Cabinet Of Curiosities – Season 1 Episode 7 “The Viewing” Recap & Review

The Viewing

Episode 7 of Cabinet of Curiosities starts with an invitation from Lionel Lassiter for a viewing at The Sandpiper House. The invite is for 4 different people, including a musician, a novelist, a medium and an astrophysicist. The foursome are picked up by mysterious driver called Hector, who drives them to the mansion.

So who are these guys? Well, there’s Targ and Randall, nerdy Charlotte is the science whizz and the gruff bearded fellow is Guy Landon, the well-renowned novelist. They’re told to remain silent after these brief pleasantries, eventually making in to The Sandpiper House. It’s a beautiful property, and Mr Lassiter has actually made this into a surreal, futuristic paradise.

They’re led into a circular room, with shades of Aztec architecture, where Doctor Zahra sits stretched out on the sofa. Each of the group have been given their favourite drinks, done exactly as they like it, and they await Lassiter’s arrival.

He shows up and entices each of the new guests, deciding to bring together gifted individuals for a singular shared experience. He intends to bring the best out of each of them. After showing off his custom-made music, Lassiter tries to gauge what each of the individuals want. Randall points out that he has an endless void inside himself that he can’t shake. “Everyone has a black hole inside them.” He says, but Lassiter interrupts him and claims he’s killing the vibe.

Doctor Zahra actually has quite the dark past too, and we learn that she used to work for Gaddafi. She goes on to show a whole stack of cocaine, with added “fairy dust” on top. Some of the group is happy to take part, others less so. Still, Lassiter is quick to point out he’s hand-picked each of the individuals to take part in this “wondrous moment” to bring the best out of each. They need to be in-sync for it to work and that includes taking drugs and being dosed up. Lassiter promises it’ll be worth it.

With all of them suitably high, Lassiter shows them his crowning achievement – an item he’s taken a great deal of time to acquire. “It’s time.” He says, smiling. And with that, they’re led down a hallway to a strange rock. Lassiter has no idea what it is, and it has been tested rigorously. It doesn’t show up on the periodic table, it doesn’t respond to X-rays, and it even absorbs the smoke from Randall’s joint too.

The rock has a strange effect on each of the group, hypnotizing them and seemingly reaching out and studying each of the individuals. A high-pitched ringing screams out, as the rock suddenly cracks open and crumbles to pieces. In its place, a bizarre alien creature with tentacles springs forth.

With all the group entranced, the creature telepathically probes each of them, melting Tarp while blowing up Guy’s head. As for Zahra, she touches the creature. In doing so, her skin melts away. Charlotte and Randall hurry out the room, while Lassiter sits on the floor and Hector breaks his no-violence vow and grabs the gold AK from the wall.

As Hector marches into the room, the creature has absorbed Lassiter, turning into what appears to be the Nemesis creature from Resident Evil. It rasps and calls out, asking Hector for help. He blasts a barrage of bullets into its chest.

At the same time, Randall and Charlotte drive away, high as a kite, from the property. While they do, the creature heads out into the world, through a sewer duct no less, and with the promise of tasty humans to feed on in the future.

The Episode Review

The effects in this episode are fantastic. Seeing the way the bodies melt and distort, turning into grotesque skeletal remains, is incredibly visceral and surprisingly effective in conjuring a lot of horror.

Most of this episode though tackles the idea of peer pressure and the coming together of scientific minds to discuss a bigger problem. It’s a pretty interesting idea and at one point I thought this episode was going to go the route of Dracula with Lassiter being the embodiment of the master vampire.

Either way though, the final third of this episode makes the slow burn all the more worth it and there’s a distinct 80’s horror vibe hanging over large parts of this. Whether it be the electronica synth soundtrack or the very distinct lighting and cinematography, this is a really stylish episode and one that almost screams for a sequel to find out what happens next!

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