Cult "The Good Fight" Review: Skye and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamscape

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Mar 30, 2013

Cult S01E06: "The Good Fight"

It was the morning after the Awkward Acid Trip Par-tay and Skye started hallucinating, seeing Billy Grimm in the shower and standing behind Dumb Jeff and touching her face like a creep. Before she finally fainted, there were the awkward apologies about kissing under the influence and Un-fun Jeff's PSA about how "friends don't roofie friends." Then the fainting. Apparently Skye had herself an allergic reaction to a compound in the chemical makeup, which sent her off to a dream version of the Fake Cult.

Yeah, I know. 

That the mind trip inside Skye's mommy-and-daddy-issues-laden brain was the result of an unfortunate reaction instead of a targeted assassination attempt was disappointing. Skye has been getting closer and closer to the truth while working with Jeff and her meddling has definitely caught the attention of a few oddball co-workers, Detective Sakelik, and a handful of True Believer types. It wouldn't have been a stretch to believe that Skye had worn out her welcome at Bizzaro The CW and earned herself a spot on the True Believers' list of "threats" to Steven Rae and the show itself. 

But instead, we went with allergies. An ENORMOUSLY SEVERE allergic reaction, but still, an allergic reaction nonetheless. It just felt kind of anticlimactic.

The whole gang got in on Skye's romp through Cult Oz. Dream Kelly ditched her police job to rejoin the cult while Jeff made an appearance sipping on Grimm's famous dandelion wine. Even long-dead Daddy Yarrow made an appearance... to encourage his daughter to stop looking for him, stop annoying the Cult people, and move on with her life. 

It would have been an interesting twist if the bad acid had been a deliberate attempt to mess with Skye and derail her investigation rather than a simple prank by some horny misfits looking to loosen up some ladies. Mind control and all that. While the actual issues as presented were touching and all, I guess, the scare factor just wasn't there. 

However, Skye's refusal to give up the fight, even when she grew dangerously close to considering it, served to further highlight the apparent Skye/Jeff relationship that is a thing now. Her mind trip was created due to the real doubt she struggled with about whether she would truly know the truth about her father's disappearance or not. She decided to stay, citing her time with Jeff as reaffirming her mission and giving her comfort in knowing that she isn't alone. 

The budding relationship between Skye and Jeff is one of the few things Cult has managed to do right in it's much-maligned debut (and let's be honest, probably only) season. The characters' relationship developed organically and their chemistry has improved greatly as the importance of one to the other has grown beyond the realm of shared circumstance. That it has taken six episodes, nearly half the season, to get there is testament to the writers' care in developing their bond. I may be doing it wrong, but currently, my motivation for tuning in has more to do with watching the inevitability of Jeff/Skye unfold than dealing with the batshit insanity of the True Believers these days. 

When Jeff approached Detective Sakelik about helping Skye by handing over a sample of the drugs she confiscated at the party, Sakelik flat-out refused. Again, her lack of cooperation would have made more sense if the drugging of Skye had been a deliberate attempt to kill or disarm her, but as it stands, it came off as petty and needlessly cruel. A sort of truce with Jeff, in order to save Skye, would have put Sakelik in an interesting position and certainly given her leverage in their dealings by making him, in a way, beholden to her. 

Then again, it's not like she doesn't have other ways of keeping Jeff on a leash. Before breaking into her house to steal the drugs himself, Jeff enlisted lady-hacker EJ to track some down. Burt, their boss at the blog/newspaper/whatever they work for, didn't appreciate Jeff tying up and endangering his employees, but offered to help Jeff anyway, only to be "found by the police" after an apparent "home invasion" that was entirely too convenient (and accompanied by a cryptic and gloating bouquet to Jeff) to be anything but Sakelik and her minions messing around. 

Or not messing around. The True Believers don't seem to have much in the way of a sense of humor. 

All in all, "The Good Fight" was a solid Jeff/Skye episode and a strong episode for establishing who Skye truly is and what her motivations are. There were just a few details that I think could have taken it from "good Skye episode" territory to "good overall episode" territory, but I've learned to take what I can get with Cult. It's better to sit back and watch the crazy happen and enjoy the positives we're given than to get bent out of shape over what could have been.

What did you think of this episode?

Postcards from Crazy Town

– So Skye's mom totally seems to be more involved and knowledgeable than she's letting on, right?

– What are your thoughts about Jeff/Skye?

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  • curry20060 Apr 01, 2013

    I have seen only episode 1 til now. I'm wondering if the show is worth watching: it does not look like it. Perhaps I'll give it a episode 2 chance, but not sure. Things are not convincing at all ...

