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S01.E05: Book V: Gospel

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Sheriff Shabazz fields multiple missing persons reports as the town prepares to gather for Good Friday. To protect Erin, Riley brings the truth to light.

Airdate: 09/24/2021

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I really enjoyed Hill House and Bly Manor so I was genuinely excited about this team producing the next in their anthology, but 5 episodes in and well.... for such a great cast and some really interesting ideas about religion and mythology and all, this is both exhausting and boring at the same time.  The actors all do their best with the ridiculously lengthy monologues, but they are just interminable.  Spoilers ahead:

 

Spoiler

How they managed to take a fascinating turn on vampire mythology and mixed it with the way some use religion to justify violence as redemptive and made it boring is beyond me.  But so far, that's just what it is. 

 I'll watch the rest because I can't not, but if nothing else, I hoping for fewer 20 minute monologues that don't really add much to the story.  Didn't these writers ever hear of Strunk & White?

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1 hour ago, Maurina said:

I really enjoyed Hill House and Bly Manor so I was genuinely excited about this team producing the next in their anthology, but 5 episodes in and well.... for such a great cast and some really interesting ideas about religion and mythology and all, this is both exhausting and boring at the same time.  The actors all do their best with the ridiculously lengthy monologues, but they are just interminable.  Spoilers ahead:

 

  Reveal spoiler

How they managed to take a fascinating turn on vampire mythology and mixed it with the way some use religion to justify violence as redemptive and made it boring is beyond me.  But so far, that's just what it is. 

 I'll watch the rest because I can't not, but if nothing else, I hoping for fewer 20 minute monologues that don't really add much to the story.  Didn't these writers ever hear of Strunk & White?

I completely agree. This series has such an interesting concept but has for the most part been poorly executed, very boring. As you said, way too many monologues that add nothing to the story. 

I will say that this priest is the epitome of arrogance and delusion. For him, and his assistant, to justify what they’re doing as God’s work completely contradicts the very religion and God they call themselves worshipping. 

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From the moment he told her to come out on the boat, I was hoping that would be the outcome.  Glad he didn't succumb.

I hope there's flame retardant on that boat.

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Oh for the love of God or that big-ass bat, please tell me Bev comes to a particularly gruesome end.

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On 9/24/2021 at 10:14 PM, Maurina said:

I really enjoyed Hill House and Bly Manor so I was genuinely excited about this team producing the next in their anthology, but 5 episodes in and well.... for such a great cast and some really interesting ideas about religion and mythology and all, this is both exhausting and boring at the same time.  The actors all do their best with the ridiculously lengthy monologues, but they are just interminable.

 

Couldn’t agree more. I loved The Haunting of Hill House but was disappointed in Bly Manor, and this isn’t much better. I was looking forward to it too, hoping it would get back to Hill House standards but it’s beginning to look like Hill House was a fluke.  I certainly won’t be very excited with their next undertaking. 

I liked the first four episodes, I was liking the Salem’s Lot vibe. But this episode started losing me. I agree about the monologues. Zzzzz. They were more understandable at the beginning as they were building the characters but now it’s just ongoing babbling. 

The delusional “it’s God’s work” is aggravating. Give the people a copy of Stoker’s “Dracula”, for chrissakes! 

 

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I kept looking at the pews thinking something was off....there are no kneelers! No way in hell would Bev let the church get away with not having kneelers. 🤣

ETA: did they have zero budget for this? That green screened ocean surrounding them on the boat was horrible. 

EETA: I'm so frustrated that I keep coming back to add stuff. A couple of episodes ago a girl was cured, they even spread flyers around regarding what happened (no clue why they'd need to do that on an island of less than 200 people), and you're telling me no one off island knows about it? Because if they did, there would be a steady stream of people coming to the island including news crews. 

Edited by I-Kare
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So, you take my favourite character of the series thus far, turn him into a vampire, have him being forced to listen to Father Paul and Bev's religious metaphors all day, and then let him go, only to have him take Erin out in order to explain to HER what's going on before he kills himself, all to avoid becoming a monster.

Fantastic.

Honestly, Father Paul and Bev are not only boring me, they're also annoying me. All Bev does is spout Bible verses at people. Now, it seems to be the ONLY dialogue she gives. And Father Paul's whole "I'm not a monster; I'm a prophet from God, and that creature that just killed you is ACTUALLY an angel!" made me feel bad for Riley for having to indulge this guy. It's just monologue after monologue. 

