Four episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
There’s a moment in the third season premiere of Hemlock Grove when Peter Rumancek jokingly teases his bro-bestie Roman Godfrey with dumping all of their paranormal secrets onto a hard-assed private investigator they’ve hired to assist them in the fallout of last season’s finale. “You mean that our missing baby with telekinetic powers was taken by a flying reptile with a thirty-foot wingspan who had been masquerading around town as the family doctor?” It’s meant to be a winking take on the show’s ridiculousness – an oh how crazy has this stuff gotten in two seasons! – but with nothing to support that wink other than a nifty bucket of gore or two, Hemlock Grove remains what it’s been since season 1: innovatively bad.
It all kicks off not long after the the events of last year’s rooftop cliffhanger, and not much progress has been made in discovering the whereabouts of Miranda (Madeline Brewer) and baby Nadia, both snatched from freefall by that giant lizard man. Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen) is slumming it in a crappy apartment, Peter (Landon Liboiron) is running with a new pack of wolves, and Roman (Bill Skarsgård) is the one spearheading the search for Nadia, a baby he had by impregnating his cousin under the glamour of his mother.
That’s the mistake Hemlock Grove has made since season one: the writers have gone out of their way to weave plots that can be summed up in one-sentence bullet points on a Buzzfeed listicle, but they’re about as comparatively deep. Nothing is shocking if nothing matters, and Hemlock Grove has so frequently stumbled in explaining the rules of its world and the meaning of its mythology that when some random scientist holds an amorphous blob with doey black eyes above a meat grinder in the premiere, it’s genuinely baffling in its stupidity.
And it’s just gotten worse with age. Season 1 at least had enough of an excuse to avoid answering certain questions that when it was being obtuse, a glimmer of cruel entertainment would shine through (not to mention, Lili Taylor grounded most of it far more than the show deserved). Now, everything just spirals from one vague twist to the next with no wit or amusing commentary, leaving an empty-feeling and uninteresting world in its wake.