‘Channel Zero’ Candle Cove: Welcome Home – Finale (Recap/Review)

Channel Zero: Candle Cove - Season 1

There was only ever one way that Channel Zero: Candle Cove was going to end. Mike Painter was a doomed character and we knew it from the first time we saw him.  “Welcome Home” (it is hard to imagine a more ironic title for the season finale) sees the conclusion creep home with the horror of a mother killing her last remaining son to protect her granddaughter.

The finale moves slowly, like someone trying to move through waist deep molasses, and it draws out the ending.  Those expecting a cacophony horrors to leap off the screen will be disappointed.  Instead of a clash of disturbing images, the whole of episode 6 presents its horrors sparingly,focusing instead on the personal aspect of this tale.

Mike sacrifices himself so his daughter can live. He agrees to stay behind so Eddie can inhabit his body. (There is a splendid reversal of the Ringu effect where Lily crawls into the television screen to come out in the real world.)

At the start of the episode, Erica comes back looking for Lily. Mike explains that he knows where Lily is but only he can get her. Erica’s frustration manifests itself in her screamed demand to take her to Lily.

Mike takes his wife out to the field where Lily lays unconscious on the ground.  He makes his wife stay back and Mike walks over to Lily. Just like his vision at the start of episode,  the Tooth-Child takes some teeth and Mike wakes up in the Cove.

Eddie and Mike bargain over who will stay behind as the Skin Taker looks on.  Lily is released and as soon as Erica brings the child back, Marla leaves the house.

She is headed to Mike and on the way she runs into Francis Booth. The teacher attacks her with the hook. As she starts to give Marla the  killing blow with the instrument, Amy  shoots her.

The temporary sheriff tells Marla to step back and Mike’s mother grabs the hook and plants the thing in Booth’s ear. Back at the cove, Eddie tells his brother goodbye and starts to the television.

Amy holds a press conference and informs the reporters that Francis Booth was the murderer, back in 1985 and now. As she talks to the press, the former sheriff packs up his kids and drives away. The widower is heading toward a new start and leaving Iron Hill.

Marla is healing after Marla’s attack. Lily is coloring a picture.  She pauses and watches as the television show “Candle Cove” comes on. Mike enters the room and turns the television off.

There is a flashback to the day that Mike dies.  Marla pinches his nostrils shut and covers his mouth with her hand. She kills him in order to protect Lily and the world from Eddie’s power.

It is a shocking moment, but not altogether too unexpected.  All of Iron Hill can breathe a sigh of relief although Marla looks a bit troubled.

The slow almost dream-like presentation of the show’s finale, meant the tension never really let up. It seemed certain that the pint-sized new sheriff was going to be attacked by Booth’s children. In the end, however, she avoids harm and comes across as another local hero who defeats the evil controlling  the area and its children.

Mike tricks Eddie by replaying that card game where he cheated. Tantamount to playing chess with the grim reaper, this time Mike plays fairly and Eddie wins the game but loses the battle. He is stuck in Candle Cove with Mike.

Channel Zero: Candle Cove - Season 1

The former sheriff, whose wife the children killed, takes his two kids away from Iron Hill. Mike, lives on through Lily, who sees her father turn off Candle Cove when it plays on the television.

Channel Zero: Candle Cove ends with a slight whimper and a sigh. The climax of the finale is a bit of an understatement.  The only real violence comes from two middle-aged women who fight in the wood.

The most disturbing scenes deal with Mike facing the Skin Taker. Once as a burning entity in the hallway and later when the creature shoves sticks into its face and eye.

The series was easily one of the creepiest and most disturbing on television.  Kudos to all the players and show creator Nick Antosca. Only one real question remains, was Marla somehow “touched” by Candle Cove?


