TV: Bedlam 1.4

Three scary TV shows are premiering this month: Bedlam (Saturdays on BBC America starting 10/1), American Horror Story (Wednesdays on FX starting 10/5) and season two of The Walking Dead (Sundays on AMC starting 10/16). Every week I’ll post recaps shortly after each new episode airs. They’ll be a little different than my movie posts. I’m assuming anyone who’s reading the recap has already seen the episode or isn’t planning to watch. That is to say, *SPOILERS AHEAD.*

The fourth installment of Bedlam arrives with the question, “Which new character will we be asked to care about and then never see again after this episode?” The answer: whiny brat Ella! She has an imaginary friend and in horror stories that’s never a good idea. Alice is of course not imaginary, just dead. She gives Ella a doll. That’s nice. Then she turns around and gives us the demon eyes. Not so nice. Her voice is completely unaltered but even so her shrill “Ellaaaaaa, come and play” is pretty creepy.

GAH!

It’s a little hard to follow but Molly seems to have gotten a job as Ella’s nanny. That’s convenient. God forbid a ghost target someone who didn’t know one of the flatmates. They would be well and truly fucked.

Molly digs Ella’s single dad, which is such a nanny thing to do. He notices and after one dinner she shags him with her ward asleep in the next room. Nice.

Oh for goodness- I don't care if you're boning my dad. I'm more worried about the ghost trying to kill me.

It seems everyone knows Kate is porking married guy Sean, and Jed is judgmental about it. Kate emphasizes the mental part (zing!) and gets all mean when he tells her she’s better than that. Even Kate knows Kate’s not better than that. Ryan and Jed go off to Grace’s funeral, which I think is considerate but Kate says it’s sick. Kate hates all. Maybe she’s upset because she had another disturbing dream. This time when she pulled the bag off the dead lady’s head she saw…her own face! Here’s hoping.

Wishful fucking thinking.

The next stop on Kate’s carousel of pain is Sean’s apartment. She waits for his bubbly wife to leave, then 30 seconds later knocks on his door. Crybaby Sean still isn’t over the beating she gave him last week so he blows her off, even though she does her best to be sultry, offering to “do…wah’ eva…you…want.” Kate is incensed. Welcome to Fatal Attraction, fucko!

Jed and Ryan get to the Grace’s funeral at the crematorium – which is way nicer than the cardboard box in a dumpster poor people get in the U.S. – hoping to get more info on the missing girls from people who knew her. No one shows up except them and Kate’s pscyho dad. They’re surprised. The woman was delusional and lived in a basement. Did they think friends from her book club would be attending? Jed does the laying-on-of-hands thing and finds out Grace was suffocated with a plastic bag. Jed is pretty sure Kate’s dad is the killer. If that’s true, here’s hoping he does the right thing and gives his worthless daughter the same treatment.

Back in Molly’s little fantasy world, Ella isn’t bothered to find her nanny naked in bed with her dad, leading me to believe that Molly is just one in a long line of temporary nannies to become unwitting prostitutes for this clown. Ella is much more concerned with a scary drawing of “the bad man” left by Alice in her bedroom. Molly goes to have a look but doesn’t bother to put on pants. Like Ella doesn’t have enough emotional damage already.

Kids.

The drawing gives Molly a reason to go to Jed. She asks him paint over the mess so Molly doesn’t get in trouble, but Jed takes the opportunity to do some ghost hunting. In no time he figures out what the problem is, but it’s still a solid half-hour after the audience reached the same conclusion: Alice died in the hospital and wants to make Ella dead too so they can be BFF. Even though he knows what’s going on, he still goes to Ryan for some tech work. Ryan echoes my thoughts when he says, “I love confirming what you already know.” We love it too, Ryan.

Meanwhile we get a scene where Kate’s dad shows her old film strips of her granddad’s experimental surgeries. Dad is super proud to tell her that these techniques were absolutely not generally accepted medical practice. I wonder if those surgeries could have anything to do with the missing girls.

Even Kate thinks the brain surgery home movies are a little fucked up. To get her mind on saner things, she stalks Sean’s wife by pretending to have questions about interior design. She takes pictures of their bed and whips out a burner phone to send him a fake text from some imaginary harlot. She gives wifey all the motivation she needs to check Sean’s phone and congratulates herself on another pair of ruined lives.

Your husband? Cheating? Nooooo.

Jed resolves the Ella situation by convincing Alice that she’s better off playing with other dead kids. SEGREGATIONIST. Ella’s dad acts like it’s Jed’s fault he couldn’t keep track of his own kid. Molly defends Jed, giving asshole dad the excuse he needed to fire her. Okay if I still put you down as a reference?

But wait! While rescuing Ella, Jed happened upon the blue, speckled corpse of Zoe! Odd that he didn’t notice the smell first. Even odder, when he returns after delivering Ella to her ingrate father, the body is gone. Ryan asks if he’s sure he really saw it. Jed just stares out the window at Kate’s smirking dad. So did dad move it? Was it never there? Is Zoe a zombie? I’m hoping zombie.

Does Zoe like braaaaains?

As ridiculously boring and useless as the one-off stories are – and they are – the ongoing storylines are getting ever-so-slightly more interesting. The experimental surgery angle makes all sorts of nasty shit possible. The ghost stories by themselves are getting repetitious but a mad scientist’s rampage could add a whole new dimension. Frankenstein in the laundry room, anyone? The fact that Kate is almost always wearing red is starting to make me think she’s somehow possessed by the ghosts of her family’s past. Otherwise I can’t imagine her hanging on to friends as long as she has, seeing as she actively seeks out ways to sabotage everyone around her.

In spite of myself, I’m now of the opinion that Jed is the only competent actor aside from Kate’s dad, who is far too good to be reading every line with such smug cruelty. I have to believe it’s the result of a director telling him to be as awful as possible, so that when it’s revealed he’s not the bogeyman it’ll be more shocking.

Here’s hoping next week Kate’s head finds that bag.

2 Responses to “TV: Bedlam 1.4”

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