'666 Park Avenue' Episode1.01 "Pilot" Recap/Review

A violinist cutting his fingers on the strings as Gavin and Olivia Doran watch on, smiling more as he worries more. Destroying his violin then frantically packing his belongings so he can leave. All the doors in the lobby slam shut and he can’t get out. The old telephone rings with Gavin on the line. It’s been ten years, he wasn’t that accomplished of a violinist at the time, and now his time is up. He forces his way out but is sucked back in screaming. Welcome to the Drake at 999 Park Avenue.

“Are we going to be okay here?” No… No, you probably aren’t. But hey, who wants to be okay with attractive writers and sexy boyfriends roaming the halls? Jane seems to have found a great dangerous new home. Seductive in it’s secrets, Jane is bound to uncover more than she can handle while researching the history of the building but some of my predictions, if true, might make it a little easier on her.

Clearly Gavin Doran (played by Lost’s Terry O’Quinn) is the ringmaster of this devilish apartment building, but what price did he pay to get to where he is? Or is he the devil incarnate? Doubtful. But with his sidekick wife, Olivia Goran (Vanessa Williams), they make one hell of a pair as they show Jane (Rachael Taylor) and Henry (Dave Annable) the rich lifestyle they could previously only dream of.

When Jane and Henry show up at the Drake in their beat-up old car with the story of their lack of a good living space, it’s clear to see why they would sign their souls jump at the chance to manage this building. I just hope our trusty lawyer Henry read the contract so there’s no soul-sucking clauses. Unfortunately, the importance of those signatures signifies otherwise. After moving in they’re immediately invited to a ritzy Upper East Side function at the symphony where Olivia brings Jane out dress shopping. A $4000 dress for one nights use seems kind of silly to me, but then again I’m not the one with loose purse strings. As Jane is whirled away to a fanciful place with expensive clothes and events, Henry goes golfing with Gavin where he runs into a guy on the opposing side of a legal case he’s working on. Although it seems like a chance encounter to everybody else, the glint in Gavin’s eye hints at a lot more. What is he planning with these men? Other than buying more land of course. When they’re at the event, Jane gets this weird feeling of Gavin smelling her hair and kissing her neck but when she turns to look at him seated behind her he gives her this knowing smile before she turns around. Somewhat drunk and definitely a lot creeped out, her and Henry fall asleep in their apartment that night to nightmares which aren’t nightmares and the fade out are we going to be okay here?

Jane goes around the Drake making a list of all the improvements which need to be made but as she goes into the laundry room/basement she meets fifteen year old Nona Clarke (Samantha Logan). Nona is the second to comment on Jane’s grandmothers necklace, and then tells Jane about how the building has a minor thief running around. If you guessed the necklace would be the next item stolen then you’d be right. But did you also guess that Nona was the thief? I’m curious what her story is, I feel like she has some witchy voodoo thing going on as she seems to know things before she’s told and her theft of certain peoples jewelry items seems like it’s for a ritual. While in the basement, Jane discovers a tile mosaic of a dragon on the floor and after doing research she finds images of that room from decades ago. The catch is that there used to be a door on a wall that is now flat cement. Where did that used to lead? My prediction is there used to be some form of ritual done in this spot. Perhaps still done, which is why the necklace was stolen. Or is that where people go once they’re taken after their “time is up”?

Alexis and Louise

When Jane and Henry are first given a tour they are introduced to Brian (Robert Buckley), an aspiring writer on the 6th floor. He seems like a kind and caring husband, but he’s frustrated (sexually and otherwise) with his wife’s lack of care for him. When sitting down to start his play he notices an attractive blond, Alexis Blume (Helena Mattsson), across the street. Her apartment’s bedroom has nothing but windows and what appears to be no curtains. Is that normal? Probably not. Is it useful for Brian’s possible stalker tendencies? Definitely. With him being unhappy with wife Louise (Mercedes Masöhn) it seems this could be the perfect distraction. Louise’s stress level at work is high so she hires a new assistant, and if you didn’t guess that Alexis filled the position then I’m concerned with your TV deduction skills. Did he bargain for a cheating tool? His wife gets injured in an elevator accident leaving her in the hospital and him with a sexual vacancy. Maybe I’m being cruel, just because she looked at him seductively after catching him watching her and he stared at her getting undressed doesn’t mean he’ll cheat, right? I’m definitely thinking a new play will be written out of a deal with Gavin if Gavin’s comments were any indication though. Perhaps a play about goings on in the apartment building? Or maybe about a man who stares at a woman across the way.

As Jane was unloading their car, she met a guilty looking man who’s hands were covered in blood. Later, we discover his wife recently died and, after making a deal with Gavin, he killed to bring her back. Expecting to only have to kill once so they can spend the rest of their lives happy together is somewhat silly. As she already died, her lifetime is up so he has to continue sacrificing others for her continued appearance. When Gavin gives him a picture of the next man he is to go murder, we discover it’s the man Henry met while golfing. Although wishing his wife would stay, he is unable to complete the kill which takes not only his wife’s life but his as well. Two tenants gone in one episode? How does this place keep running? I expect we will see a tenant’s deal each episode as we learn more about how this system works.

My predictions for this show… Oh boy what a fun moment. With the number of times there were gambling with lives or other soul selling references, and with the nature of the show, it’s safe to say that Henry and Jane will be convinced to make deals to further careers or gain passage into this illusive and intriguing world of the Upper East Side. Is Gavin allowed to choose what these people do to suit his whims and fancies? Because if so then who controls him, as somebody must. With a supernatural force giving these people what they want, Gavin is only the barter in the middle, so I expect trouble down the line for the Doran’s. You can’t have a reign forever, somebody will either steal it away or his time will be up in his deal.

My biggest prediction for this show is also the easiest to go wrong, as usually happens. It all focuses around Jane and Gavin. Gavin is undoubtedly the leader of the bad guys. There’s no way to say that he’s good as we’ve already been witness to him assisted by supernatural forces sucking up people into walls and doors of the Drake. My prediction relies on the fact that if there is a bad character, there has to be at least one good to combat it. It wouldn’t be any fun if everybody easily got sucked into trading their souls for wishes and then were added to the building, leading me to believe someone is the shining “angelic” character that, although tempted, rises above and possibly saves others in the process. As Jane is already curious, with the blonde fair complexion and bubbly personality to suit it, I expect the savior to be her. Her boyfriend Henry also seems to be a good, moral guy but he wasn’t the focus of the episode like Jane was. Hmm, we will have to see, but if I’m right then don’t say I didn’t predict it at the start!

I’m really happy by how creepy they’ve made everything on this show. Images of the Drake always make it look so imposing, and the lighting throughout the building adds to the allure at some moments and the scare in others. Not only do outside images of the Drake look frightening, but all of the people who don’t fulfill their side of the deal, or have completed their deal are sucked into the building in some way, what isn’t creepy about that? The man with his wife was sucked into the walls which arms pulled him into, and the violinist was sucked into the lobby through the door (part of the door?). Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams are the perfect pairing for this mysterious duo. I definitely can’t tell what they’re planning all the time which just makes me more interested to find out. I mean really, is there anyone more perfect than O’Quinn to play the creepy devil’s advocate (or whatever he may be)? If they continue like this they’ll be set for the season with some tense buildup and intriguing mystery.

I’ll definitely continue watching this show, what about you?

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