DISCLAIMER: This recap of Helstrom season finale episode “Hell Storm” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, demon lovers and hunters! Helstrom delivered its best episode with “Hell Storm,” its Season One finale. While I’m a bit disappointed it took about eight episodes for Helstrom to get its shirt together, I’m glad it did. “Hell Storm” isn’t a perfect finale by any means, but it sure was entertaining. Enough chitchat — let’s get to it.
Now, we open with a young Daimon jumping off a bridge 20 years prior. Of course, we know his suicide attempt failed. He stops falling mere inches from the water, with a stark reminder that he is his father’s son. He’s got the powers to prove it.
Next, we’re back in the present. Gabriella (Ariana Guerra) is being threatened by the possessed priest. Suddenly, Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel) and Dr. Hastings (June Carryl) burst in guns blazing. They knock the priest out. However, they struggle with the other lackey. That is, until Taker (Robert Wisdom) shows up. One of the lackeys flings a fire poker in his direction. Hastings launches in front of Taker to shield him and the fire poker buries itself in her back. Cathara’s two lackeys utilize the moment to flee, as does Gabriella.
Later, Ana (Sydney Lemmon) arrives on the scene. She sees Hastings being carted away in an ambulance. Ana tells her mother that she has a plan to save Daimon, but she needs the second dagger that’s currently in Taker’s possession. He’s hitching a ride to the hospital in the ambulance alongside Hastings.
Then, Ana and Victoria decide to pay Parasite Daimon a visit, only to discover that he died. If you’ll recall, he was bereft of eyeballs at the end of the last episode. Ana, in pure disbelief, takes a trip to the morgue to verify. She notices that the coroner has been knocked out. Daimon is nowhere to be found. Clearly, he healed himself and fled.
Next, Gabriella is in the church praying. She seeks assistance from The Blood. Well, more like protection. She knows she’s going to give birth at any minute. Parasite Daimon (Tom Austen) appears with fully healed eyes. Everyone goes on the defense, but Gabriella agrees to go with Daimon without putting up a fight.
Meanwhile, Ana and Victoria do more mother-daughter bonding. Chris (Alain Uy) shows up unannounced. He reveals that an eyeball is stuck in his throat. That’s totally normal, right? Ana brings Chris to Taker, who’s waiting on Hastings to get out of surgery. Taker gives Chris the once-over and informs the latter that he’s now a keeper. Just like Skull Master 3000!
Later, the crew learns that Gabriella has been kidnapped courtesy of Parasite Daimon. They brainstorm on how to take him down. Well, free the real Daimon, that is. Chris, who’s only been a keeper for two seconds, reveals that both daggers can be melded into one fiery blade. He also informs Ana that only she can connect the daggers together. Although fire is more Daimon’s thing, perhaps it can be hers too. Victoria offers to absorb whatever pain Ana feels from coming in contact with said daggers. Good momma! Only the giant blade can effectively extract the parasite from Daimon.
Now, Daimon and his lackeys bring Gabriella back to the same room she initially escaped from. They place her in a very narrow bathtub, which doesn’t look comfortable for childbirth. Not very accommodating hosts, are we?
Meanwhile, Ana melds the daggers together with Victoria’s help in absorbing the pain. Success! Back in Baby Land, Gabriella attempts to coerce the real Daimon out so Parasite Daimon can bite the big one. However, Parasite Daimon insists that the real McCoy is long gone.
Next, Ana and Chris arrive at the amusement park where Gabriella is being kept. Nothing like a desolate amusement park. They split up, with Chris in search of Gabriella and Ana on the hunt for her brother. Ana gets a brief glimpse of Parasite Daimon but he flees into a haunted house. Ana follows suit with her new mega blade at the ready. Back at the hospital, Taker and Victoria watch Hastings while she sleeps. Apparently, the surgery is complete but she had to be revived three times. Come on, Hastings!
Gabriella is having labor pains. Baby Cathara is en route, but apparently demon dudes know nothing about labor. Thus, they stand around awkwardly and watch Gabriella while she endures contractions. We see the baby attempting to claw its way out of her stomach Alien style.
