Paranormal State

Paranormal State – Darkness Falls – S04E08

Could this episode be any more overly dramatic? Could Ryan be any more of an aloof asshole?

Ryan and crew visit the West Virginia State Penitentiary for reasons that aren’t really all that clear. Ryan lays it down thick about how he needed to come back; how he needed to finish what he started. We have no idea what that means since he prefers to be moody and dark. He acts in such a foreboding way as though all their lives are in danger.

It’s the Western State Penitentiary which is believed to be one of the most haunted places in America. There are endless stories of murder, violence and wrongdoings. And Ryan in his dour tone wants his team to face their fears at this place. Again, we have no idea why they need to face their fears and why this is place for such a showdown, but Ryan makes a really big deal that it needs to happen and that he has secrets about the place they need to understand.

On day one the team takes up position and sits in different locations – alone. Not surprisingly they hear noises, bumps and creaks. What abandoned building doesn’t make those sounds at night?

The next night it happens again but this time we add the element that there is an Indian burial mound near the prison. This should fuel the spirit energy.

All the while Ryan is taunting the team that he has a secret about the place that the public doesn’t know about, but he won’t share it because he doesn’t think his team is taking the events seriously. Too much giggling, not enough moodiness.

Of course, no one (including us) has any idea what the hell is going on or why Ryan is being a putz to everyone, but yet everyone needs to take his fears seriously.

Finally, after being pale and tragic Ryan reveals that while he was investigating the Wardens Tower the activity got so intense that he had to leave there. Translation: he got freaked out, soiled himself and ran away. Now he needs to redeem himself in front of his team.

And what’s the big secret of the tower? A pentagram. All this melodrama has been because there is an upside down pentagram on one of the windows in the tower. Clearly, this is the gateway to hell. Really? All of this over a stupid symbol?

Now the conspiracy theory begins that the staff would have been practicing Satanism in the prison and who knows what other dark rituals. This is the Satanic prison, that’s why weird things happen here.

What do we get when all is said and done? Ryan goes back into the tower so he can conquer his fears. With camera strapped to his back and audio recorders at the ready he trudges up the tower stairs, stands in the middle of the room and like a kid talking to monsters in his closet or under his bed, declares he isn’t afraid.

Feeling better about himself for his spectacular display of bravado Ryan calls it a night and asks the team what the penitentiary means to them. WTF? Are you serious? That’s it? Ryan loses his nerve in a tower and there is an hour long episode about him facing his fears?

Call this what it is, how Ryan got his nerve back.

Ryan, you can freak out, it’s ok. Prison can be a scary place at night. But do we really need an episode like this?

 

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Paranormal State S04E07 – Satan’s Soldier

Mark feels demonic forces in his house. He constantly hears noises and his wife actually felt the presence of someone laying on top of her. Once again, the owners have problems start occurring as soon as they get there, but they press on regardless.

There are several aspects to this episode that bug me. First of all, who leaves what looks like blood spatters all over the walls of their basement? You would think a coat of paint would be in order. Second, why is Mark answering so many questions with "I don’t remember"? He doesn’t remember what is in the great big trunk the spirits are supposed to be moving around? He doesn’t remember if the chandelier is something he brought into the house? This guy is coming across as a liar right from the get-go.

And then we find out why. Ol’ Mark has been practicing Satanism in his past and there’s a good chance he’s still up to his old tricks. He just doesn’t want his wife to find out since it was responsible for bringing him money, protection and women in the past.

Honestly, I put very little stock in Satanism, but why did Mark call Ryan to come help him then basically lie about everything? That’s just pretty dumb.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that they find no evidence of the paranormal. Michelle says she sees vision of the rituals, but there is no evidence to support those claims. In the end they tell Mark he should throw out his Satanic artifacts which they feel are the chandelier, candles and an abundance of mirrors. They also have Mark confront his "demons" and profess that he is done with Satanism and wishes to be left alone. What’s funny, no one on the team really thinks Mark is done with his dark past.

From where I’m sitting it sounds like Mark is toying with the occult, or at least doesn’t want to let it go and his guilt is making him see and hear things. Pretty much everything in this one came across as a big fabrication and in the end we have a guy who’s hiding stuff from his wife. You noticed he didn’t feel too much guilt about the women and the money. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s chasing that dragon again.

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Paranormal State S04E06 – Dark Practice

I don’t want to sound mean or insensitive, but this episode was nothing more than a woman who hadn’t come to terms with her husband’s suicide. The first thing that struck me was, if you have bad feelings about a house from the very first day you get there, why would you stay? And why do the clients always hold back the truth? Why do you call someone in to supposedly help you and then lie to them about what’s going on?

Brenda feels that a dark hooded figure stalks the house and that it drove her husband Jim to his death, although she hold off on telling that until the very end. She hears walking, sees shadows and hears loud gunshots. The activity apparently happens every night and she barely gets any sleep because of it. We come to find out Jim had a medical practice and that he lost several of his patients in the house. We also learn that he committed suicide in the house. Even more, we learn that Jim had a first wife who was killed in a car accident while he was in the car. And that she may have dabbled with the Ouija. (And as we know, PRS frowns on the Ouija since printed cardboard is a gateway to hell).

But what does this have to do with the investigation? Well nothing actually, because Ryan and team don’t find anything paranormal going on in the house. What we do have is a grieving widow who seems to be harboring a great deal of guilt about her husbands death. Her visions of the paranormal come across as more related to Brenda trying to justify her husbands actions than any sort of real activity in the house.

What does the team suggest? They have Father Bob Bailey come in and tell the entity to move on. And with that, everything stops.

I’m really going to have to chalk this one up to psychological and emotional distress. Anyone else?

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Paranormal State S04E05 – Haunted Sex Dungeon

When you’re having financial problems you can always blame it on the paranormal or a curse. That’s the case with Ken who believes he is cursed and that the house he lives in is evil. Ken hears voices from his boathouse and just generally thinks the house is bad and working against him. In fact, he’s blaming everything on the house. His financial problems, lawsuits and bad tenants are because of the bad house. Clearly it can’t be his financial stupidity, or choice in picking renters it has to be an outside force.

There is the claim the house is built on Indian land which is both sacred and a burial ground. The whole thing is being set up like the Amityville Horror.

During the first dead time, Chad lets loose with his typical barrage of expletives and then says he hears a voice in the room with him. Can’t anyone just calmly say they heard something? Does it always have to be bleeped out?

Ryan calls in Chip to give the lowdown on the house and what happened there. While taking the tour he almost slips and falls down the stairs. He claims he was pushed by something. Wandering up the stairs while blindfolded clearly had nothing to do with losing his balance.

The best part is when Chip goes to the sex room and touches the bondage furniture and gives out a wail of a scream. He says there is pain and all sorts of emotions associated with it. Well yeah Chip, it’s bondage furniture, that’s how it works. That right there was the best part of the show.

So, what do they do with the house? Toss out of the bondage furniture and everything should be set right. Apparently Hans, the German who owned the house previously doesn’t approve of all that freaky business in his house.

The closing scene of the son and father taking out the bondage toys is just hilarious. Here son, let’s just put this big cross out by the curb and the trash guys will take it away for us.

I guess we should be glad there wasn’t an exorcism.

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