“Coquilles” was an episode laced with sadness and mortality. Tonight’s killer gave a thought to humanity and just how little we know about how the human brain works.
There were several themes in the show tonight, but the strongest that stood out to me was change. Almost every character in this episode is going through some change, and they are all in differing stages.
With religious undertones involving this new killer, aptly named The Angel Maker, the story goes beyond that, to much deeper depths. Meet Elliot Boudish. Five months ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that is causing him to change at a rapid pace as it is killing him. As the tumor manipulates different parts of his brain while it grows, his behaviors, beliefs, and even what he sees all change. He’s become a killer, ironically, because he seeks peace. By killing his victims, then fileting the flesh off their backs to make them resemble angels with wings, which he also puts hooks through and hangs from the ceiling, he is creating his own guardian angels. Later in the show we learn that Elliot had a near death experience as a child when he almost suffocated in a fire. The fireman who saved him told him he had a guardian angel. The tumor must be causing memories to resurface, and his ability to perceive them, along with proper placement, have become skewed. He’s desperate to find his guardian angel before he succumbs to the cancer. We also see his visions of his victims as having flames engulfing their heads. Again, this can be attributed to his childhood trauma. It is quite coincidental that the victims that he chooses also happen to be criminals with very nasty backgrounds. Perhaps he also feels he’s doing a duty, performing a service if you will, by killing them; one good last deed for his last days on earth. For what it’s worth, I’m reminded of the scene in The Silence of the Lambs in which Lecter escapes and hangs the guard on his cage, backlit and resembling an angel. Maybe Lecter copycats from many different killers per the series.
[Criminal victims...what do they deserve in the way of justice?]