As the episode opens, we see the men of Aerojet and the military discussing the new Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Everyone is there, except for Jack, who is at home in his lab, making drugs. Outside, Joan is preparing to leave as the other members of the lodge who remain see her off. At Aerojet, Agent Wallace is furious that Richard has included Jack in the paperwork for JPL. Back at the Parsonage, Susan is working on Alfred’s appeal; Patty comes in to tell Susan that Virgil called and that he is worried that Susan and Jack are going to lose the house, after which Susan experiences another bout of morning sickness. Outside, Jack is attempting to drive away the vision of Crowley that has come to see him. Could it be all in Jack’s head or has Crowley come to see him through Astral Projection?
Jack and Richard are discussing Jack’s involvement with JPL.
Richard tells Jack that Richard managed to convince Braxton and Wallace to include him in JPL but on the condition that he receive a psychiatric evaluation. Richard tells Jack that either he takes the evaluation or Jack is taken off the project for good.
As Jack storms out, a carrier delivers Marisol a telegram from the United States Army with terrible news.
Susan and their lawyer visit Alfred in Prison. The lawyer tells Alfred that even with good behavior, he may still be in prison for five years. Alfred says that this is a witchhunt to which the lawyer tells them that the court will try and make an example of him. After their lawyer leaves, Alfred tells Susan that he loves her and she returns the sentiment.
Susan tells Alfred that he will still have a home when he gets of prison, Alfred asks if that is all Alfred will have as telling the guard he and Susan are finished.
Back at the Parsonage, Jack and Susan sit in the bathroom as Susan again feels sick. Susan tells Jack that she thinks that this could be a new chapter for them and that they could be a family. Jack takes her hand and tells Susan that they could try while having a vision of his night in bed with Patty.
Later, at the Aerojet offices, Jack is having his evaluation with the military psychiatrist. The answers Jack gives are questionable.
The psychiatrist does not mark the responses on the exam as Jack gives them, indicated that he does not believe what Jack is telling him.
Aleister Crowley appears in the room with Jack and asks Jack, “are these the people you betrayed me for?”
Back in Jack’s office, Patty suggests turning the Parsonage into a proper boarding house, so that even if Aerojet does not work out, they have a place to live.
Jack tells Patty that what happened between them can not happen again, that he is going to be a father and needs to act responsibly. Patty tells Jack that nothing he has was because he was responsible, why start now.
Marisol, Richard, and her family hold a vigil for her brother killed in battle. Marisol wishes that her brother could see them all together; it was all he wanted.
Marisol’s father tells Richard that Richard has his blessing to marry Marisol. Richard tells him that they no longer need his blessing because Richard and Marisol decided they will not be getting married. Marisol’s father tells Richard, he hopes he can hang on to her.
Back at the Parsonage, the group is sitting down to dinner. Patty walks into the dining room wearing Susan’s red dress, telling her that she won’t be able to fit into it much longer. “I thought we shared everything in this house,” Patty says, looking at Jack as she sits down. Susan becomes ill and leaves the table; Jack follows.
Susan asks Jack if anything happened between Jack and Patty. Susan is furious that Jack slept with Patty, telling him anyone else but her. Susan comes into Patty’s room and tells Patty that she needs to leave.
Patty tells Susan that she was following her Will and that the man Susan truly loves is in prison. Patty then says to Susan she has an idea on how to get Alfred out of jail.
The next morning Richard and Marisol are listening to the radio, Richard seems distracted and tells Marisol he is worried about Jack’s results. Richard ask Marisol about the night of the vigil with her father, Marisol says to Richard she never understood before but does now, that’s its good to know someone is going to be there for you no matter what.
At the Parsonage, Virgil and Mabel come to visit. Susan takes their mother into the garden as Virgil goes to meet Patty in the library. Susan asked her mother how she could continue pretending like nothing is wrong? Susan’s mother responds that she has lost both of her children; maybe one day, Susan will know what it is like to be a mother.
In the library, Virgil tells Patty that everything he has done was to save her, Patty asks from who, Virgil responds from herself. Patty says to Virgil the only way she will ever step foot in his house again is if he swears never to touch her again.
At the offices of Aerojet, Jack and the Rocketeers await his results. He is of sound mind and that the delusions were caused by exhaustion, drug use, and alcohol consumption. Jack is offered an ongoing role with JPL…as a fuel technician. General Braxton adds that the military could not in good conscience leave Jack in a position of authority.
Jack then ask who will run JPL to which Agent Wallace responds, Mr. Onsted, who else?
Jack is furious as he walks about of the meeting, he looks for Patty, someone who would be on his side, Richard tells Jack that Richard is on Jack’s side just as Crowley appears and tells Jack, Richard has been looking to push him out from the start.
