Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 6: “The Hollow Girl”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Nick Antosca & Angel Varak-Iglar
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Damage” – click here
* Season 3 recaps & reviews to come next year for Butcher’s Block
We open on Margot (Amy Forsyth) eating breakfast, beside her father John (John Carroll Lynch) who’s pretty hungry himself. So she gives him permission to eat. She reminisces on the two of them when she was little, by the lake, looking “for UFOs.” He uses her memory to create a meal. This time, an apple in one of the black pools appears. But I imagine there’s only so much memory Margot can give over before she becomes a hollow shell. And it’s already starting to happen, surely.
At night, she crawls into bed next to Seth (Jeff Ward). During the day, she swims in the pool as dad watches on. She also sees how the world is changing around them, a part of the neighbourhood that wasn’t there before is now there. The No-End House never stops playing its game.
Meanwhile, Jules (Aisha Dee) is figuring out the No-End House is supposed to show up outside Quebec. This might explain the French flag, the French signs Seth and Margot were seeing. Question being, and I think I know the answer: are they inside the No-End House? Yes. They must’ve went back inside, they’re living life in there the way Seth said he was doing before that. This would explain why Jules is bothering to go back, too. To find Margot again. But then in the line up, when Jules gets there, she finds Seth waiting.
So they go in together. She worries about a cannibal out to get her. Seth mentions that they don’t “starve to death,” but just get progressively hungry over time. He takes Jules out to where Margot’s place has rearranged. Instead he gut punches her, then drags her into a nearby house.
“What you don‘t understand is that this house is an organism. It has instincts, it has an appetite, it has a will to survive. And the more I understand it, the more I admire it.”
Afterwards, Seth is right back at home, with cannibal John and Margot. She’s noticing there’s something increasingly wrong with her boyfriend. Elsewhere, Jules wakes up in a basement, finding the large egg-like orb in the other room, voices calling her toward it. She doesn’t know what it is, a “psychological tumour” or something even worse. We hear lost memories of Margot, their fights, all that, they emanate from inside the orb, as a face tries desperately to break out. A little later, it’s as if she’s stuck inside it, trapped.
But she puts a knife through the fleshy, outer layer, pulling herself free in a bloody mess.
Now, Jules is on a mission.
She better hurry up, too. Seth wants Margot to stay in that place with him, to make a life there, a family. He feigns worry about the “ecosystem.” John doesn’t seem like he wants his daughter to be trapped there, knowing she’ll get “hollowed out.” There’s definitely something else to Seth, I keep wondering why he’d want to stay inside the No-End House’s little hallucinatory town.
Margot gets a visit from bloody Jules. She remembers her friend, those memories haven’t slipped away. But does the house have a grip on her? Jules takes her off down the street, though Seth is quickly figuring out she’s gone. Jules takes Margot to see “another you” – a girl that Seth kept there, letting the house hollow her out. He replaced this one with Margot, and he’ll do the same when she’s hollow, too.
Out in the street, Margot finds Seth. He explains that he and the girl came into the No-End House as part of the same group. A lie? Yeah, I’d bet on it. Then we see a bunch of young women coming out of the houses in the cul-de-sac surrounding the caged inlet, all calling out to him. He reels on about the house, memories, love, and it all comes off as vanity, a deeply narcissistic way of thinking, wanting what he wants at the expense of so many others.
“Well if memory‘s a disease, then what‘s love? An infection?”
Simultaneously, Jules go to see John, knife in hand. She wants to kill him, so Margot will leave that place. Dad agrees with the plan: “I know what I am. And I have no problem with not existing.”
A fantastic finale to an equally fantastic season. No-End House comes off as an elaborate, terrifying, tough metaphor of the grieving process. At the exit, Margot, hopefully, comes out with having dealt with all the lingering trauma of her father’s death. And that’s part of what makes Channel Zero such a spectacular series, each season so far has not just given us great horror storytelling, there are always massive themes at play within their little universes.
Loved Season 1, and Season 2 did it justice, showing that the team behind the series has lots, lots, LOTS more to offer. Can’t wait for Season 3, Butcher’s Block.