Jun 17, 2024

Gemstones Episode 1.4, Continued: Dot drives Kelvin crazy, Keefe refuses sex, and Gideon and Scotty date. With bonus Daedalus dick


I revised the Dot/Kelvin and Scotty/Gideon sections of this review.

Link to the nude photos and explicit sexual discussions

Earlier in Episode 1.4, we learned that Keefe is gay, and Kelvin is afraid of sex, or maybe just the phallus. Next we see a normalization of the Gideon-Scotty relationship.  Instead of being terrorized by Scotty, Gideon seems to actually like and care about him. This suggests disagreements among the showrunners about where the characters should go, similar to seeing Kelvin and Keefe as good buddies in one episode and romantic partners in another.

I'll let you buy me dinner: At the campground, Gideon gives Scotty the intel he learned from Martin: they receive an offering of over $1,000,000 on normal Sundays, but on big holidays, $3,000,000.  It's counted and placed in the vault overnight Sunday. On Monday it's deposited into the bank.  Wait -- is that all in cash?  Don't people just throw a few bucks in the offering plate?  If they're going to donate a lot of money, they'll write a check, or just have it deducted automatically from their bank account.

Scotty "goes dark" for a moment, brags about his own stuntwork, and criticizes Gideon's.  Then he becomes downright friendly and says "I'll let you buy me dinner."

You Shine: 
Cut to Kelvin appearing at Dot's lacrosse practice at North Jackson High School (in-joke: this is where Danny McBride's character worked in his earlier series, Vice Principals).  Like her boyfriend, Dot's friends think that Kelvin has a sexual interest.  The background music, Sweet Cheater's "Summer," supports them:

It's driving me crazy, making me wild in the summer,

Spending my time alone with you

Take a ride, baby, to the stars, in the backseat of my car

Ooh yeah, it feels so right, you belong with me tonight

 Her friend concurs: “Who’s that creepy man?”, “man” instead of “guy” highlighting Kelvin’s inappropriate age, but Dot assures her that he’s harmless, “just an asshole from church.”  He swishes down from the bleachers and squeals “What’s up, girl!” like the flamboyant gay friend in a romcom, a queer code that signifies his utter lack of romantic or sexual intent.

He apologizes for the Satanic Sweep, oddly characterizing it as a “hang” between friends, and invites her to a teen trampoline party at the Sky Zone tonight: “No presh, just come by. If you like it, great.  If not, you’ll never see me again.”  This is the rhetoric of someone who wants to make a friend, not find a girlfriend. 

When she agrees, Kelvin adds: “What if we go no boyfriend tonight. Just you.  You sparkle without him – know that.”  Austin is too old for the teen group, so he wouldn’t be permitted anyway; Kelvin is simply stressing that Dot doesn’t need an older boyfriend, or “semen loads,” He skips off, still the flamboyant gay friend: “It’s gonna be fun, girl!”   

When the episode first aired, some very desperate fans thought that Kelvin was straight, and interested in Dot, but what straight guy makes a date, then skips off with "It's gonna be fun, girl!"?

Dot at the Youth Group:  We cut to the youth group meeting at the Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park on Wando Park Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant, a suburb of Charleston with many Gemstone sites. Lots of kids somersaulting on bouncy-walls, and Keefe stretching Kelvin from behind as he groans "Harder. Harder.   Yeah, oh, that's good."  Acting like they're having sex, har har.

Notice that they're both wearing "Faith Factory" T-shirts, but none of the kids are. Keefe is now Kelvin's assistant youth minister. 

Dot appears.  Kelvin is "super-pumped that you didn't bring your idiot boyfriend."  Do you still think he's straight, after the sex joke?

He clears a space.  Keefe says: "These feats of physical strength are amazing."  Yeah, Kelvin is hot.   He performs some professional-looking acrobatic stunts.

