Talk about dramatic openings. Music that starts at the crescendo. Tulip surrounded by Viktor’s goons. Surrendering her gun before being put into the back of a black SUV. Cut to Jesse who has finally made his way to Dennis’ place. As Jesse knocks on the door, the procession of black SUVs passes behind him. This is the perfect analogy for 90% of the episode. Jesse goes about his business oblivious to the fact that Tulip is in deep trouble.
There are three plot lines in this episode. In the first Jesse is working on an angle to find God. This continues to be my least favorite plot. Considering this is the main plot, I’m not sure what this says about the rest of the season. It’s moving at a snail’s pace which makes it hard to get emotionally invested in. Cassidy, who keeps catching these things, sees a horrible commercial with the fake God from the God-phone call in last season’s finale. They track down his agent. He tells them that fake God was offered a mysterious job and he hasn’t heard from him since. Cassidy and Jesse watch his audition tape. Couldn’t heaven have found a better actor? This man has a struggle wig, struggle eyebrows and a struggle beard. The only awe I felt was that they managed to pull off a combination that bad. Of course fake God gets the job and the person off camera immediately kills him. Can’t have live people running around heaven. If death is a necessity for a job, that should be disclosed beforehand. But at this point, does anyone expect the angels to be honorable?
The second plot line involves Eugene. Hell looks surprisingly like a movie’s bad interpretation of a cross between a Russian gulag and a North Korean prison. To make things worse, they’re using the DC cinematic universe filter. Everything is dark, taupe and sad looking. Each person sent there is a prisoner and they’re forced to constantly relive their worst memory in their cells. We get to meet some of his neighbors. Eugene, because he’s a soft-hearted idiot, tries to defend one of the prisoners. Hitler stands up for him. What does it say about you that Hitler is on your side? Eugene sees Tracy in one of the rooms but can’t get to her. Instead he accepts Hitler’s invitation to join him in Hitler’s cell. Let me say that again: he goes into Hitler’s cell. Our boy Eugene isn’t the brightest bulb. It’s so opaque, it’s barely shinning.
The memory simulation in Eugene’s cell keeps breaking down. The correctional officers can’t fix it so they put him in general population. The warden warns him about being nice. “This is hell. Act accordingly,” she tells him. In gen pop, Hitler once again tries to stand up for Eugene and finds himself being beaten by the other prisoners because of it. How about we don’t try to humanize Hitler. I’m not usually one for violence but if anyone deserved a prison beat down it was him. For once, Eugene does the smart thing and doesn’t try to stop it.
Then we have the third and most interesting plot line, Tulip’s. She’s driven to Viktor’s stronghold. Turns out to be a nice house. Viktor seems relatively normal which definitely means he’s some kind of crime boss and/or evil. I can’t tell if Tulip is actually afraid or pretending. Either way, she’s doing a great job of selling it. She looks down at her hands and around the room but doesn’t make eye contact with him. “So, what are we going to do with you,” Viktor asks. Considering there’s a guy being tortured in the next room, it’s probably not going to be good. Tulip seems genuinely penitent. She’s crying and apologizes over the screams of the man next door. None of it works on Viktor. She betrayed him. Not in ‘I stole from you’ or ‘small job double cross’ kind of way — both of which I was assuming. He brought her into his family and she did something bad enough to screw all of that up. He tells her to walk around and figure out how to explain herself while he talks to tortured guy next door.
Tulip gets a cold reception from everyone in the house. Viktor’s daughter being the exception — her was Arctic tundra. She spits in Tulip’s face and tells her “I hope my father kills you.” Whatever Tulip did, it was bad. No one in this house is on her side or happy to see her except maybe the guy doing the torturing in the room next door. Tulip decides to take matters into her own hands. She takes down one of the goons, grabs his gun, walks into Viktor’s room and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t let her go. Too bad she hesitated. It gives the goons enough time to take her down. Viktor ominously says he’ll deal with her.
Throughout the episode, Cassidy has been insisting they find Tulip without revealing what she told him. Jesse thinks she’s out there doing whatever she does when she’s mad at him. Cassidy is infatuated with her, but Jesse knows her. Unfortunately, he’s too obsessed with his mission to see something is very wrong. I liked the little addition of showing Tulip’s phone with Cassidy’s text asking if she’s okay every time things get particularly bad for her.
Finally, his concern outweighs his need to keep her confidence and Cassidy tells Jesse. Jesse storms into Viktor’s stronghold, Genesis blazing. He meets his match in Torture Dude. Torture Dude knocks Jesse out and puts earphones in. Apparently, that’s how he deals with all the screaming. He’s listening to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.” The dichotomy of an upbeat Billy Joel song playing over a violent fight scene – at one point Jesse rips the arm from a dead guy to beat his foe with – casts a surreal tinge to the scene. There’s been a palpable feeling of dread hanging over every scene involving Viktor. Being in his house and seeing everyone’s reaction to Tulip increased it. This fight oddly released some of the tension. Jesse ends the fight by stabbing Torture Dude through the dead guy’s body. He rips out his earbud and compels him to reveal Tulip’s location. Jesse runs up the stairs, kicks down the door of Viktor’s bedroom and tries to chokes him out. Tulip tells Jesse not to kill him before dropping a bombshell. Tulip’s big secret is that Viktor is her husband. He literally brought her into the family. What the hell?!
The episode ends with a Saint of Killers check in. He’s crossing the bridge into New Orleans. The danger level is increasing.