Bad Choices, History Lessons, and Extra Twists
The episode opens with Shelby and Dominic trapped in the house as the mob of spirits gathers outside, and then Dominic makes the first bad choice of the episode before the opening credits:
It honestly feels like the blind leading the blind at this point.
Never one to be outdone on poor choices, Shelby decides that leaving through the tunnel is there best bet (I mean, it worked last time she was in this situation so how could this time be any different). It is worth noting that Shelby doesn’t know the Polks are preoccupied carving up Lee and force feeding her to Monet and Audrey, so in her plan they are likely at the end of the tunnel, as they were last time.
So they make a break for the tunnel only to stumble upon a Chen family reunion, that was really raising the roof
They are driven back up the tunnel and into the house, 0 progress made by following Shelby, as expected.
We are then taken to a very alive Lee trying to appeal to the Polks’ sense of humanity
Shocker that the Polks aren’t very in line with the Up With People movement, and take another filet out of her thigh. It does lead to a conversation about how if someone isn’t Polk they ain’t people and the history of their cannibalistic tendencies
TGON Cliffnotes: Long story short–during the Great Depression the Polks were already established in those woods and had been comfortable in their crop and livestock, but the displaced homeless of the depression slowly came in and stole the Polks’ last pig. Rather than starve/find a new food source they caught the thieves and ate them. Sensible.
Lee passes out from the pain of losing another piece of herself only to wake up to find out she’s the world’s newest van Gogh impersonator
Jether explains another Polk tradition to Lee that on Christmas everyone gets a pickled ear, as well as some other backwater goodies, Lee takes the moment of family discussion to try and manipulate a solo Jether
It obviously isn’t her fileted leg or missing ear. She just wants to see Flora. This approach falls flat, but he then slips into the poor-me story of how he is too old to be part of the kids group, but too young to sleep with Mama like a normal adult Polk boy. Lee sees an opening to manipulate the Jan Brady of the Polk clan.
The opportunity presents itself when Jether reveals that he had always wanted to be on TV and he was jealous the other Polks had been represented in the story but he hadn’t been. Lee is shocked they saw the show, but as Jether so eloquently lets her know
Lee tries a new angle of making him feel special, telling him about season 2 and how she can make him famous like her name is Kanye West. This does nothing but agitate him after a slightly underplayed history of Piggy Man
TGON Cliffnotes: Apparently a Polk ancestor (Kincaid Polk) had become a famous serial killer when taking the hogs to slaughter in Chicago during the World Fair “Sometime in the 1800′s” (Likely 1893), and while there he dawned a pig mask and committed mass murder. Jethersays Kincaid had learned fromThis means the Polks had been on the property before the depression.
We have a time lapse and Jether comes back and offers Lee some cocaine before Mama comes in to “take a piece of her shoulder.” Lee nobly refuses because she wants to stay sober, but then realizes she is going to die and decides to transform from Kanye to the Weekend and does drugs with the sad hillbilly.
We jump back to the house where a battered Dominic and Shelby are back in the house and trying to regroup. Dominic gives a motivational speech to keep Shelby moving, and she says the dumbest thing so far this season
TGON Comments: The longer we look at this the more it reminds us of a Freakshow when the captives had to tell the clown he was funny.
As hard as we’ve been on Shelby Miller this season, the following scenes almost redeem her. She displays impressive survival instincts by stabbing a pop-up Piggy Man in the head
She even swings on the Chens that fly in on them like a kung-fu movie while they try and make their way to hide upstairs (A great horror movie game plan. We did say she ALMOST redeemed herself). The scene ends with Shelby taking her own life after a dramatic speech of how she has nothing left. There may have been bidget constraints holding this scene back as it was only captured on Dominic’s body camera and was grainy and the least gory death of the season.
We take this very sad passing as a time to return to the Polk barn where we see Jether giving into Lee’s requests to see her picture of Flora, have her wound covered, and he even agrees to take a video message goodbye for her daughter. The bg reveal in Lee’s goodbye message to her daughter is the confession that she did kill her husband.
This leads Jether to admit he’s never killed anyone (Just filleted and eaten them). He tells her that he is to have the next kill (think of it as a coming of age ritual) and how he doesn’t want to hurt her. Of course its too late, but in the exchange you can see the light bulb go off in her head
If she will be his first kill, she can appeal to the feeling of exclusion and desire and be his first everything. The poor guy takes the bate and unties her hands (mistake. never untie your victims). and he dies quickly at the hands of the ex-cop and adrenaline fueled afternoon snack.
TGON disclaimer: We do not support or condone having victims, nor restraining or assaulting anyone.
We finally move into another Polk building and see what Audrey and Monet have been up to – being tortured by the other Polk boys. This specific round of torture has nothing to do with cannibalism, but an equally disturbing Polk tradition of collecting teeth to wear as talismans (teeth don’t burn and if you wear them obviously you’re immune to the fire that plagues those woods).
Monet is victim number one, but for all her luck the dumb Polk boy climbs on top of the chair with her which breaks it and gives her a chance to escape. Polk boy 1 runs to get Mama while Monet beats the elder one, but Mama’s entry which interrupts Monet’s attempts to free Audrey and she deserts her.
Mama Polk doesn’t waste time like her sons do and quickly removes one of Audrey’s teeth (again it seems liek a budget constraint that we view this scene from behind Audrey’s head. You know, where the real drama was happening.
Monet is being chased through the woods by two Polks, but her fate is intentionally left ambiguous.
Before Mama Polk has the chance to remove more teeth from Aubrey’s head Lee ambushes her an knocks her over. Audrey is saved and after reclaiming her wedding band she takes Le’s weapon (a hammer) and bashes in Mama Polk’s head (After a few censored expletives)
Lee and Audrey take the tunnels by the Polk estate back into the house, finding Matt’s splattered head on the basement floor which leads to a short breakdown for Lee. Upstairs they see the destruction the poltergeists wreaked on the house as they broke Shelby’s spirits (and her leg).
After a momentary regroup and little bonding over surviving, they decide to medicate their pain and enter the bathroom with Shelby’s corpse (and Dominic in the corner for an extra surprise)
He tells them what happened, and denial and suspicion set in and they of course don’t believe him
They toss Dominic out of the master bedroom (It is unclear why the spirits don’t just rush into this room as well) and he is almost instantly butchered by Piggy Man in one of the least dignified deaths of the season.
Lee and Audrey awake the next morning surprised they survived the night (everyone should have a bedroom that safe). Audrey does a light 4th wall break and says what we’ve been saying for weeks
Neither can we. But in the light of day and the Blood Moon hidden they feel safe to venture downstairs and leave the house (Tehy must have forgotten there are two Polks left that will be very angry and vengeful for the death of their mother/lover/roomie/friend).
When they open the door we are faced with the biggest twist of the episode
Another reenactor (Dylan) that played the Butcher’s son shows up in a Piggy Man costume. Don’t worry, the mask cushioned the blow from the crowbar and Wes Bentley’s face is spared (As were his other parts)
And that is how the episode ends. No explanation as to where the costume department wa that dressed him, or if he was on assignment from Sidney. is there someone still pulling the strings that is seeing the mess everyone is in?
So many questions to keep us going. But to recap we have 4 survivors left: Lee (our pick), Audrey, Monet (probably), and now Dylan.
It is daylight and the perfect time to escape with only two Polks standing in there way. It will be interesting to see how this lasts for two more episodes. We don’t even have room to speculate at this point tho, so be sure to join us Wednesday to see where they take us!