Review: October Faction “Bonds of Blood” S1E9

October Faction

We’re one episode away from the season finale and Bonds of Blood finds Deloris and Fred being held captive by Alice, who has revealed to Viv and Geoff the truth of their lineage while Presidio agents close in for the kill. If that wasn’t enough to process with few episodes to go, we learn the secret behind Viv’s mystery man and how he came to roam the Allen family mansion and we find out where Grandma Margaret’s loyalty lies.

WHAT WORKED: This episode dealt with identity, nature versus nurture, what constitutes family, revenge, anger, and guilt. Bonds of Blood begins to explore the difference between what we know about the characters and what we thought we knew by showing everyone at their most vulnerable and hopeless as they try and figure out where they fit in and how they can assimilate or grow.

I like the little seeds that they planted throughout the season about the main character’s motivation and desires. Everyone is trying to find out where they fit in and how they fit themselves into spaces that they’re not sure they belong in or even want to be in. It was an emotional episode with heartbreak and not understanding that things don’t always get fixed in the end, the way you want.

REDEMPTION SONG: Geoff expecting everything to go the way he wanted when he wanted it. I understand that he was in a hard place and trying to sort out who he was and what his whole identity was but, expecting Phillip to upend his life and existence because he needed to feel like he belonged somewhere, was low key selfish. I thought I was in for a let down when Geoff started to tell all of the high school townies secrets but, he came around and realized that his problems weren’t the only ones that mattered and everyone was fighting an internal battle.

BEST MOMENT: Phillip telling Geoff how it is and calling him on his shit and being a little shit, while simultaneously coming out to the school at the bonfire. I got the feels.

EPISODE’S MVP: Actor Praneet Akilla laid out all of his acting chops in his portrayal of Phillip. He plays his character so well that I forgot that these weren’t real people and I was watching a show. I know that this show is supposed to be about the Allen family but, Akilla’s performance of Phillip and everything going on with him stole the show so much that in the midst of a bunch of family drama and a  whole supernatural showdown , I wanted to know if Phillip was OK and how he was handling everything. It turns out, he was handling it, just fine as he worked through everything in his own way. Phillip earns this episode MVP for being real, I’m proud of him for coming out to his friends but, that’s not what makes him the MVP. He’s the MVP because he kept his journey, timing and fears real AF. He stood up to Geoff and let him know that he wasn’t ready and he did what he felt he had to do. The writers made Phillip have a real reaction to his situation and portrayed him as someone who took his time, in contrast to Geoff’s all here and all-out attitude. It isn’t always easy for teens to come out and their fears are valid, even if they are out at home they might not be ready to be out to everyone else and that’s okay. Phillip went through his journey and his way was no less valid than Geoff’s or anyone else. So Phillip is the MVP for brave enough to set his boundaries, live by them and shift to new boundaries on his clock, and not on Geoff’s or his parents, so he didn’t just come out, he found himself and his voice, in his time and I’m here for it.

Overall: 8.7