Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 2: “Nice Neighborhood”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Harley Peyton & Mallory Westfall
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “This Isn’t Real” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Beware the Cannibals” – click here
We open on Jules (Aisha Dee) having a weird dream, underwater in a bathtub. She seems scared. But she wakes up on the couch to a normal day, though she’s visibly unsettled, at least a little. She and her family talk about Margot (Amy Forsyth). She’s acting strange. Cut to her crying in her car, trying to compose herself. Then she’s at Margot’s house that morning.
Flash forward further to when they came out of the No-End House. They discuss what happened in the rooms after they separated. Jules went into Room 5 where there sat a large orb on the floor. She touched it, the thing lit up, sounding like voices were coming from inside.
When she goes to Margot’s place later in the morning, she finds her friend and her previously dead father John (John Carroll Lynch) making breakfast. Like he’d never ever died. So, where do the girls go from here? That’d be one hell of a head trip.
Seth (Jeff Ward) and J.D. (Seamus Patterson) meet up outside, in the daytime, talking about their experiences inside. They don’t see the girls there, obviously. Poor J.D. is tripped out bad, having seen the masked man in a second room, where he removed it to reveal another mask underneath, worried about seeing his own face in one of the masks. He’s headed home while Seth wants to make sure the girls are fine.
“I‘m not waiting around, that‘s what they‘ve got Uber for.”
“What, to get away from haunted houses?”
John doesn’t remember dying, even if Margot’s been without her dad for a year. There’s also a sense of everything having been affected, from Margot’s perspective. Right down to too many eggs in the fridge. She and Jules try not to let their heads explode. Whereas John can’t taste anything. Ah, things are already getting dicey.
Then there’s our Mysterious Drifter (Sebastian Pigott), trying to find a way out. His story’s an enigma, as is the place where this town exists; or is he existing in some other timeline, in another place? He meets a woman, one he knows. Afterwards, he blows her brains out, and a guy bringing his garbage to the curb doesn’t even notice.
Meanwhile, Seth is in a strange place, too. He comes to a cul-de-sac, where an island at the middle is blocked off with an iron fence all the way around. Within it are people who know him. Seems like coming out of the No-End House was, for everyone, entering another parallel universe. Is it ONE universe? Or various universes, for each of them? J.D. sees himself through a window, a girl with him as they close the curtains, then the other him opens the door to let him in.
At the Sleator home, Margt heads upstairs. When she looks outside, she sees the same two cyclists riding by twice. Like a loop. Downstairs, John tells Jules: “I‘m not supposed to be here.” He does have a gap in his memory. He also has doubts about Jules’ love for her close friend, an upsetting conversation for her.
Jules shows Margot that instead of marigolds in her backyard, there are white orchids. No-End House somehow alters space and time. “What if this is Room 6?” Jules wonders. Couldn’t be, right? “This is not your home, and that is not your dad,” she tells her friend, echoing the Talking Heads in a much creepier sense. After that Margot reveals she knows her father committed suicide, after he had an allergic reaction previously then took more of the same stuff again before he died. However, none of it matters now. She believes he’s alive. He’s there, physically. She can’t seem to deny it. And the whole thing’s tearing the two best friends apart, bringing up the recent past with a lot of angry sadness.
The drifter is on the intersection of Ash and Oakley, the brief glimpses we saw in the first episode. He’s looking for the girl, Lacey (Jess Salgueiro), whom we witnessed running from another man. We also know the drifter’s in that same place, with the white orchids. He finds Lacey in one of the houses, but she says she’s home, that she doesn’t know him. He tells her this house, the neighbourhood is “not in our reality, we don‘t belong here.” That they went into No-End House together, she didn’t get out. He’s her husband.
Jules finds Seth again. The No-End House is gone, not where it was when they went inside. At home, J.D. sits with himself, the girl, they have a drink. The other him explains a few things, or at least discusses them. Says he’s made of J.D’s own memories, what him HIM. The subconscious cobbled together from bits and pieces. At the same time Margot’s hanging with dad, going from present to past as her own memories shape what she sees, too.
In another part of town, Jules and Seth hole up in a house for sale. When she wanders upstairs, she comes across the orb again. Like her dream. She touches it, the light appears, the voice-like sounds. Something inside moves to her hand, like there’s a person trapped.
J.D. ponders whether his double is there to help. But things get nasty, real quick. The other him cracks his head with a bottle. Continually whacking until there’s nothing left, just blood flicking everywhere. Yikes. What happens when a real person dies in the No-End House universe? Does it mean real death?
While Margot sleeps, dad seems to be sucking the memories out of her brain. Thoughts of her mom Corrine (Kim Huffman), specifically. They fill his mind. Simultaneously, a black, blood-like pool seeps from a crack in the floor of the basement. John is growing another version of Corrine out of his daughter’s memory. She’s birthed from the bloody pool out of the concrete. John goes down and tears off one of her arms. Before eating some of the meat. Abstract life becomes real, only to be consumed by an unreal man. Hideous, haunting.
Now give us “Beware the Cannibals” before I scream!