Channel Zero – Season 2, Episode 5: “The Damage”

Syfy’s Channel Zero
Season 2, Episode 5: “The Damage”
Directed by Steven Piet
Written by Harley Peyton & Lisa Long

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Exit” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Hollow Girl” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.23.14 AMMargot (Amy Forsyth) and Jules (Aisha Dee) drive away from the No-End House, seemingly free from its haunting horrors. They’re out again. However, they’ve got no idea that John (John Carroll Lynch) escaped with them. On top of it all, the house was feeding on their memories, they barely have any left.
Speaking of John, he’s out lurking around someone’s backyard, waving to the little girls. A concerned dad comes out to confront him, so John goes on his way. A cannibal, feeding off the memories of others, out in the real world.
When they head back to Margot’s place, the girls are both freaked out. Their memories all slipping away. Margot calls her mom (Corrine), they get to talking: mom reveals dad’s death by allergy, his actual suicide, helped them in a dire financial team, allowing them to keep the house. A terrifying sacrifice to save his family.
Im sure he did it for us
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.28.04 AMKnowing the truth doesn’t set Margot free, she’s weighed down by it. She doesn’t want to keep carrying the burden of knowing. Jules talks about the previous summer, after John’s death. She hated seeing Margot “getting attacked by a beast” mentally, in brutal pain; she admits to running away from it, her friend. Meanwhile, just outside, dad is lurking, and he’s very, very hungry. Ravenous, in fact.
Out of nowhere, Seth (Jeff Ward) arrives, warning Jules: “Hes in the house.” Dear ole dad slips in while Margot sleeps. He’s feeding again, draining those memories while she rests. Memories of her old dog. And soon enough, a black puddle on the floor opens up, birthing an eerie looking thing. One which John starts tearing apart to eat. Seth cracks him over the head. They’re all worried about him being out in the real world.
Dad wants a family again. Margot doesn’t want to be fed upon anymore. They’re not sure what to do with this… creation. They’re not free from the No-End House if it follows them out into the world. She asks him to go into the basement until they can figure it all out.
But papa ain’t happy. And he’ll just get hungrier.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.36.37 AMSeth tells Margot the only sure way to get John back into the No-End House is if she leads him. Fuck that. Neither she or Jules is willing to go back there. It could mean getting trapped inside, all over again. If the house disappears for another year, dad is left in the real world, and who knows what’ll happen then. So, they might have to “kill him.” A cruel twist of fate: losing your dad to suicide, then having to kill him, too. We also hear more of Seth, discussing his life back at the house; those people caged in the suburb were his family, he couldn’t hurt them and he locked them away for protection.
Poor Jules isn’t well, either. That fleshy orb knows where she’s gone, she made a connection with it. She’s starting to slip between reality and the world of No-End House. Can she actually ever escape? Or is the house a part of her, and the rest of them, now?
Upstairs, Seth and Margot allow John to eat more of the memory dog. He digs in, feeding. A disgusting scene. They sit and wait to see how it goes. She wants to see what her memories “feel like,” so dad lets her hold the dog’s head. He talks about their past, camping, happier memories. This is when John begins succumbing to the medication Seth put in his food. He must die again, as his daughter watches the death. In a way, it’s like a grim healing process. Because she only saw the aftermath before his suicide, now she sees the other side. They’ve got to get John back to the house before it’s gone, as well. Doesn’t help things when mom gets home in the middle of it all, and John is still alive. He gets up and starts throwing everyone around, chasing after his daughter.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 11.48.56 AMJohn starts feeding off Margot’s memories again, as Seth grabs him off her. But this only leads dad to nearly jamming his finger through the guy’s head. Finally, Margot pleads with him, agreeing to go back to No-End House with him. And poor ole mom, she has no idea what’s been going on, waking up from being knocked out by her formerly living husband.
Now, Margot, Seth, and John head back to No-End House.
Across town, Jules is still trying to figure out her own life, the memories all faded and the real world blending with that of the house. She’s nearly driven mad, and she starts running down the street. But when she gets to where No-End House recently appeared to the others, it isn’t there anymore.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 12.04.59 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-19 at 12.07.06 PMA favourite of mine, this episode really digs into all the disturbing memory stuff. Can’t wait for the finale. Not sure how it’ll end. But that’s what makes Channel Zero so damn good! “The Hollow Girl” is next.


Slasher – Season 2, Episode 8: “The Past is Never Dead”

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. I wish I didn’t fly through it, but 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?!

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 7: “Dawn of the Dead”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 7: “Dawn of the Dead”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Amanda Fahey

