Hemlock Grove S1E13 - "Birth" Recap

The episode begins with a flashback of Christina venting about teenage drama to Peter. He tells her that she will get through her growing pains just like other girls have before her and that she will live a life much bigger than this. *roll opening credits*

Letha is unable to get through the locked doors and Roman is still fighting Christina. She jumps on him and he accidentally throws his axe off to the side. Just when it looks like Roman will be wolf-chow, wolf-Peter jumps in. They snarl at each other and fight viciously while Roman and Letha stand back and watch. Wolf-Christina wins the fight and snaps wolf-Peter's neck. She has her sight set on Letha but then Shelley shows up and snaps wolf-Christina's neck with ease. All is quiet until the sheriff shoots Shelley from an upper balcony. She runs off and both Roman and the sheriff chase after her but Roman compels the sheriff not to hurt her so he stays behind.

The sheriff heads inside and looks at the dead, now human and naked form of Christina, who has also returned to her original brunette state, the wolf near death, and a distraught Letha. He picks up Christina's body and carries her out. Letha approaches wolf-Peter, who is whining in pain, and she curls up behind him, crying. Outside, Roman discovers Shelley's wig and screams out her name, unable to find her. The next morning, Peter has returned to his human state and surprisingly, he seems okay. Roman returns home and fills Olivia in on what has transpired. She hugs him in an effort to console him as he cries.

At Destiny's place, Peter rests up. Letha speaks with Lynda about how she doesn't understand everything that has happened, from Peter's transformation to a wolf, his death, and then his waking up and being okay. Lynda tells her that love is the strongest magic in the world, even stronger than life. Norman hears the news on the car radio that Shelley is believed to be the murderer but he is certain this cannot be true. When Letha gets in the car, he explains that the town is treating Shelley as a scapegoat and Letha must not tell anyone that she was there. Meanwhile, Olivia is coaching Roman on what story to stick to and that it's best for the town so that they may move on from these events. However, they agree that they will protect Shelley if and when she returns because Godfreys protect their own.

Norman and his family attend Christina's funeral to keep up appearances. He sends Letha home after a respectable amount of time and Norman speaks with the sheriff. He is still agitated though he seems to have found some satisfaction by shooting who he believes to be the killer. But too much has happened, and the sheriff has quit his job, having lost faith in his ability to protect people.

Norman signs over his share to Lod with Olivia by his side. Surprisingly, the Lod representative is the same bishop we've seen speaking with Clementine throughout the series. Following the deal, the bishop and Dr. Pryce toast. Norman and Olivia get lovey-dovey in the limousine and are still planning to give their relationship a proper go once Norman leaves Marie.

Roman and Peter visit Destiny and Roman consults her regarding Shelley. She tells him to have faith. He says that Shelley needs him but Destiny questions him on who really needs who. A mysterious wind flips the pages of the book through which Peter is looking and he gets a call from Letha that she is going into labour. He is delighted enough to make you think it's his baby. Peter relays the news to Roman, who joins in the excitement. Right as they are about to leave, Destiny grabs Roman's hand, seemingly in some sort of trance and says, "To be still in the turning world is the warrior's greatest feat."

In the Godfrey Institute waiting room, Roman pulls out a pair of cigars for him and Peter. He then confesses that he's been using his compelling abilities on himself. We see him speaking to his reflection and telling himself to see her. Roman remembers Destiny's words spoken to him in private and how Roman is going to have to face the hardest choice of his life. Roman asks Peter how it was that he was not afraid in the chapel, but Peter replies that he had never been more afraid in this life and that he couldn't have done it if Roman hadn't been there.

Letha is having a difficult go of it in the throes of childbirth. A nurse gets Dr. Pryce and summons him. He enters the room and looks horrified by what he sees. Peter gets up, seeming to sense that something ins wrong and Roman looks at him, confused. Norman goes into the birth room and sees Letha's dead body with blood all over the floor, her legs still spread open.

Roman hears the announcement over the speakers that the patient is deceased and he becomes emotionally distraught. Norman carries Letha's body to Dr. Pryce and insists that he bring her back but Dr. Pryce says he cannot. Dr. Pryce has a guard carry Letha's body away and tells Norman he might have better luck with the baby but Norman snaps back, "Fuck the baby." Dr. Pryce apologises and says that he isn't God.

