This Blood Drive review contains spoilers.
Blood Drive Episode 10
Blood Drive episode 10, “Scar Tissue,” picks the scabs away from the environmental disaster at the heart of the show. At its core, Blood Drive is a dystopian future film set in the recent past. In all post-apocalyptic movies, and TV shows, small communities spring up in the aftermath of whatever catastrophe messed up the earth, and each of them has something itchy under the surface.
Once again we see an homage to A Boy and His Dog, which Blood Drive already winked at a few weeks ago in the desert community built at a day spa. There, they found an even more painful way to extract semen than the subterranean post nuclear society did. When the boy first left his dog to go underground everything looked picture-perfect in a fifties family comedy kind of way except for the pancake makeup everyone had to wear because their pigments never touched natural vitamin D. In the “Scar Tissue” town of Cronenberg, everything looks perfect, but under the surface, it is just a reflection of bad things.
Arthur (Alan Ritchson) is ready for a new life off the road. He’s gotten the most generous offer, to take over as the town’s new cobbler even though he’s never made shoes. The job comes with some great incentives. Besides inheriting the family business, he also inherits the wife of the former shoemaker. The former good cop on the LAPD Contracrime unit is all too ready to give up his badge, his partner, both of them, for the intoxicating nitrous of brainwashed bliss.
Do sexbots dream of electronic sheep? Through binary connections and a lifetime of security feeds, Heart Enterprises knows Aki (Marama Corlett) is human and she is awaiting punishment. She’s already punished Christopher (Thomas Dominique) and is feeling the guilt. Corlett grounds her human character firmly in transition, just as she based her cyborg role in transistors. Christopher is newly digitized and still strongly rooted in loyalty. The two have developed a very real bond that goes beyond mere coitus clusters. At first, it almost appears Aki is showing signs of morning sickness when she stars puking multicolored streams of mechanical goo. I don’t know the reproductive cycles of the newly transformed humans. But when she tells Chris to taste her rainbow under that sugary sweet soundtrack, I find hope for the future.
Arthur finds hope in his present. The one he got from the old shoemaker. Arthur’s new wife is beautiful, her name is Melanie and the old cobbler gave her to him because he’s going to kill himself. Everything is perfectly normal. There is a split second gap between the blood drive racer’s assessment of the situation and his acceptance. You almost think he’s going to put things together. This makes it funnier when he reverts to the mind controlled blankness of domesticity. Gracie (Christina Ochoa) finds out through her compact mirror that all the people in Cronenberg are really not what they seem and this is not Peyton Place kind of thing. There are no mirrors in Cronenberg. That’s all vanity and the pastor/leader of the community doesn’t find that fair. He’s filled with that old time religion and he’s found a new use for it. You shouldn’t have covered your face, Grace, denial is not the same thing as peace. But it’s the first sign something is wrong. There’s a change in the air.
It takes Slink (Colin Cunningham) to show us that the lemonade wasn’t made by the cute little girl with her face falling off. It was made by the dog, and lemons have nothing to do with it. Slink’s been fired, his 401k went back into the company fund, and he wants payback. The master of mayhem destroys paradise. He pulls the plug on the noxious fumes that are rising up from the scar and the people of Cronenberg see themselves for what they are: mutants, beautiful mutants.
I love Slink’s spiritual tent revival. His sermons are rousing. Though they say he is a devil, he has the spirits. Slink touches one parishioner on the head and he falls down in reverie. He does it to a second and she falls back in spiritual ecstasy, either speaking in or trying to swallow her own tongue. By the time Slink gets to the third worshipper, he just whacks him on the head and he goes down.
Slink shows a little regret when the people of Cronenberg lose the effects of the happy gas. “Now everyone can be miserable,” he says, and it’s not with his usual glee. Could it be that Aki’s not the only one going human on us? I hope not. I prefer to see Slink as an insufferable cad or worse, unless he can get worse. That I’m all in favor of.
Grace and Arthur end the episode agreeing to one last detour. Gracie may still be disappointed but Slink will get his way and that’s good for Blood Drive. What’s good for Blood Drive is bad for everyone else, so more power to them for feeding another innocent into their engines to speed onward and upward.
The music is so effective on this show it is subliminally funny. When Aki and Christopher agree to split up, the swelling soundtrack puts lumps in your throat. It’s so corny it should go on Slink’s eight track tape road mix.
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