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Drone” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “The Past is Never Dead” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 9.35.34 PMFive years ago. Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) and Dawn (Paula Brancati) are close. Talking together about the future, what it’ll be like fully entering adulthood, how they should move in together.
A macabre match cut takes us from Dawn twirling her fingers through Tal’s living hair to the dead hair on the corpse’s head. Then she winds up toppling the remains over onto her.
Meanwhile, Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray) and Keira (Madison Cheeatow) have found the snowmobile, covered in blood and gore. Plus, no gas, no Renée (Joanne Vannicola) – well, at least not much. There are bits left. And did the killer leave Mark (Paulino Nunes) alive? Yes, he’s alive, but definitely busted up bad from getting hit by the snowmobile. Not only that, the killer’s got their gun.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 9.37.08 PMSuspicions are high, Keira wonders if it was Dawn who could be the killer, even if Peter isn’t convinced. Jump back to five years prior. Dawn and the other counsellors teach kids to do all kinds of stuff, like archery. She was particularly close to one dude, Ryan. This is also when we see Owen talking to Tal, pressing her to go out with him, being creepy.
Oh, and Owen? He’s Wren.
Guys dont like it when girls upstage them
Nothing gets any better at the retreat. Peter thinks Mark is the killer. Mark finds one of the pictures from the files on Renée, and it’s Peter. So, you know he’ll be thinking Peter’s the killer. And it’s a vicious cycle. The isolation up north has got them all starting to go a little crazy, on top of the fact a serial killer is murdering them all, slow, steady.
Five years ago again. Tal and Dawn talk about the latter sleeping with a married man; her stepfather, in fact. She “wrecked” her own home, doing it to get back at her mother. At Camp Motega, she didn’t want to add to her “body count” – interesting choice of words – and so she intended on taking it slow with Ryan. This is where we see her bonding, deeply, with Tal.
At the cabin, Mark puts a pill in Peter’s beer, as they all sit around trying to forget their grim reality, at least for a moment. They try a game of Never Have I Ever. Seems like Peter has to drink a lot, he’s done some shit, y’know.
He has a flashback to five years before, he and Tal lying together out in the woods. She tells him about moving in with Dawn when they go back home, what they ought to do about their relationship. He made some promises, ones he appears to want to go back on. He wanted to have the cake and eat it, too. Breaking her heart a bit. Later, she listens to Dawn talking lovingly of Ryan, and she laments the love she just lost.
And the drugs are kicking in on Peter. He stumbles outside, so Mark locks the door. Dawn was a part of it, of course. Fucking treacherous. Keira’s the only one who seems to not believe in what the others are sure of already. Things are getting really ugly.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 9.56.35 PMGo back five years. Dawn wants Tal to talk her up to Ryan. The trusted friend goes to him, trying to work her magic. He asks if Dawn ever mentions him. She gives him a generic answer, not talking Dawn up whatsoever. Tal’s doing what she does, acting deviously behind the backs of the people who seem to like her; she lies about Dawn’s stepfather, making it out to look like she was molested. God damn, girl! Nothing to get killed over, not even close, but lord, she was a piece of work.
In the woods, Peter is stumbling, drugged on ketamine, out in the cold. At the cabins, Wren and Judith (Leslie Hope) hook up in one room. In the living room, Dawn tries getting closer to Mark, in a genuine way, talking to him about her past. She also admits that all that’s happened is because of her, her friends. She wants to own up to the guilt.
Five years ago, once more. Tal lies to Dawn that she’s not Ryan’s “type” because he likes really skinny, small girls. This clearly devastates her friend. That night, Dawn gets drunk and starts getting a bit wild in front of everyone, talking to Ryan. But he mentions the stepfather stuff, and then she realises her friend is not actually her friend.
Out in the woods, Peter comes across a shrine, bloody, candles lit. Above it is a mannequin, hanging by the neck. Back at the retreat, Judith finds the gun in Wren’s jacket; the one the killer supposedly took from Renée. She nearly uses it on him, deciding not to at the last moment. Uh oh.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 10.10.34 PMPeter goes back to the cabin, more information now, but when Dawn lets him inside Mark runs at him, knocking him out. After that Keira is pissed. She believes maybe Mark is the killer now. Yet there’s a piece of Andi’s hair in Peter’s pocket. So strange, so creepy.
Go back again, five years ago. Dawn and the other girls plot against Tal. They go from silly little pranks, to more serious things. They want to “scare the life out of her.” They decide to put her on trial, leaving her in the woods to walk home alone. The game was set.
Present day, Judith’s having trouble, worried Wren is the killer. She considers blowing her own brains out, until he finds her out there. He confesses his love for her. She says she loves him, too. However, when Mark comes running towards them, Wren shoots him in the head. Dead. Holy shit.
Not much to say now. One last episode. “The Past is Never Dead” comes next, and we’ll finally understand every last little secret, every betrayal, all of it.

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 6: “Drone”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 6: “Drone”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Floyd Kane

