In the first 15 minutes of The Horror Out of Time, we get transported back to 1990 and see Deloris and Fred get married in a super-secret, cult-like ceremony a scene that is undercut with scenes of them killing monsters in a simulation/ Presidio graduation.
This flashback would have been touching and romantic except we flash forward to a hotel room in the present where Fred is alone with another Presidio agent and it’s clear that there was a whole different type of debriefing going on but, the real heartbreak comes when the next cut shows us Deloris reminiscing over an album of their life together. Viv talks to her mom about the new friend she made and school and Geoff and his boyfriend break up over video chat because Asia is a bit too far for a long-distance teenage love affair.
A biker vampire gang catches up with Deloris outside of the local bar and she ends up hiding out in the house tending to her wounds while newly returned hubby gets the kids ready for school where Geoff plots to overthrow the reigning king of the school, Phillip and Viv reveals to Geoff (and eventually Cathy) that she drew the bus crash before it happened. If that has your interest piqued, you’d be happy to know that the next 28 minutes were just as interesting and entertaining.
WHAT WORKED: I’m really feeling the flashback cuts scenes and the way they introduce you to the story and characters allowing you a way to get into the story, whether or not you’ve seen any of the previous episodes. I still think the writing is solid, the acting is on point and the cinematography is beautiful to look at. I also like the flow and contradictions in the parent’s timeline and story, it really adds a nice layer to the story. There are so many moving parts and side stories going on and the writing, for the most part, makes it easy to get immersed in the October Faction universe.
WHAT DIDN’T: I wasn’t a fan of the way that Cathy cracked, it didn’t seem to be in character, she didn’t seem the type to let peer pressure get to her and letting Viv’s secret slip out to Madison just because she asked a couple of times. I get that the writers need to propel the story forward but, having a character act this far out of characters is a push and unnecessary when every other aspect of the story is compelling or believable. While Geoff being “tricked” by Ghost Steve was a believable way to push him further to the outside of the school hierarchy, there were other options to push Viv further outside the circle so, having her only friend act out of her established character and betray her seems a bit unnecessary and a reach.
“There are a lot of narrow-minded people who will use what makes you different to bash you into submission”– Cathy (to Viv) about keeping her dark precognitive art journal entries to herself.
Cathy said that and I felt it.
BEST MOMENT: When Deloris is rebuffed by Baz after saving him in the bar and goes to sit in the car to sort things out emotionally ends up getting attacked by the gang of Vamps. Here’s the thing, we all know that she can take care of herself and we know that she’s had to for years and physically she’s a badass but, in this vulnerable moment right before the Vamp gang smashes her window and yank her out of the car she’s feeling the hopelessness and sadness that comes from losing a true friend. At that moment the writing and the directing and camera work all work together seamlessly, she is settling in a moment of realization that sometime you can’t fix things and it is so well-acted that it’s like a gut punch, it is tender and it is real.
EPISODE’S MVP: Steve the Ghost Jock! When “the quiet one” that Geoff tries to recruit to rise up in the ranks and depose reigning school king Phillip gives Geoff a message to give Phillip, he is more than happy to oblige. Unfortunately, Steve is dead and he died in a car accident so, delivering that message nearly gets him beaten to death by the team. Here’s the thing, Geoff’s plan was kind of stupid and it needed to be wrecked so, Steve turned out to be a ghost was not only a nice way to introduce Geoff’s special ability but, Steve ending up being dead and setting him up like that was kind of next-level good for the storyline, making him this episodes MVP.