With the Halloween season in full swing, every streaming service has stocked up its collection with all things spooky, creepy, and even downright evil. Hulu is no exception. Teaming up with Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios, the Disney-owned platform released ‘Helstrom,’ a standalone TV show set in the same universe as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Developed by Paul Zbyszewski (‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’), it is the cinematic adaptation of Marvel Comics characters Daimon (Tom Austen) and Satana “Ana” Hellstrom (Sydney Lemmon), who are siblings with psychic abilities. The series was supposed to serve as one of Marvel Studio’s first ventures into the occult and supernatural side of the shared universe, but those plans have since been scrapped. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The series revolves around siblings Daimon and Ana Helstrom. Both of them possess supernatural abilities, inherited from their demonic father. Daimon can create mystical fiery energy that can burn demons and exorcise them from their human hosts, whereas Ana has succubus-like abilities that allow her to feed upon the energy of other beings. The narrative shifts back and forth between the siblings’ childhood and the present day.
We learn that as kids, they were tortured by their father to bring out their innate abilities. At one point, he took Ana and embarked on a killing spree all over the country. She later became his accomplice, often serving as the bait to lure his victims. As an adult, Daimon lives in Portland and is an ethics professor at a local University. He is also a secular exorcist working closely with the head of Saint Teresa Center for Mental Health, Louise Hastings (June Carryl).
Daimon and Ana’s mother, Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel), has been a patient at Saint Teresa since became possessed by a powerful, evil entity known as the Mother, two decades ago. Daimon has tried multiple times to force the demon out of her body but failed each time. Ana, on the other hand, is living in San Francisco and runs an antique business with her childhood friend Chris Yen (Alain Uy). Unlike Daimon, who has enough control over his powers, Ana has let her abilities become more volatile and dangerous.
With Yen’s help, she preys on some of the worst murderers and criminals of her city by draining their energy. The siblings were separated following their father’s disappearance and mother’s institutionalization. Daimon has been raised by Hastings, while Ana has predominantly grown up in foster care with a mysterious man named Henry (Robert Wisdom) watching over her. They reunite when their possessed mother tells them that their father is back.
Due to Hastings’ falling health, Daimon gets a new partner, the Vatican agent Gabriella Rossetti (Ariana Guerra). It is later revealed that Hastings has lung cancer. Yen becomes possessed by the skull of a Keeper, a relatively less malevolent species of demons that can be used to seal other demons. The siblings manage to destroy the demon they believe to be their father with the skull, only to discover that it is actually the Mother’s son.
She manipulated them into thinking that their father has returned, so she can escape from the mental facility and acquire a new host. Daimon and Gabriella go to the house he grew up in to find one half of his father’s knife. There, he is ambushed by the ancient and clandestine demon-fighting organization known as the Blood, of which Henry (AKA the Caretaker) is a member. He easily subdues them but lets them go with a warning that if they had gone after his sister, she wouldn’t have spared them.
Throughout the season, Daimon and Gabriella grow close. She even starts having doubts about her career in the Catholic Church. In the closing moments of episode 8, she gets possessed by the Mother, who was earlier exorcised by Ana and Hastings from Victoria’s body. The Mother then easily overpowers Daimon and pushes a piece of her son into his body. Daimon, being a part-demon himself, cannot be possessed like normal humans. She needed a piece of her dying son to complete the ritual. They then have sex, impregnating Gabriella’s body with Daimon’s child.
Episode 9 reveals the Mother’s real plans. Instead of using Gabriella as her long-term host, she wants to become the soul of her unborn child. Gabriella appears to be several months pregnant. She realizes that, while the Mother is inhabiting the fetus, she is vulnerable. She manages to incapacitate her demonic captors and escape. She goes to Daimon’s home, where she learns from Hastings and Victoria that only one day has passed since her abduction.
The Son, while possessing Daimon, has been captured after infiltrating Saint Teresa and attempting to kill Victoria. Daimon tries to exorcise the Son with his abilities but eventually loses the battle. His home is then attacked by the demons. In the season finale, during the struggle, Hastings is stabbed with a fireplace poker while protecting the Caretaker. Gabriella runs and takes refuge with the Archbishop and the Blood. But when the demons show up, she gives herself up to avoid bloodshed.
The Fiery Lance
Elsewhere, Daimon is discovered by the facility’s staff and is declared dead. But the Son wakes up and escapes from the morgue. Yen shows up at the facility and tells Ana how an eye has appeared inside his mouth. The Caretaker deduces that he is turning into a Keeper. With her mother’s help, Ana melds the two halves of her father’s knife, demonstrating the same power as Daimon.
She and Yen sneak into the compound where Gabriella is held. The Son confronts Ana. Yen helps her in bringing the Son in control. Her father’s knife transforms into a fiery lance, with which she pulls the piece of the Son out of her brother’s body, finally freeing him. But they are too late as Gabriella has already given birth.
A Cliffhanger Ending
The season ends with a disillusioned and disenchanted Gabriella joining the Blood. Hastings survives and discovers that she is cancer-free. The bond between Daimon, Ana, and their mother is stronger than ever. Yen accepts his responsibility as the Keeper and vows to watch over the reincarnated Mother. A month later, the girl is already a preteen and traveling with Yen. Daimon and Ana’s father (Mitch Pileggi) makes his first appearance. He reveals that the Mother is also one of his children and takes the girl away.
Read More: Where Is Helstrom Filmed?