Usually, the crew of SurrealEstate are out there “fixing” properties to flip and sell, however, in “Quarantine,” they spend the majority of their time in the office. The big horror isn’t the amounts of administrative paperwork they all need to catch up on but the extra supernatural passenger that has attached themself to one of them. Under a strict lockdown, the Roman Agency must lure out the deadly demon and destroy it before anyone can go home.
The bottle episode gives us an opportunity to explore the support staff more within the intimate confines. Also, we see different pairings we haven’t received this season such as Zooey and Auggie. It seems like a wasted opportunity though due to their generic backstories.
Father Phil spends too much time away from his husband because of work and it’s straining their relationship. Zooey has poor choice in men and has a dating type: loser. Auggie is the over confident mad scientist that doesn’t want to admit his device failed to destroy the demon the first time. Bottle episodes by nature can be slower paced but add in banal character problems and one can easily lose interest. Not even the typically charming cast can compensate.
The episode of SurrealEstate does pick up with a particularly ominous scene while Zooey is possessed lurking and hanging off the walls in Susan’s office. The crunching sound effects as she moves is pretty freaky and unnatural. There is also a noteworthy turn when the demon takes an interest in the Donovan home and it contributes to the overall season long mystery and arc between Luke, his girlfriend and mother. The stakes are raised when Megan Donovan breaks the quarantine and enters the office.
The demon jumps from person to person bringing chaos following each new possession. I know we’ve encountered a myriad of spirits and paranormal beings, and they all have their own cute nicknames (this one’s a roadie because they’re never alone and only travel with the band) but there must be a better way to represent them than their host having black eyes. If there are diverse beings, they should be represented differently visually to have them stand out from one another.
It’s also pretty weak that this demon causes its host to speak what it’s really thinking. The honesty artificially manufactures the emotional conflicts between the characters and seems very forced. There are hurtful things said but also hard truths and it makes everyone reassess themselves. Despite all the drama, SurrealEstate does reaffirm how close all the characters are during Susan’s “Platinum Ring of Esteem” banquet and lifetime achievement award ceremony (It demonstrates her superior selling skills that she’s receiving an honor at such a young age).
“Quarantine” does end on a high note with an inspiring acceptance speech. It comes from the heart and Susan recognizes her coworkers. She’s unphased by the current gossip surrounding the Roman Agency and gives her address to the crowd like a boss. Covertly using her pyrokinesis to get back at her ex-lover/boss is the icing on the cake.
The bottle episode has a sluggish start and the character plots are too formulaic but Luke’s season long narrative is advanced with some fascinating developments.
New episodes of SurrealEstate air Friday nights on Syfy.
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