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Out of the Frying Pan” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Dawn of the Dead” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.11.09 PMWe see Mark (Paulino Nunes) having sex in the kitchen with Stephanie, taking pictures. It’s in a restaurant, not far from the staff just outside. Sneaky, sneaky. In through the door comes a scruffy looking dude (Dean McDermott). He’s pissed at Mark, whose client killed his son in a drunk driving incident; he obviously got the guy off for the death. The lawyer claims he was just doing a job, but this is not the end. Moments later, the man blows Stephanie’s brains out in front of everybody. He points the gun at Mark, shooting him twice, before turning the gun on himself.
Jesus. What a bloody opener. And now we see where our guy got his scars.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.12.37 PMBack to the retreat, where Peter (Lovell Adams-Grey) and Keira (Madison Cheeatow) have found the corpse of Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) with a burned up Noah (Jim Watson) underneath. Turns out, the poor guy’s still alive. They get him inside, trying to help with his burn wounds. A brutal situation. Mark’s having troubles due to his flashbacks to that day he was shot. Worse, Noah needs a hospital, he can barely breath without a tube getting shoved down his throat.
Outside a plane flies over; they don’t get its attention, though they start making an SOS signal out of branches and logs in hopes it’ll circle back, and that they’ll be ready. Mark also wants to build a couple fires to make smoke signals, so Peter and Dawn (Paula Brancati) head further into the woods. Inside, Wren (Sebastian Pigott) reveals a bit of an inner dark side, he doesn’t care that there’s a man burned up, dying in front of them, whereas Judith (Leslie Hope) hates to see Noah in pain; she doesn’t care what the young man did before. “Karma disagrees with you,” says Wren.
Out in the woods, Dawn steps right into a bear trap. They can’t open it. Peter offers to head back. Although now this leaves her all alone. She has a gun, but that’ll only do so good. She nearly shoots Mark when he turns up, then Peter gets back, too. They manage to get her out. But her leg’s gonna be fucked up for a little while. She and Mark get closer now, bonding during a terrifying experience, isolated out there.
Keira straight out asks Peter if they killed that girl five years ago. From his burned up state, Noah tells Peter: “Blame me.” He admits to his part in what happened, telling Keira it was largely his fault. But, is it true? Isn’t there more? Oh, yes. You know there’s always more.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.26.37 PMDownstairs Mark comes to confront everybody. He believes that one of them is the killer, someone in that cabin. He talks about being an attorney before, paid to be a nasty shark. He wants to root out the killer by questioning everybody. However, they’re not happy with that. Wren calls him a “fascist.” Nobody’s gonna do that, certainly not Renée (Joane Vannicola). Yet he’s pretty keen on it. He offers for him to represent We Live As One and Dawn to represent the group of friends during this little mock trial.
Mark stats with Keira. He figures out eventually she had a patient die on her watch once when she was an ER nurse. She’d been working a long shift, she messed up, and that was that. Next is Wren. He’s pretty combative and has nothing to say. Judith isn’t totally forthcoming, Mark asks her about her strong prescription drugs and she passes it off. He pushes her a bit hard, getting personal, to the point Dawn isn’t on board. Judith yells at him, accusing him of “gaslighting” her; and she’s right. Then comes Renée. She would’ve had no reason to kill Antoine, however, Mark won’t let her forget that she killed Benny, torturing him to death.
Mark questions Dawn about why they came up there. She’s honest, explaining they were coming up to find the remains, to move them before the resort was built. She doesn’t show any remorse. Claims it was “an accident” and goes on about how Talvinder wasn’t “innocent.” Whatever relationship they’d started building together has fallen apart, as Mark rages at her. When he goes to interrogate Peter, they’ve all had enough of him stirring the place into madness. Everybody’s slowly starting to crumble, turning against one another.
This leads to the lawyer pulling out that gun; an interesting parallel to the opening scene. Simultaneously, Noah chokes to death, succumbing to his brutal wounds.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.45.10 PMRenée puts aside the anger, asking Mark to go with her someplace. She tells him, vaguely, somebody said something they “shouldnt have knownabout the past.” They head out to a spot where there’s a small cabin. She heads in while he stays out, guarding with the gun. This is when we flash back two years ago, Mark first coming to We Live As One. He meets Antoine (Christopher Jacot), Renée, Judith, as they welcome him with open arms. They’re all bright eyed, bushy tailed, ready to live an alternative lifestyle in the midst of nature.
Quite different from how it is now. Especially with a chainsaw revving in the distance.
Renée finds a box of things from 2012 marked Camp Motega. She looks through it and comes across the files of the group of friends, from Andi (Rebecca Liddiard) to Talvinder to Dawn and the rest. And then we see Wren. I knew there was something not right about him, a secret.
Outside the killer, covered in blood, arrives on snowmobile. He runs Mark down hard. Then he puts a couple bullets into Renée as she runs away. She doesn’t make it very far. The killer takes the file from her, then we hear the sounds of him running her over, the wet sounds of the blood, her last scream.
Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.55.39 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.57.06 PMTHIS SERIES IS SAVAGE! Season 2 has upped the game, and that’s saying something, too. Season 1 had some doozies. But this… is wild. I dig it.
“Dawn of the Dead” is next. Oh, what will happen next?

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 5: “Out of the Frying Pan”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 5: “Out of the Frying Pan”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Lucie Pagé

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Night of Hunters” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Drone” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.34.19 PMFive years ago. Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) is building tents, having trouble, so Noah (Jim Watson) helps her out selflessly. She comes on to him a bit, conning him into doing stuff for her. The picture of the hideous acts which later occurred is being painted, one stroke at a time. Not long later, Noah sees Tal heading into the woods with a beer and friends. Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray) and him both have a thing for her, obviously the former has a better idea of what was going on; he says “move on.” A whole fucking mess amongst a group of friends.
Now, Noah’s lying in a bus after being raped by Glenn aka Benny (Ty Olsson). A far cry from hoping to get laid by a fellow counsellor. Horrific. While his captor sleeps, he picks up a kettle and tries beating him with it. That doesn’t go over well, at all.
Out at the camper, Peter and the others have found the corpse in the freezer. They look around to find any clues about who it was, who owns the camper. They find the actual Glenn Morgan’s ID.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.36.34 PMJudith (Leslie Hope) tends to Megan’s dead body when Wren (Sebastian Pigott) shows up. He believes they’ve opened “Pandoras Box” and that anything could happen now. I’m still unsure about him. Out in the living room, Dawn (Paula Brancati) is still standing accused of poisoning the woman, denying it to Renée (Joanne Vannicola) and Mark (Paulino Nunes). This is when Peter and Keira (Madison Cheeatow) come to tell them about Glenn’s true identity, which isn’t totally received so hot right away. But some of them will go looking for Benny.
Speaking of, he’s strangling Noah to death. His victim manages to toss a bit of fire around and lights the place up, trapping his captor inside the bus. Benny gets out, not before Noah escapes for the time being.
Cut back to five years ago, when the group of friends has taken Tal out to the forest, calling her out. Andi (Rebecca Liddiard), Dawn, and Susan (Kaitlyn Leeb) lead them, warning of a “punishment.” She’s sentenced to spend a night out there alone with nothing, just what she’s wearing. She pleads to Noah, getting no help. Present day again. Everyone’s looking for Noah now, the bus burning in the distance. They hear him screaming for them. Benny takes off further in the darkness. He goes back to the cabins, breaking through the window and strangling Renée until she’s unconscious. Judith runs and hides from him as he stalks her through the halls. Thankfully, Renée puts a bullet in the big guy, incapacitating him for the time being.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.45.23 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.49.03 PMOle Benny’s in trouble, tied to a chair, helpless. When Mark comes out with food and water, he has questions for him. He asks about the snowmobile, the poison in the food. He claims he’s “not a killer.” He fesses up to one murder, naturally, that he’s Mr. Ironside, saying that killing Glenn wasn’t a planned thing. Meanwhile, Keira and Dawn help Noah get his clothes off and clean up. Such a terrible, tragic scene. This is when the women discover he’s been raped, as well.
Back to five years ago again, as Tal chases after the group pleading for them not to leave. They taunt her while they go. Peter protests, whereas Noah calls her a “skank” and starts a fight with him, calling him “Benedick Arnold.” Before they leave, Tal brings up something about Susan, a girl named Marcy Rae; they made out, and when Susan outed her she killed herself. Plus, Tal trots out everyone’s secrets, blackmailing them to take her back out of the woods. Noah yells at her, prompting her to call him pathetic, going hard at him. So he runs after her, angry enough to kill, maybe?
Present day. Renée, Peter, and Mark discuss what to do next. They realise that Benny may not be the serial killer. So, what’s their best option? Could lure the real killer using him. Renée’s fixing to get answers of him, believing he killed Antoine, and she starts slicing the guy up with a box cutter. And she’s barred the door so nobody can get inside. Soon, he admits to it just to try ending the torture. This is when she peels a strip off his arm, followed by cutting his throat open.
Pain changes us
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.09.38 PMOutside, Noah finds a fire going. But it’s not any of his friends there. He’s stumbled onto the parka killer, who tosses gas on him and lights him ablaze. Immediately we cut back to Noah charging after Tal that night five years ago. He tears her shirt open, then he’s about to rape her right on the truck. Peter rushes in and hauls him off. Holy shit. This sends Tal running into the woods, the others shocked at their friend’s actions. Peter punches him in the face before going after Tal. This has everyone actually worried about the girl instead of murderous.
Present day once more. Everyone wakes up, wondering if they’re safe since Benny is dead. Nobody can find Noah, though. Peter and Keira head out to look, coming to the remains of the fire: Noah on top of Tal’s skeletal remains.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.21.04 PMSuch a great season. I am obsessed. Just gets more grim with each passing episode. Hard not to love if you’re a slasher fan. “Drone” is next.