As the military comes out, Jack tells the assembled, he doesn’t need to be apart of JPL, he still runs Aerojet, and they don’t need the military, Jack tells Richard they need to turn their attention back to the stars and not building weapons of war.
Jack tries to explain to Richard that the military will eventually turn on him as well to which Richard response by asking Jack how much he wants for his share of the company. Braxton tells Jack the military won’t do business with Aerojet with Jack in charge.
Jack walks out saying, “the new Aeon is upon us, and it is necessary to defend freedom unless we all wish to be slaves.”
Later, Virgil and Mabel go to the police station. The detective tells them a package and that some new evidence has come to light. The package contains a recording of Virgil and Patty, of Virgil confessing to molesting Patty.
Virgil tries to make excuses, but the detective and Mabel are not having any of it. Mabel refuses to leave with Virgil and slaps him across the face. Mabel goes to make a sworn statement against Virgil who is arrested for rape.
The next day, Jack is sitting on a hilltop overlooking the new Jet Propulsion Laboratory as they test a new rocket. As the rocket leaves the atmosphere, Jack inhales a line of cocaine.
Outside of city hall, Susan shows DA Yates a copy of the local newspaper. She tells him that they did leave out the detail that Virgil was a major donor to his campaign. She says Yates has something she wants and if he gives it to her, the story dies there.
Back at the Parsonage, Patty shows Ruth a classified ad for the new boarding house. Ruth says Patty is a clever girl with a smile to which Jack agrees.
At the same time, Susan walks in with Alfred. Alfred tells everyone he knows he needs to work to regain their trust that they need to celebrate the Agape rising from the asses as well as a new life, sharing a smile with Susan.
That night Jack and Susan are in their room, Jack says he was willing to be the father to which Susan responds, it will have your name, but that is all it will have, she is relieving Jack of his obligation.
As Jack and Susan lay in bed, Susan gets up and walks out of the room; she is met in the hallways by Patty who goes into the bedroom with Jack as Susan goes to Alfred’s bedroom.
Patty tells Jack that it’s time to take what is his.
In London, Aleister Crowley receives a call from Jack, who after receiving a sizeable offering, tells Jack that he is free to pursue his path. Jack ask Crowley if he did see him. Crowley asks Jack the only question he needs to ask if he wants to be a man or a Magus, something the projection of Crowley asked Jack before.
In prison, Virgil is showering when he is stabbed several times by an unseen assailant. As he bleeds out, he holds up the knife, one just like the knife Ernest carried.
The episode time jumps a few months into the future, Richard and Marisol have decided to marry after all. Richard’s mother arrives; she gives Richard his grandmother’s ring to give to Marisol. As Marisol’s father walks her down the aisle, we see a flash to the Parsonage where the Agape is holding a ceremony of their own.
Susan, her pregnancy fully showing, has taken over the role of High Priestess to Alfred’s High Priest, while everyone, including Jack and Patty, looks on.
But all is not right in the Agape. As Alfred is concluding the ceremony, the Lodge members blow out their candles. Jack steps forward with the ceremonial dagger and declares he is claiming his mantle as Magus.
We flash between the two ceremonies as we see the Catholic communion and the Thelemic communion intertwine. As Marisol and Richard share a kiss as husband and wife, the lodge is engaging in an orgy. Susan and Alfred are not participating in the festivities down stairs, Alfred suggest going to Mexico as he intended. Susan tells Alfred if they leave, Jack wins. As Jack and Patty are having sex, Jack sees figures wearing masks appearing and disappearing, and finally, Jack sees his mother standing by the door, taking in the scene. Jack sees images of space and rockets, and he and Patty become from frantic.
The next morning, Jack awakens to a loud knock at the door. As Jack get up to answer, we see the house filled with bodies as the participants in last nights orgy feel asleep where ever there was space.
Jack and Patty open the door to find. L. Ron Hubbard who has come in response to the classified ad for renters as the episode and season come to a close.
In this video, I sit down with George Pendle, author of Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of John Whiteside Parsons. In this chat, we discuss Jack Parsons, the book, the series, Thelema and the impact Jack had on rocket science. Please like, share, comment and subscribe for more videos, coming soon.
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As the episode begins, newsreel footage of a V2 rocket attack carried out by the Germans in the waning days of World War 2.
The footage cuts away to the Parsonage where we see the remains of the explosion caused by Ernest, the lodge members gathered in meditation and being taken to be questioned by the Police.
At the precinct, we see the Lodge begin to come apart as fingers point at each other for blame. At the same time, the citizens of Pasadena are protesting the Lodge being lead by Virgil and his group on “concerned citizens.”
