Martin Carr reviews Helstrom’s season 1 finale…
Flaming scimitars, a funhouse finale and home births from hell all jockey for position in an intriguing endgame. With Daimon little more than a scorched husk things go from bad to worse as casualties are created left, right and centre. Mexican stand offs on hallowed ground clash with a Helstrom who refuses to die, while others step up in response. Babies are born, relationships break down and this series finally delivers.
Sowing narrative seeds is one thing but Helstrom has taken its time getting to the point. What this finale finally gives us is tangible evidence of trauma communicated between two women bonding. Being set on fire, buried alive or opening on an attempted suicide finally gives fans what they want. With Hastings incapacitated, Daimon in full blown possession mode and some mother daughter moments happening elsewhere Helstrom reveals a backbone.
Re-forging daggers, skewering demons like kebabs and banishing unworldly entities into obscurity is the meat and potatoes of ‘Hell Storm’. Although the episode tries to be embrace that title, this is more like a windy afternoon with occasional blustery showers rather than anything more threatening. Birthing in a bathtub, playing hide and seek around a fairground and cutting back to bedside vigils is engaging but never ground breaking. Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon equip themselves well as does Elizabeth Marvel, who finally having something to do. Elsewhere this ensemble cast gird themselves against an underworld invasion, while Gabriella goes off on a tangent.
What you do get from ‘Hell Storm’ finally is a sense of cohesion where characters feel fully formed. There is a sense of family which is rammed home in the closing minutes, but surprisingly feels quite natural. What follows is obvious but may prove no less effective in either continuing this show or keeping it self-contained. On the other hand in the closing minutes Helstrom introduces a solid reason for season two.
At best this show is solid entertainment which skirts around philosophical questions, addresses contemporary issues but does so in a world defined by demons. There is potential for further excursions, deeper explorations and most importantly an opportunity to really expand this character canvas. For the moment though this is down to Marvel, Hulu and some Nielsen ratings.
All episodes of Helstrom are available now on Hulu.