Gideon and Scotty's Date: 
Dinner is pizza and beer at the Shem Creek Restaurant in Mount Pleasant, to the rather suggestively sexual song “You Knock Me Out.”
The way you talk when you say what you see

Your smile breaking my words – you knock me out.
The way you shake it, baby -- what’s on your mind?
The way you get when you get down – you knock me out. 

Apparently Scotty or Gideon, or both, are overwhelmed by the intensity of their passion.

 Scotty calls Gideon "Little Lord Fauntleroy,” a rather archaic phrase for a fragile, polite, feminine-coded “sissy,” named after a character in the 1886 novel by Francis Hodgson Burnett.  In the 1936 movie version, Freddie Bartholomew’s Ceddie is redeemed through a homoromantic bond with the tough Mickey Rooney    Likewise, here Scotty seems to be trying to masculinize Gideon, complimenting him on his ability to smoke, drink, and swear:  "I like this side of you, man."  They smile at each other, caring boyfriends far removed from the toxicity of Scotty’s earlier rant.

Knowing what comes after, I wonder if presenting Gideon and Scotty as romantic partners is a holdover from an early draft, in which Gideon is the gay character, and Kelvin begins dating Dot.  Or it may be a misdirection, to draw attention from the Kelvin/Keefe romance and keep viewers guessing which will turn out to be gay. 
ner is pizza and beer  at the Shem Creek Restaurant, while in the background we hear "You Knock Me Out," by the Chuck Hall Band -- apparently Scotty and Gideon are immersed in an overwhelming passion.

Gideon explains how he came to make the video: things were tense between him and Jesse, so his mom made him go to a prayer convention.  Jesse had his friends in his hotel room, and didn't want Gideon around. "Dude wanted to fuck," Scotty says.  So Gideon left, but on his way out, he hid  hid his phone with the video on, in case anything interesting happened.  He ended up taping Jesse's sex-and-drugs party, and decided to blackmail Jesse to "get even."

Scotty envisions their new life in Thailand, after stealing the money from the vault. He mentioned the ladyboys earlier, but it's worth repeating that Thailand is a well-known destination for gay tourism.  He also wants to repair the hard drive containing the sex-and-drugs party video, so "we f*k your Daddy again."  Very graphic way of putting it, with an incest-subtext. 

Then he recalls their first meeting.  Gideon was wearing a wig to be the stunt double for a woman (wigging," remember?), and Scotty was attracted: he came up behind him and grabbed "like you were a little piece." He means a potential sexual partner.  Apparently he likes people who are androgynous or nonbinary.  

Left: Gideon's butt.  Not  Skyler Gisondo's

He continues: "But you weren't.  You were a friend."  Gideon didn't mind being grabbed; apparently he liked it, since he accepted being drawn into a relationship.

 "And I get you.  I know you way better than your family does."  He sounds like an abusive boyfriend: "No one understand you but me." 

We cut to another scene on this busy Friday night: Jesse and Amber counseling Chad and his wife Mandy about the aberrant emails ("we were just fooling around").  Of course they mention cum again ("Water squirt emoji does not mean 'cum' -- it means ejaculation"),  And we're off to Club Sinister.

Satanist cock after the break

Where's Dot?
: This has been a very eventful night, with Keefe refusing a Satanic party invitation, Gideon and Scotty on a date and Jesse counseling Chad and Mandy to reconcile.  He quotes Ephesians: "A man should love his wife as himself"..and we cut to Kelvin and Keefe standing together at the youth group.  Wait -- a husband and wife? That's quite a structural hint that the guys have become a  couple.

Suddenly Keefe notices that Dot has vanished.  They ask around: she told one of the kids that she was going to the party at Club Sinister!

Keefe meets his old boyfriends:  How long does that youth group meeting last?  It's now the middle of the night.  We're at an old mansion (actually the old Power Station at the Charleston Naval Yards), pulsing with electronic music, a glowing upside-down cross, men dancing in cages.  Drugs, naked ladies, heterosexual sex going on (no gay sex, but I did see a penis). Kelvin and Keefe split up to search for Dot.