An officer reports to the detective in charge the only body they found was of a goat and that the blast probably incinerated Ernest. The Police find Alred’s recordings of the sessions with the Lodge members and arrest several members for admitting to crimes they have committed.
Back at the Parsonage, Alfred holds a ceremony for Ernest. While in the library, Jack and Susan discuss Susan’s relationship with Alfred. Susan tells Jack that she is not in love with Alfred as Jack heads to the office. He and Patty had to drive through the mob of angry citizens.
At the offices of Aerojet, Jack finds out that Wallace has revoked his security clearance and General Braxton, the reason due to having an all be it former Nazi, (Brigitte) under his roof. Agent Warren tells Jack if he wants reinstatement, he needs to arrange a meeting between Warren and Aleister Crowley. Richard gets up to leave, and when Jack ask where he is going, he closes the door without a word.
That night, Marisol is packing Richard’s suitcase, and they discuss Aleister Crowley. Richard says Crowley could be working with the enemy to which Marisol says, she does not know about that, but she does know Crowley is someone you do not want to cross. Marisol shows Richard a letter that she received from “Crowley” threatening her after leaving Thelema if she revealed anything about it.
The next day, the arrested members of the Lodge (Brigitte, Joan, Angela, Sam, Joseph and Walter who was attacked while in jail) are being charged and one by one taken away while Jack, Susan, Patty, Alfred, and Alice looked on.
It should not be overlooked that one of the crimes that Walter is charged with is Miscegenation, which is defined as marriage, cohabitation, or sexual intercourse between a white person and a member of another race (see below).
Outside, Patty confronts her parents, telling them she has a new home and family. Virgil says “one of fornicators and murders” to which Patty responds “you’re capable of human sacrifice, what’s one more?” and walk away.
Sometime later, we find Richard and the Rocketeers in London investing a V2 impact site. They are met by a British Agent (Sebastian Roché) who take them inside one of the buildings to a fully preserved V2 rocket that British Intelligence has begun taking apart. The Rocketeers know they need Jack, but the military has sidelined him.
Back at Aerojet, Jack is in his office sulking. Patty comes in and tells Jack that she does not like his new look, the look of failure. As she turns to leave, Patty tells Jack that he needs to figure out what he needs to do to win and then do it.
Across town at the Parsonage, Susan slips into a warm bath, her relaxation is interrupted by sharp pain and erratic movement coming from her stomach as blood fills the tub just as Susan awakes from her nightmare and becomes sick.
Jack goes to see Crowley and tells him that he needs to meet with Wallace so that he can get his clearance back. Crowley tells Jack he is essential to the Great Work and that the war is a blood sacrifice. Crowley tells Jack that other governments would pay mightily for his knowledge. He hands Jack a business card with “Soviet Travel Bureau” printed on it, telling Jack to meet him there. As he walks away, Crowley says, “the man of Will, breaks all boundaries.”
The next day Susan and Alice are conducting a working to determine if Susan is pregnant. Alice injects a fluid into a frog and tells Susan that if the frog lays eggs, it’s a sign that Susan is pregnant. Back in London, Richard asks if transport can be made into the city.
In Pasadena, Jack tells Wallace where Jack is meant to meet Crowley. Wallace and his mean arms themselves telling Jack, Crowley may need convincing. At the Soviet Travel Bureau, Jack approaches Crowley just as Wallace and his men round the corner, Crowley sees them and races into an elevator.
Back in London, Richard goes into a dilapidated building, as Jack and the agent race after Crowley. In London, Richard goes to a door and knocks; a man answers the door, Richard shows him a letter and ask to see the man who wrote it, telling the man he is a friend of Jack Parsons.
In Pasadena, the agents pounce on Crowley as he exits the elevator, but it isn’t Crowley at all. In London, Richard comes face to face with the real Aleister Crowley.
As Crowley is injecting himself with drugs, Richard tries to introduce himself.
He asks if he knows Jack, who Crowley calls Frater JP. Crowley knows about Richard and Jack, but Richard deduces that Jack and Crowley have never met. Richard asks Crowley to help clear Jack’s name, which Crowley laughs off. Richard offers Crowley a supply of drugs if he agrees to help Richard, help Jack.
Back in Los Angeles, Jack is nursing his drug habit as he waits for Wallace outside of his office. Across town, Alfred goes to the Police and offers them a big catch if they would let the Lodge members go. Alfred offers himself in their place.
At the Parsonage, Susan goes to open the box with the frog. But before she can open the box the doorbell rings. Susan rushes downstairs to see the returned Lodge members. Joan stands silent in the doorway as Susan ask where Alfred is
Richard radios to Aerojet and tells Jack and Wallace that he meet Crowley and has a signed affidavit that he has been in London the whole time. Jack says that’s impossible, and he was supposed to meet Crowley. Reaching in his pocket to retrieve the Soviet Travel Beareu card, Jack instead reveals one of his Aerojet business cards.
