Fitfully fascinating but overlong and confusing, this docuseries reaches for truth but ultimately winds up bogged down in layers of inexplicable detail, and worse, uncritically telegraphs conspiracy messages. The beginning of director Cullen Hoback's Q: Into the Storm is exhilarating, as the director begins introducing us to some of the real people behind online right-wing conspiracy chatter, and connecting the dots between what they believe and how they were able to convince legions of others. Looking into one of Q-dom's most infamous lines of conspiracy, the belief that a global elite is raping and consuming babies to maintain their power, Hoback gives us historical anecdotes. "Calling your enemy a baby-eater is an age old strategy," Hoback tells us, as we see Crusade-era paintings of leering Muslim men, a WWI pamphlet depicting a German soldier stabbing a cartoon child with a bayonet, and a woodcut of Jewish men drinking a baby's blood through straws.
So far, so good: Into the Storm is at its best when holding Q's bizarre beliefs up to scholarly scrutiny. But things quickly go off the rails as Hoback seems more interested in finding out Q's real identity than understanding why such outlandish beliefs found fertile soil in the minds and hearts of so many. In the service of this quest, Into the Storm descends to spending seemingly endless moments letting "movement" adherents talk. And when they talk, it's always about shadowy cabals and deadly conspiracies, when they're not dissing another of the dude-bros who they argue with online. In short, it's all nonsense, and Hoback doesn't press them with hard questions nor swiftly debunk their claims often enough, which results, oddly enough, in Into the Storm merely repeating, rather than disrupting, some of QAnon's crowd-sourced notions. The series has its moments, but too few of them to earn the show its running time.