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 4: “Night of Hunters”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 4: “Night of Hunters”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Naledi Jackson

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Saint Sebastian” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Out of the Frying Pan” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 3.56.36 PMGlenn (Ty Olsson) is busy throwing up the bits of Antoine (Christopher Jacot) he ate out of the frying pan. Go back one year. He’s serving time in jail. He tries to school a new inmate on how to act, looking out for him. The younger man doesn’t want any help. But Glenn makes him aware: “In here, you aint shit.”
Back to present day. Renée (Joanne Vannicola) and Mark (Paulino Nunes) find the bloody mess left in the shed. The trunk formerly hiding the corpse of Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) now full of blood, organs, and limbs. Renée promises what’s left of Antoine she’ll root out the killer. God damn, what a gory moment!
Poor Renée. She and Antoine had a different relationship, so full of love for one another regardless. People were dying already, now it’s hitting her very close to home. The old dream of a nice community up north is deteriorating worse with each episode, with each drop of blood.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 4.01.21 PMEverybody’s affected, obviously. In secret, Mark takes the gun to Dawn (Paula Brancati) and advises her to protect herself, her friends. Everybody gets together after, Keira (Madison Cheeatow) wants to get to the bottom of things. Glenn foolishly accuses Noah (Jim Watson) of maybe having “carved” Antoine into pieces, so the younger man tries revealing the cook’s real name. When they go upstairs, the original bottle’s not there. Makes Noah look crazy, a liar. Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray) reluctantly tries vouching for him, but Keira wants him kept under watch until the killer’s found.
Elsewhere, Judith (Leslie Hope) is continuously struggling. The safe space of the retreat has devolved into anything but, a playground for a brutal killer. Wren (Sebastian Pigott) keeps on comforting, trying to get closer, acting as protector. Something about him doesn’t sit right with me. Also can’t get a read on her, either.
Outside, somebody looking similar to the killer shows up. Not the same parka or glasses, but so similar. Peter chases them when they run off. They tackle her: a woman named Megan.
She’s been trekking the wilderness, something her and a friend who passed away used to do together. Everybody at the retreat is paranoid, particularly Renée. She’s unravelling, getting crazier. Culminating in a crack across the woman’s head with a vase. On her, they find a permit to be in the park from 8 AM the day prior. She more than likely has nothing to do with any of it.
Glenn’s quite a threatening guy, from his time in jail to in the room with Noah alone. In a way, it’s jail all over again. Everybody stuck there. He calls it his “castle.” He threatens Noah just like that young inmate before. If things get any worse around there, I’m worried about how far this dude is going to go. Predator, written all over him.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 4.18.23 PMAnd Megan, she’s stuck with a busted head, wondering what could happen next. Peter attempts to make her comfortable, apologising for the others getting out of hand. He tells her about Antoine, Andi, Susan, how they’re all terrified of a killer somewhere out there, stalking them down one by one. He asks if she knows of a shortcut anywhere to get out from the retreat. Doesn’t matter much with all the snow, a storm raging.
Noah escapes through the locked room by the window, out in the storm. He makes it to a camper in the woods. We go back two months before to the camper, where Glenn finds his young friend from jail out there. The guy’s going up to join the “intentional community.” He wants to start his life over. You can see where this is going already. Glenn wants to go along, but you can see his buddy isn’t thrilled. They just aren’t the same sort of people.
Present day in the camper, Noah sees a trail of blood leading to a freezer. Oh, good. Inside is something scary, so he takes a picture and gets the hell out of there. A smart move, actually. So long as he makes it to the cabins alive again. You know that won’t happen.
Up in the kitchen, Dawn is cooking, Mark lends her a hand. Seems Antoine was a “freegan” – he foraged for his food, finding what he could in order to limit participation in a consumerist economy/society, that whole deal. That means plenty of different vegetables and herbs to make dinner. Afterwards, Peter sees Noah is gone and so they set out to look for him..
Back again two months, in the camper. Glenn’s really wearing out his welcome, his friend less enthused with every kilometre. Then the younger of the two says he’s past jail, their relationship. He wants a new life. This hurts Glenn, it’s clear they had a sexual relationship back then; not entirely a consensual one, surely. And now he goes too far, beating his old cellmate ruthlessly. The plot thickens. Current day, Glenn has Noah all to himself, out in the wilderness, hidden away in an old school bus. There’s no good ending for this situation.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 4.37.29 PMWhen Dawn tries helping Megan up to bed, the woman loses her mind, screaming. Then she foams from the mouth, vomiting. She’s hallucinating, and then she tosses herself over the stairs, convulsing at the bottom. Dead. When everyone talks, suspicion falls on Dawn when Mark says he wasn’t there while she was serving up the stew. Then they find poison berries in a bow of it on the table.
In the forest, the friends look for Noah. They come to the camper, though no one’s inside. They see the corpse in the freezer. Cut to two months before, as Glenn – the former Benny Ironside – introduces himself to the people at We Live As One. He lies and makes certain they accept him, as a man willing to change; he uses his old friend’s idea of starting anew as his own. Welcoming a murderer into their fold.
The same guy about to “play a little game” with Noah, out in that bus, all alone by themselves. A hideous moment.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 4.48.07 PMThe end was fucking brutal, hard to take. Although I saw that one coming, just didn’t think they’d go so graphic. Yikes.
“Out of the Frying Pan” – aptly titled – comes next.

