The Horror Honeys: Candle Cove: The Story So Far (Episode 2-4 Recap)

Candle Cove: The Story So Far (Episode 2-4 Recap)

A Horror TV Honey Recap with Addison!

All photos courtesy of SyFy
Syfy’s Channel Zero: Candle Cove is four episodes into its six-episode season, and the tension just keeps mounting. In my previous review of episode one, I praised Candle Cove for prioritizing eerie atmosphere and slow burn over the common horror TV trick of assaulting the senses with shock and violence. With each new episode, the series has piled on another deeply unsettling layer, continuing to expand on the devices that made the series premiere so enticing.

A fool-proof babysitting technique: let the TV do it.
What started as an interesting premiere has quickly turned into a heart-pounding story that more than delivers on the promises in episode one. Read on for a recap and review of episodes two through four (but be warned, there may be some spoilers ahead!). It’s getting seriously creepy.

Episode Two: I’ll Hold Your Hand 

Aunt Petunia, what's the matter?
Just as soon as Mike leaves his hometown of Iron Hill, it finds a way to pull him back into its world of mystery and tragedy. This episode has a cliché start, and moves a little slowly, but the information revealed peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Mike’s past to divulge the fascinating rot beneath. A strange and stressful journey takes Mike and his mother Marla to an abandoned factory that he and his brother were forbidden to play in as children. When they arrive, they find what seems to be Mike’s long-dead twin brother, Eddie, surrounded by candles. This prompts Mike to make a distressing confession to his mother that only serves to open the door for more questions.

The following morning, Sheriff Gary arrives to pick up Mike, presumably to arrest him. Their conversation turns to Eddie, and Mike drops a creepy little morsel that could prove to be foreshadowing: “He wanted to be mayor. Eddie… he said we could take turns and no one would know the difference” We’ll have to keep this in mind over the next two episodes and see! The Sheriff, as the episode draws to a close, drives past the station and provokes Mike’s cliffhanger of a question: “Where are you taking me?”

Episode Three: Want to See Something Cool?

The Tooth Fairy just crossed a line.
This was honestly one of the most intense, stressful, and oddly upsetting episodes of the series so far. As with most horror, the true fear in this episode lies not in the supernatural, but in what human beings running on grief and fear are capable of doing to each other. That a town’s most reputable citizens, including the sheriff himself, could kidnap a man of dubious guilt, subject him to psychological and physical torment, and attempt to get answers that he may not even be able to give. That is exactly the sort of journey this episode takes us on. Sheriff Gary takes Mike to an abandoned house that is the perfect metaphor for the town itself. On the outside, it is a dream house: beautiful, serene, but barren inside, falling apart, and a host to violence and hate. Luckily, Marla and Jessica (Gary’s wife) turn up in time to keep the violence from escalating beyond the point of no return.

The creepiest moment of this episode, hands down, comes toward the end. Mrs. Booth, a local teacher, previously seen engaging in some dubious behavior, casually slits someone’s throat, then immediately follows it up by serving some creepy children hot chocolate and letting them watch Candle Cove at her house. Where are their parents? Speaking of parental neglect, Mike’s daughter Lily inexplicably turns up in the last moment of the episode, prompting all of us watching to say “huh?” and wonder just where her mother is.

Episode Four: A Strange Vessel

Oh good. The Purge, jr.
Will creepy children ever stop being a staple of the horror genre? I really hope not. There’s something remarkably effective about the pairing of an innocent face with dark ideas and blank, dispassionate expressions that never fails to give the audience a good shiver. Little ones acting distinctly off appear consistently in this episode, ranging from Mike’s daughter Lily (who claims to be someone else acting through the little girl’s body), to a band of neighborhood kids with homemade masks and deadly intent. The eeriest moment of the episode has to be Mike’s conversation with his spiritually possessed daughter, particularly when, after he asks where the real Lily is, the little girl answers “She’s dreaming this.” Shivers for days. The being-spoken-through Lily gives Mike instructions to make everything all right, and put the restless spirits at peace.

So, all is well at the end, right? Not quite, at least not for Acting Sheriff Amy, or Mike’s dear friend Jessica, who both find themselves face-to-face with the creepiest band of children since Children of the Corn.

My worst community theatre nightmares come true.
As the series currently stands, the trajectory of its story is difficult to predict. Current theories about the next two episodes include a more intense focus on Jawbone, the reveal of the relationship between Mrs. Booth and The Tooth Child, and eventual answers about just what and where Candle Cove really is. I personally want a more in-depth explanation of the thrall that the show places children under. Just how is it controlling them? Why some children more than others? What is the end game, is it general chaos or something more specifically sinister? Hopefully, some of these questions are answered in episode five. If the series so far is anything to go by, there will be thrills, chills, and horrifying puppets galore. I look forward to seeing where the ship of Candle Cove takes us, as the journey nears its end.

What do you think of Candle Cove so far?
Tell Addison on Twitter: @addison_peacock

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