Cult "The Kiss" Review: Electric Kool-Aid Acid Trip

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Cult S01E05: “The Kiss”

This week on Fake Cult, Creepy Billy roofie-married future arch-nemesis Kelly, and Bizzaro The CW thought the skeevy scene would make a great theme for a party. That actually sounds like something The CW might do.

Skye was perfectly content not to make an appearance at the shindig because a party dedicated to celebrating a fanbase with documented homicidal tendencies just sounded like a bad idea. But then Dumb Jeff got wind that a dude who happened to be in a photograph tacked to Nate's wall was going to be at the asking-for-a-lawsuit soiree, and with the guest list restricted to only the most dedicated of fans, Skye was his only way in since her crew status landed her an instant invite in addition to a handy-dandy plus one. 

So, the seeds of Jeff/Skye were sown and it was definitely more icky than adorbs. Orchestrating your star couple's first kiss while one half is under the influence of drugs she didn't choose to take probably isn't the best foot you could have put forward, Cult. Between Skye's accidental acid trip and Kelly's naked wedding action, I just really needed a shower after this one. Jeff was clearly uncomfortable. Skye barely remembered the kiss and slapped together a disclaimer about how it wasn't really her. We're headed for an awkward phase, and that's disappointing, because up until the date-rape festivities, "The Kiss" was one of Cult's better episodes with regard to highlighting Jeff and Skye's growing closeness as friends who genuinely like each other (as opposed to two people pushed together by crazy circumstances). Skye camping out at Jeff's apartment after he turned up missing really hit the message home, but overall, the Jeff-and-Skye action in this episode was like a sandwich with really good bread and gross, slimy, gas-station-quality insides that require picking off and tossing out the window.

And now let's discuss the good stuff about the episode, because aside from the problematic Skye/Kelly/Marti treatment, as far as the True Believer storyline goes, "The Kiss" was one of the more well-written stories of the season so far. When a deranged fan—and you know it's bad when even the confirmed-to-be-crazy contingent thinks you've crossed a line—attempted to rape Marti in retaliation for her character's treatment of Billy on Fake Cult, Detective Sakelik and her merry band of lunatic lackeys intervened and essentially saved the day. She dragged Jeff into the pedo-van for a suspenseful commercial break opportunity, only to release him into the wilds of L.A. unharmed. She claimed that the True Believers exist to "protect the show," and apparently that notion extends to the actors and actresses involved in it as well. That doesn't tell us much about Roger and Kirstie's relationship, which continues to emit the usual sinister undertones, but it DOES explain a bit. Earlier this season, we saw Roger questioning Steven Rae's very specific scripts, pushing for changes, and generally just hating every aspect of being involved with Cult. A series like Fake Cult would be hard pressed to move forward without its lead actor, so simply killing or maiming Roger for challenging Rae is out of the question. I get the feeling that Kirstie is working toward amassing some quality blackmail material and definitely planning some fun mindgames, but in the meantime, her presence simply makes Roger happy... which has the added benefit of making him less of a pain to work with. 

Sakelik didn't just let Jeff take off without a stern talking-to, though. She scribbled a website address on his palm and told him to go away, and when he got home and punched it into his computer, up came a video of Nate essentially saying the same thing, just with less intimidation and more desperation. It was the usual "blah blah blah stop looking for me" blather we've come to expect from Nate, but this time, Nate revealed that he can't protect Jeff if Jeff keeps looking for him and antagonizing the True Believers. 

Well, okay then. 

What did you think of this week's episode? 


POSTCARDS FROM CRAZY TOWN

– Were the True Believers REALLY having a strangely altruistic night when they saved Marti from the creepy film student, or is there a bigger conspiracy going down? Like, would Detective Sakelik have actually stopped Crazypants if Jeff hadn't basically revealed that he's on to her?

– Any theories about Stuart?

– What do you think Nate is protecting Jeff from? True Believers are the obvious choice, but WHY? 

– I love that we got that glimpse of Roger actually appearing to care about Marti, even if his outrage over her lack of security was cloaked as concern for himself. Is anyone else getting a jackass-with-a-heart-of-gold vibe from him? Okay, "heart of gold" might be a bit generous. But I think he's shaping up to be more interesting than the one-dimensional, grumpy, disillusioned actor-who-is-too-good-for-this-stupid-little-show type. 

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