Season 2, Episode 7: “Dawn of the Dead”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Amanda Fahey
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Drone” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “The Past is Never Dead” – click here
Five years ago. Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) and Dawn (Paula Brancati) are close. Talking together about the future, what it’ll be like fully entering adulthood, how they should move in together.
A macabre match cut takes us from Dawn twirling her fingers through Tal’s living hair to the dead hair on the corpse’s head. Then she winds up toppling the remains over onto her.
Meanwhile, Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray) and Keira (Madison Cheeatow) have found the snowmobile, covered in blood and gore. Plus, no gas, no Renée (Joanne Vannicola) – well, at least not much. There are bits left. And did the killer leave Mark (Paulino Nunes) alive? Yes, he’s alive, but definitely busted up bad from getting hit by the snowmobile. Not only that, the killer’s got their gun.
Suspicions are high, Keira wonders if it was Dawn who could be the killer, even if Peter isn’t convinced. Jump back to five years prior. Dawn and the other counsellors teach kids to do all kinds of stuff, like archery. She was particularly close to one dude, Ryan. This is also when we see Owen talking to Tal, pressing her to go out with him, being creepy.
Oh, and Owen? He’s Wren.
“Guys don‘t like it when girls upstage them”
Nothing gets any better at the retreat. Peter thinks Mark is the killer. Mark finds one of the pictures from the files on Renée, and it’s Peter. So, you know he’ll be thinking Peter’s the killer. And it’s a vicious cycle. The isolation up north has got them all starting to go a little crazy, on top of the fact a serial killer is murdering them all, slow, steady.
Five years ago again. Tal and Dawn talk about the latter sleeping with a married man; her stepfather, in fact. She “wrecked” her own home, doing it to get back at her mother. At Camp Motega, she didn’t want to add to her “body count” – interesting choice of words – and so she intended on taking it slow with Ryan. This is where we see her bonding, deeply, with Tal.
At the cabin, Mark puts a pill in Peter’s beer, as they all sit around trying to forget their grim reality, at least for a moment. They try a game of Never Have I Ever. Seems like Peter has to drink a lot, he’s done some shit, y’know.
He has a flashback to five years before, he and Tal lying together out in the woods. She tells him about moving in with Dawn when they go back home, what they ought to do about their relationship. He made some promises, ones he appears to want to go back on. He wanted to have the cake and eat it, too. Breaking her heart a bit. Later, she listens to Dawn talking lovingly of Ryan, and she laments the love she just lost.
And the drugs are kicking in on Peter. He stumbles outside, so Mark locks the door. Dawn was a part of it, of course. Fucking treacherous. Keira’s the only one who seems to not believe in what the others are sure of already. Things are getting really ugly.
Go back five years. Dawn wants Tal to talk her up to Ryan. The trusted friend goes to him, trying to work her magic. He asks if Dawn ever mentions him. She gives him a generic answer, not talking Dawn up whatsoever. Tal’s doing what she does, acting deviously behind the backs of the people who seem to like her; she lies about Dawn’s stepfather, making it out to look like she was molested. God damn, girl! Nothing to get killed over, not even close, but lord, she was a piece of work.
In the woods, Peter is stumbling, drugged on ketamine, out in the cold. At the cabins, Wren and Judith (Leslie Hope) hook up in one room. In the living room, Dawn tries getting closer to Mark, in a genuine way, talking to him about her past. She also admits that all that’s happened is because of her, her friends. She wants to own up to the guilt.
Five years ago, once more. Tal lies to Dawn that she’s not Ryan’s “type” because he likes really skinny, small girls. This clearly devastates her friend. That night, Dawn gets drunk and starts getting a bit wild in front of everyone, talking to Ryan. But he mentions the stepfather stuff, and then she realises her friend is not actually her friend.
Out in the woods, Peter comes across a shrine, bloody, candles lit. Above it is a mannequin, hanging by the neck. Back at the retreat, Judith finds the gun in Wren’s jacket; the one the killer supposedly took from Renée. She nearly uses it on him, deciding not to at the last moment. Uh oh.
Peter goes back to the cabin, more information now, but when Dawn lets him inside Mark runs at him, knocking him out. After that Keira is pissed. She believes maybe Mark is the killer now. Yet there’s a piece of Andi’s hair in Peter’s pocket. So strange, so creepy.
Go back again, five years ago. Dawn and the other girls plot against Tal. They go from silly little pranks, to more serious things. They want to “scare the life out of her.” They decide to put her on trial, leaving her in the woods to walk home alone. The game was set.
Present day, Judith’s having trouble, worried Wren is the killer. She considers blowing her own brains out, until he finds her out there. He confesses his love for her. She says she loves him, too. However, when Mark comes running towards them, Wren shoots him in the head. Dead. Holy shit.
Not much to say now. One last episode. “The Past is Never Dead” comes next, and we’ll finally understand every last little secret, every betrayal, all of it.