The idea of the series really IS intriguing, but they're way too on-the-nose and in-your-face about it. It makes it hard to sit through.

As much as I hated this being the end to Riley, it made total sense and at least I know that he made the right choice in avoiding this cursed future of his, not letting himself suffer and also have others suffer around him. He showed throughout the five episodes that he couldn't bare the guilt over killing that girl when he was driving drunk. Him choosing to willingly drink people's blood just to satisfy his own craving, even though he admitted he felt at peace, would have him take several steps backwards in his recovery. So, as much as I hate seeing him light himself on fire, essentially, him connecting his dream to his true end was wonderfully done and made total sense for his character.

The only thing I wish he did was eat Bev himself before he died. Alas, that would have gone against his character, but him killing Bev and maybe even killing Father Paul to stop everything would have made me happy. But I guess that's up to Erin and the rest of the townsfolk, if they believe her and choose to do something. I have a bad feeling this doesn't end the way Riley wanted it to.

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I don't GET Bev.  She's a ruthless religious zealot, okay.  But why does she think that not being able to go out in sunlight and feeding on blood is a good thing?  Does she really think it's God's will, or is she just after immortality, whatever the cost?

Also, some speculated that she poisoned Father Paul, causing him to die and be reborn as a vampire.  If so, how did she know that would happen?

Edited by Brn2bwild
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So how is it Riley immediately goes full vampire but Father Paul spent days or weeks walking in the daylight before changing?  Is the vampire able to confer different levels of membership in the vampire club depending on how he bites you?  I know he made Father Paul drink his blood in the cave but that's supposed to turn you immediately, right? Of course, we didn't see what was done to Riley right after the attack.  Probably another inteminable monologue by Father Paul while Riley was unconcious (lucky him).

 

 

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This is the episode that lost me. Too much boring dialogue and other stuff not making sense. How can Bev, a religious nut, figure out and accept a priest is a vampire and decides to help him? Erin’s baby just disappears, why? Riley immediately turns into a vampire but Father Paul didn’t. 
I’d rather watch the haunted house shows instead of this type of show. I’ll finish watching the last two episodes anyway. 

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I FF through the opening sermon (over 18 minutes!!!  WTH!) and feel I didn't miss a thing.  Hamish Linklater is doing well here, though it is much, much better when we don't have yet.another.ridiculously.long.speech.

I think Bev is jealous that she hasn't been "chosen" to be turned.  Haha, you're only good enough to be a Renfield, Bev!

Ahhh, poor Riley.  Really nice work by Zach Gilford all around.  I had been hoping Riley would be instrumental in bringing down the vamp true believers but as he said, Erin is stronger.  I'm sure he knew he would have to give in to his craving eventually.  I felt so badly for him.

The cut at the end from Riley peacefully taking the hand of the girl he killed and then to Erin screaming was well done.  Interesting that it appears the boat didn't catch fire.

ETA: Brought back memories of 30 Days of Night!

 

 

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I'm avoiding comments, because I'm watching, but the monologues and preaching are *really* getting to me tonight. Not in a good way. It's just getting on my nerves. 

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I figured that was where they were going wit him. The decent guy sacrifices himself, to prove something, and to avoid becoming a real monster. The priest brought up his killing that girl, which was an accident. An accident that happened because of a stupid decision, but still an accident. He didn't do it on purpose, and didn't try to defend himself, either. So the girl was there to meet him at the end, as the woman he loves, is freaking the fuck out, because the decent guy that she loves, just burst into flames in front of her. 

I'm glad that the doctor's mother saw that something was wrong. and told her daughter. 

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On 9/27/2021 at 8:41 PM, cdnalor said:

So how is it Riley immediately goes full vampire but Father Paul spent days or weeks walking in the daylight before changing?  Is the vampire able to confer different levels of membership in the vampire club depending on how he bites you?  I know he made Father Paul drink his blood in the cave but that's supposed to turn you immediately, right? Of course, we didn't see what was done to Riley right after the attack.  Probably another inteminable monologue by Father Paul while Riley was unconcious (lucky him).

 

 

Because Paul didn't die and turn until he was poisoned, but Riley was killed right away. 

