Episode six of Hulu’s Monsterland wasn’t like any of the others before it. There was no large overlying moral. It didn’t feel like it could have been a Lifetime movie. It was a real honest monster story.
And that was such a relief!
That being said, this was the weakest episode by far. Let me explain why.
The story is about a man called Sharko. He was badly injured while cleaning up after the oil spill we heard about in episode four. He’s unable to fish anymore. He did get a big settlement, so he’s not too worried about money yet.
He’s just angry. And he damned well should be. Sharko was raised by the sea, a fisherman. Now his beloved sea has been poisoned, and he’s been crippled. He has no recourse, but to mail the oil company oil-covered animals.
While he’s combing the beach, he comes upon a mermaid. He brings her home, patches her up, and even gets a local drug addict to build her a tank.
Sharko finds himself falling for the mermaid. He fantasizes about her turning into a human woman who will love him. Someone he can watch Bananza with and live his life with.
Then that wish comes true.
Here’s why I didn’t like this episode.
I didn’t think Sharko deserved any of the bad things that happened to him. He’s not a bad guy. He did the right thing, trying to clean up the sea. He should have gotten a happy ending or at least some schadenfreude. But he doesn’t get that.
No one gets what they deserve in this one. None of the bad guys got what was coming to them. Sharko’s neighbors try to steal his mermaid from him, for no other reason than that they need the money. One neighbor says, “You’re kind of keeping bread out of my family’s mouths right now.” And, spoiler alert, what happens to them is not satisfying at all.
Speaking of not satisfying, let’s talk about the biggest problem with this episode. Little to nothing happens in it. Most of the episode is spent in Sharko’s house, doing nothing. While we’re in Sharko’s place, the fishermen are pulling nightmares out of the water. You can hear them on the radio, talking back and forth about horrific creatures they’re pulling up in their nets. Why can’t we see that? This episode could have been on a boat, showing us the monstrosities that have been birthed into our unsuspecting world by a reckless company and ignored by an apathetic government.
Instead, it’s the story of a lonely man who finds a mermaid. Those stories could have balanced each other out. Instead, this was a snoozefest.
As a side note, I can’t stand Bananza.
Hopefully the next episode brings the strong storytelling that I’ve come to expect from this series.