Next time you find yourself frustrated with a fandom you’re involved with, remember that things could be worse. At least no one is trying to bury you alive to prove they’re the ultimate fan. Or, as they’re called on Cult, a True Believer.
This week’s episode (in its new Friday timeslot) introduced us to another fan craze spawned from the show – a game called Being Billy. College students would chose a victim from their group and thrust them into a reenactment of a scene from Cult. In the spirit of Billy Grimm, a girl named Jillian was grabbed and had her wrists tied to the steering wheel of a car, which was parked on tracks where a train would run her down. Except there was no train in this reenactment. Just a Punk’d-style reveal, and a kegger to celebrate another successful game.
It’s all fun and games until the True Believers start to play. After the party, Jillian was killed in a very real hit-and-run. And there’s no way that this can be a coincidence.
First of all, the “queen” of Being Billy was a young woman named Laura, and her “king” was none other than Jeff’s missing brother Nate. As they are the only two people who could have initiated the latest round of Being Billy, Laura is rightfully suspicious when the game took place, but not on her order. Thinking Nate might be close, Laura checks the house, which they used to share.
As Laura tells Jeff when Jeff finds her at the house, Nate had actually been happy and well-adjusted. He’d been going to school (taking journalism classes like his big brother had, awww…) and had been dating Laura for almost a year. They’d enjoyed Cult and Being Billy together, but Nate got in too deep and started to see hidden messages in the show. He dropped out of school and his obsession put a strain on his relationship.
For a minute, it looks like Nate orchestrated Jillian’s death. With EJ’s help, Jeff gets access to Nate’s email, which shows outgoing orders for Being Billy. But EJ isn’t the only person who can hack an email account.
But before we get into who the real culprit was, let’s talk about what Bill… er, I mean, what Roger, the actor who plays Billy. He’s become acquainted with Kirstie, the mysterious fan_dom_ain barista who had a hand in the kidnapping of the eager network executive in episode one.
At first it seems pretty clear that Kirstie is playing the part of Billy Grimm fangirl, but the way she blurs the distinction between actors when Roger brings her on set and she meets Marti is pretty disturbing. But let’s face it, Kirstie is hot and Roger is going to take whatever she throws at him, including a little Billy Grimm roleplaying and dungeon-set sex. Not sure what end Kirstie is working to yet, but whatever it is, it all went according to plan.
Meanwhile, Jeff and Skye find video footage of Jillian’s murder, as well as the beginnings of a similar video featuring Laura. The numbers on the video indicate the episode and scene that the killer intended to recreate in order to kill Laura, so Jeff and Skye are able to find Laura before her roommate Carrie – who hacked Nate’s email and killed Jillian – buries Laura alive in the campus greenhouse.
Carrie has seen the messages hidden in Cult and is on a mission to prove herself as a True Believer, by killing people in the show’s fashion. She gets away (by crashing through a glass greenhouse wall, no less) and gets picked up by people (presumably True Believers) in a van.
So what are these messages that are driving people to kill? Skye works some audio magic on an episode 12 of Cult, prompted by Carrie’s quoting of the line, “As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end.” The first line of the episode is “True or false?” and the last is “I should have believed her.” Guess what that sounds like when pushed together and sped up? True Believer. Skye also finds a strange bit of audio that, when played backwards and slowly, sounds like “Kill for us.”
Skye finding that “kill for us” in the audio felt like a stretch, and I can’t tell if I should be suspicious of her, or disappointed in the writing for this episode. With low ratings pushing Cult to the Friday night slot, I’m really crossing my fingers for some of these really vague moments to coalesce into interesting discoveries. Particularly Laura’s comment that Nate was “searching for something.” I don’t know about you guys, but I need that to mean something more than just a broad, fleeting comment.
Also, if anyone has the time to run these first three episodes through an audio program to find hidden messages, let me know. At the end of this episode you can hear, “…these things just snap right off,” as the screen cuts to Steven Rae’s credit screen. Makes you wonder if we’ve missed any other clues…
And tune in next week to meet Terrence, who appears to have made a name for himself by bringing people back from cults. Will he find Nate or will the True Believers get to him first?