This episode starts with a dilemma as Arthur, the Dumbest Man in the Apocalypse, has a gut wound and Grace is trying to get him to a doctor. They are in the middle of nowhere, or to be more accurate, right next to the dreaded Scar which has cracked America in half and in my humble opinion, leads straight to Hell. In the middle of this wasteland is a highly suspicious Chinese restaurant that could have come from the Twilight Zone.
The owner of the restaurant is an older Chinese woman who comes across as the worse caricature of Asian-American cinema and just when you think Blood Drive might have finally crossed some sort of line to finally offend me, the Chinese woman breaks character and rightly explains that Americans want the stereotypes or else they don’t consider it authentic. She becomes Regular Wise Woman instead of Chinese Wise Woman and offers to heal Arthur.
Unfortunately when you end up at a restaurant the edge of the entrance to Hell, this is not a simple medical emergency. This is a VISION QUEST and oh Sweet Vincent Price, Arthur is the least qualified person to go rummaging on a vision quest.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate once again how Blood Drive both embraces the source material and yet rises above it. Other shows and movies would have been perfectly happy to have a racist stereotype and wave it off as being true to the grindhouse genre. Blood Drive acknowledges it, calls it out, and moves on. Man, I love this show.
Back to Arthur’s vision quest. He gets Evil Robot Woman as his spirit guide and it is cool to see the actress in another role. She very clearly explains the traps of his mind and Arthur very clearly falls for each and every trap. At least Arthur is true to type.
Grace on the other hand has a kick-ass fight with the Wise Woman and loses while Wise Woman points out that gasp, Grace has gone soft because of Arthur’s good influence.
Meanwhile, Arthur goes through Hell. He enjoys domestic bliss with Grace before she is revealed to be a murdering killer. He gets chased by zombie versions of Blood Driver drivers and her get betrayed and then tortured by his best friend, Tortured Cop. Holy crap, that torture scene was brutal.
At the end of Arthur’s vision quest, we see Arthur’s origin story. He was a thief that got into a gun battle with a cop over some stolen food. The cop decided to let him go with the food and cover his crime, in exchange for Arthur being a better guy. Arthur agrees, and that’s when the cop dies from the bullet that Arthur shot into him earlier. Oops! Arthur feels bad, and the cop decides this guy should be one to carry on his conspiracy-busting work. Arthur agrees.
Obviously the lesson from all of this is to not pass on your life’s work to the idiot that shot you and didn’t even realize it.
No wait, the lesson from all of this is that we finally see why Arthur is the Dumbest Man in the Apocalypse. He is torn up with guilt. He made a huge dumb mistake and he has been trying to make up for it ever since by Doing the Right Thing no matter how stupid. Holy shit, we actually have a believable reason for every stupid thing Arthur has pulled. He is no longer the Dumbest Man in the Apocalypse, he is the Most-Guilt-Ridden Man in the Apocalypse.
To make sure we understand Arthur’s martyr complex, Arthur shoots himself in the heart in his dream quest. Hmmm.
Grace passes out giving blood to Arthur in the real world. When she wakes up, Arthur is gone! Where did he go?
Wise Woman said she lost her daughter, Aki, and has a picture to make sure we understand it is Evil robot Woman and not some other girl named Aki. Wait, does that mean Aki started as human? That would explain why Robot Aki could have great sex and then turn human.
I suspect that Grace was on her own vision quest as her experiences involved fighting, swearing and admitting her love for Arthur.
Rib Bone returns as a Christ figure in a very fucked up recreation of the Last Supper. Ah, Rib Bone, I would love to see you rise from the dead.
Even Vision Quest Slink steals the show in every scene that he is in.
I love how when Grace wakes up, the Wise Woman had vanished but she still left Grace a bill.