Hunderby: Well, That Went Downhill Fast

Excruciating---Julia-Davi-009Previously on Hunderby: Hester was throwing up some roadblocks to her annulment from Foggerty, which Dorothy used to convince Helene he didn’t really want to be with her after all. Turns out Dorothy lied about being raped and then giving birth to Hester and Foggerty all those years ago, so they’re not brother and sister after all, which means their marriage is still valid. Bummer. Also, Hester tells Foggerty she’s pregnant. Brother Joseph returns, kind of on the run from the church authorities who aren’t too happy about his method of conversion, which seems to involve digital rape. There’s also a new pastor in town, John, who’s obsessed with Helene and determined to hunt out any local homosexuals.

Hester is moving into Hunderby, which surprises Helene, because Foggerty hasn’t told her what’s going on here. Foggerty rushes Hester upstairs before she can tell Helene too much, and once in her room he tosses Hester on the bed and warns her to keep her mouth shut. Hester threatens to tell Helene that they’re still married. Foggerty begs to be able to tell Helene in his own way and in his own time and she assents, as long as he sleeps with her that night. He tries very hard not to cry.

Back downstairs, he peruses his scrapbook, lingering over some drawings he’s done of Helene, which are surprisingly unadorned by any of her personal hair. He then proceeds to get totally drunk and bursts into Helene’s room, wearing only his shirt, and tries to seduce her. She tells him to get lost, because right now he’s more threatening than sexy. He raises his shirt and gives us some full frontal, yelling at his own penis for getting him into so much trouble

Dorothy comes across Hester, singing merrily in her new room, and asks what the hell she thinks she’s doing in the house. Hester tells her she’s moved in to be with her husband, because she knows all about Dorothy’s lie. Dorothy warns Hester not to say anything and tells her that doing so will only make Foggerty hate her even more. She suggests Hester take him off to some cottage in the forest for a bit while Dorothy works on getting rid of Helene.

Foggerty goes outside and decides he’s going to rid himself of his own penis by beating it with a very large stick. It seems to have no effect, though Bro Jo and Edmund watch in both puzzlement and horror from an upstairs window and talk about how some guys like that sort of thing.

Foggerty wakes the next morning in bed with Hester, who immediately tries to get a little morning lovin’ in. He, of course, is utterly uninterested and throws her off of him, then notices he’s a bit sore down below. Apparently he has no memory of having beaten himself bloody. Hester pouts that there can only be one mistress at Hunderby, and it’s not her. He thinks this means she’s leaving and happily thanks her, but she has no intention of leaving alone. He’s coming too, and she will accept no refusal.

Foggerty tries to write Helene a letter, explaining everything, getting drunker and nakeder the harder he tries. He finishes by cutting a huge handful of pubic hair off himself and scattering it wildly over the pages.

Dorothy goes to say good morning to Edmund and compliments the poo he’s managed to make. They’re joined by Bro Jo, with whom Edmund is clearly having some kind of relationship now. Bro Jo goes to open the curtains and finds the monkey he brought, crucified on a cross, and rightly loses his shit. My god, I almost lost my shit there, because that was really horrifying.

Foggerty climbs into a pony trap with Hester, who’s annoyingly and merrily singing. He tells her to quiet down and she tells him this is the fresh start they need before laughing maniacally and then getting Edmund’s poo dumped on her from above by Dorothy. Hilarious.

Dorothy bursts into Helene’s room with Foggerty’s bloodied shirt and tells Helene that Foggerty has committed suicide. She finds Foggerty’s note and pretends to read it, telling Helene that he thought she was too ugly and fat and he couldn’t bear to marry her. Helene, for some reason, actually believes all this, even though she knows Dorothy’s always wished her ill, and asks where Hester is. Dorothy says she’s dead too. Helene runs out, weeping.

She finds Foggerty’s scrapbook, but instead of the tender pictures from before there are cruel cartoons of a fat, ugly Helene. Helene bursts into tears and Dorothy rushes in, pretending to comfort her, but also urging her to join Hester and Foggerty in death.

Pastor John arrives for a visit and tells Dorothy he wants to speak to the lady of the house. She preens, acting like she thinks he’s talking about her, but he swiftly informs her he means Helene, failing utterly to hide his disgust at the idea of speaking with Dorothy.

Dorothy takes him upstairs to Edmund’s room, where they find Bro Jo giving Edmund a blowjob. They spring apart and Edmund ejaculates right across John’s face. Both Dorothy and John are horrified, even though Joseph tries to lie that he was just ‘massaging the devil’ out of Edmund. John smells that bullshit and says both these men will hang. Dorothy quickly says that Edmund must be innocent, because he’s in love with her, and they’re engaged to be married. Trapped, Edmund reluctantly goes along with the story. Bro Jo rushes out, pursued by John.

Hester is still annoyingly singing, now at the cottage in the woods, while Foggerty drinks and looks like he just hates his life.

Dorothy invites John to stay at Hunderby to woo Helene. He’s not terribly excited by the idea, but he wants Helene, so he accepts, unenthusiastically. Dorothy brings up her wedding to Edmund, who is also not enthusiastic. John’s looking mighty suspicious of all this and says that he and the village elders will need to witness the consummation of this marriage, to be fully convinced that Edmund’s not gay. Dorothy starts reeling off all sorts of positions, like she’s a walking Kama Sutra or something, but John, looking pretty disgusted, says that missionary will be just fine.

That night, Helene discovers that her baby is missing from the nursery. Dorothy and John come in and find a shredded blanket and bloody bonnet. Dorothy wonders if this is the work of wolves. Helene, in a panic, begs for help finding him. John gets her to promise she’ll marry him if the child is found safely.

