October Faction Series Premiere Recap: The Family That Slays Together...
What would you do if you discovered your parents were monster hunters with secret identities? Seventeen-year-olds Geoff (Gabriel Darku) and Viv (Aurora Burghart) are about to find out. But you know what they say: the family that slays together, stays together.
Adapted from a comic series, Netflix’s 10-episode October Faction (which launched Thursday) stars Tamara Taylor (Bones) and J.C. MacKenzie (Vinyl) as Deloris and Fred, the Osaka, Japan-living parents of teenage twins Geoff and Viv. We open with a despondent Fred telling his wife that his dad died. Travel plans need arranging, the kids need to be picked up. “Talk about scary sh-t,” says Fred just as Deloris fires an automatic weapon at a creature that looks like something right out of Resident Evil. They were just chillin’ with that thing in the room this whole time!?
To grandfather’s house we go, as we learn the family has relocated often due to dad’s job in risk assessment (or so the kids think). Geoff is a confident, gregarious gay kid who makes fast friends, while Viv is, in many ways, his polar opposite. Her parents want her to make more effort connecting with people, but she’d rather focus on her studies.
The family arrives at the mansion, which looks straight out of… well, again Resident Evil. While searching around, Viv finds slashes in the walls that look like a werewolf did some interior decorating. Meanwhile, Deloris has a flashback of an argument Fred had with his parents, Samuel and Maggie, who never accepted their relationship. Flashback Sam mentions that “joining Presidio is a huge step for anyone,” and that it existed longer than the country itself. Shady covert syndicate? Check!
Fred and Deloris, in separate rooms, run their wrists over scanners unlocking hidden arsenals in the walls. Hello, weapons! Fred gets a message from boss-lady Edith Mooreland who tells Fred they’re being reassigned to Norway because sat tracking data show a “highly active October.” “Octobers” had been getting better over the years, but not this year, states Edith, ominously.
In the middle of the night, Fred enters a bedroom that looks like a teenager’s from the ’70s. He flashes back to a night where he stumbled upon a bloodied, dying boy who is later revealed to be his brother. Flashback Fred and current Fred collapse to the ground in tears.
The next day, the wake runs out of prosecco, so Maw and Paw head out for back-up. Fred screams out the window in drunken glory before pulling a few, um, provisionsout of the glove box, specifically, a gun and a joint. The two park at a grocery store and spark up. They talk about how their lives are a lie, like Fred’s past, because their kids don’t even know who they are. Deloris wants to tell them the truth, but Fred’s thinks they can protect them. He’s also super over the convo because it’s ruining his high. (Anyone else getting Richard Jenkins-vibes from MacKenzie? Maybe it’s the glasses, maybe it’s the weed.)
In the store, they smell sulfur and copper, which apparently means… something. They whip out a special phone that scans the bodies around them. The device reads: “Xenoform Detected.” Deloris pulls out the handgun and grabs Fred a knife. “Why do you get that and I get this?” asks Fred. “Because you’re drunk, babe,” she replies. Point, Deloris!
Fred has a friendly stop-and-chat with the male…monster?…who asks if he and his wife can just go. “We don’t really do catch-and-release,” says Fred. Deloris cuts the chit chat with two bullets to the guy’s head just as four large razor-sharp fangs protrude from his mouth. She already has blood on her which means Mom has bagged both baddies. They cover their tracks by making the scene look like a serial killer’s basement. All in a day’s work!
Fred tells Deloris they’ve been reassigned and she doesn’t take it well. “Presidio gives us a mission, we take it, that’s the way it works,” he tells her. “Twenty-five years nonstop, we are burnt out,” she counters. Deloris reiterates that she wants to tell Geoff and Viv about Presidio… about everything.
Back at the mansion, Viv starts a seance at Geoff’s behest, mostly as a diversion so he can sneak away for a hookup. The gaggle of teens wants to talk to dead Sam so they can find his millions. As Viv mock-chants, everyone’s nose start to bleed. We see flashes of a figure held underwater by chains and concrete blocks. Viv appears to be seizing, her eyes turning blood-red. The figure escapes her shackles and rises out of the water, looking all sorts of nefarious with the same spooky ultra-red eyes.