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 3: “Saint Sebastian”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 3: “Saint Sebastian”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by James Hurst

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Between Good and Evil” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Night of Hunters” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 2.39.10 PMThree years ago. Antoine (Christopher Jacot) hangs out with Renée (Joanne Vannicola) and her partner. After the bar he heads home, going through a dark alleyway. Soon, a vehicle pulls up and stops him. A man gets out, calling him “gay boy” and taunting like a nasty piece of shit. When the man gets physical, Antoine gives him the hippy speech about violence. This guy’s a hateful bigot. But he doesn’t realise Antoine is quite capable of defending himself. Underneath the exterior, there lurks a dangerous man. He puts the bigot’s head in the door of his vehicle and kicks it shut brutally.
Cut to present day. The body of Susan, eyeless and bloody has been found. Everybody sees it, out in the open. So, now what? Antoine’s still very sceptical of the friends. Dawn (Paula Brancati) and Peter (Lovelly Adams-Gray) are defensive about having any part in what’s happened. Everybody argues. Renée tells everybody to shut up and get some rest, that they’ll deal better in the morning. Afterwards, Judith (Leslie Hope) explains to Dawn why they’re all so protective over We Live As One; it’s a place where they’ve all come to feel safe. She’s honest with the girl, that they see the group partly as a threat to that. Dawn doesn’t care; she snoops to find her gun again.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 2.40.23 PMAntoine asks Renée to meet him outside, to not let anybody see her leave. They talk together, he shows her the bones of Talvinder (Melinda Shankar), the missing girl. He wants to keep it a secret that they’ve found her. Go back to last summer. Antoine’s out foraging in the woods for mushrooms. This leads him to a rocky enclosure, perfect for shrooms to grow within. Where he stumbles onto the hidden corpse.
Now he explains to Renée he didn’t want it found, it would’ve messed up the land sale. Exactly why has he kept it after that? He says it’s because his DNA is on the body, after he took it from the makeshift grave. He doesn’t want cops poking at “every dark corner” in his life. Hmm, he’s got a figurative skeleton kicking around in his closet, you can be sure of that.
Things are certainly dark at We Live As One. People have lost their trust, entirely, nobody wants to go to sleep out of fear someone might be the killer, lurking amongst the cabins. Wren (Sebastian Pigott) offers to watch the place while some of the friends and those from the retreat get a bit of shut eye. Noah (Jim Watson) bunks in a room with Glenn (Ty Olsson), who luckily has painkillers for his frost bite; under the radar, against the rules of the retreat. Secrets, secrets. There’s always a secret. And Glenn? He’s a bit of a peeping tom.
Three years ago, we see Antoine with his busted eye after the alleyway fight. He’s on edge, uneasy. Renée asks him about the eye, he lies. He laments about the city, the toxic environments, the gay dating scene. They talk about “intentional community.” A way of living in harmony among others who enjoy alternate lifestyles to the foolish societal norm. This is when Renée suggests turning the summer camp her parents owned, Camp Motega, into one such community. The beginning of a dream. Or a nightmare, as in current day they’re trying to find a better hole where they can put Tal’s remains. But the ground is hard, so they’ll have to divide her into pieces, bury them in different shallow graves. Living the fucking dream. They decide it may be better to turn the skeleton over, to give the girl a proper grave, and to give her family closure.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 2.46.05 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-17 at 2.56.43 PMEveryone at the cabin is ready to get going, Peter offers to go on a trek. Some will go, others will stay behind. Renée, Dawn, Mark (Paulino Nunes), and Glenn will go with Peter, as the rest remain at the cabins. Antoine says goodbye to his close friend, offering her a walkie to keep in touch. Left at the retreat, Noah’s stolen the gun from Dawn without her knowing. That’ll absolutely cause a problem at some point.
In the forest, the group led by Peter hears a noise nearby. Like an animal. They find tracks, believing it’s a wolf. But they have to keep going. Back at the cabin, Judith comes upon a note Wren hide for her, there’s obviously a deep connection of some sort, and I’m eager to discover where it’s taking us, plot-wise. In another room, Noah looks for painkillers again; he sees a bottle prescribed to a “Benny Ironside.” Curious, no?
Peter and the rest reach Gene’s place after some time. They get to a phone only to see it’s dead. They try to vehicles outside, but nothing’s working. Glenn’s beginning to get pissed, whereas Mark tires talking him down. One thing is positive: everyone is edgy, scared, paranoid, and stubborn, all at once.
Outside the cabins, Keira (Madison Cheaatow) goes for wood and a rotting hand drops out. This sends Antoine over the edge, actually using Tal’s name to confront Noah. This is when the gun comes out. So Antoine has to disarm him. His “vow of nonviolence” breaks, again. Noah claims the creepy guy Owen they knew killed her, reeling off more excuses. Right as the other group make it back.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 3.20.50 PMAntoine’s intent on getting rid of the corpse, for good. Meanwhile, Noah has lost the gun for his friends again, and he also believes they blame him for Tal; why? Either way, they’re constantly at odds, new things coming up all the time to drive that wedge in harder.
Out in the shed, Antoine can’t find Tal’s remains. They’re gone from their hiding place. And the parka killer is lurking. He puts the auger right into Antoine’s guts before revving it up and going to town on his innards. Very, very messy gore.
Later on while Glenn is frying some meat, he tosses a slab in the pan. Only for Renée to see it has part of Antoine’s tattoo on it. Yummy.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 3.29.02 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-17 at 3.34.58 PMReally enjoying Season 2. Can’t get enough, honestly. Trying not to binge them too hard, but with Halloween getting closer, that’s tough, y’know?
“Night of Hunters” is up next.

