Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 3, Episode 2: “Father Time”
Directed by Arkasha Stevenson
Written by Harley Peyton, Mallory Westfall, & Angel Varak-Iglar
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 Butcher’s Block premiere, “Insidious Onset” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “All You Ghost Mice” – click here
Open on a Peach’s Meat produced commercial called “Top of the Food Chain.” Mom cuts up a big ham and tells her family about being on top of the food chain: “Animals that get eaten are supposed to get eaten, and sometimes there were just too many of them anyway.” It’s a 1950s-era relic, though it’s also terribly sinister.
Cut to those stairs in the woods, where Smart Mouth (Linden Proco) comes hopping down followed by somebody else; someone wearing a suit. Certainly not the creature that Zoe (Holland Roden) saw recently.
Speaking of Zoe, she’s gone, and Alice (Olivia Luccardi) is trying to call her but getting no answer. The younger sister thinks about a year prior. She woke to find her older sister standing on her bed. Zoe says only “father time,” and soon a nasty bug comes out from under the bed. She traps it in a glass then holds it out at Alice, taunting her. They’ve got bigger problems than bugs, though. Mom’s deteriorating fast.
Back in current day, Louise (Krisha Fairchild) asks Alice to show her where she met Joseph Peach (Rutger Hauer). So, they’re headed down to Butcher’s Block. Alice mentions about being there with Zoe, who saw something else in the woods. The two women go out into the park, where the playground stands overgrown.
Louise tells the younger woman about 1952, when cops came knocking on the Peachs door; nobody was there. Moreover, we find out that Peach’s daughters were killed in Butcher’s Block. After that people would go missing around there, too. Later on people “found something in the basement” – nobody knows what – and the mansion was set ablaze.
Alice thinks she sees Izzy running through the grass. However, it’s actually little Smart Mouth. The tiny man soon joins up with the man in the suit, and they hold hands. Soon enough, they walk up those stairs disappearing behind the door. Alice sees the staircase, it draws her near, like she’s being pulled towards the steps. A piercing noise knocks her to the ground. Then the staircase vanishes.
The one who wakes Alice is none other than old Mr. Peach. The man wants to have a chat about theology, including some maggots. Joseph’s curious whether Alice believes in God, if she worships him, so on. He goes on to mention Zoe and claims she’ll be fine. And he also vanishes.
We see Alice call the cops and tell them about the staircase. Naturally, they don’t believe much of what she’s saying. Although it’s good to have Louise there, she criticises the “tone of voice” of the cops when they treat her young tenant poorly. When Louise and Alice get back to the house they stumble onto Zoe – the older Woods sister claims to be “cured.” Zoe tells Alice about meeting a man after she left. She talks of an experience while being there with him. Ultimately, she was fixed through a vision. Yet the younger sister knows there are sinister forces around Butcher’s Block, and now she can’t convince the older one of that. As it turns out, there’s a “side effect” to the Peach cure, too.
All the while there are strange things happening all around Butcher’s Block. That eerie creature from the staircase in “Insidious Onset” has little Izzy, and it’s preparing her in a pentagram-like circle: looks like maybe he’s making a mask of her face.
The scissor lady (Paula Boudreau) is out on the streets, doing whatever it is she does, when suddenly she sees a man in a suit coming after her. The man runs her right into a police car and uses an old school cattle prod on her. The cops arrest him, though he doesn’t seem too worried – his name’s Robert Peach (Andreas Apergis); yeah, one of the famous family. And lord, is Bob a creep. Back in his cell, Mr. Peach not only murders the man in there with him, he’s also pulling organs right out of the dude’s stomach and chewing on them. Really upsets poor Officer Luke Vanczyk (Brandon Scott) when he walks in. His father – Chief Vanczyk (Tyrone Benskin) – sees him as too “sensitive,” urging him to take a couple days off.
Well Luke finds out that the cannibalistic Peach is being brought back to Medallion Park. There, Bob’s given back his suit, and he wanders through the woods back towards the playground. Luke follows him further until they reach the stairs, where Joseph awaits. The two Peach men walk up the staircase towards the door together.
At home, Zoe’s having trouble. She sees herself picking up Louise’s hairless cat and biting into it like food. Downstairs, Louise and Alice are going over the disappearances of Butcher’s Block and what the former believes about the neighbourhood. The graffiti murals around with the “white face” and “bloody mouth” are depictions of the Butcher, who many claim is Peach after he went mad over the murders of his daughters. That’s when the two women discover the front door open and a letter left on the table addressed to the Woods sisters – it’s from the Peach family, an invitation for dinner in the park.
That night, Alice and Louise go out to the park where the Peach family sit around a table lit up with candles. Suddenly, they’re inside the old mansion. Joseph explains he did “a procedure” on Zoe. The Peachs take revenge on the residents of Butcher’s Block for the murder of the two sisters; they eat them, yum, yum.
“Bless this family, and bless the bones of our enemies.”
Eventually, Joseph shows Alice the procedure he did on her sister. He paralyses her, then uses a crude contraption to open up the top of her skull. NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT?! Zoe was pretty much right when she said it was like ole Joey extracted part of her. He literally prods at her brain with his fingers, searching for her “deepest trauma” involving mom’s horrible breakdown. Turns out, mom stabbed Zoe in the stomach on that fateful day. Joe finds “the beast” in her brain, the schizophrenia hiding and waiting to come out.
Once it’s over, Alice is back in the world again, in the woods at the park. She’s sitting at a table full of rancid human meat, flies buzzing, to her and Louise’s horror. They’ve been sitting at the table of a family of cannibals all night.
JESUS, this episode was wild. Really took things to an entirely new level of weird, which is something I expect after Season 1 and 2 of Channel Zero. Cannot get enough!
“All You Ghost Mice” is next week.