Lynda comforts Peter in the trailer. She tells him that Nicolae had a vision when she was pregnant with Peter that he would live a long life and how she was saddened by this, knowing that it would mean a life filled with sadness. But she reminds him that pain is necessary to appreciate the good times. He goes into the mirror and begins cutting his hair off. At the Godfrey Institute, Dr. Pryce cries before growing angry and punching through his glass desk.

Olivia comes to see Roman as he sits up in Shelley's old room. She asks him what he needs and he replies, "Peter." She drives him to the trailer, where he finds that Peter and Lynda are gone. Olivia narrates a story that plays out before our eyes. We learn that as a young girl, hundreds of years prior, she ran away with a gypsy boy but he abandoned her and stole what few possessions she had with her. She also had a tail as a young girl that she cut off. Her father and a search party found her the next day and she bore a child nine months later that she sent away to be a slave, as it had "slave blood" in it. Overlayed with this story, we see Roman cry in the trailer while Olivia smirks knowingly.

Norman leaves Marie and packs up his belongings. He has dinner with Olivia and Roman and it would seem that he's also staying with them now. Olivia sends Norman to bed and he obeys without resistance. Might she have compelled him minus the nosebleed? Olivia visits Roman as he sits in the empty pool and wishes him a happy birthday before asking him to join her in the attic. He asks why and she says she has something to show him.

In Shelley's old room is a cradle covered with black drapery surrounded by a circle of candles. He doesn't understand what's happening and she tells him to remember. Memories begin to play through Roman's head. First, Olivia speaks about all the others that came before Roman but none bore the mark. We even see her snap his sister Juliet's neck. Then Roman is born with that strange skin over his face. Olivia takes that skin and eats it. Olivia then mentions the truth of Roman's birthright. We see Letha's speech about the angel and the dream she had of it but this time, we see that Roman was the one who raped Letha and impregnated her.

Olivia pricks the baby with a needle and tells Roman that he knows what he must do. Roman is emotional and upset as he falls down to the floor. Olivia tells him that he cannot control the hunger as she licks the baby's blood from the needle. Roman continue to say no, goes to his reflection and begins chanting, "You must make your heart steel." He calms and approaches the crib with his razor blade and tells himself he is a warrior. He then tells his mother, "You won't win," and slices both of his inner arms  from wrist to elbow.

He falls to the ground and begins to die from blood loss. The blood moves along the floor and up the walls, painting an unknown pattern. Olivia is calm and cradles Roman as she sings him a song. Flashback to young Olivia being found by her father. She was dead from blood loss after she cut off her own tail but wakes and her father welcomes her back. She smiles and bares her fangs. Olivia speaks in a voiceover, "To rise, a victim of your own hand. It is the way of our kind." Roman rises from the dead, his wounds healed into scars. He walks back over to the crib and Olivia follows behind him, saying that she always wins. She tells Roman that he is not a warrior, but a dragon. She tells him to do it. Roman pauses and then attacks Olivia, biting into her neck. He feeds from her and though she screams at first, she then begins to moan erotically. Did you forget that that's your son?

When Roman stops feeding, Olivia is still lying on the floor and she says that she is so proud of him. He then kisses her and rips out her tongue with his teeth. He spits it off to the side and says, "You talk too much. He then goes to look at the blood on the walls and raises his arms. From the viewer's point of view, they look like wings.

We then see Roman walk down the stairs, the blood is cleaned off, and he's looking dapper in an undoubtedly expensive suit. We hear Olivia's voice say, "The crown, like everything has it's price. I only hope you're ready for it."

Clementine's brother meets with the bishop, who tells him that he has a job for him regarding those that killed Clementine. He hands him a folder containing information on Hemlock Grove and Roman Godrey.

Sheriff Sworn is seen making explosives while listening to police scanners.

Dr. Pryce looks at Olivia's corpse in a body bag and says somewhat cheerfully, "Well, I suppose we could find room."

A bald Peter and Lynda are in a car, driving off to somewhere new. Peter briefly thinks he sees Shelley walking down the road but when they pass by, he sees her as the beautiful version that Roman saw in his dream state. He smiles to himself.

Inside the mysterious metal box that got Roman put into a coma by Dr. Pryce, we see a humanoid creature in a womb/cocoon-looking thing with wires and tubes hooked up to it. As the camera zooms in closer, the humanoid opens its eyes and takes a breath.

In a post-credits scene, we see Christina's gravestone and the sound of underground banging and thumping is heard along with Christina's scream.

There's more questions than answers with this season finale. Hopefully all of these will be answered in Season 2!

The entire first season of Hemlock Grove is available for viewing on Netflix.


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