Whoops, Keefe runs into his Satanist friends, Daedalus (Josh Mikel), Cryptocore, and a lady, who think he's there for "pleasures."  

Daedalus licks his face, and Cryptocore goes down -- is he planning to give Keefe a blow job?  -- but the woman just hangs on his back-- apparently she knows that he only likes "pleasures" with men. .The early scene with Keefe attracted to a wholesome guy is essential here, making it clear that being gay is not Satanic.  That's not what he abandoned. 

They ask him to "Become the baby," an interesting parallel to Kelvin struggling to stop being the baby.

The raid: Meanwhile Kelvin is disgusted by various heterosexual couples and trios (some butts, no dicks).  He finds Dot and yells at her: "You used me!  This is my one shot to prove to my Daddy that my place in the church is important, and you ruined it!  You ditched me for this bozo!"  Wait -- "Ditched me" for another guy"?  You weren't on a date with her, dude.

The police raid!  Austin has Molly (Ecstasy) on him, so he ditches Dot and vanishes, and she is knocked over by the crowd.  Kelvin, shining in ethereal light, holds out a hand: "I got you."  He helps Dot up (she is momentarily turned on by his hard chest), and they run.  Fortunately, Keefe knows a secret way out from when he was a teenager, "dancing nude in a cage by the DJ booth."  They end up far from the club. But surely he's been at the club more recently? 

Keefe's Satanist friends make one last request: they're going to go to the docks and "blast off."  He refuses, but instead of denying his involvement with the Gemstones, he says: "I follow that man now. He's the light."  Recall that Dot saw Kelvin in a glowing light.  

He continues: "God put him on a path, and I'm gonna follow him down that path. I want to see where this road leads for that incredible being." At this point he still thinks of Kelvin as a spiritual leader rather than a potential boyfriend.

When they drop her off at her house, Dot concludes that Kelvin really cares about her, and agrees to come to the Wednesday night youth group meeting.  Keefe climbs over the back seat into the passenger seat that she just vacated, and points out that she'll be an impressive feather in Kelvin's cap. He counters, "You're an impressive feather in my cap."  They smile at each other. 

Wait -- did Kelvin just choose Keefe over Dot?  In-universe, he had no such choice to make, but look at the structure of the episode: the Satanic sweep; the competition with Austin; the lacrosse practice flirtation; triumphing overAustin at Club Sinister; Dot being momentarily attracted.  It all points to the beginning of a romance.  But Kelvin just drops her off at her house, and Keefe literally takes her place, definitively answering the question of whether he is heterosexual.

Silverback Apes: Scotty and Gideon are on their way home for a sexual encounter, at least according to the background song, “Baby Do You Wanna?” by the Chuck Hall Band.  

Don't ask me no questions, take hold of my hand

We got a one-way ticket up to the Promised Land

We're gonna shoot you up with passion, straight to hell

I ain't makin' no promises. but baby I'll never tell

They smoke marijuana and talk about a tribe of apes.  Scotty would be the silverback, in charge, able to fuck anyone he wanted.  He obviously likes boys and girls both.

At the same time, Jesse and Amber are on their way home from visiting Chad and Mandy.  Jesse sees the van and gives chase, explaining to Amber that these are guys he "plays car pranks" with.  Scotty tries to elude him, but instead the van rolls over multiple times.  The guys crawl out, miraculously unharmed, and run away; Jesse doesn't recognize Gideon. The end.

So, who were the evildoers with the "wicked lips"?  Austin, Jesse, and Scotty?  Not the Satanists -- they seem perfectly nice.  And Kelvin, in this episode anyway, is a creature of pure light, with none of his usual pettiness or self-doubt. This will make his decline and fall all the more dramatic.

Bonus: Daedalus dick.

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