Lore – Season 1, Episode 5: “The Beast Within”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 5: “The Beast Within”
Directed by Darnell Martin
Written by David Coggeshall

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Passing Notes” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “Unboxed” – click here


5th century. A man, Patricius, walked by himself on a lonesome road spreading the gospel. Pagans weren’t particularly “receptive to the teachings of Christ.” They had their god: the wolf. So nobody in Ossory cared. They even attacked Patricius. But suddenly one of the pagans changed from a man to a beast. The “unnatural metamorphosis” spread around the village. However, when all the men became beasts they didn’t kill Patricius, they killed their leader. The Irishman ran off, spreading word of what he saw. This is the man we now know as Saint Patrick.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe thought itself plagued by the werewolf in certain places. Late 1500s in Bedburg, Germany, townsfolk were vanishing, never seen again. Everyone feared the worst, going on about their days however they could so as not to think about the threat always lurking. Jens Hetfelderz (Clark Moore) and his daughter Greta (Callie Brook McClincy) lived in fear awaiting the day they might encounter the mythological creature. Soon enough, the daughter was attacked, though escaped and lived.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.43.25 PMClinical lycanthropy” is a rare psychiatric disorder. It makes sufferers believe they’ve turned into an animal: howling, clawing, et cetera. There’s also the folklore of men who turn into wolves, attacking the unsuspecting. Werewolves, in many tales, didn’t have tails, identifying them as such a beast.
And of course, Red Riding Hood herself, the story everyone knows. Certainly as we go back further and further, the story gets more gruesome than the sanitised version we’ve all heard or told to children.
When Greta (Cassady McClincy) grew a little older, the town was still feeling the wrath of the fabled werewolves. One town leader Peter Stubbe (Adam Goldberg), tried to keep people vigilant, as he worried for the safety of everyone around him. Believing the werewolf a “creation and servant of the Devil.”
That night, Greta’s friend Celeste (Chloé Aktas) comes upon an injured man calling from the woods, her lover Nils (Colton Medlin) running to check on him. But she finds only terror after he doesn’t come back: Nils is impaled, and she’s slashed across the chest by a hairy claw. The girl’s screams alert the villagers.
In Gévaudan, a French province, during 1764 and 1767 killings occurred that were inexplicable. Women and children had their heads crushed, they were decapitated. Descriptions said it was a large wolf, a “dogdragon hybrid,” and other things. Naturally the Church said it was God’s punishment, just like the Republicans tell you today when a hurricane hits. You can read more about the hunt for the beast here.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.51.05 PMBedburg all came together, trying to keep their strength as a community in the face of grim deaths, especially of people so young. Jens was intent on killing the beast, and Stubbe only wants the families to take care of one another, to survive. The father worries deeply about his daughter, so Stubbe extends an invitation to let the girl stay with him while the beast is hunted.
Only problem was that Stubbe was the beast himself. Now with the girl all alone. He brought her to the cellar, where he kept the skulls of victims, where he cooked and ate a bit of human meat, boiled heads. All that stuff, and pre-Dahmer by a long shot. Lucky for Greta, her father showed up in time to fend off the wolfman. The village figured out his awful secret.
New York. Summer of ’77. The .44 Caliber Killer was out gunning people down in the streets. Killing relentlessly, mainly women in parked cars with brown hair. Yes, the “Son of Sam.” The one we know now as David Berkowitz. He wrote to police, taunting, threatening, crazy as hell. People were terrified of the monster stalking them. Great inclusion of a clip involving a night of a full moon, when people saw the killer, and were able to identify him. A demon living in his neighbour Sam’s dog commanded him to kill, he said.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.53.46 PMIn late October, 1589, the townsfolk watched the torture of Stubbe in the town square. They ask for his confession. He tells of a deal with the Devil as a boy. He was given the power of the wolf. He fed on animals, then later men, even his own son. Operating much as a modern day serial killer, approaching as a “kind man” and luring people in, many of them women. Like a werewolf Ted Bundy. Stubbe was sentenced to death – tied on a wheel, flayed a little, his arms were broken, his legs, and after all that he was decapitated. His head was fixed on a pike.
Skip to Paris in 1937. Eugen Weidmann, a German in France, was arrested for murder. He was accused of killing six people. He was plastered across the newspaper, his trial known around the world. They sentenced him to be killed via guillotine, out in public. This was a way to supposedly deter criminals (see: Michel Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” for an amazing historical look at public execution, et cetera). So, people turned out in front of the prison to watch, everyone eager to watch a man get his head lopped off. It’s said women dipped handkerchiefs in the blood as “mementos.” Guillotine executions happened in France until 1977, but inside the prison instead of outside. People have viewed the execution over 1,000,000 times in the last decade online; yes, there’s an old recording.
Still, no matter how many they kill, people still kill, people are continually sentenced to death. Because the beast is within man himself (and I say man because women rarely do horrible shit like men).
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.01.47 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.06.10 PMAnother of my favourite episodes in this series. A great Season 1, with a bunch of amazing stories. Truly a special series.
“Unboxed” is the finale, coming next.

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Lore – Season 1, Episode 4: “Passing Notes”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 4: “Passing Notes”
Directed by Nick Copus
Written by Glen Morgan

