Season 2, Episode 2: “Between Good and Evil”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Jana Sinyor
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Six Feet Under” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Saint Sebastian” – click here
We see Luke (Simu Liu) and Susan (Kaitlyn Leeb) together, she’s showing. He believes himself the “luckiest man” and has no idea of his wife’s murderous past. They run into Andi (Rebecca Liddiard) on the street, they haven’t seen each other for a long time. They briefly reminisce on the camp counsellor days before Luke leaves them alone. Susan suggests they don’t talk again, not wanting anything to come up: “I will defend my family with my life.” Hardcore.
Back to present day, the bloody warning on their wall up at the retreat. They’re all rightly freaked out, wondering who could possibly know what they did five years ago. They go about cleaning the wall, erasing the message, and trying to keep their collective past under wraps.
Meanwhile, Renée (Joanne Vannicola) and Antoine (Christopher Jacot) look for Gene only to find a bloody snowman composed of the man’s limbs, intestines, and so on. A grim winter ahead, indeed.
“You‘ve got blood on your hands”
Go back five years. Susan isn’t overly thrilled by Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) and her personality; for her part, the latter does her best to fit in, despite being a bit too eager to go after Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray). Although the dude doesn’t fight it. Susan bitches to Dawn (Paula Brancati) about the new counsellor, believing her “desperate and clingy.” Dawn pleads with her to be nice, except it’s clear her friend’s just a bit of an asshole.
Present day, the friends are trying not to divide any further than they have already. Peter suggests they figure out a concrete story, so they can push back against any accusations. Dawn says they should put the We Live As One people on defence, making themselves out to be the true victims.
Judith (Leslie Hope) and Wren (Sebastian Pigott) chat some more. She’s into crystals, more of the hippie stuff. Whatever works! He’s a bit suspicious to me. Just like the group of friends, he was quick to go on the offensive in Episode 1. In the meantime, Antoine calls everyone together to talk about Andi’s death, as well as that of Gene. Two murders. They have to get to a phone, to get help out there. Some of them will head back to Gene’s place, as others stay behind. Only problem is the snowmobiles aren’t working, all the gas siphoned. Daamn.
Cut back five years again. Tal’s setting up some fun for the kids, a crystal ball reading booth. Susan isn’t having a great time helping her, either. Yet the new counsellor tries her best to make them friends, doing her hair. Things get a little sensual between them almost before Susan calls her “pathetic.” Yikes. Something cold blooded about this lady. In present day, it’s clear now the guilt is eating her alive from the inside.
Paranoia’s running wild. Noah (Jim Watson) nearly flips out hearing noises outside their cabin. He’s assured it’s not a “guy with a machete” in a nice, sly reference to Mr. Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. On the porch, the friends find a box marked STAY WARM. In it are Gene’s bloody clothes. Susan wants to rush out, as does Noah, though the rest want to wait. “Fuck that,” she says. The two leave while the rest remain.
Back to camp, five years prior. The crystal ball booth is wrecked, Tal is in tears, and Dawn’s sure it was Susan, who denies it, blaming the victim; a recurrent theme throughout these first two episodes. Cut to Susan and Noah in the dark woods, moving fast as they can. They see that the phone lines have been cut, too. Everything gets more ominous by the minute.
Renée tells those at We Live As One the story of Camp Motega, the disappearance of a girl, how the place was shut down a couple years later. They soon start figuring out that the group of friends are just old enough to have been counsellors there. Suspicions will begin taking over. When Noah and Susan go back to the retreat after going in circles, he’s got a bit of frost bite. That’ll make him easy prey.
Dawn uses the gun she brought with her to shoot at someone trying to come into her cabin. But it’s just Mark (Paulino Nunes) and Keira (Madison Cheeatow). This sends everybody into a panic, setting the people of the retreat and the friends against one another. And that could get ugly. Renée is pissed, questioning the others about why they’d bring a gun up there. She says she’s done “listening and trusting.”
Back to five years ago. Andi and Susan are at odds over Tal, the former believing her friend is overreacting. Except she takes Andi to see the truth – Tal and Peter having sex in the woods. A brutal betrayal. One that obviously set off a violent chain reaction.
Present day, Peter manages to get the gun from Dawn, worried what else she might do. He brings it to Antoine, though neither he nor Renée are going to trust them. Peter tries explaining the gun. The issue is that they’ve arrived, bodies are piling up, as well as the fact Antoine and the rest at the retreat are sure they’re connected to what happened at Camp Motega.
A wedge drives further, deeper between the friends. Susan’s done, claiming she never laid a hand on Tal. Dawn pins the plan on her, however, and says she “lit the fucking match.” Everyone there has blood on their hands. Every single one of them. But they’re divided amongst themselves, beyond repair. Another flashback shows us the truth, that Susan pushes Andi towards formulating a revenge plan.
Current day, in the woods, Susan goes it alone at night. From the dark, she’s hit by a tranquilliser dart. Out like a light. She comes to being dragged by the parka wearing killer. She’s tied up, then the killer uses a piece of broken, barely sharpened pipe on her face. Perfect for digging out eyeballs.
Afterwards, Susan is let free with no eyes to see where she’s going, before the killer breaks her neck to finish her off. Back at the retreat, Judith is woken by Wren. He continues getting closer to her, making a bit of physical contact to help her calm down. Their connection is compelling, and I wonder where exactly it’ll lead them both.
Stellar follow-up to the premiere. Season 2 is well underway! Very grim, lots of good flashback-to-present cuts that elevate the story, the atmosphere. Love that the killer looks similar to the slasher villain from Cold Prey, too.
“Saint Sebastian” is the next episode.