Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Other Side Of The Door

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What’s on the other side of the door at the top of the white stairs? To save her sister, Alice will have to find out.

Recap

A field of yellow flowers that stretches on for miles, and on the far end of it? The Peach Summer Home. Only, it doesn’t matter how hard Alice runs. It never gets any closer. Plus, she’s being watched. Not only by Joseph Peach, but by her monster. Schizophrenia. As she stumbles along, she comes across a field hand, harvesting literal hands from the ground. Yum. He gives her a riddle about how to get to the house, but the answer? A window. But what could that mean? As Alice plugs on, she remembers the night Zoe had her mental breakdown. When Zoe forgot who Alice was.

Officer Luke drives to Louise’s with a gift. One ripe, dead Peach. Reluctantly, Louise helps Luke clean up Robert’s body and the squad car, only to find, hours later, that the body has upped and walked away. Only to find him hiding in the basement, waiting to be killed a second time. This time Louise and Luke get the job done. By sawing off his head.

Inside the Peach home, Zoe sits down to dinner with the family. She has a mighty hunger, staved off only by a mighty fear of the kind of meat the Peaches serve. Edie tries to goad Zoe into eating dessert, but she stays strong. Or nearly strong. Caving, to Edie’s horror, Zoe cuts off another piece of her own leg and eats it raw.

Alice spies Izzy through the field of flowers, covered in some bizarre, dried cream. But Izzy sees the new manifestation of Alice’s schizophrenia lurking behind her. Scared off, Alice running after the little girl, unaware that there is something chasing after her. As she runs, Alice is given the riddle again. But this time she gets it. It’s not a window. It’s a door. Three doors, to be exact. They appear as soon as Alice finds it, looking like white gravestones. One to the real world. One to a black void. The last, to the Peace House. Alice goes inside, only to find she’s been followed by her schizophrenia monster. It’s taken a different shape now, appearing like a new grotesque version of herself as it chases her down. Just as it’s about to get her, Joseph Peach appears and kills it.

Luke decides to take a risk and show his dad Robert Peach’s head. He thinks that the Peach Family must have something on his dad. Something that has him afraid, keeping him in line. He hopes that if he shows his dad that he’s defeated one of the Peaches he might be able to bring the police back on their side. Louise lets him go. Luke’s dad. Is not. Happy. By the sound of it, his dad made a deal with Joseph Peach long ago. To turn a blind eye to the murders in Butcher’s Block. In exchange, he got to be Chief of Police. They drive to go bury the body. But once the grave is dug, his dad slits Luke’s throat. From afar, Louise watches the whole thing. Once the chief leaves, she rushes to the grave, to find Luke still clinging to life.

Joseph claims that he can get rid of the schizophrenia. Cut it out, before it kills Alice. Tempted, and wanting to free Zoe, Alice accepts his offer.

Review

I really appreciate this show’s approach towards special effects. The design of the schizophrenia monster – though I wish it had a more formal name – is so incredibly interesting. I love that they have embraced it as a practical effect, this time having it appear as a massive paper mache likeness of Alice on top of an actor with disproportionately long limbs. Having the monster first be played by a contortionist was obviously disturbing. But I think it is such a smart choice to portray this manifestation of the illness as a practical effect. It creates a context where Alice’s schizophrenia is tactile and physical. Despite the character design for each version so far being so outlandish, it succeeds in making it feel fantastically real.

It might be a bit of a stretch if Luke survives his father’s attack. As much as I love Luke as a character, having one’s throat slit doesn’t seem easily survivable. They did a fantastic job with giving depth to the wound, potentially to their detriment if he’s meant to remain a part of the cast.

Yet still questions remain. Was Luke right? Was his father motivated out of fear to take the Peaches’ deal, and subsequently murder his own son? It’s possible, but far more interestingly, his father might have simply feared to lose the success the Peaches had granted him. How will the Peaches react to Robert’s murder? That is, if Robert even stays dead. Something tells me losing his head isn’t going to cut it. And how, exactly, do the Peaches intend to make Alice and Zoe their new daughters?


Images courtesy of SyFy

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