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Black Stockings” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Beast Within” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.07.02 PMIn 1921, Feburary 5th, Thomas Bradford wrote a book about what happens after death. Then “tested it.” He’d recently put an ad in a Detroit newspaper, seeking people involved with spiritualism and science. Ruth Doran responded.
What followed was his “great adventure” – he committed suicide, planning to communicate back with Ruth after his death. When reporters caught up with her, she said he spoke to her. But what she actually heard is a mystery.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.07.08 PM1843. Reverend Eliakim Phelps (Robert Patrick) lost his wife Elizabeth, challenging his beliefs. He lived in a time where people were trying many methods to contact the dead, from seances to all sorts of other techniques. Rumours even say Mary Todd Lincoln had one in the White House. All these techniques and the interest gave birth to the Spiritualist movement.
Rev. Phelps eventually remarried, to a Sarah Nicholson Phelps (Bethany Anne Lind), taking her children as his own. Yet he couldn’t let go of his wife’s memory. Longing perpetually. Things were fine, for a while. One day, the family returned home from church to find their house ransacked, plates and vegetables on the floor, chairs overturned and stacked on tables, everything a mess. Looking like somebody robbed them. Only they found no one. Save for a dress and some carrots on the bed. An eerie scene.
Eliakim passes it off to his family as “a bluff.” However, it’s very clear they’re all unsettled by the event. The Reverend keeps an eye on things, waiting for any of the troublesome visitors to return. He hears a booming knock at the door in the night. He hears other noises, someone in their dining room at the silver. When he goes into the room he finds only clothes, shaped like people standing and sitting around the table. He touches them and they fall to the floor. More noise draws him away, but he can never find the source. He began believing he’d let bad spirits into his home.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.08.43 PMDr. Isaac Bristol (Tom Thon) was a good friend of Rev. Phelps, bringing word of Austin (Daniel Thomas May) back from the seminary. Father and son aren’t as close lately, due to dad marrying a much younger woman. Eliakim reveals to his friend he’d thought of attending a seance; Isaac advises against it. In that day and age, many were interested in trying to communicate beyond the veil of death.
Aaron Mahnke takes us back to Franz Mesmer and his “animal magnetism.” Yes, this is where we get hypnosis, from those who were mesmerised by his practice. He did all sorts of mad shit, some involving metal rods. He didn’t claim to be able to conduct seances, though they grew out of his mesmerism, the unconscious, revelatory state, and so on.
No matter what anyone said, Eliakim was willing to risk everything to “hear one last word” from his wife. Dead set on contacting her, at any cost to his personal or professional life/reputation. Isaac believes it’s all “liberal Christian theologies” in the big cities. The Reverend is convinced theology and science will cross over into one unifying theory, essentially.
In 1848, we hear of John and Margaret Fox. Their daughters Kate and Margaret (The Fox Sisters) supposedly contacted the dead. A spirit of Charles Rosna, a peddler; he was buried in the basement, they said. His spirit spoke to them through “clicks and knocks.” They went on to attract other spirits with which to speak. They quickly became famous, conducting seances for others using the click-and-knock system. People were thrilled.
And so, Rev. Phelps had his friend Dr. Bristol help him conduct his own seance. The grieving widower calls out to Elizabeth, asking if she’s there with them. Nothing actually comes of it all.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.12.53 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.18.25 PMMahnke talks about Houdini, whose interest in the afterlife found him as spiritualism’s biggest sceptic in the public sphere. He’d lost his mother in 1913, devastating him. He stopped performing. Spiritualists wanted to do a seance for him. He immediately knew it was a fraud, the message from beyond coming in English when his mother did not speak it. This put him on a sceptic’s warpath. He left his widow with a message, that if she should ever hear it from the afterlife that it would truly be him. She never heard it, denouncing “spirit communication in any form.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, friend of Mr. Houdini, never gave up hope himself. He read of the Fox Sisters, as well. In 1919, he saw a psychic and had portraits taken. In one of those appeared the ghost of his dead son.
On went the search of Phelps. More strange events at home. After word spread, Austin and uncle Abner (Steven Sean Garland) arrived to speak with the Reverend. Everybody’s talking of hauntings, a supposed witch haunting the home. Parishioners had already left Eliakim’s church. But he never wavered. And something weird WAS happening, no matter what anybody said.
It all got worse, and more dangerous. The haunting of the Phelps home became clear to Austin and Abner while they stayed. Inexplicable noises from all around the house, from the cellar, everywhere. One night, they found young Henry down in the cellar, asleep in a cupboard with a noose around his neck: “Like they hung the witch.” It was, they believed, Goody Bassett, a free willed woman branded as a witch in the 17th century. This preceded the Salem Witch Trials. Not far from where Phelps would come to live.
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.37.21 PMEven with some inklings, Austin and Abner left Eliakim. The Reverend would not leave. He continued in his belief that theology and science were able to co-exist. He performed another seance in order to hopefully expel Goody’s spirit. He called out to the hanged witch, trying to help her go home, away from there. Some knocks and shaking come when he asks. Eliakim figures out it’s not Elizabeth, but somebody else entirely; a damned soul. The air becomes oppressive, everyone choking, a couple vomiting. Followed by furniture flying.
And so the Reverend decides they’ll leave, rather than face any further evil forces. The story blew up. In 1888, the Fox sisters confessed their own story as a hoax. They had strange physical quirks, able to crack and pop joints and knuckles in such a way to trick others. People “continued to believe.” In 1930, Arthur Conan Doyle’s voice was apparently recorded at a seance.
So, is there life after death? Or do we merely want to believe in it so badly that we MAKE it become real? Will we ever actually know, for sure?
Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.47.37 PMAnother solid episode, this one I’d not actually listened to on the podcast before. So a nice treat! Robert Patrick is an underrated actor, so his performance here was a wonderful addition. So much history packed into a single episode, too. Impressive.
“The Beast Within” comes as the next instalment.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 3: “Black Stockings”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 3: “Black Stockings”
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Written by David Chiu & Patrick Wall

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Echoes” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Passing Notes” – click here
IMG_0390June 2009, Ithaca, NY. A couple were running on a wooded path. Suddenly, the husband started believing his wife wasn’t her anymore, that she was an “impostor” who was trying to “destroy him.” He had Capgras Syndrome. He cut his wife’s throat, killing her. Hearing Aaron Mahnke narrate is one thing, hearing the killer himself and seeing his picture is another thing altogether.
100 years before, that wasn’t so crazy, to think somebody could take another’s place. This takes us back to Ireland for another episode of Lore.
In 19th century Ireland, “magic and superstition” were often the cause. Specifically, the changelings. We go to 1895, Ballyvadlea, a village in Ireland. Bridget Cleary (Holland Roden) was what you’d call a “modern woman.” She lived with her husband Michael (Cathal Pendred) who worked for the local creamery. She sewed, tailoring clothes that helped she and her husband do better than most in their area.
Of course, back then, a woman like Bridget drew rumours. That she was stepping out with another man. Her own husband listened to them, too. But that was no bother, she was her own woman. Michael worries about the changelings, that she’s temping them by going to a place linked with her mother, that they could take her away. Not only that, he’s quite possessive, as men so often get. Also, that’s part of the Irish cultural tradition: a man owned his wife.