Wallace tells Jack, “I thought you were dangerous, turns out you’re just delusional.”
Susan goes to the Police Department to see Alfred. Susan asks why did he not tell her what he was doing. Alfred said she built a beautiful home of love and trust, and he violated that trust.
Susan asked if Alfred made those recordings for Crowley. Alfred said that Crowley wanted a way to know his congregation, even if he could not meet them in the flesh.
Alfred says he takes full responsibility. Susan says he has another responsibility as she places his hands on her stomach.
Back at the Parsonage, Jack finds the frog and its eggs.
Jack goes to Patty’s room and asks where Susan is; Patty says she went to see Alfred, that she had something important to tell him. Jack tells Patty that he sees things, things others don’t. Patty tells Jack that Jack is a visionary and that she believes in him. She tells Jack to tell her what he wants and then kisses Jack. Patty tells Jack, “I want it all” as they kiss, undress and have sex as the episode comes to a close.
*Wikipedia Contributors. 2019. “Miscegenation.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. July 20, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscegenation#United_States.
*“Definition of MISCEGENATION.” 2018. Merriam-Webster.Com. 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscegenation.
The episode begins with Ernest (Rupert Friend) meditating and having a vision of Virgil with bleeding hands coming to tell him that he is going to rot in a prison cell. Ernest wakes to find that the blood is coming from the sigil carved into his chest.
In another part of the house, Susan (Bella Heathcote) and The Magus aka Alred (Greg Wise) are having sex. They discuss Susan’s ring and having to hide what they are doing. Susan tells, the Magus he needs to leave so she can change the sheets before Jack comes home.
At the offices of Aerojet, Jack (Jack Reynor) is told that his plan for JPL is denied because of his private life. Jack invites General Braxton (Karl Makinen) and his staff to a dinner at the Parsonage to show them nothing is going on at the house. The day of the feast, as the Lodge is taking down “incriminating” images, a package arrives for Jack from Aleister Crowley containing a new work, Liber OZ and a letter congratulating Jack on becoming a Magus himself.
Jack, for obvious reasons, wants to hide the package, Ernest asks him, “how does it feel to serve two masters?” Jack says it’s not about serving to masters; it’s about JPL. Ernest ask what is that? Jack replies it’s how I get to the stars.
Marisol (Veronica Osorio) and Richard (Peter Mark Kendall) have come to attend the party, Marisol is apprehensive about going into the Lodge, but Richard tells her that she should be, Jack has been teaching him about some of their techniques, like manifesting your Will.
As the party gets started, Jack gives a speech of Thelema and how the aims of Thelema and the U.S. are the same, freedom from tyranny. The Magus arrives to introduce himself to General Braxton, and another power play between Jack and the Magus plays out.
Everyone heads to the dining room, and Jack notices that the portrait of Crowley, that he had taken down is back up. Jack is not pleased, vowing to find out who did it just as Agent Wallace (Matthew Barnes) questions him again about not having met Crowley.
While everyone is in conversation, the waiting staff bring out more drinks, including “Jack’s poison punch.” Again, Jack is not pleased as it appears Ernest intends to drug the guest.
Susan and The Magus again find themselves discussing their relationship, The Magus finding humor in using Susan’s underwear as a handkerchief. Susan asks where he got it; The Magus says on his pillow. Susan tells him, not by her, which makes them both suspect that Jack knows and put the garments on The Magus’ pillow. Susan says they need to stop and walks away.
Back in the dining room, Ernest reemerges with the copy of Liber OZ*. He leads the guest out onto the patio and reads the letter and says that the message is for the one true Magus who should step forward and take the sacred dagger…Alfred steps forward and takes the blade. While Alfred addresses the crowd, Jack sees Aleister Crowley (Angus Macfadyen) in the house.
Crowley tells Jack to imagine the power of the military and Thelema merged as one. Downstairs, the Magus and the Lodge have stepped out from behind their facade and are conducting a ceremony with the military staff in attendance. When it looks like The Magus will take Susan into the ritual, he instead takes Joan (Amara Zaragoza) which may or may not be meant to make Susan jealous.
Upstairs, Jack and Crowley discuss The Magus and Ernest and Ernest’s desire to cross the abyss, which Crowley tells Jack will require sacrifice as Crowley turns to leave. A few minutes later, Susan comes in and apologizes to Jack for keeping her relationship with Alfred from him, and she questions if Jack’s dreams still include her.
