Previous, in Episode 3, An Introduction to Ethics, Part II, The Order gained some forward momentum. The Netflix series assembled its Knights of Saint Christopher, an extremely affable collection of ‘do-gooding’ werewolves. Moreover, the series dug into some more mythology while firmly establishing a playful tone. It’s this tone that nicely sets the series apart from more grim fare. Now Episodes 5 and 6 are promising a ‘Homecoming’, which probably e has nothing to do with typical college festivities.
The Knights Fight ‘Evildoers’, The Order Cuts a Deal
As Homecoming, Part I, opens, The Order reminds us it’s funny and clearly loves the horror genre. After a winking reference to Tod Browning’s Freaks (“One of us, one of us”) as Jack shoots a beer can, we cut to the Knights studying. Needless to say, it’s not Jack‘s idea of fighting “evildoers”. There’s some debate about mixing DC and Marvel references and Lilith’s feminist essay on Frankenstein. But Jack finally manages to convince the Knights to patrol the campus. In an interesting turn of events, the Knights stumble on a parked car where a demonic girl rips off the face of her date. So Jack does indeed get to fight an ‘evildoer’ along with the Knights. And The Order casually drops the existence of other supernatural evil.
Meanwhile Grand Magus Edward Coventry is pumping up ‘The Order of the Hermetic Blue Rose’ for his big Vade Maecum spell. Though Temple Magus Vera doesn’t like the idea, the rest of ‘The Order’ is willing to follow Coventry’s designs for world domination. And that’s when the mysterious Renee shows up unannounced. We quickly learn a few things about Renee. First, The Order kicked her out for practicing necromancy. Second, other members clearly fear her, including Temple Magus Vera. Third, she’s dying from cancer and offers Edward a proposal. The Order cures her using something called an “elemental transference”. In return, Renee uses her necromancy to find the last two missing pages of the Vade Maecum spell. Only two people have this information, and they’re unfortunately quite dead. Oh, and Renee apparently has a ‘blood-soaked’ sister who may be worse than her. Regardless, Edward agrees to her deal.
Homecoming, Part I, Substitutes Human Sacrifices for Beer Kegs
For the rest of the episode, The Order prepares for the elemental transference spell. Back with the Knights, Jack and Lilith continue to butt heads with one another. This time, it’s Lilith who wants to save the four human sacrifices needed for the spell. But Jack wants things to play out to see what Coventry ultimately hopes to accomplish. Hamish sides with Jack, who promises to sabotage the spell if the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, Jack botches his sabotage, but it’s Alyssa who takes the fall for it. Vera boots her off the spell team, which gives Jack a chance to get into Alyssa’s good books. He shows up at Edward’s gated house to beg for the Grand Magus to put Alyssa back on the team. While Edward he declines, he admires Jack’s loyalty. And in another interesting reveal, Homecoming, Part I, reveals that Edward has a young son.
As The Order gathers it’s willing human sacrifices, Lilith shows up to try and stop them. Jack manages to talk her out of it. But we do learn more about Lilith and her absolute devotion to the Knights and protecting the innocent. Before the elemental transfer, Renee drops a bombshell on Edward. She claims The Order didn’t kick her out for practicing necromancy. Apparently Renee saw a future where Edward’s ambitions proved dire for The Order. She also refers to Edward’s dead wife, Sophia, hinting that Conventry may have cost her life.
If It Worked for Keith Richards …
Earlier in Homecoming, Part I, Edward passingly refers to the elemental transference spell working for Keith Richards. Anyways the spell literally sucks the cancer out of Renee as a black, spindly goo. That same goo crawls down the throats of The Order’s human sacrifices. Next, Coventry tasks Alyssa and Jack with taking Renee home. After Renee dismisses them with no ride home, Alyssa and Jack are forced to get a hotel room together. Not surprisingly, the two end up spending the night together.
While the spell worked, Hamish figures out that the sacrifices must die from the transference itself for it to finish. He also concludes that each of the sacrifices was already dying. Hence why they volunteered in exchange for a payout to their families from The Order. So the Knights can’t save them, but they can thwart the spell. Lilith does the deed of killing the sacrifices at Hamish’s command. In the episode’s closing moments, Renee looks up from her bad to see the same black goo shooting back down her throat.
Homecoming Part I Builds Interesting Stakes for The Order
Now, after five episodes, The Order doesn’t just like a series that has found its footing. Things are getting interesting. Homecoming, Part I, quite effectively balance several tasks. First, The Knights of Saint Christopher continue to build the fun group dynamic. It’s tapping into the same vibe as ‘The Scoobies’ in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And The Order’s fleshing out of Lilith adds some more character depth. Speaking of character development, The Grand Magus, Edward Coventry, got a whole lot more interesting this episode. Though Jack and Alyssa’s budding romance is still annoying, The Order promises potential tensions. At some pint, Alyssa’s allegiance to The Grand Magus will pose problems. Throw in the existence of other monsters on campus and a ‘big spell’ and suddenly The Order has a sense of urgency. Stay tuned for Homecoming, Part II.