[Recap] Now Apocalypse: "The Rules of Attraction"
Last week’s episode was about characters either exerting control over their lives or falling further into what will ultimately, I think, be a downward spiral. “The Rules of Attraction” seems to build upon the last episode in further cementing our character’s problems going forward. Honestly, this was a pretty slight episode. It seems to be positioning people for future episodes and it digs into characters and relationships. So with that in mind, let’s get to it.
Ford and Carly Get Used by People in Power
The episode opens with Ford, waking up alone and horny. Severine left him a note about having fun during the semi-threesome last night and Ford sets to taking care of his morning wood. But before he can finish, Otto calls. Otto wants Ford to come over to his place. And bring his script. Oh…and his swimsuit. Because that’s how I like to take script meetings; Speedo mandatory. At Otto’s place, the two of them are lounging by the pool and Otto is trying very hard to get Ford into the water.
The flirtation continues with Otto telling him point blank, “I’m sure you must hear this all the time, but you are an extraordinarily beautiful man.” The rest of the world, sans Ford, to Otto: Duh. Ford returns the compliment because he is the most naively good person I know. Otto manages to convince Ford to model for him but first…can he apply sunscreen to Otto’s back? Poor Ford.
Meanwhile, Carly is at her acting class and we now know that her female teacher is named Frank and the class is paired up and basically learning to say “fuck me” with their eyes. This is a weird class. I get that a lot of acting is portrayed purely through body language but could we maybe start with like, I dunno, angry eyes or sad eyes? Why are we going straight to fucking. Where’s the foreplay?
Anyway, Carly mentions to Frank that she has an audition coming up and Frank invites her to her house to run lines with her and give her a private lesson. Normally she charges but for Carly…it’s free. Against her better judgment, which you can ironically read all across her face, she says sure. Before she goes, though, there’s a brief scene of Carly in her tub while she’s reading “The Happy Hooker.” Gotta keep your side hustle going! She tries to masturbate but she’s interrupted by her roommate Amber, who has decided she’s moving out…like right now. Amber has decided that she must absolutely join this cult that’s totally not a cult with her new boyfriend Moonshadow, leaving Carly a week from rent being due and needing to find a new roommate.
Here is where we have the synchronized people in power taking advantage of Carly and Ford. With Ford, Beau gets to show of his goofy side as he models for Otto, who snaps picture after picture, giving Ford different directions like make love to the camera; fuck it and ram it in. Ford still seems completely clueless about what’s going on. Or maybe he desperately wants someone to pay attention to him and give him a break in the industry that he is willing to do anything. Personally, I think he’s just very earnest and trusting.
With Carly, she’s at Frank’s house and I’m completely distracted by the super-overlarge lightning bolt hanging from one of Carly’s ears. Frank has laid out a bathing suit for Carly and gets her into her hot tub. After some small talk, Frank tries to make a move and Carly pulls back. Unlike Ford, Carly sees it for what it is and leaves (after having to deal with being called a “pussy tease.”).
Severine Breaks Ford’s Heart
Severine hasn’t had much in the way of her own personal story in the last episode, but this one starts to dig more into what makes her tick. We see her meeting with her two cohorts Lars and Klaus at the scene of a mutilated cow. As you know, mutilated livestock is one of the stereotypical signs of alien presence. When asked about the scene, one of the twins says this is “Very similar to others in the report.” This seems to be a widespread phenomena.
She also gets a call from her ex Mustafa and we learn that not only is Severine brilliant, she speaks at least two languages as she converses with Mustafa in French. He’s only in town for one night and since this open relationship thing is working out so great (read: it’s not), Severine meets up with him to have sex (at least twice). He wants to know what she sees in Ford and she says he’s sincere and she appreciates that. Mustafa, on the other hand, isn’t honest about their relationship with his current girlfriend; a fact that Severine disapproves of. But that doesn’t stop her from fooling around with him, so…
Meanwhile, Uly and Ford are commiserating about romance. “Love is strange, dude. And super confusing,” Ford tells Uly. And it’s about to get even more confusing for poor Ford as Severine calls to tell him not to expect her tonight. That she’s with her ex. That she’s already slept with him. And Ford’s face breaks my heart as he hears this. And after the phone call, he starts bawling into Uly’s shoulder.
Uly Sees Patterns (and smokes a lot of pot)
After last week’s episode ended with Uly screaming (again), we learn from his conversation with Carly that what he saw in the car wasn’t another rapey alien, but two homeless people having sex in a junkyard car. “Turns out there’s a lot of homeless in the area,” Uly muses. To which Carly replies, “And by the area, you mean…America?” Again, we have this undercurrent of social themes. We already know that these lizardpeople, if they are real, are sexually assaulting the homeless. And we know that people typically ignore the homeless, leaving them at the whims of xeno-reptilian monsters or other, more natural issues.
Conversation turns to Uly’s Gabriel problem and Carly puts it succinctly: “There’s no mystery here. This all seems like your ‘falling for unavailable angst boy’ norm.” But Uly says there’s something her forgot to tell her (and us). Remember that dumpster I mentioned in the first recap that had a W surrounding the Earth? Turns out Gabriel has the exact same image tattooed on his wrist. And when pressed about it, Gabriel just says that it’s something that came to him in a dream. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence, even though Carly is dismissive about it.
After jerking off (a theme this episode), Uly ends up back at the restaurant he met Gabriel at and in his high haze he imagines them having their date again…except Gabriel turns into the rapey lizardman. Panicked, he bumps into a bookshelf where he finds a very random and odd assortment of books, including “Bernie Bites: A Bernie Sanders Cookbook” and a book called “A Big Green Alien Ass-Raped Me!” And, of course, Invaders Among Us by Mitchell Kent (HENRY FUCKING ROLLINS!).
At this point, there’s way too many coincidences for it to not be a pattern. And that night, after having an intense dream where Gabriel is fucking him and telling him about how its their destiny to save the world, Uly wakes up (it’s 3:33 AM) and Gabriel has texted him from an unknown number. He needs he needs to talk to Uly. And after deleting a variety of “fuck off” responses, Uly just types “OK” and looks right at us.
He’s ready to get to the bottom of this conspiracy…that might be totally in his drug-fueled brain.
My favorite lines
“I’ve always found threeways sort of bewildering, myself. I never know like…where to sit.”
“I was on men in the 90s. But…I also did a lot of that powder…cocaine.”
“You’re a saber-tooth tiger. You’re a greasy dolphin! Spout it out your blowhole!”
Not a whole lot happened to move the story forward this episode, but it further cemented that what Uly is experiencing is probably not just him being drug-paranoid.
Doing this recaps has helped me see that patterns in each episode. For instance, all three main characters jerked off this episode and two of them dealt with abuse by people in power. It seems small but I doubt these are coincidental.
I love Severine; I just wish she weren’t fucking with Ford. He’s a pure soul who must be protected at all costs.
Speaking of Ford, I love that this very fit, kind of frat boy explodes the notion of toxic masculinity. He’s affectionate with Uly. Comfortable with his body around him. And is able to unabashedly cry and seek comfort from him. Men, please do more of this. It’ll be better for everyone.
I’ll admit it, readers. I am thirsty AF for Beau Mirchoff. Deal with it.
And that’s it for the episode. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been thinking about stopping these since the entire season dropped on the Starz app. I have enjoyed writing them, but I don’t know what the response has been. Should I keep doing this weekly recap? I’ve heard from a couple of you, but I honestly want to know.
I’ll leave you with the ever hipstery closing song by Interpol.