Can the Woods sisters escape Garrett with their sanity intact? Or is it already too late?
We open with Alice leaving yet another voicemail for Zoe, begging her to call back, she remembers back to the morning she and Zoe found their mother naked in her bedroom. The morning everything changed, and the girls had their mom institutionalized. Louise asks Alice to take her back to where she met Joseph Peach in the park.
At the old playground, Alice sees the little man in the red cloak running away into the woods. Convinced it’s Izzy, she chases after. She’s led straight to the marble staircase and white door. She passes out, and when she comes to, the staircase is gone. But Joseph Peach has reappeared, come to pay another visit. He quizzes Alice on her belief in God. When she tries to walk away, Joseph calls out to Alice. He says not to worry about Zoe. Before Alice can ask questions, she finds that he’s disappeared.
The police don’t believe a word Alice says. Typical. Louise takes Alice home, only to find Zoe waiting there for them. She claims she’s been “cured”. When Alice grills her, Zoe will only reveal that she met a man, who said he could “fix her”. Though Zoe believes she is free of her schizophrenia, she is clearly still under the influence of… something.
Meanwhile, inside the Peach family nightmare house, Izzy is held captive by the meat monster glimpsed by Zoe. It smears a strange substance onto the little girl. Why? There’s no way to know yet.
Back in Butcher’s Block, the local crazy, Diane, is rooting through the trash heap. She catches sight of a man in a blue suit — the same man Alice saw by the staircase earlier. He has a taser in hand, and when she runs, he chases her down. Diane runs straight to a police car. Officer Luke Vanczyk and his partner arrest the strange man. Clearly seeing that he’s unstable, Officer Vanczyk puts him into a holding cell with of the town’s tougher inmates, hoping to straighten the guy out. Within hours, the man in the blue suit has stripped down butt-naked. Officer Vanczyk finds him lying on the floor of his cell eating the organs from his — still living — cellmate.
The police chief, Officer Vanczyk’s dad, passes the case along to State. But Luke isn’t satisfied. He secretly tails the prison transport. It doesn’t take the man in the blue suit to another holding facility. It drops him off at the park. Luke follows him inside, straight to the white staircase. Where Joseph Peach welcomes the man with opens arms.
Back at Louise’s, Alice gets an invitation from the Peach Family to join them for dinner. Alice and Louise go together, finding the Peach family seated for a feast at the old playground. Alice demands to know what Peach has done to her sister. Rather than answer, Peach decides to show her. Suddenly, they are inside the Peach home. Alice is paralyzed. Joseph Peach cuts open Alice’s head, claiming he can cut out her schizophrenia. As he touches her brain, Alice remembers what became of her mother in full detail. How Alice and Zoe found their mother, sobbing and naked. How she attacked Zoe with a knife.
Alice wakes up, abruptly, back in the playground with Louise. The feast upon the table has changed. Now the “meat” is made of body parts. The parts of Izzy’s mother.
Breaking pace from the last season of Channel Zero, No-End House, Butcher’s Block ramps up its atmosphere of creepiness by embracing inserts and sequences that border onto experimental cinema. It’s a quality that gives so much depth to the horror of Butcher’s Block, when it would have been easy to fall back and rely on the terror of gore. Not that we won’t be getting our fair share of it.
The scene with the man in the blue suit — or Robert Peach, as we know him now — was visually stunning. The implications created by having Robert interact not only with the Garret Police, but also with Diane, in this way, has added a whole new layer of subtext to dig into.
Our first impression of the Garret Police, based solely off our interactions with Officer Luke Vanczyk and his partner, is that they are willingly dismissive. A great contrast to the original creepypasta, which had a local SAR officer reporting on all of the urban legends detailed in Search and Rescue Woods. Now we’re given quite a different look. A version of Garrett’s authorities where they not only know about the Peach family urban legend, but actively aid in covering up the truth.
Now both Alice and Zoe have been “operated” on by Joseph Peach. We’re already beginning to see the effects this has had on Zoe. Her newfound craving for raw, living meat. That poor cat. We know that Joseph targets these girls because they remind him of his lost daughters.
Clearly, he hopes to brainwash them into the family. But is this “procedure” they’ve undergone an occasion that is reserved only to them? Has Peach conducted his little experiment on other residents of Butcher’s Block? If so, why has the town not seen an influx of cannibals? Or is this a rare occurrence for them, who typically only cannibalize the town’s lower-class?
Our next episode promo hints at a great struggle for Zoe, who might be caving into her cravings sooner than desired. We can only hope the girls might find their way out of Garrett. If it’s not already too late.