DISCLAIMER: This recap of Helstrom episode “Vessels” is laden with spoilers aplenty. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, demon lovers and hunters! We’re officially in penultimate episode territory with Helstrom‘s ninth installment, “Vessels.” And boy, were plenty of folks being utilized as vessels! Gabriella is now full-term pregnant with Cathara. Yes, you read that correctly. If Cathara can’t possess a new host, then she’s going to get a new body all her own. She just needs to gestate for a day. Daimon is now possessed by Cathara’s son via parasite embedded in the spine. Question: does this mean that Cathara had intercourse with her own son when Gabriella and Daimon did the beast with two backs? We’re encroaching on Game of Thrones territory here.
Ready to delve into “Vessels?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Daimon (Tom Austen) and Gabriella (Ariana Guerra) waking up after a night of demon/parasite — potentially mother/son — boning. It’s weird. Anyway, neither of them remember what happened and they appear to have their faculties for now. Oh, and they’re in some strange room with no feasible exit. Oh, and Gabriella’s pregnant. She pukes in a toilet and we hear the possessed priest confirm it over a loudspeaker. Hurray! That’s some potent seed.
Meanwhile, Ana (Sydney Lemmon) is sitting with Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel) in the hospital. She calls Daimon and wonders where he is. Skipping out on mom visits isn’t cool, bro. We also see Taker (Robert Wisdom) surprise Dr. Hastings (June Carryl) for lunch. It’s all very sweet. Frankly, this is the only relationship in which I’m invested. He explains that he escaped The Blood. Hastings catches him up to speed regarding Victoria getting her body (and groove) back. Taker is tickled pink to hear that Hastings will be undergoing chemotherapy and subsequent surgery to put lung cancer in its place. He offers to whisk her away for vacation and she accepts.
Next, Ana stops by Daimon’s house. She notices that everything looks immaculate until you walk into the bathroom. Then there’s blood spattered everywhere.
Then, we see Daimon comforting Gabriella in their hideaway room. He professes his love for her. But Gabriella has a more than adequate BS detector. Daimon morphs into Cathara/Victoria. As it turns out, this is all very real. But Cathara is still effectively inside Gabriella and attempting to hijack the her body.
Later, Daimon pays Mommy Dearest a visit. Well, except Daimon’s been overtaken by Cathara’s parasitic son. He attempts to kill Victoria, but thankfully Ana swoops in and saves the day. Ana and Daimon duke it out in the hallway gladiator style. Ana gets the upper hand and knocks Daimon out. Taker and Hastings appear on the scene.
Meanwhile, Chris (Alain Uy) is moving in with his boyfriend. While they’re painting, Chris feels a sudden pull courtesy of the one-eyed skull that was, I believe, destroyed. Chris flees into another room and notices his forearm is pulsating in a peculiar manner. Is Skull Master 3000 back from the dead?
Next, Ana, Taker and Hastings subdue Parasite Daimon in Victoria’s old room. They notice the parasite is moving along his spine. That’s going to be tough to eradicate. Gabriella learns that she’s pregnant with Cathara. Not only that, but her stomach is massive. She’s at full-term and ready to pop at any moment. Once again, I’m amazed by Elizabeth Marvel. She’s the bright spot for me. Gabriella reminds Cathara that, technically, she’s steering the wheel. Cathara is gestating in Gabriella’s stomach, after all. Boom!
Then, Ana convinces Victoria to pay Parasite Daimon a visit. Perhaps she’ll get to him — the real him. Victoria reluctantly acquiesces. We see her chatting it up with Parasite Daimon. He appears to be impenetrable, but her impassioned speech does start to irk him. She beseeches him to let her son go free. Hastings eventually pulls Victoria away because Parasite Daimon is grumpy. He needs a nap.
Later, Gabriella injures herself in an escape attempt gone successful. At this point, that bun is about to come out of the oven. She puts the possessed priest out of commission and flees the scene. She flags down a driver and asks him for help. That’s my girl. She’s evolving from “Mary Sue.” Good. She winds up on Daimon’s doorstep. Hastings and Victoria are inside. They’re wholly bewildered by her appearance, especially since she’d only been gone a day. Now she’s massively pregnant! They tend to her wounds.
Meanwhile, Ana and Taker discuss next steps regarding Daimon. Ana believes that she’s going to have to use the dagger to extract the parasite. However, doing so will most likely kill her brother. Taker offers to take that burden off her shoulders. Let him do the dirty deed. But once Victoria calls Ana and informs her about Gabriella, the plan changes. Taker drives over to Daimon’s house to guard Gabriella while Ana waltzes into her brother’s room — dagger in hand.
Next, Gabriella wakes up from a nap. She notices that Cathara’s lackeys are walking toward the front door. Uh oh. Ana enters Parasite Daimon’s room. The two duke it out. After some struggling, Parasite Daimon winds up face down on the floor. Suddenly, the real Daimon emerges. He urges Ana to cut out the parasite with the dagger. However, when she makes an incision in Daimon’s back, the parasite squirms away. Both Ana and Daimon realize that they need the second dagger as well. Ana goes to fetch it, only to discover that it’s gone missing. We see Taker has it on his person.
Now, Taker gets a phone call from Chris. Chris reveals that something’s awry regarding the skull. He’s experiencing an immense pull toward it. He almost vomited an eyeball that appeared on his tongue! Unfortunately, Taker doesn’t have any advice to give.
Meanwhile, Ana returns to Daimon’s room to find her brother is still fighting the parasite. He urges her to go to his house so she can fetch the second dagger from Taker. We see the Cathara’s lackeys breaking into Daimon’s house, only to find Victoria and Hastings present to kick their asses. Gabriella goes off to hide. She finds a kitchen knife and is about to stab her belly with it when the possessed priest wrangles it away from her.
Then, we see Daimon is still struggling against the parasite. It rocks him back and forth, smacking him against the walls, floor and ceiling. Finally, we see his eyeballs incinerate. Yes, you read that correctly. He collapses on the floor with charred eyeballs. Well, really no eyeballs. He might be dead. The jury’s still out on that.
The stakes are high, folks. Finally! Helstrom is utilizing its already high-stakes source material to its advantage. Here’s hoping it pays off. While I’m still confused as to why Daddy Helstrom was never the Big Bad, I’m intrigued by Gabriella giving birth to Cathara. Very Rosemary’s Baby. While it’s yet another tired horror trope, I dig it nonetheless. Daimon is finally interesting as a parasite. Praise be to Helstrom. We’ve got one more episode, folks. Let’s do this.
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