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 2: “Between Good and Evil”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 2: “Between Good and Evil”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Jana Sinyor

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Six Feet Under” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Saint Sebastian” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 1.24.44 PMWe see Luke (Simu Liu) and Susan (Kaitlyn Leeb) together, she’s showing. He believes himself the “luckiest man” and has no idea of his wife’s murderous past. They run into Andi (Rebecca Liddiard) on the street, they haven’t seen each other for a long time. They briefly reminisce on the camp counsellor days before Luke leaves them alone. Susan suggests they don’t talk again, not wanting anything to come up: “I will defend my family with my life.” Hardcore.
Back to present day, the bloody warning on their wall up at the retreat. They’re all rightly freaked out, wondering who could possibly know what they did five years ago. They go about cleaning the wall, erasing the message, and trying to keep their collective past under wraps.
Meanwhile, Renée (Joanne Vannicola) and Antoine (Christopher Jacot) look for Gene only to find a bloody snowman composed of the man’s limbs, intestines, and so on. A grim winter ahead, indeed.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 1.27.44 PMYouve got blood on your hands
Go back five years. Susan isn’t overly thrilled by Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) and her personality; for her part, the latter does her best to fit in, despite being a bit too eager to go after Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray). Although the dude doesn’t fight it. Susan bitches to Dawn (Paula Brancati) about the new counsellor, believing her “desperate and clingy.” Dawn pleads with her to be nice, except it’s clear her friend’s just a bit of an asshole.
Present day, the friends are trying not to divide any further than they have already. Peter suggests they figure out a concrete story, so they can push back against any accusations. Dawn says they should put the We Live As One people on defence, making themselves out to be the true victims.
Judith (Leslie Hope) and Wren (Sebastian Pigott) chat some more. She’s into crystals, more of the hippie stuff. Whatever works! He’s a bit suspicious to me. Just like the group of friends, he was quick to go on the offensive in Episode 1. In the meantime, Antoine calls everyone together to talk about Andi’s death, as well as that of Gene. Two murders. They have to get to a phone, to get help out there. Some of them will head back to Gene’s place, as others stay behind. Only problem is the snowmobiles aren’t working, all the gas siphoned. Daamn.
Cut back five years again. Tal’s setting up some fun for the kids, a crystal ball reading booth. Susan isn’t having a great time helping her, either. Yet the new counsellor tries her best to make them friends, doing her hair. Things get a little sensual between them almost before Susan calls her “pathetic.” Yikes. Something cold blooded about this lady. In present day, it’s clear now the guilt is eating her alive from the inside.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 1.42.56 PMParanoia’s running wild. Noah (Jim Watson) nearly flips out hearing noises outside their cabin. He’s assured it’s not a “guy with a machete” in a nice, sly reference to Mr. Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. On the porch, the friends find a box marked STAY WARM. In it are Gene’s bloody clothes. Susan wants to rush out, as does Noah, though the rest want to wait. “Fuck that,” she says. The two leave while the rest remain.
Back to camp, five years prior. The crystal ball booth is wrecked, Tal is in tears, and Dawn’s sure it was Susan, who denies it, blaming the victim; a recurrent theme throughout these first two episodes. Cut to Susan and Noah in the dark woods, moving fast as they can. They see that the phone lines have been cut, too. Everything gets more ominous by the minute.
Renée tells those at We Live As One the story of Camp Motega, the disappearance of a girl, how the place was shut down a couple years later. They soon start figuring out that the group of friends are just old enough to have been counsellors there. Suspicions will begin taking over. When Noah and Susan go back to the retreat after going in circles, he’s got a bit of frost bite. That’ll make him easy prey.
Dawn uses the gun she brought with her to shoot at someone trying to come into her cabin. But it’s just Mark (Paulino Nunes) and Keira (Madison Cheeatow). This sends everybody into a panic, setting the people of the retreat and the friends against one another. And that could get ugly. Renée is pissed, questioning the others about why they’d bring a gun up there. She says she’s done “listening and trusting.”
Back to five years ago. Andi and Susan are at odds over Tal, the former believing her friend is overreacting. Except she takes Andi to see the truth – Tal and Peter having sex in the woods. A brutal betrayal. One that obviously set off a violent chain reaction.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 1.57.16 PMPresent day, Peter manages to get the gun from Dawn, worried what else she might do. He brings it to Antoine, though neither he nor Renée are going to trust them. Peter tries explaining the gun. The issue is that they’ve arrived, bodies are piling up, as well as the fact Antoine and the rest at the retreat are sure they’re connected to what happened at Camp Motega.
A wedge drives further, deeper between the friends. Susan’s done, claiming she never laid a hand on Tal. Dawn pins the plan on her, however, and says she “lit the fucking match.” Everyone there has blood on their hands. Every single one of them. But they’re divided amongst themselves, beyond repair. Another flashback shows us the truth, that Susan pushes Andi towards formulating a revenge plan.
Current day, in the woods, Susan goes it alone at night. From the dark, she’s hit by a tranquilliser dart. Out like a light. She comes to being dragged by the parka wearing killer. She’s tied up, then the killer uses a piece of broken, barely sharpened pipe on her face. Perfect for digging out eyeballs.
Afterwards, Susan is let free with no eyes to see where she’s going, before the killer breaks her neck to finish her off. Back at the retreat, Judith is woken by Wren. He continues getting closer to her, making a bit of physical contact to help her calm down. Their connection is compelling, and I wonder where exactly it’ll lead them both.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 2.15.47 PMStellar follow-up to the premiere. Season 2 is well underway! Very grim, lots of good flashback-to-present cuts that elevate the story, the atmosphere. Love that the killer looks similar to the slasher villain from Cold Prey, too.
“Saint Sebastian” is the next episode.

