DISCLAIMER: This recap of Helstrom episode “Committed” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, demon lovers and hunters! We’re officially at the halfway point in Hulu’s Helstrom. This was, without a shadow of a doubt, Elizabeth Marvel‘s episode. We were privy to Victoria’s inner dialogue as she fought tooth and nail against Cathara, the demon who’s kept her imprisoned all these years. Meanwhile, Daimon, Ana and Taker tracked down Chris.
Of course, Chris is all about his Skull Master these days. Gabriella connected with the frat boy who was previously possessed by Magoth. Man, that Magoth is getting around these days. Frankly, I found Victoria’s story line much more intriguing than the rest. Another gripe that has surfaced over the episodes is the lack of character development. It’s difficult to invest in these characters. Daimon is about as nuanced as an off-white wall. Ana, while interesting, doesn’t appear to be evolving beyond her sardonic demeanor. Gabriella is still too “Mary Sue” for my taste. Dr. Hastings and Taker don’t get enough screen time for proper development. However, despite that, I’m still here. The horror elements in “Committed” were spot on along with Marvel’s performance.
Ready to delve into “Committed?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with a disheveled Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel) feverishly scribbling in her journal, muttering to herself that Ana is returning home. We see her room is unkempt. Young Daimon urges his mother to eat with him. Victoria is upset because he hasn’t set aside a place for Ana. He gently reminds Victoria that Ana isn’t coming back. We hear a knock on the door. Victoria eagerly answers, wholeheartedly believing Ana is on the other side. But it’s just a slew of doctors waiting to take her in.
Next, the scene repeats on a loop. Journal scribbling, Daimon ushering Victoria to the dinner table, knock on the door, strangers on the other side to cart her off to the hospital. It would appear Victoria has been reliving this day for years, ever since Cathara seized the reins.
Then, we see Daimon (Tom Austen) at the university. Formerly possessed frat boy creeps up behind him and asks for some guidance. You know, demon-powered man to demon-possessed man. However, Daimon is uncomfortable at the prospect of proffering advice, so he passes the buck to someone more qualified. Like a therapist.
Meanwhile, Ana (Sydney Lemmon) wakes from a nightmare to find she’s covered in dirt. Normal. But we soon find out it’s only a haunting vision. Daimon and Gabriella (Ariana Guerra) are going for a stroll on campus. Daimon urges Gabriella to take the frat boy under her nurturing wing. Because feelings are icky and only women know how to handle them.
Later, Dr. Hastings (June Carryl) finds Victoria on the floor of her room clawing at said floor. She’s made some progress, too. We’re back inside Victoria’s mind. The same events are incessantly replaying. But this time, instead of strangers on the other side of the door, Victoria finds young Ana. She’s back! Young Daimon appears to be ever the skeptic though.
Now, Daimon and Ana meet up at the hospital. Apparently, Mommy Dearest is in a coma. Cathara and Victoria are fighting to the death over bodily control. Back inside Victoria’s mind, we see her trying to comfort Ana. Daimon cannot wrap his own mind around how Ana managed to escape their formidable father.
Next, in the real world, everyone including Taker (Robert Wisdom) is checking the security footage to see if Daddy Helstrom put Victoria in a coma. However, he never set foot on the premises. Ana also mused that perhaps Chris and the one-eyed skull made their way on site. Taker still believes the skull is the key to entrapping Daddy Helstrom. It is a keeper, after all. Hastings shows Daimon and Ana the place where momma was clawing at the floor. They get the bright idea to scour the tunnels below the hospital. Bingo!
Then, we see Daimon, Ana and Taker waltzing through the catacombs below. That’s where Chris went in the previous episode, after all. Now we know that he was actually underneath the hospital. Daimon despises Taker and doesn’t bother concealing it in front of the latter. Well, Taker’s job is to keep the Helstroms in line. And kill them, if need be. But Taker asserts that he’s trying to protect them.
Meanwhile, Gabriella finds frat boy and persuades him to accept her counsel. He doesn’t believe in God, so the fact that she’s a novitiate is a bit of a turn off. However, after some gentle prying on Gabriella’s part, frat boy acquiesces.
