Warning! Contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, “The Viewing”
Episode 7 of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, “The Viewing,” on Netflix is a weird and tense horror story whose ending might need some explaining. The penultimate episode of del Toro’s anthology horror stories, “The Viewing” tells the story of four people, each an expert in their field, who are invited to the mansion of the mysterious Lionel Lassiter (Peter Weller). Respectively, Charlotte (Charlyne Yi), Targ (Michael Therriault), Randall (Eric André) and Guy (Steve Agee) focus on space and panspermia, ESP and spirituality, music and literature.
Overall, The Viewing is a cautionary tale that examines the pride of those who attempt to own and control what they do not understand. Additionally, del Toro points out who pays the price when the rich and powerful overstep their bounds. Both of these ideas are underscored by the tension, unsettling visuals, and buzzing score that plays into the terror of “The Viewing” characters and themes of a slow loss of control.
How Lionel chose his guests
At the start of “The Viewing”, Lionel’s four guests reveal that although they each come from very different backgrounds, they have all appeared on late-night talk shows to discuss their different specialties. This suggests that Lionel not only sought out experts in specific areas, but focused on those who had some sort of public presence. More importantly, however, Lionel sought out those he perceived as open-minded, as visionaries he particularly valued, notably calling Guy the greatest novelist of the day and openly praising Randall’s musical work as transcendent. Ultimately, Lionel of the Cabinet of Curiosities believed that the figures he considered enlightened had the best bet in understanding the artifact he had hidden in his house, whether through the universal language of art, with Guy and Randall, or by science, via Targ and Charlotte. Since he already suspected the object was some kind of extraterrestrial life and hoped to find a way to communicate with it, this also explains why Lionel sought Targ and Charlotte’s expertise.
Why everyone took a lot of drugs in The Viewing
If Lionel was looking to use every one of his guest’s abilities in Cabinet of Curiosities, it might seem odd that he encouraged everyone to imbibe powerful substances almost as soon as they arrived. This act in “The Viewing” can be interpreted in several ways. Lionel flaunted his wealth and influence in front of his guests, both through his custom home, his expensive staples, and his personal knowledge of his guests, all of whom starred in this late Cabinet of Curiosities episode. As such, each of these elements was a coup to better influence them. Additionally, Lionel believed that ensuring everyone was uplifted would allow them to better achieve “transcendence” and better understand or connect with the alien entity he was guarding. On a more meta level, making sure all the characters were completely drunk on multiple levels adds another layer of tension to their surroundings, making each of them both unreliable in their perception and vulnerable to the creature in the end. of the episode.
Why Targ and Guy die at the end of the viewing
When the group inadvertently awakens the creature in the otherworldly stone in Cabinet of Curiosities’ “The Viewing” ending, everyone is immediately struck by a terrible, high-pitched sound – but only Targ and Guy succumb to it. This could be attributed to the kinds of characters they were: in the Cabinet of Curiosities cast, Targ was the spiritual psychic, presumably more sensitive to the impact the creature had on its surroundings, explaining why he was the first to die once the entity has been freed. Guy, meanwhile, died opposite Targ, exploding where Targ’s flesh melted into itself. This depicts Guy’s uncompromising inflexibility and resistance to the creature, traits he displayed earlier during the group’s conversation. As he is unable to adapt to the creature’s presence, he is destroyed.
Why Lionel is absorbed by the monster
The death of Targ and Guy contrasts with that of Lionel and his doctor, Dr. Zhara (Sofia Boutella). As Targ and Guy both perish without ever touching the creature, Dr. Zhara deliberately places his hand there, while Lionel’s body is fully absorbed to give the entity a new form. Concretely, the death of Lionel is poetic and the inevitable end of the story, since this end of the Cabinet of Curiosities is explained from the beginning of the episode when del Toro asks what happens when the collector becomes the collected one. “The Viewing” hammers home that house by describing how Lionel prides himself on the exclusivity of what he can own, from personal music to people, like Dr. Zhara. And yet, he is ultimately possessed by the alien creature, making Lionel’s greed the fatal flaw that leads to his downfall and that of his guests. His pride in thinking he can have and control anything and anyone, from his guests to the incomprehensible entity in his house, sets him up to lose it all in the episode finale.
The true meaning of the end of viewing
Although Cabinet of Curiosities’ “The Viewing” doesn’t have much of what would be called a conventional plot, it does make the episode a fascinating character study. In this case, it is particularly focused on the personality of Lionel, the one who encourages the other characters in the Cabinet of Curiosities to come together and lead them to face the unknown. But ultimately, the stranger destroys the group, with only Charlotte and Randall escaping. These two were the only characters willing to really deal with misunderstanding in their spheres, as Charlotte discusses the uncertainty principle in her work and Randal discusses his theory that everyone has a void inside them, the lack of meaning inherent in the human condition that every person has to grapple with in their lives. Their willingness to face what they don’t know, instead of insisting they can own and control it like Lionel, allows them to escape, while he pays for his arrogance.
As in many of del Toro’s horror films, the entity is more than just a creepy creature. Lionel’s transformation into a monster himself highlights how human pride, and in particular human pride endowed with power and means, is the real monster. The arrival of the Lionel-alien hybrid in a town suggests that he is sure to wreak havoc on those in it if he contains even half of Lionel’s pride and destructive abilities. of the creature. This leaves the episode on a disturbingly uncertain note, never fully resolving the tension that Episode 7 of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, “The Viewing,” has created from the start by forcing the audience and characters to contend with. something they really can’t understand.