Slasher – Season 2, Episode 1: “Six Feet Under”

Netflix’s Slasher
Season 2, Episode 1: “Six Feet Under”
Directed by Felipe Rodriguez
Written by Aaron Martin

* For a recap & review of Season 1 episodes, click here.
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Between Good and Evil” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.57.49 AM5 years ago at Camp Motega. A group of friends head into the woods, drinking, having fun. They’re counsellors at the camp together. Yet there’s something sinister about to happen. Talvinder (Melinda Shankar) walks into a clearing where there are torches lit. One of the other girls tells her she’s “on trial” for being a “nasty bitch.”
Uh oh. Not looking good.
Cut to everyone dragging a bloody body out into the deep woods, some are taking it better than others. Only Talvinder isn’t dead, she starts screaming, bleeding from the face. Peter (Lovell Adams-Gray) tries to take her out of there, to the hospital, but his buddy jumps him. Then the dying girl is dragged back into the dark.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 11.01.20 AMPresent day. Simon (Kyle Buchanan) wakes up with Andi (Rebecca Liddiard); she’s one of the young women who were in those woods that night. He wonders what keeps plaguing her. It’s very obvious she’s keeping a big secret from him, ever since they got together.
And everyone else from the woods that fateful night seems to be headed back there to the camp. In the midst of winter, they go back to where they all lost a part of their soul. Noah (Jim Watson) tries cheering up the mood in the car but nobody wants to hear it. They get to a station on the way up, a man named Gene (Jefferson Brown) helping them gear up and planning on guiding them to their “old stomping ground.” There’s a lot of tension in the air, though Gene doesn’t realise he’s hanging around with a bunch of murderers.
What’s very clear is that Andi is having the hardest time, everyone’s concerned; also obvious there was something going on, to some degree, between her and Peter, as he apologises for how things were after what happened five years ago.
This is gonna be akiller weekend.”
On they go, up to the We Live As One retreat house. Cut back to five years prior. Andi’s breaking Tal into the whole counsellor job at Camp Motega. Now we see Andi and Peter were a couple. Perfectly, they have a movie night complete with a – you guessed it – slasher.
Back to present day. At the retreat are a bunch of people doing yoga, led by a friendly couple, Antoine and Renée (Christopher Jacot & Joanne Vannicola). Nice “corpse pose” before the lesson’s finished, too. They run a nice retreat, everybody does their part to stay, a happy little family. The reason why the friends are there? A resort’s being constructed, and a tennis court is likely to be built right over where they buried Tal. They further mention someone named Owen, who was a suspect in the girl’s disappearance. Certainly their arrival brings the curiosity of their hosts, Gene particularly wonders why they’ve come up in the dead of winter. A woman there named Judith (Leslie Hope) feels bad energy with the strangers around. Rightfully so. Although no one else worries, and they should. But such is the way with the yoga hippie-types.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 11.13.41 AMPoor Gene is trying to relax in the sauna when snowballs start pelting from outside. From nowhere, someone in a hooded parka attacks him. Chainsaw to the guts, running the blade right up through him to the shoulders. A nice cut takes us from spilling guts to a steak slapping into a frying pan.
Glenn (Ty Olsson) is a member of the community at We Live As One, barely there two months. He’s not a vegan like the others, he doesn’t dig yoga. Renée tries her best with him but it’s kind of a lost cause. He is also immediately a bit suspicious about the friends when Noah comes around stuttering nervously like a dummy.
The friends get out into the woods where they left Tal’s body. However, after they move the rocks from the hiding place they find nothing; no skeleton, no remains of any kind. Somebody’s moved her corpse. But whom?
We’re discovering more of the people at the retreat, as well. Judith has a self-harm problem. She and another man named Wren (Sebastian Pigott) discuss the group of strangers, believing they need to be on guard, at least until they find out more about them. And, well, we know they’re right. We watch the group, frantically discussing what to do now that Tal’s body has vanished. Peter suggests going to the cops, he thinks it’s the only way to find “closure,” or else they’ll all be haunted. Susan (Kaitlyn Leeb) doesn’t agree, she’s married with a child. Nobody other than Andi and Peter feels confessing would do them any good. So, they’re all divided.
More about others at the retreat. Mark (Paulino Nunes) has scars on his back that look like bullet holes. In true Slasher style, this is only seen on the surface level. Those revelations are best left for later.
Andi: “This secret has killed every single relationship in my life
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 11.20.37 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-17 at 11.26.36 AMBack to five years ago, slasher movie night. Tal sits with Peter while Andi heads for more popcorn. They chat and get to know each other a bit better. They actually get physically closer. You can see where this is headed, as she’s obviously trying to worm her way between the couple. Cutting to present day, Peter just wants to come clean and face their fate, whereas Andi’s beginning to wonder if that’s the right thing after all. And an argument starts splitting them apart, too.
Andi goes for a smoke alone outside, she winds up talking with Mark awhile. He tries to give her some of that enlightened-type advice. He parallels some of what Peter says about her, that she spends her time in a victim mentality. It’s partly true. Also partly clear that she’s strong, if she wasn’t she’d have cracked long ago. Will she take this “second chance” in all respects? Will she do what’s right, or what’s best for her?
She heads out to the woods with a shovel. There, she sees foot prints. Farther in she discovers Tal’s remains strung up from the streets, smiling its deathly grin. From behind, the killer in the parka attacks Andi. Simultaneously, Peter looks for her, wondering where she’s gone.
Andi wakes with her four limbs tied to posts. She screams for help. Nobody there but the killer, who cuts her throat open from each side as she gargles on her own blood, choking. Peter soon comes to find her bled out. Back at the retreat, everyone is shaken up by the news, they try to call out and get some help. Meanwhile, the friends are all stressed and full of fear. A message left on their wall, a warning.
Go back to five years ago. The friends argue before finishing Tal off, Dawn (Paula Brancati) leading the charge. Until Andi deals the finishing, nasty blow.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 11.45.34 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-17 at 11.49.55 AMWOW. I didn’t expect this good of an episode, honestly. I loved Season 1, more than a lot of people. Yet this opened so strong, so vicious, full of the good stuff. Lots of interesting characters, their various motivations, so on.
“Between Good and Evil” is next.

