Comic-Con 2012: “666 Park Avenue” review

Yes, we all enjoyed seeing Terry O’Quinn play the ambiguous John Locke for six seasons on Lost, imbuing the character with layer upon layer of nuance, always keeping the audience guessing his true intentions. But it sure is nice to see him play an out-and-out creep like he does in 666 Park Avenue.

For all we know from the pilot, he could be the creep, in fact. Mephistopheles himself. After all, the tenants of his building sell their souls to him in exchange for earthly rewards — whether it be fame, fortune, or a little more time with a departed loved one. As the owner of The Drake, O’Quinn’s Gavin Doran has access to several well-heeled but desperate souls, along with his wife Olivia (Vanessa Williams). The pair have their sights set on a young professional who works in the mayor’s office, Henry Martin (Dave Annable), whom they lure to the Drake along with Henry’s girlfriend Jane (Rachael Taylor), when they hire them as the building’s resident managers. Jane has a yen for history and architecture, so she’s fascinated by the Drake’s dark history, and one gets the feeling that curiosity is going to get her into some serious trouble.

O’Quinn is the attraction here, bringing the same banality-of-evil quality to the role that he did in The Stepfather so many years ago. Whether he’s the devil himself, or just Old Scratch’s soul-broker, he’s impossible not to watch when he’s onscreen. Taylor seems to be being set up as his main nemesis, so hopefully she’s up to the challenge. But one is tempted to believe she might just have done some devil-dealing herself to get on a show this good after spending last season on the ill-fated Charlie’s Angels reboot.