In the Freakish episode “Secrets” Mary reveals to her brother Grover that Addie bit her while they were escaping from the basement. He tries to calm her down and then goes to get bandages for her wound.
Natalie shows up and tells Mary they need to take stock of the supplies in the school while the boys secure the windows and doors. The heavy pall of smoke and ash from the chemical plant explosion is still hanging in the air outside the school.
As Grover gets some bandages he also picks up some other things from the office including a vial or two. Violet walks in on Grover as he fills a plastic bag with medical supplies and asks what he is doing. “Since when do you care,” Grover says as he leaves the room.
Natalie and Mary collect cans of corn in the school cafeteria and Mary is not looking good at all. She is sweaty and easily confused. Natalie asks if she is okay, Mary says she is alright but it looks as though her fears of turning into a “zombie” like Addie are coming true.
Mary is going through other changes as well. She can tell what Natalie had for lunch five hours ago by smelling her breath. Natalie is a little put off by this. “Is that. like, some party trick you do or are you part bloodhound,” she asks.
Violet checks with Barrett who working on the short wave radio in the school. They talk about Grover and the medical supplies and indulge in a little flirting. Violet tells him she was in detention for murdering computer nerds.
She leaves and he continues trying to contact the outside world on a microphone this not connected to the radio. Grover returns with the supplies to find Mary gone.
LaShaen and Zoey take stock and Mary is now wandering the halls. She bumps into Noodle who has the school guinea pig, Mr. Oink. Noodle notices that Mary is not acting normal. He asks if she is okay and Mary replies she is going to lie down.
After Mary leaves Noodle and Mr. Oink she looks out a window. An infected “zombie” student looks in on her but leaves when she slams her hand on the glass.
Grover shows up tells his sister he will bandage her wound. She asks her brother if she is going to die. He tells her it is jus t a small gnarly bite that may be infected.
Diesel is disturbed in the hallway by Natalie when she drops a can of food. He discovers that she is hoarding food because she is pregnant. Natalie asks him not to tell anyone that she is expecting a baby. He agrees and tells her, “We all have secrets.”
The surviving kids meet in the radio room and Mary tells the group that the infected students are still hanging around the school in the fog. They will, she says, get in and they can smell their fear. Zoey is a bit freaked out by the freshman and Mary leaves the room.
Grover’s little sister is still changing. She is sweating more and when she plays the violin, her fingers bleed. She aggressively approaches Violet, her brother’s ex, and tells her off. Mary’s face is flushed and she has red veins on her cheekbones.
Mary threatens Violet.
Barrett plugs the microphone into the radio and someone answers. He is, apparently not your average high school student. His callsign is Flashpoint Zulu.
LaShaen and Diesel confront Grover about the medical supplies. He finds Mary acting strangely and she begs him not to tell the others. Mary can hear Barrett talking on the radio about codes and Valhalla.
Barrett catches her listening in and follows her down to the basement. She attacks him and Grover stops her. The rest of the students talk about locking Mary up while Grover tries to get through to his sister.
She asks him to kill her.
Violet tells Grover to eat and she talks him into coming down and eating something. He covers Mary and leaves with Violet. Natalie has a cry about Addie and LaShaen tries to make her feel better.
In the room alone, Mary turns into a zombie like creature just like Addie.
Freakish is interesting. Taking the goldfish world of high school students and adding a dash of horror, science fiction is not a bad idea. Michael Grant did it quite successfully in the “Gone” series. Although Grant’s dystopian young adult novels had a bigger playing field, mutants and a wider spectrum of kids to deal with.
This Hulu mash up of Vine and YouTube stars, along with proper actors, is claustrophobic in comparison and the only mutants here are zombie teenagers. The students trapped in the school are, at best, stereotypical.
The pregnant teen desperate to keep it a secret, the “brainiac” ex girlfriend (Although to be fair, in fiction the “egghead” scientific type is usually male. So Kudos are in order here.) All nine of the survivors are, for the most part, stereotypes seen a million times before.
Barrett, is obviously something a bit different. An older student, he appears to be some sort of “agent.” His call sign, Zulu, reeks of a military connection and this may be revealed later on.
So far, reactions to this youth oriented series has been mixed. All in all, after three episodes, Freakish is not bad, it just does not have anything refreshing or new to offer its audience.
It also killed off the only adult, and damned fine actor Chad L. Coleman, before the first episode ended.
On the bright side, the FX are quite disturbing. That infected student looking in on Mary was pretty impressive looking. Mary’s gradual disintegration into a zombie, or whatever the infected kids are supposed to be, was also quite good.
Freakish may appeal primarily to the teen and tween set. While the show is not boring the presence of so many Vine and YouTube personalities means the appeal for those over 30 is practically nonexistent.
All 10 episodes are available to stream on Hulu. Stop by and check the new series out and see what you think. Is this entertainment or just a gimmicky way to pull in younger viewers?