‘Channel Zero’ Candle Cove: Guest of Honor – Extra Tooth (Recap/Review)

Channel Zero: Candle Cove - Season 1

Last week’s episode of Channel Zero: Candle Cove ended with Jessica being stabbed to death and Daphne’s body being found at Francis Booth’s basement.  “Guest of Honor” continues  with the high level of creepiness.  This episode  also sees Mike having a slight dental problem as an extra tooth has appeared in his mouth.

In case it has been forgotten, Eddie had an extra tooth “right there” as Mike told a young Jessica previously. He explains that this was how she can tell the two apart.

This new tooth showing up is obviously a portent of things to come, as Eddie tries to come back into this world.  It looks like the “special” twin wants Mike’s body for his own.

A lot of questions are answered in this episode. We learn that Eddie had powers  before the kid’s program  began airing on dead channels.  Booth sacrificed her own son to Eddie and that it was Mike’s twin who created   Candle Cove.

Booth, who seemed to have epilepsy was presumably cured by Eddie in her classroom after school. This caused the woman to worship the twin  enough to forfeit her own son’s life. Now, she is helping Eddie to return.

As the episode begins  Jessica’s body is found in the wading pool. Mike and Lily are having breakfast with Marla and Amy arrives with bad news.

Amy tells Mike of Daphne’s body being found in Francis Booth’s basement and of Jessica’s death. She then asks him  to help her brief the cops down at the Sheriff’s office.

Mike tells his mother he actually thought “it was over.” While talking to Marla, he feels pain in his mouth. He goes into the bathroom and finds a new tooth growing out of his gum.

His wife Erica shows up to collect Lily.

At the police station Amy and Mike explain that Jessica was murdered by children under the age of 12. One cop does not believe it is possible for kids to do this.

Painter explains that Booth could have talked the kids into doing anything. Mike says that as an authority figure  she is able to order the kids to kill.

Mike pleads with the temporary sheriff to allow him to visit the crime scene at Booth’s house where Daphne was found.  Amy keeps saying he cannot as it is “all hands on deck” and Mike asks her to stop. After a moment, Amy allows Gary out of his cell to accompany Mike to the crime scene.

A subdued Gary and Mike go to Booth’s house and Painter finds the props to the kids show. Gary goes outside and finds teeth on a fence post. Mike examines the props and realizes they are not from Candle Cove at all.

As Mike stands looking at the fake props he gets a call from Booth requesting that he meet her alone. The teacher tells Mike that she has “so much to tell” him.

There is a flashback to 1988 and  the young Mrs. Booth goes into convulsions.  Eddie watches the woman thrashing about on the floor for a moment and then says “stop.”  The “fit” ends.

Eddie then tells the woman to get up. This then is how Francis Booth came to follow Mike’s twin. He presumably cured her epilepsy.

Mike gives Gary the slip and goes to where Booth is to meet him. Amy learns from her former boss that Mike has left.  She tells Gary to wait for backup and he replies he will not be there.

In Iron Hill, Candle Cove is playing on the television and the children watching all leave their houses and start walking down the street. Gary goes home and finds Katy missing.

Amy asks Simon to find Painter.  Just as Mike arrives to meet with Booth, Simon turns up.  Mike talks the young deputy into letting  him go into the closed diner alone.  While the cop waits outside he sees a group of children.

Channel Zero: Candle Cove - Season 1
Simon sees the kids.

Mike tells him to leave the children alone and not go near them. He tells the young cop that they may be dangerous. Mike enters the empty diner and finds Francis’ phone but not her.

Simon goes to round the kids up and send them home.  The children  all grab hold of him and Booth, dressed as Jaw Bone, stabs the cop to death.  Mikes sees the cop die and tries to go to him.

He passes out behind the diner as Booth takes off her Jaw Bone mask.

Erica Painter has an accident while trying to leave Iron Hill with Lily. She sees a group of children in the road and swerves to miss them. Meanwhile Amy sees Jaw Bone on a computer screen and Gary comes into the office frightening her.

