Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 8: “The Past is Never Dead”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Aaron Martin

* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “Dawn of the Dead” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 10.40.55 PMFive years ago. Dawn (Paula Brancati), Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray) and the rest of the friends are carefully enacting their calculated plan to get revenge on Talvinder (Melinda Shankar). The poor soon-to-be dead girl is none the wiser, either. The rest of them with their cold, evil faces lying just beneath the exterior. They take her out to that spot in the woods with the lit torches. They’ve got her “on trial.”
She’s made to stand in the middle of a circle. They all call her out, starting with Andi (Rebecca Liddiard). Conveniently, Andi doesn’t blame Peter, which Tal uses against her. Susan (Kaitlyn Leeb) calls her “nothing.” Eventually Dawn has her say, feeling utterly betrayed; she’s the one who really has the most genuine reason. Peter doesn’t bash her, instead apologising to his girlfriend for what he’s done.
Cut to a little later, when Noah (Jim Watson) almost rapes her on the truck. Then she’s rushing off into the woods, the others worried for her. But Tal won’t turn back. She winds up tripping and smashing her head. They find her in a ditch. She seems dead, so they all react with horror. They drag her off, she’s still alive. Andi smashes her head, she still won’t die. And Dawn takes the rock, smashing her once more. Noah takes his turn, as well. Laying the killing blow, it seems.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 10.45.18 PMWren (Sebastian Pigott) is heading back to the cabin, after killing Mark, and Judith (Leslie Hope) is pleading with him not to do anything else terrible. He’s bent on revenge. They let him take the fall for Talvinder’s disappearance. All she asks is that Keira is left alive. Other than that she tells him: “Theyre all yours.”
Back at the cabins, Judith reels off a lie about Mark, that he was going to kill her. And she says she shot him. Taking the blame. Lulling Dawn in. Except the young woman doesn’t believe it, she knows it’s lies. Everybody’s too paranoid now, anyway. So many things happening right below the surface.
Five years ago. The friends are reeling in the aftermath of what they’ve done, people are asking where Tal has gone. They’re trying to figure out the next course of action. Their lives changed for the worse, and they had to either deal or go to prison for the rest of their lives.
Present day, the gang at the retreat hear a snowmobile. A woman named Janice arrives looking for her boyfriend, Gene. A bit late, y’know. He’s in pieces out in the shed. She thinks We Live As One are a “cult,” but Peter tries explaining, asking for help. Janice has room for one on her machine; Judith tries desperately to send Keira, only Keira won’t have it, wanting it to be Dawn, so she might get medical attention.
But Wren, he’s intent on killing more. He wants Judith to help and she won’t, he starts getting worse. He’s a sad, lonely, murderous man. He says she’ll “die alone” and she grabs him, throwing him at the mirror. Except nobody’s there. Just her. Ohhhh, man. That’s creepy. Soon, Peter and Keira find her, bloodied, unconscious. They put her to bed, then decide they’ve got to find Mark’s corpse, confirm he’s dead. Peter heads out while she stays to look after Judith.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.03.04 PMJudith has worse problems. She continually hears Wren in her head, commanding her: “Kill them!” She speaks to herself as herself, and also as him. We jump back five years. Wren a.k.a Owen leaves his cabin at Camp Motega, and in slips Dawn to drop a piece of Tal’s jewellery into his things. A frame job. That’s nasty.
Present day, Peter comes across Mark’s dead body. Nearby he sees the footprints, he tries re-imagining the crime. He knows something’s not right. Elsewhere, Dawn and Janice try getting out of the forest, but they stop a moment across the way from the parka killer, who fires on both women, bleeding Janice out. Dawn makes it away, though she’s soon shot in the river. Who’s behind the mask? Judith.
At the cabin, Peter finds Keira unconscious, propane filling the house. Then he sees a bunch of letters in Judith’s room. They’re from Wren, in jail. To his mother, Judith. WHOOOOOOOOA. That’s a seriously twisted relationship, on more than just one level, too.
Peter does the only thing he can, carrying Keira through the woods. Only to run into Judith. She says one lives, the other dies. A tough choice. We’re finally seeing the full extent of things now after a flashback, why the noose was in that shrine Peter found – Judith has hallucinated Owen, the entire time. He hanged himself in jail.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.07.35 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.13.10 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.15.34 PMWhat will Peter choose? Life? Death? He puts the noose around his neck and steps from the ledge over the shrine, hanging himself as Judith watches, flashing to images of her son slowly dying. But another surprise, as well – up the river, Dawn is still alive, on shore, and two hunters find her there bleeding profusely.
When Keira wakes up she sees Peter hanging. She also finds a letter Peter wrote to Talvinder’s parents, confessing to the crime, trying to give them closure. Admitting that Owen was innocent, they laid the crime on him.
Its time my friends and I paid for what we did
Skip ahead a bit. Keira is safe, back home. She meets with Dawn, who’s preparing to turn herself in to the police, to atone for her terrible sins. From a distance, Judith watches them, still followed by the haunting ghost of her son. Neither of them have forgotten Dawn, they’ll wait until she’s free. Then, well… you know.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.29.51 PMFantastic season! God damn. Wish I didn’t fly through it— such is the age of Netflix. Plus, it was even better than Season 1, which I was big time digging right from the get go. Honestly this season had even better writing. Not to mention the twists were even bigger, wilder. And the gore went up a big notch, from an already grim first season.
Truly hope Netflix will do another season. At least one more. C’mon! Please?!