However, the changelings are powerful, they can take who they want.
Mahnke fills us in about them. Changelings take abducted humans to places where there exists “fairy rings,” or portals, linking the human world to another realm. They can take on the appearance of their target, sending the real person to that realm. All sorts of symptoms could give way to belief that changelings had taken you off. In addition, methods to try figuring out if such was the case. Like holding people over fire, forcing someone to drink foxglove, and other nastiness. And sure as shit, this led to autism, many illnesses mental or otherwise, all becoming reasons to believe the changelings were at work.
There’s only 9 days from possession until a person is lost forever to the other realm.
Bridget shows up back home to her Michael and her father, Patrick Boland (John Byner), looking sick, falling over. She doesn’t seem to even recognise her husband. When Michael does a quick test with an iron cup, he fears the worst: they’ve got her. So Doc Crean (Darren Darnborough) comes, and other people in the village find out, wondering if a changeling had taken hold of Bridget. Although the doc says “bronchitis and nervous excitement,” others aren’t so sure.
Things don’t go too well. Father Ryan (Mark Ashworth) drops by to offer what comfort religion can in times like these. When he does, Michael asks him to bless a bit of medicine from a fairy doctor. The priest tells him to forget the “Old Irishery” and its folklore; all the while peddling Jesus Christ, sort of ironic. Regardless, the husband believes what he believes. You can see where this is headed.
It also involves the threat of sensual, powerful, strong women. Mahnke talks about Julia Margaret Cameron, a British photographer who took incredible pictures of women; rare for a woman in 1863. We also see, Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond, he took pictures of women, as well. In asylums. Where women could be committed by their husbands, their fathers, the patriarchy who wanted to shut women up. “Moral insanity” a.k.a infidelity was one cause for being committed. Amongst many misogynist reasons. Diamond took pictures believing women seeing themselves in the photographs would have a positive effect. Or maybe it’d only mirror their anxieties.

IMG_0399Lots more superstition surrounding Bridget, driving Michael further into the belief his wife’s been stolen by the changelings. Jack Dunne (Richie Stephens) and the others do nothing to deter that belief. Meanwhile, Bridget’s terrified they’re turning her into a fairy herself. As it is with misogyny, we learn of the man’s prior abusive tendencies, like nearly burning her face with a poker from the fire once. Her husband is sure this is the eighth day, one more to go.
What will he do? Oh, you know.
There are no such things as fairies. And if Ireland is ever going to become a part of the world, they need to go away.”
The men plan to force feed Bridget a cure. They hold her down, even dear ole dad, and Michael asks the changeling to let his wife free. All gripped by folktales and cultural misogyny. When it won’t work, they decide on using a remedy meant to be used on the verge of day nine.
So Bridget pleads with her husband, playing to his superstitious mind, saying anything she can to try thwarting him and the patriarchal plans of the village men. Anything to save herself. Ultimately, day nine came, and Michael had untied her. Father Ryan came around for a bit of mass. They tried relying on faith.
Except the husband wasn’t strong enough to have a strong woman such as Bridget as a wife (unlike Annie Oakley, whose husband Frank was beyond loyal to her and proud, too). He couldn’t handle her free spirit. It wasn’t long until he reverted to the superstitions.
He beat her, slamming her around the house. Then he lit her on fire in front of everybody, burning her while she was still alive. The Fairy Trial put Michael in the international eye, giving way to ugly Irish stereotypes.
Are you a witch? Or are you a fairy? Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?”
IMG_0403Another fantastic slice of Lore! God, they do such justice to Mahnke’s podcast and accentuate the strongest elements of his narration, adding in the scenes, plus those bits of montage from pictures to animations and everything else. One of my favourite new shows.
“Passing Notes” is next.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 6: “Unboxed”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 6: “Unboxed”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Tyler Hisel

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Beast Within” – click here


South of Mexico City there is an island with a “disturbing history” called Island of the Dolls, originally Isla de las Muñecas. In the 1950s, Don Julian Santana abandoned his family to go live on the island. A long while later, he found a drowned girl there. Not far he found a doll, likely belonging to the girl. He thought it was a “curse” because he left his own family. So, he kept the doll like it was his own child. He looked for more dolls, sometimes going into the mainland to find them. They were hung as “offerings” to the girl’s spirit, to ward off her anger.
He eventually drowned in the same water where he’d found the girl, leaving all his dolls strung up on the island, left to the decay of time.
IMG_0379Aaron Mahnke reminds us how dolls become special objects to children, as a “trusted friend” and more. However, many of us are creeped out by dolls, their strange eyes. All a product of the primitive brain. Mahnke speaks of the “uncanny valley,” which is a reason why Tom Hanks in The Polar Express is unsettling, something too close to human yet not quite human. And this is ultimately why dolls, mere objects, hold power of us. Sometimes they won’t relent, either.
We go to 1904, in Key West, Florida. Thomas and Minnie Otto (Joe Knezevich & Kristin Bauer van Straten) lived there with their son Robert a.k.a Gene (J.T. Corbitt). His Aunt Bridget (Sandra Ellis Lafferty) sends the lonely little boy a doll from her trip in German. Because the kid was a bit different, the doll had a quick effect on him, they became best friends. He was like a real boy to Gene, he sat at the table with the family, he had a meal set out for him, as well. Dad doesn’t dig it, he’s upset by the neighbours talking about his son, though mom realises the object is their child’s “only friend.”
One day Minnie believes she hears her husband upstairs. Yet there’s only her son, the doll, whom the boy’s named after himself: Robert. Just the lads, laughing and chatting together. Even dad starts hearing things, someone running around upstairs when his boy’s asleep not far from him in the next room. Things are beginning to turn up broken, and Gene swears it wasn’t him. When he claims the doll did it all, it sounds insane, naturally.
Robert is real. And he doesnt like it when you scold me.”
IMG_0380IMG_0382Mahnke discusses ventriloquism, why it’s unsettling to people. In 19th century America, people were interested and likewise a bit repelled by the act. Some were accused of witchcraft. Others were believed to be mediums, channelling “voices of the dead” into their dolls. A razor’s edge between entertaining and eerie.
Edgar Bergen and his doll Charlie were the most famous American ventriloquist act. Years later, his daughter revealed the doll was treated as a member of the family. It had a room. It even got his inheritance, left behind for him rather than Edgar’s daughter: the very famous Candice Bergen.
Aunt Bridget gets to Florida, upset over Gene’s relationship with Robert the doll. She brings out the Bible to get across her point, lamenting these “new beliefs of the Suffragette.” Everybody’s worried about the kid. Except for mom. Thomas and Bridget want to get rid of the doll, whereas Minnie doesn’t want to do that to Gene.
So they lock the doll away in a crate, nailing it shut to be kept in the attic. Afterwards, things got weird. First Bridget turns up dead. Then Robert the doll is back sitting next to Gene’s bed as he sleeps. Mahnke questions when dolls gain their power over us. He tells us about a woman named Frances Glessner Lee. She made dolls, only to kill them all in various ways. She made forensic science miniature crime scenes based on real cases: “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.” This helped revolutionise the way scenes were thought about, the care for minute details; today, these are still used for teaching purposes.
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Aunt Bridget supposedly had a stroke. Wasn’t necessarily what everyone in the house believed. Mom asks her son how Robert got out of the box. He replies he can’t tell, implying the doll has strange powers. This prompted Minnie to break down and send him away to a boarding school.
Mahnke talks about “reborns,” which are lifelike, custom-made dolls. Made painstakingly to look like a newborn baby. This is a truly strange evolution in the concept of the doll. Watching them being made, watching women cradling them like actual children, even how they’re broken out of a bag as if they’ve truly come out of a human, it’s terrifying. This is the power an object can hold over a person.
Just as poor Minnie believed Robert the doll was responsible for everything bad in their home. She nailed him up again in the attic for good. Skip ahead, 24 years later, and Gene (Michael Patrick Lane) is a painter who travelled Europe. Thomas died, and Minnie was left at home with the doll. When her boy returned, he was grown and experienced and their reunion was wonderful – he also brought his wife, Anne (Haley Finnegan).
But Minnie starts warning the new bride, that they’ve offended Robert. He won’t be happy his friend Gene is being taken away by the women in his life. It all sounds nuts to the young woman, of course. A product of those years alone with only the doll in that house. Despite it all, the couple moved into the home, and the influence over Gene began all over again. Terrifying.
Anatoly Moskvin, Mahnke tells us, was a special sort of strange. He had dozens of dolls, whom he dressed, drank tea with, read to; inside their chests, he installed music boxes. See, Anatoly stole corpses for a decade. At home, they were his “companions.” He mummified the bodies and turned them into dolls. He felt they’d, someday, come back to life. Yikes.
One night, Anne took Robert outside, doused him in petrol, and took a match to him. Next day? He’s back sitting at the table with her husband, fresh and clean. Obviously things got especially scary from there on in, decades of Robert living with them. People would say they saw him staring from the window. His legacy lived on, longer than his owner. He went on haunting the house, until a museum took Robert, where he’s become a famous tourist attraction.


