The Matthews family has survived the first night of their deadly new reality, but their nightmare is just beginning. Episode two opens with Boyd and Kristi being able to stabilize Ethan’s leg injury as the Nightmare Creatures descend on the RV. Jim still isn’t convinced of the dangers and has to be forcibly restrained by Boyd from going outside. Jim’s tune changes quickly after hearing the unholy whisperings around them, finally making it clear that there’s forces in play beyond his understanding.
Tabitha and Julie Mathews narrowly avoided disaster by making it to Colony House. Unlike Jim, they came face to face with the Nightmare Creatures with only Kenny’s quick thinking (and shooting), preventing Julie from being snatched. This brief encounter gave us more insight into the power of persuasion the Nightmare Creatures hold — Julie went into a hypnotic state after looking one in the eyes. For those familiar with True Blood, the effect mirrored how the vampires could “glamor” their prey. Are certain townspeople more susceptible to this?
This question brings us back to Sara, the most enigmatic character of the debut episode. Last week, I speculated that her killing of the newly arrived resident was a “mercy kill” to prevent him from enduring her trapped existence. The true reason was the creatures have completely manipulated her, dangling the carrot of escape if she does their bidding, which includes setting up her fellow residents to be murdered. As if one kill wasn’t enough, she leaves the hospital door open without a talisman, allowing the creatures to brutally disembowel the nurse and Kenny’s dementia-suffering father.
The biggest theme of the episode is the constant mental trauma being waged against them. Before the Matthews’ appearance, the town went three months without an incident. Now in the span of two nights, the townspeople have witnessed five deaths. Losing his father has deeply shaken Kenny’s faith in their survival. He makes a keen observation in noting the creatures never run, as if having the prescience their prey will eventually make a mistake and have nowhere to hide. Donna, in an effort to convince Tabitha of the new dangers of this world, recounts her own tragic first town arrival. It happened at night, and she watched her headstrong sister get her face ripped off after unwittingly confronting a smiling Nightmare Creature. We also get some timeline clarity — Donna has been there for over three years.
One person that hasn’t lost hope is Fatima. She made the above statement while showing Julie how beautiful nightfall looked from Colony’s House’s top level. No doubt Fatima has her own story of loss. However, out of everyone introduced thus far she doesn’t outworldly carry the same emotional baggage about their situation. If you’re looking for someone that’s the heart and soul of the residents, it’s her.
The episode’s biggest new mystery was the “arrival” of a ghost child visible only to young Ethan during his recovery. Are we seeing the beginnings of how Sara ended up under the sway of the Nightmare Creatures, or is this “child” an entirely new entity? And if he is a separate from the creatures, is the boy of force of good or evil?
Speaking of questions, here’s a few more following episode two to look out for in the coming weeks.
- Has Sara’s latest move ensured her death sentence? At some point, what she’s doing will be discovered and it’s hard to imagine Boyd, let alone Kenny, showing her any mercy.
- Colony House has their own firearms supply and a mandate to not let in “outsiders.” They made an exception for the Matthews women, Kenny and the Father Kahtri only because they arrived with Ellis. In contrast, Jim and little Ethan spent their first night with Boyd and Kristi. Will the family remain together or do some remain at Colony House? And will they even be given a choice?
FROM episode 3 airs Sunday March 6 at 10 p.m. ET on Epix.