Blood Drive Episode 10 “Scar Tissue”
We open with a wounded Arthur Bailey wandering the white desert, after undergoing a vision quest and surgery at the Tasty Dragon. He eventually stumbles across a lemonade stand run by two little girls, who lead him to a walled town full of wholesome folks who welcome him in from the wasteland. This is Cronenburgh. If Arthur knew anything about film history or the legendary director and body horror maestro David Cronenberg, he would probably keep walking.
We are given a quick POV tour of the town, which includes a Main Street, good sized population and a water tower. We end up in a church, and near the altar is a large hole leading down into a skull-filled pit.
That’s never good.
Meanwhile, Sexy Susie is stuck in the sand as Grace looks for Arthur. Since they both had their explosive implants removed in Red River, they no longer have to worry about their heads exploding. They can take their time in different locations. Grace abandons the car and discovers pages from Arthur’s notebook in the shifting sands. She tracks the pages into the dunes.
Arthur is being given a tour of Cronenburgh. Parents play catch with their children on immaculate lawns in front of beautiful homes, kids ride by on bicycles, etc. It’s small-town utopia. Near the church, Arthur catches a whiff of an odd scent in the air.
“Smell that? It smells like cinnamon toast or a gas leak.”
His host waves the question away and suggests that Arthur may have finally found his purpose here in town. He is invited to a big celebration at the church later that day. Arthur points out that he’s recently been shot and isn’t feeling well, but his misgivings are ignored.
Grace shows up at Cronenburgh’s gated entrance.
In a boardroom at Heart Enterprises, Julian Slink makes a typically modest entrance:
“As requested, the God has arrived.”
He thinks he’s been summoned by Old Man Heart to discuss Blood Drive comic books, a video game tie-in and other merch. Turns out the Heart brass have found a loophole in Slink’s contract that allows them to finally get rid of him. The problem is simple: the test audience watching Blood Drive has fallen for Grace and Arthur, and Slink has done everything in his power to get rid of them. Under his questionable watch, they’ve discovered the truth about Karma, removed their implants and all Heart control over them and basically escaped the race. Old Man Heart needs them back on the road again.
Julian Slink is fired for the second time.
Arthur lays in a field in Cronenburgh, enjoying the sun and fresh air as a nearby vent spews green toxins into the wind. He catches sight of Grace marching towards him and then catches her fist on his jaw. She gave him a lifesaving blood transfusion, and he just up and left. Arthur, now high on the green gas, tells her that he doesn’t care about bringing down Heart or the notebook anymore. He just wants to chill now. We see that green smoke is issuing from every chimney in the neighborhood.
At a town party in the church, Grace notices the odd cinnamon smell, too. The organ’s pipes are stealthily pumping out green mist as she is introduced to the residents of Cronenburgh. During a somewhat hostile chat with the town’s priest, Grace experiences the effects of the gas. These include memory loss and a sudden lack of interest in asking questions. She apologizes for her skepticism and even smiles when the man runs his hand down her bare arm.
Real Grace would’ve knocked a sucka out, at best.
Arthur is offered a position as the town cobbler by David, who currently does the job.
We learn that the party happening in Cronenburgh is celebrating the end of David’s life. And when he’s gone, David wants Arthur to marry his widow!
Meanwhile, the gas has turned Grace into a giggling schoolgirl, mooning over boys and smiling a lot more than she normally does. It’s even more ridiculous and fun than Domestic Grace from the last episode. Everything is going great until Grace, looking into a makeup mirror, catches sight of a local child jumping rope. The girl is a hideously deformed monster but looks totally normal to the naked eye.
Back at the abandoned Contra Crime building in Los Angeles, Aki is having nightmarish memories while Christopher tries to wake her up. Because she was programmed to torture him and now feels terrible about it, Aki wants to destroy Heart. She has virtually unlimited access due to her time there. Chris wants to pick up Arthur first, which means that he and Aki are going to need some seriously fast wheels to travel halfway across the continent.
In Cronenburgh, Grace interrupts Arthur’s drugged merriment with her mirror and revelations. The town’s leader grabs her mirror, which are forbidden in town limits. Arthur is annoyed by Grace’s attempts to derail their happiness.
“Why do you have to go digging for pain and suffering? Why can’t you just accept what you see?”
After being chewed out by the delusional Arthur, Grace storms out and trips over tubes carrying gas throughout the town. In the church, Bailey helps open wooden doors leading down into The Scar as David prepares for his sacrificial death. Even under the influence, Arthur begins to have doubts about the ceremony. We learn that at least one citizen is sacrificed a year.
Grace breaks into David’s home and finds gas being pumped in from everywhere. As she goes through withdrawal from the gas effects, she no longer needs the mirror to see the true faces of the townspeople. Arthur’s new wife Stacey arrives, looking gory and horrific, and knocks Grace out.
At Heart, Julian Slink is losing everything. His hands are bound inside a strange looking metal cube as an accountant strips away his 401 k and financial benefits. Then the fellow asks Slink what he wants for his last meal. Wait, what? Slink talks the poor dope into releasing the cube cuffs, and you how this ends.
With bloody mayhem.
So, does Arthur cobble? Does Grace take the sliding board down into The Scar? Will Christopher and Aki reach Cronenburgh in time? That would be telling. But I will say that there’s an amazing sequence involving a 1980s video arcade game and a very fast car.
Scar Tissue also features my very favorite of Julian Slink’s many outlandish costume changes. He looks like a character from Borderlands.
Coming as it does on the heels of The Chopsocky Special, Scar Tissue ran the risk of repeating the idea of the characters trapped in an artificial world of delusion. The episode deals with cult behavior and suburban conformity, and the difference between surface appearance and the truth beneath. As always, Alan Ritchson and Christina Ochoa are fantastic in portraying their heroes in a different light.
Episode 10 gives us multicolored vomiting in a speeding car, Slink being his usual murderous and clever self, the terrible truth about the lemonade stand, Aki and Christopher being adorable together, a revealing conversation between Arthur and Grace about how they’ve changed each other’s lives, and the kiss we’ve been waiting for, Slink’s impression of a crazed faith healer. After dealing the final blow to the town’s priest, Slink delivers a perfect line that I won’t spoil. And then there’s his mixtape for road trips.
You won’t look at a Skittles commercial the same way again after Scar Tissue.
“Now please taste my rainbow.”