Just don’t take a picture with him unless you ask his permission. Or he’ll get… angry, and do “bad things.”
IMG_0389My favourite episode of Season 1 as a whole, because there’s so much within the story, true history I never knew (Candice Bergen!), and on top of that the entire tale is macabre and weird and super creepy. Just a fantastic episode.
I’ve not yet heard anything, but I do hope this will be successful enough for a Season 2. Mahnke is excellent, he’s a wonderful narrator. The subjects of the podcast were interesting enough, this show gives it the best possible visuals to add that extra OOMPF. Give us more.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 2: “Echoes”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 2: “Echoes”
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Written by Glen Morgan

* For a recap & review of the Season 1 premiere, “They Made a Tonic” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Black Stockings” – click here
IMG_03471903, Virginia. People didn’t want an insane asylum in their neighbourhood, so they were all transported to a place outside Washington, D.C. Only on the way, the patients crashed. Two went out into the forest. One of the them wound up hanging from a tunnel, a note talking about the Bunnyman. The other man, Bunnyman himself, escaped. More killings followed. But eventually, the man was run over by a train.
However, as Narrator Aaron Mahnke tells us: this story’s not true. No records about any of it, from the inmates, the asylum, to the murders. What is it about “the insane” that fills our minds with dread, as well as fills our horror stories?
IMG_0348IMG_0349Bethlehem Hospital in Europe is one of its oldest, founded in the 1400s. At its front are statues of “melancholy” and “raving madness.” The place’s name got clipped from Bethlehem to Bethlem to Bedlam; yes, that’s where the term originates! And at this hospital, the named Bedlam came out of the torturous methods of supposedly treating the mentally ill.
In 1930, a new facility was built at Bethlehem Hospital, though that doesn’t mean things got a whole lot better. In 1946, we meet Dr. Walter Freeman (Colm Feore), who wanted to get rid of the asylum, to fix both the individual and society’s ills in one fell stroke. We see him treating a patient named Salie ‘Ellen’ Ionesco (Victoria Petrosky). She lies on a stretcher with a guard in her mouth, a bit of jelly on the temples, and then it’s an electroshock. Followed by the prefrontal lobotomy technique, also known as the transorbital leucotomy, the crude severing of nerve pathways in a lobe of the brain. Back then, it was called a cure. Except it was more like making a human zombie. Ah, modern medicine! Scientific advancement! Hope for psychotics to “return to their communities“!
At the cost of what, though?
IMG_0350Dr. Freeman and Dr. James Watts (R. Keith Harris) would go on running with the prefrontal lobotomy. Later, Bedlam was featured prominently in an article exposing the horrific conditions at the their hospital. Yet, on they went with that ole transorbital lobotomy, their term. A cheap, easy method that you can do right at the office with no drugs even. Yikes.
But, you see, Dr. Freeman went a bit nuts. At one point, Dr. Watts found him in the office with two of the medical picks stuck in a patient’s two eyes, like a pin cushion. We go to a scene of Dr. Freeman, his wife Dr. Marjorie Freeman (Kristen Cloke), Dr. Watts and a bunch of other doctors, as the man himself shows off a procedure he’s doing on a man named Allan (Michael Bullard).
With a sinister smile and tone, he reels off his numbers – 400 lobotomies in asylums with only a small number of deaths and other fuck ups. It’s a mad moment. One colleague protests after the electroshock, but the wild doctor goes on ahead with the procedure, and his colleague vomits at the sight. Everyone sees the ghastliness up close for themselves.
The only thing this accomplishes is making it easier for those who are nursing them
In the aftermath of fascism’s death and the end of WWII, people embraced the lobotomy, which sent Dr. Freeman into the stratosphere. People saw it as a way to easily take away the horror of mental illness, to calm those with the mental pain of their afflictions. So much so it reached the rich and famous, such as Warner Baxter, one of the two Best Actor recipients at the Academy Awards. He had brutal arthritic troubles and sought out the lobotomy as a cure.
IMG_0353His most famous case, hidden away, was Rosemary Kennedy. At birth, she suffered brain damage, severely limiting her intellectual capabilities. This led her to acting out, causing trouble. So the Kennedy patriarch went to Dr. Walter Freeman in order to remedy their problem. The procedure rendered her permanently disabled, “silenced by the age of twentythree.”
In 1946, Dr. Freeman took his sons and a nephew camping and hiking. One son fell into the river and went over the falls, drowning, found lodged between rocks a week later. A horrible accident. Certainly did no favours for Walter and Marjorie’s relationship, either. Not that they were doing so hot before. He’s an all around terrible man, as a husband, as a doctor.
Thorazine eventually showed up to “calm patients.” It revolutionised modern psychiatric science. Of course Dr. Freeman doesn’t dig it, he doesn’t believe Thorazine or any other drug will replace the lobotomy. No, sir! At the same time, Dr. Watts wanted to give it a try, to leave lobotomy behind, accompanied with the academic work of others calling the procedure what it is: an abomination.
Cut to 1960. He’s got a patient in for the lobotomy. A little boy named Charlie, his mom can’t discipline him or get him to act like a good boy. Oh, this is ugly. He’s electroshocked. He gets the pick in the eyes. And a few years later, he was booted out of the medical practice.
So, Freeman went around the country visiting his lobotomy patients. Seeking redemption, or some affirmation he’d been their saviour. In 1972, he died. His headstone has a hole at the top, a fitting, if not eerie marking of a life with a hole in it that he was never able to fill, ultimately.
IMG_0354Wow. This episode was even better than the first! Love Lore. Truly, Mahnke does fine work. Really gets under your skin in many ways.
“Black Stockings” comes next.

