Monsters: Season 1, Episode 20

Cocoon (29 Apr. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror
6.2
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Title: Cocoon (29 Apr 1989)

Cocoon (29 Apr 1989) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Episode cast overview:
Silvana Gallardo
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(as Kim Ulrich)
Erik Holland
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Horror

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29 April 1989 (USA)  »

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Oh what a tangled web we weave
29 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A detective enlists the aid of his girlfriend, who's a medium, to help an amnesiac accident victim remember her past, but the woman is deeply disturbed by what she finds...

Here's the thing about "The Cocoon:" I actually liked this episode. It's not one of my all-time favorites of the series but I found it very enjoyable. The story, though nothing spectacular, was handled well and moved along at a reasonable pace. Veteran TV actress Kim Johnston Ulrich is strikingly beautiful as always and does a pretty good femme fatale. Though he specializes in playing a weasel, Billy Drago goes a little against type and does an admirable job. All in all, I thought "The Cocoon" was a good episode. However, the real question is: does it belong on "Monsters?" The answer to that question is, sadly, no.

"The Cocoon" is a bit of an anomaly in the series: a Monsters episode that features no monster. The episode alludes to Madeline, played by Ulrich, being the monster but in reality she is just a regular woman who happens to have a special power. She doesn't transform into anything; she just ingests some of her own hair and then uses it to spin a cocoon (hence the name) around her victims. Then she, quite literally, sucks the life out of them. There's a slightly gruesome appearance of a dried-out corpse but it's one of her victims and is merely shown for backstory. When it comes down to it, this episode seemed more like a holdover from "Tales from the Darkside" than an episode of "Monsters" as it has the kind of supernatural mystery vibe that Darkside specialized in.

The one thing I just couldn't figure out while watching this was whether or not Madeline had really lost her memory or was just faking it to score another victim. It's indicated at the beginning that she really can't remember anything, but there were certain behaviors and tones in her voice that sometimes led me to wonder if she was conning everyone. Maybe it wasn't intentional, I don't know, but this was how it came across at times. In the scene where she asks the psychic girlfriend "What about my past scares you?" she says it in such a way that it's almost like she knows the woman has her all figured out and is taunting her. She seduces the detective almost immediately but why would she do this if she wasn't planning to make him her next victim? Maybe I just read too much into it.

Is "The Cocoon" worth watching? I think so. However, if you're new to Monsters and this is your first exposure to it, just know that this is not what a normal episode is like.


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