Meanwhile, Ana and Parasite Daimon face off yet again. Both put up a good fight, but Chris shows up and significantly tips the scales in Ana’s favor. Parasite Daimon recognizes Chris as a keeper. Chris simply places his hand on Parasite Daimon’s shoulder to keep the latter frozen in place. Ana takes the mega blade, which is ablaze with flames, and plunges it in Parasite Daimon’s back. She extracts the blade with the parasite attached. It vanishes into thin air. The real Daimon collapses. It looks a bit touch and go, but at least the parasite is gone. Go, Ana!
Later, Gabriella gives birth to a baby girl. Well, Cathara. And it was essentially cut out of her. Daimon swoops in and effectively exorcises the two lackeys present. He tells Gabriella that he’s back, but she’s in a state of shock. She doesn’t appear to hear him.
Next, Hastings finally wakes up. Taker is there to greet her. He reveals that part of her lung was removed along with a kidney and part of her liver. Oh, and it’s the lung that was riddled with lung cancer, so score! Cancer free is always a good thing.
Then, Ana and Chris are standing over baby Cathara. She appears to be normal. No horns or a spiky tail. Chris offers to care for her. Since he’s a keeper he can ensure she stays in line and lives a normal, wholesome life. Meanwhile, Daimon visits Gabriella in the hospital. She’s not a happy camper. She wholeheartedly believes that Cathara must be killed. Daimon disagrees. Additionally, Gabriella launches into a monologue about how she wishes she never set foot in Saint Theresa. She now believes Daimon is scum. Her reasoning? She called for him when she was in labor and something else showed up in his stead. But he was possessed! So, that’s the end of that shortlived romance.
Later, Daimon has a moment on the bridge, but he refrains from jumping. Ana finds him outside and the pair shoot the breeze. “I love yous” are exchanged. Their relationship is in a much different (and healthier) place than the first episode. Next, we see everyone having dinner at Daimon’s house. Victoria and Ana cook dinner. Taker and Hastings come over as guests. Taker even changes Cathara’s diapers. Everyone seems content. During the happy dinner montage, we see Gabriella has joined The Blood. She’s crossed over to the Dark Side, it would seem. Now, demons of all kinds must be eradicated, including the Helstroms.
Now, fast forward a month. Cathara, who’s now a young girl, is standing in line with her uncle Chris for a ferry ride. Ah, demons. They grow up so fast. Suddenly, an imposing, stoic elderly gentleman appears claiming to know Cathara. He urges her to remember her original name. “Lily!” she exclaims. But what’s his name? “Father!” she says with glee. Uh oh. Daddy’s home. Is “Lily” short for “Lilith,” perhaps? Chris refuses to let Cathara go with him, but he begins causing everyone in line to fall unconscious. Eventually, Chris succumbs and lets Cathara go with her dad. That can’t be good.
Overall, Helstrom was a bumpy ride from start to finish. Inconsistent pacing plagued the series for the most part. Additionally, Elizabeth Marvel was the strongest performer of the bunch who really carried the show on her shoulders. Lack of character development was also an issue. Ana was the only character that truly evolved over the course of the season. Gabriella’s arc was given a hastily written, slipshod ending as far as I’m concerned. Now she’s all of a sudden anti-Daimon? Feels a bit forced and unrealistic after everything she’s seen.
Not to mention, Daddy Helstrom’s lack of appearance was another disappointment for me. His resurgence was incessantly teased and talked up only to fall flat. I feel the show didn’t know who the Big Bad was until the end. Chris was underutilized and mainly served as a plot device in the finale. Which is a shame, because I dug the character. Besides Ana, he was the only one with a real personality. But that’s not to say that Helstrom didn’t have any bright spots. Marvel’s acting was a balm for the soul. The final three episodes really kicked things into gear. It’s unfortunate that the show took so long to find its groove. Of course, Ana’s Gothic cool girl style is utterly enviable.
So, will there be a Season Two? Only time (and ratings) will tell. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a second season. That cliffhanger deserves an answer. There may be hope for it if Season Two can maintain the same momentum from the Season One finale.
Helstrom Season One is currently streaming on Hulu.