Lore – Season 1, Episode 1: “They Made a Tonic”

Amazon’s Lore
Season 1, Episode 1: “They Made a Tonic”
Directed by Darnell Martin
Written by Jeff Eckerle & Marilyn Osborn

* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Echoes” – click here
IMG_0340We open on an animation about 1836, Aaron Mahnke (creator of the original podcast Lore) tells us of a woman named Sarah in New Haven took in her niece Mary after her parents died. They spent many years living together, enjoying their lives, working together and spending time together. One day Mary collapsed and died in Sarah’s arms. The next day they buried her. Sarah had a dream of being buried alive. Figuring it a sign, she begged to have her niece dug up. Inside they found the girl, her hands clawed to bits from trying to get out.
A true story about a woman named Mary Hart.
Aaron tells us more about death, how “modern medicine” has changed that for us. He talks about doctors stopping the heart during surgery, machines that keep people breathing, transplanting like a riff off Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Today, so muc has aged, unlike a century or more ago.
How far are we willing to go to keep a loved one alive?”
IMG_03411883. George Brown (Campbell Scott)  lived in Exeter, Rhode Island with his family, a good bunch of Protestants. Young Mary Olive (Mary Simmons) is dealing with “consumption,” headed for death. He’d already lost his wife from the same thing. He prayed, hoping the rest of his children would be spared.
And for a while, they were, until Edwin (Connor Hammond) started showing signs, coughing up a bit of blood. George has heard of a place in Colorado Springs which is supposed to help, the mountain air, all that. So he has his boy sent. Only for the “phantom killer” to return again and plagued the Brown house once more.
Mahnke reminds us of premature burial, a scare back then. Because medicine wasn’t so precise. Therefore, there were techniques used to make sure a person was dead before being buried, most of it rather medieval, brief torture. There was also the “safety coffin” available, for a price, allowing a tube to the deceased, in case they weren’t so deceased; other constructions involved bells, et cetera. This is where the famous phrase “saved by the bell” comes from originally.
In a dark irony, Edwin returned to find his sister dead. Although his father was certainly happy to have him home. But tragically he soon began coughing again, sicker than before. At the same time, Samuel Wilkins (Benjamin Keepers) arrives with a man named William Rose (Steve Coulter) who claims to have a remedy for the illness. Because he claims this sickness is actually a demon.
IMG_0343Dr. Harold Metcalf (Jason Davis) tries convincing the grieving father it’s all “Old World” superstitious nonsense; George needs no convincing. He won’t buy into it. However, Lily (Caroline Arapoglou) wonders if perhaps it’s worth a try. Again, the question returns: how far would you go to keep a loved one alive?
Therapeutic exhumation” came out of the work of Georg Stahl, a German physician, whose work concerned many things including the concept of the soul. So, the superstitions began, working from Stahl’s shitty science mixed with folklore. Leading to people digging up bodies, checking the heart to see if a demon had taken over the body, depending on whether there was blood in the heart. If so, they had to cut out the heart and burn it. Grim.
After some time, George realises medical science hasn’t done anything for his son. In his time there was a lot happening scientifically, whereas medicine hadn’t quite took off and caught up. This is where science slipped some, folklore, its superstitions creeping into peoples heads. This brought George to indulge Mr. Rose.
They go to the family graves, they must figure out who was the demon’s original host, in order to – hopefully – stop the demon influencing the remaining family. Digging up corpses, digging up the painful memories, too. They go from the first to die to the last, discovering Mercy (Hannah Culwell) looking pretty fresh for months in the ground. This puts Samuel on edge, as well as Mr. Rose. They believe it’s necessary to check the heart to be sure, to be done with the curse.
IMG_0344Dr. Metcalf does the surgical work, gruesome as it was nearing the mid-19th century. “The heart is where the demon lives,” Rose tells them, waiting to see if fresh blood still lingers. Nothing looks out of the ordinary, yet they have to take the heart and live out, just in case. On the fire they go. The ashes must go into a tonic, given to Edwin, completing the ritual.
The young man doesn’t want to drink it. George and Lily convince him to try, to drink the ashes of his own sister. But did it work? No. A couple months later Edwin died. All those lengths, just to fail. Newspapers mocked George and the others in Exeter for what they’d done, believing a monster could live beyond the grave.
What monsters? The vampires. Legends begin, only to find Bram Stoker writing Dracula not much later. Mercy Brown herself became the “first American vampire.”
IMG_0346Super interesting start to this series! I already enjoyed the podcast a ton, Mahnke has a good narrating voice, and the subjects are so infinitely wild, weird, creepy, macabre, and always interesting.
“Echoes” is next, look forward to another unique episode.

