Hunderby: Mmmm, Snout Muffins!

Previously on Hunderby: Helene and Fogarty finally got it on. And on, and on, and on. A traveling freak show brought Helene’s hunchbacked former lover (husband? Rapist?) into town, but he escaped before Dorothy could take custody of him.

Helene wanders through the woods, looking for Fogarty, and finds he’s carved a love note into a tree. He pops up beside it, dressed only in his shirt, and gasps that he’s like a man demented. They start to make out.

Later, they cuddle on the grass and he decorates her bush with some flowers. He asks to help himself to a tuft of hair, to keep her with him always. Nice use of the Victorian tradition of lovers exchanging locks of hair (though, presumably, it wasn’t hair from that part of the body. Not typically, anyway). Helene gives her permission and he starts snipping. They hear a noise and are startled, but it’s just little Susan wandering about. They laugh, and get turned on, and Fogarty kisses his way southward. Wow, honey, he’s a keeper!

That night, Fogarty’s making a pressing of one of the flowers he used on Helene and all of her hair. He’s startled by Hester and hides the project. She notices he’s tearful and he lies he’s just so sad for the sick and needy out there. She suddenly slaps herself in the face and when he asks her what she’s doing, she tells him he’s such a good man, and she’s ashamed that she ever thought he didn’t find her desirable anymore. He thinks she’s cottoned on to his affair, but really she’s just upset that he didn’t notice her new hairstyle. He struggles to recover and then punishes himself by smooshing his hand in the press for a minute. He asks her for a minute alone to pray. Yes, “pray.”

At Hunderby, Dorothy delivers Edmond’s bubbly milk. He asks her to teach Jeff how to froth his milk properly. Oh, Edmond. I doubt Jeff’s going to have any trouble getting your milk frothy, if you know what I mean.

The next day, Helene and Fogarty are making out right in a doorway on the main street of the town. Not afraid of getting caught, I guess. Hester, of course, comes upon them, having come to deliver his lunch: snout muffins. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but considering what Fogarty was doing to Helene’s muffin in their last scene together, I’m pretty sure that reference was completely deliberate.

Helene lies that Fogarty was checking a throat infection. Right, with his tongue. Fogarty tries to escape. “You don’t want my muffins?” says Hester. Yeah, totally deliberate. He takes one and Helene excuses herself. Fogarty bites into that muffin like he’s thinking of something completely different.

That night, Dorothy’s going about her business when she hears Edmond in his room telling Jeff to take something in his hand, and then “harder, harder, faster, faster, Ohhhhhhh!” But he’s just showing Jeff how to whip up bubbly milk. Of course. Saw that coming.

Helene’s downstairs, daydreaming of Fogarty, but she’s rudely brought down to earth by the sight of what appears to be a hunchback walking across the lawn. Dorothy joins her and says it’s just a servant taking a sack of salted pigs’ feet for the sea voyage to Fiji. This brings up the subject of hunchbacks and Dorothy mentions the one she met at the freak show: a Mr. Wuffin or Wiffin, she can’t quite remember. Helene flees.

The next day, she meets Fogarty in the church, tells him her real name’s Elizabeth, and asks him to run away with her. He’s all for it, but then he briefly remembers Hester. He dismisses her by saying she’s had enough of his years and agrees to pack a bag and meet Helene at 8 o’clock that night. As they leave, Hester pops up from a hiding place between two pews.

Helene emerges from the church just in time for Hester to throw herself out of her wheelchair. I guess Hester can teleport now, to get outside that quickly when she was just inside the church a second ago. Helene rushes to help her and Hester ‘confesses’ that she’s got a deadly illness, and the only thing that gives her comfort is the knowledge that her beloved husband is at her side. She asks Helene not to tell Fogarty about her malady and Helene promises.

That night, someone raps on the door of Hunderby and Dorothy goes to open it. On the doorstep is the hunchback, who growls that he’s come for his wife.

His wife is awaiting Fogarty at the church again, where he notes she’s gotten a bit plumper and boobier. She ignores that and abruptly tells him they can’t run away together. He doesn’t believe her when she breaks up with him, but when she won’t even let him kiss her, he starts to become more convinced. He tells her to tell him she doesn’t love him, and she does, as the music swells magnificently, like this is a 1930s melodrama. So perfect. Also, a rather subtle nod to the film version of Rebecca, if I’m not mistaken. Fogarty leaves, and Helene immediately throws up. Ahh, I was wondering how long it’d take her to get pregnant.

At Hunderby, Hunchy’s showing off his parlor trick to Edmond and Dorothy: his ability to smell colours (he’s blind). They call Helene in as she walks in the door, but she takes one look at the man and panics. She says she’s too sick to join them for dinner but Edmond won’t hear it. Hunchy says her voice is familiar, but Helene’s quick to say it’s not. Edmond tells her that, if the man thinks it’s familiar, she should let him think it, because he’s had a hard life. Hunchy relates it thus: his wife birthed a runt, smacked him over the head, and left him for dead. Dorothy and Edmond wonder if Hunchy’s allegedly lucky hump might make Helene miraculously fertile. They gang up on Helene to get her to touch the hump, and she nearly does, but she loses her nerve at the last second and flees.

Fogarty pages through his book of pressed flowers, pausing at his Helene page. The grief makes him turn to drink for the first time since he injured Hester. He screams in rage and frustration.

Back at Hunderby, Helene tries to write a letter (to Fogarty, presumably), but she can’t seem to find the right words. Out of nowhere comes Hunchy’s voice, disembodied, like he’s the Green Goblin or something. He says he smells her and calls her Elizabeth Wiffen, but she weepily says she’s not her. He says she’s his wife but she says she’s no such thing. She says she was his slave and he forced himself upon her. He cries and kneels before her, asking for forgiveness and laying his head on her lap. But then he raises his head, sniffs, and gets totally creepy, saying he can hear the little drummer boy’s tiny heart, bouncing in her belly. Dorothy overhears this and seems shocked.

She immediately goes to Edmond’s room, where she finds him painting Jeff, who’s posing stretched out on a sofa, nude but for a strategically placed pillow. She happily relates the news of Helene’s impending motherhood and Edmond rushes off to see his wife while Dorothy notes that the painting Edmond is working on is just of Jeff’s head. Heh.

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