Sunday, October 16, 2022

REVIEW: 'Let the Right One In' - Eleanor Helps Isaiah With His Magic Tricks During the Talent Show in 'Intercessors'

Showtime's Let the Right One In - Episode 1.02 "Intercessors"

With the assistance of his old friend Zeke, Mark chases down a lead that might help him finally discover a cure for Eleanor. Without Mark's approval, Eleanor sneaks off to Isaiah's talent show while Naomi discovers an unsettling pattern to this string of local murders. Newly reunited with her brother, Claire is forced to make an all-important decision about her future.

"Intercessors" was written by Andrew Hinderaker and directed by Seith Mann

People want to know Mark and Eleanor's story. They have natural curiosity about the people planting roots near them. For the past decade, Mark has been incredibly careful. He hasn't gotten close to anyone. He hasn't allowed Eleanor to do so either. He was driven by fear. He didn't want the worst thing to happen. He didn't want to return to a place of losing someone he deeply cared about. Forming no attachments was a better way to live. And yet, they have returned to New York City to stay. This is where Mark believes they need to be right now. Mark is still chasing the hope of finding the creature who first infected Eleanor. The family was told antibodies to the infection could be created from that source. Of course, Arthur suggests it's futile to pursue that lead. That's the first suggestion Claire makes as she grapples with the disease that took her brother from her. He is in a ton of pain. Everyone is reluctant to use the word vampire as well. They don't want to see this as a permanent transformation. It can all be reversed if the loved ones are dedicated enough to finding a cure. Plenty of lives are still lost along the way. Claire loves Peter. But she also sees him when he's hungry. He's allowed to feed on an innocent person in the lab. It's much more sinister than the story Arthur and Matthew originally told her. Similarly, the audience knows there isn't some great hope at the end of Mark's journey. He hopes the recent murders indicate the creature that started it all is back in the city too. In reality, it's just the latest drug from Arthur Logan that has caused chaos and destruction throughout the world. His daughter is full of righteous anger towards him for the pain he caused. She sacrifices her life in order to save her brother. She sees the inherent goodness within him. It's her duty to protect him. She can forgive him for lying to her for all these years. She makes immense sacrifices. She's still completely in the dark about what's going on. She is thrown into the deep end because Arthur doesn't have much time left. He can't rest until the job is done. He needs to know the family will continue fighting for Peter. That must be prioritized above all else. It doesn't matter who gets hurt in the process. Mark is even targeted because he tails the drug supplier as he returns to the base of operations. That puts Zeke in danger because he lended his car to his best friend. So much has changed. And yet, Mark still requires Zeke to provide support whenever he needs it. They have a rich history together. It's painful. The show has only scratched the surface in that regard. The restaurant has always been fully owned by Zeke. Mark helped get it up and running. He isn't responsible for its longevity or initial success. Instead, he has had to devote his entire life to caring for Eleanor.

It's refreshing to see Eleanor act like a kid again. Mark doesn't want to ruin that after she befriends Isaiah. She helps the neighbor boy pull off an epic display during the talent show. That may not overshadow the absence of his father. That still hurts. The bullying targets Isaiah with such viciousness too. And yet, he has a new friend. Eleanor is weird just like him. Of course, Naomi instinctively knows something more is going on with her new neighbors. They act strangely in every situation. Mark has strict rules for his daughter. Eleanor also has the freedom to do so much. Her only limitation is the sun. Most people don't pick up on that key detail. Moreover, she comes up with convenient stories for any injuries she may display. She breaks a mirror because it's been a decade of believing in hope. Those were some of the last words her mother ever shared with her. It describes her entire presence. That has fueled Mark and Eleanor every day since losing her. They can emerge stronger from all of this. They just need the right clues to offer a potential cure. That's the dream they have been chasing. And now, a completely new situation has presented itself. They've moved in next to a homicide detective who is already looking into the murders happening throughout the city. That is a very slow moving investigation. The show basically only commits to one scene per episode depicting Naomi at her job. It's more narratively important to see her as a mother and neighbor. That's the context that provides the most utility to her in this story initially. In fact, the narrative suggests all these ways in which the entire ensemble is connected. It's not really leaving anything up-in-the-air. That's perfectly fine as well. It should honestly afford the narrative more urgency though. Right now, it's simply suppose to be terrifying enough when Claire sees her brother in full vampire form. She can't reckon with that image given how he has presented himself in her life so far. She wants to see the situation for what it truly is. She may not have the strength to do so. Mark prays for a greater purpose to justify the people he has killed to keep Eleanor sustained over the years. And yet, it's also convenient that his most recent victim happens to be Isaiah's father. Again, the audience already knew that when that act occurred. Now, it's simply devastating when Mark realizes it himself. All of these threats are much more personal and intimate than he was willing to admit. It's also the show forcing connections to make everything just a bit more dramatic. The situation itself should be enough to satisfy those concerns. The expansion on the themes appears to be lacking a little bit as the show itself strives for more than hope to satisfying the viewer's expectations of enticing drama.