Channel Zero – No End House, Episode 4: “The Exit”

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 4: “The Exit”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Nick Antosca & Katie Gruel

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Beware the Cannibals” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Damage” – click here
IMG_0316Margot (Amy Forsyth) and Seth (Jeff Ward) wake the next day, after becoming intimate. Dylan (Sebastian Pigott) is still trying to show Lacey (Jess Salgueiro) the truth about what’s happening, that they’re actually married; however, that’s just us going on what he’s said, it isn’t necessarily true. Although currently his word, the strangeness of the No-End House, these are all we have to go on.
Of course it gets a bit nasty because she’s “not remembering anything” and she’s attacked him with his own knife. And out in the middle of the nearby neighbourhood is still that cul-de-sac, a group of people stuck inside. Everybody else is strange, like they’re all lost. Of course, they are, in various ways. “Theyre part of the house,” Dylan tells them, and they’re not keen on the group’s trying to leave. A parade of people follow behind them as they go.
Naturally, one of them is John (John Carroll Lynch), who’s looking paler, more awful than ever. He heads further after them while the rest of the neighbourhood stays behind.
IMG_0317On their way, in a field, the group finds a decimated man lying on the ground. He’s one of the cannibals, unable to feed and wasting away. JD (Seamus Patterson) questions Seth, as to why he hasn’t said anything about his peeling skin; the former threatens to expose the latter if he does say a word. Because something fishy’s going on, either way. Regardless if Seth is one of the doubles.
Soon they come across a corn maze. Within are people calling out, all kinds of them. They stop outside for the night and light a fire. Seth tells Margot he’s not who she believes him to be; “someone who doesnt belong.” He claims he lives in this place, or that he came there before and that living there can “be beautiful.” Meanwhile, Dylan ties JD to Lacey as he goes to check out noises in the dark. Then a woman comes from out of the darkness, digging her fingers into Lacey’s eye sockets before walking back into nowhere. This is when an angry, grief-stricken Dylan sees the withering skin on JD’s arm.
Dylan stabs him, telling the others to keep away. “Hes not real,” Seth says. So Dylan lights the cannibal JD on fire while they all run into the maze. Yet Margot tells them all that Seth lives there, that he can’t come. But now they’re all divided, so many eerie things culminating at once. Not to mention surrounding them in the corn maze is a sea of lost voices, calling out to their loved ones.
IMG_0319IMG_0320Soon they’re all lost themselves. Margot can’t find Jules (Aisha Dee) anymore. Then she comes across one of those black pools, a person materialising out of it. She stumbles onto her friend touching another big, fleshy orb. She takes Jules away from it; simultaneously, we see the person sinking back into that black pool of blood-like substance.
Just as they get away, dad shows up to plead with Margot. He needs a taste. To tide him over, y’know. He needs something on which to subsist, a cannibal, a junkie. He tells his daughter to flee before anything bad happens, so she does, with Jules in tow.
John: “Im only a reflection that lived in you
The remaining trio come to the No-End House. Where Dylan says they have to go on alone. He wants to burn the place to the ground. Inside they find more of the masks, only this time a bit different; each of their faces is a mask with a cracked open head, one hand hauling a dark face out from within, a visual metaphor of what we’ve been seeing already. They go further, into Room 2. The place goes dark, when the light returns a black pool expands across the floor almost like it’s alive, chasing them both, spreading in arm-like streams. Jules attempts jumping across to Margot. They manage to get out as the pool takes over the whole room.
Outside, Dylan’s not so lucky. John finds him, sinking a knife in his guts and ripping his throat open. Leaving him to die in the grass, as dad heads on towards his daughter.


Margot and Jules hear more of the Russian, an old teacher of theirs; the old woman writes DON’T GO over and over across a chalkboard. Except it isn’t an old woman, it’s the creepy man from the hallway, from Margot’s earlier visit. He tries hauling her away, but Jules pulls her back to the next room with her.
This takes them into the gruesome sounds of John’s death by allergy, a mask of his swollen face in front of the girls. He chokes and coughs and sucks for air. A nasty experience. Finally, they make it to Room 5. “We got this,” Jules assures her friend. In there is a bloated, ghostly version of John, in a living room but with a bathtub. He runs his hands through the water, silent. Afterwards he lurches for a hug.
But the girls escape, out into the open air. They don’t see the white flowers anymore, instead a normal dandelion. Dudes are out front trying to get in, so Margot and Jules tell them the house is “finished eating.” They head back to normal life, in a normal neighbourhood. As if none of it ever happened.
Problem is, John’s escaped, as well. He has come back to the world. That can’t be good.
IMG_0326Oh, this is probably my favourite episode now! Wow. Just incredible how Channel Zero consistently ups its game. And here I was concerned there was no way they’d be able to do better than Season 1. Pfft. Amazing.
“The Damage” is up to bat next week.

Channel Zero – No-End House, Episode 3: “Beware the Cannibals”

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 3: “Beware the Cannibals”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Don Mancini & Erica Saleh

