The most overtly horror-themed episode of Season 1, Monsterland Episode 4 New York, NY, was filled with religious undertones and flying monsters.
Stanley Price is an energy company tycoon with more money than scruples. His company was responsible for a significant oil spill in the gulf, and he is trying desperately to weasel out of responsibility. Monsterland Episode 4 was as absurd as it was resonant. Alter boys who sass with the best of them, and human monsters who think they can buy their way out of Heaven by eating enough communion wafers are just some of the highlights of a weird and wacky possession story.
Was Stanley posessed by God?
The Old Testament fire and brimstone God of Judeo Christianity and the Jewish faith could be a brutal guy. He frequently tested his followers and punished the non-believers. That being said, everything Stanley experiences was a little much for even that vengeful guy. Either his experience was designed only to impact Mr. Hammond, or something more akin to Paimon or any other nasty demons. The flying bird beast that flew out of Stanley seems to indicate this was no God, but a nightmare who now, unfortunately, is one the loose in the world. Like an oil spill, you can clean up the spill, but the environmental impacts are forever.
In the end, Mr. Hammond is the one who has a revelation. Stanley was a lost cause. He was evil to the core. A selfish fat cat who never cared for his wives, his company, his employees, or the world. He prayed at the altar of money, and that green monster is a fickle bitch. Mr. Hammond got caught up in that himself and lost sight of who he was and what was important. He admits it in the end, but prior; he tells his husband that he couldn’t come home now. From the conversation, this wasn’t the first time they had had this conversation. Hopefully, Stanley’s demon inspires Mr. Hammond to do better.
Connections to the Monsterland Universe.
Stanley Price is the CEO of Titan Industries. His company caused an oil spill in the gulf. Stanley Company caused the spill in Episode 6. This could lend credence to the episodes sharing a universe. Different realities, like parallel universes, where there are minor changes, but the people and places’ truth remain the same. It would allow Toni to work as a waitress in Episode 1 and 8 to work as a dental hygienist in Episode 3. The number 10 comes up. Ten years later, the caption preceding Lauren’s time jump in Episode 7 and 10 times the amount of oil spilled versus what was reported in Episode 4. Senator Dorcey makes an appearance in this episode and Episode 6. The reporter’s name is Peter Sims. Lauren’s fiance’s name is Pete in Episode 7.
The concept of apathy comes up many times in Monsterland. The story is as much about Mr. Stanley as it is about his assistant. Sometimes allowing something to happen makes you as culpable as actually doing the deed yourself. Mr. Hammond started as an idealistic young businessman and became exactly what he despised the most. Evil is contagious. Greed is catching, and unfortunately, that has consequences for the world.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what happened to Stanley. His Titan company will go on, and his monster is out in the world. Mr. Hammond has a chance to make a change. Guilt gets us all. Only those who truly can justify their behavior are immune to the damage guilt can cause. In Stanley’s case, his guilt grew a demon. Instead of rising from the ashes of the spill like a Phoenix, he birthed a demon bird. In Monsterland Episode 4, Mr. Hammond was the target, Stanley was just the tool. Follow all our Monsterland coverage here.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.