  • MollyHolzschl Apr 01, 2013

    I watch this show now mostly for Sakelik. That character is one creepy lady, very compelling and highly mysterious. Knepper is a very enigmatic actor and I like to think he's doing his best with Billy Grimm as the writing/directing allows, which doesn't appear to be much. I find the Skye/Jeff relationship a complete yawnfest.

  • JonSavvy Apr 01, 2013

    I quit this show since the first episode. Surprised it hasn't been cancelled yet

  • RamonaVenema Apr 01, 2013

    Yup, I'm quitting this show.

  • JonSavvy Apr 01, 2013

    The show makes no sense at all

  • RamonaVenema Apr 02, 2013

    I know right?! It's getting more ridiculous by the moment..

  • ll-essy Apr 01, 2013

    After this episode I'm officialy done watching. Very badly written. I feel sorry for Alaric, he deserves better!I will be surprised if it will not be cancelled.

  • nexpose Mar 31, 2013

    Well I don't know if it's possible but I'll axe Cult if then Matthew Davis can come back to Vampire Diaries as a spirit or with Silas' resurrection. They're just a snails pace with the plot line on Cult. We sorta know about things but then really nothing. In the end it has to be writing since Davis as Alaric was an incredible character on TVD.

  • Kerkesh Mar 31, 2013

    I officially hate The Cult. They stole the drug scene from one of my favorite Philip K dick Novels, the Three stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. How could you ruin that for me? Hate.
    Since I watched this episode I might as well say something about it. This is a series that says either too much or too little and is thus confusing in a very bad sort of way. Detective Sakelik is obviously high on the Cult's hierarchy, probably its security chief. But this says nothing as we still don't know what religious, cultural or political beliefs they stand for. Is it an Amish/Early Mormon religious stuff, as the TV show seem to show? You see what I mean? Thren we have too much information on the criminal leadership of Grimm and it leads also to nothing. If it is the total control of the sect, he has that; but what are his personal aims?
    So I am doing just like thetennba and signing off on that one.

  • tnetennba Mar 31, 2013

    I watched the first episode and thought it was terrible. Then I got bored and watched two more, or was it three? I don't even remember. I thought that they were terrible too. So I think I'm done. This isn't even bad in a fun way, like The Following, or the pilot of Zero Hour. It's just bad.

  • Vicky8675309 Mar 31, 2013

    I'm with you on this--I'm done.

    The entire series has been a joke but I hung with it hoping it could improve. I started this episode with a tiny bit of hope--I got past Skye lying about turning the wrong facet handle (why couldn't she say she was still trippin' or having a way to soon flashback), and the whole toilet paper being stored in the kitchen but then all the medical stuff being so inaccurate I could no longer even enjoy anything about the show. I hope it is canceled and somehow Alaric ends up back on TVD.

    Hire a medical consultant (talk to a neurologist or even an internist) and if one was hired then listen to him/her or cancel the paycheck if you listened...

  • Gislef Mar 31, 2013

    Eh, the episode didn't really tell us anything new, or reveal any dark secrets about Cult/the cult. Or advance the plot. We knew Jeff and Skye were getting together, and we knew that Skye wasn't going to give up the quest, and we knew that she'd live.The interesting plots, like the Stuart/Kirstie scheme against Roger and Nate's fate (heh) just got put on the backburner.

    Stealthy from Once Upon a Time was fun as the doctor, though. "Her brain... is rushing... out of control!"

  • agriope23 Mar 31, 2013

    I completely agree Skye's mom knows more than she's letting on and that Jeff and Skye's relationship is the best thing about the show. Like you said, it's developed organically. And overall, their quest aside, they are normal people. It's nice to see two characters, meeting and bonding without too much angst and emotional damage. I get the sense that the only thing putting the breaks on is the insane situation they find themselves in. Someone killed herself on one of their first outings!

    But I think the drug was made to dissolve when taken so it makes sense for Sakelik to keep it hidden. Dustin wasn't even supposed to be giving them out. And I really like Skye's condition being a side effect of her quest as tit highlights the cost of pursuing the truth. Nate himself has asked Jeff not to look for him, Skye's "dad" asked her to stop, her mom has before and neither of them listened. As a result, morals have shifted, boundaries and laws getting broken and in the end Burt and Skye got hurt.

    I'm glad the show stayed away from getting too conspiracy-heavy on this one. But then that's been the debate with shows like The X-Files or Lost, about conspiracy arc vs. character development. Of course a show like this is at its best when both are present, that's the draw, but I conspiracy arcs also tend to overshadow characters. It was good to see Skye come into her own.

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