Episode 1.03 Writer: Matt Miller Director: Alex Zakrzewski
THE ONE WHERE A journalist discovers she has the power to alter reality by writing about it, and we learn a little more about Olivia.
VERDICT It’s hard to not like this episode. On the surface it has everything: a great “Deal Of The Week”, some juicy character history, and the continuation of a couple of season-long storylines. Unfortunately, the highs are tempered by some pretty clichéd effects. Blood running down a wall (or in this case, door) hasn’t been scary since The Amityville Horror, and just looks cheesy these days. And the shape of a hand pushing out from a solid object can be effective, but less so if it’s the second time it’s been used in the first three episodes.
The Deal of the Week this episode (though not so much of a deal, as the recipient doesn’t actually agree to anything) concerns a young journalist who – as in Stephen King’s Word Processor of the Gods – finds that everything she writes comes true. It’s an interesting theme, and one which is handled well, but you can’t help wondering: if Gavin is able to give someone else this much power, why doesn’t he take direct advantage of it, himself? The way in which the gift backfires is somewhat predictable, but still satisfying.
The sub-plot about Henry pitching for a job with a local dignitary and subsequently losing it (due to said dignitary being pushed down an elevator shaft by Gavin) goes nowhere, but it’s nice to see Gavin taking matters into his own hands for a change, rather than relying on others to do his work for him. It’s also interesting to see one of Gavin’s plans fail to come to fruition – he appears to be fallible, after all…
Meanwhile, we discover that Olivia’s daughter killed herself ten years ago, after warning Olivia that Gavin is evil. While Olivia is clearly still distraught, she appears to have made peace with her decision to stay with Gavin, who – somewhat surprisingly – appears to be genuinely fond of her. A nice touch.
Meanwhile, there’s something in the basement, and Jane’s discovery of an old valise has upset one of the Drake’s other residents – a ghostly child has followed the case as Jane takes it to her room. Wide-eyed, blank-faced kids make for good creepy characters, and this one is played particularly well.
BEST LINE The child ghost (to Jane): “Don’t let him out!” (To be fair, it’s the way she says it, rather than the line itself)
666 Park Avenue will air in the UK on ITV2, but no confirmed air date as yet