Mike dreams of Lily, Jaw Bone and Simon. He “wakes” up and finds that he has strings attached to his body like a puppet. The strings reach up into the sky. James wakes up for real and sees Simon’s dead body by the slides.

Erica and Lily are in a motel room.  Erica is trying to rent a car and ignores a call from Mike. Lily starts to walk out of the room but Erica stops her.

Mrs. Booth goes to Marla’s house and tells her to call Mike. This time, she says, tell him to come alone.  When Mike arrives, Francis calls him the “Guest of Honor.”

Booth implies that Simon’s death was Mike’s fault. She then explains why she devoted herself to Eddie.  Booth also reveals that Mike’s twin was the creator of Candle Cove. Mike was wrong, she says, the television show did not give Eddie his power.  He always had it.

In a flashback, the young Mrs. Booth asks Eddie to show her “that place” again. The boy says he can but he is not strong enough yet. He needs something.  It turns out that she willingly  gave up her son Jacob to Eddie.

Marla is horrified that Francis murdered her own son. Booth reveals that Mike being in Iron Hill makes Eddie even stronger.  Mike’s twin is coming back through him. The dead twin means to possess his brother.

Mike has a vision of Lily returning. Marla calls Mike’s name and he goes up stairs to his daughter. He asks her if she wants to see something cool. Mike then sees something behind Lily and sees a young Eddie as his reflection in the mirror. Mikes moves to kill Lily and he wakes up.

In the hotel room Lily watches Candle Cove while Erica sleeps. The Tooth-Child comes in the room from the shadows. At first the girl is afraid and she hides under the covers.

The Tooth-Child crawls under the bed and Lily leans over to find it. Mrs. Booth goes to an RV parked in the woods. It is full of her special children and she tells them to sleep. “Tomorrow’s a big day,” she says, “They’ll be here soon.”

Channel Zero: Candle Cove - Season 1
Mrs. Booth getting ready for the big day.

Mike finds a pair of needle nose pliers and pulls the extra tooth out of his mouth.  The moment the thing is out, the television in his room comes on. He goes in to turn it off and discovers it is not plugged in. The doors in the room lock and Mike is trapped.

He can see Lily on the television. She is in the mouth of the  Candle Cove cave and calling out “Daddy.”

The pacing of this episode was a mixture of high level tension and slow motion creepy.  “Guest of Honor” was ultimately foreboding and unsettling all at the same time.

Clearly Mike will have to go and save his daughter and this will be when Eddie takes him over. (It was interesting to note that  where Lily was standing the entrance to the cave looked just like an open throat.)

It was all too easy to feel sorry for Amy in this episode. With all the deaths and Gary being locked up her day  was one long struggle. The appearance of Jaw Bone watching her every move, the second in as many episodes, must mean that she will soon be another victim of Candle Cove.

By the end of the episode Gary is the only 1988 survivor alive, apart from Mike. The vision that Mike has in the kitchen seems to mean that he will be forced to kill Lily.

This was the penultimate episode of Channel Zero: Candle Cove. The season finale airs next week on SyFy. Tune in and see how this tale ends but remember to watch it with the lights on and someone to protect you…


Channel Zero’s Paul Schneider Talks Candle Cove

Channel Zero: Candle Cove - Season 1

On October 25, Paul Schneider spoke to several members of the press about Channel Zero:Candle Cove and his character in the show; Mike Painter. Just prior to Halloween, Paul talked to a number of press sites about the adaptation of Kris Straub’s Candle Cove and, amongst other things, his preparation for the role of Mike.

Channel Zero: Candle Cove is about a series of child murders that takes place back in the 1980’s. Mike is convinced that the deaths are connected to an old child’s program Candle Cove.  He returns home to seek some closure and to see if he can keep the kid’s show from claiming any more lives.

Paul was asked by  SciFi Vision if he had done any special preparation to play child psychiatrist Painter, especially as the man had such a traumatic childhood.   Paul  replied that initially he had not.