Back at the patio, The Magus and Joan are in the midst of their ritual. Agent Warren approaches Richard and asks how could he be involved with someone (ie, Marisol, and more importantly, Jack) who would be involved with this “depravity”? Richard hallucinates and sees Marisol in Joan’s place.
Richard storms out with Marisol following, they cross paths with Jack, and Richard angrily tells Jack that it was a great idea to invite all these people to the house, Chang joins in and says that they can kiss JPL goodbye. Outside Richard and Marisol argue about what just happened, Marisol tells Richard that if he wants to manifest his Will, this is how manifesting Will is done. It’s called Sex Magick, not be nice and work real hard magick.
Chang (Keye Chen) informs Richard and Marisol that the gates of the mansion are locked and no one can get out. At the same time, General Braxton is still feeling the effects of the drugs and wanders the Parsonage. When he meets Ernest who backs the General into a corner, his intention hidden behind a smile, the scene is interrupted when Jack’s mother Ruth walks in with the General hat and coat, Ruth leads the General to “someplace he can get his wits about him.”
Later we see that the dinner party has turned into a real party, with drinks and drugs shared by the members of the Lodge and the soldiers in attendance. Brigitte (Joslyn DeFreece) and Wallace sit together discussing her background, Wallace asking if she was born a woman, Brigitte responds, “I was, just in the wrong body.” Wallace smiles and says, “I don’t see anything wrong,” which brings a smile to Brigitte’s face and the two walk off to be alone.
Unfortunately, their rendezvous turns it an interrogation about Brigitte’s knowledge of Aleister Crowley. At the same time Ernest confronts Alfred who tells Ernest he has been deceived, Ernest reveals himself to be the one who put Susan’s underwear on Alfred’s bed.
Still looking for Ernest, Jack comes into the Library to find General Braxton and his mother on the couch, obviously doing more than talking. An embarrassed General Braxton tells Jack that one no needs to know what happened there that night and he sees no reason why JPL can’t move forward. With Jack at the helm.
Richard and Marisol wait outside for the gates to open, Richard tells Marisol that he does not think she is a pervert but does ask if she misses the Lodge, Marisol says that she does a little. Richard says maybe they could try Sex Magick, and the thought of someone else touching her makes him sick to his stomach at which Marisol embraces Richard, and they share a passionate kiss.
On the patio, a triumphant Jack watches and the dinner guest play in the fountain, Chang comes to tell him someone locked the gates as they both hear a scream and run into the house. Upstairs Agent Warren throws Brigitte on her bed and continues the interrogation. The look on Brigitte’s face makes Warren look at her dresser and back to the family picture. Taking the image out of the frame, he unfolds it to see that another person is in the image, in a German uniform. Warren takes the photo and puts it up to Brigitte’s face, realizing that the man in the uniform is Brigitte.
Jack and the others find a long stream of blood leading out of the house; they wonder if Ernest is attempting to cross the abyss. Jack goes outside to find sigils painted on the garage and a dead lamb hanging from the ceiling; it’s throat cut. Jack finds Ernest meditating over a pool of gasoline, Ernest takes out a lighter and lights a candle. A worried Jack confesses to Ernest that he faked the Angel to save his life.
Outside the gates of the Parsonage, the police have arrived including D.A. Yates (J. Downing). Ernest tells Jack that the war machine will not get him to where he is trying to go; he needs to get back onto the only path that matters. Jack tells Ernest that he needs him at which Ernest puts the dagger from earlier in Jack’s hand, “You need to face your destiny,” he tells Jack. Jack begs Ernest not to drop the lighter, but Ernest is determined. His last words being “Love is the Law, Love under Will” as he drops the lighter.
Jack runs for his life, barely escaping as the garage explodes. As the Pasadena Police come onto the grounds, D.A. Yates finds a piece of Liber Oz* that has survived the exploaion.
Jack, the Lodge, and the Police watch the flames of Ernest’s crossing as the episode comes to a close.
Liber LXXVII (aka Liber Oz)
|“the law of the strong :this is our law and the joy of the world.” —AL. II. 21.|
|“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”—AL. I. 40.“thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no|
other shall say nay.” —AL. I. 42–3.“Every man and every woman is a star.” —AL. I. 3.There is no god but man.1. Man has the right to live by his own law—
to live in the way that he wills to do:
to work as he will:
to play as he will:
to rest as he will:
to die when and how he will.2. Man has the right to eat what he will:
to drink what he will:
to dwell where he will:
to move as he will on the face of the earth.3. Man has the right to think what he will:
to speak what he will:
to write what he will:
to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will:
to dress as he will.4. Man has the right to love as he will:—
“take your fill and will of love as ye will,
when, where, and with whom ye will.” —AL. I. 51.5. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.“the slaves shall serve.” —AL. II. 58.