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On 9/27/2021 at 8:41 PM, cdnalor said:

Probably another interminable monologue by Father Paul while Riley was unconcious (lucky him).

🤣 🤣

I tell you, I was unconscious for a few of those monologues. Put me right out. 

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I keep waiting for the cast of “What We Do in the Shadows” to show up.  I’d love to hear Nandor heckling Paul during one of his rambling monologues. I think Bev is kind of like Guillermo in that she’s jealous she’s not a vampire yet. 

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There is way too much monologing on this show. A good monologue can be interesting but not if all the characters do it all the time. Then it just becomes boring and a chore to listen too.

So we've been following Riley's story only for him to turn into a vampire then kill himself. Not that I blame him listening to the Monsignor and Bev for eternity is its own hell and I'd rather take my chances elsewhere too. 

The concept is interesting, it's just not being executed well. 

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On 9/24/2021 at 11:47 PM, Enero said:

I will say that this priest is the epitome of arrogance and delusion. For him, and his assistant, to justify what they’re doing as God’s work completely contradicts the very religion and God they call themselves worshipping. 

Isn't this what most "religion" is, though? I think it's certainly true of most modern religion. I grew up in Baptist church and this is resonating with me so hard--the outright lies I heard that were justified by '"religion". What I still hear decades after having separated myself from church.

Look at the modern megachurches with millionaire pastors living in massive mansions. The sexual abuse in the Catholic church, which has been uncovered as having been going on for decades and decades. Baptist televangelists in the 1980s caught in affairs and money laundering. The proliferation of cults, particularly in the last 60-odd years. It goes on and on.

Edited by bilgistic
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On 9/27/2021 at 5:41 PM, cdnalor said:

So how is it Riley immediately goes full vampire but Father Paul spent days or weeks walking in the daylight before changing?  Is the vampire able to confer different levels of membership in the vampire club depending on how he bites you? 

I think Father Paul also mentioned that he had much further back to to go (he started as an old person). Another thing they mentioned is that people go back to when they were their best selves - at their absolute peak of health, so I guess people don't continue de-aging indefinitely, they stop at some point. So maybe the kids in the show aren't going backward much at all.

This episode was a chore - just way too much speechifying, sermonizing and monologuing. It's okay to have these things interspersed here and there, but it's been endless so far. For a draggy episode, it did end with quite a bang. I guess now it will be the Sherrif and Erin vs. the vampires.

I'll watch to the end, but it's a bit of a disappointment after some initial intrigue. I do like the actors though.

Fun fact - I'm from Vancouver, and just discovered that this series was actually filmed in a nearby suburb called Steveston, which is an ACTUAL historic fishing village. If they had used some of the storefronts and buildings (which are quaint turn-of-the-century structures) it would have read as more authentic and believable on camera. But what did they do? They built an entire fake village in a park adjoining the REAL one. Insert eye-roll here. It looked like Captain Highliner's version of an Ewok village. That's the one consistent quibble I've had with Flanagan's productions - the sets always take me out the story, because they are obviously built sets.

 

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I really am enjoying this show, but holy shit am I over these monologues. I like Mike Flanagan in general, I think he does a great job creating creepy atmosphere, combining emotional issues with otherworldly spookiness, and comes up with a lot of striking imagery, he is definitely one of my top five or so favorite horror directors right now...but he can be really self indulgent. I don't need my scares to come at me all at once, I enjoy some good creeping dred, but sometimes it goes from atmospheric to padding, and there are a lot of times when his dialogue comes across as more of a stage play or speech then actual conversations between people. So even in this huge episode where we get tons of answers and the ending takes out what is probably the main character with two episodes still left, but so much time was spent on long monologuing that it ended up feeling tedious. The actors are really great and I like a good speech here and there, but when there are so many its just too much.

I do think that people looking at what is clearly a vampire (even if no one has said the word) from a religious perspective, filtering vampire tropes through religious fervor, is really interesting. We are so familiar with vampire tropes from decades of pop culture that its fascinating seeing them being interpreted as miracles and the work of God, as crazy as it can seem. Thinking that sucking blood out of people seems like something that God probably wouldn't tell people to do, but with the "this is my blood" parts of communion, I can see why someone could interpret it like this. People also do seem to be looking at this through different religious lenses, with the Monsignor being a true believer that is now falling apart as he tries to desperately justify what his hunger is telling him to do, the Scarborough's are willing to do just about anything for the guy who let their daughter walk again, and Bev, horrible person that she is, seems to be enjoying the power trip. She might really believe that this is Gods word, but its mostly becoming the word according to Bev, especially with the Monsignor out of it pretty often.