However, he did read an old Abnormal Psychology textbook from his days at Columbia. Paul’s final diagnosis of Painter was that he had acute anxiety disorder.

Schneider then went on to talk about how he got involved with the project.  He explained that executive producer and show creator Nick Antosca and co-executive producer Craig William Macneill approached him. They asked if Paul would read the script. He did and loved the concept of the series.

Playboy asked if Paul had any idea why the shortened season of six episodes was proving to be so popular. The actor was also asked about why he chose to play Mike as such a quietly intense character.

Schneider could not really offer an opinion on the show’s seasonal format of six episodes.  He did say that his portrayal of Mike was based upon a man returning to his hometown. A place where he was uncertain of who was friend or foe.

He also points out that Mike’s relationship with his mother is very chilly. The character is also one who left small town life and became quite successful. Apart from returning to the scene of the crime, Mike is back amongst people who resent his success.

Voiceoftv.com asked if Paul had seen the original program on Straub’s Creepypasta and the answer was no. Paul went on to explain that he tries not to over research for any role. Reading the source material could, he said, completely change the way he approached the character.

He admitted to having never heard of Creepypasta or seen it before he took the part. It was only after he agreed to play Painter that he learned of the website’s existence.

Paul did say that he loved the idea of the website that it allowed those types of stories to be told.

As The Nerd Element started to question Paul, he joked that “listen to your answers is not anxiety provoking  at all…” He was then asked if he could see himself writing or directing a future Creepypasta series.  The actor answered that he had not been approached to do so.

Paul also explained how he approached any particular writing and/or directing job. He explained that it was a combination of story and whether or not it felt right for him.

He was then asked what film, book or television program, scared him as a child.  It turns out that The Elephant Man, starring John Hurt, made a huge impact on the young Paul Schneider.

It was, Paul said, the first film he had ever seen and it was not the film he was meant to be watching. His mother had taken him to the cinema to watch the Disney film, Song of the South, a kid’s movie  now considered to be racist.

Paul and a number of neighbor kids went to see the show but he broke away from the group and went to the toilet.  On his return he chose the wrong door and wound up watching the David Lynch film.

Five year old Schneider walked in on the scene of Merrick’s nurse bringing him a cup of tea. The woman sees Merrick in the flesh, sans his drape like clothing. The camera showed all the wrinkled and deformed flesh of Merrick.

Paul said that particular scene, “terrified and transfixed” him made the five year old react with a combination  curiosity,  enchantment and sheer horror. He went on to say that scene still gave him the “heebie-jeebies” and it was, oddly, his favorite film.

Inverse wanted to know if Paul could say what Mike was like before his return to Iron Hill and the whole Candle Cove business. The actor replied that he, and the series producers felt that Painter buried himself in academia.

He also felt that Mike wrote in a way to handle the trauma. Paul thought that Painter’s marriage allowed some cracks to appear in his carefully crafted exterior. The appearance of his daughter furthered his deterioration and he felt that Mike may have had a drinking problem.

The actor also revealed to  OMFGTV that he has not been keeping up with the series and that he watches them as they air. It has, Paul said, become an event that he and his wife share.

Schneider went on to say that the highlight of  the project was getting to work with performance artist Olivier De Sagazan who plays The Skin Taker in the show. He explained that their scene together was the most intense of the series.

(It is where the burning Skin Taker runs at Mike Painter in the show.)

He went on to say that everyone was buoyed by Olivier’s presence on the set.  Finally he talked about whether or not Jessica  (Natalie Brown‘s character) and Mike would have married if  he had not left Iron Hill. (The answer was yes)

There was some discussion about whether Mike saw what his daughter sees in the episode where he takes Lily out of her bedroom and Paul believes that Mike did see it. He has, after all, seen Jaw Bone in the woods.

Channel Zero: Candle Cove airs Tuesdays on SyFy.  There are two episodes left in this little chiller. Tune in and see if Mike can save this generation from Candle Cove.

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