Monday, May 12, 2014

'Rosemary's Baby' Recap: Part One

Courtesy NBC

What better way to end a day celebrating mothers than with the heartwarming tale of a young mother-to-be as she experiences all the worst parts of What to Expect When You're Expecting the Anti-Christ. Part One of the NBC mini-series, "Rosemary's Baby" premiered last night and...full disclosure: I've never seen the original because I'm a giant wuss but I figured what's some demonic fetal possession when the zombie apocalypse is nigh. Let's do this.

We start with a cold open with girl committing suicide by jumping out of window convinced there are monsters inside and out. Without giving too much away, she might be onto something here.

Cut to Rosemary having ultrasound but in every pregnant woman's worst nightmare: the tech could not find a heartbeat. Some people cry, some people shut down, others move to France for a year to put some distance between themselves and their sorrow.  While trying to find a restaurant where her friend Julie is waiting for her, we are charmingly introduced to the plot point that Rosemary doesn't speak a word of French. Really? On the seven-hour flight you couldn't have at least pretended to look at a French 101 book?

Assured that her husband Guy has a solid lock on teaching English, she heads back to their faculty housing when a purse-snatcher grabs her bag and takes off. Welcome to France, bitch. But that was a Coach so she takes off in hot pursuit, chasing the perp into traffic where he gets rolled and reclaims her wallet plus someone else's. For some reason rather than turning it into the police, she decides to take the wallet to its rightful owner whom she then insists on meeting face to face to the vexation of the doorman. The woman, Margo, is so grateful that she invites Rosemary and her husband to a party being held in their home that very evening. Well, okay then.

Back in their spacious faculty housing, the invitation is shrugged off, at least until it becomes clear that canned stew is what's for dinner. Fortunately Margo's driver shows up and they are whisked away to rub elbows with the rich and famous. Margo's husband Lucius Malfoy Roman takes an immediate liking to Guy leaving Rosemary to fend for herself until Margo takes pity on her and introduces her around the party. Slightly overwhelmed, Rosemary searches for a bathroom but stumbles on some weird sexcapades that she can't look away from. Knowing that she needs to get some now, she practically attacks Guy with a creepy baby picture peering over his shoulder but before they can leave, Margo presents them with a gift: a black cat. I guess it's a traditional French housewarming present or maybe induction into the society of Bastet. At any rate, they're in like Flint though they both agree that Roman is not giving off warm and fuzzy signals.

The cat though makes itself useful right out of the box - the 'kitchen' caught on fire and the yowling woke them up in time but they've lost everything. Guy was badly burned but will be okay; Margo and Roman appear at the hospital to offer comfort and an apartment in their building. It comes fully loaded: furniture, decorating and all new clothes in the closet. Rosemary's uncomfortable with the largesse but really isn't in the position to refuse.  Notice anything familiar about the place? Right, base-jumping central. At least we know why it was available.

Guy could become next head of English department at University but he's conflicted as he's suffering from major writer's block and his book contract won't be around forever. Rosemary visits Julie at school who assures her that Guy is perfect for the job when she sees him talking to Roman. For someone who was skeeved out by the guy, Guy is certainly chummy with him. Guy's chief competition for department head is apparently Dolores Umbridge but with less fashion sense and Roman contrives to get a hold of something from her. Pretty sure it's not for her to autograph. Returning home, Rosemary is attacked by a strange man who runs on all fours growling in her apartment - Margo let in the handyman? I hope he's paper trained.   Unable to deal with the fright and uncertainty, she pleads a headache but instead of offering aspirin or perhaps vodka, Margo cleanses her aura? Balances her chakra? She does something but Rosemary's headache is gone. Margo goes in for a kiss and cops a feel which Rosemary did NOT see coming.Wow, the French are really friendly and don't believe in boundaries.

Guy and Roman grow their bromance at the club where Roman oh-so-subtly imparts to Guy that no one gets anywhere in life without a benefactor. I thought we were supposed to identify mentors so clearly this is how I've been doing it wrong. Rosemary trashes the apartment looking for something. A plane ticket back to sanity perhaps? Roman's pretty much making Guy beg for his help and I feel dirty. After hours of diligent searching, Rosemary finds hidden door to a...closet. With a baby bootie. How incredibly sinister. Guy storms off to his interview having cancelled his book contract and Rosemary finds a picture of a happy couple...who had apparently lived in the apartment before them. Dun dun DUNNNN!

