- Nine Perfect Strangers -That Biblical Reference In 'Nine Perfect Strangers' Could Be More Significant Than You Think
Three episodes into Nine Perfect Strangers, and the Hulu series is already getting Biblical. I can't really classify this as a surprising development since Masha seems to view herself as an all-knowing god, but Napoleon's confession of an unintentional sin still feels loaded within the context of the show. During his post-goat slaughter monologue, he reveals that deep in the woods, he heard Leviticus 4:23 echoing in his head. Now, Leviticus isn't exactly light reading. Within the Old Testament it's known as the book of laws, and it's full of the kind of old school justice that can be downright hair-raising.
The verse Napoleon quotes reads, "Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish: And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it." This is called a "sin offering" in Biblical terms, and in his hungry and quite possibly drugged state, the grieving father believes he was meant to kill Masha's goat as penance for sleeping in on the day his son died by suicide.
For Napoleon, killing the goat is a way to atone for what he views as his own unintentional sin. Even though he had no way of knowing what Zach was going to do that morning, he still blames himself for his son's death. He's been carrying the weight of that guilt silently ever since, and it's only through slaughtering the goat (and let's be real, probably whatever drugs the Tranquillium House employees are putting in those smoothies) that he's able to find the words to express his anguish to his family.
But while the verse is definitely tied to Napoleon's personal revelation, it could also have a larger meaning within the world of Nine Perfect Strangers. After all, every character appears to be carrying a number of unintentional sins around with them, from Carmel's unpredictable violent outbursts to Jessica's social media addiction. Ultimately, they all have something to atone for, even if the only person they've hurt is themselves.
Interestingly, the verse Napoleon reads applies only to leaders — make of that what you will. A few verses later, the book of Leviticus advises normal people to bring forth an unblemished lamb for sacrifice for their sins. Given her twisted methods for provoking enlightenment within her guests, Masha could hardly be considered unblemished, but her long blonde hair and penchant for wearing white certainly brings to mind a soft, fluffy lamb.
The show has already made it clear that someone is stalking Masha, so the fearless leader of Tranquillium House is in imminent danger from... someone. But the larger issue could come from her treatment of her guests. As the resort's nine visitors catch on to Masha's methods of food deprivation and drugs, she's unlikely to be happy about their revelation. This in turn could potentially put her at odds with the people she's supposed to help.
If Tranquillium House becomes the new Hotel California, then the guests could face the ultimate dilemma: them or Masha. And if Napoleon's goat-slaughtering actions are any indication of what's to come, then the eerily calm guru might want to watch her back lest she becomes the lamb offered up in exchange for an exit from the wellness center from hell.
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Images: Vince Valitutti/Hulu