Immortalized Episode 8: Heaven and Hell

Tonight’s episode of Immortalized is the season finale. It’s been on my DVR for two weeks, much to my bafflement, and I’m sure this says everything we need to know about the show’s chances of a second season. You don’t randomly broadcast the finale out of sequence on a Monday if you think anyone is watching.

And yet I am still doing this recap, because I am dedicated, medicated, and eager to see who gets to skin and mount Zach Selwyn.

This week’s challenger is Gary Robbins, a normal looking bloke who does all kinds of taxidermy, including comedy. If you have learned nothing from this season, you can say you know that such a thing as comedy taxidermy exists and is practiced openly in Hollywood. Gary also says he worked on True Blood, which occasions a thousand-yard stare reaction from poor, broken Zach.

Gary will take on Takeshi Yamada, the man they clearly built this show around. Takeshi and Paul Rhymer are the Adam and Jamie of this bizarre enterprise. After this, I see them doing a cross-country road show, much like Santino Rice and Austin Scarlett did after their season on Project Runway.

I can dream. The secret ingredient is: Heaven and Hell, because everyone loves post-Ozzy Black Sabbath.

The home visits begin with Gary wheeling a bear around downtown Los Angeles for reasons unknown, and Takeshi expounding about art, risk-taking, and blowing minds. Gary intends to keep it light. So, six-eyed goat mermaid chimera versus Stuart Little sunday school diorama.

We get some nuts & bolts taxidermy as well, with Takeshi shaving his goat and Gary delicately scalpelling his wee mousie, and adding hats and horns and such.

Crate time is the usual high drama, with glue guns, dry ice, and Takeshi kindly warning his creation before schpritzing it with water. Takeshi also appears to have stuffed a pterodactyl, which will certainly put him in violation of Zach’s stern edict about endangered species.

Gary’s piece looks like a cake, and not in a good way. It’s a bit like squirrel man’s Viet Nam piece, only without the charm and pathos and apparent skill level. Takeshi is gracious in his assessment, and Gary is oddly condescending for a man who put a cowboy hat on a mouse for us.

Takeshi references a Buddhist sutra for the judges, and rips a nice SHAZAM. Questioned on his piece, he is confident and fucking crazy. The camera work, as usual, fails to give us a comprehensive view of all the elements, though it is possible the camera operator was too freaked out to put in the time to properly capture the six-eyed goat with it’s host of flying lizards.

The judges all hate Gary’s piece and love Takeshi’s. And seriously, Gary’s piece is fucking terrible, and the judges don’t hold back much. Takeshi wins by a nearly 2-1 margin, SHAZAM indeed.

And this is it, I suppose. We can all go back to our dull, taxidermy-free lives. Zach will be released into the wild unharmed, Takeshi will resume his demented beachcombing, Beth will go back to stuffing neighborhood kitties. Page will feed his duckies, Dave will clipper off that dopey pink mohawk. And we will wait to see if AMC takes a chance on a second season. Stranger things have happened.

Immortalized Competitive Taxidermy Reality Show AMC Heaven Hell

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