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Carnivàle/Hot and Bothered

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Hot and Bothered
Season 1, Episode 10
Airdate November 16, 2003
Production Number 110
Written by Dawn Prestwich,
Nicole Yorkin
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
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Day of the Dead
CarnivàleSeason One

Hot and Bothered is the tenth episode of the first season of Carnivàle, and the tenth episode overall.





Plot Overview

Ben continues to deny himself sleep to evade the nightmarish dreams that plague him. Samson, at Management's behest, moves out of the trailer, in deference to Lodz, who now seems to be Management's new right-hand-man. Samson takes Ben to the local Templar hall in Loving, New Mexico, but they can pry nothing from the men inside about Scudder, and fail to notice the depiction of the Tattooed Man on one of the murals inside the hall.

Finally, unable to resist any more, Ben succumbs to sleep during a bath. A concerned Ruthie has him brought to her trailer, and after Ben relates to her the contents of his dreams, the two of them have sex. Lila lures Ruthie out of the trailer so that Lodz can pry into Ben's dreams once again. What he finds is an imposing Scudder yelling "He's mine."

Libby catches a glimpse of Rita Sue and Jonesy having sex. She chooses to withhold this information from Sofie, who joins Jonesy on a trip into town, where the two partake in the festivities that are going on. Sofie winds up puking in an alley, where she has a mysterious vision of a Templar.

Sofie also loses her temper with her mother when Sofie is besieged by horrible visions during a tarot reading with a customer. Sofie is adamant that tarot reading is about telling people what they want to hear, and is furious with her mother for being honest. When Jonesy tries to comfort her, Sofie attempts to force a relationship with him. Jonesy, guilty about his affair with Rita Sue, wants Sofie to slow down. Sofie is devastated, and throws him out of the trailer.

Stumpy, meanwhile, sleeps with a Mexican waitress in town, Caterina de la Rosa, whom he brings back to the carnival as the new cooch dancer the next morning.

Justin returns to Mintern. Iris and Dolan are both shocked, but Iris seizes the opportunity to use Dolan to spread Justin's message. Dolan is reluctant, but agrees because he wishes to become closer to Iris. Justin is suspicious of both of them. He surprises Norman with his return during one of Norman's morning sermons. Justin has Norman re-baptize him (something which the whole congregation winds up doing as well), but when Norman makes the cross with Holy Water on Justin's forehead, the water turns to blood.


Arc Advancement


  • When Ben and Samson are leaving the Templar hall, the camera pans to reveal Phineas Boffo watching them inscrutably from the second storey of the hall.
  • Samson tells Ben that Scudder left the carnival just before Management bought it, and that Management has been using the carnival to search for Scudder ever since. He also makes reference to an incident in the "old country" (presumably Russia) that involved Scudder and Management. The "incident" was probably Belyakov's encounter with Bruno the bear.
  • Lodz informs Management that Scudder is aware that they "have" Ben. Management is unconcerned, promising to find Scudder, because then "the blood will flow." At first, given the ambiguity of Management's nature, this seems like a fairly telling statement, implying that Management means to kill either Ben or Scudder. As it happens, this couldn't be farther from the truth. The "blood" that Management wants to flow is his own: he wants to engineer a situation where Ben will be forced to kill him, and the only way is to use Scudder as the hook. Once Ben kills Management, Ben will receive his boon and be better equipped to stand against Justin.


  • Iris reveals to Justin that she was aware of his powers since the incident by the river, when the two of them were children. She also admits to withholding this knowledge from him until he was ready to fulfill his "destiny." One can surmise that Iris still thinks her brother is acting as an agent of God.
  • When Sofie has the vision of the dead girl during the tarot reading, she assumes that it's another vision of her mother's that she can't block out. However, after what is revealed in second season, it's more likely that Sofie herself brought about the vision.


Dream Sequences and Visions

  • On the road to Loving, New Mexico, Ben falls asleep at the wheel, and sees the Tattooed Man walking toward the car. When he jerks awake, it's to find an oncoming car in place of the Tattooed Man.
  • After vomiting in a Loving alleyway, Sofie sees an older version of the Templar doorkeeper in the alley with her. He says "Every prophet in her house," and then disappears before she can ask any questions. The statement is a reference to numerous things.
    • First, it calls back to the waitress' line in the diner dream, "every prophet in his house."
    • Second, it gives us a clue as to Sofie's nature, since the Omega is the last Prophet.
    • Thirdly, it strongly implies that Sofie has a "house," much like Ben and Justin belong to the "houses" of light and dark, respectively. Sofie won't discover her house until New Canaan.
  • When Lodz pries into Ben's dreams, he's treated to the cornfield sequence once again. This time, however, Ben trips and falls, and when he lifts his head up, it's Scudder, and he says "He's mine." Scudder is obviously trying to teach Ben about his heritage and his powers, as well as trying to keep Ben from falling under the influence of Lodz and Belyakov.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • When Ben is dozing off at the table outside, he slips into a daydream and sees the Tattooed Man standing in a field staring at him. He wakes suddenly, to find Sofie standing in almost the same spot. This is another reference to Sofie's connection with the Tattooed Man.

Memorable Moments


  • Iris Crowe: I've cared for you since we came to this country. And I have lived with the burden of this knowledge. You have a destiny. And now is your time to fulfill it.
  • Ben Hawkins: It's always Scudder. Always. Even before I met him, he was always in my dreams.