Season 1, Episode 9: “In the Gloaming”
Directed by Tony Goldwyn
Written by Travis Jackson
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Heroic Dose” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “The Crystal Organ” – click here
The night Becky (Lilliya Scarlett Reid) died, Ben (Tony Goldwyn) was at the hospital being told by Evan (Matthew Rauch) to sign the papers so his daughter’s heart would be donated. “Did we do something wrong?” He felt guilty. Evan assured him it was “a miracle” Becky’s heart was still beating and usable. The father signed the papers so the heart would go to Sasha (Sivan Alyra Rose). He went to Nancy (Uma Thurman) at their daughter’s bedside, to convince her to sign, too. She wasn’t as “desperate to find meaning” in Becky dying. Not long and they whisked the young girl away for the transplant— not before Nancy saw her daughter’s eyes open and look straight at her.
At the Lefevre house, Sasha’s cleaning up after that upsetting night in the desert. While she showers, her clothes are bleached and tossed by Nancy, desperate to protect the only connection she has left to her daughter. Sasha’s left with the memory of Coach going over that cliff and the ominous message in her palm. Nancy’s sure Coach raped Becky, and deserved what he got, but Sasha has trouble dealing with the fact Becky crawled out of her skin to push the man to his death. Then Becky sings a lullaby. She says: “Don‘t leave me in the hole again.” It’s from a memory, when Becky was little and fell into a crevasse in the desert on a hike. The dead daughter tries to stab herself/Sasha, and Nancy wrestles with her before getting cut on the palm.
At rehab, Elliott (Nicholas Galitzine) gets a visit from his father and they talk about the night of the supposed attack. He tells Ben the truth of what happened, that he found Becky “cutting up mice.” This all sounds like gibberish to dad. He doesn’t believe his son, sure it’s the incoherent rambling of an addict coming down off the drugs. Elliott’s convinced his sister’s going to hurt Sasha.
When Sasha wakes up after her fit she’s locked in the now cleared out wine room. She tries to tell Nancy her daughter simply went bad. Nevertheless, the grieving mother doesn’t want to let Sasha out. She wants to protect her daughter. She wants to try talking to her, to help her “move on.”
At the trailer, Frank (Marcus LaVoi) and TJ (Griffin Powell-Arcand) are dealing with the old lady hiding in the ceiling. She claims to have protected Sasha. They found all the healing stones. Frank’s not into the “Crystal Valley hippies” influencing his niece anymore. The old woman says something, presumably in Navajo or Pima, to TJ before they all leave to go find Sasha. A cop stops Frank’s van on the road and suddenly the concerned uncle’s being arrested for murder. WTF?
Using an old toy belonging to her daughter, Nancy calls Becky out of Sasha. Becky speaks to her mother about what Coach did to her. Except it wasn’t rape— “He summoned an evil, he put it inside of me.” Mom thinks it’s metaphor for what happened. Becky means what she says, and perhaps all we’ve seen in that red-tinted vision of the desert is only the beginning. After Sasha returns she tells Nancy of the vision and the masks. Meanwhile, it’s as if she’s crumbling each time Becky comes through, and she wants to go back home to her own family. But Mrs. Lefevre doesn’t want to let her out, not quite yet, and it’s all getting quite disturbing.
In the van, as Frank’s being taken in by the cop, Yvonne (Kyanna Simone Simpson) talks to the old woman, who gives her a stone— “black tourmaline“— and says it’s a “ritual stone.” The lady’s been trying to help Sasha this entire time. What she says to Yvonne, about “when it was my turn,” suggests these out-of-body rituals have been happening in that corner of the Arizona desert for a long time. After that, she disappears. While Frank’s arrested, TJ remains determined to help Sasha.
Poor Sasha, as Becky, is going back through memories of the desert. She sees the cult, their masks. She tries to look for the pattern on the robes, to draw the symbol for Nancy. They realise it’s the symbol for the Annex Foundation. When Ben gets home he finds his wife worried about what could happen to Elliott, now that she knows the truth of the foundation. Ben doesn’t believe the Annex is a “death cult.” She’s got to convince him, so she takes him to Sasha, locked in that room. Ben goes inside. He can feel his daughter there with him. The wound from his sage burn bleeds. Except Becky says her father’s “the one,” that he was in the desert with her. He confirms something was “put inside” of her to “heal the world.”
And when Ben wrestles with Sasha/Becky, Nancy understands the truth, sinking a knife into her husband’s side. Yet Sasha’s still stuck in that glass cube. At the same moment, Elliott sees a vision of what’s happening at home, just like when his sister died, and he tries to tell someone at the Annex, right in the belly of the beast with Ruth (Lili Taylor) having more New Age shit pumped into his veins instead of heroin.
TJ and Yvonne turn up at the Lefevre house, where they run into Penelope (Lilli Kay), too. She knows the code to the garage, so the friends are able to get inside. They find their friend, while Nancy’s upstairs crying in the shower.
Except it isn’t their friend— it’s Becky, in the flesh. And it’s not a vision, because TJ and Yvonne both see it. Has a full transformation, a reincarnation, actually become reality? Has Sasha gone away? Has Becky returned, for real?
A wild episode! Definitely a game-changer so late in the season. Father Gore suspected Ben was shady, though there were many good red herrings to throw us off along the way. Things are going to get seriously disturbed in the finale.
There’s a lot of backstory to Annex that would be great to see play out. Although if we only get a single season, it’ll be a great story anyway.
“The Crystal Organ” is next.