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Review: Hemlock Grove (S2E1): Blood Pressure

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Hemlock Grove (S2E1): Blood Pressure

Rating:
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Minor Spoilers for the Episode 'Blood Pressure'. Major Spoilers for Season 1:

At the finale of Season 1 of Hemlock Grove, the Vargulf is found and killed. Roman is revealed to be the father of his cousin's baby (umm... yeah), but used his upir (vampire) powers to make her think it was an angel (which leaves the wing burn marks unexplained). Both supposedly die in childbirth. Peter the werewolf leaves Hemlock Grove (after shaving his head). Roman's sister, the deformed Shelley is assumed dead and blamed for the murders that the Vargulf committed. Also Roman's mother, Olivia, has her tongue ripped out by her son, which seems to trigger his full transformation into an Upir/Vampire.

Whew.

Peter(Landon Liboiron) has a full head of hair again while attending a gypsy funeral. It looks like a lot of fun. Mainstream culture depicts funerals as dreary, but the family is remembering their loved one while having a good time.

Regardless, the police crash the funeral and arrest his mother. She's brought up on racketeering charges. The family isn't really an organized crime group, but the prosecution wants to make an example of her.
Peter heads back to Hemlock Grove for the trial as well as to find a way to get the $20,000 retainer for his mom's lawyer.

The set up for Peter's return is decent. He's more or less forced to go back by the courts. He seems to be getting visions of some of the creepier things stirring in the town. Roman(Bill Skarsgard) is as much of a jerk as ever while running Godfrey Industries. He is battling the hunger his mother exhibited in the first season. The way he satiates his hunger is one of the more original ways to tide over reluctant vampire syndrome. You'll understand when you see it.

Olivia(Famke Jensen of X-Men fame) is alive, which you'd know just from the advertisements all over Netflix. The R & D projects at the company kept her from dying, but she is in pretty bad shape. Also, since she had to relearn how to talk, so her accent is different. She sounds a bit more like Jean Grey, which is comforting for X-Men fans somehow. Seeing her switch places with Roman in terms of power is a little sad, but there isn't any direct interaction between the two in this episode.

There is a werewolf transformation (or a partial one). The special effects have been stepped up. The transformations in the first season looked a little bit off (CG texturing). This episode's werewolf scene is one of the highlights, not to mention the humorous reason behind it.

Roman fighting his Upir urges seems to be trying to be original, which is appreciated. Hopefully the struggle will take some interesting turns in the later episodes. One wonders if he'll be able to get the same potion/medication that Olivia bought from Peter's mom if she gets out of jail.

Blood Pressure is a good start to the season. It has solid special effects and gore while introducing new plot points and mysteries into the series. If you loved or even liked the first season, then you shouldn't be disappointed by the premiere episode.