At the cottage, Hester gets all creepy, trying to be seductive by licking her crutch. She then climbs on top of her husband and begs him to have sex with her. He can’t bear the thought. She grabs his hand and shoves it up her skirt, where he discovers that their ‘baby’ is actually a cushion. He starts yelling at her, shoving the cushion in her face, and accidentally smothers her. Oops.

At Hunderby, Dorothy retrieves the baby from his hiding place and hands him to John, who heads inside with him. As Dorothy goes to follow, Foggerty gallops up and demands to see Helene. Dorothy tells him that Helene married John almost as soon as Foggerty had gone and now they go at it like rabbits. She slams the door in his face.

John delivers the baby to Helene, who’s very grateful, but not grateful enough to marry this creepy man. He refuses to take no for an answer, gasping that he’s waited sixty years to have sex. He starts dry humping her leg, and Foggerty sees this through the window and thinks they’re actually having sex. Helene manages to push the man off of her, but he still insists on marrying her the next day. He briefly stops to hump a table on his way out.

Foggerty staggers along, drinking (of course) and decides that now he wants to be blind, so he starts punching himself repeatedly in the face.

In the middle of the night, Bro Jo sneaks into the house and wakes Edmund to convince him to run away to the Americas so the two men can have a fresh start together. It takes little persuasion for Edmund to agree—the spectre of marriage to Dorothy pretty much does it. But as the two men are stealing out of ht ehouse, they run in to Dorothy, of course. They try to pretend this is just a stag do, which she clearly knows is a lie, so she suggests they take Pastor John along. She yells for the man, and the other two try to flee. Bro Jo gets away, but Dorothy blocks Edmund for a while, then throws him down the stairs. She waits a second, then screams and summons the household, telling everyone who gathers that Edmund has fallen down the stairs, having possibly been pushed by Joseph. For good measure, she manages to break one of his legs. John calls for his dog and runs out to try to catch Bro Jo.

The next morning, Hester wakes up, as one does after a smothering, and wonders where Foggerty is.

Edmund is back in bed, being tucked in by Dorothy, who now has him just where she wants him. He regains consciousness and tries to get up, but she sees him moving in the mirror and gets him back into bed.

Hester wheels through the woods, looking for Foggerty.

Joseph is pursued through the same woods by John and the villagers. He’s caught.

Edmund wakes up a little later and finds Dorothy standing at the foot of his bed with a giant mallet. She proceeds to go all Misery on him, shattering his ankles as he howls in pain. Hester comes in and shrieks for Dorothy to stop, then turns to fetch help. Dorothy follows her out in the hall and says she doesn’t wish him any harm, because they’re to be married. Hester laughs at the very idea and tells Dorothy that everyone knows Edmund hates her. Biddy whacks Hester on the head with a poker, knocking her out. Dorothy finishes the job with a mallet to the head, which Edmund can see in the mirror.

John returns home and finds Dorothy and Biddy attempting to feed Hester to the pigs. When they see him coming, they pretend that they’d found Hester in the pigpen and wonder what could have happened to her. John notes that the woman has clearly been battered to death. The three prepare to lay Hester’s body out.

Foggerty, all beat to hell, is partying in the local tavern. He calls for more booze and two of the town’s prostitutes offer up a little more than that. He tells them he’s killed his wife and really doesn’t care about anything anymore.

Dorothy, all dressed up, wheels Edmund, whose head is wrapped in bandages, to the church. They pause by the gibbet first, to watch Bro Jo hang. Edmund looks like he wants to cry. Well, that was pretty grim.

They continue into the church, where Hester’s laid out. Foggerty, still wasted, admits to having killed Hester by smothering her. John’s confused, since she was obviously battered. Foggerty, apparently determined to die here, readily agrees that he bludgeoned her as well. The two prostitutes have materialized and tell everyone that Foggerty was bragging about having killed his wife, so I guess that means he’s guilty. Everyone’s in favour of him hanging, even Foggerty, so he’s dragged towards the door, just as Helene is dragged in to be married to John. They’re both shocked to see each other, and he calls for her as she begs to know what he’s being hanged for.

He’s taken outside and strung up beside Joseph.

Inside, Dorothy asks for the wedding ceremony between herself and Edmund to commence. John’s not comfortable with doing this with the guy’s head all wrapped up, but he begins nonetheless. John’s dog comes in and starts tugging at the bandages, so by the end of the ceremony, Edmund is finally able to speak and tell John that it was actually Dorothy who killed Hester. John calls for Foggerty to be cut down.

Cut to the next day. Foggerty’s body is now laid out beside Hester’s while Helene weeps over him. Foggerty magically wakes up, and then because this is apparently Rapunzel, her tears heal his battered eyes so he’s now totally fine. Mmmkay. And then Hester just sits up, alive and smiling manically like some horrible marionette zombie. Foggerty can’t believe his horrible luck, but then it gets worse: Pastor John comes in with the baby and bids Helene join him, calling her ‘wife.’ Somewhere in here I figured this was a dream sequence, because it was so utterly stupid and strange and out of step with the rest of the show it had to have been, but then it just…ends.

Ok, that was terrible. Really terrible. I don’t know what happened. What started off, in the first batch of episodes, as a rather funny, occasionally gross and definitely naughty satire turned, in these episodes, into a completely stupid, unfunny mess that relied on gross-out gags and flat-out horrifying moments to get laughs. There was really nothing funny about that crucified monkey, or Biddy nursing on Helene, or Edmund constantly getting abused, physically and sexually. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find that smart or funny at all. It’s incredibly low comedy, if it’s comedy at all. Oh well, nothing good can stay, I guess.



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