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Comments

  1. Now that we know Judith hallucinated Wren, I’m thinking back over the season to see if it remains internally consistent – I like how moments I thought were odd (people staring at the couple during intimate moments, I remember thinking ‘jeez, give them some privacy’) now make sense because of course they were eyeing her warily and noticing that she’s got an imaginary friend.

    I wonder why people weren’t more suspicious of Judith, everyone acted like she was so fragile and helpless, but we saw ‘Wren’ get interrogated by Mark – I also remember how it seemed odd that Judith was lurking in the corner and walked in, interrupting, but of course she was in the room the whole time and they must have been questioning her? unless the Wren interrogation was completely hallucinated?

    I think most of it can be waved away as Judith just being odd and everyone tiptoeing on eggshells around her, but the one thing I want to know is what she said that made Renee suspicious. I know it’s a horror show convention that nobody can ever share their suspicions and they MUST immediately get murdered before they can make the big revelation, but damn it, what WAS it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • millahnna says:

      What Judith said that made Renee suspicious was a line (I believe in the previous episode) about “dead girls in caves”; it was part of a list type line about everything there being awful. No one other than the former counselors, Renee, and Austin should have known that. It jumped out at me immediately but I already thought Judith was waaaay off at that point so I was attuned to watching her for weirdness. What I can’t figure out is how Judith actually knew it. Presumably from spying on Austin and Renee in some fashion but it’s kind of a mystery.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re right, Millahnna! I went back recently and watched “Drone” and she does mention that, just prior to Renee deciding to go search that cabin with all the old camp records.

        Like

  2. Danny Bars says:

    this was the only recap online so far, good job, i loved this season and that twist totally took me off guard, i was so bummed it looked like it was gonna be Wren cuz i kept htinking ‘this dudes barely in the show so obv the fringe guy did it’ but then when they flipped it to being judith in some incesty mind-relationship i was floored – lets hope Netflix is up for doing season3 …

    also i agree with the above about renee, it seemed like a very specific thing that was mentioned bysomeone who shouldnt know it, so i think if we went back maybe judith said something on camera about the camp/owen/wren??

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s definitely something specific, Danny. Absolutely! When I get the time I’m going to go back and watch these episodes again, I’d like to figure out what it was exactly.
      I think because, looking back, Wren and Judith were interchangeable in many scenes after we figure it all out, it was easy for that little detail to slip by.

      I really enjoyed both seasons of this series. I’d love to see at least another one, would be interesting to see what sort of story they decide on doing.

      Like

    • Danny, I just rewatched “Drone” where Renee brings this up near the end.
      I believe she’s referring to when Judith in that episode mentions that a girl was buried in a cave, which is something only Antoine & Renee knew about; the others knew about the bones later, but I don’t think any of them ever found out that Antoine & Renee moved the remains. It was right after Judith said this when, outside, Renee goes to Mark to ask him to come stand guard for her while she looks for information.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Larissa says:

    Great season, even better than the first. I honestly thought Mark was actually the killer from the beginning, just because he was always talking with the next victim before they were killed. I was so thrown off when Wren turned out to be imaginery, they executed it so nicley throughout the whole season. Barely anybody actually talked directly to him or payed little to no attention to him at all. Although I’m not too satisfied with the last scene, I have so many questions and nothing makes sense. If Keira knew that everything was Judith’s doing, would’t Judith be caught by now? If Judith didn’t cover up her tracks and get rid of the evidence of the letters from Owen, the cops would still question and find out that Owen was her son and see her as a suspect when finding Peter. But I don’t understand still, did the cops even end up finding the whole crime scene? Or did Keira and Dawn leave everything as it was without contacting and telling the police when they got back? But then I think like maybe Dawn and Keira recently just got back and the day after they did they went to the police to tell everything. Honestly if thats the case then they’re both complete idiots because they have a psycho mom still out there wanting one of them dead. Loved the whole season until the last scene. I hate the cliffhanger type mysterious ending where they don’t completely have justice. It would’ve been so much cooler if after Judith kissed her imaginary boyfriend that the police would’ve come up and handcuffed her right there. Maybe they’re thinking about a Season 3, maybe not, but I hope so if they’re going to leave it like that. Also I wish Judith & Wren didn’t have a whole romance thing going on, incest makes everything weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • inimitable says:

      Remember Keira woke up and saw the letter from Peter taking the blame for Talvinders death. All she remembers is finding Judith, Peter running out to look for Mark, the small creepy scene with Judith, and then waking up from the gas. So more than likely in her mind she probably believes Peter was the killer and hang himself once everyone he could kill were dead as retribution. If you look at it this way that letter could totally be a suicide note.

      Like

  4. millahnna says:

    Delighted to find these reviews. Hardly anyone is talking about this season and while I didn’t HATE season 1, this one was overall a massive improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

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