to eat the people that belonged to the Conspirati, the group that Cooper belonged to. This hotel is owned by Gavin, who can easily vanquish any foe because of his unlimited power. What is this power? Who knows. Do the writers even know? I'm not convinced. If they do, they should have released this information at the beginning of the season. It's no surprise that this show failed to attract an audience when it's very premise is being kept a secret. What's the point of Olivia's story? Is she going to be fighting Gavin? What does her plot mean? Why does Gavin want Henry as mayor? Why is Gavin trying to break Louise and Brian up? All the plots are spread out and their supposed to be all connected but it isn't because we don't know anything. At the very least, we should be getting answers at this point rather than trying to maintain a mystery. A mystery that should have been unraveled in an early episode to the audience, if not to the characters. Sins of the Father made no real sense and had some stupidity. The Elysian Fields kept that up. I do have to admit one thing: I have no idea what's going on but the two episodes were still pretty entertaining to watch. It's just once you start thinking about it, like I have to for this blog, the whole show just falls apart.

This episode Gavin managed to get rid of two threats. The first threat was the Conspirati. He figured out that Cooper belonged to the group. He's mad that their on his turf so he sends out the mafia guy to take them out. The mafia guy manages to easily do this. As for Cooper? He gets eaten by the hotel. The big question is why did they exist in the first place if they weren't going to play any actual role in the narrative? Okay, they stole the journal and Cooper helped Jane investigate but that's not enough to justify their existence. Anybody could have helped Jane out or she could have figured it out by herself. As for the journal, it could have easily been stolen by somebody else or Jane could have lost it in another way. The series established this top-secret organization aimed at taking down supernatural beings but then wipes them out in a single episode. The second threat Gavin got rid of was Patrick, or Harlan. I thought the series was building up to something with Patrick for the finale but Gavin is able to trap Patrick into the Drake box pretty easily. He was defeated before he could really set his plan on motion and he ended up being no threat whatsoever. Which makes his whole plan to come back young feel more pointless. His only contribution to the plot was giving Jane the code to break the journal-which he could have done when he was older. I guess sleeping with Lousie and telling Brian also advanced their plot but who cares about that? Basically, what I'm saying, is that we just wasted a whole lot of time on this character for seemingly no real reason. He wasn't even a real threat! He could have at least been used to reveal what Gavin was to the audience or have been a bigger threat that wasn't so easily handled so as to justify his whole arc. I get it, he's powerful, but this is simply ridiculous. Every threat he's been able to easily handle.

The love triangle reached it's next stage when Louise accidentally kills Alexis when the two got into a fight. It's a clear self-defensive strategy but Louise is afraid that she'll go to jail anyways. Brian's genius idea is to get rid of the body. Yeah-that's going to look really good if they ever get caught. I still have no idea where this is going or how this fits into the overall big picture. Oh, right: I don't know what the big picture is even made of. The final plot is where Henry has asked Jane to marry him. She accepts and the Doran family decides to throw them an engagement party, against Jane's wishes. This is basically just a way to give Henry something to do as his mayoral election plot takes a backseat into the finale. Oh, there's a little more than that as we meet Jane's father. The series missed a huge opportunity to have a strong episode core with the relationship between Jane and her dad but his whole purpose is to warn her to get away from the Drake. Which would be effective if Jane hasn't already been warned hundreds of times before by numerous people giving her the same old vague clues. It's already gotten pretty tiresome. The Elysian Fields builds into the finale but I have no idea what's going to happen because I have no idea what is happening. The big picture remains murky as the series refuses to firmly establish it's own universe.

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