SyFy’s Channel Zero
Season 1, Episode 6: “Welcome Home”
Directed by Craig William Macneill
Written by Nick Antosca, Don Mancini & Harley Peyton
* For a review of the penultimate episode, “Guest of Honor” – click here
Here we are at the end of the road to Candle Cove.
Mike Painter (Paul Schneider) sees himself laying in bed with his brother Eddie (Luca Villacis). They read about Long John Silver, as Eddie talks about understanding “why he does what he does.” Then Mike is in a field with Eddie. He talks about how the other kids, the bullies, let out the bad spirit in him. All the still living brother wants is his daughter Lily back. Eddie becomes the Tooth Child, stuffing a hand down Mike’s throat.
Still through the television, Lily speaks to Mike in his hazy state underneath the static. At the same time, Amy Welch (Luisa D’Oliveira) and Gary Yolen (Shaun Benson) search for Francis Booth (Marina Stephenson Kerr). They head into the woods to find her from where last she was seen. They hear someone walking in the trees nearby, Alex Fry (Keenan Lehmann). Seconds later they see Mrs. Booth, as well as her band of creepy kids, which include Gary’s own children Dane and Katie. He tries talking to them and tells the kids about their mother’s death. Yet the other children approach with knives in hand. Eventually he convinces the two to walk away with him.
Mike and his mother Marla (Fiona Shaw) argue about what’s happening next. He tells her that it involves giving himself over to Eddie a bit in order to get his daughter back. When Mike’s estranged wife Erica (Kristen Harris) shows up things get worrisome. She wants to know where Lily is, right now. It all sounds insane to Erica when Mike says she’s in a place “where only I can go.”
Further into the forest Amy discovers a small trailer. Inside is Alex, hiding in a corner. Silent and eerie. So she heads out to try tracking Francis down once more, that tricky old broad.
In the meantime, Mike heads out to the Crow’s Nest with Erica. They see Lily lying in a clearing, as the Tooth Child – Eddie – appears from the bushes. It reaches a hand out towards Mike, who goes to it. He kneels in front of the thing, as it puts a hand inside his mouth to take the toll which needs paying.
After Mike passes out, he wakes… somewhere else. A television set plays static. Outside, a storm crashes with thunder and lightning. Mike goes out into a hallway, a familiar one we saw in a flash during the first episode, and he tries the various doors until one opens. There he sees students sitting in their desks, bloody little faces and hands. They hiss at him. So back out he goes, as one would. Then at the end of the hallway something appears. It wears a wide brimmed hat, making growling, animalistic noises in the dark. It shakes free the hat and whatever else is has on. It slams against the walls, violently. When the thing runs at Mike, it disappears into thin air.
But something else is still at the end of the hall, made of straw or wicker, and it burns, walking towards Mike with a head full of fire, beating hands against its face. That creature too retreats into darkness leaving Mike by himself. He goes on down the hallway to another room. This one is covered in skin, hung and dried from the ceiling. Some fresher, some much older. Further in he sees Eddie lying in bed. Not only that, the Skin Taker is there, the other creature from the hall. A vile creature. “He‘s part of me,” Eddie explains. The Skin Taker (Olivier de Sagazan) rips its face open to take Mike “inside.”
He finds his daughter in that dark hallway, pleading with his brother to let them go. Eddie says he made that place “for both of us.” And he’s pretty pissed that Mike killed him. He wants to trade places and go back to the real world. So Lily crawls through the television into reality, free from the clutches of Eddie and Candle Cove‘s influence.
What of Mike? Eddie prepares to go back home, and Mike tries to keep him there. He wants to finish their never ending card game. Can he manage to get himself out of that terrifying place? Can he thwart Eddie’s plan of becoming him, to be the one that “everyone trusts” with their kids? Yikes.Marla ends up confronting Francis, who taunts her over Eddie. The two women trade jabs. A really great scene for Marla, the way she describes Francis and her ugly side. Things don’t play well for Marla, once Mrs. Booth starts hacking into her. Lucky, though: Amy comes out of the forest and shoots the crazy old bitch, calling an ambulance for Marla. What a wild little moment there!
The card game is finished. All those cards laid out. “You can do good in the world,” Mike tells his brother. But Eddie’s been lost so long in the world of Candle Cove, there’s no changing his mind.
A few months later, life moves on. Amy has stepped up as Sheriff, she gives a press conference concerning Francis Booth and her vicious crimes, cluing up the Iron Hill Murders of 1988 after nearly three decades. Gary and his children try to pick up and begin again fresh somewhere new. Marla is alive and well, Erica and Lily set to head back home.
On the television at grandma’s house Lily sees Candle Cove playing suddenly, and dear ole dad comes in to shut it off. Only he isn’t dad anymore, is he? Or is he even alive?
Now we switch back to those few months prior. Marla stumbles onto her son lying in that field. We go back to see that Lily whispered something to her grandmother after getting home safe. And when she rushed out, heading for the field, it was to hold Mike’s airways shut, to suffocate his body in an effort to keep Eddie from returning.
Stuck together, the boys are left in that dreaded place with the Skin Taker, forever to live out their days with only themselves as company. In the real world, Marla goes on knowing that Mike was a good man, and now his daughter has a chance to live a normal life free from the reach of Candle Cove.Fucking fantastic finale! It truly clued the season up nicely, the storyline and its plot weaved nicely together right to the finish. Very happy. Also, super excited to see the next season that’s already done filming, I believe. Looks intense, and judging by this season and its quality we have much to enjoy.