Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every Friday, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.
The Rabbit Hole: Q-Into the Storm
If David Lynch, the surrealist director of such films as Mulholland Dr. and Blue Velvet made a documentary about his quirky, weirdo characters, it might look something like Q: Into the Storm. This six-part series from director Cullen Hoback traces the rise of QAnon beginning in 2017, dissecting its popularity and following the even weirder chain of events that led to the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Hoback also addresses the ultimate question: who is Q, the mysterious figure that claims to be part of Donald Trump’s inner circle.
Q: Into the Storm takes more than a few twists, as Hoback meets one bizarre, eccentric character after the next. He also encounters several false leads designed to throw him off the investigative trail. By the time COVID-19 begins to dominate headlines, Hoback has traveled to several different nations, encountered conspiracy theorist politicians (including Marjorie Taylor-Greene), helped a hacktivist escape a nation and landed in the thick of an irrational fandom that would make Comic-Con look like the United Nations. The result is as scary as it is hilarious.
Most important of all, though, Hoback does uncover the true identity of Q, exposing him in a videotaped slip-up. The reveal is somehow more and less than anyone would expect: what started as an online game essentially turned into a form of psychological warfare, with one bored nerd suddenly basking in–and trying to preserve–his own sense of power. It also raises questions about the role of unregulated media, confirmation bias, and social media algorithms that create an incestual information ecosystem less concerned with facts than with telling people what they want to hear.
Labyrinthine, expansive and captivating, we suggest giving Q: Into the Storm a thorough watch this weekend. The portrait of the Q “movement” the series paints is one of a group of desperate losers crying out for validation and purpose. No wonder they vote Republican.
Streams on HBO Max.