Something not right is happening in the apartment across the street from Rosemary's bathroom but Dolores Umbridge is having an even worse day as during her interview, she starts hearing voices and bleeding flies before stabbing the dean, slicing her own throat and stabbing herself. That's going to be a tough act to follow Guy; I hope you at least brought a live dove or maybe a bat.

Rosemary takes the picture to the Police Commissioner; she's got a bad feeling about it. Margo didn't want to talk about it but Rosemary insisted and found out the girl, Nene, was dead and the husband wanted for questioning but disappeared. Always listen to your feelings Rosemary. She comes back to rose petals, soft music, candles and a fancy go to a surprise party in her own apartment for Guy getting department chair by default. Um, all right. With the department chairmanship his salary will double giving them breathing room and time to get back on track. What do you mean? Well, GQ Smooth leads with, 'I want to make a baby' which is guaranteed to make her drop her panties. Overriding Rosemary's objections, Guy gets his way and Margo spies them celebrating. She assumes that it's because Rosemary is pregnant but no, they're celebrating that they're going to start trying. Oddly enough Margo, my mom made the same assumption eight years ago but in her case she was right. Margo gives Rosemary the same necklace that Nene wore before she jumped, not that there's any bad karma associated with that. Most people just send flowers.

Rosemary has the jumping dream again and bolts awake to find Guy feverishly writing, the words pouring out of him and all thanks to his muse, Roman. Wait, what?

Note, after a very fast paced first hour, there are a LOT of commercials this second hour and it's really starting to annoy me.

Rosemary visits a Celtic church as Julie who apparently does more than just teach English identified a tattoo Nene had as a Celtic cross. According to the priest, she died because she lived in an unholy place. You know, ritual sacrifice, cannibalism, deals with the devil, the usual. On her way back home, she has a run-in with a creepily familiar guy; could it be the Stephen Marcardo man the priest warned her about? She chases the elevator but no one is there.

Guy is living it up as the hot English professor when another mysterious guy wearing a hoodie pursues him with a cryptic warning: nothing comes without a price. Dude, people have been shot for less than that. But he knows what he's talking about; it was his wife who jumped to her death three months ago. Roman shows up with the exciting news that Guy's book was loved by the publisher but amidst the celebrating the Commissioner follows up with Rosemary on her inquiry into the couple in the picture. Still shaken, she rants about cannibalistic billionaires but the Commish's only advice?  Be careful where you place your trust. This show is one long series of 'Demotivational' posters.

As the current favorite for overbearing neighbor of the year award, Margo makes a fertility soup for Rosemary who, rather than being concerned about Margo's obsession with babies, confesses that she worried that Margo looked at her a replacement for Nene. I just want you to like me for meeeeee. Her penance? To finish every last drop of the stinky soup. Guy interrupts her meal with his grave news: he sold the book! Out to celebrate with Ramon and Margo they are stalked by a mysterious stranger as Rosemary walks with Roman. It's our friend Hoodie! He accuses Roman on not giving him what he was promised and shoots Roman in the chest. Because his driver doubles as a bodyguard, Hoodie gets shot up too and everyone heads to the hospital. Margo is less hysterical than pissed and once she finds out that the man who shot Roman was being operated on, she excuses herself to the chapel to pray if by 'pray' you mean invert a cross and whisper a spell so that the guy wakes up while being vivisected and dies. Justice is served with a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Roman will be fine (dammit); it will take more than a bullet to stop him. I'm willing to take that challenge Roman.  He insists that they take Margo home and Margo tries to make out with Rosemary in the back seat but she's ripe! Wait, didn't we see this in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? Guy, you're up! Literally. Rosemary, here's the plan: eat your soup, wear your medallion, have some sex, make a baby, lose your mind. The soup must contain some really good hallucinogens: she dreams of ballet, sun, light, Margo laying hands, caressing her, and holy cow there is quite an audience but it's Stephen with her, not Guy and she can't wake up because she's already awake. My god, what was in that soup? And where the hell is Guy?

Make sure to tune in for Part II on Thursday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.