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Nice Neighborhood” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Exit” – click here
Pic 1Jules (Aisha Dee) keeps seeing the room with huge, white, semi-translucent orb. She touches it and something all but reaches out. She flashes back to her childhood briefly. Then, nearby, her sister grows out of the memories in one of those black pools we saw last episode. Last thing he sees is the thing in the orb, reaching out.
Jules and Seth (Jeff Ward) are both awake now, as the former wants to make sure Margot (Amy Forsyth) is safe. Speaking of Margot, she’s waking to another day at home with her father John (John Carroll Lynch), as well as a strange house. Her closet’s become like a hallway to… nowhere, or who knows. She closes it and heads out into the hallway, hearing her father talking to himself, practising his “Morning, Margo!” He has to seem like a real person, her real dad. Spooky.
Meanwhile, J.D. (Seamus Patterson) is burning in a fire, after his double killed him. All the eerie nastiness is lurking just beneath the surface. Like dad, and his cannibalism.
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 11.18.55 AMOur mysterious drifter is Dylan (Sebastian Pigott), husband to Lacey (Jess Salguerio). He has her strapped into a chair, trying to get her to remember her life. But in this house, there’s pictures of her and another man, married. Troubling. Is that part of the illusion of No-End House? Or, is Dylan the one feeling its illusory pull?
In the meantime, J.D’s double arrives to see Jules and Seth. Uh oh. I wonder if he’s a cannibal, too. I’m sure he is. That leads me to also wonder if he’ll try and kill/eat his original self’s friends.
The hardest part for Margot now is dealing with her father being back, how he left them, killing himself via allergy. She talks about how death feels distant until it’s there, before your eyes. She wonders how it felt, what he was thinking, everything. Then she finds mom’s face in the garbage. Suddenly, her memories of her mother have no face. Margot wants to go for a walk, but dad won’t let her. Instead she goes to her room, terrified. She can’t get out of there, either. The windows are sealed, they won’t even break. She’s trapped in that house. Afterwards he admits that what he eats is in the trash, he thinks it’ll make him “lose control.” And this means he must be fed, some other way.
At the empty home, J.D. version 2 is talking with Seth and Jules, trying to figure out where the No-End House has gone. But Jules needs to make sure Margot is okay first.
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 11.26.23 AMWhen John goes nuts, it prompts Margot to go into her closet. When she pushes through the clothing she’s underwater, swimming up to the surface. And after a moment, she emerges from the pool in the yard, as dad watches from the window. Margot runs down the street, only finding odd people. Then J.D. the 2nd, Jules, and Seth watch John chase his daughter, fighting violently with a neighbour before jamming the hose into the guy’s face, blood spurting everywhere.
Margot runs into a nearby school, looking for refuge in its dark halls. She only finds a woman shushing her endlessly who falls to the floor, repeating something similar to Russian. In fact, there seems to be Russia everywhere. She runs deeper into the building, where she meets Jules. They hide from John in a classroom. Soon, Seth and J.D. start making noise, which sends the father to investigate. For now, Margot’s safe.
You know when you loose a tooth, and you, like, push your tongue in the spot where it used to be? Theres this mother-shaped hole in my brain. I mean, I know I have a mother, but I cant remember anything about her. Its like he took the memory and ate it.”
Lacey’s husband (Sean Skene) arrives at home to find his wife tied to a chair, Dylan pointing a gun. But this husband is tough. Until he has a knife planted in his neck. A gruesome scene, as she watches him die. Her supposedly real husband tells her not to worry, it’s not real. Down the road, Seth and Margot see what they believe is “the edge of the world” – on the horizon is an inky, cloud-like formation, dark and shadowy. This is the border of the No-End House’s dreamworld, whatever that means. In a clearing at the middle of the border, it looks like the No-End House standing in the distance.
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 11.45.58 AMOn the streets, Jules is searching for Margot. So is the father; and he’s hungry. When Margot and Seth go to her, John’s coming, too. They have to flee. They go into a house’s garage, discovering a hole in the floor where they might drop dad inside unknowingly, like a pitfall for a bear in the woods. While he tries apologising to Margot, she understands he’s essentially feeding off her memories, even just as he talks, let alone his dietary habits. For now, they manage to let dear ole dad slip away into the hole under the garage.
When the friends get back to their hideaway, they find Dylan. He explains a bit more about the No-End House, what’s happening, the hungry memories. People in the neighbourhood rambling, they’ve been inside too long. The message from the wall in No-End House “Beware the Cannibals” becomes very clear to them all. He says some people aren’t “ready to leave.” Such as his wife Lacey. He wants to get her back to the real world, hoping it’ll fix her. The No-End House moves, to stay out of sight long enough people become “so hollow” they forget to even look anymore.
How will they escape?
During the night, Jules has more visions of the orb, of whatever’s inside. She dreams of her family, her sister. Suddenly there are several black pools around her, growing. Holy shit.
That’s not all. The second J.D. is picking his skin off, he’s falling to pieces. This also makes me wonder, is Seth also a double, a cannibal? The way he asks J.D. if he’s “falling apart already” and how he looks next to Margot in bed certainly makes it seem that way.
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 1.08.41 PMAnother fantastic episode, this season is exceeding expectations. Just can’t wait for more macabre, unsettling plot. “The Exit” comes next week.

Channel Zero – No-End House, Episode 2: “Nice Neighborhood”

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 2: “Nice Neighborhood”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Harley Peyton & Mallory Westfall

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “This Isn’t Real” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Beware the Cannibals” – click here
Pic 1We open on Jules (Aisha Dee) having a weird dream, underwater in a bathtub. She seems scared. But she wakes up on the couch to a normal day, though she’s visibly unsettled, at least a little. She and her family talk about Margot (Amy Forsyth). She’s acting strange. Cut to her crying in her car, trying to compose herself. Then she’s at Margot’s house that morning.
Flash forward further to when they came out of the No-End House. They discuss what happened in the rooms after they separated. Jules went into Room 5 where there sat a large orb on the floor. She touched it, the thing lit up, sounding like voices were coming from inside.
When she goes to Margot’s place later in the morning, she finds her friend and her previously dead father John (John Carroll Lynch) making breakfast. Like he’d never ever died. So, where do the girls go from here? That’d be one hell of a head trip.
Pic 1ASeth (Jeff Ward) and J.D. (Seamus Patterson) meet up outside, in the daytime, talking about their experiences inside. They don’t see the girls there, obviously. Poor J.D. is tripped out bad, having seen the masked man in a second room, where he removed it to reveal another mask underneath, worried about seeing his own face in one of the masks. He’s headed home while Seth wants to make sure the girls are fine.
Im not waiting around, thats what theyve got Uber for.”
What, to get away from haunted houses?”
John doesn’t remember dying, even if Margot’s been without her dad for a year. There’s also a sense of everything having been affected, from Margot’s perspective. Right down to too many eggs in the fridge. She and Jules try not to let their heads explode. Whereas John can’t taste anything. Ah, things are already getting dicey.
Then there’s our Mysterious Drifter (Sebastian Pigott), trying to find a way out. His story’s an enigma, as is the place where this town exists; or is he existing in some other timeline, in another place? He meets a woman, one he knows. Afterwards, he blows her brains out, and a guy bringing his garbage to the curb doesn’t even notice.
Meanwhile, Seth is in a strange place, too. He comes to a cul-de-sac, where an island at the middle is blocked off with an iron fence all the way around. Within it are people who know him. Seems like coming out of the No-End House was, for everyone, entering another parallel universe. Is it ONE universe? Or various universes, for each of them? J.D. sees himself through a window, a girl with him as they close the curtains, then the other him opens the door to let him in.
At the Sleator home, Margt heads upstairs. When she looks outside, she sees the same two cyclists riding by twice. Like a loop. Downstairs, John tells Jules: “Im not supposed to be here.” He does have a gap in his memory. He also has doubts about Jules’ love for her close friend, an upsetting conversation for her.
Pic 2Jules shows Margot that instead of marigolds in her backyard, there are white orchids. No-End House somehow alters space and time. “What if this is Room 6?” Jules wonders. Couldn’t be, right? “This is not your home, and that is not your dad,” she tells her friend, echoing the Talking Heads in a much creepier sense. After that Margot reveals she knows her father committed suicide, after he had an allergic reaction previously then took more of the same stuff again before he died. However, none of it matters now. She believes he’s alive. He’s there, physically. She can’t seem to deny it. And the whole thing’s tearing the two best friends apart, bringing up the recent past with a lot of angry sadness.
The drifter is on the intersection of Ash and Oakley, the brief glimpses we saw in the first episode. He’s looking for the girl, Lacey (Jess Salgueiro), whom we witnessed running from another man. We also know the drifter’s in that same place, with the white orchids. He finds Lacey in one of the houses, but she says she’s home, that she doesn’t know him. He tells her this house, the neighbourhood is “not in our reality, we dont belong here.” That they went into No-End House together, she didn’t get out. He’s her husband.
Jules finds Seth again. The No-End House is gone, not where it was when they went inside. At home, J.D. sits with himself, the girl, they have a drink. The other him explains a few things, or at least discusses them. Says he’s made of J.D’s own memories, what him HIM. The subconscious cobbled together from bits and pieces. At the same time Margot’s hanging with dad, going from present to past as her own memories shape what she sees, too.
In another part of town, Jules and Seth hole up in a house for sale. When she wanders upstairs, she comes across the orb again. Like her dream. She touches it, the light appears, the voice-like sounds. Something inside moves to her hand, like there’s a person trapped.
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 2.02.30 PMJ.D. ponders whether his double is there to help. But things get nasty, real quick. The other him cracks his head with a bottle. Continually whacking until there’s nothing left, just blood flicking everywhere. Yikes. What happens when a real person dies in the No-End House universe? Does it mean real death?
While Margot sleeps, dad seems to be sucking the memories out of her brain. Thoughts of her mom Corrine (Kim Huffman), specifically. They fill his mind. Simultaneously, a black, blood-like pool seeps from a crack in the floor of the basement. John is growing another version of Corrine out of his daughter’s memory. She’s birthed from the bloody pool out of the concrete. John goes down and tears off one of her arms. Before eating some of the meat. Abstract life becomes real, only to be consumed by an unreal man. Hideous, haunting.
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 2.16.18 PMNow give us “Beware the Cannibals” before I scream!

