Old Cherry Blossom Road

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A Carnivàle Thanksgiving

Iris walks past the bed and spots Celeste. She's huddled on the floor next to the bed, naked, although her arms and legs are drawn up so that no naughtiness is revealed. So really, this scene is totally safe for Kevin to see. If he doesn't mind being freaked right the fuck out in a second. Celeste's head is turned so that her hair hides her face. Iris stares for a second and says, "Celeste?" Celeste turns her head, and her eyes are wide and crazy, and she's got this giant grin, and holy crap, that's really disturbing. It helps that, with her hair down, she looks a bit like Laura Palmer toward the end of Fire Walk With Me. But even without that association: yikes. Iris sort of gulps, and then sits down on the floor and holds Celeste, whispering, "It's over now." As we move in on Celeste, who starts gigglingly sobbing, or sobbingly giggling, we can see a nasty bite mark on her shoulder. Iris sure is unflappable.

Bluto and Sandy stand with Ben at the bottom of a staircase in the house. Ben, entertainingly, tries to make small talk by asking whether they all live in the house. Sandy says, "Sometimes." Ben sniffs disapprovingly and asks what he's smelling. Sandy explains, "She likes cats." From upstairs, we hear distant thumps, like people moving rapidly across the floor in heavy shoes. Then there's some high-pitched whimpering. Ben asks what the noise is. Sandy gazes up the stairs and says, "Her." We go to a POV shot, and the top of the staircase is completely hidden in darkness. Which reminds me of Twin Peaks also, except with blackness instead of a ceiling fan. Ben turns and eyes some framed photos on the wall. One is a portrait of a young couple in their wedding clothes, and Ben asks, "Is that her?" Sandy sighs, "Better days." A door opens upstairs, and Lee (né Dennis) rushes down the stairs with one hand over his mouth. He turns at the bottom of the stairs, headed for the back of the house, when Sandy says, "Lee?" With his back to them, Lee lowers his hand so that we can see some long stitches through his lips are holding his mouth shut. Sandy hands the shotgun he's been holding to Bluto and cheerfully tells Ben, "Your turn," before leading him upstairs.

A woman's hand draws a needle through a needlepointed image of a baby. Its left eye is out of proportion. Eye of Horus! More moon imagery! Y'know, maybe.

Sandy opens a door, unties Ben's hands, and shoves Ben through the door before slamming it shut again. Ben immediately lunges for the door, but it's locked shut. Ben finally turns and explores the room he's been locked inside. Framed pictures cover the walls, including a rough drawing of crosses around a Confederate flag, and a photograph of a lynching. A cat runs by Ben's feet, yowling for no reason. (That isn't the cat-scare that got me, for the record.) The camera pans over to a dresser, upon which is a doll and...well, honestly, some stuff. I assume the camera moved over to it because I was supposed to see something important, but I'm not sure what, and this whole "toy with the audience" thing is tiresome. There's a huge bed in the room, hung with gauze curtains, the better to generate suspense. Ben moves around the bed until he sees a woman in a rocking chair in the corner, with her back to him. I assume that the reference to Psycho was intentional. Ben says, "Hey," which isn't a terribly polite greeting. The woman, her face hidden, drops the needlepoint she's been working on. Ben says "Hey" again, and puts his hand on her shoulder. The woman immediately grabs his wrist and pulls him down until she can reach over with her right hand and explore his face. "You're his boy!" she gasps. "I've been waiting so long for you." Ben shakily asks the woman who she is. She says, "You and me is blood, boy," and turns so that we can see her eyes are...well, not there. It's like the skin grew over them. She adds, "I'm your grandma." Oh. How...nice?

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