“Love is the law, love under will.” —AL. I. 57.
“Liber LXXVII.” 2019. Oto-Usa.Org. 2019. http://lib.oto-usa.org/libri/liber0077.html.
The episode beings with as Susan was remembering the ceremony she and The Magus performed at the end of the last episode. An intense ritual which included being suspended by ropes from the ceiling. Susan is brought back to the present by the arrival of a disheveled Jack.
Downstairs, Ernest is confessing to the group about Virgil’s plot to kill Jack. Elsewhere, Virgil and Mrs. Van Buren are holding a fundraiser for a local politician. Virgil attempts to convince the politician to go after the Agape Lodge and that they should not be allowed to use the 1st Amendment (The Agape Lodge has filed to become a church) to mask their “deviancy.”
Back at the Parsonage, Jack and Susan argue whether or not to give up their home to the Agape. At the same time, Ernest has prepared a large breakfast for the group, and everyone is keen to hear about the “Angel” that possessed Jack and stopped Ernest.
Later, we find Jack and the Rocketeers preparing to test their newest rocket. After a successful launch, Jack speaks to himself, “there is no other god but me.”
At the Parsonage, Ernest and Alfred are conducting a session. Alfred is skeptical of what Ernest saw and of Jack’s claims. Across town, Marisol is discussing an audition with a fellow waitress at the restaurant she works. When a group of soldiers walks in, Marisol becomes distracted.
Ernest has gathered some of the group together to plant a victory garden as a thank you to Jack and Susan as well as the “angel” who appeared to Ernest.
At the offices of the Aerojet Corporation, Patty is sharing stories of Thelema with the ladies of the office. Jack is not pleased, but Patty tells him that if they have an army of believers, no one can stop them.
When we next find Suan and Alfred (The Magus), they are at City Hall waiting to file paper on the Agape. Susan is apprehensive because she feels like she is betraying Jack by signing over the house in his name. Alfred attempts to calm her worries, but Susan certain she is betraying her husband. Alfred tried to explain to Susan that what she is feeling in the guilt that Virgil instilled in her to try and control her. Alfred also reveals the conversation he and Jack had about Alfred and Susan…interacting…which Alfred was happy to ignore. They are interrupted by a secretary who tells them; the paperwork is on hold pending an investigation.
At the Church, Virgil and Ernest meet to discuss their plans. Virgil admits he is relieved that Ernest didn’t kill Jack. Ernest tells Virgil that he must be careful when fighting monsters, lest he becomes one.
That night Richard meets Marisol outside of her apartment. He expresses his love for her and shows her the ring he bought for her. Richard apologies for going to see Marisol’s family behind her back but Marisol turns him away, giving back the ring and walking away.
Back at the Parsonage, the situation is becoming intense as Jack and Ernest reveal their plan to take down Virgil. The group, rightly upset. Jack tries to convince them that using Ernest at trial to unravel the case against them and embarrass Virgil, is the best course of action. Susan, instead of wanting to embarrass Virgil, wants him to pay.
In their room, Jack and Susan argue over Susan forging Jack’s signature and her plan with Alfred. Susan believes that Jack is playing a dangerous game with Ernest.
The next morning, Jack and Chang find Richard (uses drugs) in the office writing up a proposal for a new facility, where they can begin building intercontinental missiles. Back at Marisol’s restaurant, her brother and father come in to talk about the past.
Out at the test site, the Rocketeers discuss with General Braxton the establishment of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which General Braxton jokingly calls Jack Parsons’ Laboratory. Richard tells the General to consider it a downpayment on the future of the country.
Later that day, Marisol meets Richard at his home. She tells him the story of her father cheating on her mother and the fear that she would become like her father. They make up as Richard tells Marisol, they do not have to be like everyone else.
That night, Susan confronts Ernest and tells him if he wants to atone, he needs to teach Virgil about shame. Back at the Parsonage, Jack and Alfred discuss Ernest and his wanting to cross the abyss. Alfred confronts Jack about his claim of summoning an angel. Jack confronts Alfred about conspiring with Susan to steal the Parsonage from him.
Across town, Virgil sits alone in his office when Ernest walks in. Ernest attacks Virgil and nails Virgil’s hand to his desk. Susan overjoyed hurries to Alfred’s room where they make love, which Jack overhears. Enraged, Jack goes to Patty and tells her to gather the group where they perform a ceremony over Ernest.
Back at Virgil’s office, the DA finds Virgil who ask him to call the police; the DA tells Virgil that probably wouldn’t be a good idea as he promptly leaves. Ask Virgil cries for him to come back; we see behind him that Ernest has painted in blood on the wall, Child Rapist.
