Down In The Ground Where The Dead Men Go

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A+
As We Are

He's the king of something that never even mattered to the dead people he's still trying to impress, which is just the saddest concept, but it's also the best he can do.

Alak comes in, still looking like teenage hell -- I wonder if his hair is slowly going white as he matures? You don't see a lot of even the younger Casti with that ombre color; it's a good visual signal for how he's already tainted by modernity, I think, along with his teenage dirtbag clothes -- and all a mess about how Christie's dad is getting in her head. Datak, I think with the intent of being a good dad but as always just bein' Datak, immediately starts hollering about how Rafe needs a hole in the head, and both Alak and Stahma ignore him in the same grossed-out/indulgent way.

Basically naked, Stahma embraces her stonewashed-denim jacket-wearing son and calms him down, promising to get inside Christie's head too, and fix it. More interestingly, there's a lot of code-switching with the language throughout, where Stahma starts by punctuating a mostly Casti conversation with pointedly human concepts -- "a new world" -- but when Alak comes in, all three of them start speaking English; she calls him "honey," he calls Datak "dad." It makes sense for a script -- three people talking in subtitles would suck to watch -- but makes more sense in terms of the generational/immigrant stuff going on: That is actually how this family would communicate, in America.

My friend Brandi's parents made a concerted effort to only speak English in the house, with the outcome that when she started grade school she had no idea what languages were: Just that speaking included a subset of words, and syntax, that you only use when you're very angry. I love that story.


While Rafe and Nolan make their way into Old St. Louis -- a greenscreen triumph, sold but not oversold by the basic McCreary themes -- Amanda can't tear herself away from her office window, from which you can see the Hollows, and Bandik. Nicky's packing up her shit up and joking about obsolete traditions. If nobody remembers the rules, wasn't it always just a game?

Nicky: "I am thinking of taking up golf again. I once had a three handicap. And no one can say I didn't, because there's no one around except me who remembers the damn rules."
Amanda: "We're not really following the charter, letting them do this to that guy."
Nicky: "You can't tell a Casti anything, they're tricky. Obsessive about their past, who their ancestors were, what liro they were born into... These ancient traditions that may once have had a purpose, but now none of them can agree on what it was."

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