TV Review: Blood Drive 1.9 “The Chopsocky Special”
By Dr. Zaius
Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 3:30 pm
Blood Drive Season 1 Episode 9: “The Chopsocky Special”
Created by James Roland
Directed by Meera Menon
Written by Nina Fiore, John Hererra
Starring Alan Ritchson, Christina Ochoa, Thomas Dominique, Marama Corlett, Colin Cunningham, Andrew Hall, Darren Kent, Renee Castle Syfy
Air Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017, 10pm
Last week on Syfy’s Blood Drive, Arthur and Grace entered the Wild West town of Red River. They were able to get their brain bombs removed, but more problems followed soon after. Grace (Christina Ochoa) squared off with Slink (Colin Cunningham) in an intense showdown in a saloon. Meanwhile Arthur (Alan Ritchson) was a pawn for the evil eyeless sheriff and ended up with a bullet in him near the end. Add this to the list of things Grace feels guilty for…
Grace drives desperate for help to save Arthur when she pulls up alongside The Scar. The only thing around for miles, a solitary Chinese restaurant. Arthur is having an outer body experience, a vision quest of sorts, led through his subconscious by officer Aki (Marama Corlett) in human, not sex-robot form. He goes “home” to a ’50s style existence where Grace is waiting and oh my god, Christina Ochoa looks amazing. “Honey, would you mind putting the baby in the garbage disposable please?” When Grace flips from June Cleaver to a sex-craved Madonna, Arthur starts to like it, but soon all hell breaks loose and it suddenly becomes much more nightmare than dream.
Soon the ghosts of his past are coming for him. There are the ghosts of Blood Drive past like Sheriff Leone (Danny Keogh), the Gentleman (Andrew Hall), Rib Bone (Brandon Auret), and Clown Dick. He re-visits Kane Hill, and the Pixie Swallow Diner, where he becomes the next course. Alan Ritchson is such a consummate straight man, that the writers enjoy playing on it. In his dreams, curse words are bleeped out. Ritchson certainly knows how to take a beating enduring some truly disgusting torture scenes.
Meanwhile Grace fights with the owner of the establishment who treats Arthur’s wounds with the ashes of those who died in their dreams. The woman is trapped by The Scar, the restaurant as purgatory. She’s convinced Arthur is a goner, but Grace refuses to give in to reality. We get some insight into what The Scar really is, but it’s also left vague. Poor Arthur is damn if he does, damned if he doesn’t. He is a bleeding, dying mass of Ken-doll in the restaurant, and in his dream he’s literally crucified for his sins.
Everything in Arthur’s head is just mind bogglingly great. It’s a total free for all in there. We get to see some of who Artie was before everything started, and how and why he is like he is. This episode is way more cerebral than the normal Blood Drive episode, but still gory as hell in Blood Drive tradition. This episode felt like a cross between A Nightmare on Elm Street and Big Trouble in Little China. There was ancient Chinese mysticism with horrific dreamscapes and it ended up a mindf*ck of an episode.
Every time you think you figured out the reality of the world of Blood Drive they throw an episode like this at you. Whereas it started as a post-apocalyptic thriller akin to Mad Max meets Death Race, the show has added elements of supernatural to it and now we’re stuck in dreamland with our heroes. The strange acid-trip of an episode really put the focus on the two leads, specifically Ritchson and he delivered in spades. For a leading man, Arthur just kind of felt like a tag along in Grace’s story. Here he thrived, and there is legit vulnerability to his character, which is not easy to convey when you look chiseled out of granite like Ritchson does.
And again, for a show featuring grotesque scenes of self cannibalism, there is tremendous character growth. Creator James Roland and his writing team have managed to carve a truly believable relationship for the leads. Grace has run the gamut from guilt-ridden, to revenge seeking but now it’s all pushed aside to save Arthur and at the cost of maybe her own life. I am actively rooting for the couples on this show. Grace and Arthur, Christopher (Thomas Dominique) and Aki, Domi and Cliff”¦ three of the best couples on TV.
The hellish dreamscape of the Scar continues as Blood Drive keeps revving onward next Wednesday night at 10:00 on SYFY.