Not sure (will have to re-watch), but I could have sworn there was also a photo of Billingham with Mitt Romney. Guess it's a BiPartisan Apocalypse :P
Last night's episode was a definite step up from the Pilot, which was a relief -- I was a bit "meh" last week, but if I gave up on new shows because the Pilot didn't have me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, I would have missed out on kickass shows like Battlestar Galactica and Orphan Black.
Billingham and his flock of cult members creep me the fuck out (Lauren Ambrose's character being the exception). It has a somewhat similar vibe as the Creepy Big Love Ranch on Orphan Black....and it seems they have their own little CloneClub of disposable Joshuas. Gotta say, though, that Josh2.0, with his somewhat flat affect, the dead eyes, his manipulativeness, and the callous force with which he killed the little black and white heifer is pegging the needle on my Damien: Omen II meter.
So who are the Essene? Is that the name of the NM Cult, or is that a 3rd group that's now in the mix of things? In the Pilot thread, IIRC, there was speculation that Team Norway and Team New Mexico were in cahoots, but after tonight, nope -- there is no way such a deeply devout sect of Orthodox Jews would embrace and accept any group practicing the oxymoronic idea of Messianic Judaism. However, I highly suspect that Billingham's group doesn't ascribe to any of the tenets of Judaism; in order for Josh 2.0 to fulfill his role in whatever the fuck it is they're doing, the Bar Mitzvah was a necessary step/requirement, just as he had to be "pure" by having never set so much as a foot on the ground.
At this point, I think it's fairly clear (at least IMO) that Team Red Heifer are all about fulfilling the prophecy of rebuilding Solomon's Temple, and Team Black/White heifer are aiming to unleash Armageddon.
The questions/wild cards I have as of now are:
1) Who is Khalid working to round all of the gemstones up for?
2) Who are the Essene and what is their role in this?
3) Is it possible that Billingham's cult has been grooming Josh not as a priest to communicate with God (or even as JC), but as the Antichrist in order to hasten Jesus' return to do battle with him (any and all help on this subject would be wonderful as I'm a bit sketchy on the details concerning the Book of Revelations and Armageddon - for some reason, we weren't taught about Revelations in Hebrew School :P )
- Is Anne Heche going to do anything in this show other than alternate between shrilly bitching at Peter 34984 times a day that he needs to back off/step away from the case and making those simpering, cow-eyed moon faces at him? Her limited, dual role so far is working my last nerve.
- So Peter attended Seminary School and walked away from it "the day [he] was to receive [his] collar." With his being "partnered" with Golan, the two of them will have a decent collective knowledge of Judaism and Christianity while trying to crack this case -- How conveeeeeenient! [/church lady]. He seemed pretty freaked out when he was trying to swim upstream through that river of Nuns (plus the camerawork and editing seemed like a small shout-out to how The Exorcist was filmed.
- Lastly, I had a really difficult time watching the scene with Josh, the machete, and the B/W heifer. I'm a total sucker when it comes to baby animals, and even the idea of their being harmed (the way he killed that calf was *brutal* ) in movies/on TV can bring me to tears. OT, but like most people I know, whenever those abused animal ads (that seemingly never end) come on, I turn into a offensive tackle in my quest to grab the remote and change the channel, but oddly enough, I can watch the ones with starving children living in horrific conditions without getting emotional, and that bothers me. I think I may be deeply flawed in that regard.