Dead of Summer gave us a ferocious season one finale. “She Talks to Angels” whittles the number of survivors down to three and allows Amy to enter full “Jason” mode. Although to be fair she is possessed by a demon and does not need a hockey mask. She is now the corporeal form of Malphas and seemingly unstoppable.
Jessie, Garrett and Alex end up being chased by Amy and her new minions. (All the people that Amy killed throughout the first season return to help her defeat Jessie. Even the headless, and bodiless, Blotter shows up to help Malphas win.)
Drew and Blair get the kids out safely and believe that everything is over. Anton (Allan Fisher) tells them things are far from over and that they need to return to Camp Stillwater.
Garrett is wounded and has to stay behind while Alex and Jessie try to defeat Amy. The all powerful demon takes out Alex, but Drew and Blair come to the rescue. So too, does Deputy Sykes who actually saves the day with a little postmortem help from Joel.
Amy/Malphas is caught by the last of the pure lake water and Jessie dispatches the demon with extreme prejudice. Unlike Friday the 13th there is no “double” twist at the end. No rotting Amy corpse rises up to scare the bejesus out of the audience. The good guys have won this one, for now.
The last look at the camp shows it is for sale once more, as a commercial property. The demon may be caged but one gets the impression that this could change. Evil never really dies and the eerie music leaves us with the feeling that Malphas is waiting for another opportunity.
Speaking of music, the eery bit used in this episode was spot on. It evoked a clear feeling that everything had gone completely and utterly south and that Amy was going to be victorious.
There were a couple of “jump-scare” moments. Both were done well and were completely unexpected. Dead of Summer has not delivered many of these during the season.
The last episode had Amy as full-on boogeyman, once she dropped the facade of being exorcised of Malphas. As she stalked Jessie, the possessed girl never moved faster than a walk, shades of both Jason and Michael Myers here, and dispatched four state troopers with apparent ease.
In terms of continuity; as the show started Amy seemed to chop at Deb a few extra times and Jessie’s hair seemed to have grown a lot in terms of bulk. The body of Deb was remarkably pristine after being chopped by an axe last week.
As the heroine Jessie holds her own against the all powerful demon, with a little help from her friends. Initially it is Alex and Garrett who help Braces out but it is the cop who “comes back” to really help stop Malphas in its tracks.
At one point it seemed that flashbacks equalled death. All three of the survivors at Camp Stillwater had memories of events prior to the camp and two of them died shortly after. Garrett has a visit from his father who tells him, somewhat cryptically, that “nothing is by accident.”
Alex remembers a confrontation with his mother where he called his dead father weak. She slaps the boy and tells Alex his father was selfless. Alex proves he learned his mother’s lesson well when he sacrifices himself for Jessie.
Dead of Summer offered up a final episode that was ferocious compared to the slow build up through the rest of the season. Was it worth the wait? Quite possibly. There was a villain that seemed to be omnipotent and incapable of being stopped. The episode took us right up to the very edge before allowing Amy to be conquered by Jessie.
Kudos for upping the game of FX. That shot of the axe in the head was very effective.
So Dead of Summer defeated the boogeyman, or woman, and HolyOke was destroyed in return, although a portion of his “light” remained in Jessie and Garrett. There is a new guardian of the lake now that HolyOke is gone should the demon ever come back.
All in all the series managed to end on a high note. There was enough tension and action to impress and Elizabeth Lail gave great demon. To Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Ian B. Goldberg, well done. You three really managed to make it all come together, albeit a little rushed in some areas.
Will the series come back for another season? The show ended with Camp Stillwater for sale. Could a new owner wake Malphas again? It could well be that the demon escapes its cage but it seems unlikely.
Besides, without the presence of Tony Todd would the show be as scary? That would be a definite no. Camp Stillwater and Dead of Summer is most likely a “one off” and should perhaps stay that way.
- Elizabeth Mitchell – Deb Carpenter
- Tony Todd – Tall Man/HolyOke
- Amber Coney – Carolina Diaz
- Elizabeth Lail – Amy Hughes
- Zelda Williams – Drew Reeves
- Alberto Frezza – Garrett Sykes
- Rogen Rubinstein – Alex Palmer
- Mark Indelicate – Blair Ramos
- Eli Goree – Joel Goodson
- Andrew J. West – Damon
- Paulina Singer – Jessie “Braces” Tyler.