This week’s episode focused on several hot botton topics, that we continue to deal with today. Racism, Classism, Homophobia, Paranoia, and, Fear of the other.
The members of the Agape Lodge are out shopping in Pasadena, everyone is happily enjoying their walk, you can tell from the way people are looking at them, the news of who they are is spreading.
Jack and the Rocketeers are hard at work attempting to craft a rocket to rival the German V2, but at the same time Jack is dealing with paranoia, first that The Magus and Susan are becoming closer, that there may be a spy in the office and that Patty may be interested in a Soldier assigned to the Jack’s office.
At the same time, Ernest is continuing to do Virgil’s bidding, providing information on the Lodge, which Virgil gives to the local community, turning them against Susan and the Lodge. This comes to a head at a Christmas Party, hosted by the Pasadena Conservation Society. While there Susan is cornered by a group of women who question the goings on at the Parsonage, feeling trapped Susan is rescued not by Jack but by Alfred, The Magus who arrives in barefoot and in style.
The host of the party, when attempting to interrogate Susan and Alfred brings up the fact that black people are living at the house, whether as guest or borders which is not allowed. Now, this is important to talk about. In Los Angeles at the time Strange Angel takes place, Jim Crow was alive and well in the American South. California did not have Jim Crow laws per se, but what they did have were Covenant Laws, which basically were a way to make sure a specific type of behavior was abided by in the community.
These Covenant Laws would be expanded to be Racial Covenant Laws which went something like this: Jack and Susan want to by a mansion in Pasadena. When signing the papers, there is a clause that says they will abide by the local Covenant Laws which stated that they promise to not sell the house to people of color or a particular religion or orientation. More extreme versions, like in this episode would include not being able to rent to or board “undesirables” either.
We begin to see the rift between Jack and Susan developing. And with Jack’s erratic behavior in the office, we start to see seeds of Jack undoing. Susan, at the same time, is becoming stronger in Will and her connection to The Magus who comes to her aid at the ambush at the Christmas Party.
We get a glimpse of what Ernest was up to during his time abroad, in occupied North Africa, Ernest spends time with his lover Omar. They are captured by the authorities who question Ernest as a spy, they are tortured, and Omar is killed. The soldiers dump Ernest in the desert, where he begins to hallucinate and comes to see his Holy Guardian Angel after carving Sigils into his skin with a knife.
Back at the Aerojet Company, racism rears it’s head as two soldiers question Chang while he is inspecting one of the rocket shells, not believing that he is working on the project with Jack and the others. Richard interrupts the harassment, and after Chang produces his credentials, the soldiers leave. Patty admits to Jack that the flirting between the soldier and Patty is meant to get Jack’s attention.
Jack and Aleister Crowley meet to discuss potential spies in the organization, Jack is sure that the soldier who is having a fling with Patty is the spy, but how much of this is tied to his jealousy is yet to be seen.
Jack enlist Ernest to help in capturing the spy. Unfortunately, Ernest how has gone mad from his experience in the desert and under orders from Virgil to “cut the head off the snake” nearly kills the soldier and then chases Jack into a river bed with the knife he used in the desert.
Jack fools Ernest into thinking he is a powerful Elemental by using small rocket canisters to produce wings of fire which Ernest is captivated by.
Back at the Parsonage, Susan and Alfred have begun their ritual to be rid of their enemies.
As the episode opens we are back at the Parsonage, the new home of the Agape Lodge. Ernest (played by Rupert Friend) having returned to Los Angeles is detailing his journeys since leaving Los Angeles at the end of season one to the Magus.
When the Magus (played by Greg Wise) brings Ernest to the group and says he should stay, Jack would have none of it and that the Parsonage is his house to which the Magus reminds Jack (played by Jack Reynor) that since inviting the Agape into the mansion, it is now their home. Love is the Law, the Magus says and the group repeats, Jack finally saying Love is the Law.
Patty and The Magus are central figures in this episode as they both pursue their respective objectives, Jack and Susan. Patty (played by Laine Neil) snoops around the house, taking in the new residence, finding herself in the Magus’ quarters she finds a large chest with strange symbols inscribed on it, but before she can open it, the Magus finds her.
When we find Richard, he is searching for Marisol’s (played by Veronica Osorio) family, intent on asking her father’s blessing to marry her, the reception he receives is less than he had hoped for and when Marisol finds out that Richard has gone to see her family, she is less than pleased.
At the same time, the military and the rocketeers are viewing footage of a V2 Rocket being launched, realizing the Germans are far ahead of where they need to be but hope arrives in the form of a POW who helps the team by detailing the missile location, providing information on the facilities the missiles are made and most importantly what the fuel smells like.
