666 Park Avenue 1.05 “A Crowd of Demons” REVIEW

666 Park Avenue 1.05 “A Crowd Of Demons” TV REVIEW

Episode 1.05
Writer: Sonny Postiglione
Director: Robert Duncan McNeill

THE ONE WHERE We find out who the smoke monster is, and Jane is presented with yet more evidence of the existence of the supernatural.

VERDICT A return to form after last week’s disappointing episode, though not without its problems. A great episode title that promises a lot more the it delivers, referring as it does to the Hallowe’en party being thrown at the Drake.

At the start of the episode we’re presented with some of the smoke monster’s history in flashback. He killed his wife with an axe in 1929, following a deal he made (we don’t know with whom, but we can guess). Later we discover that his daughter (the ghost girl) escaped him, so it’ll be interesting to discover why she still looks like she did at the time of the murder. The pendant given to her by her dying mother will prove important, later.

Henry’s TV interview is a little underwhelming. For someone with ambition he really does appear to be clueless, sweeping aside his achievement (saving the commissioner’s life) with a modest, “I’m no hero”. A bit pointless agreeing to publicise it, then…

Brian’s early return home to find Doctor Sexy massaging his wife’s abdomen is clumsily written (“I have super-sore ribs from dancing!”). It’s obvious from the start that she’s not having an affair, and yet again the cast is required to carry inadequate dialogue (which they more or less do). This paves the way for Alexis in her Hallowe’en nurse costume to ramp up the doubt and suspicion in Brian’s mind, while at the same time seemingly back-tracking from her earlier stalking.

The most interesting element to this week’s episode, however, is the targeting of Gavin by a person as-yet unknown. His texts to Gavin (“You’re going to pay for everything you’ve done” and “See you tonight”) nicely set up the game of cat and mouse that follows, and we really want to know what’s in the box he stole from Gavin’s safe!

Disappointingly, the chase sequence featuring Jane and the axe-wielding smoke monster is less effective. It could only be rendered less tense by the introduction of the Benny Hill theme tune. The murder of the corridor red shirt is nicely brutal; however the subsequent dispatch of the assailant by the starlings in the hotel walls – though well visualised – completely undermines the atmospheric build-up we’ve had for the introduction of the character over the previous episodes. I suspect we’ve not seen the last of him, but it would have been nice to have a truly frightening antagonist. Perhaps Gavin’s foe will prove to be the grit in the Drake’s oyster.

HOTEL ANTIVIRUS The Drake appears to have a great self-healing ability, evidenced by the disappearance into the floor of the smoke monster’s axe and victim, and by the behaviour of the starlings when disturbed.

A FAMILY BUSINESS When Ghost Girl is given the pendant by her mother she’s told to “keep it in the family”. Peter Cramer (Ghost Girl’s dad, the smoke monster) admires it on Jane before declaring, “I have to finish this.” With an axe, apparently. Is Jane related to the Cramers? Is her connection to Ghost Girl even closer than family?

BEST LINES
Peter Cramer (before his first axe murder): “We’ve invited evil into our homes.”

Jane (admiring the Drake’s party decor): “Hallowe’en is all about excess, right?”

Gavin (to mystery nemesis): “If you know what I’m capable of, why push me?”
Mystery nemesis (to Gavin): “To let you know you’re not invulnerable.”

Lee Harris

666 Park Avenue will air in the UK on ITV2, but no confirmed air date as yet

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