Hemlock Grove prepares for an epic finale with devastating outcomes.
The third and final season of Hemlock Grove is wrapping up all loose ends, introduces new characters and storylines, but manages to end in an ultimate gothic epic finale. Although this final season is also the most chaotic and incoherent, it shows the downfall of each character that was inevitable from the beginning of the series. It comes to full circle where good finally prevails and goodness is the winning virtue. The ending therefore is very poetic and highly satisfying.
This third season consists of 10 episodes with each a duration of 45-58 minutes. It has a continuous storyline with a big story arc that works towards an epic ending.
At the end of the second season. Olivia has killed Norman and has eaten Prycilla the Ouroboros project Johann was working on to create a new perfect body for Shelley. Miranda has taken Nadia to the top of the White Tower and jumped off, only to be caught in midair by Dr Arnold Spivak who turned out to be an old creature called the Jormungandr, and flew away with them.
Now Peter and Roman do anything in their power to get them both back, while they get help from Johann and private investigator Isaac Oochoa, who also secretly works for Olivia. Peter is getting more caught up in Andreas’ criminal line of work who also asked Destiny to marry him.
Shelley has had a psychotic episode after the traumatic event of losing Prycilla, but gets acquitted of the murders committed in the first season. To get away from her mother she runs away and finds a new place with homeless people in the old abandoned Godfrey factory, now called Rooster Poot. There she meets a special man, Aitor Quantic who sees her for who she really is, a beautiful kind and special person.
Meanwhile Roman meets Annie Archambeau who also turns out to be an Upir, and his half sister who wants revenge on Olivia. She introduces him to other Upirs who live a life much more common and decent than Roman could have imagined. But they all are attacked by a new mysterious group of hunters.
Johann Pryce is busy trying to decipher what Spivak is and what his ultimate plan is and where he might be, while he is also being harassed by Olivia, so he has to destroy all his work, except for his new technology to put his mind in a cloud.
While Miranda and Nadia are being held prisoner, everybody is slowly meeting his or her own demise, except for Shelley who finally finds salvation and happiness.
Why you should watch it
This third and final season of Hemlock Grove starts off a bit underwhelming, but then new characters are introduced and slowly the characters digress from their noble goals, meeting their own demises. But it takes a while to get there, and it feels a bit messy, by creating new little storylines instead of focusing purely on the downfall of each character. However all these new developments are in fact smartly placed within the story arc to make the downfalls more understandable.
The main plot of this final season is the big plan of Spivak who wants to recreate his own race and to eradicate the Upir race. But this becomes only apparent at the end. And isn’t as pivotal as it seems, but a mere plot device to keep the story going. Meanwhile it’s all about how everyone is heading for his/her own destruction, caused mainly by themselves. Although the overall vibe and tone of this season is more earthly than gothic, the overall theme and outcome is pure gothic horror.
Peter is caught up in criminal activities. While Roman is becoming more like his own mother, ruthless and selfish. Olivia herself has big problems of her own, and her part becomes more tragic and surreal and does a brilliant and the most narcissistic act you’ll ever see, and becomes more selfish than ever to save her own life. We get to learn more about Johann’s tragic childhood and to cope with his traumas he has become a drug addict. But we also learn he does have some scruples and really loves Shelley like a daughter. His love for her creates an opportunity for redemption but even he can’t escape his gruesome fate.
Everyone gets what he or she deserves. That goes for Shelley too. She has proven to be good, kind, empathic and selfless and finally she gets rewarded. She finds love with Aitor, takes care for Nadia and has a bag full of money. After all that she has been through from the day she was born, she finally finds love and happiness and a family who really loves her.
But that isn’t the only poetic and epic ending. The final showdown between Peter and Roman is their ultimate destiny and what started out as an unlikely friendship now ends in a similar vein, only as both enemies and friends who want to save the other from himself and the world. It couldn’t have ended any other way, for each character reaped what they sowed, either for the good or the bad.
This series has come to a full conclusion, with some bumps on the road, but it truly has a very gothic and epic ending that is highly satisfying.
My favorite part
The elaboration of Johann’s character and how he evolved and was made more complex was a good choice. First he was a mere minion, a pawn in the bigger scheme mostly that of Olivia, but now he has become a full person, he has become his own person to us but also to himself. Which gave him the opportunity to do what was right for once, although his demise was ironic, but he could make amends and showed he was a broken man instead of an evil mad scientist.
The scenes with Olivia’s hallucinations were great as well and added something surreal and special to this earthly season. While Peter and Roman were of lesser importance but only let themselves caught in a downward spiral towards their destinies.
But the best part is the ending. Shelley was always my favorite character, and now her goodness is finally rewarded. So the ending might be tragic for most of the characters, but Shelley’s tragic life is also finally over, to be reborn with a new life full of love she really deserves.
Gore factor: ★★★★☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆
Originality factor: ★★★★☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
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Cast and crew
Hemlock Grove is based on the novel of the same name written by Brian McGreevy. The series is also created by Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman. It stars Famke Janssen (Olivia Godfrey), Bill Skarsgård (Roman Godfrey) Landon Liboiron (Peter Rumancek), Madeleine Martin (Shelly Godfrey), Madeline Brewer (Miranda Cates), Lili Taylor (Lynda Rumancek), Luke Camilleri (Andreas Vasilescu), Dougray Scott (Norman Godfrey), Kaniehtiio Horn (Destiny Rumancek), Joel de la Fuente (Johann Pryce) and Kandyse McClure (Clementine Chasseur).
Music: Nathan Barr. Cinematography: Fernando Argüelles. Production company: Gaumont International Television, Mad Hatter Entertainment, ShineBox SMC. Original network: Netflix.