“666 Park Avenue” really needs to up its game. There were moments in the seventh episode, “Downward Spiral,” that belied its title, but then there were seriously airless subplots (paging Robert Buckley and his wife’s sexy assistant and their adulterous affair!) that threatened to derail the proceedings. Of course, regardless of content, Vanessa Williams’ Olivia always remains an impeccably unreadable cipher, this week demolishing the entire state of Indiana with one affectless comment.
This week was at its strongest with the surprisingly potent team of Jane and Nona, who got all “Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” sharing dreams. Nona, as it turns out, was born right there in the Drake, in one of its infamous elevators. And as an old photo reveals, Jane was running around the Drake’s lobby at the age of 8, though she has no memory of it. Where the photo came from wasn’t regarded as important enough to mention, of course.
There was a lot of talk talk talk about Jane’s desire to return to Indiana and what that means for Henry’s political career, as well. Since Jane is the star of the show, her retreat would never work (alas), so most of that plot was mere filler. Though it did finally prompt Henry to try to put a ring on it. Most of the tab was picked up by Vanessa Williams, of course, since neither Henry nor Jane seem to have the funds to pay for their caviar tastes.
The Not So Good Doctor also popped up again, horrified that the scalpel he sewed into KGB agent Kandinsky’s stomach was then used to kill two men. The scene in which Kandinsky pushed the scalpel out of his abs was easily the most gruesome thing “666” has yet shown, including Jane’s various unflattering hairstyles. Frustrated that he’s being forced to work off the $50,000 that Gavin loaned him, the Not So Good Doctor showed up at one of the Durand’s many soirees with a gun, pressing it into Gavin’s back. Just then, Mr. Shaw, the man who stole the red box from Gavin’s safe, collapsed on the floor in convulsions from (and I’m not making this up) a kiss administered by Vanessa Williams with poisoned lipgloss.
Episode’s end found Henry waiting in his apartment, candles glowing romantically on the floor amid scattered rose petals, while Jane and Nona wandered around the draft basement. Thanks to Nona’s near-comatose grandmother, Jane realized that her precious locket is actually the eye of the mosaic dragon decorating the floor. When she presses it in, gears start whirring and the floor opens up to reveal a surprisingly dust free red carpet-lined staircase leading…somewhere. Despite spending the entire episode telling everyone who would listen that the Drake scares her, Jane began a slow descent—as the floor closed over her head, trapping her. Did the writers get my emails? Will we know have a Jane free “666 Park Avenue”? According to the preview for the next episode in two weeks, no. She’ll just be hanging around by her lonesome while Henry sadly staples Missing posters around town.