Meanwhile, Patty has begun working at Aerojet with Jack. She is flirtatious and rubs some of the employees the wrong way by wearing stockings that are currently being rationed because of the war. Jack notices a car parked across the street and it appears he is being followed.
Back at the Parsonage, Patty has found what was inside the box hidden in the Magus’ room, it was filled with the audio recording of sessions the Magus has had with the members of the Lodge. Patty, attempting to drive a wedge between Jack and Susan, let’s Jack hear the conversations between Susan and the Magus.
During all of this, Susan (played by Bella Heathcote) are growing closer. The Magus encouraging Susan to participate in the Yoga sessions with with group and flirting with Susan as she prepares a meal.
Ernest has joined into an unholy alliance with Susan and Patty’s father Virgil to bring down the Lodge, particularly Jack by recording the names of the Lodge members and goings on and reporting back to Virgil. During his time away from Los Angeles, Ernest has become a Heroin addict and in attempting to get close to Jack, introduces him to the drug.
After his first experience, Jack finds himself in a diner where he meets Aleister Crowley (played by Angus McFadyen) going under an assumed name, who claims to be working for “King and Country” and who appears to be the person following Jack. Crowley explains to him that they must work together and act against the forces of evil but due to the effects of the drugs Jack and Ernest took, Jack is not certain that Crowley is actually there.
Back at Aerojet, a disheveled Jack barges in triumphant, he was able to figure out what the fuel type the German Scientist was using for the V2s, Richard shows Jack and article that the British Air Force bombed a German research facility. Jack sees this as a confirmation of his Will, Richard is not so sure.
Later, the time had come for the Lodge to decide if Ernest could stay. Jack upset at the secret records the Magus has been keeping challengers him when the Magus says they should expel Ernest after finding Ernest and Jack getting high and surmising that the visions Ernest has been seeing may be chemical in nature.
At this point, Jack and Patty have grown closer, which you can see as Patty takes her seat next to Jack opposite Susan. The Magus is outvoted and Ernest is allowed to stay.
The episode ends with a outdoor ceremony at the Parsonage; Patty with Jack’s support has become a member of the Agape Lodge, whether or not purely to annoy her sister remains to be seen, Susan is not pleased by the situation. The Mass is then followed by an orgy at which point Jack and Susan decide to take over lovers, perhaps in a foretelling of future events…
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John Whiteside Parsons, played by Jack Reynor, is the subject of the CBS All Access series Strange Angel has been a mysterious figure since his death in 1952.
Occultist, Chemist, Rocket Scientist and American pioneer, Jack (as he was known to his friends and family) was a man ahead of his time. Born October 2, 1914, in Los Angeles, CA, Jack was a curios child who had a passion for science fiction and fantasy, particularly the works of Jules Verne.
Jack had another passion, a passion for the occult. He is on record as having claimed to have summoned the devil as a child. As he grew older, Jack’s attentioned switched to more scientific endevours and he and his childhood friend Ed Foreman began building rockets with the intention of traveling to the stars along side Frank Malina, a student at CalTech.
Jack was a founding member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) which in some circles was called the Jack Parsons Laboratory and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. Around this time, Jack became a student of English occultist Aleister Crowley and the religion of Thelema. Thelema’s core tenet being: Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love under will.
Being that this was 1940s/1950s Los Angeles, this religion/cult was deeply underground with the FBI opening file after file on Jack Parsons and the Agape Lodge he belonged too. Eventually, Jack and his first wife Helen (who will be covered in her own post) became the head of the Agape Lodge, turning their mansion into the Lodge’s new home.
Eventually, Jack’s extracorrecual activities drove him out of JPL and CalTech. Jack died on June 17, 1952 in an explosion at his home in Pasadena, CA. The circumstances of the explosion remain a mystery. Some suspect that Jack accidently dropped a chemical he was working on, others suspect that Jack was murdered by a gangster that he had testified against in the 1930s.
Another, more occult theory is that Jack was attempting to summon a fire elemental and it appeared causing the explosion. We may never know. What we do know is that the work in rocketry that Jack and his team performed in the 1930s-1950s paved the way for future rocket scientist to lead humanity to the stars.
The series, Strange Angel, is a fictionalized version of Parsons’ life, many of the characters are either reimagined or made up versions of people from his life and times.
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“Early History.” 2019. Nasa.Gov. 2019. https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/jplhistory/early/.
Wikipedia Contributors. 2019. “Jack Parsons (Rocket Engineer).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. June 4, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer).
Keane, Phillip. 2015. “Jack Parsons: Occultism, Magic and the Birth of NASA JPL.” Space Safety Magazine. February 11, 2015. http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/aerospace-engineering/rocketry/jack-parsons-occult-roots-jpl/.