Later, we’re back in Victoria’s headspace. There’s a bad thunderstorm and the electricity goes kaput. Victoria attempts to comfort young Ana, who’s afraid that Daddy Helstrom will come back to take her away. Daimon decides to check the circuit breaker in the basement, but Victoria forbids him from doing so.
Now, Daimon, Ana and Taker are searching the underground tunnels for any sign of Chris. Daimon wants to smash the one-eyed skull, especially if it’s contributing to Victoria’s coma. Ana, like Taker, believes the skull is their only weapon against Daddy Helstrom. Naturally, Taker sides with Ana. Two against one, Daimon. Take that!
Meanwhile, in Victoria’s mind, Daimon goes inexplicably missing. Ana takes her mother upstairs for some mother-daughter fun time. Victoria is preoccupied with hunting for Daimon. Ana asserts that Mommy Dearest’s job is to protect her. That’s when Victoria realizes that that’s not really her daughter. Ana never came home in real life. She attempts to flee, but the door is locked. We see a dark figure take shape behind Victoria. It’s Cathara. Cathara is now in her true form — a young woman who appears to be donning 18th century clothing.
Next, we see Gabriella chatting it up with frat boy. Frat boy delves into his possession experience. How it felt. How utterly terrifying it was. Gabriella listens intently. Not going to lie, this scene fell flat for me.
Back in Victoria’s mind, Cathara explains that she’s not the enemy. Daddy Helstrom made her this way. He took everything away from her, including her children. She has a lot more in common with Victoria than meets the eye. Now, they must join forces to protect themselves against Daddy Helstrom. It’s the only way! The storm outside rages on, and we see the door fling open. Cathara and Victoria escape.
Meanwhile, down in the tunnels, Daimon and co. continue their search for Chris. Taker tries to convince Daimon to not destroy the skull on sight. Ana finally finds Chris (Alain Uy), who resolutely refuses to go with her even though, frankly, he looks like a hot mess. Additionally, he refuses to give up the one-eyed skull. Daimon catches up with Ana and the pair briefly duel it out as their differing methods clash. Naturally, this gives Chris time to flee.
Then, Victoria gives Cathara the business. Finally, after years of submission, Victoria stands up for herself. She gives Cathara the boot. We see a cloaked figure at the top of the stairs. Cathara utterly fears said figure, so Victoria unleashes it upon the demon. Boom! Take that, demon lady! In the real world, Victoria’s heart rate spikes. Hastings is with her. In Victoria’s headspace, we see her clutch her chest in pain.
Later, Chris manages to break into the hospital proper with the skull in hand. He spots a plethora of doctors and Hastings tending to Victoria. Chris holds the skull aloft and brandishes it in her direction. Suddenly, Victoria sits upright and screams. Daimon attempts to destroy the skull after knocking Chris unconscious, but once he sees Victoria is awake, he refrains from doing so. She’s herself. She’s Mommy Dearest again!
Next, we see Victoria sitting outside with the one-eyed skull in her lap. She’s chatting it up with Daimon and Ana. She believes that Cathara is deathly afraid of the skull, and that’s what’s keeping the demon subdued. Good thing Daimon didn’t destroy it then. Victoria attempts to bond with Ana, but the latter leaves. She’s still sour about everything.
Back in the hospital, Ana pays Chris a visit. He’s locked up in a padded cell Renfield style. Very Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Calling out for the skull and everything. He’ll have to stay put until the skull’s influence wears off.
Meanwhile, Gabriella takes Daimon to The Blood headquarters. She wants to show him Taker’s real trade. However, they’re greeted by several dead bodies and gore aplenty. Well, that escalated quickly.
Once again, there are some intriguing elements that keep Helstrom on my radar. But we’re at episode five and I feel I’m still waiting for something big to unfurl. Victoria’s story kept my interest piqued, but now that she’s supposedly cured, what else is there? We’ve only seen Daddy Helstrom once. My hope is Helstrom won’t continuously mythologize him to the point that when he does reappear, he doesn’t live up to the show’s image. Here’s hoping. Let’s keep this training moving, folks.
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