Channel Zero – No-End House, Episode 1: “This Isn’t Real”

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 1: “This Isn’t Real”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Nick Antosca (based on the story by Brian Alan Russell)

* For recaps & reviews of Candle Cove episodes, click here.
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Nice Neighborhood” – click here
COVER1We open on a neighbourhood, like any other. At the side of one house is a girl named Lacey (Jess Salgueiro), crying, looking petrified. Soon she walks out to the street, looking all around her, paranoid. And then we see the end of the street, where there stands an eerie, dark house. The girl walks quickly towards the place. Suddenly, a man is behind her. She runs, so does he. When he catches her, he tosses her hard into the ground, knocking her out. “Whyd you do this to yourself?” he asks. We see what looks like deep cuts in her arm reading: THIS ISN’T REAL.
Cut to an ordinary house, a family. John Sleator (John Carroll Lynch) and his daughter Margot (Amy Forsyth) when she wasa little girl, growing up with dad at her side. Although a darkness looms over them clear from just about the minute we’re introduced. Now Margot’s older. She and her friend Jules (Aisha Dee) are the average American teens, trying to figure themselves and their lives out. Mom Corrine (Kim Huffman) is the typical mom, looking out for her daughter, taking care of business at work.
Out of nowhere, both the girls get a video on their phone: images of the dark house’s door, a blooming flower, morphing into other sinister shapes. They pass it off, just some stupid viral shit. They go to the bar, meet a couple guys for drinks, pool. One of them brings up the No-End House. “It just shows up,” he tells them. Now it’s in their town. Jules figures it’s a “super bougie haunted house” but he insists terrifying things happen inside, even disappearances. Although they all laugh.
Pic 1Later we discover more about Margot. Her father died, complications from medication and allergies. She found him, too. All puffed up, sitting there dead. Worse, she blames herself for not being home on time that night, worrying that she might’ve been able to save him.
That night Margot sees the weird video on her TV. The No-End House appears, numbers, images, street names. Just as quick as it came, it’s gone. Cryptic messages calling her to the place. So, of course, they all hop in the car. Off they go to find the place together, the girls, Seth (Jeff Ward) and J.D (Seamus Patterson). When they arrive there are people everywhere, like a true carnival ride. Someone stumbles out and vomits, one guy heads in with a backpack on as if he’s heading on a journey. All kinds of people, lining up to go inside.
Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 1.28.35 AMFaster than expected, they’re in. They come into a room with some 1920s-style music playing through crackling speakers, as well as containing a bunch of moulds that look like they’re fashioned as their faces. Everybody has one corresponding to them. Guy with backpack seems to know more about this place than anyone, having told J.D. he’s been “looking for” the house. Hmm. And naturally, the lights go out.
When they come back on the music’s distorted. The moulds of their faces are now cracked in half, moulds of hands breaking them open; all except for J.D’s face. Behind them a wall opens up revealing a passageway. They stumble into a new room, almost like an empty pool but still a room, a couple doors.
Except they’re locked inside. In the corner is someone wearing a black mask, he circles the group. Until finally coming around to Margot, leaning in and whispering to her. And it visibly affects her. When the lights flicker, there’s a smear of blood running along the floor, into the wall. This sends one girl from their group running back out.
Welcome back, Martian.”

 


But Margot must go on, compelled by the words of the masked man. She heads in further, through a revolving door and into a hallway. A creepy man lurks partway through, half-laughing, half-screaming. She makes it past, though finds herself in a room like in an attic. She sees the morphing visions, her father. Then she goes into the next room, which leads her back to where she found her father on the couch. His corpse is there, puffy, grotesque. While Margot watches home movies playing on the TV, the sounds repeat, her father’s voice loud, calling to her. His corpse comes alive, trying to grab her, standing and reaching out for her, as if wanting a hug. And he does grip her in his arms, holding her against his bloated body while she struggles, repeating: “I want to go home.” But she’s reminded: “You have to go through to go home.”
She makes it through to find Jules outside. They can’t find the guys, assuming they went on home without them. After a long night comes morning, following a walk home when the car won’t start. It’s almost as if Margot’s been cleansed, having confronted part of her darkest fears. However, at home, life isn’t exactly the same as before. From the kitchen she hears the happy whistling of her father, cooking away. Like he never ever left.
Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 1.45.19 AMMan, I loved Channel Zero‘s first season. This is already shaping up to be just as interesting. Love these stories, and love how the directors bring out the visuals so well. Some of this episode was downright creepy as fuck.
“Nice Neighborhood” is next week. I’m already dying.