The final episode of Lore’s second season takes a look at the rather bizarre life of Jack Parsons (with the usual liberties being taken of course).
While Aaron Mahnke is still not around, Parsons (or at least his actor) provides some narration throughout to give the episode a refreshing return to form that’s mostly been lacking on this season of Lore even if some of his snide commentary give his voice over a slight Dexter Morgan quality to it.
From the time he was a kid in the 1920s, Parsons had a knack for numbers, an admiration for science fiction novels and an obsession with magick and demons. This obsession is taken far enough that at the age of 8, he becomes convinced that he opened a portal to Hell in which he sees a woman in red.
Parsons would then begin to make a name for himself in mathematics over a decade later in the then laughed upon the field of rocket science. He would also become one of the founding members of the world famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Cal Tech (you might remember Matt Damon giving them a brief mention in The Martian), which is still used as a research center for NASA today.
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In 1936, Parsons along with his colleagues Edward Foreman and Frank Malina initially appear to experience a day of failed rocket launches. Before attempting one last launch, Parsons decides to cast a spell on the rocket, much to the understandable skepticism of Foreman and Malina. The rocket makes it about a 100 feet up before blowing up but in the explosion, Parsons claims to once again see a woman in red.
During this time Parsons becomes a believer in the Thelema Church and even wrote numerous letters to its leader, Aleister Crowley.
Crowley, known as the “wickedest man in the world” built his new religion of Thelema with the general motto of “Do what thou wilt”, with an emphasis on Egyptian philosophy and using sex for religious ceremonies.
Parsons now believes the portal he opened up is actually a multidimensional one. He also believes that magick is merely science that hasn’t been figured out yet and sets out to prove it by first finding his Scarlet Woman.
Parsons then decides to return to the launch pad where he saw the Scarlet Woman and perform a spell using sex magick and drugs to reopen the portal.
Another decade later in 1945, Parsons is informed that he has been bought out from the JPL thanks in no small part to his “unusual” lifestyle.
Shortly afterward, he meets a woman named Marjorie Cameron (Alicia Witt) and almost instantly becomes smitten and believes her to be his Scarlet Woman. He eventually tells her of the time he supposedly opened a portal and that he even saw her inside of it which she naturally says sounds insane.
Parsons brings Marjorie to one of his Thelema masses which ends up unsettling her to the point that she decides to leave him and move to Paris.
After Marjorie’s departure, Parsons becomes a recluse and renews his obsession with the portal while all the time trying to convince Marjorie to come back.
Parsons decides to try another experiment with the help of science, including a beaker filled with the highly volatile compound mercury fulminate. During the experiment, just as Marjorie returns home, Parsons drops the beaker and is killed in the ensuing explosion. Just before he dies he concludes the vision he saw as a kid was really him foreseeing his own death.
To be perfectly honest, this season of Lore has been something of a letdown. When I complained of some of the liberties taken with the Burke and Hare story at the season premiere, I had no way of knowing that if anything, it might’ve been the most historically accurate episode this season. To be fair though, Parson’s narration openly admits big pieces of this episode are fabricated.
Lore is fairly common knowledge among viewers as having spawned from a podcast which is evident when watching season 1 and gave it a nice unique form of storytelling. For reasons I can’t begin to imagine, season 2 has mostly done away with that and left the show as a rather generic anthology show even if there are some decent creepy moments sprinkled in here and there.
What are your thoughts on Lore’s season finale? What about season 2 in general? Give us your thoughts in the comments.