666 Park Avenue: Diabolic

“Diabolic” was my favourite episode of 666 Park Avenue since the series began. All of the plotlines were nicely interwoven and it felt for the first time like the series was actually heading somewhere.

Jane was still reeling from her violent Halloween encounter with Peter Kramer, but finding it difficult to achieve closure. She fudged the details of the attack to the police, telling them she never saw the man’s face. She couldn’t exactly blame it on a dead psycho killer from 1929! But even without the whole ‘ghost’ angle, the cops are still worried she’s crazy. There is no sign of the man who Peter Kramer stabbed in the back, there’s no blood anywhere, there’s no hole in the wall where he swung his axe at Jane. Even the dumbwaiter (apparently the official name for those little pulley cart thingies in old hotels) shaft that she swore she escaped into is broken and full of cobwebs.

It only took Jane weeks of scary dreams/sleepwalking, visions of blood waterfalls and conversations with ghosts to get there … but she finally wants to leave The Drake. Henry finds rental ads open on her computer browser and worries that she doesn’t feel safe any more. Well DUH! The cops warn Henry that Jane might be suffering a psychotic break, but he stands behind her … until he finds the news clipping from 1929 on her desk. When he reads it he realizes that Peter Kramer attacked his wife in the very same way that Jane described her assault. And he can’t come up with an explanation that doesn’t involve her going batty. Jane tries to tell Henry the truth – that The Drake is a magnet for freaky, messed up, supernatural crap – but he isn’t ready to deal with that. But there was one plot hole that really bugged me. Why didn’t Henry recognize Peter Kramer as the man they spoke with in the elevator on Halloween? And even if he didn’t remember seeing him, shouldn’t it be etched in Jane’s mind? Wouldn’t she try to convince Henry that Peter Kramer was real by saying ‘Don’t you remember that creepy dude in the elevator who stared at my necklace and was terrible at small talk?’ Unless maybe Peter didn’t appear as himself to anyone other than Jane … but that doesn’t seem right.

Jane isn’t satisfied with just leaving The Drake. She wants to flee all the way back to Indiana because apparently the entire city of Manhattan is to blame. Henry thinks a therapist might be a less drastic option. He and Jane fight about her erratic behaviour and his annoyingly clueless attitude and then he storms out to clear his head. Jane angrily throws all the papers off her desk and discovers a few interesting things when she leans over to pick them up. 1) She recognizes Peter Kramer among the crowd of men in her historical photo of the Order of the Dragon and 2) On closer inspection of the news clipping she notices Peter’s wife wearing her grandmother’s necklace. Dun dun dun. I’m guessing Jane’s curiosity will once again outweigh her fear and she’ll stay at the Drake to uncover her family’s secrets. We leaned in this episode that Jane’s grandmother went crazy and ended up in an institution -probably because the horror of her family history finally caught up with her. Jane kept saying that she wanted to know why Peter came after her, so I think she’ll stick around to investigate. I still say anybody in their right mind would get the hell out. But hey, this is TV …

Gavin was busy trying to retrieve his magical wooden box. He learned the identity of the man who arranged the theft – someone named Victor Shaw who wants to get back something Gavin stole from him years ago. But Gavin is a dangerous clepto who will kill to hold on to his treasures: “I don’t return things once they’re in my possession.” Victor wants Gavin to hand over The Drake, or he’ll release what’s inside the box, which is apparently a powerful ex-lover of Olivia’s? Victor recites a story of how Gavin entrapped an obsessive boyfriend of Olivia’s because he was too ‘unique’ to dispose of like the average residents of The Drake. That sounds … really, really weird. But this dude must pack a serious punch because a henchman was already reduced to a slobbering catatonic mess by just tinkering with the box, although I was a little confused because it looked like he opened it and Victor had to re-latch it when he came to pick it up. So why didn’t its contents escape completely?

Gavin didn’t flinch or respond to any of Victor’s threats, but he did demonstrate how he deals with his enemies. He left Victor with a shiny gift-box containing the head of Sam, an old friend who betrayed him by working as Victor’s accomplice. Victor merely smirked and closed the lid. So I guess he’s ready to bring it on anyway. Gotta say the ‘head in a box’ thing is a little overdone.

To prepare for an epic battle with his new adversary, Gavin went to the prison to visit Kandinsky. He asked the make-believe Russian mobster if he wanted to play for Team Gavin and indicated he could easily free him from jail. That whole scene was the one part of the episode that drove me nuts! Kandinsky was such a terribly cheesy character and bringing him back is a big mistake on the part of the writers. Plus, I still find it preposterous that Gavin basically enticed Annie to invent Kandinsky out of thin air and now he’s just a regular thug in prison. We’ve seen Gavin shove people down mystical elevator shafts, suck people into the walls of the Drake and create endless mazes to entrap his enemies. Now he has to bust some fake person out of prison to act as a bodyguard or something? What is the point?

I enjoyed the Gavin and Olivia interactions in this episode and we have a greater understanding of their relationship dynamic. I was beginning to wonder if she really didn’t know what he was up to, but he admitted to her that his box was stolen and she was immediately frightened. She definitely knows something mystical is going on. But does she know the extreme violence he’s capable of? She was shocked to discover that Sam betrayed them, but Gavin only indicated that he ‘took care of it’.

There was no Brian and Louise plot in this episode (thank God) but we did learn more about Todd Scott, the sexy doctor Brian thinks Louise is sleeping with. He got caught in Gavin’s net when he accepted a generous $50,000 loan to help with his student debt … and then promptly gambled it away. The number $50,000 was instantly burned into his chest, permanently marking him. Todd confronts Gavin to ask him what the hell is going on. Gavin merely quips that “A debt is mark against the soul,” and agrees to drop the dollar amount in exchange for shady medical services. Again, these dumb Drake residents are not focusing on the right things! Todd should have been less concerned about how he was going to pay Gavin back and more worried about the actual logistics of searing hot letters appearing on his chest out of nowhere!!! He dropped that line of questioning WAAAY too quickly. Later Gavin calls on Todd to help Kandinsky escape from prison after he’s rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

I really enjoyed the plotline with Victor Shaw and I think it could give the series some much-needed direction. There are still a lot of trouble spots, but a good solid arc could make up a lot of ground.

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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