The Exorcist – Season 2, Episode 3: “Unclean”

Fox’s The Exorcist
Season 2, Episode 3: “Unclean”
Directed by Ti West
Written by Manny Coto

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Safe as Houses” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “One for Sorrow” – click here
IMG_0355We begin on the River Seine in France. More of the “vocare pulvere” – the ceremony of ash – around the table of Cardinal Guillot (Torrey Hanson). They’re served tarts with something… extra special on top. There’s an eerie comparison to predatory animals and demons while the cardinal fawns over a cat. Everyone has a tart, then Guillot spews blood along with the others. They all catch fire, the table with them. And their server, a woman with a scar across the face named Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson) leaves the place behind, taking the sweet kitty with her. Oh, I like this lady.
All nature will be renewed by fire
Out in Washington, Andy (John Cho) is burying the creepy fetus that Shelby (Alex Barima) brought home the night before. Things are odd, for sure. At the same time, Caleb (Hunter Dillon) is facing his lie about Verity (Brianna Hildebrand) being out by the well with him, only he says it isn’t a lie, that she was holding his hand then… gone. Even with all the tension involved with Rose’s (Li Jun Li) social work visit, Andy tries to get by as usual, plus she’s decided not to make a fuss over the incident at the well.
But Shelby can’t shake the feeling in the woods, believing that something bad is lurking out there. He clutches his Bible, unable to let go of it or the sense there’s an evil close.
IMG_0356Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) and Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) are at their latest destination, the former having received a call from a deacon, a close friend. They’re at a house in a quiet neighbourhood, the home of a Mrs. Graham. She has a daughter named Harper who’s troubled. For six months, she’s been a different person, having visions of an “imaginary playmate” from much earlier in childhood.
Sound familiar? Not unlike Reagan and Captain Howdy. Upstairs, the priest tag team find poor Harper in bed looking horrible, very clearly wrestling with a demon underneath. Mom is distraught, she says something “unclean” has hold of her daughter. The priests start trying to figure out if there’s anything signalling genuine demonic possession. And, oh, there’s good proof. Well, it seems. There’s a drawing Harper apparently did three weeks before, showing two priests battling a monster. However, there’s a Chris McNeil book on the shelf, one with which Mrs. Graham is familiar. I wonder… hmm. Possession? Or Munchausen’s of sorts?
They talk with the girl, she says her friend’s name is Tobias. Although things seem off. Marcus charms and questions, probing to find out if this is real or a big hoax and a waste of time. Then she vomits the familiar green pea soup, convulsing.
What about Father Bennett(Kurt Egyiawan)? He meets with Mouse, telling her about how wrong things went with Guillot. She informs him about the tragic fire. Now, it seems these two might become their own tag team, similar to the priest and the renegade ex-communicated priest.
Speaking of the lads, they’re questioning the situation. They have to be sure, if not an unneeded exorcism could fuck the girl up bad, for life. But then a wound appears on mom’s side from across the room as Harper chomps and chomps at nothing. CREEPY SCENE! Dig it.
IMG_0359IMG_0360We find out a bit more of Andy’s inner life. He has a beer with a friend by the water, talking about a life he imagined long ago. He mentions the inexplicable briefly, wondering if anything’s happened on the island. But he dismisses the talk himself. Meanwhile, I feel like there’s going to be demonic trouble for Shelby. Just because demons love to fuck around with the religious, the deeply faithful.
Now comes a connection – Rose goes over to the Graham house. Mom doesn’t want to let her inside, of course, and the social worker pushes back against that. Uh oh. And up in the bedroom, Tomas is breaking out all the tools. He claims to have had a “vision of this girl.” Marcus believes evil has stained him after he let that demon in his noggin. He’s getting a complex over his feeling of power.
Except now Rose has seen them outside in the window. She’s ready to call in the cops. Before she leaves, she drops info that Harper’s been sick her whole life. This interests the older renegade priest.
Andy is taking little Grace (Amélie Eve) outside, she’s conquering her fears and taking off her unsettling pillow mask. They take a walk down to the garden with the sunflowers together. Above them, a gigantic flock of birds soars. Down at the water, Shelby sees them as he prays to the Lord. Andy runs with Grace inside just as the birds begin pelting themselves into the house by the dozens upon dozens. Some actually fly through the windows. Dead birds, everywhere. Hard thing to explain to a girl as a young as her.
IMG_0361We discover that the lake has dark significance for Andy, where his wife Nicole killed herself. Shelby’s religion leads him to believe there’s an evil force in that area. Poor foster dad can’t take that, though. He draws the line.
Marcus has figured out that mom’s been drugging her daughter, injuring her, even herself, all to make it into a big story. Sickening. We do get a sweet moment where Marcus tells Harper she’ll be stronger after she makes it through this ordeal; she is a survivor. This sends Mrs. Graham on the defensive with a hammer. She gets Tomas when he’s looking through her arsenal of pills. Then she goes after Marcus, who fends her off but takes a few knocks in the process.

Police arrive with Rose to break it all up. Later, our priest tag team is at the hospital. Marcus says that “at least with a demon you know where you stand,” but with evil in regular people, a parent who’d hurt their child, it’s unpredictable. This situation also reveals to Tomas his fallibility, he isn’t an all-seeing visionary, he is a man, a priest, only with faith to guide him. Naturally, we see Rose talk to the two men. She’s going to get Andy to take Harper in. Oh, this is going to get real interesting.
Cut to Antwerp. Father Bennett goes with Mouse to a dingy-looking basement. There is Sister Dolores, or “whats left of her.” Plagued by a demon, chained to the floor.
IMG_0365FUCK YEAH! This is another great episode. One of my favourites, probably, of either season. Lots of good stuff happening, and we got to see a different thing going on in terms of the possession, a hoax with horrific consequences. Just a wild ride. Great Ti West episode this time around, too.
“One for Sorrow” comes to us next week.