This week’s episode, another beautifully shot vision from the Srange Angel  team, begins with Susan (Bella Heathcote) researching Alastair Crowley, the English mystic that created Thelema. At the same time, Jack (Jack Reynor) is at the Temple. “Love is the law.” She finds out about the secret orgies. Jack’s being allowed to stay for the “workings,” i.e., the sex magic! Maggie (Elena Satine) goes off with another guy and Jack looks surprised, but he participates in a blood and sex ritual while Susan reads a story proclaiming Alastair Crowley the “wickedest man in the world.”

Susan at the Library

After the opening credits, Professor Mesulam (Rade Serbedzija) gets a package from Professor Schlemm, with a Nazi postmark. It contains large wax candles which have a Jewish ring imbedded in them, as well as a number of pages of text. Mesulam tears up, and finds several other things in the candles.

Out in the desert, Ernest (Rupert Friend) tries to convince Jack to give up on the rocket dream – the game is “rigged against him”. Jack doesn’t want to go back to the Agape temple right now because the General is only in town the rest of that week and he has to impress him. None of the rest of the team are around. Jack sings some rituals while he tests a rocket engine, Ernest filming all the time.

Back at home, Susan has herself a gun and lemonade – well, it’s mostly gin. She takes the pitcher over to Maggie’s. They’re overdue for catching up.

At campus, Jack is denied access to Rich, who’s doing a demonstration for the War Department. Rich (Peter Mark Kendall) has forgotten his meeting with Mesulam, because he’s working with the General on a different project. The General has already written their project off. Jack leaves to show the video to Mesulam. He’s not impressed. Without the rest of the team, Mesulam thinks it’s too dangerous. He too worked with a friend, Max Schlemm, back in Europe. But then his University decided there were too many Jewish Professors. So he was denied tenure, and then he lost his friend over it. They haven’t spoken since. It takes two to have an argument. Jack’s like a car with a gas pedal and no break. Jack’s so focused on taking his shot he’s not working on understanding the equation.

Susan is confronting Maggie with her research on Alastair Crowley. She knows Jack’s been going. Susan wants to know what she’s up against. Susan says its worse than the paper says. The Priest, Alfred (Greg Wise), makes couples split up and have sex in all manner of groups. Ernest can’t live without it and she can’t live without Ernest, so she goes, too. Ernest comes home and Maggie lets the cat out of the bag; he kicks Susan out. They have a fight about Ernest’s feelings for Jack and Thelema. Ernest says Alfred thinks Jack is his liberation. She just wants to know the truth. Ernest says he’s not what she thinks he is.

At work at the chemical plant, Jack is reviewing the equations and Rich shows up. He wants to tell Jack he’s leaving the rocketry project if the propeller project is funded by the General’s superiors. (Aside: It’s too bad the science isn’t as important to the Strange Angel team as the sex magic.)

Ritual

Jack shows up at the temple. He wants to manifest his will. The priestess helps him with some rituals, including, as per usual at Agape, sex and blood. Jack envisions the moon conquered by Nazis while she has an orgasm – or at least sounds like she’s having one.

Jack sneaks into to the Athenaeum that night to get access to the General. He’s directed to the Rathskellar in the cellar for cigars and brandy. He confronts the professor regarding the upper limit of propeller speed – which is 500 miles, rather than the 5000 his rocket hit just this other day. Von Braun wants to hit London from Berlin, but they’re aiming much higher. Does the General want the first flag on the moon to have a swastika on it, or the stars and stripes? Before he gets kicked out he hands the equations to Mesulam.

Nazi flag on the moon

Heading home from work on his motorbike, Ernest hits a red light and instead, he turns around instead, to go to a bar in the city. It’s Maxwell’s, a gay bar. He sits on his bike until he sees a Jack look-alike enter the bar. Maybe it’s Jack. Ernest goes in. (God, I feel so bad for Ernest, you guys.) He finds the Jack look-alike, who flirts aggressively with Ernest.

When Jack gets home he finds the potion from last week on the newspaper report on Crowley. She’s locked him out of the bedroom. “It’s not what you think! I did it for us!” He apologizes through the door.

Police Raid

Back at the bar, Ernest and the Jack-alike are flirting and the police show up for a raid. They want to make sure everything is on the “straight and narrow”. The policeman calls him queer, and he breaks a glass on his head. The police beat the holy hell out of him and arrest him. He’s taken to jail and put in with the other guys from the bar. Maggie comes to bail him out. She looks so upset. He’s really the worse for wear, so she takes him home and cleans him up. He tries to justify but Maggie tells him he doesn’t have to say anything, proving once again that Maggie is my hero. Once in bed, Ernest reminisces about a diner in Omaha with the best hash, and falls asleep. Maggie holds herself together – I don’t know how.

Next day, Mesulam has called Rich in for a meeting. Mesulam doesn’t want to blame Rich for Jack’s actions at the club. Rich and Jack will have to learn to be netter colleagues. Jack breaks the rules but he got the military’s attention. General Braxton believes there is a military application for solid fuel rockets (spoiler alert: duh). They are being considered for funding. Mesulam says Rich will have to give the presentation in Washington.

Susan watches Maggie loading up her stuff. Her marriage is over. She never stood a chance. “Against them?” Susan asks. It’s not that, we know. Then Maggie tells her Jack can be pulled back out.

(Ahhh frakk, you guys, Maggie is leaving and she’s my favorite.)

Rich finds Jack in the garage workshop. It’s just the “usual marital woes”. Rich tells him Braxton wants a full proposal on solid fuel rockets in D.C. Jack believes the sex magic ritual worked and all that matters is they are going to D.C. Rich of course looks shifty.

Ernest awakens to a photograph of the two of them on Maggie’s pillow. “Love under will,” it says on the back.

 
 

Heather A. D. Mbaye
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