I am surprised that Riley is gone so quickly and am sad to see him go, but his ending was really moving. He got to see the cosmos with his new eyesight and die without giving into his hunger, not giving into a new addiction and letting it take control of him so that he hurts people like he did when he was an alcoholic, getting to the see the ghost of the girl he killed, no longer dying and vengeful but happy and healthy and looking at him with forgiveness instead of accusation, it was a really beautiful moment and a pretty perfect ending for his character. Then of course poor Erin sees him basically explode, she is just having the worst week ever, and I feel like its not going to get better.

Edited by tennisgurl
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Dammit, Zach Gilford! He broke my heart a million times over as Matt Saracen, and now he does it again as Riley Flynn. Sigh...I will miss his soulful, tortured character.

Can someone please. Anyone (Sheriff?) Shove a bible up Bev's zealot wannabe bride of Nosferatu ass and rip her throat out so I don't have to listen to her religious nutbaggery for another two episodes? Riley, you had a chance and you missed it. 

I'm a Mike Flanagan fan but seriously calm the f*** down with the monologues already. I can take one well-acted monologue but not every episode. Stop holding us hostage with these cinematic circle jerk "I'm acting for the cheap seat" scenes. If I wanted to watch a theatre production, I would buy a ticket. 

Is this island so depressed and cut off from the mainland that nobody has seen a movie or read a book with vampires? Salem's Lot, anyone? It was an angel, suuuuuurrrreeee Father, keep telling yourself that.

Does Neil Diamond have any songs that are soundtrack appropriate for - help, my island is infested with uber-religious vampires both undead and living (Bev, I'm looking at your dog poisoning ass)?

Edited by ZeeEnnui · Reason: One last thought
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On 9/30/2021 at 9:18 PM, jnymph said:

I keep waiting for the cast of “What We Do in the Shadows” to show up.  I’d love to hear Nandor heckling Paul during one of his rambling monologues. 

He’d just sit there and mumble “F*cking guy...”

On 10/5/2021 at 11:15 PM, ZeeEnnui said:

I'm a Mike Flanagan fan but seriously calm the f*** down with the monologues already. 

No kidding. When they were having the “What happens when you die” discussion, I kept thinking “Keep talking any longer and you’ll bore me to death, then I can just tell you what happens.”

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I was NOT prepared for that.

Given Erin's monologue - I was all 'Riley...you better not make her a vampire so she can't ever see her daughter in heaven as she dreamed of'...then it went 180 degrees the opposite and punched me right in the feels....and I was NOT OK!!!! lol

 

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On 9/26/2021 at 7:26 PM, Brn2bwild said:

Also, some speculated that she poisoned Father Paul, causing him to die and be reborn as a vampire.  If so, how did she know that would happen?

That's an interesting thought. He definitely died like the dog did, but I can't imagine she poisoned him. Dang... Now I'm going to have to think on this...

 

I understand how others are bored but I'm thoroughly enjoying this. I love watching actors with their craft get a chance to really act and I feel Riley and father Pruitt both have been amazing. The monologuing does go a bit long but damn, having been raised in the sickness that is the church, I see how all of it is twisted by a priest in full dementia who was preyed upon by an "angel" would truly believe. Again, I'm loving it. And who in their right mind would have thought "Christianity - vampire myth - Christianity - vampire myth". Ha!!! I want to go to dinner with the writers. 

 

Trying to quote upon edit - sorry 

"Does Neil Diamond have any songs that are soundtrack appropriate for - help, my island is infested with uber-religious vampires both undead and living (Bev, I'm looking at your dog poisoning ass)?"

I'm loving Neil here.

Edited by hatchetgirl · Reason: Misspelling
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When Erin went to the sheriff to report Riley missing and the sheriff asked what they had been talking about the last time they were together I thought dear god, don't make me sit through the whole "what happens when you die" speech again.  

I guessed Riley was going to immolate in the sun and then worried through the whole episode if the boat is fireproof, and if Erin has a life jacket.

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